PARKLEA Playing Fields was the venue for Inverclyde Athletic Club’s second cross country event in their adapted championship for this season.

Self-isolating has also become a feature of training and participation in events, as school pupils get sent home due to a class member testing positive for Covid-19.

A number of IAC's juniors were unable to take part as a result and some who had just finished had not trained during the previous 14 days.

It is testament to the resilience of these young athletes that they were able to compete with such enthusiasm.

The constant rain before and during the event created a muddy and tricky trail on some parts of the course for the competitors, and also led to a change to the start area for the course setters on the day.

Nevertheless, the first race started with an enthusiastic group of eight-year-olds setting off on their 1k course.

Still smiling on their return, it was Matthew Gerrard who led the way this time, closely followed by Rhuaraidh McLaren and Shane Devlin. Eve Buchannan took another victory in the girls' race, with Taylor Porter second in her first cross country.

The under-11s race over 1.5K was again the largest field of the day, with 22 on the start line.

Lucas Wagstaff stamped his authority on the race from early on with Harry Bjonness also creating a gap on the field to secure second place.

Olivia Lyne claimed her second victory with Olivia Law managing to reverse position with Grace Barry as they claimed their silver and bronze medals.

Racing over two laps to cover 2.5K on what was now a very muddy trail, Oliver Wagstaff also took control of the race and by the end of lap one had a substantial margin on second-placed Euan Docherty, who had also created a gap with the rest of the pack.

Places were changing constantly in the leaders of the chasing pack and it was Iris Paterson who took third overall place and another victory in the under-13 girls' championship.

The final race of the day was a 5K for age groups under-15 to seniors. Ross and Ryan Gray dominated from the start with Dylan Crawford working hard to keep in touch.

Ross opened up a gap on Ryan during the final lap so there was no doubt who was going to win in the finishing straight.

Nynke Mulholland was relishing the muddy conditions and enjoyed the challenge from Tayven Adamson and Jon Hammerman in her first competitive cross country event of 2020.

Nynke was the sole female and used the race in preparation for an invitational 5K road race and the Lindsays Short Course XC race being held over the next two weekends.

Under-15 boy Keir Arthur had a strong run over his first attempt at 5k on the country and it was great to see Thomas Jamieson back competing again.

The ‘hidden’ team event over all the races was won by Team 3 which lined up with Shane Devlin, Lucas Wagstaff, Pearl Paterson, Stella Hurrell, Robert Hunter and Ross Gray.

Many thanks to the club officials and volunteers who set up and dismantled the course, stewarded and recorded the races. They were Laura Bremner, Rhona Bushfield, Donny Cameron, Jonathan Cameron, Kay Cooke, Gerry Gaffney, Morris Glen, Jon Hammerman, Norrie Hay, Janice Hendrie, Sally Hunter, Ally Law, Josh Law, Kim Law, Jane Lyne, Jennifer Lyne, Collette McGeehan, Robert Paterson,

Tracy Reilly and Gill Roxburgh.

Inverclyde AC would like to thank Ian Dyer and Stewart Burns of Inverclyde Leisure for their help and assistance in setting up this race to enable it to proceed under licence by Scottishathletics.

The club would also like to thank the Scottishathletics events team for their continued support and to George at Trophy Box.