Scotland teams head for the Armagh Road Races this week keen to put markers down in what is always a terrific event.
There’s been no shortage of success for us to celebrate in recent years, in fact, and hopefully the 2020 version on Thursday evening will be no different.
Last year, Steph Twell of Kilbarchan AAC led Scotland to victory in the Women’s team as she won with a Course Record of 8.59 in the 3k event. Adam Craig of Inverclyde was second in the 5k race with a run of 13.45.
Eight athletes will Joma vests to represent Scotland over two distances and many more Scots will be involved after entering individually or via their club.
Men run the 5k road race and women compete over the 3k distance in a race which generates a great atmosphere around the streets of Armagh.
Here are the Scotland teams:
Jamie Crowe (Central AC), Cameron Strachan (Metro Aberdeen), Michael Christoforou (Edinburgh AC); James Donald (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers).
Jenny Selman (Fife AC), Annabel Simpson (Fife AC), Kerry MacAngus (Kilbarchan AAC); Cera Gemmell (Team East Lothian)
For Fife AC’s Annabel Simpson is a first experience of Armagh – and she thanked her tutors at Glasgow University for time off from her studies to compete.
‘I am so excited about this race,’ said Annabel, who made the first of a number of Scotland appearances some years ago on the road at the London Mini Marathon.
‘I’ve a few friends who have been there in the past like Steph Pennycook and some of the boys I train with in Glasgow.
‘It has been a problem for me in the past in terms of my university course and it being a midweek. That’s ensured I’ve not been before.
‘But, this year, I have a very understanding course supervisor who is willing to let me go over to Armagh and is actually excited about me competing. So I’m buzzing myself and can’t wait for Thursday.’
Edinburgh AC’s Mike Christoforou has raced in Armagh before but wins his first Scotland vest this week after being cleared for eligibility some time ago on residency grounds.
‘If you are wondering about the name, then it is Greek-Cypriot historically and that’s where it comes from,’ he said.
‘I’ve been in Scotland five years and winning a vest has been a target ever since the eligibility was sorted out via residency. Living, working and running in Scotland are things I love.
‘Armagh is always a top field with a lot of fast guys there so I really am looking to do well and do the Scotland vest justice.’