The Road Running & Cross Country Archive
Cross country and road running has a long and rich tradition in Scotland and this website is the start, by the Road Running & Cross Country Commission, towards establishing a complete record of the medallists and if possible results of Scottish Championships.
While the Archive is comprehensive it is also incomplete and may always be so, as some of the early results appear to be lost. Electronic results, as we know them now, only began in 1993, although the reconstruction of the Edinburgh to Glasgow results was done in electronic form.
Much of the narrative on this site will change as our history is uncovered. In particular it has proved difficult to obtain results of the Women's Championships and we know that there are other Championships that we have not yet mentioned.
There are no doubt many incidents that may lay claim to Cross Country running in Scotland. The History of the Glasgow Academical Club 1866-1966 gives an account of a paper chase in 1872 which played a major part in the birth of both international rugby and soccer. Paricipants Arthur and Chalmers both played in the first international rugby match in 1871 and Chalmers also was invited to trial for the first soccer international in 1872.
The 1st International Cross Country Championships was was held on Hamilton Racecourse on 23rd March 1903. It was created in by the International Cross Country Union (ICCU) and continued until 1972.
The championship began its life as contest between the four Home Nations of the United Kingdom. The event became increasingly international over its history, beginning with the admittance of the first non-UK country in 1907 (France), the addition of several other Continental European countries in the 1920s, and then the introduction of Tunisia in 1958 which saw an African team compete for the first time.
The event lasted from 1903 to 1972 – at the 1971 ICCU Congress members decided to transfer organisation of the event to the I.A.A.F. leading to the first World Cross Country Championships in 1973.
Scotland last competed as a separate nation in 1987.
There is a number of great books on the history of our sport that make excellent reading along with this website. The most detailed is without doubt Colin Shield's centenary history of the Scottish Cross Country Union entitled "Runs will take place - Whatever the Weather". It covers men's Cross Country running from 1890 to 1990 with a chapter on the Edinburgh to Glasgow Road Relay.
John Keddie's "Scottish Athletics 1883-1983: The Official Centenary Publication of the Scottish Amateur Athletic Association" provides an historical survey the marathon. Much more information is available in "The Scottish Marathon Championship 1946-2000 and The Women's Championship 1983-2000" by Fraser Clyne and Colin Youngson which covers almost every detail of the marathon in that period including anecdotes that would only be known to competitors.
John Cairney's "An East End Odyssey" details the first 100 years of Shettleston Harriers (1904-2004) with impressive statistics compiled by John Mackay. Further to that is the "History of Edinburgh Southern Harriers", compiled by Ken Smart, which has many stories of the first 99 years of the club (1897 - 1996). Ironically this centenary book was published just as the club amalgamated with other Edinburgh clubs to become the City of Edinburgh AC.
The Scots Athlete was a post-war publication edited by Walter Ross. We are fortunate to have a complete set.
Scotland's Runner, edited by Allan Campbell, Doug Gillon and Stewart McIntosh was issued from July 1986 until September 1993 . It provides a unique record of our sport at that time.
Special mention should be made of the Scottish Athletics Yearbook published annually by the Scottish Association of Track Statisticians. While specialising in Track & Field it also gives coverage to road and cross country running. Even although the yearbook will no longer be published in paper form, the work continues in electronic form at http://www.scotstats.com/sats/.
A number of Club Handbooks from before the 1st World War have been donated to the Archive. Brian McAusland provided a number of Clydesdale Harriers Handbooks. Clydesdale were the 1st Cross Country Club in Scotland and the handbooks show a model of a Gentleman's Club with club rooms in Dundas Street, smokers and a constitution that includes one black ball in three to exclude an applicant. At one time the Club records almost 1,000 members. The Shettleston Handbook for 1913-14 belonged to David Morrison, a Past President and Honorary President of the Club. It was not originally his however as he was only born in December 1913. The Handbooks can be found here.
Jim Flockhart's 1937 Scrapbook
On the 20th March, 1937, Jimmy Flockhart, Shettleston Harriers won the International Cross Country Union (I.C.C.U.) Championship at the Hippodrome, Brussels. He was presented with the trophy by King Leopold of Belguim. The I.C.C.U Championship was the forerunner of the IAAF World Championship. John Mackay uncovered Jimmy's 1937 scrapbook and Alan Potts did a careful job of scanning it. The Scrapbook can be found here. It make very interesting reading.
From 2008 to 2011 Stewarts sponsored Grand Prix events in both Cross Country and Road Running. While Stewarts no longer exist the Grand Prixs continue. The results can be found here.
There are now many websites in Scottish Athletics that support clubs and others activities within the sport. Of particular note is Brian McAusland's site at www.scottishdistancerunninghistory.co.uk. The author describes it as kind of idiosyncratic and rambling but it includes information about the E-G, the Scotish Marathon Club, Marathon Stars, particular races, etc. It gives a snapshot of Scottish endurance running and the characters within it over many years that may otherwise be lost.
Throughout the history of our sport the age categories have changed as have the dates in the year from which the age is calculated. For example in 1950, a Junior man was defined as 18-21 until 1966 when it was redefined as 17-20 years. Also the early age groups were calculated from the 1st April at the end of the season, until 1987 when this was changed to 1st January during the season. In 1990 the age groups were changed again to 1st September at the start of the season and the modern terms of U13, U15, U17 and U20 used.
For our classification the following names a synonymous (U13, Junior Boy), (U15, Senior Boy), (U17, Youth) and (U20, Junior) respectively even although they are not always exactly the same age group.
In the Women's age groups the categories used are (Minors, U11), (Girls, U13), (Juniors, U15), and (Intermediates, U17).
The Masters age groups were originally over 40 for Men and over 35 for Women taken on the day of the race. In 2006 an over 35 category was introduced for Men. Under direction of the IAAF the age categories will start at over 40 both Men and Women, on the day of the race, from 1st April 2010. Following a further IAAF ruling in 2011 the categories were revised to over 35 both Men and Women, on the day of the race, from 1st April 2012.
At its meeting of 20/5/2013 The RR&CC Commission adopted the following measures as an indication of the trends in endurance running in Scotland. They cover two key areas: participation levels and performance. Some of the statistics have been gathered for a number of years and appear at different places in the Archive, they are collated here.
The competition calendar is posted here.
Photographs of the major trophies are posted here.
We hope that many athletics enthusiasts will enjoy the contents of this website. If you have won a Scottish Championship medal you should be in here. By publishing the data in its incomplete form we also hope that anyone with missing data will be inspired to contribute results. All contributions will be acknowledged.
If you have missing results, data or corrections that you wish to contribute, please contact Ron Morrison with details.
So far the following people have contributed to the data and construction of this Archive.
Carol anne Thomson (nee Bartley)