George sets V80 World best; New Year sprint; Eilish wins in New York

Friday 3rd January 2020

Photo by Bob Marshall

Portobello Promathon, Edinburgh, January 1

Portobello Results

Fife AC veteran George Black marked the start of 2020 with a World age group best performance at the Portobello Promathon.

The popular road race is over the four mile distance and Black came home in a remarkable time of 30:10, thus improving on the M80 World best which is listed at 37:45 on the ARRS site.

Adrian Stott has reported that George, who only started running in his 40s, plans to take on the Scottish 5k Champs in May and the British Masters 10k.

Triathlete Grant Sheldon and Corstorphine’s Tom Martyn both clocked 18:46, with Cambuslang Harrier Sheldon getting the nod to retain his title.

Fife’s Annabel Simpson won the women’s race in 21:30 ahead of Jill Stephen of Hunters Bog Trotters (22:39).

Media coverage in The National


Photo by Stewart Attwood

Scotsman report

New Year Sprint, Musselburgh, January 1

Ian Horsburgh’s wife didn’t want him to run the New Year Sprint, but she’ll be glad he didn’t listen as the entire family is soon going to Disneyland Paris to celebrate dad’s famous victory at Musselburgh racecourse.

The Central AC athlete made it third time lucky in the 110m handicap following a fifth and an eighth in two previous finals in the late 1990s, and it was the perfect early birthday present as he turns 42 next Friday. He also picked up the Eric Liddell Trophy plus a cheque for £5,000.

Starting off 10.25m, the title favourite caught club-mate Cameron Smith early on and held off Lasswade teenager Murray Blair and Edinburgh’s Stacey Downie to break the tape first in 11.81secs.

‘I’ve always wanted to win this!’ he admitted. ‘My wife didn’t want me to run because she’s seen me have disappointments before, but I felt I had a big chance this year. Thank you to Billy Duff who told me to enter and train hard.

‘I knew I was catching Cameron and I stayed relaxed for the rest of the race, but even when I crossed the line I wasn’t sure I’d won it until I heard my name called.

‘Lane four is a good lane because a lot of previous winners have been in lane four, but my biggest worry was Murray Blair. He beat me in a race last summer, and I was determined not to let him beat me again! I dipped at the finish.

‘I ran really well as a junior, especially at 400m, but I then had injuries and didn’t progress. I had 13 years off and had children, but I found some energy to train again when the kids started sleeping. I wanted to let them see me run rather than telling them about it. I think we’ll be going to Disneyland Paris as a celebration.’

Blair took second place a metre back in 11.91.


NYRR Midnight Run, New York, December 31

Britain’s European 5000m silver medallist Eilish McColgan enjoyed a winning start to 2020 as she claimed victory in the 4-mile NYRR Midnight Run.

Clocking 20:50, the Scot finished ahead of the returning Mary Cain in 21:43, while her fellow American Lindsay Crevoiserat was third in 23:20.

McColgan’s mark broke the course record, improving on the 20:51 run by Desiree Linden in 2010.

‘The Midnight Run in New York was a great way to kick off my 2020 year. It was a pretty tough course around Central Park but really good fun,’ McColgan told AW.

‘My family are over in America for two weeks so we were doing a lot of sightseeing, but I managed to persuade two of my siblings to run the race with me! Definitely not ideal race preparation – climbing up the Statue of Liberty – but it was a great way to start the new year and split up our family holiday.’



Tags: Eilish McColgan, Fife AC, George Black, Ian Horsburgh, New Year Sprint, New York, Portobello Promathon

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