Kenny Wilson wins at Balmoral last year – but the 5k field looks strong for this weekend’s event
Scotland international Kenny Wilson is under no illusions as to just how hard it will be for him to retain his title – and his course record – in the ConocoPhillips 5km at Balmoral Castle on Saturday.
The Moray athlete has dominated the event for the past three years, winning in fine style on each occasion and setting a course record time of 14.42 some 12 months ago to clip four secs off the previous best set by future Olympian Andrew Butchart (Central AC) in 20013.
The 5km is likely to be one of the highlights of the two-day Run Balmoral meeting which has attracted more than 5,000 participants of all ages for the programme of eight races.
It looks like the best field assembled for many years with Wilson facing a strong challenge from fellow Scotland internationals, Ali Hay (Central AC), Cameron Strachan (Metro Aberdeen) and Hamish Hickey (Ross County AC).
‘It’s going to be tough,’ said Kenny. ‘I could break my own course record and not win the race. I’m sure one of us will get the record if conditions are decent.
‘This is always one of the highlights of my year and I’m looking forward to the challenge again. There’s not much between us so it should be an exciting battle.’
With thanks to Fraser Clyne
Kyle Greig wins the Highland Fling race last year
This weekend around 800 runners will toe the line in Milngavie to run 53 miles along the West Highland Way, before hitting the Highland Fling’s red carpet finish in Tyndrum.
As always the race attracts a wide breadth of athlete, from ultra veterans to debutants, and speedy marathon and hill runners moving up to ultra distance.
As host to the 2019 Scottish Ultra Trail Championships – and arguably the UK’s biggest and most competitive ultra distance event – another thrilling race is expected in this the 14th year of the event.
The Highland Fling pride themselves in the inclusivity of the event. This year the youngest starter is Jacob Hiom from Canada who has just recently turned 20, and the eldest will be Gordon Hill, who is a sprightly 75 years old.
Read the preview on the Highland Fling event website