Despite feeling the obvious joy of leading Great Britain home on his debut,
Morpeth Harrier Scott Beattie was also left feeling a little disappointed
in the fact that he finished eighth out of seventeen National representatives
in the Junior Men’s 6k event, at the annual Great Edinburgh Cross Country,
held in Holyrood Park on Saturday 7th January 2017.
Disappointed because an unfortunate fall in the second half of a top class race,
cost him several places, some of which he reclaimed, however the act of trying
to do so left him with a certain degree of oxygen debt, which cost him at least a place in the top five,
which were filled by a mixture of USA and European athletes,
whose teams took first and second places respectively, ahead of the Beattie led Great Britain.
When interviewed afterwards, Beattie reflected on the fact that he had been
very nervous in the week leading up to the event,
however when he had got onto the start - line, had felt electrified by the occasion,
and was quite relaxed once the race had begun.
At the time of his fall, he had been going really well,
holding onto a place in the top four, and always looking prominent.
On a difficult twisting section at the foot of the famous “ Arthur’s Seat”,
he seemed to hit something, perhaps a rock,
which floored him, and had left him chasing around a 100m deficit.
Try as he may he attempted to pull something back, however as a result of all of this,
he had very little to offer in the last kilometre, and was forced to settle for a final position of eighth.
A compensatory factor, is that he led the Great Britain team home
to third team place on his debut, and in front of a BBC televised audience.
The winner of the Junior Men’s event was USA’s Noah Affolder, who led them to team victory,
posting a winning time of 19m29s, which gave him a five second margin over Europe’s Miguel Gonzalez.
Third place went to another USA athlete Conor Lundy, who posted a time of 19m36s.
Beattie’s clocking of 19m48s, indicates that he was still not far
adrift of the leaders when he eventually crossed the finish line.
Fellow Brits behind Beattie as team counters were Jonathan Shields (Sheffield & Dearne) (10th),
Hugo Milner (Derby) (11th), and Sol Sweeney (Perth Strathtay) (13th).
Outside the British counters were Sam Stevens (Leicester Coritanian)
and Alex Yee (Kent), who were 14th and 17th respectively.
Another Morpeth Harrier in Cross Country action in Edinburgh was Jonny Taylor,
who finished seventeenth in the Senior Men’s 8k event, which was also televised.
Tees-side based Taylor, was never quite in touch with the leading protagonist’s,
that included his GB team-mate Callum Hawkins of Kilbarchan,
who finished second overall, just losing out to USA’s Leonard Korir
by one second in a close finish, however he was an accomplished fifth counter
in a second placed GB squad led home by Hawkins,
and could feel well satisfied with his performance at such a level.
Whilst Korir won in 24m03s, Taylor clocked 25m26s, and GB finished second on countback,
courtesy of sixth counter Charlie Hulson of Sale Harriers, who finished one place
and a mere two seconds adrift of Taylor.
Other counters in the GB team were newly crowned Sir Mo Farah (Newham) (7th) 24m49s,
Andy Vernon (Aldershot) (12th) 25m13s, and Dewi Griffiths (Swansea) (14th) 25m21s.
Other non - scoring Brits taking part in the Senior Men’s event were Alex George (Gloucester) (20th) 25m31s,
Ben Connor (Derby) (23rd) 25m37s, Jack Martin (Stockport) (24th) 25m42s,
Ellis Cross (Aldershot) (27th) 26m06s, and Graham Rush (Cheltenham) (28th) 26m20s.