On a day when the Falkirk Victoria Harriers women showed their male club-mates how it was done, pride of place goes to Olivia Vareille’s fine victory in the senior women’s race.
Leading a pack of five runners after the first of two 3k laps and timing her run to perfection, Vareille waited until 200m from the end to kick up to top gear and take the win.
Fellow Vic, Jessica Christie, who was also in the leading pack for most of the race, finished in a fine fifth position.
Both runs were made more remarkable by the fact they are still U20s running in a senior race.
The East District Cross Country League 2019/20 kicked off on Saturday at the undulating grounds of Stirling University.
The league has been running since 1924, and was dominated by Edinburgh clubs for much of its history, until Falkirk Victoria Harriers were in the ascendancy during the 1980s and 1990s.
The combined females team from FVH were defending second position from last year’s league.
The U11 girls got the Vics off to a great start, finishing third team. Emily Christie was fifth and she was joined by Lily Kimberley and Hanna Brinkley in the team.
Not to be outdone, the U13s finished second team, with Charlotte Horne third and Lois Cant seventh, both joined by Katie Hodges. Maintaining the females’ strong performances, the U15/17 race saw the Vics finish as third team, with Merah Anderson, Caitlyn Christie and Katie Christie all running well in a mixed age race.
In the senior women’s race, Olivia and Jessica were joined by Claire Campbell-Swann and Eilidh McCallum, giving the team second position.
Overall the combined female team are in second position, with two more league matches to come in November and January.
The male races all saw Vics involvement and Callum Little ran to seventh place in the U17 race. Sixteen senior/masters FVH men ran in the final race of the day and for the second week in a row they were led home by Euan Martin.
Overall, the males combined team lie sixth. This weekend sees the National Relay championships at Cumbernauld, where Vics have several medal hopes in individual and team events.