The Fife AC women represented Scotland at the AAA’s/English Road Relay Championships at Sutton Coldfield rising to the occasion achieving a top twenty place in the race, the blue riband event of road running in the UK.

Fife lined up for the women’s 6-stage championship, the first ever Scottish female team to appear at the elite event following in the footsteps of their male colleagues who contested the men’s 12-stage race back in a distant 1999 and 2000.

GB junior internationalist Halina Rees opened for the club coming home in 22nd place timed at 17 minutes 50 seconds for the undulating 3 mile circuit. Jennifer Kibble’s 18.49 held 24th place while Helen Sharpe, having travelled up from her Bristol workbase, brought the club up to 14th with a fast 17 minutes 28 seconds. Amie McKimmie improved further to 12th (18.46) before over 40 veteran Kirsti Sharratt placed 18th (19.41) leaving Alison McGill (19.30) to anchor the team effort for 20th place, ahead of chasing Shaftesbury Barnet, achieving the aim of a top twenty place.

Aldershot Farnham and District retained their title boosted by a 16 minutes 02 seconds clocking by Scottish Commonwealth 1500m silver medallist Stephanie Twell bringing the south of England club into the lead at the halfway stage. Lily Partridge, who led Dundee Hawkhill to the Scottish Cross-Country Relay title three years ago, matched Twell’s time of 16.02 on leg five leaving Georgie Bruinvel (16.36) an untroubled run to victory over the anchor stage.

Fife AC at AAA's Relays Sutton Coldfield

Fife AC at AAA's Relays Sutton Coldfield

Fife AC Team Manager Ron Morrison commented:

I’m delighted by the overall performance of the team in their first attempt over what is a very difficult and technical course against the best in Britain. Racing against the great English clubs was an inspiration for the athletes who are looking forward to improving the performance in next year's race for which they have already qualified.

Halina Rees:

I am glad we made the trip down to Birmingham, it was a really fun weekend. The race was a good experience and the course was tough however I enjoyed it! We were so excited to finish in the top 20, better than we expected! We hope to go back next year, it was a great event!

I thought the weekend was a great thing for the club to be part of. it was a real eye-opener for all of us. I’ve competed at the UK Inter-Counties, a massive event in its own right, but it was nothing compared to this race. This event was terrifying but inspiring at the same time, it gave us the chance to race against Britain’s best. A great event, and I was proud to be part of it, especially considering we were not only the first Fife female team to be selected to compete at this level, but the first Scottish team to take the offer up. We have already qualified for next year, and I’m looking forward to it already. Ron and Don have put in so much hard work to get us to the stage we all are at the moment, it feels amazing to be able to see the results, especially as a team in an event like this. It was great to go away on a trip with the girls I train with, we haven't had that opportunity before, but poor Ron, outnumbered a little!

I hope the club will take up the offer to go again next year, it was inspiring, I can't wait to go back fitter and faster next time, hoping for single figures.

Kirsti Sharratt:

It was a privilege to be asked to join the team as I was clearly the slowest runner. 

The race was tough. The course was quite tactical and the final hill was brutal. We all felt the responsibility of being part of a team, and we all ran our hardest.

Running to the brink of vomiting isn't enjoyable, but the feeling of accomplishment makes it all worthwhile. This sense of achievement was heightened by the prestige of the race – there were so many exceptionally fast runners. It was great to be part of it. 

All my fellow team members train hard and race hard, and Ron's expertise as a coach is borne out by our results. Along with Don, he knows how to get the best out of each of us and his support and encouragement are unwavering.

Amie McKimmie:

Race was hilly with a slight head wind. Competition was tough but Fife girls stuck in and chased competitors down. Ron's girls were prepared: Hallow Hill and Craigtoun hill sessions gave us the strong mindset needed to tackle the tough course. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend had by all.

Jennifer Kibble:

The whole weekend was really fun for everyone - including Ron who was stuck in a car with 5 girls. He made a brave decision signing himself up to be team manager for us girls! 

