GB international and Team Scotland star Laura Muir will dip her toe in the Scottish cross country season once again this winter – starting at the Scottish National XC Relays at Cumbernauld Park this Saturday.
The event has attracted a record entry with 2241 athletes having put their name on the start-lists for the team event hosted by North Lanarkshire Council.
Clubs the length and breadth of Scotland will descend on the venue on Saturday for Men’s and Women’s races as well as the races at Junior Male and Junior Female, which each feature one athlete at U13, U15 and U17 in teams of three.
Muir, who competed for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and Team GB and NI at the European Champs in Zurich, ran it for Glasgow University last October and clocked the fastest women’s lap as she took her team from 51st place to 13th with a fine run across the mud and hills of Cumbernauld Park.
sottishathletics have seen team entries rise from 513 complete team entries in 2013 to 538 for the 2014 event as the legacy of the Commonwealth Games takes effect via the country’s 140 or so clubs.
It is free to come along and watch from Satruday lunch-time and there will be video footage from VincoSport via www.scottishathletics.org.uk in the days after the event.
Stirling-based Central AC look the team to beat in both the senior men’s and senior women’s races with Central’s Andrew Butchart favourite for the men’s fastest lap after holding that distinction in the English Road Relays at both six-stage and 12-stage events.
‘The National XC Relays is always one of the great days in the calendar and we’re delighted once again with big numbers – a 20-year high in participation terms,’ said Nigel Holl, scottishathletics chief executive.
‘Cumbernauld Park has been the venue for a few years now and the partnership we have with North Lanarkshire has been a fruitful one. With their help, we trialled cross country vide coverage with VincoSport last year and I think everyone was pleased with the result.
‘I’m pleased to confirm that’s now very much in the pipeline for this year’s event and feel sure that clubs the length and breadth of Scotland will give the event the kind of backing and support it deserves on October 25. I think many athletes see it as the ideal first ‘marker’ for the cross country season in national terms.’
Blane Dodds, Chief Executive of North Lanarkshire Leisure, added: ‘We are delighted once again to be working in partnership with scottishathletics , North Lanarkshire Council and our resident Cumbernauld Athletics Club to host this prestigious annual event in the athletics calendar.
‘The Cumbernauld House Park provides an excellent, gruelling and challenging course and I would encourage anyone who is interested in athletics and cross country running to come along and lend their support to the athletes.
‘Each year, the event has an excellent carnival-like atmosphere, as the visiting clubs pitch their club tents. If you intend to come along please make sure, though, that you are well wrapped up with warm and waterproof clothing and stout footware.’