Few events capture the imagination of the endurance community in Scotland quite like the Scottish 5K Champs.
Arguably only that anticipation ahead of the race is matched in the countdown to the Lindsays National XC in February.
Come the spring and Silverknowes is on minds and lips and that was emphasised by a remarkable response when entries opened only a few weeks ago.
Within a period of less than 24 hours, more than 500 places were snapped up and the quality and depth across our clubs will surely be in evidence once again tomorrow evening.
The field now sits at over 650 names and we would ask competing athletes to use their common sense when lining up on the start-line.
Medals are up for grabs for men and for women as well as teams. In an individual sense, there are also U20 medals and Masters medals from V40 in ten-year age bands.
These are the Scottish championship medals (rather than the prizes from the Sri Chinmoy Race itself – which invariably includes pineapples!)
Annabel Simpson took gold in the Women’s race last year with the presentation made by Ian Beattie (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Tipping the podium places for Silverknowes is a debate which could run and run but fast times are usual here unless there are strong winds on the Forth coastline (which takes in part (but not all) of the Edinburgh parkrun course).
Hamish Hickey of Central AC and Natasha Phillips of Dundee Hawkhill Harriers were our two gold medallists in the Scottish 10-Mile Champs at the start of April. Can they make the top three again this time?
Three of the top four from the Scottish 10,000m Champs Men’s race last weekend – Jamie Burns (Shettleston), Michael Ferguson (Aberdeen) and Ryan Thomson (Cambuslang) – are racing as well as two athletes who performed well over 5000m on the track last weekend down south – Scott Stirling and Kane Elliott, both of Falkirk Victoria Harriers.
Falkirk could have a medal chance if those two perform well and Fife AC will be represented by Paralympic duo, Derek Rae and Owen Miller.
That list is by no means exhaustive, of course, and in the Women’s race we could see prominent names like Jenny Bannerman, Nynke Mulholland, Steph Tucker, Jennifer Wetton, Millie McClelland-Brooks, Caitlyn Heggie and a posse of Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds athletes.
Note that Millie and Caitlyn are running as U17 athletes and, in this event, are not eligible for U20 medals or for team outcomes.
Photo by Bobby Gavin
The nature of the race is such that many athletes in the field are carried to good times and PB performances.
At Masters level, we are fortunate to have the likes of Alastair Walker (M65 Teviotdale Harriers) and Fiona Matheson (W60 Falkirk Victoria Harriers) running times which are special in a global context.
If conditions are benign, both will no doubt have an eye on their current age group bests – Alastair 16:35 (chip) and Fiona at 18:43.
The race starts at 7.30pm and organiser Adrian Stott is urging all attending to car share if possible.
There will also be recyclable cups available after the race for water with athletes asked to bring their own water-bottle.
*Thank you to race organiser Adrian Stott, Sri Chinmoy, our Endurance Officials and all the volunteers on our Road Running and Cross Country Commission.
Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC) 14:17 in 2015
Morag Millar (Central AC) 15:49 in 2019
In 2022, the Men’s and Women’s race had separate starts but we are back to one race this year (photos by Bobby Gavin)