National Short Course Cross-Country Championships, Lanark 2023

Lanark Racecourse (closed for racing in 1977) was the venue for Saturday’s National Short Course Cross-Country Championships. It is the home of Britain’s oldest horse race, the Lanark Silver Bell, which after a gap of three decades following Lanark’s closure, is now contested at the nearby Hamilton Park Racecourse.

The Seniors Course was a 2-lap, 4,000m flat circuit. Running conditions were excellent.

Eloise Walker of Edinburgh AC won the Women’s race by a clear margin. Her teammate Kirsty Walker pipped Fionnuala Ross of Shettleston Harriers to take silver. In the Men’s race, Jamie Crowe broke away from a pack of eight runners at the halfway point. Falkirk Victoria Harrier Scott Stirling secured the silver medal after initially breaking up the leading pack. Behind them, the duo of Freddie Carcas and Duncan Robinson finished stride-for-stride, with Carcas, the Edinburgh AC athlete winning the bronze by the smallest of margins.

Best run of the day for Greenock Glenpark Harriers was Frank McMahon (19:30) who secured bronze in the V70s category.

In the Ladies race, Marian Monk (18:16), just back from injury, was fastest finisher. Next in was Lynne Harrison (19:12) who continues to improve. Marianne McKay (19:27) had another great run following her strong run at Cumbernauld. Lynsey Mooney (20:33) and Sarah Whalen (20:45) had excellent runs and are both showing great progress. Claire Monaghan (21:34), Liz Haywood (21:47), Heather Lafferty (21:48) and Helen Crawford (21:50) all finished within just 16 seconds of each other, so there are likely to be a few more close races in the coming weeks.  In another close grouping, Alison Smart (26:05), Charlotte McKay (26:07), Mary Robinson (26:07) and June-Ann McKnight (26:31) all finished in quick succession. It’s worthy of mention that Alison and Charlotte secured 18th and 19th places in the V60s category. Another notable performance, representing Glasgow University’s Hares and Hounds was U20 Ruby McGill (17:42).

In the Men’s race, first home for the club in an excellent V40 5th place was Neil Lafferty (13:02). Next in was U20 Kyle Johnstone (13:41). Kyle is starting to show great consistency and improvement leading up to the long course cross-country events. Next in was Andy McCall (13:42) who had a fabulous sprint finish, finishing just 1 second behind Kyle. The most improved runner on the day for the club must surely go to Daniel Doherty (13:51). Daniel was seen by many around the course working hard and digging deep. His efforts were rewarded by finishing 11 seconds ahead of Paul Monaghan (14:02). Paul finished a meritorious 8th V50. Next in was Steven Campbell (14:45). Steven’s dedication to training is sure to pay dividends over the next few races this season. Another athlete who’s turning out consistently, despite a hectic schedule at University is U20 Shaun Wiseman (15:41). Shaun managed to pip Colin McKnight (15:42) on the finishing line. It’s great to see Colin back from injury and running well enough to finish just ahead of Stephen Harrison (15:52). Greg Luke (16:13) managed to get the better of William Taylor (16:23) by a narrow margin. V60s Campbell Cromar (17:00) and Danny McLaughlin (17:07) had a proper head-to-head from start to finish, with Campbell getting the better of Danny by just 7 seconds on the run-in. Alan O’Rourke (17:44) was seen working hard to hold onto these two but lost a bit of ground on the latter stages as the pace wound up. Another excellent run came from James Doherty (17:55) who finished 6 seconds ahead of V60 runner Mick Dunn. It was fabulous to see Gerry Gallacher (18:59), Euan Morrison (19:08) and Stuart Crawford (19:09) working hard throughout the race, yet still managing to find impressive sprint finishes. A final mention goes to Gerard Robertson (21:18) who continues to make great progress this season. Club runners Dylan Crawford (13:24) and Harry McGill (13:30) were representing Stirling and Glasgow Universities respectively.

See results here