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East Sutherland Athletics Club enjoying its most successful season ever

By Will Clark

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East Sutherland Athletics Club are enjoying their most successful season at senior level.
East Sutherland Athletics Club are enjoying their most successful season at senior level.

EAST Sutherland Athletics Club is enjoying its most successful period in its history as its athletes are making an impact in north competitions and well as further afield.

The club experienced major success at the North District Cross Country Relay races through last season, winning gold at several fixtures of the competition.

Ross Gollan claimed victory at North District Hill Running Championships at Craig Dunain in March. Alasdair Cooper also finished on the podium at the race as he claimed bronze.

The club also finished in fourth place at the Scottish Half Marathon Championships and Shaun Cumming finished in second place at the North District 10k in Inverness.

In addition, three of their athletes competed at the Manchester Marathon last Sunday, with two of them finishing within the top 50.

Shaun Cumming finished the race in two hours and 30 minutes with Blair Mackay finishing in 2.35 and Gordon Lennox crossing the line in 2.51.

Shaun Cumming, Blair Mackay and Gordon Lennox competed at the Manchester Marathon.
Shaun Cumming, Blair Mackay and Gordon Lennox competed at the Manchester Marathon.

Club spokesman Blair Mackay says at senior level, the club is enjoying its most successful period since it was established over 20 years ago.

Now they want to build on their success in the future.

He said: “Without question it has been the most successful season in terms of a senior men perspective.

“That is something we have never had before. We have never had enough senior athletes in the past to compete in the way that we are now.

“At junior level we have had a lot of success at under-11 and under-13 level in the past.

“Certainly from a senior men level, there has never been anywhere near the success that we have had individually and as a team in the last 12 to 18 months.”

Mackay said their success can be attributed to the hard work of ESAC coach John Davies and all the volunteers and athletes at the club.

He said without the time and effort they put into helping athletes reach their full potential, they would not be enjoying the success they are now achieving.

“The amount of time and effort John Davies has put into the athletes for free for the last 15 years has made a massive difference at the club,” said Mackay.

“It is hard to keep kids in the sport and engaged with their running. But we have been able to attract quality runners from the area.

“The club has only survived for as long as it has due to the hard work and commitment from volunteers that it has.

“We are indebted to them for their support. Without the volunteers the club has, we would never have achieved what we have.”

All of the club’s athletes are from Sutherland and Ross-shire, which adds to the significance of what the club has achieved against other clubs from bigger populations.

Mackay says they now want to push on and find more athletes from the area who could star for the club in the future.

“All athletes are Sutherland or Ross-shire based and being able to add quality from around the area has made a big difference.

“We are a really positive club and our athletes have stayed loyal to East Sutherland Athletics Club which is great for us.

“We usually hold two training sessions a week in Dornoch and we are open to anyone to go along from juniors up to adults.

“We are desperate for more junior members to come along to our training and we invite anyone who is interested to get in touch.”

For more information, visit the East Sutherland Athletics Club Facebook site.

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