A record number of teams helps ensure a successful cross country event at Cumbernauld.

Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds completed a superb Cumbernauld hat-trick as they won the senior women’s golds at the Lindsays National XC Relays for the third successive year on Saturday (October 27).

Conditions were excellent for cross country, with the course firm underfoot and bright sunshine which spread across the course from mid-morning. With a record entry of 604 complete teams, big crowds cheered on the athletes throughout.

GB international Anna Macfadyen opened up a gap for Edinburgh Uni in the senior women’s race and established a lead that was never relinquished as Holly Page and Rebecca Johnstone gave anchor runner, Scotland international Steph Pennycook, the perfect platform for success.

“I was delighted to bring it home for the Hare and Hounds and that’s a really special three in a row,” said Pennycook, as the green vests came home in 55.33 to win by 90 91 seconds.

“We’ve so many good athletes around the Uni scene now (EU Hare and Hounds B team were seventh) that we felt we would have a very strong team. It is good for Uni sport at Edinburgh to see the cross country team winning golds at a National Championship.”

VP-Glasgow took the silver medals in that race with GB international Josephine Moultrie among the fastest women on the day – although that individual honour went to Morag Millar of Central AC.

Kilbarchan AAC made it back to national status, too, in terms of a podium, with a fine effort for third place with Elspeth Curran on the last leg.

In the men’s senior race, Central AC returned to their familiar position on top of the podium as they won the race for the fourth time in seven years – with silver medals secured in the intervening seasons.

Photo: Bobby Gavin

Alastair Hay took over after the efforts of Matthew Stirling, Cameron Milne and Scott Green and ensured there would be no slip-up en route to glory for Central AC.

Derek Easton’s team was significantly changed from their latest East District XC Relays success at Glamis Castle – with the likes of Milne having a successful influence on the outcome after coming home to Scotland from Holland (where he is currently working).

“It was pretty much a B team at the Districts plus Ali Hay,” said Easton, a long-time outstanding coach at Central AC who helped guided Andy Butchart to Olympic level.

“I like to have someone with a sprint finish on the last leg on these occasions, just in case that is needed, but Ali had a bit of an advantage on Euan Gillham of Kilbarchan and Sol Sweeney of Glasgow Uni and was never going to relinquish that.

“Ali is running really well at the moment and has had a good spell of training. Scott Green is a great athlete and another bonus for us today. I thought I’d lost him when he was out of the sport for a year or more not so long ago but he has come back with a completely different attitude.

“He was Scottish steeplechase champion a few years ago and I really believe he has British-class talent.”

Fife AC won the junior females race for the first time in their history, with sisters Isla and Anna Hedley in the team, while Giffnock North AC took the junior males race with a successful defence of the title they won 12 months ago.

It was a great day for Cambuslang Harriers on the men’s side of things in the Masters and V50 races. The Glasgow south side club took the golds in both categories, while Shettleston Harriers also made the podium in both events.

In the women’s division, there were Masters golds for Hunters Bog Trotters. The Edinburgh-based club won that race from Garscube Harriers and Bellahouston Road Runners. In the Women’s V50 race, the golds went to Springburn Harriers.

Race highlights of the action at Cumbernauld can be watched below.

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