Let’s celebrate . . . Chris Thompson crosses the line last year in Glasgow to win the Great Scottish Run for the second year in a row (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Chris Thompson aims aim to become the first British athlete to win three Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run titles when he takes to the streets of Glasgow on Sunday morning.
The English athlete’s winning streak started in 2017 when he saw off the challenge of Callum Hawkins in the high-quality half marathon and he then beat Commonwealth champion Mike Shelley a year ago to seal back-to-back victories.
Sunday’s event through the streets of Glasgow also features the Scottish Half Marathon Championships with individual and team medals up for grabs for those from our clubs.
It’s often hard to assess prospects in advance but among those who could be in contention for Scottish medals could be Sean Fontana, Cameron Wright, Weynay Ghebreselassie, Ben Johnson, Kenny Wilson, Alisdair McLeod, Fraser Stewart and Calum McKenzie.
On the women’s side, in terms of Scots the start-lists including Annabel Simpson, Laura Bowman, Katie White, Avril Mason and Toni McIntosh.
It’s the final race in our Scottish Road Race Grand Prix for 2019 with shares to be allocated if certain times are met.
Sean Fontana of Inverclyde AC chats with Bryan Burnett prior to last year’s race
Thompson, who won last weekend’s Simplyhealth Great East Run half marathon in Ipswich, is targeting a unique treble in Scotland on a course he knows extremely well.
‘I’m looking forward to defending my title up in Glasgow,’ said Chris.
‘No Briton has won it three times in a row so it would be nice to get that record. I know the course well now so hopefully that’ll give me an edge, and what I also know is that the support on the streets will be as good as ever.
“Glaswegians really know their sport and they always turn out in force to support the athletes, which makes this race a special one to come back to.’
The Briton is going to need to lean on his experience as he faces off against strong competition, with Kenyans Stephen Kiprop, Micah Kogo and Uganda’s Timothy Torotich also announced for Scotland’s biggest running event. New Zealand’s Zane Robertson will also be in contention to remove Thompson from the throne.
Aged 20, Kiprop is something of a sensation having already taken some major scalps in his fledgling international career. In February he became the fastest teenager over the half marathon and the ninth fastest 13.1 mile time in history when he clocked 58.42 on his way to winning the Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) race, billed as the fastest half marathon in the world.
Sammi Kinghorn will compete once again on the streets of Glasgow (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Paralympian Derek Rae races one week on after a half marathon win in Japan while the wheelchair races feature Sammi Kinghorn as well as Sean Frame, Kyle Brotherton and Ben Rowlings.
In the women’s race, Edith Chelimo will be the one to watch in a race won last year by Mare Dibaba. The Kenyan raced to victory in last year’s Cardiff Half Marathon in 65.52 which placed her in the top ten all-time half marathon rankings.
Compatriot Nancy Kiprop will provide competition. The veteran athlete, 40, will arrive in Glasgow in good form having won the Vienna Marathon this year.
Ethiopia’s Askale Merachi, having won the LA Marathon earlier this year will also be challenging for honours in the famous race which will once again be broadcast live.
The 10K and Half Marathon events will be streamed live from 11.15-13.15 on the BBC Sport Website. The whole weekend will be covered in a highlights programme on Monday 30 September at 7pm on BBC Scotland.
Shettleston’s Avril Mason on her way to Scottish Half Marathon Masters gold last year in Glasgow (photo by Bobby Gavin)