Bellahouston park was the traditional venue for the national 4km cross country championships on Saturday. This year the race had been moved from its usual slot in late January to provide a finale to the “short course” season after the district and national cross country relays last month. Unfortunately this had made no difference to Bella’s horrendous underfoot conditions – deep stinky mud! However the weather was outstanding, sunny and quite warm by the start of the race. Corstorphine had a record turnout from the club to match the record turnout in the race, 14 runners from CAAC in a race where we have typically in the past just scraped a team of 4 together.
The race itself is a bit of a battle where sharp elbows are the order of the day certainly in the early stages as everyone jostles for position on the (probably too) narrow opening stretch. The pace doesn’t let up and a lapse in concentration or effort at any time will see you lose several places in the blink of an eye.
Dermot was to the fore early on and maintained his form to finish an excellent 9th. Down on last year but without question the field was deeper and stronger this year. Mike Crawley was our next counter in his first team outing for the club finishing in 21st, Mike expressing his surprise at the quality of the field. Next counter was a terrific effort from Andrew Christyin 25th, normally happier over longer courses his strength allowed him to deal well with the energy sapping underfoot conditions. Our final counter was Mickey in 28th, a decent run from Mickey who commendably went off very hard and gave it go and perhaps faded a bit but still managed to hold off Kris Berry in 30th who continues to impress on his way back to full fitness.
The team finished in 4th place, just outside the medals but the best we’ve achieved at these champs and it was a result which saw CAAC finish in 5th place in the Stewarts short course team challenge which took both relays and the 4km national into account.
1st Matthew Gillespie Shettleston Harriers 12.37
9th Dermot Cummins 12.56
21st Mike Crawley 13.15
25th Andrew Christy(8th Junior) 13.27
28th Mickey Breen13.32
30th Kris Berry 13.36
41st Adam Priestley13.49
53rd Calum McKenzie14.01
60th Tom Ferrington14.09
68th Bryan Clark 14.24
70th Moray Anderson14.26
83rd Christopher O’Brien 14.33
93rd Steven O’Brien 14.53
97th Calum Smith (33rd Junior) 14.57
dnf Scott Pilkington