On a day better suited for ducks Sarah Inglis (Lothian AC) made a brave bid for glory at the Scottish National Cross Country Championships at mud-strewn Callendar Park, Falkirk on Saturday.
After former 5k champion Morag MacLarty (Central) burst from the record women’s field to take the lead only Inglis attempted to go with her.
But by the end of the first of three gruelling laps she too had dropped back and was eventually overtaken by holder and Rio 10k Olympian Beth Trotter, and had to settle for bronze.
MacLarty, a former national 5k champion, coped well with the gruelling muddy 10k course, which she covered in 38:32, 67 seconds clear of Trotter, with Inglis timed at 39:54.
“I’m delighted to win my first long course title at the age of 31,” she said, after also leading Central to the team title ahead of Edinburgh University, who were led home by Steph Pennycook in seventh place in 40:25.
Six times champion Freya Ross (EAC) was clearly unhappy with the conditions and back in 30th place, and EAC were fifth, with Rachel Dunn the club’s first finisher in 10th.
Scotland’s marathon hero Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan), was also undaunted by the heavy mud and took the men’s 10k title easily with holder Andy Butchart a spectator, in 33 mins 34 secs, well clear of Welsh internationalist Kristen Jones (34:02), with Lachlan Oates (Shettleston) taking the bronze (34:52) ahead of Murray Strain (Hunter’s BT) the first Capital finisher in 35:02.
Freddie Carcas gave EAC a welcome success when he took the under-17 men’s title.