MHAIRI MACLENNAN won her first National title of her career at the weekend when she took victory in the Lindsays National Cross-Country Championships in Falkirk’s Callendar Park, before going on to say that her win topped off a ‘dream year’ in cross-country.

The GB International saw off the challenge of her Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds team-mate and regular training partner, Steph Pennycook, to take gold, with VP-Glasgow’s Anna Tait coming through to take bronze.

Maclennan has had a superb winter which has included a GB debut at the Euro Cross in Slovakia in the under-23 event, a fine performance at the Great Edinburgh XC anda win in the North of England XC Champs.

“I am absolutely thrilled to win a Senior National title for the first time and take the gold medal,’ said the , after coming home in 37.49 for the 10K course at Callendar Park and winning by 11 seconds.

“It has been a dream year for me – after a lot of injury and frustration for the early part of 2017.”

Welshman Kris Jones, running in Scotland currently with Dundee Hawkhill Harriers, took the Men’s race from Shettleston’s Lachlan Oates and GB hill running international Andy Douglas of Inverclyde.

Jones had looked the pre-race favourite for the Senior Men’s race after a silver medal last year, and so it proved as the Welshman, who lives and works in Scotland, proved his class over the 10K distance to win from Shettleston’s Oates, who improved on his third place finish from last year.

“I got caught really far back at the start and it took about 1km to get up with the leaders,” he said.

“Then, on one of the short, steep hills I got a bit of a gap and I thought ‘just keep it and put the pedal down’. The conditions were completely different from last year and it was a completely different race, it was good fun.

“It’s a strong group in Scottish Athletics at the moment so when guys like Callum, Andy Butchart and Luke Traynor aren’t on the start then you’ve got to take your chance!”

On a cold but beautifully sunny day, over 2250 runners were entered and the highest-ever finisher numbers were recorded of over 1730, with a crowd of 4000 indicating the enthusiasm around Scottish athletics at the moment.

In the women’s team event, Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds took gold, helped by MacLennan and Pennycook’s one-two in the individual race, with Shettleston second and Fife AC third. Central AC took victory in the men’s team competition ahead of Corstorphine AAC and Shettleston.

In the under-20s, Anna MacFadyen and Sol Sweeny took the titles.