A superb turnout helped ensure the inaugural Stirling Scottish Marathon was a fantastic success. 6,500 runners made their way from Blair Drummond Safari Park, through Doune and Dunblane and onto Stirling city centre via the University of Stirling and the Bridge of Allan.
Andrew Lemoncello, a graduate of the university, won the men's race with a time of 2:25:01, while Leslie Pirie (Victoria Park) was the fastest woman after posting 2:47:48, ahead of Jill Smylie (Giffnock North) in 2:57:06 and Julie Champion (Poole Athletic Club) in 2:58:38.
Lemoncello had flown in from his new base in Oregon to join the hunt and he finished well clear of closest challengers Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers' Iain Reid (2:29:44) and Robert Gilroy (2:34:17).
"The crowds on the second-to-last lap might have made me get a little bit carried away,” Lemoncello commented after the race.
“They were shouting like crazy and I probably sped up too much with five miles to go which meant I slowed down toward the end. Any time you can win a race it feels phenomenal. So to come back here and get another marathon win in the books is really good because I’ve not won many races recently.”
Much of the pre-event focus was on past masters Zola Budd, Liz McColgan and Rosa Mota, and all three put in highly respectable showings. 58-year-old Mota finished fourth in the 5k race, while Budd was the ninth female across the line in the women’s marathon in a time of 3:12:24.
McColgan was six minutes behind in 19th and said afterwards: “It was really enjoyable in a funny sort of way. I’ve had a lot of problems since I retired so I never thought I’d be able to run a marathon again. So I’m chuffed.”
Organisers have said they are delighted with the first event and are already planning for next year.
Full results can be found on our race listings page.