25 Mar

Simpson fights elements (again) for win & Bannerman blows away 5K at Run Garioch

Commonwealth bronze medallist Robbie Simpson fought the wind and cold to claim a Scottish half marathon victory a second time in as many weeks at Inverurie’s Run Garioch yesterday.

Deeside Runner Simpson, who has previously won both the event’s half marathon and 10k races, finished just under four minutes ahead of second placed Tom Roche (JSK Running Club) in a time of 1.12.40.

Speaking after the eGroup Half Marathon Simpson said: “It’s a great course, but was it quite a headwind for the first eight miles, but that meant it was at your back for the way home. I just didn’t feel like I was running very fast today!”

Even though yesterday’s race was on his home turf, third male David Barclay (Garioch RR), said he had ‘never experienced such windy conditions’ in all his years of running.   

The women’s race was won by super-veteran Veronique Oldham (AAAC), well-known locally for her talents as a hill runner. Following closely on Oldham’s heels were Lynsay Hay (1.29.48) and Rebecca Young (1.33.18). 

The Dandara 10K saw a welcome return to the Run Garioch podium of Scotland international Nicola Gauld (Metro Aberdeen). 

Gauld, the only woman to have ever won the race outright, this year finished 40 seconds clear of Kelly Williamson, who in turn bested Emma Murray by 10 seconds.

Making up for her three-year absence from Run Garioch, Gauld was also part of the winning 10K Business Challenge team, Scotframe, and, with her Metro Aberdeen clubmates Alison Matthews and Kim Menzies, also part of the winning women’s 10k team.

The 2019 men’s 10K team prize was won by Insch Trail Running Club (Andrew Simpson, Euan Wilson, Graham Aitken).

There was a bit more breathing room on the men’s 10K podium than the women’s, as Richard Strachan (JSK Running Club) led James Kirk (Garioch Roadrunners) by 50 seconds to his first Dandara 10K win after finishing second last year. Lee Platt came home third.

A strong performance by Jenny Bannerman (Inverness Harriers) in the eGroup 5K saw her nearly equal Gauld’s achievement in winning her event outright. Her time of 17.01, a new women’s course record, by two seconds, was just four seconds short of that of Jordan Chapman, who broke the tape at 16.57.  Finishing behind Chapman and Bannerman were Matthew Douglas (17.38) and Matthew Dailey (17.41).

Emma Watt (JSK RC) finished exactly two minutes behind Bannerman to take second in the women’s event, with Carly McNeil (Newburgh Dunes RC) hot on her heels for third (19.08).

Image: Jenny Bannerman setting new 5k record (image courtesy pauldouglaspictures.com).