There were some fantastic performances and high emotions on display at the Scottish Masters Cross Country Championships held in Forres on Saturday, February 6. In the end Jenny MacLean (Edinburgh AC) successfully defended her women's title, whilst Kerry-Liam Wilson (Ron Hill Cambuslang) took the men's title from his club mate David Rodgers.
MacLean (35) battled hard with Inverness's super vet Melissa Whyte (45) before gradually pulling away to win the 6.4km race by 36 seconds to complete the tough course in 22:39. Aberdeen AAC's Veronique Oldham (40) finished a minute behind Whyte in third with 24:18. Although MacLean's club mate Susan Ridley (40) placed fourth in 24:27 they and Marietta Beal (35), who placed 21st in 26:43, had to settle for silver in the team event as, for the first time, the women's team gold went to Helensburgh AAC led home by Julia Henderson (35) in fifth overall (24:30) with her club mate Claire Heasman (35) sixth with 24:46 and super vet Michelle Hetherington (45), continuing her comeback, placing fourteenth with 25:33. Oldham also collected bronze in the team event with seventh placed Rhona Buchan (40) with 24:47 and 19th placed Laura Mahady (50) with 26:11 also counting.
In the men's race, Girvan based Wilson (35) started conservatively and was in eighth place after the first small lap. He made his way up to fifth after the second lap and maintained his position through the woods ahead of his club mate Jamie Reid. With just one lap to go, Wilson made his way into third place and then overtook Hunters Bog Trotter Steve Cairn to place second with just club mate Dave Rogers in front. In the last major climb of the race, Wilson made his move and passed Rodgers but there was still over half a lap to go and he was made to work the whole way to the finishing line. With just yards to go, Wilson raised his arms as he broke through the finishing tape in 33:03 to claim his first ever individual cross country win before sinking to his knees to weep with a mixture of emotion, shock, relief and the knowledge that he was now the 2010 Scottish Masters Athletics Cross Country Champion and the Gold Medal V35 winner. Rodgers finished ten seconds behind to claim second in 33:13, whilst Hunters Bog Trotter Steve Cairns (40) earned third with 33:20.
With Ron Hill Cambuslang also placing fourth with Jamie Reid (35) in 33:36 and fifth with Colin Donnelly (50) in 34:13 there was no doubt that the Lanarkshire club would win gold for an unprecedented third year in succession. Carnegie Harrier Thomas Lawrence (35) placed sixth in 34:19 and led the team of: tenth placed Ian Stewart (50) 34:54; 15th placed Allan Fotheringham (40) 35:28 and 18th placed Lewis Lawson (45) 35:43 to silver in the team race. Local club Forres Harriers earned bronze with: eighth placed Paul Rogan (40) 34:47; 21st placed Lloyd Gallantree (45) 36:05; 22nd placed Andrew Ross (40) 36:11 and 25th placed Douglas Cowie (55) 36:43 all counting.
Emotional Views From the Top
2010 Scottish Masters Athletics Women's Cross Country Champion Jenny MacLean said "Victory!!! I'm so chuffed with the run today - silver for the Edinburgh AAC's women's team and our guys were fourth too."
2010 Scottish Masters Athletics Men's Cross Country Champion Kerry Liam Wilson said: "I still can't believe that I won the race and took first V35 title with it and that we took team gold for the third year in a row. The course was great. Thumbs up to Forres Harriers for putting on such a good course and a great spread back at the Town Hall for the presentation. This is my first ever national individual title, I'm well chuffed."
Carnegie's Tommy Lawrence added "Forres Harriers did an excellent job of hosting the event, the course was great and the organisation brilliant. I know it sounds a bit cheesy but I was very proud of my individual performance and more so of the team, who were overall runners up as well earning silver in the 50+ category and bronze in the 45+ category. I'm still feeling pretty emotional."