Southern discomfort might aptly describe the congestion and conditions experienced by Perth’s green vests during last week’s busy race schedule. However, exemplary performances fuelled by determination ensured impressive results were achieved.
A delighted James Fotheringham led a trio of Perth runners over the finish line at Kirkintilloch 10k last Thursday, as he achieved his personal goal of a sub 40 minute time. The former Arbroath and Forfar footballer notched up a ‘Personal Best’ with his 39 minute 59 seconds finish, and in typical sportsman’s fashion is focusing on the next challenge. Hugh Daly was next home in 47:08, with Debbie Jackson completing the trio and course in 51:42.
Fife Athletic Club held the third 5k race of the Beveridge Park series on Friday evening in Kirkcaldy. Regardless of wet conditions and the hilly looping course, Grant Strachan sprinted home to a new ‘PB’ in a time of 19 minutes 33 seconds, clipping 10 seconds off his previous time.
Heading towards the illustrious Gleneagles golf course, where the Orchill 10k race was hosted on Sunday morning. Over 100 runners were guided from the Braco road start west along a scenic but undulating course toward Orchill Fishery, unfortunately hindered by a headwind during the initial half of the 10k. Ewan Taylor finished 5th overall in an excellent time of 34 minutes 55 seconds, followed by James Fotheringham in 40:19. Next home was Bob Brown and Debbie Jackson in 44:57 and 51:32, respectively.
Meanwhile, Glasgow hosted the Men’s Health Forum Scotland 10k; a fantastically organised and supported race with a very generous and fast course was tackled by nearly 4000 all-male runners. Kevin Judge weaved between club runners and Father’s day entrants round Bellahouston and Pollack Park’s, earning an extraordinary 79th place finish considering the congestion, in 39 minutes 8 seconds.
Finally, the Championship series continues on Sunday 3rd July with the Stonehaven half marathon commencing 11:15 am.
Many of Perth’s fine runners opted for a quiet weekend to catch their breath, particularly as immanent Championship and Summer series races are gaining precedence and priority. Although one plucky green vest displayed great determination as she took on the Vale of Leven 10k. Debbie Jackson was among the 822 competitors who ran from Loch Lomond shores, up through Balloch Park towards Alexandria and back to the Lochs’ shores, where an initial climb and uncomfortable temperature threatened to make this 10k a slog, nevertheless a pleased Debbie finished in 52 minutes 16 seconds.
Club members should be aware that the Milnathort Dash is included in the Summer Series and scheduled for Thursday 23rd June. The 5.5 mile race kicks off at 7:30 pm, with registration beginning an hour earlier. As always there is the novel ‘King and Queen of the Hill’ competition, dauntingly incorporated into the initial hill of the race. Only three days later on Sunday 26th June is the Championship Series and Glenrothes 10k race. This midday race is a chipped event and part of the popular Glenrothes road running festival.
Exceptionally high standards were set with the Perth Heaven and Hell half marathon, gaining rave reviews in national running publications and websites and verbal acknowledgement from running clubs and during such running events as Edinburgh marathon.Thankfully the team behind its success are relishing the next challenge, the Brig Bash on Wednesday 6th July at 7:30pm. Registration commences at 6:30pm from the Bridge of Earn village hall for this fast flat five mile countryside course. A pre-entry option is available for the Brig Bash at the Perth Road Runners website.
Karen Walters, Fiona Manson, Nicola Crowe, Allison McArthur and Neil Muir appreciate the voluntary work by the clubs members and their families; their contributions are invaluable.
Last week Perth’s top runners took the congestion and confusion of local races in their strides. For regardless of location, first class performances were boasted by Perth’s elite, particularly at the dichotomous affair involving a “clash of the Town’s”. Pittencrieff Park, Dunfermline was the venue for the recently altered undulating Auld Toun 10k race. First green vest home was the constantly improving James Fotheringham in 40 minutes 35 seconds, followed by Grant Strachan 41:49. Next to cross the line was David Norrie in 43:47, with Hugh Daly finishing in 47:39.
Running simutaneously 23 miles north was the Lang Toon 10k in Auchterarder, where ‘Man of the moment’ Greg Simpson scooped another first place; his second win in consecutive weeks. Sisters Angela and Vicky Park were on winning form as they picked up First Lady and First Local Lady prizes, respectively. While formidable fourth and fifth finishes for Brian Cooper and Derek McIntosh capped more exceptional running.
Once again apologies are offered to club members regarding the oversight ofconfliction between these two races and any misunderstanding or inconvenience it may have caused.
Cool Championship action on Saturday evening saw Strathallan entertain over 100 competitors as it hosted its annual 5 mile race. Excellently organised by Carnegie Harriers, the pace rarely slowed during this two-lap course. First home for Perth was Greg Simpson in 28 minutes 5 seconds, closely followed by Ewan Taylor in 28:34. Brushing off a serious accident suffered during last month’s Caledonia Etape, Linton Scarborough’s 30:05 was a fantastic return to running. Kevin Judge completed the course in 31:02, narrowly ahead of Brian Cooper 31:49, Steven Bonthrone 31:55 and James Fotheringham 32:12. Perth’s ladies displayed strong and determined finishes, leading the field was Fiona Angus 34:50, Allison Brown 36:31, Gemma Simpson 37:40, Amy Greig 37:46 and Linda O’Neill 41:54.
