Over 5,000 runners took part in the Scottish Half Marathon and the Scottish 10K today, which both finished at the spectacular Musselburgh Racecourse.
Thousands of supporters packed the streets on a bright, sunny day in East Lothian. An estimated £500,000 was raised for charity by runners, in particular for official race charity Cancer Research UK.
The 10K kicked off proceedings at 9am – the race was won by Scott Stirling from Falkirk in a time of 31 mins 19 seconds. He was chased home by Peter Avent in 32 mins 50 seconds and Andrew Lawler in 32 mins 59 seconds to complete the top three.
Afterwards, Scott said “I had great fun today and really enjoyed the route. I think I could have gone faster if we’d had a group of us at the front but I’m happy with how I ran. It was also great to see my flatmate and university colleague Andrew Lawler grab third and get on the podium with me!”
First female home in the 10K was Sarah Laverty of Edinburgh in a time of 37 mins 53 seconds, with Jennifer Carrasco in second with a time of 39 mins 26 seconds and Kristin Lownie in third with a time of 40 mins 49 seconds.
Sarah commented after her run: “To be honest, I was quite disappointed with my time, I ran 36 minutes last week so was hoping for similar. But the conditions were good and the course was lovely and flat so I enjoyed the run, it was great to be part of such a big event.”
At 11am, around 4,000 half marathon runners set off from Meadowmill Sports Centre to tackle the flat 13.1 mile route. Bryan Mackie of Edinburgh AC was first home in a time of 1 hour 11 mins 36 seconds. James Bennett from London finished second in a time of 1 hour 13 minutes and 22 seconds, with Criag Reid from Bishopton following closely behind to finish in third with a time of 1 hour 13 minutes and 55 seconds.
Bryan spoke after the run and said: “I thought it was going to be a closer race than it was, there were two guys who went off really quick; I think they ran a 5 minute first mile, but by about two miles in I had reeled them back in. I was ahead at the turn and after that it was just a case of battling back to the line. I’ve not had that much confidence with my form lately so I was happy to get the win.
Dianne Lauder from Hawick beat the rest of the women’s field by quite some distance, winning comfortably with a time of 1 hour 20 minutes and 14 seconds and setting a new course record by a whopping 4 minutes on the previous time held by Jennifer Forbes. Mia Lutsch from Edinburgh won a well-fought second place as she tussled with Jo Newens on the finish straight with a time of 1 hour 26 minutes and 21 seconds. Jo Newens, Edinburgh finishing third in a time of 1 hour 26 minutes and 24 seconds.
Dianne said “My aim for today was to dip under 80 minutes, and I was on for that time at the start but it was slightly windier on the turn so I didn’t quite manage that. It was a great day though and I’m really happy with the win and delighted to get a new course record!”
This year’s event also attracted plenty of inspiration from some incredible people, running for different reasons.
Among those was Shelby King, who completed the Scottish 10K in memory of her dad, who passed away from pancreatic cancer five years ago. Shelby was raising funds for our official charity Cancer Research UK. This was Shelby’s last hurrah before she graduates with a Masters Degree from The University of Edinburgh and heads back to the USA.
Also in the 10K field was the inspirational Bill Neill. Bill was diagnosed with a form of advanced prostate cancer two years ago and has since undergone a series of radiotherapy treatments. Not to be beaten, Bill battled against his plummeting fitness levels by getting out and walking/running and gradually building his fitness back up. Today, he completed the Scottish 10K and was absolutely delighted to do so – what better way to show cancer who’s boss?!
Alison Lydon ran the Half Marathon for Bliss who work to provide support and care to those affected by prematurely born or sick babies. Alison’s very own daughter was born eight weeks early but luckily battled to stay alive. Further to this, Alison’s brother and his wife have had two babies who did not survive before their latest son John who is now out of hospital and growing up with a smile on his face. This is clearly a cause very close to Alison’s heart, well done on running for it. An amazing achievement while raising money and awareness of a great charity!
Finally, the steely Natasha Wilson completed both races at this year’s event. At 9am, she started her journey with the Scottish 10K, and a mere two hours later, she set off with the half marathon runners for another 13.1 miles.These challenges come off the back of a turbulent year where the University of Glasgow student was struck by the official motorcyclist when competing for Great Britain in a Duathlon event.Soon after, she was on her bike again at the long course weekend in Wales, bad luck struck again as she was dragged along by the wind of a lorry driver who was speeding along the cycle course and flipped off her bike. After a suspected broken neck, Natasha walked away with an AC dislocation and internal bleeding in her right kidney. In her recovery, Natasha says that her experiences have made her appreciate her love of sport and particularly running even more, which is why she loves making the races as challenging as possible.
Race Director, Neil Kilgour said: “We hope everyone had a brilliant time today, we were delighted to see so many runners take part in the first ever Scottish 10K in the morning, and then to see thousands more crossing the half marathon finish line later in the day. The weather was kind to us and the atmosphere at the finish line at Musselburgh Racecourse was fantastic.”
More information and full results will be available via the website www.scottishhalfmarathon.com.