Scotland international Kenny Wilson was in record-breaking form in the ConocoPhillips 5K at the 21st anniversary Run Balmoral meeting over the weekend while GB mountain running star Andy Douglas showed his remarkable endurance powers by taking top spot in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10K and in the TRAC 15 mile trail race.
There were also fantastic performances from Aberdeen’s Alan Semple, who retained his Devil of Deeside crown, while Lancashire’s Molly Ralphson lifted the women’s title. Devil competitors had to race in the ConocoPhillips 5K and the Stena Drilling Tartan 10K on Saturday before stepping up a gear to tackle the 27km Apollo duathlon followed by the TRAC 15 mile trail race on Sunday.
More than 5,500 runners of all ages took part over the two days with an equal amount of spectators generating a vibrant atmosphere on the royal estate.
Kenny Wilson’s 5K performance was the highlight of day one. The Moray Road Runner broke the tape to win in 14min 42secs, slicing four secs off the previous mark set in 2013 by Central AC's Olympic Games athlete Andy Butchart. Wilson had never broken the 15min barrier in his two previous Balmoral wins, so was delighted with his performance which comes a fortnight before he wins his second Scotland international vest in next month's Lillebaelt half marathon in Denmark.
He said:"I hadn't thought too much about the record until someone mentioned it to me last week. But after 2km, I was off the pace so I didn't think it would happen. But I pushed on and fortunately managed to get it. Now, hopefully, I can go on to improve on my best half marathon time in Denmark."
Scotland international Jenny Bannerman, competing at Balmoral for the fourth year in a row, notched her second title in 17:01, the fastest time she has achieved on the Deeside course. She said:"I would have preferred being under 17min but I'm happy. Hopefully I'll have recovered for the Scottish 5km championships in a fortnight."
GB mountain racing international Andy Douglas (Inverclyde AC) completed a memorable double by winning the Stena Drilling Tartan 10K on Saturday then taking top spot in Sunday’s TRAC 15 mile trail race. The Edinburgh-based Caithness athlete cruised home in the 10K with a time of 32min 16secs before completing the trail run in 1:20:39.
Andy's Balmorla double effort served as a useful part of his build-up towards the mountain running season which starts in June, but before that he is heading for a spell of altitude training in Boulder, Colordao. He said:"I'll be in Colorado for three weeks in May, returning in time for the Great Brtain trials for the European mountain running championships at the begining of June.
"I'll be training with a couple of guys from the US team and it looks an amazing place for running. Hopefully it will set me up for the summer season. I'm hoping to do the European championships in July and the world championships in September. I'll also be running in the World Cup series of races, so it's going to be busy."
Kyle Greig (Metro Aberdeen) was second in the 15 mile race in 1:23:40 with Callum Symmons (Aberdeen AAC) third in 1:28:25.
Clare Bruce score an emphatic victory in the women's division of the 10K, recording 38:35 when finishing 16th overall from a field of 1901 starters. The Metro Aberdeen runner, who has battled against injuries and illness over the winter,showed she is getting close to her best form.
Scottish duathlon champion Debbie Greig won the women's 15 mile title in 1:38:39 with Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers) second in 1:45:39 and Nicola Duncan (Carnethy) third in 1:47:19.