Action from the busy start-line at Silverknowes a couple of years ago (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Coveted Scottish national medals are up for grabs on Friday night at Silverknowes in Edinburgh – as Run and Become host the popular Scottish 5K Champs.
And many in the field will also be chasing PB performances on a course which, wind and weather permitting, has a great reputation for helping deliver the fast times craved.
The 2017 edition on the Forth coastline firmly maintained that reputation. With record entry numbers hitting the 600 capacity, there were no fewer than 318 athletes who raced under the 20-minute barrier for 5K (from 480 finishers.)
To make the top 100 last year, an athlete had to be quicker than 16.52 and there were 266 finishers under the 19-minute mark!
Kris Jones and Annabel Simpson moved from track to tarmac as they claimed the gold medals – just as they did exactly a week earlier in the 10,000m Champs at the 2017 GAA Miler Meet in Glasgow.
At Silverknowes, Jones clocked 14.31 to win by nine seconds from Jamie Crowe of Central AC and triathlete Marc Austin, who of course recently won bronze at Gold Coast 2018.
Simpson was at 16.43 for an excellent effort in the conditions as she won it from Edinburgh AC’s Rebecca Burns and Gillian Black (VP-Glasgow) in 17.07.
As it happens, none of the three men’s medallists from last year are on the start-list for Friday night so it will be a completely different podium this time.
It would be no surprise to see Lachlan Oates of Shettleston and Logan Rees of Fife AC, who went 1-2 in the 10,000m Champs last month, among the contenders again as well as Alastair Hay of Central AC.
Simpson is due to race to try and defend her title, though, while the likes of Jo Williams of Lothian RC, Jenny Bannerman of Inverness and Anna Macfadyen of Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds could challenge.
Team medals are on offer at Senior and U20 level. It should be stressed that while U17 athletes are eligible for Run and Become prizes on the night they cannot win scottishathletics medals or count towards the U20 team race. Cera Gemmell, the Team East Lothian U17, is likely to be prominent after a great win at the London Mini Marathon.
Defending women’s champion, Annabel Simpson (photo by Steve Adam)
For those competing or coming along to watch on Friday, here are a few more details from the race organsiers . . .
*Start/Finish/Registration on Silverknowes Esplanade by the Boardwalk Beach Café, below Marine Drive. POST CODE EH4 5ES
*Plenty but not infinite parking at roadside on Marine Drive and Silverknowes Road.
*Beach Café open for hot and cold drinks and food
*Tented accommodation for changing and Baggage storage. Sorry there are no showers.
*Wider chip timing start mat. Finish line clock is a guide and is rarely exactly in sync with the chip time.
*Results Stuweb. Posted online soon after race as possible.
*Follow scottishathletics Facebook and Twitter feeds for news and results. On Twitter please use the hashtag #SAL5k