Last Wednesday witnessed Crieff’s Knock Hill race become an unfortunate casualty of the gale force conditions, as tree debris strewn over the route became a safety issue. Pertaining to the clubs’ Summer Series, its postponement is a matter being resolutely and efficiently dealt with by the committee, as they appreciate the desires of members to complete the series. Therefore this was merely a minor blip on the running radar, as representation of Perth’s green vests swept across Scotland recently.
In the far North West of Scotland, Durness hosted the annual Cape Wrath challenge an enthralling week-long running festival. Endurance is the name of the game, as this incomparable and intense challenge consists of five days of very diverse events. Organised amid spectacular scenery, remote ‘highland hospitality’ and an emphasis on enjoyment lured Mike Dales, Fiona Manson, Paul Rudd and Linda O’Neil to participate in the 10k race, half marathon, hill race, Durness run, Target Zero and marathon.
Staying West but much further South, to the Mull of Kintyre half marathon and 10k races, where blustery conditions failed to impede Perth champ Greg Simpson as he breezed home in 1st place, in a winning time of 1 hour 19 minutes 2 seconds, followed by Paul Grace in 1:41:36. Success continued for the Simpsons, as Gemma Simpson achieved a new ‘PB’ in the 10k event, in a time of 47 minutes 28 seconds.
Experiencing similar windstorm conditions but considerably closer to home, the hilly Dunblane Hydro 7.5 mile race was contested by over 250 runners. Perth’s Robert MacDonald finished in 59 minutes 54 seconds, while Debbie Jackson earned a new course ‘PB’ in 1:06:03.
The club championship continues this weekend, with the Strathallan 5 mile race on Saturday June 4th at 7pm, within the school grounds in Forgandenny.
Last Wednesday saw a tremendous turnout for the Kinnoull Hill race; a 4 mile scurry around and over Perth’s premier peak. This great local event was yet again finely organised by the Dave Knight and Strathtay Harriers and for Perth road runners it is a chance to compete for the first accolade of the year, the Hill trophy. Ewan Taylor took the male title in a time of 27 minutes 52 seconds, with Angela Park winning the female title in 32 minutes 41 seconds. The tough terrain of the tor enthused terrific runs by Fiona Angus, Greg Simpson, Nicola Crowe, Derek McIntosh, Joan Wilson, Grant Strachan, Allison Brown and Grant Wooler.
A strong group from Perth road runners displayed fine mettle and true grit last weekend in individual and team categories as Edinburgh hosted its annual marathon festival. The threat of a foreboding raincloud, temperatures dropping and an obstruction delaying the London Road start; it certainly appeared that things were conspiring against participants of the 26.2 mile task. Thankfully all competitors were equal to the conditions and challenges the capital course threw at them. The race features initial twists and turns round Holyrood Park onto Leith Links, then the long Portobello Promenade stretch, leading to and passing through Musselburgh, Prestonpans and Cockenzie & Port Seton, with a series of loops at Longniddry and back to a street finish in Musselburgh.
Tackling only his second ‘official’ marathon, Kevin Judge annihilated over 19 minutes off his previous time, setting a new ‘PB’ in 3 hours 13 minutes 38 seconds, while an inspirational run by first time marathon runner Claire Douglas beamed a 3:24:07 finish.
Steven Bonthrone managed a great time of 3:26:49, with Bob Brown dipping under the sub 4 hour mark with a grand 3:56:18, followed by Tania Greenhorn in 4:20:58. Running his 87th marathon and one of only 39 people to have run all 9 Edinburgh events, the phenomenal Kenneth Stewart finished in 4:22:01. Despite the late atrociously blustery conditions the green vests kept coming with Nicola Lessells 4:25:20, Jake Carter 4:36:33, Allison McArthur 4:32:17 and Debbie Jackson 4:42:55. In the relay event, ‘Woods Wonders’ earned an impressive 21st position finish with a fantastic time of 3:12:03, a feat achieved by the accumulated efforts of Grant Strachan, Hugh Daley, Simon Grieshaber and David Wood.
Perth runners were treated to a gloriously sunny afternoon run round Loch Leven as Kinross held its annual half marathon event. Widely renowned as “one of the best half marathons in Scotland”, this popular race was enjoyed by over 380 competitors. As the initial 7 miles boasts generous and gentle gradients, the mass of the ‘Bishop’ accentuates more unfavourable undulations through Scotlandwell, Kinnesswood and Balgedie. Always well organised, fantastically supported and scenically beautiful, the only uncontrollable complaint is the annual attendance of a pesky head wind at the very latter stage!
