MARK MITCHELL TO MAKE HALF MARATHON DEBUT AT INVERNESS
Entries close on 23 February 2016
Scottish middle distance track star Mark Mitchell hopes to make his half marathon debut in Inverness next month by entering the Highland capital’s big race before the entry deadline at midnight on Tuesday 23 February.
Mitchell,27, has won Scottish 800 metres and 1500 metres track titles in recent years but now the former Great Britain junior international is looking forward to trying his hand over 13.1 miles by joining a top class line-up for the 31st edition of the Inverness race.
The Forrres Harriers club member, who narrowly missed 1500m selection for the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, is excited by the prospect of joining a field approaching 2,000 runners in the half marathon which also hosts this year’s Scottish North District championships.
Mitchell said: “The longest I’ve ever raced on the roads before is 10km so it’s a bit of a step up. However, I’ve been doing regular 10 mile runs at a decent pace in training and I’ve done a good 20km session. These have felt reasonably comfortable so I think I should be fine. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do, although I’ve no idea how it might go. It will be a new experience for me.
“I’m sure there will be some fast guys there, which is good, and I’ll probably just try to stay with them for as long as I can and see what happens. I know the course because I live in Inverness now and I’ve watched the race a few times in recent years. It seems to be quite a quick route, so it will be interesting to see how it all develops.”
Race Director Malcolm Sutherland is delighted that Mitchell plans to compete in the race which has already attracted many top class athletes. He said: “Mark’s decision to take part adds another dimension to the event. He will be very much an unknown quantity for the more seasoned long distance men to consider. We already have some outstanding athletes signed up, including last year’s winner, Tewolde Mengisteab and his Shettleston Harriers clubmate , Polish international Kamil Sieracki. It will be very interesting to see how Mark fares against them.”
“We also have an excellent women’s line-up including the top two from 2015, Shona McIntosh of Hunters Bog Trotters defending her title against Jenn Wetton of Central AC.”
He added: “While it’s great to see athletes of this calibre competing in our race we also welcome runners of all levels of experience and ability. There’s a great feel about the event because of the wide range of different people taking part. It’s a truly fun occasion.
“Entries close soon, however, on Tuesday 23rd February, so I’d advise anyone thinking about taking part to sign up as soon as possible as we won’t be extending that deadline. The race is ideally timed for those who are looking to test their form ahead of competing in one of the big April marathons such as Paris, Rome, Rotterdam or London.
“For those who don’t feel up to tackling a half marathon we also have a 5km fun run. This has proved very popular in recent years and is open to runners of all ages including youngsters if they are accompanied by an adult. Wheelchairs are also welcome. Schools, clubs and disability groups are welcome to enter teams to run the 5km Fun Run and receive reduced entry fees. “
Anyone wanting to take part in either of the races can enter online at www.invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk. Closing date for half marathon and 5km entries is midnight 23rd February.