Fife AC junior Halina Rees, Crail, claimed the individual under 20 women’s bronze medal at the Celtic Nations Cross-Country in snowy Cardiff last Sunday.

Ellie Atkinson (Wales) headed the 5km race in 19 minutes 54 seconds followed by Garscube’s Catriona Graves timed at 19 minutes 55 seconds. Halina in third clocked 20 minutes 15 seconds holding off the challenge of Rhianwedd Price (Wales) – 20.22. Scotland missed out on first team prize by a single point.

The Cardiff meeting incorporated the UK McCain Cross Challenge Series also featuring an English area match. Having just moved to Bristol following two years based in Amsterdam, Helen Sharpe was quickly snapped up to represent the South West of England in the senior women’s race and this just two weeks after representing East of Scotland at the Great Edinburgh event.

Having missed her initial train journey via Bristol Parkway Helen arrived at Cardiff Station just 35 minutes before the start. South-West Team Manager Keith Brackstone navigated her to the course as they ran the 2 miles as her warm up and a change of vest a few quick strides and she was off. Amongst a top-class field Helen finished 14th timed at 28.21 for the 7km course.

Fife AC athletes were also in action over the weekend at the McCain Open Meeting at the recently opened Glasgow Emirates Indoor Arena. Under 20 Kirkcaldy athlete Euan Berry won his 1500m race in 4 minutes 21.92 just four seconds shy of his outdoor personal best of 4:17.10 set last summer. Over 50 veteran John Thomson, Coaltown of Balgonie, placed 3rd in his 1500m race in 4 minutes 34.71 seconds chased by Stuart Milne in 4th – 4:38.47.

Earlier Stuart won his 400m race in 55.75 seconds with Cameron Thomson 6th – 58.08. Three Fife athletes contested 800m races with Connor Eyre in 4th clocking 2 minutes 20.65 seconds. Stephanie Pennycook placed 4th in her mixed 800m race – 2:25.02 while Abbie Steggles placed 5th in a junior 800m – 2:42.71.

Crail athlete Ryan Brocklebank was a lone Fife runner at the East Lothian Cross-Country open meeting placing 6th in the under 15 boy’s 2.86 miles clocking 17 minutes 23 seconds. Dundee based Fife member Bob Thornton contested the Camperdown Parkrun 5km placing 35th in 29 minutes 32 seconds. The St Andrews Parkrun 5km, held every Saturday morning, suffered its first cancellation due to the icy conditions.

Five frosty Fife runners contested the Feel the Burns Hill Race at Selkirk, a 21.4km slog through the snow with total ascent of 800m. Over 50 veteran Dave Cowan, Cupar, led home the club runners in 52 clocking 2 hours 06 minutes.

Results. 1 M Sullivan (Shettleston) 1:39.57, 2 A Fallas (Carnethy) 1:43.44, 3 A Anthony (Ochil HR) 1:44.43….52 Dave Cowan 2:06.00, 70 Louise Burt 2:14.44, 78 Ian Hawkins 2:17.39, 80 Nigel Fowler 2:18.02, 126 Moira Grainger 2:59.25.

Leading Women. 1 J Paris (Carnethy) 1:55.35, 2 N Duncan (Portobello) 2:01.57, 3 M McCracken (Hunters Bog Trotters) 2:02.27.

The Scottish National Cross Country Championships are again being held at Callendar Park, Falkirk on Saturday 23rd February. For the first time all races will be recorded and timed by a chip attached to athletes' laces. Entries for all races (under 13’s through to senior/veteran) should be intimated on club bulletin board by Thursday 31st January.

Graham Bennison