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Crawford breaks Loch Ness record to take Scottish title while Elly ominates men's race

by Press Release
Monday 28th September 2015

Race report: Baxters Loch Ness marathon and festival of running - Sunday, September27, 2015

Record-breaker Megan Crawford was in exuberant mood after winning the women’s title in today’s Baxters Loch Ness marathon (Sunday  27 September). The Fife AC runner completed the scenic Highland course in a time of 2hrs 44min 50secs to obliterate the previous women’s record of 2:46:10 set by Central AC’s Jenn Wetton last year when Crawford finished 15secs behind in second position.

Belgrave’s Gatenesh Tamirat, the 2014 Jersey marathon champion, finished second in 2:57:44 with Shona McManus (Kelvin Runners) pipping Gillian Sangster (Dundee Road Runners) by 41secs to take third spot in 3:02:06.

Crawford, who also pocketed the Scottish title for the second time in three years, was ecstatic with the result. She said: “I love this marathon. It’s definitely one of my favourites and I was actually having fun out there. One of my main motivations for doing it was to try to win the Scottish title again and I’ve done that so I’m very happy.

“I ran with Gatenesh for the first 17 miles. I was reluctant to go in front before then so I just stayed with her. I’d thought about making my move on the hills after about 19 miles, but then decided to push on a bit earlier than that. When I made my move she didn’t stay with me for too long so I kept pushing and decided that if I fell apart it would just be my own fault. But I was fine and I knew I was on track for a good time so I kept it going. I’m hoping to do the half marathon in Glasgow next week so I hope I recover quickly.”

Tarus Elly, who returned from visiting family and friends in Kenya four days earlier, won the men’s race for the second time in three years. The tall African, who has been living in Hyde for a number of years, was only a few seconds outside his best time when sprinting home in 2:25:19.

Four-time previous champion and title-holder Tomas Abyu, from Salford, had to settle for second position in 2:27:37 while Edinburgh-based Patryk Gierjatowicz (Hunters Bog Trotters) collected the Scottish national title for the third year in a row when finishing a further 10secs behind. Kenyan athlete Benjamin Bartonjo, who was expected to be a strong contender for the top prize, never appeared.

Elly said: “I spent a month at my old home at Eldoret in Kenya and only got back on Thursday so I’ve not at much time to get acclimatised to being back here. When I was in Kenya I didn’t train as much as I planned because I spent a lot of time visiting people. But I’m pleased with my run today. This is one of my favourite races so I always like to do it. When I first came her two years ago I won and last year I was third.

“It started at a steady pace and I was with Tomas and Patryk for the first 10 miles. Tomas then opened a gap but I just kept an eye on it and didn’t let it get any bigger. At 22 miles I closed up on him, pushed on a bit and I could tell he wasn’t able to come with me. By 23 miles I was ahead and just kept it going.

“I never realised I was so close to my personal best time. I was just pleased to be winning the race but if I had known the time, I might have pushed on a bit more.”

Fourth-placed John Newsom won the Gerald Cooper Memorial Cup which is  presented to the first Highland runner to finish the marathon. The sponsors of the award, HSPC, will now make a £1000 donation to a charity of his choice.

Newsom also took second position in the national championships while his clubmate Donnie Macdonald collected bronze when finishing fifth overall in 2:33:28.

For full information on the weekend’s event, including road closures visit: www.lochnessmarathon.com

Men's results

1 Tarus Elly 2:25:19
2 Tomas Abyu 2:27:37
3 Patryk Gierjatowicz 2:27:47


Women's results

1 Megan Crawford 2:44:50
2 Gatenesh Tamirat 2:57:44
3 Shona Mcmanus 3:02:06


Click here for full results

Renault races to victory in Baxters River Ness 10km while Mcintosh takes women's title

Neil Renault took early control of proceedings in the Baxters River Ness 10km and went on to win comfortably in 30min 33secs. The Edinburgh AC runner, who was runner-up in 2014, was chased home by Scottish  10,000m track champion Will Mackay (Aberdeen AAC) who was runner-up in 31:17 and top north of Scotland runner Kenny Wilson (Moray Road Runners) who finished third in a personal best time of 31:56.

Renault, who slept in a local campsite the night before the race, was satisfied with his performance and was delighted to win the title for the first time. He said: “I felt quite sluggish in the first 5km as I think it took me a while to unfold after sleeping in a tent, but after that I got into my stride and was able to run the second half of the race quicker than the first. Will caught up with me before halfway and I thought he was going to power on past me, but that didn’t happen. I actually felt much better from about 6km onwards and I pulled ahead, although I had a quick look over my shoulder at 9km to make sure I was clear.”

“I’m pleased with the time as it’s quicker than I did last year. The course is tougher than it might seem so it’s pleasing to get such a decent time. It sets me up for next week when I’ll be doing the Great Scottish Run half marathon in Glasgow.”

Mackay was also happy with his performance as he has been hampered by an Achilles tendon injury recently. He said: “I had a bit of a problem in August but I’m coming back into it again. I didn’t want to start too fast and I think I ran fairly even paced the whole way. I caught Neil around the halfway point and I never slowed down after that but he was able to pick up the pace and I couldn’t stay with him.”

Wilson finished strongly to take third spot with his best performance of the season. The Moray man said: “I’m really pleased. I changed my tactics today and it paid off. I just tried to keep my pace going the whole way and I had a good spell from 4-6km which was satisfying. It’s big improvement on my previous best.”

Shona McIntosh maintained her love affair with Inverness races by winning the women’s title in the Baxters River Ness 10km. It’s the second major success the Hunters Bog Trotters club member has enjoyed in the Highland capital this year following her victory in the Inverness half marathon in March.

At the end of an exciting contest, McIntosh recorded 35:17 to finish seven secs ahead of former European junior 1500m champion Morag MacLarty (Central AC)  while Aberdeen AAC’s Nicola Gauld sprinted past Central AC’s Fiona Thompson over the closing stages to take third spot by one sec in 35:38.

McIntosh, who won the Scottish  10km title at Stirling a fortnight earlier, said:”There was a pack of four of us for quite a while and I think it was beyond the halfway point before I realised I’d opened a little gap. Morag was always quite close behind, however, and I think if it had gone on much longer it might have been a different outcome. But I’m pleased to win. My time is similar to what I ran at Stirling, but Inverness is a tougher course so this was a better run.”

Iain Gillam led the way home in the Baxters River Ness 5km when posting a time of 16min 30secs. The Dorset runner was happy with his performance which brought him home 22secs ahead of teenager James Geddes (Inverness Harriers) who was runner-up for the second year in a row while Jonathan Cordiner took third spot in 17:10.  Gillam said: “I enjoyed  the run. I’m up here with a few friends who are doing the marathon, so I thought I’d have a run in the shorter race.”

Veteran Welsh athlete Angela Jones, who was fourth in her age group at the world masters mountain running championships the previous weekend, was the leading woman in a personal best 18:58 while teenager Emily Andrew (Inverness Harriers) just three secs behind in second position while another  youngster, Anya Morrison, was third in 20:34.

For full information on the weekend’s event, including road closures visit: www.lochnessmarathon.com

Men's results

1 Neil Renault 0:30:33
2 Will Mackay 0:31:18
3 Kenny Wilson 0:31:57


Women's results

1 Shona Mcintosh 0:35:17
2 Morag MacLarty 0:35:24
3 Nicola Gauld 0:35:38


Click here for full results


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