Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken
Alastair Aitken's
Interviews and

Inter Counties CC Part 3 (March 2017)

At Prestwold Hall, Loughborough 11th of March 2017

Under 20 Men (8000m)
First Six of 163 finishers
1 Jonathan Shields (Yorkshire) 27:13; 2 Scott Beattie (North East) 27:15; 3 Luke Prior (Avon & Somerset) 27:17; 4 Sam Stevens (Leicestershire) 27:18. 5 Benjamin Davies (Bedfordshire) 27:21; 6 Hugo Milner (Derbyshire) 27:26.
Teams-1 Scotland East 48; 2 Yorkshire 94; 3 Kent 107.

J0NATHAN SHIELDS “I never actually thought I was going to win, to be honest. I stayed in the group for the first lap but I never actually expected to win the race. I was just hoping for top five. I thought, if I stay in the group for as long as I can then, hopefully the rest of the field will thin out and, it ended up just being me and Scott.”
When did he first start running “Under 13’s. . My Mum brought me into it. She went to two Olympics (Jane Furniss-Shields)
She got me into running I guess. I am from a running background. My Father David did a bit of running, not as much as my Mum but he just liked the sport. He was more of an 800 runner. He could not quite break 1:50 but he was still alright.’
Sam added ‘I am looking forward to going to the World Cross, a great experience’
The Training “It has been going quite well and I am enjoying it. Michael Thomson is my coach. That is down at the City of Sheffield club.
As he lives near Graves Park he sometimes trains over it.
Mileage at the moment?
“I have not neglected my quality work. I have been doing speed and miles.
“I get quite a lot of support, ferried about a bit by my Mum and Dad. They take me to different places to train. It is good I have the support.’

TO JANE SHIELDS ‘you must be pleased the way your son has run?
“Very proud’ She added with pleasure and surpise “Can’t believe it.”

2nd SCOTT BEATTIE, the Northern Champion in 2017 & 2016 from Morpeth Harriers.
He had just recently had a load of injections for Uganda that, did interfere with his form in the race.

“I just felt really ill, in the warm up and in the race. I was thinking of dropping out on the first lap, though I honestly felt terrible
I just hung on for as long as I could. It was not a good race. I just hung on for second. I was sitting back at the start as I felt terrible.
However, Shields followed by Beattie pulled well away from the rest in the second half of the race.  
“What would Scott point out as his best races?

“Probably the Northern cross-country, as I have won it two years in a row.’ He added; I am coached by Mike Bateman at Morpeth.”
Those Northern races are very special to you
“I was just disappointed that I did not win today but, I just felt terrible all the way. If I had not felt like that I think I could have won.”
When did he start running then?
“Two years ago. I was really good at football and I got released from Sunderland and, I sort of lost my confidence and, I needed something new. ‘
Any heroes that run?
No, not really, because I am quite new to it. I have grown up with football all my life. I was playing for Sunderland FC Youth but it did not work out. I was there from 9 to about 14/15.

Junior Women First six (6000m) - 1 Anna MacFadyen (Scotland North) 22.12; 2 Gillian Black (Scotland West); 22.17; 3 Victoria Weir (Devon) 22.24; 4 Carl Hughes (North Wales) 22:39; 5 Phoebe Barker (Tonbridge AC) 22:41; 6 Philippa Stone (North East) 22:41.
183 finished 1 North East 103; 2 Greater Manchester 153; 3 Yorkshire 155.

Amelia Quirk from Bracknell AC, who won the Under 17’s in the National Championships at Nottingham, had a very strange race.
She opened up a lead early on and, continued to increase it to 150 yards, as a conservative estimate, then went off course very late in the race and was disqualified but fortunately for her, she was chosen to be part of the Under 20 team for the World Cross country in Uganda.
In the race after Amelia went off cause, it left ‘Officially’ for ANNA MACFADYEN (From Forres Club), to go for it and take the title. She had just broken away from the following group, before running on her own. She really had to dig deep, as her legs were quite tired in the closing stage.  MacFadyen, who is a charming young Scots lady, had a very good Scottish National in 2016, winning, the Under 17 race well and pointed to that as  her favourite result. She lives near Inverness and in the sixth form at school. She won the Under 20 Cross Challenge on 22nd of January 2017 at Cardiff.

Under 17 Men (6000M)

First six of 263 Finishers
1 Zakariya Mahamed (Hampshire) 20:00; 2 Mathew Willis (North Wales) 20:.01; 3 Lachlan Wellington (Hampshire) 20:05; 4 Toby Osman (Yorkshire) 20:09; 5 Oliver Barberesi (North Wales); 6 Josh Cowperthwaite (North East) 20:14. 39 Teams closed in 1 Yorkshire 49; 2 Hampshire 67; 3 Kent 139. Those times indicate what a close race it was.

ZAKARIYA MAHAMED. was 5th in the National. “I enjoyed this one. It was a bit close, tactical &, hilly, muddy, perfect as well.
That was his third CAU Inter-Counties victory. He won the Under 15 title in 2015 and 2016.
How about the National
“it was alright but I have done better than 5th.’
When did Zak Mahamed start running “Three years ago now’
‘my coach is Peter Haynes.’

His Father “I came over to England from Ethiopa in 2008 and Zak came in 2010’
What discipline did Zak enjoy most “Probably cross-country. I prefer cross-country but on the track it is 3k’s -5k’s (PB’s 4.12.49/8:48.41 done in 2016)
He is at Cantell school, Southampton, which is a high performing secondary comprehensive school.
“I like it. I sometimes do hockey and basketball. I do enjoy the running the cross-country.”

Alastair Aitken

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