Strong winds and heavy rain over the final three miles meant that Weynay Ghebresilasie's competitive half marathon debut harvested a slower time than he was hoping for in Inverness. The Glasgow-based Eritrean clocked 1hr 6min 48secs to finish ahead of Forres Harrier Mark Mitchell (1:08:11).
Post-race, Shettleston Harrier Ghebresilasie said: “I am happy to win but at the same time I am not happy because I wanted to be much faster." He added that his training had been limited and with better preparation and more favourable conditions he believes he can lower Peter Fleming’s course record of 1:04:32 from 1993.
Mitchell too had mixed feelings. The former Scottish 800m and 1500m track champion had been hoping for a much faster time but admitted to struggling after the opening 10k. He said: "I was with Weynay for the first few miles and he kept encouraging me to stay with him but I just couldn’t go with the pace. I haven’t been feeling so good over the past two weeks which is disappointing as until then my training had gone really well."
Northern Ireland international Fionnuala Ross made it a Shettleston Harriers double, winning the women’s race in 1:17:56.
She said:”It wasn’t as quick as I wanted and the race was tougher than I expected because the weather turned a bit nasty, but I still enjoyed it. I pulled away after a couple of miles on an undulating part of the course and from there on I didn’t look back.It was tough running into the wind and rain and I think because of that my time was at least a minute slower than I was hoping to do.”
Ross also led her club to the women’s team prize with support from Thurso runner Emma Dunnet who was sixth in 1:23:42 and Carole Setchell, 17th in 1:31:04.
Gordon Lennox led Inverness Harriers to the men's team prize with backing from Michael O’Donnell, seventh in 1:12:47, and Graham Bee, 10th in 1:13:58.
runABC’s Christine Appel also took part in the race. She commented: “Inverness Half is one of my favourite races. I’ve done it as a challenging season opener a few times now, and the event always seems to run like clockwork – as you’d expect after 33 years. I could just about hear my clubmates from Garioch Roadrunners push me on to a PB of 1.38.43 through my frozen ears! I’ll be back digging deep for another stadium finish next year, and I'll send the weather a memo myself!"
For a full list of results, visit our race listings page.