Callum Hawkins, Tewolde Mengisteab, Andrew Butchart and Luke Traynor in leading pack at Leeds – photo credit SportCam
Scottish athletes descended on Yorkshire for the Leeds Abbey Dash 10K on Sunday – and totally dominated the podium.
Andrew Butchart and Steph Twell posted victories with superb runs of 29.17 and 32.28 respectively (chip times used throughout this report) with Scotland winning the women’s team prize and finishing third in the men’s.
Callum Hawkins took second place to Central AC athlete Butchart while in the women’s it was a Scottish 1-2-3 with second place for Eilish McColgan, in her first serious attempt at the 10K distance, and third for Rhona Auckland, who notched a huge road 10K PB at 33.03 – a second behind Eilish.
With the likes of Tewolde Mengisteab (8th, 29.40) and Luke Traynor (25th, 30.09) in fine form, as well, and Scottish women taking five places in the top 10 – Rosie Smith at 8th and Laura Whittle at 10th – it really was a great day for those with the sport in Scotland at heart.
The British rankings for 2014 will reflect that with Butchart surprised and delighted to be above Andy Vernon and Twell second only to Gemma Steele, who has had fine year.
‘I’m thrilled to have won it because there was a decent field and it is always good to go down to England and win.
‘I ran a PB and 30 minutes dead winning the Scottish title at Stirling a couple of months back and was hoping for I could take a slice of it at Leeds. But I am pretty pleased with 29.17.
‘It was not until I was standing on the start-line and looking around that I realised the quality in the field. And, even then, it was a little slow for the first 5K with quite a big pack of us going through in 15.05 I believe.
‘Myself, Callum and Phil Hurst pushed on from there and made a bit of a break. It was a good day for the Scots overall and it was brilliant to have so many of us on the podium.
‘I am working part-time now rather than full-time and it is helping me train better and recover better. I want to thank Derek Easton, my coach, and my training group for their help in recent week and months – whatever we’re doing it is working! I just want to try and maintain it now for Liverpool and the Euro Cross trial on November 29.’
Hawkins clocked 29.21 (chip time) to better his 2013 performance in Leeds when he finished third while Scotland team-mate Traynor also recorded a PB at 30.09. Andrew Douglas, Craig Ruddy and Neil Renault were also in good form and went sub 30.30.
Auckland took an amazing 85 seconds off her 10K PB while McColgan’s only 10K previously had been a run for charity in Manchester in 38 minutes back in 2012.
Eilish tweeted later: ‘First ever 10K done! Second place – 33.02. Nowhere near as bad as I imagined. I’m alive.’
McColgan is now hoping to compete in the British Cross Challenge Euro trial at Liverpool on November 29.