Twenty one runners represented the Perth club last Sunday, travelling south along the short distance of the M90 to race in the latest Championship outing, the Forth Bridge 10k. Pitreavie AAC commemorated the events 9th anniversary by organising yet another fantastic race, one which opportunity and experience of racing across Scotland’s iconic road bridge, flanked by the equally impressive rail bridge.
A remarkably strong field of 319 runners participated in this popular midsummer and mid-morning race, starting from North Queensferry Community Centre, a scramble through scheme congestion ensues, onward and upward towards the M90 and the double crossing over the Forth.
Ewan Taylor produced a magnificent time of 35 minutes 22 seconds and a 6th place overall as he ferociously attacked the northern bridgehead finish. Overcoming a brief shoelace malfunction, a simply splendid run by Linton Scarborough 37:32 is a testament to his commitment to club and training, with Kevin Judge crossing the Forth traverse in 37:55. A fabulous performance by Fiona Angus, first Perth lady, saw her flyover the Forth finish in 44:00 flush, followed by an amazing Allison Brown 45:32 and awesome Amy Greig 48:32. Continuing their tremendous season of improvements, both James Fotheringham and Simon Grieshaber can claim the bragging rights to brilliant new ‘personal bests’, with respective finishes of 39:34 and 40:57.
It’s a case of two down, one to go, for the club’s Summer Series time trials, with many runners in great shape and recording magnificent times over the practice runs; the final and ultimate Time Trial is set for Thursday 25th August, signifying the end of the 2011 Summer Series. Perth 10k race is scheduled for Sunday 28th August, and is the home fixture of the Club’s Championship Series. Member contesting for the Championship or dependent on accruing sufficient races for a Championship participation medal should be aware that entry forms are available from Bells and online at www.perth10k.co.uk, with places filling fast. Please note that entries close on Wednesday and there will be no entries available on the day.
Last week’s racing consisted of pounding and pedalling the Pitcairngreen route in the club’s annual duathlon challenge, a triumphant trio cruising to coastal acclaim and a crafty ultra-runner swearing by slimfast shakes and strawberry jam sandwiches.
The duathlon course comprises of a 4.2 mile run followed by a double 6.2 mile cycle round Redgorton, past Battleby and through the Dryarch, circling back to Pitcairngreen. Record holder Ewan Taylor accomplished a second consecutive win of this event in 56 minutes 57 seconds, as new club member Alyson McPherson won 1st female, her 86:20 proving a fantastic effort. Brothers James and Nick Fotheringham respectively ran and cycled to success, by lifting the team prize in 61:57.
An early Sunday morning gathering saw 390 runners compete in Helensburgh’s annual Babock Marine half marathon; a fantastically fast and generous looping course. Heading 5 miles out from the Clyde Street start, runners experience sparse undulations before circling back to the town centre along the lengthy King Street towards a small residential area, connecting back with the eastern section of Clyde Street, and turning into the pier finish by the leisure centre.
Kevin Judge recorded a fine 1 hour 23 minutes 44 seconds, with David Hunter producing a strong 1:25:41; particularly encouraging results as both athletes are competing in Glasgow’s upcoming Great Scottish Run. Simon Grieshaber sensationally cruised the 13.1 miles, obliterating over 5 minutes off his previous ‘Personal Best’ with an awesome 1:30:43 finish.
Robin Wombill has his sights set on next years’ West Highland Way 94 mile ultra- run, beginning in Milngavie and finishing in Fort William, but first this incredible feat requires ingenious and arduous training. Aptly named the ‘Devil o’ the Highlands’, this 43 mile off-road race is the northern section of the ultra, starting in Tyndrum, passing by Bridge of Orchy, Glencoe and Kinlochleven. Determined to complete this race in sub 10 hours, Robin envisioned that running this, along with 3 other ultras throughout 2011, would be perfect mental and physical preparation for 2012’s challenge. Overwhelmingly grateful for the enthusiastic and passionate support from loyal wife Anne, proud son Richard and admiring friends Fiona and Iain Morrison, particularly considering the several hundred feet ascents on uneven trails, uncomfortable heat and pesky midges, Robin was elated with his 9 hours 54 minutes 56 seconds finish.