Halina received a text from Helen about 4 hours into our journey. Helen's text read 'race is Sunday right?' I was sitting next to Halina, she nudged me to show the text without everyone else (Ron!) noticing. We laughed but then remembered Helen had mentioned earlier that she was off for a 10 mile run. We decided to tell Ron, luckily he was not behind the wheel at this point. He had worked so hard to get 6 fit, non injured girls that were available to enter this race. With the thought that Helen was in Bristol finishing a ten mile run around 6pm the day before the ERRA relays in Birmingham...everyone started to panic! After numerous phone calls and texts, Helen then revealed that she was joking. Certainly fooled us!

As we left the hire car company in Cupar to make our way to Birmingham, I posted on Facebook a link to Scottish athletics website. We received many good luck messages from friends, family and club members. It did not feel like we were going to a normal race - it definitely felt as if this was a much bigger deal.

We really didn't know if we would be completely out of our depth with the class of runners competing. 

There were many jokes during the journey as Ron had just sold his much loved Jag. He complained about the rental car as it was manual with no handbrake and Ron demanded he needed a Jaguar again. We agreed he did need a Jag when he stalled the car about 5 times as we entered the Park on the morning of the race. The girls couldn't stop laughing and Ron joked too which was good! 

When we arrived we walked the course with Ron and he gave us good advice as it was a difficult course to pace right with the huge hills! 

We had our rental car, Ron and Helen's parents for support. The English teams had gazebos and a full team of coaches, helpers and even physiotherapists! Yes, we were definitely jealous especially after sitting in the car for several hours traveling the day before. 

Over the weekend Ron discovered more about women's running than he already knew. He learned about dry shampoo, straighteners and wet sports bra syndrome! 

Ron teased Amie about the Central boys. 

We were under strict instructions to bring one bag only and no make up!

Ron was nervous before the race in the morning - afterwards he couldn't believe the state he had been in!

It was nice to travel home with a happy coach, we were all buzzing! Finishing 20th was better than we had expected. 

We all really enjoyed the trip - including Ron. 

I am glad we made the trip down to Birmingham, it was a really fun weekend. The race was a good experience and the course was tough however I enjoyed it! We were so excited to finish in the top 20, better than we expected! We hope to go back next year, it was a great event!

Helen Sharpe:

It was great to see the Fife girls in Birmingham and to catch up with Ron who was more nervous than the runners! I was quite nervous going into it. I caught the bus with Bristol & West who kept telling me I had the right colours but the wrong team! When I took over from Jen, I just wanted to run as fast has I could. I was feeling good and overtaking women and chasing the men, I was pretty pleased with my time of 17:28, 8th fastest on my leg. I had a race plan in mind, the first 1k is climbing, I attacked and knew I had to keep pushing on the flat and downhill sections because the last 0.5k is uphill again, I was counting on the support to get me uphill to the finish and to pass over to Amie. 

It was great to then focus on supporting Amie, Kirsty and Alison. Super exciting experience and a fantastic day!


Anstruther athlete Ronan McInstray celebrated the school holidays winning the junior prize at the Fontainebleau 10km Road Race in France in 41 minutes 20 seconds. Last Sunday Ronan was in action at the Petrofac Track & Field League at Perth clocking 11 minutes 06.6 seconds in the under 18 boy’s 3,000m with Kirkcaldy athlete Bruce Millar a runaway winner in 9:25.5 and Logan Rees 2nd (9:35.9). Callum Mitchell, Kirkcaldy, won the under 18’s 100m in 12.1 seconds while Jack Robb’s speedy 52 seconds won the 400m with James Pennycook first in the ‘B’ race – 56.5 seconds.

It was a busy weekend for Lundin Links athlete Jennifer Cruickshanks placing 4th in the senior 3,000m at Perth only twenty-four hours after claiming the 3,000m steeplechase bronze medal in the Scottish Universities/Colleges Championships at Grangemouth. Under 20 Cellardyke athlete Zach Delaney took the men’s 3,000m steeplechase title with both men’s and women’s events run in lane 2 due to water logging of the inside of the track, rendering times meaningless.

Other results from Perth include: Under 12. 80m 6th Louis Cricknar 14.4. 80m B. 1st Finlay Sey 13.9. 600m 4th Gavin McWhinnie 2:05.5. B Race. 5th Sey 2:06.3. 6th Iain McWhinnie 2:09. Girls. 80m. 7th Chloe Ritchie 14.5. B. 6th Mia Crickmar 17.3. 600m 5th Ritchie 2:45.5.

