Just what the doctor(s) ordered: NHS duo savour golds at 5k Champs

Saturday 4th May 2024

Scottish 5K Senior Champions Scott Stirling and Steph Pennycook (photo by Bobby Gavin)

*Pleased note we are still working on this story with additions being made through Saturday. Thanks for your patience. Report based off gun times.

Sri Chinmoy 5K 2024 (perfecttimingscotland.co.uk)

By Peter Jardine, Head of Communications

Is there a doctor in the house? There were two on the podium, as it happened, at the Scottish 5k Champs at Silverknowes.

Steph Pennycook and Scott Stirling made it a double for the medical profession in the race which always prescribes fast times.

Steph, working as a GP in Leeds, came back north to claim the Women’s gold in her Fife AC vest and clocked sub 16 minutes in the process.

Scott for his part won a richly-deserved Scottish road gold after three successive silvers in cross country over recent months with his ‘purple patch’ now running through from last summer and a 5000 title on the track at Grangemouth.

The GB international, who went to the World Cross in Serbia at the end of March, won by seven seconds which is a rare margin in this particular race.

His time was 14:17 and on a windy night at Silverknowes that was impressive as Finlay Ross-Davie, the U20 gold medallist, and Ben Sandilands fought for silver and bronze. The Edinburgh Uni athlete, who came through the ranks at Garscube, won the nod for second place.

‘It was a really good feeling to win that gold medal,’ said Scott.

‘I’ve enjoyed this event over the past few years and I had a good battle last year with Jamie Crowe and Kane Elliott when I took the silver.

‘So it was one I wanted to tick off and win the title. There were a lot of fast guys and Scottish medallists in that race, so to stretch out a bit when we turned back into the wind was a good feeling.

‘I’ve had success in recent months and the GB and Ni selection for the World Cross was very special. I’m no looking towards the Night of the 10ks on the track at Highgate and testing myself still further against some of the very best in Britain.’

Ross-Davie took the Men’s U20 gold with that run of 14:25.

In the Men’s team race, there was a superb win for Aberdeen AAC as they finished at five, seven and 15 thanks to the runs of Mohamed Warsame, Michael Ferguson and Adam Brown. Edinburgh Uni took the silvers and Corstorphine AAC were third.

‘We are on the rise,’ grinned Michael, former National champion at 1500m and recent Scottish Half Marathon medallist, with Aberdeen’s success even more impressive in the absence of Sean Chalmers.

Cambuslang Harriers won the Women’s team race with bronze medals for Fife AC (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Steph Pennycook revealed working with a strong group in Leeds has helped her own running, which she now combines with a key role in the NHS.

‘There is a strong running community in Leeds and it is good to be part of that,’ said the Fife AC gold medallist.

‘I run with Beth Potter, Sarah Potter and Steph Davis so there are a few Scots involved. Leeds as a club are big on events like the ERRA Road Relays and you are doing pretty well to make their first team for that.

‘I like coming back home when I can and it’s good to see the way Silverknowes has developed. I remember a number of years ago I was delighted to break 17 minutes so to get 15:55 and win is really pleasing.’

Mother of two Morag Millar rolled back the years with the Central AC taking an excellent silver medal.

Stefanie Tucker’s run to third was the platform for Cambuslang Harriers to win team golds in the Women’s race. Eve MacKinnon (13) and Holly Little (16) completed their scoring team and those golds will be special for Cambuslang as a club at this time.

Edinburgh AC landed silvers and Fife AC were third. Natasha Phillips came home in fifth place in 16:22 to take the Women’s U20 gold.

Photo by Bobby Gavin

With just over 500 finishers, the race set up by Adrian Stott, Sri Chinmoy and a team of volunteers and Officials once again did not disappoint.

There were 26 athletes sub 15 minutes this year – up on 24 last year. And 394 in total went sub 20 minutes (397) last year. These are superb times on a windy evening beside the Forth.

Stories lurked everywhere through the field.

Take the W60 and M60 category for example: Fiona Matheson won gold in the Women’s division with 18:39 as her husband, Grant, took silver in the Men’s division with 18:33. It was a good night for Falkirk Vics.

Move up to W70 and Sandra Branney of VP-Glasgow delivered a truly awesome run to clock 21:51 (gun time). We are not absolutely certain re World Best in the age group etc, but there’s no doubt it is in the ballpark.

In the M40 race, the top three athletes were covered by only four seconds as Stuart Livingston (Corstorphine) won in 15:09 from Gordon Robertson (Cambuslang) and Iain Whittaker (Edinburgh AC).

A few more category winners . . .

W40 Sara Green (Gala) 16:56

W50 Mary Senior (Garscube) 19:16

M40 Stuart Livingston (Corstorphine AAC) 15:09

M50 John Coyle (Garscube) 16:32

M60 Chris Upson (Cambuslang) 17:25

M70 Ed Norton (PH Racing) 20:22 

Fiona Matheson and Sandra Branney (photo by Bobby Gavin)


Tags: Aberdeen AAC, Cambuslang Harriers, Scott Stirling, Scottish5k Champs, Silverknowes, Steph Pennycook

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