Fallen trees and muddy tracks are no barrier for cross-country runners – Forres Harriers

The cross country season in the North of Scotland is well and truly underway when it gets to the North District Cross Country Championships.

After a two-year hiatus, the event was held at Gordonstoun School on Saturday 4 December.  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 on the Gordonstoun course. 

The first Forres Harrier to take on the mud was Imogen Symon in the Under 13 Girls race, finishing 17th.  Imogen’s older brother, Bill Symon, was up next, alongside his teammate, Michael Bishenden, in the Under 15 Boys race.

Michael had an excellent run to finish 2nd overall in a closely fought race with the eventual winner.  Bill was not far behind in 11th place. Ida Oikkonen ran in the Under 17 Girls race and had a strong run to finish 10th overall.

There was a team of six Harrier Ladies running over 8k, alongside the Under20 ladies running 6.5k.  First Harrier to finish in the Senior Ladies race in 11th place and also taking the Bronze for 3rd F40 was Siobhan Evans, followed by Hilary Cameron in 14th position taking the Gold for 1st F50,  Susan McRitchie 15th, Marisa Christie 25th, Clare Nicholas 28th and Shona Spencer 30th. 

The Team of Evans, Cameron and McRitchie took the Gold team medal for the Master’s Team.  Catriona Fraser-Lennox from Inverness Harriers was the overall winner of the Senior Ladies race.

A team of 10 Harrier men were the last to race over the 8k churned up, muddy course.  The gents raced alongside the Under 20men who ran 6.5k.  First Harrier Gent to finish was Raymond Hughes in 43rd, followed by David Weir 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 3rd Master’s Team,  Max Abernethy from Fraserburgh was the overall winner of the Senior Men’s race.  

Forres Harriers would like to extend their thanks and appreciation to Moray Road Runners for organising and hosting the event at Gordonstoun School.

Report submitted by Susan McRithie

Ladies Team – Left to right – Shona Spencer, Susan McRitchie, Siobhan Evans, Hilary Cameron, Clare Nicholas, Marisa Christie.
Men’s Team – left to right – Gary MacFadyen, Dale Stephen, David Weir, Tony Bishenden, Grant Symon, David McCulloch, Colin Hall, Jordon Bowler, Raymond Hughes, Mark Christie.
Master’s Ladies winning Team – right to left – Siobhan Evans, Susan McRitchie, Hilary Cameron.
Under 15 boys – 2nd overall/silver medal – Michael Bishenden.

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