Steph Pennycook finished fourth at Falkirk in February on a day when Fife AC won the Women’s team golds in the Lindsays National XC (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Steph Pennycook took time out from helping the fight against coronavirus in a Leeds hospital to clock the best distance in the women’s division of the latest scottishathletics Virtual Challenges.
The Scotland international qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University last summer and admitted the past few weeks in her first post have been ‘pretty challenging’ treating Covid-19 patients in Yorkshire.
Running has been a release for Pennycook and she came up with a distance of 4.56k in the 15-Minute Virtual Challenge set up by scottishathletics to help athletes maintain fitness and focus via solo runs, while observing social distancing guidelines.
In total, more than 1100 athletes took part with the field including GB international and Glasgow 2014 4x400m Relay runner, Grant Plenderleith, and Jayne Nisbet – who competed in the high jump at Hampden in the 2014 Commonwealths.
Pennycook for her part has represented Scotland in recent years in road, cross country and track but work commitments have restricted her racing since moving to Leeds.
‘I am working and living in Leeds at the moment after moving south in July 219 when I had graduated from Edinburgh University,’ said the Fife AC athlete, who hails from Kirkcaldy.
‘I work at St James’ University Hospital and I am a year one doctor currently on elderly medicine.
Steph leads Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds to victory at the Lindsays XC Relays back in October 2018 (photo by Bobby Gavin)
‘I have been working on coronavirus wards since the start of the pandemic.
‘It has been okay and I think Leeds was maybe a couple of weeks behind London in terms of peak cases – so the hospital was able to prepare well with managing discharges to make more beds available.
‘So, at least at the beginning, it was maybe less busy than I had anticipated.
‘But it has still been a pretty challenging month since then and I’ve been very grateful that I’ve been able to get out and run. I have actually been training well although of course everything is on your own.
‘I’ve enjoyed running trails around Leeds and the scottishathletics Virtual Challenge was another good way to have a little focus and something to aim at for the past fortnight.’
Steph had previously recorded the quickest 5k leg in the scottishathletics Virtual Relays with a solo run of 16.33.
Don’t know about you but isn’t running just 10x more enjoyable at the moment? https://t.co/wr3FujyrhV
— Steph Pennycook (@Spennycoook) April 28, 2020