Last week, Perth’s elite runners recorded some exceptional performances as they endured a fun five stage tour of Fife, braved Ballater and challenged London’s Olympic triathlon course.
The 11th annual ‘Tour of Fife’ competition ran from Wednesday evening, with the new ‘Black Hill’ race, a tough predominantly forest track ascent of 525ft, and drew to a close on Sunday afternoon, with the 5.1 mile enigmatic ‘Twisted Chicken’ run. Those races sandwiched a stunning series which also consisted of the Tarvit Trail race, Ceres’ Up Hell time trial and the Chariots of Fire beach race; a sentimental 4.25 mile sandy sprint in St. Andrews.
Ewan Taylor accumulated a fantastic 6th place finish in a time of 2 hours 5 minutes 16 seconds, leading the way for Linton Scarborough 2:12:29, Steven Bonthrone 2:24:12 and Erni Hamilton 2:30:27. Erni’s enthusiasm for the tournament, which boasts an exciting element of “friendly rivalry”, is shared by Angela Park 2:34:16, Grant Strachan 2:44:03 and Vicky Park 3:09:38.
The enjoyment and popularity of the tournament was radiated by Rhona McBean 3:14:21 and beamed by Andrea Finlay 3:35:19, with notable appearances by Club champ Greg Simpson and honorary member Julie Keough, sister of Club Coach Colin Keough.
Four green vests’ headed north up the A93 for the Sunday midday start of the 10 mile summer favourite in Ballater. Runners begin the circuit from the park and town centre, heading along scenic straights and a considerable climb midway. The route sweeps down into forest tracks and a bridge crossing, before a re-emergence with the busy A93 road. An eventual narrow path return at the rear of the village squeezes runners into a corkscrew finish of the park. Bob Brown managed a fine 1 hour 17 minutes 32 seconds finish, just ahead of the impressive efforts by two new club members Calum Fletcher 1:20:10 and Chris Paton 1:22:57, and the sprinting stalwart Kenneth Stewart 1:26:30.
A heroic Olympic triathlon attempt saw Hugh Daly swim 1500 m around Royal Victoria Dock, cycle 40km round the many roundabouts paralleling the Thames then a 10km dockland dash; all in an awesome 3 hours 14 minutes.
A cracking summer evening in Newburgh, one of Fife’s coastal villages, lay witness to a multi-terrain out-and-back course last Wednesday evening. Tremendously supported and organised by the local villagers, its inclusion to Perth Road Runners Summer series competition meant top performances were vital.
The 119 competitors were informed of the routes optional start but strict finish as they lined up for the 4.2 mile race on West Shore Road. Margins for errors were slim, with the majority of runners zigzagging from York Place onto the coastal path. Concentration was paramount as the narrow paths led to laborious slogs and climbs over lengthy farm fields meant that opportunities for overtaking were both restricted and risky.
An overall fourth place finish for Ewan Taylor, who ran a fantatic 25 minutes 14 seconds, led the Perth pack home, just ahead of another prize winning performance by David Hunter 26:40. Further fine form was displayed by Kevin Judge with his 27:13, while James Fotheringham continues to go from strength to strength this season with his sublime 27:38. A rare return for Andrew Millington earned him a 29:03, followed by another strong finish by Alistair Cant in 30:00 flush. Nicola Crowe added another award to her sensational season, finishing 3rd female overall and 1st female road runner, in a magnificent 30:02.
With ‘Tour of Fife’ race series forthcoming, Grant Strachan excelled in this Fife affair with 31:43, ahead of the unstoppable Kenneth Stewart 33:11. David Wood, Marianne McLevy and Debbie Jackson tackled the tricky terrain in respective times of 34:40, 35:53 and 36:39. Perth green vests continued to cross the line, female veteran Fiona Hair finished in 38:34, followed by Susan Smith 38:51, Rhona McBean 39:29 and Shona McLay 42:25. Fiona Morrison 48:40 and Karen Walters 48:46 completed the Perth representation, at this popular and pleasant local event.
