21 Jul

Striding The Clyde

The start of the Clydestride 40

Elite ultra marathon runners and newbies alike mingled among the 92 starters that congregated at Partick train station on a fine Saturday morning for the inaugural running of one of Scotland's new ultra marathons, the Clyde Stride. This race forms part of the Scottish Ultra Marathon Series, a group of nine races ranging in distance from 33 to 95 miles.

A briefing from the race organiser, Lee Maclean, preceded a gathering in a Glasgow tunnel where the Vice Chair of sportscotland, Ian Beattie, sent the participants on their forty-mile journey.

Race favourite, Grant Jeans, left the start line as if he was running a 10km race closely followed by Dumfries RC's Paul Hart. The pair led the pack along the route that follows the Clyde for ten miles all the way to Cambuslang Bridge and the first checkpoint. As he left for the next section there was no letting up in Jeans' pace, who has won a clutch of recent races and has stated that his aim is to break every world record from 50km upwards. Unfortunately for Paul Hart, his challenge for the front place came to an end shortly after making a navigational error just outside Cambuslang.

Despite a midway challenge from Kirkintilloch's Gavin Harvie, Jeans held on to the lead throughout the race and crossed the line at the New Lanark World Heritage site in 5:08:05.

Winner of the ladies' race, Lucy Colquhoun

Carnethy's Lucy Colquhoun led the female field from the start, which included elite distance runners like Gail Murdoch, Claire Shelley and Sharon Law. Lucy's domination of the UK's female ultra scene remained unchallenged throughout and despite stopping to help a lost dog, she crossed the finish line in 5:27:20 and in second overall place.

Of the 92 runners that left Partick, 85 achieved a finish with Strathaven's intrepid Colin Smith closing the race in a time of 9:34:33 in this, his first ultra marathon. This new race was well received through the pack of runners and it looks to be a great addition to the Scottihs Ultra running calendar.

Photographs from Davie Hall