Athletics: Athletes hit heights after epic journey

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A SMALL party of elite athletes including Scottish cross country champion Derek Hawkins (Kilbarchan), Ross Matheson (Lasswade) and Capital sisters Emily and Louisa Stewart (both Edinburgh AC) are undergoing altitude training at Font Romeu in the French Alps this week after enduring a marathon journey to get there.

Due to fly to Perpignan, they were told the night before that the flights had been cancelled due to an air traffic control strike.

“We changed to Stansted and then to Heathrow and eventually made our way to Barcelona with the costs mounting by the hour,” said coach Ian Whyte.

Whyte reports, however, that the group, who have paid for their own trip, have settled in well at the resort which has long been a favourite of Paula Radcliffe and did their first track session yesterday.

He said: “They are learning that you need to respect altitude but gaining loads from the experience.”