Early season outings in the hills from Moorfoot Runners Sarah McCormack and Jacob Adkin indicate their continued improvement from last year.
At 6.5km long, and 240m of climb, the Hunters Bog Trot in Holyrood Park on Saturday was the setting for McCormack’s first domestic race of the summer hill season.
She is looking to improve on her highly commendable eighth and 15th places in last year’s European and World Mountain Running Championships.
In finishing ninth overall in the world famous Hunters Bog Trotters annual race in a time of 29 minutes 24 seconds and winning the women’s race by a street, she was exactly one minute faster than her own winning time in 2012.
She was also 14 seconds inside the eight-year-old course record, despite the fact that the organisers reported that this year’s course had been lengthened a little.
Junior clubmate Jacob also had his first hill run of the season on Sunday at the Lomonds Junior Hill Races on East Lomond, near Falkland in Fife.
This was the first counter in the revamped Scottish Junior Hill Running League and was run over a very tough three-lap course of 8.6km with 304m of climb, made all the more difficult by a very strong westerly wind on the exposed hillside.
A small, but quality field in the under-20 race was decimated by the tough conditions and by Jacob’s strong ascending, with older Scottish junior internationalists Andrew Lawler (Law) and Craig Campbell (Inverness) both dropping out when trailing.
Sixteen-year-old Jacob won in 42.55 and knocked more than a minute off Lawler’s course record from last year. Fellow Moorfoot Lucas Cheskin battled on well for second.
Also in Fife for her first hill race in the Under-15 one-lapper was 12-year-old Moorfoot Mairi Wallace, who had a very encouraging experience, finishing second behind Scottish Schools Under-15 cross-country champion Laura Stark.