Law and District AAC cross country marvel James Gillon, of Carluke, outshone newly knighted athletics legend Sir Mo Farah at Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park on Saturday.
In ideal calm and sunny conditions, Carluke High pupil James (16) won under-17 team gold with West of Scotland after finishing fifth overall at the six-mile Inter District Championships.
By contrast, four-time Olympic Games gold medallist Farah could only manage seventh place in the senior Great Edinburgh Cross Country race later that afternoon.
“I would say this is James’s best win of his athletics life so far,” said Law and District AAC secretary Lesley McNicol.
“He medalled at the National Short Course Championships in November, taking bronze, but this latest competition was West v North v East and there were 15 top athletes from each district competing.
“For him to be second West athlete home, fifth overall and win team gold was absolutely amazing.”
A key to James’s fine run was how he perfectly followed pre-race instructions from club coaches Pat Kelly and Eddie McQuillan.
“James followed Pat and Eddie’s tactics to a tee,” Lesley said.
“He was told to bide his time on the first and second laps and then move forward in laps three and four, which he executed superbly.”
James’s mum Karen – a former Clydesdale MSP – was said to be “over the moon” with her son’s performance.