Sunshine and crowds greeted the largest ever field of runners for the 21st edition of the Linlithgow 10k Road Race and Junior Fun Run on Sunday.
The event is the culmination of many months of effort by a small but dedicated band of amateur athletes from Linlithgow AC and over the years has become a popular fixture on the Scottish Athletics calendar. The 10k race has previously sold out well in advance leaving many runners disappointed so, earlier this year, the race committee decided to increase the number of entries for 2013. And with both advanced entry via post and entry on the day being advertised, the Fun Run also achieved a higher entry than in previous years.
A buzz of excitement began to build in the town as athletes from far and wide, and some from very near too, arrived early to collect their bib numbers and, for the first time ever, their timing chips. These chips, to be attached to the runner’s laces, would provide for an accurate time to be recorded as the runners finished their race in the Linlithgow Palace Peel; modern technology mixing with medieval history.
Sambalistic were on hand to help build a carnival atmosphere as the crowds began to gather before silencing to allow race director Matt Richardson to present his pre-race instructions to the runners in the tranquil setting of the Burgh Halls gardens. Following a short ovation the drums of the samba band began beating again to indicate it was time to head towards the start line. The band led the procession as the runners marched down towards the High Street and the race start.
Councillor Tom Kerr started the 10k race with a short introduction followed by a rather long blast on the air horn and the runners sped off west along the High Street, cheered on by hordes of townsfolk. As the seniors disappeared from view it was time to get the junior race underway. Fit Kit, the mascot of charity organisation West Lothian Run, had the honour of sending the youngsters off on their 1.5k contest to further cheers from the crowd.
At this point all attention quickly moved towards the Peel as it would not take long for speedy youngsters to arrive. The crowd moved quickly and was in place to cheer home Junior Fun Run winner Andrew Veitch, Linlithgow AC, who completed the course in a time of 7:04. Ruari Bell, also Linlithgow AC, came second in 7:13 with Inverclyde AC’s Sammy Hearl taking the final podium place. First home for the girls was unattached runner Skye Cadell, who was timed at 7:37. Katy McGonigal of Falkirk Victoria Harriers took second place with 7:41, ahead of another unattached runner, Emily Jamieson at 7:49.
After the Fun Run was over, all eyes were re-focussed across to the other side of the loch as a string of runners could be seen entering the second half of their 10k challenge. One of the appeals of the Linlithgow 10k is its scenic route and you would expect the runners to be returning the looks as they took in the majestic sight of Linlithgow Palace, even if only for a brief moment before getting back to concentrating on the task in hand.
Excitement grew at the finish area in anticipation of the winner’s arrival and it was no surprise to see Paul Sorrie of Shettleston Harriers come charging up the hill into the Peel to take first place for the 6th time in a row, breaking the tape in 32:01. Robert Turner of Edinburgh AC came in second in 34:32 with third place going to Stuart Campbell of Corstorphine AAC, timed at 35:15.
An impressive run by Chloe Cox, Lothian Running Club, who crossed the line in 37:24 giving her top spot in the female race. There was a duel for the remaining podium places with Lynne McGill, Linlithgow AC, eventually pushing ahead and taking the runner up spot in 42:07. Rebecca Piggot of Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds finished just behind in 42:12 for third.
Weekly Race Report >