Off the back of his Cateran team success, Neil Muir earned a 2nd place prize in his category with a superb time of 1 hour 26 minutes 58 seconds, followed by Kevin Judge in 1:28:10. Simon Grieshaber achieved a ‘personal best’ with his 1:35:53 finish, ahead of Fiona Angus 1:38:07, Bob Brown 1:44:42, Derek Belford 1:45:33 and Kenneth Stewart 1:45:58. Joan Wilson, Gillian Kerr, and Sally Newton all enjoyed fine performances round the 13.1 mile loop, while Jean McCullough accomplished yet another ‘personal best’, clipping 1 minute 31 seconds off her previous best, obtained at Angus half marathon only 13 days earlier, Jean’s incredible improvements are coming thick and fast.
Kinross proving a successful venue, as she also earned a personal best at last month’s 10k, a feat shared by many green vests; belated congratulations to Allison and Linsey McArthur, Nicola Lessells, Angela Park, Tania Greenhorn, James Fotheringham Brian Cooper and Alistair Cant.
Well done to the many Perth’s road runners who swapped their running trainers for cycling shoes last Sunday, as they tackled the 81 mile Etape Caledonia. As major sporting events gain pace in Scotland, this weekend see’s Edinburgh host its annual marathon festival; good luck to all runners, and have a fantastic race.
Nearly 200 runners competed in the Kinross 10k race, looping round the grounds of Kinross House, as no less than 41 runners represented Perth in this opening Championship race. No signs of any London marathon hangovers as Greg Simpson finished 4th in 35 minutes 7 seconds, immediately followed by 5th place Anthony Jackson in 35:23 and 9th placed Linton Scarborough in 36:45.
A ‘PB’ and another flush finish for Brian Cooper on 39 minutes, with Kevin Judge 39:38, Derek Phillips 39:49 and Steven Bonthrone 39:50 earning sub 40 minute times. Fine female finishers were Claire Douglas, Allison Brown and Fiona Angus while personal best’s were achieved by many green vests, congratulations to Allison and Linsey McArthur, Nicola Lessells, Angela Park, Tania Greenhorn, James Fotheringham and Alistair Cant.
Reputations and expectations demanded a winning performance by Perth’s mixed team at Saturday’s 23 mile Cateran Trail Relay race. Descending upon the ancient drove roads, favoured by long gone cattle rustlers and highland thieves, Perth Road Runners successfully swiped their 6th consecutive mixed team trophy.The winning team consisted of Allison Brown, Fiona Angus, Bill Lawson, Grant Key, Neil Muir and Stephen Ferguson, whose combined efforts had them celebrate victory at the Spittal of Glenshee finish in a time of 3 hours 28 minutes 33 seconds.Running the Individual 23 mile race was the kilted Cateran stalwart Kenneth Stewart in 4 hours 47 minutes 31 seconds. Admittedly challenging but brilliant fun, Anne Wombill’s first time attempt at running the full course was completed in 5:16:53.
Defying the weather forecast was the cosy coastal ‘Edinburgh to North Berwick’ 20 mile race. This predominantly flat race was made much more draining by the midday heat, as Kevin Judge finished 2 hours 31 minutes 22 seconds.The action continued into Sunday with Ewan Taylor achieving a 2nd place finish, at Glen Lednock 8.5 mile race. As hilly as it is picturesque, Ewan was timed at 49 minutes 35 seconds on Comrie’s out-and-back event.
While over 10,000 women took to Bellahouston Park in Glasgow; overcoming the crowded and clammy conditions was Perth’s Debbie Jackson completing the Ignes Asset Management Women’s 10k race in 50 minutes 59 seconds.
Last week saw a Club Championship double header competed on Thursday in Kinross and Sunday in Angus. Unfortunately slow submission of results from the Kinross event means a quick rundown of action elsewhere.
Robin Wombill’s run on Saturday was nothing short of incredible, beating the ‘Highland Fling’ 53 mile Ultra event, starting in Milngavie and finishing at Tyndrum. Described as the “toughest race he had ever done by a long way”, the scorching Saturday sun saw him squeeze home in 14 hours 41 minutes 31 seconds. He is hugely indebted to his fantastic support team of Anne Wombill and Fiona and Iain Morrison, who encouraged him to the finish line before the 15 hour cut-off.
Sunday’s Angus half marathon proved to be a tale of two races, with nearly 300 runners enjoying mid-morning warmth and appreciating the generous lull’s offered by the initial undulating 10km. The severely steeper second half of the course became more uncomfortable, as it concerted with an unyielding heat.
Equal to the course with a sizzling performance and proving tough to beat, Greg Simpson raced home, 1st in his category and 2nd overall in a time of 1 hour 18 minutes 40 seconds, shortly followed by 6th place Ewan Taylor in 1:20:34 and Linton Scarborough’s impressive 1:25:27. Brian Cooper continued Thursday’s fine form finishing flush 1:31:00, leading the way for Steven Bonthrone 1:33:28 and Grant Key 1:38:55. First Perth lady over the line was an ecstatic Fiona Angus, 4th in her category in a great time of 1:39:20, nipping ahead of Simon Grieshaber and Andrew Millington in respective times of 1:40:27 and 1:40:47. Also dipping under the 2 hour mark was Dolores Ralston, David Wood, Kenneth Stewart and Fiona Hair. Remarkable mettle was shown by Paul Grace and Jean McCullough as they both achieved personal best’s on this demanding course.