Saturday, February 21, 2009

National XC - so much to say

It was the National Cross Country Championships today at Callendar Park, Falkirk. It was my 16th national, as shown below (extract from my race spreadsheet):

Feb-1992 Irvine 45.51
Feb-1993 Falkirk 46.32
Feb-1994 Irvine 42.51
Feb-1996 Irvine 45.16
Feb-1997 Perth 46.49
Feb-1998 Irvine 44.41
Feb-1999 Cupar 48.07
Feb-2001 Irvine 49.10
Feb-2002 Falkirk 50.05
Feb-2003 Linwood 49.00
Feb-2004 Perth 44.17
Feb-2005 Irvine 50.09
Feb-2006 Falkirk 51.06
Feb-2007 Falkirk 49.58
Feb-2008 Falkirk 48.31
Feb-2009 Falkirk 49.27

So where do I start my report? Probably with today's winner. What a pleasure it was to finish the race and hear that Ali Hay from Central had won his first national cross country championship (he has won the short course title before, but it isn't really the same as the big one). I was absolutely delighted, not just for Ali but for his mum and dad David and Julie, who are members of Central and two of the nicest people you could hope to meet. There was a tear in my eye when I congratulated David at the presentation - what a fantastic achievement for 'their boy'. David is a member of the WHW family and is doing the WHW race again this year. By an incredible coincidence, he was just coming down the home straight at the end of his 2nd lap when Ali passed on his way to win the race, so Dad managed to see him win. Absolutely brilliant. I'm delighted for all of them.

Congratulations as well to Freya Murray, who won the women's race by almost 2 minutes. She is a class act and hopefully will gain selection for the UK team for the world cross country. Also a big well done to Toni McIntosh, who is in fantastic form at the moment and proved it by finishing second in a high quality field.

I was also really impressed to see that Thomas Loehndorf made it into the top 100, finishing in 98th place. This is a quality race with all of the best runners in Scotland, so to finish in the top 100 is no mean feat. Will Manners from our club is running out of his skin at the moment and finsihed 127th, so it shows what a good run Thomas must have had.

And what about me? I was pleased with my run. I had a steady first lap, then picked things up over laps 2 and 3, passing a lot of people along the way. Amongst those I passed (and managed to stay in front of) were Phil T from my club (although to be fair Phil had been out last night, and a few late night 18 yo Springbank whiskies may not have been the best preparation for him); Neal Gibson (aka pacepusher), who I passed near the start of the second lap, and WHW regulars Davie Bell and Ian Rae. I finished in 237th place from 413 finishers in a time of 49.27 - about a minute away from the top half of the field, but overall I was delighted with my run and performance.

1 comment:

Brian Mc said...

Never been tempted by XC, but maybe I'll give it a crack sometime. Always willing to have a shot at a new form of running, particularly if mud is involved.

Well played on your result.