Inverness Half men’s medallists: Tewolde Mengisteab, Michael Crawley and John Newsom – photo by Paul Campbell
Tewolde Mengisteab of Shettleston Harriers defeated a field of 1820 runners to win the Inverness Half Marathon after a thrilling battle with Corstorphine AAC’s Michael Crawley over the final mile.
There had been little to choose between the two rivals throughout the contest although Crawley held a narrow lead going into the last mile.
Mengisteab, who has represented Scotland in the past couple of years, then powered ahead and went on to win the top prize in 66.48 with Crawley just seven seconds behind. The result made up for the disappointment Mengisteab felt on his previous visit to the race, in 2012, when he finished second behind Ethiopian runner Yared Hagos.
Tewolde said: ‘I am very pleased to win after being runner-up three years ago. The conditions were very hard today because I felt it to be cold and windy.
‘I am pleased with the time. It was a good race with Michael. He ran very strongly so I had to be at my best to win.’
Crawley was disappointed not to win but felt satisfied with his performance.
‘I was in front with just over half a mile to go but Tewolde produced a tremendous turn of pace and I just couldn’t respond to it at all,’ said Michael. ‘I’m happy enough as it’s all part of my preparations for the Manchester marathon in April.’
John Newsom, who was runner-up last year, had to settle for third position in 70.51. The Nairn-based athlete wasn’t too pleased with his performance although he did have the consolation of collecting the Graeme Moffat Memorial Quaich which is awarded to the first member of Inverness Harriers to complete the race.
Newsom also led Inverness Harriers to the men’s team prize with backing from Graham Bee and over-40 age group winner Paul Millar.
Shona McIntosh (Hunters Bog Trotters) emerged triumphant at the end of an exciting women’s race in which she recorded 76.45 to defeat Scottish marathon champion Jenn Wetton (Central AC) by 20 seconds to win for the second time in seven years.
Shona said: ‘It was a good race. I got away from Jenn after about four miles but I never had much of a lead. She kept chasing me and I think that’s what spurred me on to a decent time.
‘I was only a few seconds outside my best but I wouldn’t even have been close to that if Jenn hadn’t been there. ‘This is the fourth time I’ve run in the race. I won it when I was a student back in 2008 so it’s good to do it again. I enjoyed it.’
Megan Crawford (Fife AC), who won the Loch Ness marathon in 2013, finished third 79.53 while fourth-placed Sarah Liebnitz recorded 82.54to lead Inverness Harriers to the women’s team prize with backing from Helen Gertig and Emily Tomlin.
Stephen Mackay (Inverness Harriers) finished ahead of a field of 750 to win the accompanying 5Km fun run in 15.49. Nairn’s Mary Macintosh led home the women’s field in a personal best time of 19.11.
The Beach Park at Irvine was once again the venue for the Scottish Schools XC event as Secondary School pupils fought out podium places in four age groups.
Taking the eldest first, there were Group A title wins for Jack Kerr of Beaconhurst and Annabel Simpson of Kilgraston School. The team prizes went to Peebles HS in the boys and Robert Gordon’s College in the girls.
Erin Wallace of Eastwood High School won the Group B girls title and Tristan Rees of St Leonard’s School took the boys gold. Gryffe High won the girls team prize and Jordanhill the boys. Michael Simpson of Park Mains and Eloise Walker of Edinburgh Academy were Group C winners with the team prizes headed for Madras College and Hutchesons Grammar.
Alisha Sivell of Gryffe triumphed in the Group D girls race, with David McNair of Castlehead the boys wnner. Peebles High School took the girls team title and Dingwall Academy team golds in Group D boys.
Selections for the SIAB cross country international in Dublin are made off the results in Irvine.
Darren Ritchie coaching in Orkney
There was plenty of coaching education activity taking place over the weekend with scottishathletics Coach Mentors visiting clubs the length and breadth of the country.
Hugh Murray is our Throws Coach Mentor and he was in East Kilbride on Saturday to deliver a throws workshop for athletes and coaches at Whitemoss AAC. Hugh has made previous visits to whitemoess and this time the focus was on shot putt.
Jumps Mentor Darren Ritchie was further afield, as he headed to Orkney to help deliver sessions to coaches and athletes there. Darren was there as part of the Orkney Coaching Conference.
Clubs and coaches, remember, can receive free visits from our mentors across the various event groups. There’s more information on this website.
To book a visit from a Coach Mentor please email email@example.com
Scottish athletes were among those competing at the British Masters Indoors event which was staged at Lee Valley in London over the weekend.
Full results are now available via the Power of 10 website
Doubtless a few Scots in there performed well and we aware of the following medals: Jim Smith, Motherwell AC, M70 400m bronze, 200m gold; Alan Robertson, Motherwell AC, M35 LJ bronze. Clare Barr, another Motherwell athlete, took bronze in the V45 800m.