Connor Maclean galloped home to break the tape with a massively impressive top ten finish in the Lindsays Short Course XC Champs at Kirkcaldy at the weekend.
In a race with so many top calibre athletes, the list could have been displayed in ten foot neon lettering, Connor shrugged the fatigue of a heavy cold out of his limbs to hold his own and pass a number of rivals in the Scottish cross country race.
“I was quite surprised with how I ran to be honest,” admitted Connor to the Gazette.
“I had been struggling with a bit of a cold all through the week before hand and because I hadn’t been feeling too well I started the race quite conservatively and it worked in my favour as I was able to pick a few runners off late on.”
Olympian Andy Butchart took gold over the 4K course in 11:54, just one second ahead of Glasgow Uni student Sol Sweeney. Connor crossed the line in 12:20.
“It was quite muddy but it was a good course and one I really liked,” continued Connor.
“It is difficult to gauge if it is a good time or not as cross country is so different to track and it can depend on so many other things but I would say the conditions and mud were the same as last year and I ran a faster time this year which was good.”
Connor said: “I enjoyed the race but I have to confess I do prefer track running and I’m looking forward to some big races over the coming months. I have one in Armagh in February which is a 5K road race I am working hard towards. There will be a lot of fast runners taking part so I hope they pull us around there to post a quick time. Before that I am running in Liverpool in a couple of weeks before I have most of December off.”
But it won’t be all chocolates and turkey for Connor despite it being the holiday season.
“I’m sure I will get a Christmas dinner but not too much as I can’t take too much of a break from training,” he laughs.