A SCOTTISH title win has capped a superb year for Moray athlete Anna MacFadyen.
The former Forres Academy pupil, who is now at Edinburgh University, raced to glory in Saturday’s Scottish cross-country relay championships.
Anna (18) was the only under-20 athlete in the university’s Hares and Hounds team which swept to victory against strong opposition over a testing Cumbernauld course.
She raced round in 14 minutes, 23 seconds in what was one of the quickest individual times on the day. Senior colleagues Mhairi Maclennan, Rebecca Johnson and Stephanie Pennycook posted good performances to take their team to an overall time of 58.51.
That was 36 seconds faster than a Central AC team which included former Commonwealth Games runner and European junior champion Morag MacLarty. Two weeks earlier, MacFadyen was part of an Edinburgh Uni team which won the Scottish East District cross country title.
MacFadyen was second in the Scottish national cross country championships, and in March competed in the World Cross Country Championships in Uganda, finishing 48th in a world-class field.
Last weekend, apart from MacFadyen’s team triumph, Moray Road Runners entered a senior and veterans team with excellent results gained.
Tackling strong headwinds on the long uphills, fast downhill sections and deteriorating conditions underfoot for the later runners, both teams found the 4k Cumbernauld course tough.
The MRR vets’ team of Gareth Jenkins, Colin Green, Martin Bain and Paul Rogan finishing in an excellent fifth out of 29 teams, just 46 seconds off bronze.
A strong opening leg from James Wilson set the senior team up nicely and fine efforts from Andy Alexander, Jason James and Nigel Williams saw the team finish 69th, a great performance given recent, ongoing injuries for some.
Another Moray Road Runner will be racing for international glory this coming weekend.
On Sunday, Kenny Wilson will pull on the Scotland vest for the first time and compete for his country in the International Leeds Abbey Dash 10k, against the best from UK, Ireland and other parts of Europe.
The Knockando-based distillery warehouseman earned his call-up after posting two personal-best runs in quick succession over the 10k distance.
One of those came at the Scottish 10k Championships where he was just seconds off a medal position.
“I can’t wait to pull on the vest. It’s really exciting to be able to do it,” he said.
Keeping up the good work for the Elgin club last week was Milne’s High schoolgirl Grace Whelan, who won the Monumental Challenge race in her local area of Fochabers.
Whelan posted a time of 37 minutes and 7 seconds to finish more than five minutes ahead of the remainder of the female field.
She was also fifth overall, with Ross County’s Hamish Hickey winning the event over a challenging five-mile course.
Second and third place went to Moray Road Runners’ Lawrence Ramsay (34.48) and Martin Bain (36.07).