Pictured: Marco Consani, Debbie Martin-Consani and Sharon Law at the Euro 24-hour champs in Albi, France with Fionna Ross
FOUR Scots have been selected for the British team at the IAU World 24 Hour Championships – an impressive proportion of the 10-strong team.
The contest, which takes place in Belfast on 1 and 2 July, sees ultra-running husband and wife duo Marco Consani and Debbie Martin-Consani each take a place on the team, with James Stewart and Sharon Law making up the four – a well-earned first GB vest for James.
The contest brings a third GB vest for Marco, (Garscube Harriers). He ran 250.263 km when placing 8th at the European Championship in Albi, France in October 2016, helping GB to team silver medals. Has a 24 hour PB of 256.531km, set in Barcelona in 2014, which is currently 3rd on the all-time Scottish 24 hr rankings.
He said: “I am over the moon to be selected as part of what is a solid British team, and it’s good to see four home-based Scots in it. The standard at the World Championships is always high, but both men’s and women’s teams have a history of achieving team medals. Without being complacent, it will be hard work as always, but I hope we can get amongst the medals again.
“It is a big boost for ultra running , to have the event as a UK fixture. We hope the Scottish and British ultra community will take the opportunity to get behind the team and head for Belfast that weekend to offer support.”
The two female Scots on the team will both be winning their 5th GB vests – Sharon (North Ayrshire) has a 24hr best of 226.107km, set in the World Champs in Steenburgen Holland in 2013. A past ladies winner of the West Highland Way Race, she finished 7th in an international field at the Istria 100 mile trail run in Croatia last weekend.
Debbie (Garscube) finished as top Briton in 2015, finishing 12th out of the 123 females who competed at the contest in Turin. She has a 24hr PB of 221.714 km, set in the world champs in 2014 where she finished 8th.
James (VP Glasgow), pictured, a rising star of Scottish ultra running, takes a well-deserved first GB vest. From a casual runner a few years ago, in the last 12 months he has achieved a Scottish vest at 100km; won the 95-mile West Highland Way race in the 4th best time over the course, and placed 1st at the Self-Transcendence 24 hr track race at Tooting Bec, running 258.110 km. That distance puts him 2nd on the Scottish all-time 24 hr rankings. Early in February he won the classic Rocky Racoon 100 mile trail race in the USA, beating several accomplished Americans.
He said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be selected for GB. Since I ran my first 24 hour race at the Glenmore 24 on the trails and ran OK (143 miles!), I had a thought that I could go much further and challenge for the GB team. Winning at Tooting last year, got me the selection distance. Now I am totally looking forward to Belfast to see what I can do against the world’s best.”
Neil MacNicol (Beacon Runners), who was second to Stewart at Tooting Bec last Oct with 244.495 km, was very close to selection, and has been named as a “Non-travelling reserve ” in training.
With thanks to Adrian Stott