JAMIE CROWE'S stint in the warm climes of Texas over the past couple of years mean that the rain, wind and mud he encountered at Saturday's Home Countries Cross-Country International in Kings Park in Stirling was quite a shock to the system.

But the 24-year-old, who returned to his home country last summer after studying at Lamar University, battled the horrific conditions in Stirling in impressive style to take second place, and as the first Scot home, was hugely significant in helping the home side win team gold.

The awful weather conditions meant that for the spectators, enjoyment was in short supply. But for Crowe, who runs in his spare time when his job as an athletics coach allows, a bit of wind and rain was never going to be enough to kill his love of being out there competing for Scotland.

"Events like this, you look forward to on the weekends, even when you see the forecast," the 24-year-old said.

"And the pub is warm afterwards. But after the festive period, you don’t know how fit you are because you’ve got all these parties and dinners. But I felt good. I kept training ticking along and I did a race before this, so I knew I was pretty fit.

"I used to like the warm better but now I’m home from America, I prefer this. I was wet and cold but it was ok for me. This was my first cross-country for a while - it’s definitely not shorts and vest weather, but it was good."

Crowe finished ahead of GB regular, Andy Butchart, who crossed the line in fourth, and the Central AC athlete admitted that it was nice to get the better of the Olympian, particularly as the pair know each other well having trained alongside each other in the past.

"I can’t say it too loud because Andy’s got lots of fans in Stirling," joked Crowe.

"But I look up to him. I trained with him when he was here and I was at uni at Stirling. He used to drag me out of bed to come run alongside him. So to get his scalp was good."

Butchart may not have got the result he wanted in Stirling on Saturday but he had no time to dwell on his fourth place, as just two hours after crossing the line he had a plane to catch to Heathrow ahead of travelling to Kenya yesterday to begin a five week training camp.

The 28-year-old's usual winter retreat is in the USA but adverse weather conditions made him change location this year. and with the Olympic Games now just six months away, Butchart is looking forward to getting some hard graft in ahead of the outdoor season beginning, as well as putting the wind and rain of the Scottish winter-time behind him.

"This is my first time (going to Kenya), he said.

"The British camp is there and Flagstaff, where I usually go, is covered in snow.

"Five weeks is usual for me at this time of year, the only change is Kenya. I’ll work out what I’m doing when I get there. I’ve been doing quite a lot on the track so I’ll just continue with that.

It’ll be quite a change from these conditions (in Stirling) though, I’ve not done that for a long time."

Elsewhere, Callum Hawkins put in an impressive performance at the 10k Valencia Ibercaja yesterday, smashing his personal best and catapulting himself to the top of the the Scottish all-time list for the distance, leap-frogging former London Marathon champion, Allister Hutton.

Hawkins finished in 11th place, cutting a whopping 52 seconds from his previous best to cross the line in 28 minutes 2 seconds. It was a historic race to be a part of, with Kenya's Rhonex Kipruto breaking the world record to take the victory in 26 minutes 24 seconds.