Neil Renault won the Eddie's half marathon at Fort William on Sunday, November 1 in a course record of 67min 25sec. Fort William had come to a standstill the evening before the race, with floods making many roads impassable. The down pours had eased on race day and the forecasted gales failed to arrive to the relief of both the organisers and the runners.
Edinburgh AC's Renault lead the race from the off and controlled the pace from start to finish. Kilbarchan AC's Paul Arcari tried to keep the gap as small as possible but could never close it and had to settle for second place with 1:08:20, a good bit ahead of Ray Ward of Hunter Bog Trotters in third with 1:12:58.
Renault, who has his mind set on achieving the 2:18:00 qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships marathons, picked up a £300 bonus for breaking Mark Gormley's record of 68 minutes which had stood for 18 years, plus the winner's £150 prize. His coach, Andy McNeil, completed a good day at the office by winning the Vet40 prize, finishing fourth overall in 1:16:21.
It was veterans to the fore in the women's race as Falkirk's Fiona Matheson (V40-49) won the women's race in 1:20:19 with Lochaber's Amanda Blackhall (V35-39) runner-up in 1:28:25 and Carnegie's Nicola May (V35-39) third in 1:30:42.
Bellahouston Road Runners Russell Whittington, Brian O'donnell, David Weatherhead and Bruce Carse won the men's team race, with Lochaber AC's
Amanda Blackhall, Chloe Paterson and Nicky Martin winning the women's race.
Jog Scotland's Julie McIntyre closed the race, finishing in 178th place with a time of 2:46:35.
Bellahouston RR's Captain, Brian O'donnell, who finished in tenth position with a PB of 1:19:31, told www.scottishruuningguide.com "Huge thanks to the organisers for delivering such a great event. Despite the testing conditions all the team had strong runs with a couple of PB's as well. Taking home the first team prize ahead of Stornoway was an added bonus."