The Morrisons Great Winter Runs and the Inter-district cross country races take place annually in Edinburgh on the same weekend but some international athletes were saying that this year’s event was held in the toughest conditions they’ve known. A combination of wind, snow and dropping temperatures took their toll on some performances, and the going underfoot has rarely been so muddy and treacherous. Paula Radcliffe and Jonathan Edwards presented the international programme for the BBC against a background of a grim, wind and weatherswept Holyrood Park.
Hard training over the autumn and winter months with excellent results ensured that 6 young Harriers were picked for East of Scotland selection, along with three seniors.
In increasingly clarty terrain, Rhiannon Fagan (15.10) dug in well over the Under 13 girls 3K course while her East team took silver, and Jamie Logan (17.00) in the Under 15 boys 4K was the 6th counter in his race for the East and secured his own well-deserved silver as part of his team effort. Susannah Godfrey-Fausett (18.35 and 7thfor the East) was part of the gold winning East team in the girls’ Under 15 race but was just out of the medals herself as only the first 6 count. Thomas Otton (22.29) and Gavin Bryson (23.18) ran superbly for the Under 17 Boys contributing to a gold for the East, with Thomas’s effort as 6thcounter giving him a nice piece of metal to take home. Calum Thame had also been selected for District representation but had elected to swim for his team on the same day in the warmth at the Commonwealth Pool just up the road.
Three Gala seniors had been selected for district honours and it was Dianne Lauder (24.28) who stormed home in a stunning time over the 6K distance as the East team again picked up gold. She was the second counter in and was very well backed up by Kirstin Maxwell (25.01), while an in-form Darrell Hastie (30.00) over 8K was part of the runners-up team in the senior men’s race.