Scout felt like a rookie

SCOUT ADKIN (Moorfoot) ended her 2011 hill running season on a disappointing note at the Junior Home International in Llanberis, Wales.

Going into the girls’ U-18 race as defending champion and with some good preparation behind her for the 6.7km/315m course, her main rival appeared to be Ffion Price from Wales, who Scout had defeated to become UK U-20 Uphill Champion earlier this year. Alas, it proved to be a real off day, with Scout trailing the victorious Ffion by nearly four minutes and crossing the line in 11th place in 34.42 mins.

Coach Gregor Nicholson said: “That was miles off her true form. She may not have beaten Ffion, who recently won gold on the track at the Commonwealth Youth Games, but looking at the results, I’d say second place was definitely on.

“We’ve done a preliminary review and Scout said as soon as the climb started in earnest it felt like she’d never run up a hill before. She was very happy with her pre-race training over the last four weeks and we can only put her poor run down to a combination of factors which have left her feeling so fatigued on race day – her move to University in Aberdeen the previous weekend, which has probably taken more out of her than she realised, the 15 hours spent travelling from Aberdeen to Wales, plus a four-hour wait at the course ahead of her race.

“But she can look back on a long, tough season in which she became UK champion and had a fine 15th place in her first GB vest at the European Championships.”

Rowan Marr (Gala Harriers) finished 16th in 29.38 minutes in the boys’ Under-16 race over 6.3km and Louise Mercer (Teviotdale) was 14th in the girls’ Under-16 race in 34.36.

Scotland was defending the team trophy going into the four races for under-18 and under-16 boys and girls, but with none of the Scottish runners performing well, the team finished a very disappointing fourth of four in each race.

Better news from the concurrent Commonwealth Championships was an excellent 12th place finish for the evergreen Susan Ridley from Peebles, helping Scotland to team silver behind England.