Weekly report (ending 16/03/14)

posted 21 Mar 2014, 02:35 by Graeme Lawson

Now in its 32nd year, the Alloa Round Table Half Marathon is an increasingly popular event in the running calendar; this year the initial entry limit of 1600 was reached at such an early stage that the organisers decided to allow an additional 300 runners to enter. For some at Linlithgow Athletic Club this was fortuitous, especially with the race being the first leg of the Club Championship and so, in what is surely one of the largest ever turnouts outside of its own 10k, 17 runners from the club took their place in the start line-up on Sunday. Despite the odd hill, including the challenge of Menstrie Brae shortly after the 10 mile marker, the race does seem to provide athletes with a platform for a fast times, although a strong westerly wind in the runner’s faces this year as they ran along the foothills of the Ochils would test their resolve. Linlithgow athletes rose to the occasion with a number of exceptional personal performances, some beating previous PBs by several minutes, demonstrating the quality of training delivered by club coaches over recent months.

John Redding was the first LAC member to cross the line, finishing 35th of 1523 runners on the day and taking full points in the Club Champs. Charlotte Fortune in 118th position (6th Female) secured full points in the ladies equivalent. The championships run throughout the year and will encompass a variety of specified races that LAC athletes can target.

LAC finishing positions and times: John Redding, 35th, 1:18:28; David Marshall, 72, 1:23:01; Colin McCluskie, 85, 1:23:59; Douglas Robertson, 91, 1:24:36; Charlotte Fortune, 118, 1:26:15; Scott Hyslop, 171, 1:29:48; Malcolm Hughes, 173, 01:29:50; Angus Gallie, 198, 1:31:02 ; Paul Dudchenko, 209, 1:31:32; Gerry McArdle, 218, 1:32:23; Kenny Leamy, 298, 1:35:32; Hilary Stocks, 395, 1:38:44; Brian Couper, 489, 1:41:50; Bryan Grome, 502, 1:42:09; Darren Dick, 536, 1:43:30; Jennifer Newton, 737, 1:49:42; Sarah Crewes, 868, 1:53:29.

On Saturday, Johan Meintjies took on the D33, the first event in this year’s SUMS (Scottish Ultra Marathon Series), which gets its name from a route that runs along the Deeside Way from Aberdeen to Banchory and back - a total distance of 33 miles. The event is only in its fourth year but has already built up a reputation for a friendly atmosphere and is well supported by the local community who come out to cheer on the runners and hand out well deserved jelly babies to tired runners. The course is mixture of paved cycle paths, with some road and about 4 miles on dirt paths with some beautiful scenery along the way and despite adverse weather forecasts, conditions were perfect for running with minimal breeze and a dry day, meaning the run was a delight for those that can handle this sort of distance. Having gathered a little ‘ultra’ experience over the last couple of years, Johan understands the need for good pacing throughout a race. Setting out at a slower pace meant that at halfway he was feeling much better than previous races of this distance and this paid off meaning he could keep a steady rate for the full event, rewarding him his finishing position of 82nd, out of 318 starters, and a time of 4:48, a full 12 min under his target of 5 hours.

Also on Saturday, Andrew Fischbacher continued his rich vein of form to finish first (in a field of 231) at Falkirk parkrun with his time of 18:05. Hilary Stocks also reached the podium as 2nd female, finishing in 22:13 for another PB (she would then go on to record a 6 minute PB at Alloa the following day). Malcolm Hughes completed the LAC trio finishing 63rd, in 23:32.

Finally, Bryan Grome continued his quest to complete all the Scottish parkruns this year in finishing 33rd of the 90 runners at Inverness parkrun.