Arduous test for Fife AC runnerson their doorstep

The U17s participants from Fife ACThe U17s participants from Fife AC
The U17s participants from Fife AC
With the 2020-21 East League Cross-Country Races and many other events cancelled, Fife AC members made a welcome return to the country at Rumgally/Kemback Bridge.

Limited entry numbers with staggered starts and social distancing combined to deliver a testing course around the edge of stubble fields, ranging from one lap to three and a half laps, reports Graham Bennison.

Just when the course flattened out, running alongside the River Eden by Dairsie House, a sharp turn up a lung-bursting ascent, followed by yet another gruelling climb, ensured a challenging finale to every lap.

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St Andrews maths teacher Russell Hall calculated his pace perfectly, pulling away from younger challenger Rees Marshall over the opening lap to complete the 7.8km in 27 minutes 36 seconds.

Scottish veteran cross-country and hill champion Heather Anderson warmed up by running from her Strathkinness home before completing the long race in 32.03.

The multi-titled Anna Hedley led home an Under 17s’ field brimming with talent, clocking 26 minutes 51 seconds for the 6.6km course.

Results: 7.8km, 3.5 laps, 1 Russell Hall 27.36, 2 Rees Marshall U17. 30.42, 3 Jez Tomlinson V60. 34.56, 4 Neil Gray 36.40, 5 Simon Fox V50. 37.41, 6 John Craig 46.00, 7 Graham Bennison (unatt V70) 63.23.

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Under 17, 6.6km, 3 laps, Andrew Armstrong 30.52. Under 15/Under 13, 6.6km, 3 laps, 1 Archie Suttie 17.47, 2 Marti Pennachio Torres 18.32, 3 Fraser Stewart 22.42, 4 Guillem Pennachio Torres 24.01. Under 11, 2.2km, one lap, Bertram Pennachio Torres 12.08.

Women: 7.8km, 3 laps, 1 Heather Anderson V40. 32.03, 2 Sue Armstrong V50. 44.31.

Under 17, 6.6km, 3 laps, 1 Anna Hedley 26.51, 2 Isla Hedley 27.15, 3 Anna Dalglish 29.24, 4 Esme Thoms 34.15, 5 Jen Pickard 35.13. Under 13, 4.4km. 2 laps, 1 Isla Toms 19.30, 2 Freya Hedley 22.24.

Thanks went to Dave Francis for organising, Tom Hedley, marshal and photographer, plus timekeeper Wendy Ritchie.

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