Peebles runner Scout is perfectly prepared for National Championships

Scotland’s top woman mountain runner, Scout Adkin of Peebles, may now work in the Lake District.

By Ralph Mellon
Thursday, 3rd March 2022, 12:36 pm
Talented Scout Adkin, of Moorfoot Runners, won a silver medal (picture by Bobby Gavin)

But her ties to Moorfoot Runners remain strong and it’s their vest she dons when racing in Scotland.

Having shown good form in several cross-country races over the winter, as well as on her more usual terrain in the hills, she was confident enough to set off from the gun in the National Cross-Country Championships at Callendar Park, Falkirk.

Decent weather greeted the healthy contingent of Borders runners who competed on Saturday, with dry, breezy conditions.

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Bronze in the U15 boys' race went the way of Kieran Fulton (picture by Bobby Gavin)

Adkin was mixing it with the senior women’s race favourite, GB internationalist and defending champion Mhairi Maclennan, of Inverness Harriers, past winner Morag Millar of Central, and up-and-coming Holly Page of Edinburgh University.

These four soon broke away on the first of three laps over the 10km course, establishing an early gap on the chasing pack of 264 other runners.

As they set off on lap two, Maclennan started to pile on the pressure from the front and only Adkin could live with the pace as Millar and Page dropped back.

But, approaching half-way, the leader’s relentless tempo had begun to tell, with a five-second gap opening up between her and Adkin, who held the same time advantage over Page and Millar.

Kirsty Rankine, right, of Gala Harriers, scored an excellent top 10 finish among the U13 girls (picture by Bobby Gavin)

Throughout the third and final lap, Maclennan drew further and further clear as she headed for her third Nationals title but Adkin was maintaining a good grasp on second place, with the gap back to third and fourth extending to 13 seconds with half a lap to go.

Come the finish line, Adkin took the silver medal with a comfortable 12-second cushion to spare.

Earlier in the day, fellow Moorfoot Kieran Fulton ran a well-controlled race to take the bronze medal in the U15 boys race.

With all his training having been geared to racing over 800m indoors since his East District XC title success in early December, the 4.3km distance was expected to be a bit of a shock to the system.

This bronze medal-winning Moorfoot Runners team comprised Kieran Fulton, Thomas Hilton, Shaun Pyman and Luke Grieve

But Fulton paced his race well, sitting top 10 early on, then moving into sixth approaching halfway.

The front two runners were out of sight but the gap to third was less than 10 seconds as they climbed the last hill through the village of club tents, with about 1500m to go.

Fulton was working hard to reel in the bronze medal contenders. As they hit the far turn, he was into fifth and the gap was down to just 15 metres, with his favoured distance of 800m remaining.

From there, he proved too strong for the others over the closing stages, taking the bronze medal in 14.51, with four seconds to spare over fourth place.

Clubmate Thomas Hilton wasn’t far behind in ninth at 15.16. And, with Shaun Pyman and Luke Grieve placing well up the field of 138 runners in 44th (16.42) and 57th (17.03) respectively, that gave the Moorfoot team 113 points for the team bronze, a feat matched by Gala Harriers U13 girls.

They raced over 3.2km and were led home by Kirsty Rankine, who achieved her top 10 target with an excellent ninth-place finish in 13.27.

Good back-up from Ava Richardson in 14th (13.42), Kacie Brown in 26th (14.02) and Elise Field in 56th (14.56) gave the team 105 points, comfortably clear of fourth-placed challengers Falkirk.

Teviotdale’s Conan Harper also achieved a top 10 placing, coming home sixth in the U17 men’s race over 6.2 km in 21.25.