In near-perfect conditions at Kirkcaldy last Saturday, the Moorfoot Runners U17 Women’s team came away with a fantastic team silver in the Scottish National Short Course Cross-Country Championships.
On a chilly but sunny and calm day, the terrain was familiar to those who, in the past, had raced the venue in the Scottish Primary Schools Championships – albeit the undulating and twisting course was set up differently on this occasion. Conditions were on the soft side of good but were perfect for quality running.
Racing over 3km, Charlotte Clare committed to a very positive start, well inside the top 10 to halfway, but dropping a couple of places as the fast, early pace took its toll.
Not quite in her slipstream – but in close contact and having a tremendous run – was Beth Hobbs. Inside the final 200m, Charlotte rallied again with her usual stirring finish to pick up a couple of places and cross the line in ninth place in 11.05. Beth kept on well for 13th in 11.14.
That looked to put the Moorfoot girls in a competitive position in the team race (three to count), with a medal chance hinging on how far up the field third counter Mairi Wallace could finish.
Mairi was still suffering the effects of the heavy cold which had caused her to miss the Lasswade XC the previous Sunday and was also racing on a course way shorter and less hilly than she prefers. Clearly not firing on all cylinders, Mairi sensibly started steadily and then plugged on to finish 28th of the 56-strong field in a time of 12.06, below her best but still enough to mean an attentive ear being cocked for the announcement calling the podium teams to presentations.
Unfortunately, all the cocked Moorfoot ears missed the announcement and it was only after a later visit to check the results that Charlotte and Mairi spied them, and word spread that the team silver had been won.
Giffnock North were the runaway winners, with the Moorfoot girls pipping Edinburgh by one single point, 50 to 51.
The delighted girls belatedly received their medals from Scottish Athletics past president Alan Potts, then dashed to the finish to cheer on Laura Muir as she powered her way to victory in the senior women’s race.
A further bonus for the girls was to be photographed with and congratulated by Laura.
It was certainly a day to be cherished and a just National XC medal, after a couple of years contending for the National Champs proper but missing the required fourth counter.