Britain’s top ultra runners will converge on Perth at Easter weekend in 2016 for the annual running of the Anglo Celtic Plate, the home countries distance international.
The ACP, as it is known, is the only regular annual race in Great Britain over the internationally recognised ultra distance of 100K (62.2 miles)
Perth’s North Inches park, with its 2.381K loop on the banks of the historic River Tay, will be the venue on Sunday 27 March with the adjoining Bells Sports Centre acting as HQ.
Teams from England, Wales and the home nation Scotland have already committed to the event, and it is hoped teams from Ireland will be enticed to compete as well. There is also a simultaneously run open race at both 100k and 50k.
It offers an opportunity for experienced and first time ultra runners to run one of the two classic recognised ultra distances, on an accurately certified course. Entries are now open at Entry Central with full details of the race at the event website.
The ACP was last held in Perth in 2013 when the champions were Ireland’s Dan Doherty who won in a time of 7:05:23 and Emily Gelder of Wales with 8:16:55.
Commonwealth Games marathon runner and 2015 ACP British Champion, Ross Houston, has indicated that if he is fit, he may seek to retain the title he won in a stunning debut time of 6.43:35 when the event was held in Wales.
The recognition of 50km now as a major annual international championship event will also add a bit of spice to the weekend. Both the 100km and 50km races will be key indicators for selection purposes for future Great Britain teams in 2016 and beyond.
scottishathletics chief executive Nigel Holl competed for Scotland in the ACP in 2004, recording 7:52:54.
‘Having personal memories of the Anglo Celtic Plate 100km event (many moons ago now), I’m delighted to see the event heading once again back to Perth and Scotland,’ he said.
‘The City of Perth has been a tremendous host for Ultra running events in the past, and with the ‘ultra scene’ so vibrant – especially in Scotland at the moment, this is an opportune time for the event to return.
‘With Scottish athletes such as Joasia Zakrzewski, Ellie Greenwood (both winners at the recent Scottish athletics awards for 2015) and Paul Giblin, Debbie Consani and Sharon Law all performing at world level, the potential is there for local stars to shine in Perth.
‘The mantra that Scottish athletics adopts across all disciplines is ‘Perform when it Counts’. Perth in 2016 will provide Scottish Ultra athletes the chance to perform at home in an iconic location – I look forward to seeing that.’
Race co-ordinator Adrian Stott said: ‘We are delighted that our small committed team in the Sri Chinmoy Athletic club have been asked to stage the British Championships again.
‘The Perth course has been proven to be conducive to good times and with the help of British Athletics and scottishahtletics, The Road Runners Club and the vibrant Scottish ultra running community I am sure together we will put on a great event.
‘We look forward to welcoming some of Britain’s top ultra runners to Perth again to contest the championships, and hope the open race will provide an opportunity for ultra runners from all over the country to run the classic 100km or 50km distances.
‘Regular marathon runners may well be tempted to try the shorter distance as a step up to ultras. The loop course at the North Inch also offers a great venue to watch an ultra race unfold.’
Further information on the event can be obtained from Adrian Stott Tarit@runandbecome.com
Information on selection for the Scotland 100K team for Perth, from firstname.lastname@example.org or Adrian Stott as above.
With thanks to Adrian Stott