Ross Houston crosses the line in Perth (photo courtesy of Run and Become)
England’s Paul Navesey claimed the British 100km ultra distance crown with a time of 6.58.52 in Perth on Sunday to win the Anglo Celtic Plate.
His win helped England take the team title in the Men’s race and it was the same outcome in the Women’s 100K team event.
But there was notable Scottish success at 50K as Central AC athlete Ross Houston, who ran the marathon for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, took a Scottish record for the distance by two seconds to shatter a mark held by Don Ritchie for 31 years.
The 100K event involved running 42 laps of a 2.38k loop in the North Inches park in Perth on the banks of the River Tay. Welsh athlete Daniel Weston, Wrexham, took the silver medal with a new PB of 7:11:47 and Rob Turner, Edinburgh AC, took third in 7:17:11.
Turner’s time puts him in to 10th place on the Scottish all-time list with Marco Consani, fifth in the race in 7.18.31, now in 11th place.
‘That was a huge day of learning for me,’ said Navesey.
‘It was my first 100k and I was so proud to run in an England vest. Road racing is tough, but that distance was totally new to me. I enjoyed the whole experience but it did hurt at times!
‘It drew me in and roughed me up but I got what I went there for. So I am very pleased. I’ll let the legs forget about this one then I will put my lessons learned into practice.’
Scotland men’s 100K team (photo via Twitter)
England’s Melissa Venables took the women’s title with 8.15.54. The silver medal went to Edwina Sutton, Centurion Ultra Team, in 8.24.05 with Scotland’s Sophie Mullins from Fife AC in 8.30.22 ensuring the hosts were also represented on the podium. That was also a Scottish title win for Mullins.
In the 50K championship, which involved 21 laps, Houston ran a superbly even-paced race to record a new Scottish 50km road record of 2.56.37. In an exciting last couple of laps, Houston really had to dig deep to finish only two seconds inside the old record set by the legendary Ritchie way back in 1985.
Houston’s time puts him fifth on the GB all all-time road 50K rankings. His time is also well inside the individual Qualifying time of 3.05 set down by British Athletics for the IAU world 50K championships, being held in Doha in November.
Typically modest, Ross said afterwards: ‘I was aware from stats given to me by Adrian (race organiser Adrian Stott) what the various records were before the race.
‘However, during the run I could only remember the minutes. I could hear both Adrian and Ian (Ian Beattie, scottishathletics Chairman) shouting at me to just push it all the way on the last two laps. I really didn’t realise how close I actually was until I had finished.’
It was a clean sweep for Scotland in the other medals with Mark Pollard, InverclydeAC, claiming second with 3.07.17 and Houston’s training partner, Ross Milne (Corstorphine) taking the bronze in 3.18.13
In the Women’s 50K championship, Hannah Oldroyd of Saltaire Striders took the gold in 3.36.33 from Claire Singleton, Trawden AC, 3.43.44 with Fife AC’s Angela Howe taking the bronze in 3.59.05
Scotland Women’s 100K team (photo via Twitter)
With thanks to Adrian Stott