With only a year to go until the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Borders athletes have been showing what they can do on the national stage.
As she returns to full fitness and prepares for the World Mountain Running Championships in Poland on September 9, Sarah McCormack from Moorfoot Runners travelled to Scotstoun on Saturday for some relative speedwork at the Scottish National Senior Track and Field Championships and the defence of her 5000m title.
Having been troubled by a niggling foot injury, Sarah was hoping for a good test as a measure of her progress, but a poor field, both in quantity and quality, and a very stiff breeze at the Glasgow track, meant a late re-assessment of her race plan which effectively turned into a solo time trial from the gun.
She retained her title comfortably in 16.14, five seconds faster than her winning time last year, and just 25m short of lapping the silver medallist.
Moorfoot coach Gregor Nicholson said: “In the circumstances, that was a good indicator that Sarah is back running well. We’ve been getting some input from Chris Jones, Ireland National Endurance coach and personal coach of European cross-country champion Fionnuala Britton, which has been very helpful and a bit different for Sarah, and he was pleased with that performance.
“It was disappointing not to get a race, but her winning time and the consistency of her lap splits in the stiff breeze meant it was still a valuable outing.
“There is a decent crop of female distance runners in Scotland at the moment, with a good few contenders for the Glasgow 2014 qualifying time for the 5,000m who we’d hoped would provide a stern test for Sarah, but puzzlingly none of them had even entered the National Championships.”
Also on top form at the Scotstoun event was Berwick middle-distance man Guy Learmonth, who came first in the 800m, while Gordon’s Samantha Kinghorn notched another medal haul with three first places (100m, 200m and 800m) and two seconds (400m and 1,500m) in the wheelchair championship races.
Peebles’ Faye Nicholson was fourth in the long jump, while West Linton athlete Stacey Downie took sixth place in both the 100m and 200m.
Selkirk athlete Iain Douglas (trained by Zahid Aziz and Stephen Nesbit) ran in the 400m, but, while the 21-year-old ran a personal best of 50.56 seconds, he unfortunately failed to make the final by half a second. The experience will certainly not do the young Souter any harm as he was running against the country’s top one-lap athletes.