The Hoka Highland Fling, with an entry of 800 runners in the main race (there is also a relay race in which 56 teams of 4 competed this year) is the biggest ultramarathon event held in the UK. The course follows the first 53 miles of the West Highland Way, from Milngavie to Tyndrum, a picturesque but challenging route, hilly in places and over rough terrain at times. Runners are however rewarded with some of the best views in Scotland along the way.
Amongst those congregated at Milngavie Station for the 6am start were Malcolm Hughes and Johan Meintjies, representing Linlithgow AC. It was cold and wet as the runners were set off but the weather soon began to improve and going over Conic Hill they could appreciate the panoramic views across Loch Lomond. The recent memory of this would help as they struggled across some rugged terrain along the ‘bonnie banks’ of the loch. Leaving the loch they would endure a roller coaster ride of undulations in the final miles before reaching their destination.
Malcolm arrived at Tyndrum in 262nd place and his time of 11hrs 33mins was an improvement of half an hour from the previous year. Johan completed the course in a comparable time to previous efforts finishing in 293rd at 11hrs 52mins.
The traditional BUPA Edinburgh 10k expanded this year to become instead a 10 mile race with Bryan Grome and Brian Couper opting to take on the new challenge. The race started and finished in Holyrood Park and would take runners past some iconic venues such as the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Scottish Parliament as well as the parkland areas of Princes Street Gardens and the Meadows. On a route described by some as mostly uphill, both athletes were happy to beat their target, with Brian finishing first at 1:17:34 with Bryan not far behind at 1:19:22.
Charlotte Fortune chose to turn her attention to the track to take part in a ‘Night of the 10ks’ meeting in Glasgow. This was a novel experience for a road runner (warm-up clothing collected at the start, pacers supplied) and Charly felt she was treated like an elite athlete. This helped counter the monotony of 25 laps round the track and Charly was delighted with her PB time of 38:22.
Helix Juniors parkrun is the first of its kind in Scotland - a free, weekly, timed 2k event for kids aged 4-14. Eoin Richardson opted to run in the 2nd event on Sunday and was rewarded with 6th place (in a field of 112) for his time of 7:48.
Other parkrun times
Falkirk parkrun – David Marshall, 56th, 22:30; Hilary Stocks, 63rd (9th F), 23:06; Alison Marshall, 120th, 26:37
Victoria parkrun, Glasgow – Charlotte Fortune, 24th (2nd F), 20:36; Bryan Grome, 66th, 23:34
Finally, some junior results that missed last week's cut-off.
Forth Valley League
200m under 15 boys - Lewis O'Connor - 28.3s 200m under 11 girls - Emily Mitchell - 43.4s 800m under 11 boys - Andrew McGill (1st) - 2:51.4, Eoin Richardson (3rd) - 2:55.7
In the West Lothian Run 2K Easter Fun Run, Eoin Richardson (7:22) was runner up place and Cameron Innes (9:12) finished 13th of 101 runners.
Weekly Race Report >