Mohammad Abu-Rezeq successfully retained his title at the Baxters Loch Ness marathon – as Lesley Pirie won a second Scottish marathon of 2017.
The Jordanian successfully fended off an from veteran Kenyan athlete Isaiah Kosgei who was making a return to top level competition after six years on the sidelines.
Abu-Rezeq completed the course in 2.22.02, some 71 seconds slower than he recorded last year, but the Altrincham-based runner was nevertheless delighted with the outcome.
‘The Kenyan guy was good and he set off at a very fast pace,’ said Abu-Rezeq. ‘I began to get away, however, and by halfway, which I reached in 1:07:30, he was falling behind. After 15 miles I looked back and he was further back so I just kept pushing on.
‘I am happy to win but now I‘m going to take a month off to recover. I probably won’t do another marathon until next year when I’d like to come back here and try for a third win.’
Metro Aberdeen’s Kyle Greig, who was third in 2016, came through to take second place in 2:27:56 while Patryk Gierjatowicz (Hunters Bog Trotters) maintained his remarkable record of consistency by taking third position in 2:29:20. Kosgei faded to fifth place.
David Gallie (Highland Hill Runners), who clocked 2:56:29, won the HSPC Gerald Cooper Memorial Trophy which is presented to the first Highland runner across the finish line.
Inverary’s Lesley Pirie completed a notable Scottish marathon double when winning the women’s race in 2:48:10. The VP-Glasgow runner, who won the Stirling marathon earlier in the year, was pleased with her time despite it being seven mins adrift of her best.
Laura Bowman, who was raised in Saltcoats but now lives in Mammoth Lakes, California, finished second in a personal best 2:56:02 while Lothian’s Chloe Cox recorded 2:56:39 for third position on her marathon debut.
Dundee-based Welsh athlete Kristian Jones was delighted to win the Baxters River Ness 10km despite still feeling the effects of competing in a gruelling mountain run the previous weekend and winning two orienteering races at Aviemore less than 24 hours before his Inverness outing.
The Swansea AC runner remained composed throughout the contest and showed few obvious signs of fatigue as sprinted through the finishing tape in 29.51 which is the third fastest winning time in the 13-year history of the 10km.
Fife AC’s Logan Rees was runner-up in 30:01 while Moray’s Kenny Wilson set a personal best 30:25 in third position.
Jenny Bannerman of Inverness Harriers, took the women’s race by the scruff of the neck and gave local fans plenty to cheer by securing an impressive victory in 35:15. Her official time, however, based on chip-timing as opposed to gun-timing used for determining the prize winners, was one second quicker, which wasa PB.
‘I am really pleased with that,’ said Jenny. ‘It is a couple of years since I ran my best so I am delighted to finally get a slight improvement. This is, however, a favourable course and the weather conditions were great. I did feel it was quite tough in the early stages but after 3.5km it’s pretty much downhill all the way.’
With thanks to Fraser Clyne
The East District Hill Running Champs were held on Saturday at the Morven Hill Race organised by Deeside Runners.
And there were victories for Hamish Battle (Metro Aberdeen) and Jennifer Glass (Deeside).
Full results can be seen online
(Note – the results under the section headed ‘Morven’ are overall, there is also a ‘Morven East District’ section)
With thanks to Helen Bonsor
There was another strong 10K performance by Sarah Inglis over the weekend in Canada.
The Lothian Running Club athlete, who will be based in North America for a couple of years, clocked a PB of 33.28 to win the Dempster 10k in Richmond in British Columbia – and pick-up the unique prize of a trip to Rio!
In Berlin, there was a PB of 2.22.09 in the marathon for Craig Ruddy of Inverclyde AC. That performances takes Craig to third in the Scottish rankings for 2017.