Historically synonymous for its journalism, jam, and jute, Dundee could now add jogging into its successes after it hosted another fabulously organised and attended half marathon. In only its third year, its popularity has proven to be a grand discovery, as the buzzing field of 512 runners congregated at the Camperdown park start. The 13.1 mile route led runners through the trails and tracks of Templeton Woods to the upper areas of Downfield, along cycle-path stretches amid a blend of industrial and residential landscapes, over numerous bridges and walkways and culminated in a coastal conclusion between Monifieth and Broughty Ferry.
Kevin Judge recorded a tremendous 1 hour 26 minute 33 second, placing him in 31st position from the hundreds of ragged runners. Looking fresh and producing strong finishes, Steven Bonthrone and Kenneth Stewart obviously preserved a degree of energy during their great runs, earning them the respective times of 1:33:19 and 1:42:25. Gillian Kerr threaded her way through runners to achieve a time of 2:01:26, while Allison McArthur sewed up the Perth’s club representation in 2:07:05.
The penultimate Beveridge Park series race was held in Kirkcaldy last Friday evening, with Grant Strachan ignoring some niggles and twinges picked up over the recent events, defiantly running the 5 k course in 20 minutes 41 seconds. Although there is a modest gap in both the club’s competitive series, the forthcoming weeks boast cracking Scottish races, most notably, the old favourite Ballater 10 mile race on July 31st, the very favourable and fast Helensburgh half marathon on August 7th and the cattle-friendly climbs of Balmullo trail race on August 11th.
The friendly club is always happy to advise, guide and involve anyone with an inclination towards running; where an assurance of confidence building is offered particularly by its many inspirational characters and trophy laden champions. Club training runs are scheduled on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, further details can be accessed at the Perth Road Runners website.
An intoxicating atmosphere was served up in Crieff last Sunday morning by organisers Strathearn Harriers, bragging yet another excellent Famous Grouse 10k and an attendance of over 270 runners. The multi-terrain course began in humid conditions at the vast Dallerie grass park, progressing onto a steep tarmac road and farm track climb up Laggan Hill toward tree root laden forestry paths. As an Indian file trail formed high along the race route, the sobering dark clouds over Loch Turret were a distant distraction for runners supping the hot summer sun.
Large measures of support and cheers were offered by kind spectators and walkers along the River Earn’s Lady Mary’s walk, before runners nipped back for the long park finish, where merriment was orchestrated by the eternally optimistic low flying mascot, Gilbert the Grouse.
Kevin Judge claimed another Summer Series 1st place male finish, managing the various course conditions in 41 minutes 42 seconds, ahead of neat finishes by James Fotheringham 42:19 and Carl Duckworth 42:26. Rare performances particularly over the final stretch were had by Steven Bonthrone 43:01, Grant Strachan 43:58 and Simon Grieshaber 44:44. Nicola Crowe 45:30 maintained her fabulous form with a further female first in a Perth green vest, and an impressive 4th female overall finish, narrowly ahead of Crieff first-timers John Rudd 45:34 and Alistair Cant 45:52.
Accumulating his fourth race in just 8 days and looking far from vintage, the phenomenal Kenneth Stewart knocked back the years as he raced over the finish line in 49:21, while a concentrated final shot by David Wood 51:59 ensured only a second separated himself and Bob Brown 52:00. Perth runners continued to pour home with spirited efforts by Robert Thornton 52:50, Dolores Ralston 53:13 and Debbie Jackson 55:50, with Linda O’Neill 56:38 and Fiona Hair 58:56 savouring the experience. The blend of determined but exuberant running influenced Rhona McBean 61:06, Jean McCullough 68:36 and Fiona Morrison 73:03 to register terrific times at this first-class event.
The torrential rain prior to the Brig Bash 5 was of near biblical proportions, but there was no way a downpour could dampen the spirits of its enthusiastic competitors. Over 200 runners flooded the Chaise Road start, surging along Main Street towards the arc of Forgandenny Road, and then rushing round ‘The Roost’ towards the Chaise Road finish.
Central AAC’s Lewis Millar was clear victor in an incredible winning time of 25 minutes 17 seconds; followed by 2nd place Grant Wilkie 27:11 and Perth’s Greg Simpson 27:27 clinching 3rd. Fiona Matheson, representing Falkirk Victoria Harriers, achieved first female with a phenomenal 27:52 run, marginal to the female course record of 27:38, as she led a pursuing pack which remarkably formed a near two-by-two procession.
