HOKA HIGHLAND FLING 2015
INC SCOTTISH ATHLETICS ULTRA TRAIL CHAMPIONSHIP
Matthew Lay from San Francisco won the Hoka Highland Fling in the annual ultra trail race from Milngavie to Tyndrum.
He completed the 53-mile route from Milngavie to Tyndrum in 7.04.07 – with the second fastest time recorded on the course .
Paul Navesey (Centurion Running Team) was a close second in 7.06.44 with Donnie Campbell (Edinburgh) 3rd in 7.17.28. Rachel Campbell (Edinburgh) with 8.42.59 was the first woman home – a month after marrying Donnie!
The second woman was Caroline McKay in 8.55.55. The Mull native, now resident in Edinburgh, claimed the scottishathletics title. Nicola Adams-Hendry, Garscube Harriers was third in 8.59.37
The men’s scottishathletics title winner was Eoin Lennon of Carnethy with his 7.29.31 taking fourth place in the race. The other men’s medals went to Carnethy’s Ross Christie, who was sixth in 7.44.18 and Grennock’s Kevin O’Donohue , seventh in 7.46.21
The early race leader was Casey Morgan (Shettleston). First through the Balmaha checkpoint (19 miles) and setting a sub seven-hour schedule, he was two minutes ahead of Paul Navesey (Crawley/Centurion) who in turn was around four minutes ahead of Laye.
But a knee issue forced Morgan to withdraw at Rowardennan (26 miles). This left Navesey in the lead, which he maintained all the way up the long loch Lomond side stretch to Beinglass.
Here, at 40 miles, he had over a six-minute lead from Laye. Over the next five miles through Glen Falloch, Laye slowly closed the gap as Navesey slowed, catching him just before Crianlarich.
And, although Navesey stayed in touch, Laye managed to hold on to his lead to the finish. The times of the first two were the second and third best times on the Fling course, behind Lee Kemp’s 7.02.50 from 2013.
Donnie Campbell, a week after racing the 130k Iznik uktra in Turkey, showed great powers of recovery to run his own race and finish comfortably in third.
The amiable American commented afterwards: ‘That is a beautiful course you have. It’s a bit more technical in places than some of our races in the States.
‘I was happy to let the guys go at the start and just run my own race. It is a superbly organised event and the support from all the marshals at the checkpoints was incredible. Thanks.’
American Matt Laye crosses the line first on Saturday
Rachel Campbell, Donnie’s wife of one month, made it a family double. At Rowardennan (26 miles), she held a three-minute lead over McKay 3.58.41 to 4.02.13, with Adams-Hendry a further minute back. By Beinglass (40 miles) she had stretched her lead over McKay to 10 minutes, with Adams-Hendry still just over a minute further back.
Campbell extended her lead slightly reaching Tyndrum 13 minutes clear of McKay.
The scottishathletics men’s veteran title was won by Neil McNicol (Beacon Runners) in a close finish from Carnegie’s Scott Bradley 7.57.27 to 7.57.54, with Central’s Bob Steele third.
Louise Burt (Fife AC) took the women’s vets title in 9.58.53 from Lothian’s Shona Young(10.36.10) and Portobello’s Sandra McDougall (10.39.32).
Race co-ordinator John Duncan, again put on a superb event, with a record 647 finishers reaching Tyndrum.
With thanks to Adrian Stott for this report and photos
Laye celebrates with race director John Duncan and event founder, Murdo McGregor