Harriers enjoyed a champion season
ATHLETES from a local running club have put in some exceptional performances yet again this year.
As the cross country season draws to a close, Forres Harrier Douglas Cowie reflects on some of the achievements of the club which have resulted in members regularly representing Scotland in competition.
“Forres Harriers are considered a small club which makes their successes even more remarkable,” he said.
“In the last five months our athletes have won national medals and gained national honours at all levels but Ben Cameron and Anna MacFadyan deserve a special mention closing the season as national champions.
“This is testament to their consistent hard work and dedication to training year after year throughout the winter months.”
Training over the last two winters has been greatly enhanced thanks to a financial contribution from the Berry Burn Community Fund.
The club spent £3000 on four portable spotlights, enabling safe training for an average 45 adults and 30 children at Grant Park on dark Tuesday and Thursday nights.
This year, early season saw ladies outshine the men when they secured the gold medals in the North District cross country relays.
League races continued throughout the winter and the club’s efforts were rewarded when a number of Harriers picked up overall league trophies at the end of the season.
In November, Colin Youngson, Hamish Cameron and Anne Docherty represented Scotland in the British and Irish Cross Country Championships in Dublin.
Early January saw nine Forres Harriers represent the North District at Holyrood Park, Edinburgh in the Scottish District championships. Lucy Murdoch took part in the under-13’s girls, Ben Cameron, David Spencer and Scott Perry in the under-13’s boys. The under-15 girl’s race featured Lily Carmichael, Shauna Perry and Lauren Cameron. Anna MacFadyan won a bronze medal in the under-17 ladies section and Mark Mitchell finished 4th in the senior men’s race.
At the end of January Forres Harriers hosted the Scottish Masters Cross Country championships which attracted large numbers – athletes travelling from as far away as the Borders and Shetland. Many Harriers competed at national level for the first time. Individual local honours went to David Weir, Douglas Cowie and Anne Docherty who won medals in their respective age groups.
February saw a Harriers contingent travel to Falkirk for the National Cross Country Championships. All acquitted themselves well but particularly Mark Mitchell who finished 3rd in the men’s race, Ben Cameron finishing 4th in the under-13 race (two seconds away from a silver medal) and Anna MacFadyan who returned as Scottish under-17 ladies champion.
Most recently four athletes representing Forres Academy travelled to Irvine to contest the Scottish Schools Cross Country Championships. Cameron in the under-13s and MacFadyan in the under-17s proved too strong for the opposition and are now Scottish Schools champions. Lauren Cameron and David Scott also competed in their respective age groups.
“I hope the club’s achievements will inspire and encourage others of all ages and abilities to gain continued success,” added Cowie.