World Cross Country: Introducing rising talent Anna MacFadyen

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World Cross Country: Introducing rising talent Anna MacFadyen

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Rising talent Anna MacFadyen has had a brilliant 2017 so far. Successes over the mud for the Doug Cowie-coached runner include a win at the Cardiff Cross Challenge, silver at the Scottish National Cross Country and victory at the Scottish Secondary Schools’ Championships – but that’s not all.

The Forres Harrier booked her place on the plane to the World Cross Country Championships after claiming the junior title at the Inter-Counties XC a couple of weeks ago.

We caught up with the talented Scot as she prepares to take on the world’s best juniors in Kampala this weekend

Age: 17
Club: Forres Harriers
School: Forres Academy

HOW DID YOU GET INTO RUNNING?
I went along to Forres Harriers when I was about 9 or 10 because some of my friends went – but I didn’t love it! I used to do tetrathlon (shooting, swimming, running and riding) and so I trained a bit for that, but running never became a focus until a couple of years ago. I still enjoy riding though, and compete lots in eventing.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SESSION?
I don’t really have any favourite or least favourite sessions, although I do love running in the woods and hills!

TRACK, CROSS COUNTRY OR ROAD?
Definitely cross country! I rarely train on the roads and my nearest track is an hour away, so I never train on one.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A RUNNER?
The best thing about being a runner is the pride and accomplishment when you finish a tough session, run well in a race or surprise yourself. I have also had so many opportunities and met amazing people through running. The worst thing is probably the chilblains!

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SUBJECT?
I enjoy all of my subjects at school, but French is my favourite, and I’ve always enjoyed learning the language.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
I’ve always been very indecisive about what I want to do. But next year, I’m going to study Law and French at the University of Edinburgh, so I’ll see where that takes me.

WHO IS YOUR HERO?
All the Scots that are competitive on the world stage at the moment like Laura Muir and Callum Hawkins are really inspirational.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE IN ATHLETICS?
Just to keep enjoying it and see how far I can get.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
My greatest achievement is definitely winning the Inter-Counties Cross Country and getting selected for GB for the World Cross Country Champs, which I still can’t quite believe! Winning the National XC last year was a huge surprise and was a really special moment for me. The club at Forres is small but everyone is so supportive and I’m always really proud to wear my red vest.

Words by Hannah Viner
Image from Anna MacFadyen