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Strong performances from Forres Harriers at North District Cross Country Championships at Gordonstoun

By Craig Christie

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FORRES Harriers splashed their way through the wet conditions at Gordonstoun school for Saturday’s North District Cross Country Championships.

Start of the Under 17 and Under 15's Girls/Women Race at the North District Cross Country at Gordonstoun School. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..
Start of the Under 17 and Under 15's Girls/Women Race at the North District Cross Country at Gordonstoun School. Picture: Daniel Forsyth..

After a two-year hiatus, the event was back on the race calendar and there was a large turn out of Forres athletes.

A few North District league races had prepped the lungs and legs of many of the runners for the championship event, also used as the Interdistrict Cross Country selection race.

With Storm Arwen the week before leading to a tree falling on the usual route, the race hosts Moray Road Runners, had to do a last-minute diversion on the course. Then with heavy rain leading up to the event, there was an abundance of mud along the route to add to the challenge.

The first Forres Harrier to take on the mud was Imogen Symon who finished 17th in the under-13 girls’ race.

Imogen’s older brother, Bill was up next in the under-15 boys, alongside his team-mate, Michael Bishenden, who had an excellent run to finish second overall in a closely fought race just a second behind the eventual winner. Bill was not far behind in 11th place, while Ida Oikkonen ran in the under-17 girls race and had a strong run to finish 10th overall.

Full results.

There was a team of six Harriers ladies running over 8k, alongside the under-20 ladies running 6.5k. First Harrier to finish in the Senior Ladies race in 11th place and also taking the bronze for third F40 was Siobhan Evans, followed by Hilary Cameron in 14th position taking the gold in the F50 category,

Susan McRitchie (15th), Marisa Christie (25th), Clare Nicholas (28th) and Shona Spencer (30th) all raced well for Forres. The team of Evans, Cameron and McRitchie took the gold team medal for the Masters team. Catriona Fraser-Lennox from Inverness Harriers was the overall winner of the Senior Ladies race.

A team of 10 Harriers men were the last to race over the 8k churned up, muddy course. The gents raced alongside the under-20 men who ran 6.5k.

First Forres man home was Raymond Hughes in 43rd, followed by David Weir in 59th, Tony Bishenden (65th), Colin Hall (73rd), David McCulloch (75th), Gary MacFadyen (79th), Jordon Bowler (82nd), Grant Symon (86th), Dale Stephen (88th) and Mark Christie (90th).

The team of Hughes, Weir and Bishenden finished third in masters team. Max Abernethy from Fraserburgh won the race.

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