Scotland vs Lithuania

Following on from the 'home' leg on the Trossachs, a team of keen scots travelled to the Baltic nation for the away leg this weekend.

After a couple of days training and racing on a wide variety of terrains - last years World Military champs area and a sub 5mpk sprint race in Vilnius, the Vilnius three days began. Day one was a middle distance race through very tricky forest - fast runnability but low visibility and a tricky path network making it very demanding. The mens race was dominated by the locals, Svajunas Ambrazas beating junior Simonas Krepsta, while Ewan McCarthy pipped Dan Marston for a top 5 place. In the girls race Lithuanians filled the top 6 spaces, but Gillian Godfree, who finished 3rd in this event last year, took 7th place. In the veterans classes the highlights were: Ben Hartman 5th (M35), Donald Petrie 6th (M40), Martin Dean 9th (M45), Rob Hickling 1st, Neville Baker (ENG) 5th, M50, Phil Mithard 3rd, Barry Owen 4th (M55), Lindsay Knox 6th (W45) and Joan Noble 2nd (W60).

Saturdays classic was the big race of the weekend, incorporating a World Ranking Event and the Scotland vs Lithuania Match. The terrain included that of the previous day, but also some more areas of very step spur-valley terrain and open ridges. Dan Marston (81 mins) was top scot, but even he lagged behind to pace of the Lithuanians (75). He quipped 'its hard to make myself run anything other than straight at the moment' implying he's adapting his technique well in preparation for WOC in Sweden. Ewan (86) was second Scot and the team was completed with Dave Godfree (90) and Murray Strain (91). with Scott Fraser the counting junior (95). Scott struggled with the distance, it being one of the longest classic races he's tried. Oleg Chepelin elected not to run, as his health problems are leaving him feeling drained and unmotivated, Team Nopesport wish him all the best.

In the girls race Mhairi Mackenzie coontinued her strong season finishing 4th, just three seconds behind 3rd. Gillina Godfree finished 7th and the team was completed with Heather Hartman (13th), Fiona Berrow, junior (17th) and Lisa Brown (19th).

Overall in the elite classes Lithuania won again, this time the margin was 1 hour 40 minutes. The Veterans team however were much closer. The mens team won by 15 minutes, while the gilrs team only lost by 35, making it only a 15 minute victory for the Lithuanians.

A summary of the results after all three days:

1. Simonas Krepsta
2. Edgaras Voveris
3. Svajunas Ambrazas

5. Ewan McCarthy
10. Dave Godfree
16. Patrick Walder
19. Scott Fraser
20. Neil Marston

DNF Murray Strain
DNS Dan Marston

1. Vilma Rudenzkaite
2. Jolanta Razaitiene
3. Mhairi Mackenzie

6. Gillian Godfree
12. Heather Hartman
15. Fiona Berrow
DNF Lisa Brown

H35 1st Ben Hartman
H40 9th Donald Petrie
H45 1st Martin "Dean Martin" Dean
H50 2nd Rob Hickling
H55 2nd Phil Smithard, 3rd Barry Owen

full results here

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