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Elgin-based Gordonstoun pupil and Moray Road Runner Lili Sharman (11) is North of Scotland cross-country league champion


By Jonathan Clark

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Lili Sharman in action and (inset) with her awards.
Lili Sharman in action and (inset) with her awards.

AN 11-year-old runner from Elgin has been crowned a cross-country champion – just a few months after taking up the endurance sport.

Gordonstoun pupil Lili Sharman, a member of Moray Road Runners, won the North of Scotland cross-country league for her age group for the 2023-24 season.

Lili took part in four gruelling races over the winter, finishing first in every race.

She completed courses including a hilly and boggy race at the foothills of Ben Nevis to blustery beaches along the Moray Firth.

Lili Sharman after being crowned champion of the North of Scotland cross-country league.
Lili Sharman after being crowned champion of the North of Scotland cross-country league.

Her impressive performances also helped the Road Runners’ girls’ team to finish third in the league table, with fellow pupils Darcey Cane-Hardy (10) and Henriikka Blunden (9) contributing towards the success.

Lili first got a taste for endurance running while spending last summer with her grandparents in Belgium, where she took part in several 5km races.

She said: “I have always loved having adventures outside, especially up the mountains.

"I am very grateful for Moray Road Runners, my school and my athletics coach for encouraging me to become a better runner.

“Cross-country running is very hard work, but great fun when it's raining and muddy.

Lili Sharman in cross-country action.
Lili Sharman in cross-country action.

"I love running alongside my friends Darcey and Henriikka, and I am very proud of what we have achieved as a team.”

After joining Moray Road Runners in May last year, Lili took part in races, averaging between 1500 and 1600m, in Lochaber, Evanton and Forres before travelling to Nairn last weekend for the final competition.

Lili’s mother, Nele Sharman, added: “This is Lili's first-time running in a cross-country league.

“It’s fantastic that Lili has been rewarded for her all her efforts in the mud and rain, it has been a gruelling few months of intense training and challenging races.

"She’s now looking forward to a well-earned rest before beginning training for next season.”


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