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Scottish National Masters Cross Country Championships, Kilmarnock

31/01/2015

On Saturday 31st January three of Dumfries Running Club’s Super Vets travelled to Kilmarnock to compete in the Scottish National Masters Cross Country Championships. Seb Pflanz, Jim Buchanan and Les Hill made up the team of three for the V50 to V60 categories...

It was a bright, sunny but cold day at The Ayrshire Athletics Arena, Kilmarnock where the event was held. The course was a mix of parkland and farmland with mainly flat terrain with little climbing to create a challenge. However, the amount of groundwater made underfoot conditions quite mushy in places and by the end of the five miles proved strength sapping. There was one small loop followed by two larger laps and all three had stretches of tarmac or stones with about half a mile in total that was totally unsuitable for spikes so cross country purists were not happy with the course although most enjoyed the variation it provided.

Best placed of the Dumfries trio was last year’s silver medal winner, Jim Buchanan, competing in his third consecutive Championship. Surprisingly the step up from V45 category to V50 had him battling with stronger runners so he just missed out on a medal as he finished in a superb 4th in his class with a time of 32 minutes 19 seconds. However, with only three months training after a spell out through injury Jim was delighted to maintain his record of making a top twenty place out of 176 finishers.

By his own admission, Seb set off too fast and suffered badly towards the end losing a number of places in the last lap to finish 125th and 34th V50 in 38.05.

Conversely Les set off cautiously behind Seb and lost sight of him on lap one but during the last lap gained half a dozen places, including four in his V55 category, to finish only two places and 13 seconds behind Seb in 38.18. He finished 18th in his age class and the trio recorded 9th V50 to V60 team out of 16 finishing teams.

The Masters events are well supported and very friendly events, although the gloves do 'come off a bit' after the gun fires! One nice aspect of the looped course, was that you could keep in contact with team mates providing much appreciated encouragement for each other later on in the race.

A thoroughly enjoyable, and successful, day out was had by all three!

Les.

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