East Sutherland AC’s Scotland international hill runner Ross Gollan is adopting a relatively relaxed attitude over the lack of racing opportunities during the coronavirus pandemic.
The 23-year-old Glasgow University geography graduate is based in Edderton, near Tain in Ross-shire, where he has been kept busy working on a local farm.
Gollan was looking forward to testing himself on the European mountain running circuit this summer after enjoying a successful winter cross-country season, during which he won the North District Senior Men’s League title for the first time and finished seventh in the national championships.
He said: “I would have been heading off for Europe around now for some races but obviously that’s not happening.
“Even when the current situation eases I don’t think travelling overseas will be easy, especially if there are quarantine controls in place.
“Hopefully, there might be some races before the end of the season, but if not, I’ll just stay here and get a good block of training done.
“Up until now I’ve been able to carry on pretty much as normal with my running. My motivation was fine to begin with but after a while it became a little harder to put full effort into specific sessions without having the goal of a race to prepare for.
“But I’ve been doing some of the scottishathletics virtual challenges. I did a 10km recently and there’s a hill running one coming up soon, which should be interesting. These helped me to keep focused.”
Gollan has been balancing his training with some hard work on the farm where he has been helping out since the end of January.
He said: “We’ve just had the lambing season, so that was hard work and I took some time off training. But now that’s passed I’ll get more miles under my belt.”
One of Gollan’s aims at the beginning of the year was to bid for success in the British Mountain Running Championship race series but that has been put on hold as well. He said: “I ran in the opening race in Wales just a week or so before the lockdown. It went well and I finished second behind Lochaber’s Finlay Wild.”
If there are no more races this summer Gollan may turn his attention to one of Scotland’s long-distance solo mountain running challenges once lockdown rules allow.
He said: “I might have a go at one of the Torridon hills routes over on the west coast. There’s one that’s more than 20 miles and takes in five or six Munros. It’s in an attractive area and sounds like fun thing to do.”