Natasha Phillips on her way to Scottish 10-Mile glory at Strathclyde Park (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Teenager Natasha Phillips landed her second Senior Scottish title in a matter of weeks at Strathclyde Park – in her first ever 10-Mile race.
And Hamish Hickey turned the tables on Fraser Stewart to take gold in the Scottish 10-Mile Champs after a second exciting battle between the pair followed on from the Half Champs in Inverness.
The title successes for the Dundee Hawkhill and Central AC duo were among a number of top performances across the age groups in a capacity 500-strong field at the Tom Scott Road Races.
Perfect conditions – with very little wind on a cool April morning – led to fast times and no fewer than six men landed shares in our Road Race GP.
The Women’s top two, 18-year-old Natasha and Ginie Barrand of Metro Aberdeen, went into the all-time list for the Tom Scott course at No 2 and No 3 respectively.
Cambuslang Harriers surged to the Men’s team golds with three athletes in the top six while Fife AC were our Women’s champions.
Hickey had to settle for bronze in Inverness in March when Stewart took gold but earned revenge to win in 49:10 as the Cambuslang Harrier came home in 49:13. John Bell of Inverclyde AC completed the podium with an excellent run of 49:34.
‘It was a great race and we were close together almost all the way round,’ smiled Hamish.
‘Fraser dropped me around mile six and I thought that was it gone even at that stage. I clawed it back before the hill and with about a kilometre to go I thought I had a gap. But, No, he responded again.
‘After that we were each surging back and forth for the last half mile. I think it was maybe with only 200m left that I edged in front for the final straight.
‘I enjoyed it again today and the conditions were as near perfect as you can get in Scotland. I think you will see that in the times with six men under 51 minutes.’
Mike Christoforou in fourth and Ryan Thomson in sixth gave Cambuslang a straight-forward set of team golds.
Moray Road Runners collected the silvers for their first ever Scottish 10-Mile champs team medals and Central AC took the bronzes.
Hamish Hickey delivers a strong sprint finish success in the Scottish 10-Mile Champs (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Phillips and Barrand set fast times, too, at the front of the Women’s race. Again, there was an element of Inverness repeated here and this time Half champion Natasha prevailed again with 54:48 to 54:58 for the Metro Aberdeen athlete.
‘I’ve never run the 10-Mile distance before so it felt like new territory for me,’ said Natasha, with Naomi Lang (Carnethy HRC) taking the bronze in 56:47.
‘I did not think about times or pace too much. There were men there in the race to almost use as pacers, anyway, and I was usually aware of where Ginie was.
‘I’m thrilled to win another Senior gold and I am looking now at the 5K Champs at Silverknowes and the 10K Champs at Glasgow Green. I’m keen to see how I find the shorter races and I’m sure the competition will be strong.’
Edinburgh AC took the team golds thanks to a strong team effort from Sarah Brown in fifth, Rose Penfold in eighth and Hazel McCormick in 17th. Fife AC were second and Cambuslang were third.
In the Masters M40 categories, there was a double gold for Gala Harriers with victories for Sara Green and Darrell Hastie.
Mary Senior of Garscube Harriers won the W50 gold and Mark Gallacher of Cambuslang took the M50 gold.
Colin Feechan of Cambuslang won the M60 gold and PH Racing’s Ed Norton took the M70 gold. Erica Christie of Cambuslang took the W60 gold.
*Big thank you to race organiser Bobby Hill and all out host club, Law and District AAC, for helping make the 10-Mile Champs happen at the 59th Tom Scott Road Races.
Photos by Bobby Gavin