Press Reports

Wishaw Athlete Relishes Uphill Struggle

Created on Friday, 07 September 2012 13:00

Far from the Olympic Park, a new sporting talent from Lanarkshire is climbing up the international rankings.

Andrew Lawler from Wishaw is making a name for himself in hill running having taken up the sport for the first time less than two years ago.

Having previously competed on track and in cross country with Law & District AAC, the Coltness High School pupil dreamed of taking his running to new heights - literally.

Since then, his appetite for hard work has seen him develop quickly and his ambition for the sport has already resulted in a series of significant incredible successes.

In the final event of the Scottish Hill Running Championships in Menstrie at the weekend, Andrew's outstanding performance won him the U19 gold medal, completing the 5.1km course, complete with 480m climb, in just 25 minutes and 27 seconds – and he's still only 16!

In June this year, Andrew competed for GB selection in the McCain Mountain Running Challenge on Winder Hill by Sedbergh in Cumbria, completing the 7.6km race and 470m climb in a notable 34 minutes 40 seconds to finish in fifth place. His efforts were impressive enough to earn him a reserve place in the GB under 20s team for the European Mountain Running Championships in Turkey.

Later in June, he was selected to participate in the International Youth Cup, in Ireland, where he competed against runners from Poland, Russia, Bulgaria and Italy to finish in 11th place.

Having an Olympic year coincide with his own sporting achievements has certainly had an impact on Andrew. He said: "Olympic events, particularly the 5000m and 10000m, were a real inspiration for me. Watching these athletes at their peak, and seeing their achievements really motivated me to reach for a higher level in hill running.

"Chris Hoy and Mo Farah are my biggest sporting idols, Mo Farrah in particular. For me, his double Olympic gold was the biggest sporting performance of the year."

Coached by Pat Kelly at Law and District AAC, Andrew's training involves both track and and hill work. He has great ambitions for the future and in the coming years he has targeted a regular place in the the GB U20 team as well as helping to continue Scotland's strong traditions in one of the most gruelling athletics disciplines.

His proud mum Sandra said: "The washing machine is a bit busier when he's hillrunning, rather than being on the track, but it's a very small price to pay!"

AndrewL Custom