Luke Traynor and Fiona Matheson claimed the first Scottish track titles of Commonwealth Games year in a successful GAA Miler Meet ‘Night of the 10ks’ at Hutchesons’ Grammar.
Giffnock North athlete Traynor recorded a PB of 30.13 to win the men’s A race and secure a £100 ‘bounty’ for breaking 31 minutes on a track where he has recently been coaching youngsters in an Easter holiday programme.
For evergreen veteran Matheson it was a special way to celebrate her 53rd birthday as Fiona took full advantage of Hayley Haining’s absence to see off the lingering challenge of Kara Tait during the final 1k to win in 36.00.
No fewer than 35 athletes finished on a wet and windy April night on the city’s south side with good pace-making appreciated by all athletes and coaches involved.
Now Saturday 17 May should be marked in diaries and competition plans as the next Miler Meet occasion ñ with races over 5000m and 1500m at the same Hutchesons’ venue.
‘I had to basically write off 2013 because of a foot injury which left me in a moon boot for five months,’ said Traynor, who is coached by Dudley Walker.
‘It has been hard work but weare getting back now to where I was in terms of training and 65-mile weeks. I wanted to get under 30 minutes tonight but it wasn’t to be as it happened.
‘It was a bit windy and I had to do the second-half on my own so I am reasonably pleased with the PB and the prize-money.
‘We’re putting the focus now on 1500m and 5000m on the track and I’d hope to have a good summer at those distances.’
Edinburgh’s Neil Renault finished second to Luke in 30.58 with Ronhill Cambuslang’s Stuart Gibson coming through for third in 31.07.
Matheson and Tait were grateful for the pace-making which was designed to push them towards 36 minutes with Jenny Maclean finishing third in the women’s race in 37.31.
Seven women took part, in all, and even with a few call-offs the overall participation was greater than for any 10,000m track events in Scotland for many years and around 30 PBs which was excellent albeit a number of people were attempting the distance for the first time on the track.
‘I think a few people are scared of 10,000m on the track because they are only used to doing them on the roads,’ said Matheson.
‘I find it can help you for the road. You can determine your pace and distance on the track better. I think it is well worth having event and trying to improve the depth.
‘I’ve been assessing things a bit over the past few weeks since the World Masters and I’m coming to the view that I prefer this kind of distance to 1500m and 3000m.
‘I’ve plenty of goals still in athletics ñ I am looking at V55 times and working out where I will have to be in a couple of years.’
Fiona, in that marvellous matter-of-fact manner, then revealed she is introducing strength and condition ‘core’ work into her training plan and seeking advice on diet and nutrition.
‘I’ve been a bit lax over the years about core and about what, exactly, I should be eating. So I am going to do some gym work and make diet changes.’
East Kilbride’s Vincent Hastings won the C race in 35.20 while the top three in the B race was as follows: 1st Barney Phillips (Lasswade) 32.27 2nd Ciaran Dougherty (Bellahouston RR) 33.13 3rd Bryan Clark (Corstorphine) 33.35.
*Luke Traynor pictured by Bobby Gavin of http://www.thatonemoment.co.uk/