Cumbernauld was the venue for the national cross country relays for the 14th year in a row and like many of those years before, Kilbarchan AAC left the park with a clutch of medals.
The day started with the young females were each girl would tackle the 2.5km course, the first lap was to feature an under 13, the second an under 13 or 15 and the last lap an under 15 or 17.
Under 13 Alisha Sivell got the first team underway with a 10:49 to sit fourth position overall, handing over to another Under 13 Leona Murray whose 11:22 to keep Kilbarchan in the medal hunt in 5th. Under 17 Laura Stark then proceeded to run the fastest lap of the day in 10:20 to move the team into Silver medal position 16 seconds behind winners Giffnock North and 5 seconds clear of Central AC.
The B team of Eilidh Gibson, Rona Tytler & Jemma Reekie finished 13th overall. C team of Kimberley Gilchrist, Katharine McGinn & Rebecca Craig finished 20th.
Next up was the young males, with Under 13 Jack Patton quickly bringing the first team into the mix with a solid 10:30 opening lap. Under 15 Andrew MacAngus took over on leg 2 and his 9:46 meant a podium looked likely with Euan Trout on the start line ready to bring the team home. A 9:01 from Euan was just a few seconds outside the fastest lap of the day but enough to secure a silver medal for the team matching the girls feat earlier in the day.
The C team of David McNair, Jake Scott & Scott McLardie had a great race to finish 11th overall with the B team of Niall McLean, Josh Hendry & Ewan McKerral coming home 18th. D team of Cameron Hunter, Cameron Corrigan & Conor Thomson (no under 17 Cameron’s available?) finished 22nd, E team of Scott Irvine, Craig Kennedy & James Trout came home 33rd. Finally the F team of Ruhdari Johnson, Michael Simson & Fraser Auld finished 51st on a strong showing across all the teams, 6 teams almost in the top 50!
The Senior Women race followed the youngsters with Kilbarchan fielding three full teams in this one. Christina Rankin, Maica Rodriguez & Natalie Sharp finished 7th overall in a combined time of 49:05 with the the B team finishing just outside the top 10. Cara Sloss, Elaine Eadie & Sarah Dempsey came 11th in 50:07. The C team rounded off the Kilbarchan presence with Amy Spencer, Leanne Hamilton & Siobhan Inglis finishing 40th.
The final event on a wet & windy afternoon was the senior men with 17 year olds Euan Gillham & Gavin McArdle making their senior debuts in the first team alongside veteran Bobby Quinn & Scottish National Cross Country Champion Callum Hawkins.
Bobby Quinn anchored the team with an opening time of 13:55 enough to bring the team into 17th position at the end of the first leg. Cue an incredible effort from Callum Hawkins who made his way through the 2nd leg runners leaving them all in his wake to move the team up into 1st in an eye watering 12:23 meaning he passed a runner more than once a minute!
The youngsters previously mentioned where to follow on legs 2 and 3 and Euan Gillham took off in the lead but showed no sign of any pressure and ran a solid 13:11 (the fastest leg by an under 20) to keep the team in 2nd position going into the last leg. Gavin McArdle then brought the team home to win the bronze medal with a 13:21, a wonderful senior debut for the young 17 year olds.
Bobby Quinn was then presented with his 7th senior national relay medal in his 34th cross country season that has spanned four decades! He has also medaled in a team with four different members of the Hawkins family over those 7 times.
B team of Callum Matthews, Graham Evans, Gary Downey & Tom Murray also finished well up the standings in 21st position. David Mackintosh, Alan Craig & Steven Hill made up an incomplete team.