Our 2020 Lindsays National XC champions Mhairi Maclennan and Jamie Crowe are now part of our Marathon Project (photos by Bobby Gavin)
scottishathletics are pleased to confirm our Marathon Project has been extended – with an additional seven athletes now involved including recent marathon debutant Sarah Inglis.
We launched the programme in 2019 with highly regarded coach Robert Hawkins in the lead role.
The clear idea behind the Marathon Project was to try and develop athletes at that distance and improve standards to an extent to increasing the marathon cohort within the Team Scotland selected for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.
At that stage, 15 athletes were put on the programme and asked to work with their coaches towards Birmingham. The Team Scotland qualifying standards have now been set out as 2:15.12 for men and 2:36.49 for women.
The Marathon Project sits alongside five other athletes who receive support from other sources – Scottish National Record holders Callum Hawkins and Steph Twell as well as Robbie Simpson, Derek Hawkins, Steph Davis and Para World medallist, Derek Rae.
So there are effectively now 28 athletes receiving support with marathon improvement very much on their minds.
Sarah Inglis completes her first marathon in Arizona in December with 2:29.41 clocking (photo by Justin Britton)
Unfortunately, the cancellation of many road running events in 2020 due to Covid-19 significantly affected individual training and competition plans.
Taking the lack of races into consideration, scottishathletics extended the initial support period. And we are delighted to now have added seven more athletes to the original programme.
One of those is Canada-based Inglis who went within 11 seconds of the GB qualifying standard for the Olympics in Japan with a debut run of 2:29.41 in Arizona last month.
The seven new names on our Marathon Programme are:
Women: Sarah Inglis (Lothian RC), Mhairi Maclennan (Inverness Harriers)
Men: Adam Craig (Inverclyde AC), Jamie Crowe (Central AC), Sean Chalmers (Inverness Harriers), James Donald (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers), Jonny Glen (Inverclyde AC).
Robert Hawkins, flanked by Callum and Derek, leads our Marathon Project and is delighted to welcome new additions (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Robert Hawkins, Marathon Project Lead, said: ‘It’s good to see the Marathon Project adding more depth and trying to adjust according to very difficult circumstances over the past year – with very few quality races available.
‘The 2020 National XC champions, Jamie Crowe and Mhairi Maclennan, are now involved and the 2019 men’s champion, Adam Craig, stepped up to international level and made a solid debut at the World Half Marathon Champs in 2020 (62nd place in 63:12)
‘Sarah Inglis has been working towards the marathon for some time now and her debut in Arizona was promising – going very close to the Olympic marathon standard (2:29:30) with a run of 2:29:41.
‘So there are some encouraging signs and we would stress that we see the Marathon Project as a medium to long-term programme geared to hopefully raising the overall standard of marathon running by Scots over a few years.
‘The nature of the marathon and the training loads involved often means athletes develop at different rates so a flexible approach in terms of the help and support given is key.’
Mark Pollard, Interim Director of Performance, said: ‘The Marathon Project is an important part of our endurance strategy and Commonwealth Games planning.
‘Clearly road running has been very badly affected over the past 12 months or so by the global pandemic but there have still been a handful of good performances.
‘By extending the project we’ve been able to bring in some athletes who have already represented GB and NI in cross country or on the road.’
Adam Craig is among the additions to the Marathon Project (photo by Bobby Gavin)