Saturday 24th February saw the annual running of the Scottish National Cross Country. The event is held at Callendar Park in Falkirk and features a stern test for the senior runners taking part in the 10k route. The course was almost unrecognisable from last year’s mudbath, with firm underfoot conditions making for great running. Let’s all be glad it wasn’t scheduled for this weekend! The course take runner on a 2 mile loop around the park. The first mile undulates around the woodland area behind Callendar House and on towards the golf course where the second mile loops round before heading up into the trees adjacent to the main road. The route was slightly changed again this year, but maintained the traditional frantic downhill finish.
The ladies set off first, with Marian Monk leading the way in 50.43, a good run from our defending ladies champion. Nicola Stevenson showed further signs of her recent improvements to come home in 2nd position for the club, and only just over a minute slower than Marian. As mentioned previously, the conditions were great underfoot with very little soft ground for the runners to deal with. However, Marianne McKay found a rogue slippy patch and went head over heels only one mile into the race. She bounced back up like a pro and went on to run a solid race whilst caked in mud! Lynsey Mooney had a good run in 4th position for Glenpark closely followed by Eileen Stevenson.
The men’s race was last up on the day, and ran over the same course as the ladies. Shaun Lyon and Chris Mooney had a great battle to be the first harrier on the day, Shaun led the way for the first two laps, with Chris nipping ahead at the start of the third. However, Shaun dug deep and pulled back in front and led the men home in 37.37, just 3 seconds ahead of Chris. Shaun showed great character to dig it out on the day and Chris has been flying in recent weeks, and both will take away a top 100 finish at the Nationals.
Steven Campbell was third harrier home with Andy McCall in 4th. John Stevenson rounded off a good family day out with his 5th place finish, only 30 seconds behind Andy’s time. Great run from the men’s captain! The battle for 6th counter in the men’s team was the battle of the Daniel’s, with Danny McLaughlin ultimately pipping Daniel Doherty for those bragging rights. Derrick MacNish put in a really good run, even if he forgot to put his time chip on!
In the team events, the ladies placed in 22nd and the men in 17th. Ultimately it was a disappointing placement for the men who had finished 8th last year, but a few runners missed out on the day through injury.
Ladies 10k: Marian Monk 50.43, Nicola Stevenson 52.16, Marianne McKay 53.36, Lynsey Mooney 56.06, Eileen Stevenson 62.23
Mens 10k: Shaun Lyon 37.37, Chris Mooney 37.40, Steven Campbell 39.20, Andy McCall 41.40, John Stevenson 42.10, Danny McLaughlin 42.49, Daniel Doherty 42.52, Derrick MacNish 45.30