Nicola Duncan has faced some stiff competition in the past, but none more so than Florence Kiplagat who set a world record in the half marathon as she beat Nicola to first place at Barcelona Half marathon last month. Nicola won’t have to face the Kenyan at this Sunday’s Inverness Half Marathon, but will still compete in a strong female field.
Originally from Galway, Portobello RC’s Duncan has lived in Scotland for the past 10 years. She reflected on racing Kiplagat: "It was exciting to be involved in a race in which the world record was broken. It was a very fast course and I knew I was running quite quickly but I was really surprised when I saw the time at the finish. I never like to put any pressure on myself by saying I'm aiming for a particular time. I just like to go out and run as well as I can and if it happens, it happens."
Inverness Half Marathon celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and will see Duncan compete against former Great Britain world championship marathon runner and 2010 Scotland Commonwealth Games representative Hayley Haining. A host of other quality runners have signed up for the race, which has attracted a record entry of 2,310 participants, including Haining’s Kilbarchan AAC clubmate and Scotland international Gemma Rankin, and Scottish half marathon championship silver medallist Jennifer Emsley (Central AC)
Scotland international Andrew Douglas (Inverclyde AC) is among the leading contenders for the men's prize. The Edinburgh-based Caithness man won the race in 2011 and hopes to challenge for a Commonwealth Games qualifying time of 2hr 19min in next month's London Marathon: "I don't know whether 2hr 19min is a realistic target for me at the moment, but I should have a better idea after the half marathon. As usual, there’s likely to be a good field at Inverness and hopefully we can all work together and make it a fast race."
His opponents include GB mountain running international Robbie Simpson (Deeside Runners), Nairn-based John Newsom (Central AC), and Dougie Selman (Corstorphine AC).
Although the half marathon is the main event, the race day programme also includes the Global Energy Team Attack 5K and the 5K fun run.
Full details about the event can be found at the event website.