Athletics: Fiona ready for Liverpool race that will see her turn out again in national colours

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Metro Aberdeen’s Fiona Brian will take part in the biggest cross country race of her career at Liverpool on Saturday.

She will represent Scotland in the Great Britain team trials for next month’s European championships.

The winner of the Great Aberdeen 10km Run will be making her third appearance in national colours, after her debut in a home countries international last winter before setting a personal best time in the Leeds Abbey Dash 10km road race earlier this month.

Fiona had been all set to run in last Sunday’s Fraserburgh half marathon before receiving the call to be part of the four-strong Scotland women’s team for the 8km race at Sefton Park.

She said: “I was looking forward to running at Fraserburgh but decided to pull out to save myself for Liverpool.

“It’s going to be a tough race for me down there so I didn’t want to go into it maybe feeling a bit tired.

“It’s definitely the biggest cross country race I will have done and it will be a top quality field because it’s the trial for the Europeans.”

The Scotland team will be led by double Olympian and European championship 5,000m bronze medallist Steph Twell (Aldershot Farnham and District), while Glasgow’s Josephine Moultrie and Edinburgh AC’s Rebecca Burns complete the line-up.

Fiona said: “The Scotland team always have some big names and this year it’s no different. I’ve never met Steph before, so that will be interesting.

“I’m not sure how much of an opportunity I’ll get to speak with her because the night before the race I’ll stay with my parents, who live in Chester.

“I really don’t know what to expect in the race. It will be really fast at the start so I will probably find it hard to go with that, but hopefully my endurance will help me pull through towards the end.

“It’s difficult to know how I’ll get on against the other two Scottish girls. Jo is a Great Britain international and finished ahead of me in the Leeds Abbey Dash.

“I haven’t raced against Rebecca very often although she was in front of me at the Scottish 4km championships recently.”

Despite being disappointed to miss the Fraserburgh run, Fiona was delighted that her husband, Tom, won the race in a personal best time of 1hr 14min 27secs.

She said: “Tom did really well. I was quietly confident he might win, but I didn’t think he’d run his fastest time in the conditions.”

While Fiona competes in the senior women’s race, Aberdeen AAC’s Michael Ferguson will represent Scotland in the under-23 men’s contest.

The track middle distance specialist should be in with a shout of making the GB side for the European event to be held in Slovakia next month.

Michael finished fourth in the Scottish 4km championships at Kirkcaldy earlier in the month but shared the same time as the silver and bronze athletes.

Rio Olympic and London world championship 5000m finalist Andrew Butchart (Central AC) heads the Scotland senior men’s team.

Banchory Stonehaven AC’s Clare Stewart has been rewarded for her excellent form this season by being selected to represent the Scotland U20 side at Liverpool.

The Aberdeenshire athlete is joined in the team by Forres Harrier Anna Macfadyen, Jemma Reekie (Kilbarchan AAC) and Erin Wallace (Giffnock North).

Stewart showed good form to finish third behind Macfadyen and Wallace in the Scottish short course championships.

She also produced fine performances in the National and East District relay championships.