Fast finishes by Ewan Taylor 28:07 and David Hunter 29:19 earned Perth the first male team accolade, while an impressive 29:59 run by club new-comer Mark Crawford signified his potential as he narrowly dipped under the sub 30 minute mark. Strong finishes have shaped both Brian Cooper and James Fotheringham season’s as the thrashed home respective times of 30:40 and 31:09.
A saturated Grant Strachan completed car park duties and the course in 32:25, with John Rudd 33:38, Dolores Ralston 34:29 and Mike Dales 35:25 in sodden pursuit.This event seemed paltry to the inspirational and resilient Kenneth Stewart 35:29, capping a formidable week of racing which included competing in both the Corrieyairack Challenge and Stonehaven half marathon.
Fine times were run by Robert Thornton 38:07, Vicky Park 39:15, and Malcolm Saynor 39:23, with a determined Debbie Jackson earning success on her fourth attempt, as she was elated by her new 40:01 PB finish. Thoroughly enjoying the night and event Linda O’Neill 40:11 and Bob Brown 43:33 concluded this ever popular local race.
Magnificently marshalled by many members of Perth Road Runners, their efforts ensure the continual success of this event and are truly appreciated by committee and most importantly all its competitors. As ever the hospitality and support provided by the community of Bridge of Earn was outstanding.
The competition were left green with envy as scintillating silverware performances were produced by Perth’s ladies over consecutive championship Sunday’s. A muggy morning start at Glenrothes running festival witnessed 307 competitors run the 10k main event, looping a ‘roundabout’ the south of the city, the long drawn hills outnumbering the descents before the race track finish. A fantastic Fife effort saw Ewan Taylor earn a 6th place in 36 minutes and 12 seconds, followed by Kevin Judge and Brian Cooper who both achieved under sub 40 minute times 38:56 and 39:24 respectively.
Cracking competitions between James Fotheringham 40:30 and Derek McIntosh 40:38, and close fought finishes by Colin McCreath 40:50, Grant Strachan 40:54 and Simon Grieshaber 42:05 added to festival fever.
Proceeding Milnathort success Nicola Crowe’s new 42:55 ‘PB’ meant another 1st Perth lady and 2nd place overall performance, while 4th place Fiona Angus time of 43:49 ensured a 2nd female vet prize. The 6th place female finish produced by Allison Brown 44:19 underline her incredible improvements for the year.
A scorching Stonehaven 13.1 mile test was tackled by 20 Perth athletes, where the initial 4-mile climb up Cheyne Hill set the scene for a gorgeous race and tremendously organised event. Red-hot performances were generously cooled with dips, dives and waterslides, courtesy of free admission to the nearby open air salt- water pool. Greg Simpson’s magnificent championship form continued, blistering home in 1 hour 19 minutes 3 seconds, while Kevin Judge enjoyed another 2nd place Perth finish in 1:28:18. Considering conditions Steven Bonthrone 1:32:27, Colin McCreath 1:36:03, Simon Grieshaber 1:38:30 and John Rudd 1:38:51 registered healthy times.
Sensational silver category finishes by a beaming Fiona Angus 1:39:32 and a delighted Joan Wilson 1:44:12, sandwiching David Norrie’s and Bob Brown’s respective times of 1:40:51 and 1:43:13. David Wood crossed the line in 1:55:43, followed by a searing 1:56:06 finish by Kenneth Stewart, fresh from Corrieyairack action, with David McRae completing the course in 1:56:55.
Fiona Hair continued Perth ladies silver success with a 2:02:45, leading the way for Linda O’Neill 2:05:23, Rhona McBean 2:07:41, Allison McArthur 2:10:13 and Sally Newton 2:11:08. The coastal contest was relished by Anne Wombill and FionaMorrison as the Perth duo crossed the finish line in respective times of 2:39:21 and 2:39:22.