Under 14’s. 100m 6th Calder Houston 17.5. 1500m. 1st Adam Scott 4:43.4. Girls. 200m 5th Issy Olsen 34.5. High Jump. 1st Olsen 1.28m. 1200m. 1st Louise McCullough 4:20.5.. B. 1st Abbie Steggles 4:32.7. Javelin. 6th McCullough 8.15m.

Under 16’w. 100m 4th Euan Mitchell 14.1. B 4th Callum Sleigh 14.9. Girls. 100m 4th Sharon Almond 14.5. B. 5th Emma Malcolm 15.5. 200m. 5th Almond 31.0. B. 5th Malcolm 31.3. High Jump. 5th Malcolm 1.20m. 1500m. 2nd Ailsa Cruickshanks 5:32.4. B. 1st Katie Aitken 5:40.6.

Under 18’s. 3,000m. 7th Scott Bernard 10:21.5. Girls. 300m. 4th Corryn Christie 47.7. Seniors. 100m. 5th Stuart Milne 13.8. 400m. 4th Milne 57.2. B. 2nd Cameron Thomson 57.9. Women. 400m. 2nd Stephanie Pennycook 64.5. B. 2nd Laura Gibson 71.5.

Teams Male.1 Aberdeen 343, 2 Arbroath & Dist. 282, 3 Perth Strathtay H. 256, 4 Banchory & Stonehaven 253, 5 Dundee Hawkhill 151, 6 Fife AC 116, 7 Montrose & Dist. 46, 8 Ellon 28. Female. 1 Aberdeen 304, 2 Arbroath 357, 3 Dundee Hawkhill 252, 4 Banchory & Stonehaven 250, 5 Perth Strathtay H. 220, 6 Fife AC 127, 7 Ellon 109, 8 Montrose & Dist. 88.

Three Cupar athletes battled the testing, windy weather conditions at last Sunday’s Lochaber Marathon from Fort William. Simon Fox finished 97th in 3 hours 32 minutes 21 seconds while in 166th Liz Killean took the third over 45 veteran award clocking 3:47.02. Carrie Fox placed 201st in 3:55.32.

Testing weather conditions were also the order of the day at the Ayr Duathlon won by Perth Kirkcaldy athlete Lorraine Brown placed 23rd overall heading all the younger opposition to finish first female with splits of 19.48/65.32/20.33 for a total 1:45.53.

UK over 70 champion George Black, Kingskettle, was also the first competitor over 60 to finish totalling 1:57.32 (24.45/67.40/25.07).

A week earlier Fiona Bracegirdle completed the Knockburn Duathlon (4km run/15km bike/ 4km run) in 21st overall/2nd female in 1:13.09 (18.00/34.13/19.26). Over 50 veteran Miriam Rennet finished 34th overall/4th female/1st over 50 in 1:18.04 (21.07/33.30/22.15).

The St Andrew’s Parkrun 5km at Craigtoun celebrates its first birthday this Saturday 20th. Free to register, just go to Parkrun website.

Results: St Andrews Parkrun 5km. 1 N Brew (Unatt.) 18.26, 2 C Ross (Unatt.) 1st over 50. 18.31, 3 J Wotherspoon (Unatt.) 1st junior. 19.30….19 I Shield (Anster Haddies) 1st over 60. 23.31. Women. 1 M Martin (Fife AC) 1st over 50. 23.19, 2 S Lumsden (Unatt.) 23.21, 3 A Hedley (Unatt.) 1st junior. 23.22….17 M Mitchell (Fife AC) 1st over 60. 31.33.

The opening race in the Beveridge Park 5km Series is tomorrow Friday 19th April starting at 7.30pm. Entries on the night outside the Kirkcaldy Rugby HQ in the park.

The Ravenscraig Park, Kirkcaldy, series continues this Tues. 23rd with a one mile race starting at 7pm. All entries on the night within the park.

Sunday 28th April is the Young Athletes Track & Field meeting at Pitreavie. The Lomond Hills Junior Hill Races also the same day.

Entries now open for the Scottish 5km Road Race Championships at Silverknowes Wed. 1st May. An event for all standards of club runners. Details at

Graham Bennison