Running Events: Cross Country: Edinburgh District Championship Finals 2016

The Scottish Cross Country District Championship finals are definitely one of the highlights of the scottish running year and at least in the modern era, has always taken place at the foot of Arthurs Seat next to Holyrood in Scotland's capital city of Edinburgh. As a consequence it has a high degree of kudos and unsurprisingly benefits those runners in the central belt. The race is usually run mid January which can mean that the athletes from further afield, particularly those representing the North district have further to travel and since some of those are based in the Orkneys, Shetland and Hebrides, that is a considerable undertaking especially if the winter ferries are unable to traverse the wild seas of the north and the Scottish highland roads are covered in snow. Fortunately it was all moderately benign this year and whilst the distances can be considerable the weather itself was relatively calm. On the other hand the heavy rain that Edinburgh had endured in the days leading up to the event had turned the course into a bit of a quagmire and wet gloopy mud and long spikes were definitely the order of the day. The events kudos was significantly enhanced by the anticipated guest appearance of two times world champion 10000 / 5000m track runner, Mo Farah leading out a televised British team which also included Scotland's Callum Hawkins and Andrew Butchart.

It is fair to say that this event attracted the very best of British distance runners, plus a smattering of internationals from Europe and a America. In addition to the interdistrict championship runners which had the best of Scotland's North, East and West District age group competitors, there was also the Celtic nations races between Ireland, Scotland and Wales and an opportunity for young athletes to represent their country for the first time. A great day was had by all and I of course was delighted with my son's performance in under 13 boys interdistrict race where he represented team North finishing in fourth place in a very strong field dominated by the East District. For the first time in history the North District under 13 boys squad assimilated enough points to beat the West District team and finish in silver medal position. I don't think that has ever happened before regardless of age group or gender.