The 115 competitors who took part in the opening Strathearn Marathon on Sunday (June 10) were treated to good running conditions, with mild temperatures, a light breeze and an occasional touch of rain. On a hilly and challenging course with an ascent totalling 1500 feet, Will Beauchamp took first place in 2:45:05, with Gail Murdoch leading the female field in 3:12:25. Following predominantly quiet B roads in rural Perthshire, west of Perth, the race started and finished at the Cultybraggan Camp beside Comrie.
25-year-old Beauchamp, who runs with Sheffield RC, secured a convincing victory with a 12 minute margin over second placed Chris McCann (2:57:24). Completing the top trio was Gavin Harvie of Kirtintilloch Olympians in 2:58:05. Like Beauchamp, Gail Murdoch finished well ahead of her field as she adapted well to the challenging course. The Carnegie Harrier was more than 15 minutes ahead of club mate Isobel Burnett (3:28:09), with Julia Drewer of Ferranti AAC third in 3:44:11.
First local man was Martin Purvis of Crieff, who finished in 22nd position, in a time of 3:38:11. Second local man was John Davidson (Strathearn Harriers), in a time of 3.44.50. John, who runs Highland Heathers just outside Comrie, was raising money for Teenage Cancer, and has so far raised over £1000. First local lady was Rhian Evans (Strathearn Harriers) of Crieff in 3:39:52.
Organised by Strathearn Harriers, the team behind the successful Crieff 10K and Simon Wake Comrie Hills Relay, the event is one of two new Perthshire marathons added to the Scottish circuit this year. The other addition, the Highland Perthshire Marathon, is set for September 1.