RACE DAY REPORT & RESULTS
Great Britain mountain running international Andrew Douglas (North Highland Harriers) was an agonising one second outside his personal best time when recording 1hr 5min 39secs to win today’s Inverness half marathon. Former Scottish 800m and 1500m champion Mark Mitchell took second position in 1:06:07, Polish international Kamil Sieracki (Shettleston Harriers) was third in 1:07:21 while title-holder Tewolde Mengisteab faded over the closing stages and had to settle for fourth position in 1:08:15
Douglas also picked up the Scottish North District title and he was delighted with the overall result although admitted to being mildly frustrated he hadn’t run a little quicker. He said: “That’s almost the same time as I ran in Barcelona earlier this year. I thought I could maybe dip under it but the wind was really strong over the final mile and I couldn’t quite find that extra second. However, I’m really happy with my performance on what isn’t an easy course and I had to cope with windy conditions.
“Mark and Tewolde were with me for the first seven miles or so but after that point Tewolde began to drop off. Mark took up the pace after that but on the downhill section around the 10 mile point I managed to get a bit of a lead over Mark. I was very wary of his track speed and didn’t want him to be close to me near the end, so I was glad to get away. I just kept working away and fortunately did enough to get the win. It was great to be involved in such a competitive race. I just need to recover for next weekend when I’ll be representing Scotland in the Home Countries cross country international.”
Mitchell, who was making his half marathon debut, was satisfied with the outcome but admitted he found it tough in the closing stages. He said: “I felt great until 10 miles but I always knew it would be a step into the unknown after that. I thought I could get under 66mins but got found out a little bit over the last mile which was probably my slowest mile of the race, which is a bit disappointing.”
Neil Renault (Edinburgh AC), the 2009 race winner, finished fifth in 1:08:16 while sixth-placed John Newsom, 1:09:55, retained the Graeme Moffat Memorial Quaich which is awarded to the first member of Inverness Harriers to finish the race. Perth’s Mike Carroll was first over-40 in 1:12:40 while Stan Mackenzie (Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers) was the leading over-50 in 1:15:19
Shettleston Harriers secured the men’s team prize with Sieracki and Mengisteab being joined by seventh-placed Abraham Tewelde, 1:11:21, in the winning line-up. Inverness Harriers finished second and Edinburgh AC took third spot.
Fanni Gyurko (Central AC) gave her Olympic selection hopes a boost by winning the women’s race in a personal best time of 1:17:45. The Hungarian international, who has been living in Scotland for the past two years, hopes to represent her country in the marathon at this summer’s Rio Olympic Games.
She said: “I was pleased to run my fastest time today but I was hoping to be a little quicker. The wind made it very difficult so I have to be happy under these circumstances. I hope to run for Hungary at the Olympics but I must run in the London marathon and may have to do under 2hrs 40mins to qualify.”
Former Scottish marathon champion Jenn Wetton (Central AC) showed she is well on the way back towards reaching top form after injury problems by finishing second, for the second year in a row, in 1:20:03.
Veteran Marie Baxter (Garioch Road Runners) won the Scottish North District title when finishing third in 1:25:54, 31secs ahead of Shetland’s ultra distance international Charlotte Black.
Title-holder Shona McIntosh (Hunters Bog Trotters), who is three months pregnant, achieved her goal by finishing fifth in 1:28:17. She said:”I was aiming to run around 1hr 30mins, so I’m a little bit ahead of that, so I’m happy with that.” McIntosh led her club to the team prize with backing from Sinead O’Malley and Zoe Kemp. Metro Aberdeen finished second and Forres Harriers third.
Fraserburgh Running Club’s Carol Massie took the over-50’s prize when completing the course in 1:35:50
Jenny Bannerman (Inverness Harriers) won the accompanying 5km when recording 17min 27secs. The North of Scotland champion was taking part a few days before heading off to Tenerife for a spell of warm weather training as part of her preparations for the Scottish 5km and 10 mile road running championships. Youngster Lucas Cairns (Inverness Harriers) was the first boy in 18:48.
Inverness Half Marathon Results:-
- Andrew Douglas (North Highland Harriers) 1hr 5min 39secs
- Mark Mitchell (Forres Harriers) 1:06:07
- Kamil Sieracki (Shettleston Harriers) 1:07:21
- Tewolde Mengisteab (Shettleston Harriers) 1:08:05
- Neil Renault (Edinburgh AC) 1:08:16
- John Newsom (Inverness Harriers) 1:09:55
- Abraham Tewelde (Shettleston Harriers) 1:11:21
- Mike Carroll, over-40, 1:12:40
- S. Lyon (Greenock Glenpark) 1:12:44
- M. Muir (Ilford, over 40) 1:13:15
Over-50: Stan Mackenzie (Ron Hill Cambuslang) 1:15:19
Teams: 1 Shettleston Harriers 3:26:47; 2 Inverness Harriers 3:42:24; 3 Edinburgh AC 3:43:31
- F. Gyurko (Central AC) 1:17:45
- Jennifer Wetton (Central AC) 1:20:03
- Marie Baxter (Garioch, over-40) 1:25:54
- Charlotte Black (Shetland, over-40) 1:26:25
- Shona McIntosh (Hunters Bog Trotters) 1;28;17
- Anne Hartmann 1:28:58
- Angela Reid 1:31:34
- Leigh Strachan (Peterhead AC, over-40) 1:32:05
- Alison Pilichos (Metro Aberdeen) 1:32:12
- Jessica Neal (Forres Harriers) 1:32:20.
Over-50: carol Massie (Fraserburgh) 1:35:50
Teams: 1 Metro Aberdeen 4:43:00; 2 Forres Harriers 4:57:50