|Stornoway Running and Athletics Club
|SRAC 100 Club
Inter District XC: Edinburgh
5th January 2013
SRAC’s Connor Maclean Makes Winners Podium!
Following the North Cross Country Championships successes in November five Stornoway Athletes, and two junior Uist athletes travelled to last weekends Scottish Inter District Cross Country Championships. The event held in Edinburgh’s Hollyrood Park was a selection event, with only the “top” runners from the three districts running for the three individual medal places and also team points for the first six counters from each District.
Conditions for racing were fine this year with good underfoot conditions and stillness about the air. Another major factor was the stirring atmosphere from the massed support round the course that came to see some of the world’s elite run in the capital city. All in all, a wonderful experience for all selected throughout the different age groups and perhaps a glimpse of what the future may hold for them!
One runner who showed that the future could well be bright on his “silver-showing” was Connor MacLean in the boy’s under 15 race.
There was also top six team placings for SRAC’s Kyle Munro as fourth counter in the under 13 boys 3k race and Uist’s Owen Vesey (U15) who squeezed four other North runners out of the top six!
In the girls under 15 4k, Peigi MacKellar added yet another Inter District medal to her collection by the closest of margins in a sprint finish. Senior SRAC runners Murdo MacKenzie and Eilidh MacKenzie used the event as further winter training towards their summer goal of the track competition at the Nat West World Island Games. It’s been some time since Eilidh raced in such company and she laid a good “marker” for the season ahead finishing in 18th place.
Murdo who placed 6th in the North Championships and is looking in good shape was however really up against a strong field, the best that Scotland could offer! He ran well to finish fourth counter for the North, but he will likely be even more pleased to run sub 30 minutes, thus achieving his pre-race target!
But, with his podium place to pick up the silver medal as runner-up in the boy’s under 15 4K race Connor MacLean was the outstanding performer of the isles athletes. Connor came into the race with plenty confidence, confidence bolstered by 13 straight local wins on “the country” and both Western Isles and North District titles for the past two seasons! But, on race day past titles count for nothing, as it’s only the effort from gun to tape that determine race placings!
From the gun Connor set off with the lead group and over the best part of the four 1k laps he led from the front stretching the field as he pressed for the win. Confidence was indeed high and there is certainly a more than average portion of ability in the youngster’s legs. The coaches at SRAC are all well aware that Connor’s ability to stretch this field of selected Scots athletes is based on the continued application of ability at every training session!
On the day his efforts to beat the race favourite Josh Kerr, just fell a bit short as Kerr put in a wonderful finish over the last 250 meters to take 6 seconds out of the brave island runner. Without wishing to detract from Kerr’s fine victory, perhaps being an isles based runner saw Connor just a bit short on race experience? That said the third placed runner was a further 13 seconds behind the SRAC lad.
Great credit to Connor who in achieving the runners-up place becomes only the third club member from Stornoway to win a medal at National level! To date all the medals have either been silver or bronze from Eilidh MacKenzie 2004 – 2006 and Malcolm Bain back in 1993.
Connor will travel with his Stornoway team mates to the “open” National Cross Country Championships at the start of February and so the training begins all over again, look for the results in the Gazette on February 28th.
Thanks to Lewis and Harris Sports council for assisting SRAC for this event and Kyle’s Da Stephen for supervising the trip! Oh, don’t miss the second AMC cross country event in the Castle Grounds this Saturday, see www.srac.org.uk for details