Picture: Kyle Greig on the event’s last visit to Perth in 2019. By Steve Adam
By Adrian Stott
International ultra running is heading to Scotland this weekend with the annual 100km Home International event the Anglo Celtic Plate, to be staged in Perth.
The event on Sunday will feature both the British and Scottish 100km road championships for 2022. There is an accompanying 50km distance which incorporates the Scottish 50km road champs for 2022. There are also open races at both distances.
The races take place on a traffic-free loop course at the North Inch park on the banks of the River Tay. The loop is measured at 2.381km and is known to produce some fast times.
Five men and four women have been selected for Scotland – always very competitive in this event. As usual this year’s race also features teams from England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
The Scottish men’s team features Chris Richardson, Jason Kelly, Kyle Greig, Rob Turner, and John Hammond.
The trio from Metro Aberdeen RC – Chris, Jason and Kyle – were team winners when the Anglo Celtic Plate was held in Ireland in August 2021, along with Rob (Musselburgh & District). Rob is also an experienced GB 100km international – the British 100km champion in 2018 and has also been on the podium in two previous UK championships, 2016 and 2019. John (PH Racing Club) is previous winner of both the 53 mile Highland Fling and 43 mile Devil of the Highlands trail races. With a marathon PB of 2:34:13, he has also shown he can adapt to the roads too.
The Scottish women’s team comprises Jo Murphy, Lynne Allen, Alison McGill and Jo Newens.
Fifer, Jo Murphy, is the defending GB and Scottish 100km Champion from 2021. Her time of 7:50:58, as well as being the leading GB women’s time at 100km for 2021, ranked her 10th in the World 100km rankings for 2021.
Lynne (Kirkintilloch Olympians) is a former West Highland Way winner – she is also a Scottish 100km international, as is Alison (Fife AC), the latter being also a former Scottish Marathon Champion (Stirling 2019). Jo Newens (Road Runners Club), is a GB 24 hour squad runner.
Scotland look set to challenge England for the team competition in both men’s and women’s events.
The England teams have a mix of experience and first time 100k runners. They are led by the in form Ollie Garrod (South London Harriers) recent winner of the Barry 40 race and the very experienced Samantha (Sam) Amend. Like Murphy, Amend is a former British 100km champion and international. She finished 2nd behind Murphy in the 2021 100km champs and last year also broke Eleanor Robinson’s long standing British 100 mile record.
An added incentive for the leading runners is possible GB selection for the World 100km Championship being held in Berlin in August. The winners in the men’s and women’s 100km events, subject to them achieving the qualifying standards laid down by UKA of 6:45.00 for men and 7:55.00 for women will gain automatic selection. Other fast times will put athletes in contention too.
The Perth event is being co-ordinated by Adrian Stott (pictured in the tweet below) and the Sri Chinmoy AC with help from scottishathletics. Volunteer support as usual, from the Scottish ultra running community, will ensure the event works well on the day.
— PerthshireAdvertiser (@The_PA) March 31, 2022
The 100km race starts at 7am with leading men expecting to be around 7 hours and the leading women around 8 hours. The 50km race starts at 10am.
Scottish 100km runners compete for the Don Ritchie Cup.
To honour Scotland’s pioneering ultra distance record holder, who passed away in June 2018, Sri Chinmoy AC, the organisers of the Perth event, together with scottishathletics, will once again present the Don Ritchie Cup.
Don, in an illustrious career spanning over 20 years at the top level in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, set Scottish, GB and world records at all the classic ultra distances from 30 miles through 50 miles and 100km up to 100 miles. Several of these records still stand today. He was inducted into the scottishathletics Hall of Fame in 2018.
This will be the third year in which trophies are awarded to the Scottish Men’s and Women’s 100km champions.
Track & Field