Running Events: Cross Country: Edinburgh District Championship Finals 2017

The 2017 Edinburgh Interdistrict Championships was a far less glamorous affair for my young son Ben (29th out of 37) this year. He is now a full foot shorter than 95% of those taking part in his age category and he is showing very little sign of a growth spurt. His interest was temporarily re-kindled with obvious progress in terms of results following a North District training session in December which he clearly enjoyed and excelled at. But alas that enthusiasm was almost immediately obliterated when I was knocked sideways by one of the foulest head colds I can remember and duly passed it to him a week or so before the North District Championships that laid him flat as well. That cold still lingers and has left him breathless for almost a month now and I suppose it is hardly surprising he is somewhat less enthusiastic to put in the training he needs to regain the ground he has lost. I hope he gets it back again, we certainly don't want to push him into it, but neither do we want to see him falter at something he so clearly enjoyed and shows so much talent for. On a happier note it is just great to see Anna MacFadyen (Forres Harrier) continue to transcend the amateur ranks into a truly elite runner, whom so far still seems to lurk below the national radar. Anna was third in the senior ladies 6K event and first U20 at 17 years old surely those selectors will open their eyes just a little wider and look North for inspiration.

This year for the first time was warmer, dryer and brighter, no slopping through mud and being bent double as hail riccocheted off your head, modest 12mm spikes this year instead of crampons; luxury. Good smattering of running superstars from UK athletics including Mo Farah, Callum Hawkins and Laura Muir not to mention some Turkish Kenyans, imported to bolster the European entry, something that really gets Brendon Foster and Steve Cram extremely vocal about, a bit rich really when you consider Britain's previous history with similar open armed welcome. Kettle calling pot black me thinks. More to the point though the races were excellent, with the usual set of predicted guaranteed winners, (at least those made by the commentators), being bludgeoned off their respective thrones by the motivated underdogs. Best race of the day was the Mens elite 8K with Callum Hawkins just failing to hold off a late charge from a very determined American, Korir, last years winner Garrett Keith a personal favorite of mine and three times previous winner, run into the ground and 6th place by the relentless pressure of young Hawkins with Mo Farah a lack lustre 7th, (still he is winding his running career down and anyway what's he got to prove!).