Andy Douglas bids for two more world championship selections when he represents Scotland in this weekend’s home countries hill running international at Sedbergh in the Lake District.
The Edinburgh-based Caithness athlete has already secured a place on the Great Britain team for the 40k race at the world mountain and trail running championships to be held at Chiang Mai, Thailand next February.
Douglas was selected after finishing second despite taking a bad fall in the team trial at the Scafell Pike marathon last month.
The Thailand fixture also features an uphill-only championship race over a 5k course with 1,000m of ascent, as well as a more traditional up-and-down 12k mountain race with approx. 700m of climbing.
The trials for these are included in this weekend’s match with the shorter race this evening and the longer one on Sunday. Douglas will line-up in both.
He said: “I had a really bad fall in the Scafell race. I slipped and bashed my right thigh against a rock around 3k from the finish but I managed to hobble all the way there.
“I could barely walk for the next couple of days and then couldn’t run for about two weeks. But I’ve recovered well from it and I’ve been happy with the way my training has gone since then, so hopefully I’ll be fine.”
If Douglas is successful in this weekend’s trials he’ll be faced with the pleasant dilemma of deciding which of the races to focus on at the world championships, as it won’t be possible to do all three.
He said:”I don’t want to pre-empt anything, because we have to see how this weekend goes. But, if I was in a position where I had a choice, I’d probably go for the classic distance 12k mountain race.”
Sunday’s home countries international is also the 2021 British championship race and Douglas will be aiming to add to the five titles he has won over the past six seasons.
He is joined in the Scotland side by East Sutherland athlete Ross Gollan who finished third in July’s Dollar hill race.
Dufftown athlete Jill Stephen (Hunters Bog Trotters), who currently leads the Scottish hill running championship series, is included in the women’s team.
Aberdeen AAC’s Naomi Lang is to run for the Scotland under-23 women’s side.
The former national junior 5,000m track champion has been diversifying recently and last weekend won the women’s division of the Helvellyn triathlon which she completed in 3hr 52min 52secs.
Meanwhile, James Espie (Deeside Runners),Hamish Battle (Metro Aberdeen), Caroline Marwick (Highland Hill Runners) and Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers) are among the top north runners bidding for more points in the latest Scottish hill running championship series race at Melrose on Saturday.
The Eildon Three Hills race, being held for the 60th time, has attracted a capacity field of 280 runners.
Megan to defend River Ness title
Great Britain under-20 international Megan Keith is to defend her title in the Baxters River Ness 10km, entries for which close at midnight on Sunday.
The Inverness Harriers club member, who is now studying sports science at Edinburgh University, is a big fan of the 10k course which, she says, provides runners with an outstanding opportunity to post fast times.
The race is part of the Baxters Loch Ness marathon and festival of running which takes place on Sunday October 3.
Keith, 19, won the women’s 10k when the festival was last held in the Highland capital, in 2019, recording a fine time of 34min 41secs.
When she competes in this year’s race she’ll be aiming to improve on that performance, with the women’s course record of 33:46 set by Kenyan athlete Cathy Mutwa in 2006 very much in her sights.
Keith said: “The course is definitely a fast one. I haven’t done too many 10ks to make comparisons but it certainly produces quick times.
“I live quite close to the route, so I know it well. It’s a net downhill but it doesn’t feel like a free ride as it’s a little bumpy in places, but it’s a good one.
“This year I’d hope to run faster than in I did in 2019 and the record is certainly something I’ll keep in mind.”
Entries for the 10k and the accompanying 5K close on September 19 although limited 5K entries may be available on the event weekend.
There are also some club runner and charity spaces available in the marathon, but these entries also close on Sunday.
Full details at www.lochnessmarathon.com
Fortrose pupil tops podium
Fortrose Academy pupil Stroma Fraser celebrated her call-up to the Scotland team for a schools international against England, Wales and Ireland by helping Inverness Harriers strike gold in the Scottish relay championships at Linwood.
The Black Isle teenager joined forces with Marvellous Igbinidu, Amy Mustarde and Abbie Harrison to win the under-17 women’s 4x100m in 49.62secs.
Fraser, who won the national under-17 heptathlon title earlier in the season, will represent Scotland in the 300m hurdles at next weekend’s international in Derby.
Scottish under-17 champion and Aberdeen AAC record holder Kai Crawford (Albyn School) is to run in the 800m and the 4x400m relay.
Crawford, 16, has enjoyed an excellent season during which he picked up bronze at the English under-17 championships and silver at the Scottish under-20 championships.
Elgin Academy sprinter Tamsin Fowlie will be busy at Derby as she has been selected for the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay.
Aberdeen’s Angela McAuslan-Kelly (Robert Gordon’s College) will earn her first representative honour when she competes in the discus.
Zak Fearn (Dingwall Academy) is to compete in the javelin.The Ross County athlete improved his PB by almost four metres when winning the Scottish under-17 title last month with a throw of 45.59m.
Another Dingwall Academy pupil,James Rollo (Inverness Harriers), has been picked for the discus. He is currently in great form, having thrown a PB of 44.89m when finishing seventh in the UK School Games at Loughborough last weekend.
Elgin Academy’s Aaron Kerr is to compete in the triple jump. The Inverness Harriers club member cleared a PB 11.25m earlier in the year before finishing third in the Scottish under-20 championships.