National XC Champs – Falkirk – 25/02/2017

Mud, mud and more mud.  The National XC Champs around Callender Park, Falkirk were not for the faint-hearted as heavy rain had turned the parkland course into a quagmire.  Nevertheless our 25 competing athletes took on the challenge and produced excellent performances on the day.  Our U13s started off proceedings with Bruce Newlands, still in his 1st year at U13 level, finishing in the top 3rd of the field.  How great it was to see our U13 girls entering a full team and 15th place was just reward for their efforts.  Well done to Ellyn Smith, Megan McKay, Grace Jenkins and Hannah Stephen – great experience in tough conditions.

Our U15s performed well also with Blair and Joshua Milne, again in their 1st year at this level, placing highly and Niamh Whelan and Morven Ross battling hard to produce strong runs.  At U17 level it was great to see Cameron Allan, Cameron Main and Morgan Lewis on the start line.  With the terrain worsening underfoot, the lads pushed hard, learning a lot from the experience which will stand them in good stead as they start to focus on the road, triathlon and track respectively.  Highest placing of the day went to Grace Whelan who finished 9th in a quality field which bodes well for next year as Grace will still compete as an U17.

For the first time in the Club’s history, MRR fielded a full Ladies Team at the National Champs and, judging by the buzz afterwards, they’ll all be back next year.  Great effort from Elspeth Jenkins, Justine Blaszk, Linda Smith and Kimberley Clark for raising the profile of the Club nationally.  The men were equally buzzing afterwards with Gareth Jenkins, James Wilson, Ally Campbell, JP Downey, Jason James, Colin Green, Kevin Morrison and Simon Macdonald all pleased to have been part of this massive event.

Well done everyone. At least mud’s good for the complexion!!

Report by:  Gareth Jenkins
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