Robbie Simpson enjoyed a busy festive period, taking part in races both abroad and on home soil. On Hogmanay the Banchory athlete, who is to represent Scotland in the marathon at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, was racing through the streets of Paris against world-class opposition in the Corrida Internationale De Houilles 10km.
After flying home on New Year’s Day he took part in the icy roads and farm tracks around the Aberdeenshire village of Lumphanan, pursued by more than 400 other local competitors, in the annual Detox 10K.
The Scottish marathon champion was disappointed with his performance in France where he finished well outside his best time, clocking 30:46 for 24th position in a race won by Swiss-based Julien Wanders who recorded 28:02 to pip Ethiopia’s Jemal Ymer Mekonnen by just a second.
Another Scot, Giffnock North’s Luke Traynor, was 11th in 29:29, while Simpson’s Commonwealth Games team-mate Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AC) was 12th in 29:33.
The 26-year-old was able to make up for his disappointment in France back on home soil, starting 2018 in style – breaking his own course record by four seconds – winning the event for the seventh time in nine years.
Simpson said: “I was cutting it a bit fine but I am delighted to get the record especially after doing the 10k in Paris on Sunday and not getting much sleep with all the travel back here. I was really disappointed with my run in France. I’m not exactly sure what went wrong but after the first mile my legs felt empty and I was struggling to stay with the group.
“Then I was on my own and running into the wind I just slowed down. After 5km I thought I might not even finish but towards the end I had a guy to run with and that gave me a bit more focus. My training has been going well and I thought I was in good shape, so I had to find out whether Sunday was just a blip or something more worrying.
“So I thought I’d run at Lumphanan. I decided that if it didn’t feel right today I’d just treat it as a raining run but if I felt good I’d go for the record. It was only into the last 100 metres that I realised the record was possible, so I’m glad I just made it. I feel better now that I’ve done this race.”