John Matheson won the RAF Lossiemouth 10 mile Turkey Trot on Sunday, December 13. Amazingly the 43 year old athlete finished the race in a time of 55:31, equalling his PB and also exactly the same time it had taken him to run it on his last outing in 2007. The difference then was that the Metro Aberdeen veteran finished in fourth place. This year his time was good enough to earn gold.
Matheson held off a strong challenge from fellow vet Paul Rogan (40) who finished runner up, with a new PB of 55:37. Calderglen Harrier Andy Buchanan placed third in a time of 57:06.
The North’s elder stateswoman of running, Melissa Whyte won the women’s race in an impressive time of 58:57. The Inverness Harrier, who ranks number one in her category in the UK for her 10k performances, placed ninth overall and almost six minutes ahead of her closest rival and fellow supervet Sarah MacKay who clocked 65:43. Metro Aberdeen’s Polly Tandy earned bronze with a time of 67:06.
Paul Hughes of Forres Harriers finished in 71st position with a time of 74:27 www.scottishrunningguide.com asked him for his account of the day:
“It was the first time I'd run a 10 mile race so was guaranteed a PB by default - as I had been the week before in my first attempt over the 5k distance. It was a biting cold day the day before with a freezing fog dropping temperatures as low as -5C in the afternoon - and if that fog had come in I wouldn't have raced. Race morning was a beautiful clear day but the temperature hadn't raised much, it was -3C when I got in the car to drive to Lossiemouth.
"A well organised registration in the community centre made for a hassle free pre-race atmosphere. I met loads of fellow runners from my club, Forres Harriers, and had a wee chat. We all made our way outside and headed down to the start outside RAF Lossiemouth main gate. A nice informal line up and then we were off. A steady run back up past the community centre and towards town. The roads weren't officially closed but 200 runners in Lossie on a Sunday morning was enough to stop what traffic there was. Just before the first mile there was a short but very steep climb that certainly got you warmed up. The climb was rewarded by a splendid view across the beach - still white with frost as the temperature had remained sub zero. I thought I was going okay at this point but was brought down to earth by Santa Claus and Rudolph passing me! The race passed up the High Street and a wee drop down passed the golf course and the turning for the camp. I was taking it steady and watching my pace - aware of the climb approaching. The road then rose slowly but surely for the next two miles - up to just short of the five mile mark - a quick slurp from a cup at the water station was more psychological than needed. The top of the climb was reached and a left turn dropped us down, we then passed the gates of the world famous Gordonstoun School and the route continued around the perimeter of RAF Lossiemouth.
"The course was pretty much flat, with one or two small undulations to remind the legs that you were racing. The countryside was still thick with a heavy white frost and as we ran we were supported by a few spectators, strategically dotted around the course cheering us. I was feeling good as I got to 8 miles although a wee bit tired as it was a long run for mid-December and I'd raced the week before. I lost my bearings a wee bit and wasn't sure exactly how far to go until a mile marker loomed into view. Two miles left, the only slippy bit was encountered as I joined the cycle path parallel to the road.
"I passed the start point and knew that it wasn't far to the finish. However I wasn't 100% sure exactly how far there was to go, so I held back from a 'sprint' (well slightly faster run) until I could see the finish area. A decent crowd encouraged every runner over the line and helpers handed out bottles of water - a welcome drink. The spectators were all frozen solid - definitely a better day to be running than watching.
"There was a choice of soup in the community centre and rolls, and cakes and teas. It’s these little things that count towards making races special - and all were very welcome. I didn't hang around for presentations as my wife was feeling the cold having stood watching but there was a good crowd milling when we left. All in all, a great day, a well organised race and good to see so many people turn out. Our club had 26 runners competing and several managed PBs - which was great for the club.”
Lynda Fletcher closed the event placing 200th in a time of 121:42