ONE of the young guns in the Bendigo Bats squad, Archie Reid returns to cross-country racing in Saturday’s sixth round of Athletics Victoria’s XCR series.

Reid, 21, has not raced since leg two of XCR22 on May 28 at St Anne’s Winery in Big Hill.

“I had a sore Achilles leading into that round and it flared up quite badly,” the talented athlete said of the injury setback.

“There was no training or racing for at least seven weeks.”

Reid watched his Bats’ team-mates continue their great run from the sidelines at Cruden Farm.

“It’s great to be back training again and getting to race,” Reid said from his Moama home.

Although there was no road-running for several weeks, Reid kept his fitness through cross-training.

“I did a fair amount of cycling and swimming.”

It was a return to a few years ago when he was competing in triathlons.

Reid is rapt with the Bendigo Bats success across all divisions in XCR22.

“It’s been an amazing run so far,” he said of the Bats leading men’s premier and divisions four and seven, and women’s division four.

Bendigo is number one in under-18 men, and second in under-20 women.

Although it’s been many weeks since he has raced, Reid is determined to play his part in helping the Bats maintain their lead.

“It’s all-in for the open 10km, so the fastest six times for Bats go towards points for the premier division.

“There’s one big hill at Bundoora that will test every runner.”

Bats’ team-mates and training partners Brady Threlfall and Nathan Stoate have run strongly in every round.

“Brady has had a great season, and Nathan is incredibly strong,” said Reid.

Not only is Threlfall a team-mate, but also Reid’s coach.

The Bendigo Bats’ number one runner, Andy Buchanan will not be in Bundoora as he continues his build-up in England to the marathon at the Birminghan Commonwealth Games.

“For Andy to be selected for the Games was fantastic.

“What he has done is inspirational and proves to me that to race for Australia is achievable.

“Andy has put in so much work to be where he is now.”

Bundoora is the immediate goal, but Reid is also looking forward to the XCR legs at Albert Park, Ballarat, and Burnley half-marathon.

A lot of his best runs have been on the roads around Melbourne and in Tasmania.