There’s a doubt over whether Tammy Wilson (Garioch Road Runners) will be able to defend her title in tomorrow’s Accord Energy Garioch half marathon, which has attracted a capacity field of 500 runners.
The Kintore runner won last year’s race in 1hr 30min 37sec but she has improved immensely since then and earlier this month she recorded a personal best 1:22:42 when finishing fourth in the Inverness half marathon.
That performance suggested she would be more than capable of cracking the Garioch women’s record of 1:29:17 set by Carolyn Milne in 2012.
Wilson has, however, picked up a knee injury and will make a late decision over whether or not to compete.
She said: “I’ve got a pain behind my left knee which didn’t seem too bad to begin with but got worse during the week. I’ll be seeing physio Ron Coutts and it will depend on what he tells me to do.
“It’s frustrating because I was so pleased with my run at Inverness and I was looking forward to Garioch. I’m doing the London marathon next month and I don’t want to do anything which will affect my preparations for that.”
If Wilson doesn’t run then Aberdeen’s Marie Baxter, who has recently joined Garioch Road Runners, could emerge as a strong contender for the title.
She set a personal best 1:25:44 when finishing second in the Kinloss to Lossiemouth half marathon last month before going on to pick up the over-40 age group prize in the Inverness half marathon.
Fraserburgh’s Lisa Stephen, winner of last month’s Peterhead to Fraserburgh 17-mile beach race, is another contender are Aberdeen AAC’s Angela Hepburn, who was second in 2011 and Siobhan Prise, fifth last year.
George French (Garioch Road Runners), who has already significantly improved his best half marathon time this year, is shaping up one of the favourites to win the men’s title.
Two years ago the Turriff runner’s best time was 1:21:31 but in February’s fast Kinloss to Lossiemouth race he clocked 1:11:45 when finishing runner-up behind North champion Gordon Lennox (Forres Harriers).
Stonehaven half marathon champion Ron Gauld (Stonehaven Running Club) is also expected to make a strong challenge for top spot.
Chris Hill (Cosmic Hillbashers), the 2012 race winner, is another who is expected to be pushing for a high finishing position.
The Fetternear athlete, who finished ninth in last year’s Scottish marathon championships at Loch Ness, will be aiming to improve on his best time of 1:19:37 set on the Garioch course two years ago.
Deeside’s Don Kerridge, the 2012 Crathes half marathon champion who was runner-up at Garioch last March, is also expected to feature prominently.