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Crawford makes a record breaking debut at Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

by Press Release
Monday 30th September 2013

Race report: Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Baxters River Ness 10k - September 29, 2013

Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

Megan Crawford took full advantage of perfect running conditions to set a new women's course record at the Baxters Loch Ness marathon on her debut at the distance while Manchester-based Kenyan Tarus Elly was an impressive winner of the men's race in what was also his first attempt at the event.

Kenyan Tarus Elly was in commanding form as he cruised to an impressive victory ahead in yesterday's Baxters Loch Ness marathon. The Manchester-based athlete, who comes originally from the western Kenyan village of Eldoret which has produced so many world class distance runners over the years, was making his marathon debut.

The 28 year-old never looked to be in any danger of losing and although his winning time of 2hr 27min 21sec was more than seven minutes outside the course record set by his compatriot Simon Tonui in 2009, Elly looked as though he is capable of running faster in the future.

He said: "I was very cautious at the start because it was my first marathon. But after six miles I was feeling good and I thought that the other guys wouldn't be able to stay with me. I began to pull away and ran the rest of the race on my own. Before the start I was looking for a time of between 2:28 and 2:30, so I am very happy to get 2:27. The course is really good and I couldn't believe how perfect the conditions were. It was amazing. Now that I've done my first marathon I know what it's all about and I'd really like to come back next year and hopefully run much quicker."  

Edinburgh University's Patryk Gierjatowicz picked up the Scottish marathon title when finishing runner-up in 2:30:49. The postgraduate maths student becomes the first Polish athlete to win the national title. Although delighted to win the award Gierjatowicz was disappointed with his time.

He said: "I'm pleased to be Scottish champion but my time wasn't so good as its about four minutes outside my best. I slowed down quite a lot over the final two miles. It's frustrating because I have been injured recently and wasn't able to do all the training I wanted to do."

Ross Clark (Hunters Bog Trotters)  smashed his previous best time to finish in third position overall and second in the national championship. He said: "I can't believe it. I've taken seven minutes off my previous best time which I set at Rotterdam last year. I've trained really hard for this race and I was aiming for a place in the top ten but to finish third and win a national medal is just amazing. I had an added incentive as I was also running to raise funds for Yorkhill children's hospital as my nephew was looked after there and I wanted to support their work."

Megan Crawford (Fife AC) enjoyed a marathon debut to savour by setting a new course record of 2hr 46min 37secs to win the Baxters Loch Ness marathon women's title and the Scottish championship gold medal. The Edinburgh-based runner shaved two secs off the previous leading mark for the course set by Ethiopia's Dinknnesh Mekash Tefara in 2010. Crawford pulled away from Romanian favourite Alina Nituleasa after the halfway mark and went on to win by more than three minutes.

She was ecstatic about winning the race and collecting her first national title. She said: "I had absolutely no expectations as it was my first marathon but it's a nice feeling to win. I knew I was running well in the lead up to the race as I finished third in the Moray half marathon recently. After that I felt I could run a decent marathon time but I had no idea how it might go. I ran with the Romanian runner until around the halfway point when I began to get away and from there on I just kept going."

Nituleasa was well below her best when finishing second in 2:50:21. The Romanian blamed her exhausting travel arrangements for contributing to the result. She said:"I had a three hour train journey from my home to the airport, then a three hour flight to London. Then I was on a bus for 13 hours to get here. In all, it took me 26 hours so I was very tired."

Lisa Finaly (Dumfries), who won in 2011 and was runner-up last year, finished in third position in 2:52:25, but she was delighted with the outcome. She said:"I've got to be pleased because it's a personal best time by more than two minutes." Lisa was also first in the over-40 age division of the Scottish championship and second overall.

Carole Setchell (Shettleston Harriers), who was second in 2011, set a personal best time of 2:57:10 to take the Scottish bronze medal when finishing fourth overall.

Baxters River Ness 10K

John Newsom gave his Commonwealth Games marathon qualification hopes a major boost by winning the Baxters River Ness 10K in impressive style.

