Stornoway Race Report
Added on 02 March 2011
Ross County Enduros Raid The Isles
In it's 25th Anniversary year, Stornoway Athletics Club played host to the North District Cross-country Championships, on Saturday 26th February 2011. Helping to celebrate this momentous occasion, 21 Ross County AC Enduros travelled over to Lewis to take part in a set of historic races, this being the first time that the Championships have been held off the mainland.
After a choppy, stomach testing, ferry crossing, the athletes were treated to a pre-race walk, around a cleverly laid out, interesting and technically challenging course, set in the grounds of Lews Castle. A meandering and undulating route, through woods and mud, it offered tough climbs up hills of mud, calf-deep bogs, ancient stone steps and slippery down-hills to negotiate, with superb views to ease the pain of burning limbs.
On race day the rain stopped, the sun shone, and a perfect day for running was upon the athletes. Dressed mostly in only vests and shorts, the Ross County Enduros stepped up to the mark at 0950 to put in a heart-warming set of runs, which resulted in 3 medals coming home to Ross-shire. For the Under 13 Boys, Strathpeffer lad, Finn Crockett put in the best club performance of the day with a gutsy 5th place finish, in only his 2nd event of the season, to lead the boys home to a bronze medal. Not to be outdone, Dingwall's Beth MacKay, running in her first cross-country race, helped the U13 Girls to match the boys result with the second medal of the day. Hot on the heels of the girl's, the U15 Boys, with yet another new recruit, Culbokie's Andrew Gray, made it 3 in-a-row for the Enduros. In the Under 15 Girls race, solo entry Mairi Gilmour, fresh from the North Schools race at Gordonston, put in a spirited performance on tired legs, coming home with a sprint, a smile and a top ten finish.
In the Seniors races, both the men and the women weren't able to field full teams,meaning that they were not eligible for team awards. However, Alison Cameron, Annelise Glew, Colin Gilmour and Sairlegs, finished their races, covered in mud on a endorphin-fueled runners high, the result of a challenging and beautifully scenic course.
The full team lists, in finishing order, were: U13 Boys, Finn Crockett, Hamish Kerr, Logan Mathieson, with the Norths No2 endurance runner, Luke Shaw, not starting due to injury. U13 Girls: Corin Blake, Catriona Holland, Beth Mackay, Abigail MacGregor, Molly Todd, Shona Gilmour, Sativa Alexander. U15 Boys: Douglas Holland, Paul Holden, Andrew Gray.
This highly successful trip would not have been possible without a great deal of support; from the parents who provided trays of home-baking and sausages, Catherine Todd, who organised the entire stay-away and was head chef, the youngsters themselves, who not only cleaned and tidied throughout the weekend, but were perfectly behaved ambassadors for Ross-shire and a generous grant from The Ross & Cromarty Sports Council, making it a financially achievable trip for all.