Around 5,000 runners crossed the finish line at today’s Scottish Half Marathon + 10K which took place along the magnificent Golf Coast and finished in style at Musselburgh Racecourse.
A bright East Lothian morning welcomed the 10K runners, who set off at 9am, heading east along the coast before turning and heading back towards Musselburgh Racecourse for their grandstand finish.
The race was won by Dalius Pavliukovicius from Lithuania in a time of 33:01. He was chased home by Corstorphine AC duo Bryan Clark and Mark Haskett who completed the top three.
Afterwards, Dalius said: “This is my first time in Scotland, I came over for a holiday and was looking for a flat 10K to run, so I was delighted to come here and win the Scottish 10K. I was hoping for a slightly faster time but unfortunately picked up a bit of a cold last week, although I’m really happy to win.”
The first female home in the Scottish 10K was Ella Revitt in a new course record time of 36:15 with Lisa Macdonald and Samantha Woodward in second and third.
Ella commented: “I wasn’t expecting to go so fast today, the conditions were great and the course was really flat. My family live in Switzerland and I’ve just started at Edinburgh University so I haven’t yet joined a running club up here. It was great to get the win today!”
At 11am, around 4,000 half marathon runners set off from Meadowmill Sports Centre to take on their 13.1 mile challenge.
At the front of the field, it soon became apparent that the battle to the line would be between Ross Houston (Central AC) and Peter Avent (Shettleston Harriers) who had broken clear from the rest of the field. But it was Houston whose strength showed in the latter stages, as he pulled away and took victory in a new course record of 1:07:42. Avent stayed strong to the line to finish in 1:08:45, with Sunderland Harrier Andrew Powell taking third.
Ross Houston spoke after his win: “I’ve been running around 100 miles a week as I prepare for a marathon next month, so I’m pretty tired now! It was a lovely flat course. I was running with Peter (Avent) for much of the race and just managed to pull away towards the end.”
The women’s race would see another course record smashed, as Lisa Finlay of Dumfries RC sped home in 1:20:56, taking the previous course best down by some three and a half minutes. Jill Knowles of the Scottish Prison Service and Catriona Probert of Edinburgh AC made up the other podium spots.
Lisa spoke after her win: “This was my first time running the Scottish Half Marathon and I really enjoyed it. I’m delighted to run the time I did and break the course record.”
Away from the sharp end of the field were some equally impressive performances from some truly incredible people.
Among the Scottish 10K finishers was Craig Robinson, who was fundraising two fantastic causes, one being a premier affiliate charity of the event – Alzheimers Scotland. Craig set himself the target of running a race of at least 10K for every month in 2017. He was fundraising for Alzheimers Scotland in memory of his Mother-In-Law, Catherine Stewart, who sadly passed away last year.
Craig’s second charity was the Chailey Heritage Foundation, who help kids and young people with complex disabilities to achieve their potential.
Craig said: “I’m helping Chailey as they support my nephew Sam, who has a rare genetic mutation (CDKL5) that means he has severe epilepsy and complex physical needs. Fundraising is going well. I had a bit of a dodgy knee today, but it was still a great run!"
The inspirational stories continued into the Half Marathon; George McBride was raising funds for the event’s official charity partner Cancer Research UK. George’s motivation came after watching close family members suffer from the disease in recent years. He said:
“Seeing my Dad and then my wife be diagnosed with cancer really gave me the motivation to complete this run today and raise as much as I could for CRUK, I hope I’ve done them proud. It has also been a great personal challenge which has resulted in me losing weight and improving my fitness. It has been a great day!”
Michelle Sneddon was running for another of the events premier affiliate charities, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC).
Michelle was born with esophageal atresia, a rare birth defect which resulted in her being rushed to ECHC shortly after her birth. She was fortunately saved and later had surgery to correct the defect. Michelle was in and out of hospital until she was eight years old, and even now has issues swallowing food.
She said: “Thanks to the wonderful people at Edinburgh Children’s Hospital, I have two beautiful children and I share my life with the most amazing man I’ve ever known.
“Hospitals aren’t really described as being fun places to be, but raising money for ECHC will help to make the hospital a less frightening place for children to be.I was delighted to beat my 2:30 target time today!”
Event manager Abi Beautyman said: “Well done to everyone who took part in the Scottish Half Marathon + 10K today. The conditions were absolutely perfect which resulted in some incredible times, it was inspiring to see so many smiling runners cross the line – you’ve more than earned your celebrations!