As Neil Renault rested in the Brazilian sun after winning the recent Luton Marathon, Ross Houston took the opportunity to not only win the Edinburgh parkrun but to smash the course record set by Neil in the inaugural race.
The Central AC runner celebrated his recent 30th birthday by completing a 5k in less than 15 minutes for the first time ever and he did it in style achieving a huge PB of 14:38 and taking an amazing 21 seconds off of Neil’s record.
Ross told www.scottishrunningguide.com: "This was my first experience of the parkrun, and it is an excellent and well-organised event, so all credit to the organisers and the volunteers. I was aiming to run under 15 minutes, so I was pleased to run 14:38, which is a new PB for me as well as a course record. It’s a fast course and I dare say the course record will be under threat again before long!"
Almost Another Broken Record
The women’s record was under threat too as Arran’s Jan Roxburgh (36) completed her first Edinburgh parkrun in an impressive 18:25, only five seconds away from the record set by Jill Knowles last week.
Freezing Fog and Zumba
Despite the freezing fog an impressive 145 athletes took part in the ninth Edinburgh parkrun. Winners Ross Houston and Jan Roxburgh were joined by 45 other runners in taking part in the event for the first time. To ensure that the athletes didn’t freeze before the event organisers had arranged for Joanna Weintritt to provide a Zumba warm-up before the race.
Newbies take 1st, 2nd and 3rd
Also running in his first parkrun was Houston’s club mate Alasdair Anthony (32) who finished 69 seconds behind of him to claim runner-up with a time of 15:47. Another newbie was Lothian’s Ross Milne (32) who placed third in a season’s best time of 15:52.
Oldies take 1st, 2nd and 3rd
Age counted In the Women’s Race as Portobello’s veteran Denise Muir (VW40-44) earned runner-up spot to Roxburgh with a time of 20:32. Harmeny veteran Margie Leitch (VW40-44) placed third in a time of 20:46.
In the Age Graded competition regular Glasgow parkrunner Jeff Farquhar (51) took part in his first Edinburgh parkrun and finished fifth with a time of 16:08, 32 seconds better than his best Glasgow time and a tremendous WAVA of 92.15%
www.scottishrunningguide.com asked Fife AC’s Brian Cruickshank, who finished in tenth place with a time of 16:50 to give us his thoughts on the event:
“During the first half of the run I found myself in a small bunch of runners of similar ability which helped to keep the pace up on the way out to the turn. Heading back I had my old rival and friend Iain Taylor (Carnegie Harriers) alongside and breathing down my neck! This pushed both of us to set season best times for 5k. It wasn't until half a mile to go that I managed to just edge ahead of Iain who finished three seconds behind. Intense effort during the run but I felt exhilarated once I had recovered.
"Edinburgh parkrun is a great concept - grassroots running at its simplest and best. The course is perfect for setting a 5k PB. The volunteers deserve the utmost praise for turning out in all weathers week in week out.”