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PICTURES: All the action from Moray primary schools cross country event with 650 runners setting a hot pace over Gordon Castle course

By Craig Christie

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Around 650 youngsters took part in the 30th running of the Moray primary schools cross country event.

The start of the P1/3 boys Fun Run at the Moray Active Schools Primary Cross Country 2023 held at Gordon Castle...Picture: Beth Taylor.
The start of the P1/3 boys Fun Run at the Moray Active Schools Primary Cross Country 2023 held at Gordon Castle...Picture: Beth Taylor.

Gordon Castle hosted this year's competition, with the addition of a fun run for P1-3 pupils as well as competitive races for the older age groups.

The prizes were shared out by schools across the area, with team awards being earned by Lossiemouth's St Gerardine's primary, Ancderson's in Forres, West End in Elgin and Keith primary.

Smaller schools like Knockando, Mosstowie and Alves were also among the winners on a day which was enthusiastically embraced by the children.

The event is organised each year by Moray Active Schools, and co-ordinator and well-known local athlete Paul Rogan was among the team behind the event.

He explained how it was the 30th time the races had taken place since first being organised in 1991 by Frances Wardhaugh and Graham Milne.

"The event traditionally took place at Elgin Academy until work was started on the new school and then it moved to various locations including Grant Park, Forres, Buckie High School and Lossiemouth High School," he said.

"This was the third time the event has been hosted at Gordon Castle and it really is the perfect location, so we hope to continue to use the location in future years.

"The event has grown with the addition of a P1-3 fun run which has been a great success, drawing larger numbers each year.

"This is certainly an event that captures the enthusiasm within our Moray Primary Schools, with many offering cross country training sessions delivered by staff members and volunteers in the build up to the event. As spaces are limited to only six per age category for each school, competition can be very high to make the team.

"Cross Country running is very challenging so I’m delighted to see so many children of all ability levels eager to take part."

Principal Active Schools and Community Sport Officer, Roy McPherson added: "We had approximately 650 runners take part in the event, with around 1500 people in attendance including spectators.

"The feedback from parents, school staff and participants was very positive and we’re hoping the event will be a catalyst for young people to continue running via local clubs.

"The event is in line with national sportscotland priorities for young people to be ‘more active, more often’. We were delighted to host the event at the very scenic setting of the Gordon Castle, and we’d like to thank their estate team for continued support.’


Primary 4/5 girls: 1 Kirsty Urquhart (Mosstowie) 4.22; 2 Henriikka Blunden (Gordonstoun) 4.25; 3 Bethany Thompson (Hythehill) 4.39; 4 Poppy Bethall (St Gerardines) 4.42; 5 Aimee Mills (Seafield) 4.43; 6 Ava Surchiffe (Kinloss) 4.43; 7 Ava Stewart (Linkwood) 4.45; 8 Lois Rushton (Mosstowie) 4.46; 9 Hope (Bishopmill) 4.48; 10 Layla Tripp (St Gerardines) 4.48

Team prizes: 1 St Gerardines 56pts; 2 Hythehill 67; 3 Bishopmill 78.

Small schools: 1 Portessie 91; 2 Mosstowie 215; 3 Portknockie 237.

Primary 4/5 boys: 1 Roger Long (West End) 3.59; 2 Struan Hamilton (Tomintoul) 4.09; 3 Cameron Fraser (Mosstodloch) 4.10; 4 Euan Bond (St Gerardines) 4.11; 5 Cameron Garden (West End) 4.12; 6 Finn Carruthers (Andersons) 4.13; 7 Dashie O'Brien (Knockando) 4.14; 8 Jacob Farwood (Kinloss) 4.15; 9 Finlay Bichan (Kinloss) 4.16; 10 Callum Offer (Andersons) 4.17.

Team prizes: 1 Anderson's 76 pts; 2 Milnes 80; 3 St Gerardines 80.

Small schools: 1 Knockando 106; 2 Portgordon 252; 3 Rothes 323.

Primary 6/7 girls: 1 Eva McFall (Tomintoul) 8.59; 2 Rhiann Gomez (Andersons) 9.05; 3 Lili Sharman (Gordonstoun) 9.13; 4 Rose Christie (West End) 9.25; 5 Juna Ross (West End) 9.31; 6 Elsie Mae Grant (Portessie) 9.37; 7 Zoe Galbraith (Burghead) 9.40; 8 Bella Mackman (Gordonstoun) 9.45; 9 Katelyn Jerrams (Seafield) 9.46; 10 Myrhn Newlands (Portknockie) 9.56.

Team prizes: 1 West End 60pts; 2 Andersons 112; 3 Applegrove 113.

Small schools: 1 Alves 134; 2 Findochty 164; 3 Mortlach 183.

Primary 6/7 boys: 1 Rhy Carmichael (Seafield) 8.07; 2 Lewis Simmers (Keith) 8.08; 3 Cameron Simmers (Keith) 8.19; 4 Ezra Bourne (St Gerardines) 8.22; 5 Harry Barr (Gordonstoun) 8.25; 6 Keelan Kearns (Linkwood) 8.28; 7 Freddy Gill (Cullen) 8.29; 8 Donald Coull (West End) 8.30; 9 Ethan Walker (Aberlour) 8.32; 10 Harry Belton (Aberlour) 8.33.

Team prizes: 1 Keith 49; 2 West End 93; 3 Seafield 99.

Small schools: 1 Gordonstoun 89; 2 Mortlach 171; 3 Cullen 252.

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