A LIMEKILNS teenager will follow in her sister’s footsteps by taking on the world in mountain running later this month.

Talented Zoe Nicholson will compete at the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) International Mountain Running Youth Cup – and make her Scotland debut – two years after elder sibling Emily raced at the same event.

The 12th edition of the competition, which is open to 16- and 17-year-olds, will be held in Gagiliano Del Campo, southern Italy, on June 24 and Pitreavie AAC member Zoe is part of a team of three girls and three boys who have been picked.

The Woodmill High School pupil, 16, made the squad after finishing second in her age group at a selection race at East Lomond last month despite stopping during the race to help a fellow runner who had fallen and fractured her collarbone.

Zoe’s success comes less than a year after Emily made her Great Britain debut when she competed in their women’s under-20 team at the World Mountain Running Championships in Bulgaria, and proud mum Penny said: “She went to Bulgaria to watch Emily in the same competition two years ago and set her sights on getting in the team when her time came.

“She ran in the selection race but it didn’t go to plan; a girl fell so she stopped to help, and when she restarted she was in third place and quite a long way down. She pushed hard on the second lap to finish second and gain selection, although her time was slower than what it would have been.

“She did it the day after her maths exam and then found out the day before her English exam she’d be going! It was good for her to see her older sibling do it because she could see what’s possible. It’s a great opportunity.”

Zoe, who works with endurance coaches John Wands and Bill Lindsay at Pitreavie, has been a member at the club since she was nine and Penny continued: “Zoe is a demon downhill; she’s really quick but doesn’t like uphill as much. It is a sport that is quite technical as well as physical, and the more you do the more you get better. It’s a tough sport and you need to keep seeing a wee bit of improvement to keep going.

“Her big sister is really pleased for her, and the good thing is she will get the chance to compete next year too. Zoe’s just old enough to try and qualify for the World Championships (under-20), but, realistically, I don’t think that will happen.

“Next year though they’ll both be trying to get to the World Championships.”