The following piece was a small report from a visitor from Kilmarnock Harriers – we were delighted to help out and glad mostly everyone enjoyed themselves!
East Kilbride AC held their new cross country event in Jackton, near East Kilbride on Sunday 19th January. To be more accurate, it was at a farm near Jackton! As random as this sounds, the facilities were actually excellent, tonnes of parking, sports hall, changing, toilets, and a hose to wash dirty shoes/runners after! The course was described by most “experienced” runners as “proper cross country”, based around two very muddy, and very hilly fields. The downhill start certainly didn’t get out of hand, with the thick, deep mud keeping the speed under control. Such was the mud that most sections had competitors scrambling to the edges to try to find the easiest lines. With 3 climbs on every one of the 2.1km laps, and 3 laps for the women, 4 for the men, it wasn’t for the faint hearted.
After a measured start, Kara Tait quickly cut through the womens field, moving up from 4th to 1st, and holding onto that position with ease to the finish. The other Kilmarnock Harrier in the women’s race was Paula Wilson, who is well known for enjoying the mud, and she certainly had a smile on her face (or was it a grimace?) most of the way.
Cameron Wilson, Robert Lindsay and Neil Walker took to the start of the men’s race at 2.45pm, hoping to be finished before darkness fell! Former Scottish XC Champion Mark Pollard (Inverclyde AC) led from the start, and after the first ¼ lap had established a select group along with Robert Gilroy (Ronhill Cambuslang) with Cameron Wilson running strongly in 3rd. Robert Lindsay and Neil Walker were also running strongly at the back of the 2nd group, just inside the top 15 at the end of the first lap. Cameron kept the leading pair insight throughout, finishing in a fine 3rd place. Both Robert and Neil picked up their pace throughout, moving up through the field to finish 10th and 12th.