The Nairn-based runner, who competes for Central AC, raced home in 30min  35secs to defeat Dermot Cummins (Corstorphine AAC) by 15 secs while the 2011 race winner, Kyle Greig (Forres Harriers), was a further 51secs seconds behind in third position.

Newsom said:"I put in an effort to get away from Dermot after about 6.5Km and from there on I just pushed hard all the way to the finish. I'm pleased with the performance as I've now got only four weeks until I do the Frankfurt marathon. I ran there last year, but this time I'm treating it more seriously and I'd like to think I can have a real go at getting the Commonwealth qualifying time of 2hr 19mins."

Cummins, who led in the early stages had to settle for second position while Greig was disappointed to finish third for the second year in a row despite being just three seconds outside his personal best for the distance.

Keith Hood (Corstorphine AC) won the over-40's prize when finishing fourth overall in 31:57 while Stan Mackenzie (Forres Harriers) led the way in the over-50's when placing ninth in 33:31. Alex Sutherland (Inverness Harriers) won the over-60's prize when clocking an impressive time of 40min 11 secs for 69th position of 2,506 finishers

Great Britain international Rhona Auckland (Banchory Stonehaven AC) retained the women's title when recording 34min 34secs, which is one second quicker than the previous year. The Edinburgh University student, who was competing for the first time since finishing ninth at the European under-23 championships in Finland in July, was happy with her performance.

She said: "I moved into the lead after the first mile and after that I never really looked back. I was happy with the result as it's my first race since July and my time is similar to last year."

Nicola Gauld (Aberdeen AAC) occupied the runner-up position for the second year in a row and her time of 35:15 is the second fastest she has run this year.

Sarah Liebnitz (Inverness Harriers), who won the Buckie 10Km earlier this month, finished third in 37:51, an improvement of 68secs on her previous best time for the distance.

Fiona MacRitchie (Inverness Harriers) won the over-40 age division prize in 41:14 with Sue Spong leading home the over-50's in 44:43 and Anne Docherty (Forres Harriers) topping the over-60's age group in 53:23.

The Scots Alpha quartet of Scott Shaw, Ross McBride, Andy Richards and James Copeland won the Corporate Team Challenge competition.

Baxters River Ness 5K

Norwegian runner Gjermund Groven finished ahead of a field of close to 1,700 runners to win in the Baxters River Ness 5K.

The Bergen athlete was meant to have been competing in the marathon but was unable to do so after he went down with a bad cold. He said:"I ran my first marathon here a few years ago and I was looking forward to doing it again as I thought I would be able to run a personal best time. However, I caught a cold which I just couldn't shake off. I knew I wasn't fit enough to run in the marathon but I still wanted to come, so I decided to do the 5K instead."

Men's marathon results

1 Taurus Elly Salford 02:27:21
2 Patryk Gierjatowicz Edinburgh University 02:30:49
3 Ross Clark Hunters Bog Trotters 02:36:05


Women's marathon results

1 Megan Crawford Fife AC 2:46:37
2 Alina Nituleasa Romania 2:50:21
3 Lisa Finlay Dumfries 2:52:25


Click here for full results


Men's 10km results

1 John Newsom Central 00:30:35
2 Dermot Cummins Corstorphine AAC 00:30:50
3 Kyle Greig Forres Harriers 00:31:41


Women's 10km results

1 Rhona Auckland Banchory Stonehaven AC 00:34:34
2 Nicola Gauld Aberdeen AAC 00:35:15
3 Sarah Liebnitz Inverness Harriers 00:37:52


Click here for full results


Baxters River Ness Corporate Team Challenge

1 Scots Alpha S. Shaw, R. McBride, A. Richards, J. Copeland 448 points
2 Shark B. Robertson, R. Duncanson, I. Lawson, B. Knowles 582 points
3 Orion Group N. Grant, D. Greenshields, K. MacGregor, D. MacDonald 1134 points


Click here for full results


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