Cross Country

1987 Champs

The history of cross-country running in Scotland is a fascinating one and there were several other ‘clubs’ that held at least one ‘Hares & Hounds’ (or Hare & Hounds, depending on geography and the habits of the area) outing.    These were club or even inter-club runs where one or two runners (the hares) were sent out in advance of the main pack.   They laid the trail by scattering paper from a half-moon shaped bag held under the arm-pit and the hounds had to follow the course wherever it led.    Many a trick was played by the hares to catch out the hounds – for instance, on coming to a swampy bit of country, they laid a false trail into the bog by wrapping the paper round stones which were then lobbed progressively further in.   The stones sank, the paper floated and the following hounds ran right into trouble!

Although Clydesdale Harriers was founded in 1885, the Scottish Cross-Country Union was not established until 1890.    For a detailed history of the sport, you must read Colin Shields’s wonderful centenary history – “Runs Will Take Place WHATEVER THE WEATHER”

From the original cross-country championship with only two clubs contesting the event it has grown enormously – note the size of the field in Graham MacIndoe’s photograph above of the 1987 National Championship.

This section will contain profiles of significant figures in the development of the sport such as Sir Charles Blatherwick of Row (Rhu nowadays) who was a landowner and the first Honorary President of Clydesdale Harriers.   For his significance, read the profile!

For the other aspects go to the appropriate page from the drop down menu.