Vics to take centre stage as races return today

Thousands of runners will be heading for Falkirk at the weekend for Scottish Athletics’ Lindsay’s National Cross-Country Championships, with the endurance run set to include participants from more clubs than ever before.

By Ben Kearney
Saturday, 26th February 2022, 12:10 am
The muddy conditions at Callendar Park (Picture: Scott Louden)

More than 100 clubs from across the country will be represented and some of the country’s top athletes will be taking part as Callendar Park hosts the championships for the 17th time in a row on Saturday afternoon.

Entry numbers are down on previous years, but the sport’s governing body is just happy to have the event back up and running after a year out due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Falkirk Victoria Harriers will have a big contingent representing them at the race and they’re hoping to better their showing in 2020’s races, when their senior men finished 19th in the team category, led in by Peter Moffett, finishing 65th overall. First back of the club’s senior women was Claire Moffett, finishing 87th overall.

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(Picture: Scott Louden)

Three local athletes finished in their age groups’ top 10, with some 45 representing the club across all classes.

A spokesperson for Scottish Athletics said: “We’re back on familiar ground – a fair bit of it mud, of course – and the familiarity may well breed content because Falkirk has played host to this event for more than a decade and remains hugely popular.

“This time last year, it was nothing other than hugely frustrating as Covid-19 regulations suspended all club activity and made a national championship event such as this, particularly in large numbers, impossible.

“Now we’ve more than 2,230 athletes on start-lines from 109 different Scottish clubs and anticipation is rising over the destination of medals for individuals and for teams.”

The Vics’ are the host club for the ev ent and have joined up with land-owners the Falkirk Community Trust to prepare for it.

A team of course-builders will be hoping the weather forecast stays the same as it’s expected to be cool and dry on a day normally known for its extremely muddy running conditions.

In 2020, Mhairi McLennan, of Inverness Harriers, won the senior women’s race in 39:44 and a run of 35:29 by Central Athletic Club’s Jamie Crowe gave him the men’s trophy and helped his team to victory.