Certain running races are consciously avoided; infuriating bottle-necks, relentless undulations or the paradox between superfluous twists and turns or soul-destroying long straights can invoke a sense of stagnation that is decisive to participation. Rationally, entering the obstacle laden Ythan challenge which boasts 11.5k of hay bale leaps, cargo net climbs, tunnel crawls, ‘killer’ hills, knee-deep mud and two river crossings, can only mean spirited fun rather than achieving ‘personal best’.
Nevertheless, a courageous contingent of Perth road runners embarked around the Esslemont estate event, recording incredible results. Perth’s club champion Greg Simpson finished 2nd place for the second year running, less than 3 minutes behind defending champion and hill-runnning specialist Aberdonian Kevin Harper. Last year’s injury set-back’s are a distant memory for Angela Park, as a revitalised return to running saw her claim a fantastic 3rd place female finish. An impressive 9th place was sealed by Steven Bonthrone while Gemma Simpson’s strong finish affirms her continual improvement. Barely a minute separated Vicky Park and Andrea Finlay as their persistence matched the rain and obstacles followed by the tenacious trio of Robin Wombill, Anne Wombill and Fiona Morrison crossing the finish line simultaneously.
The Brig Bash will be held tomorrow with registration available from 6:30pm at the Bridge of Earn village hall. Increasing in popularity, this fast flat 5 mile rural race will start at 7:30pm. The sublime efforts of the organising committee exude encouragement to competitors of all abilities in participating. The help volunteered by club members, family and friends is greatly appreciated as is the support by the Bridge of Earn community, without which a successful event wouldn’t be possible.
Sunday 10th July indicates the next shot at the Summer Series for Perth green vests, as Crieff host’s its annual Famous Grouse 10k race. The race commences at 11am so last orders for registering is 10:45am. Lastly, entry is now open for the Perth 10k; please check the Perth Road Runners website for comprehensive details.
The old favourite Milnathort Dash welcomed many of Perth’s top runner’s last Thursday evening, where regardless of the stifling sun and steep ascents, the bar was raised and heat increased on the Summer Series competition.Thirty two of the 123 competitors represented Perth, with the green vest impressing despite the draining sun factor and agonising undulations during this 5.5 miler.
Narrowly leading the Perth pack home was Kevin Judge in 33 minutes 28 seconds and an overall 12th place finish, just ahead of Linton Scarborough 33:45 and Brian Cooper 34:00. Next home was Derek McIntosh 34:44 followed by James Fotheringham 35:55, Grant Strachan 36:10 and a fine return to running by Andrew Millington 36:51.
A close finish between Alistair Cant and first Perth lady Nicola Crowe was sportingly fought out with respective times of 37:13 and 37:21. Not content with clipping 2 minutes 2 seconds off last year’s Milnathort time and despite a prolonged absence from competitive running, cycling enthusiast Nicola would dispel pre-race concerns 3 days later at Glenrothes 10k with an incredible 2nd place overall and fantastic 1st place club female finish, courtesy of her new ‘Personal Best’.
Strong sub 40 minute performances were earned by Grant Wooler 38:31, Allison Brown 38:42 and Mike Dales 39:25, followed by determined displays by Dave McRae 40:38, Kenneth Stewart 41:06, Amy Greig 41:16, Bob Brown 41:49 and David Wood 42:38. A trickle of green vests led by Susie Lockett 43:58, Robert Thornton 44:15, Fiona Manson 44:20, soon became a steady flow as Fiona Hair 45:29, Robin Wombill 45:32, Linda O’Neill 45:38, Susan Smith 47:28 and Gillian Kerr 47:59 continued the surge.
Rhona McBean 49:22, Anne Wombill 49:28, Andrea Finlay 49:39 and Maureen Summers 49:42 represented a pursuing Perth quartet, while Jean McCullough 52:44, Karen Walters 52:47 and Fiona Morrison 59:34 concluded this excellently organised local event.
The next race on the club’s championship schedule is the Stonehaven half marathon on Sunday 3rd July starting at 11:15 am; please check the club’s facebook page for car-sharing information.
The club’s annual summer sprint, the Brig Bash takes place on Wednesday 6th July, registration is available from 6:30 pm with the race commencing 7:30pm. The club’s race committee are extremely grateful to all club volunteers, as their help ensures that this event will be another runaway success.