Aberdeen AAC’s Callum Symmons upstaged Metro Aberdeen’s Kyle Greig in the battle to become the first man to win two races in one day at the Run Garioch road racing festival.
More than 3,000 runners took part in yesterday’s programme of races.
Although no course records were broken, there was plenty for the large and enthusiastic crowd of spectators to enthuse over.
Symmons started the day by taking top spot in the Eblast 5km, recording 15min 46sec to finish 37 seconds ahead of Greig.
The top two then went their separate ways with Symmons going on to win the Dandara 10km in 33:29 while Greig won the RIM Fabrications half marathon in 1:12:52.
Symmons, an architecture student at Edinburgh University who also won the 5km in 2017, was satisfied with his day’s work.
He said: “The goal was to run fairly steady in both races to test my fitness, so in that respect it went well.
“I was happy enough with my times, especially the 10km as it was quite a hilly course. I’ve competed in some cross-country races over the winter but there’s been a lack of consistency in my training and racing so I needed today to get back doing the things I haven’t been doing.
“I’ve really only been training properly over the past month, so hopefully I can continue with this and we’ll see what happens.
“The 5km was fine. I got away from Kyle after 2km but I didn’t want to push on too hard as I needed to keep something back for the 10km. I think doing the 5km helped me in the second race because I felt quite relaxed in the opening kilometre of the 10km. A few guys sat in for the early stages but I was on my own from about 4km onwards.
“I’ll run in next month’s Balmoral races but I don’t want to give myself any specific targets at the moment.”
Inverurie Academy’s Lewis Weetman recorded 17:28 for third position behind Symmons and Greig in the 5km while Athol Burnett (Aberdeen AAC) was first over-50,eighth overall in 18:44. David King, the 2011 5km winner, was first over-40 in 19:11 and Alan Hastie (Peterhead) took the over-60s prize in 24:02.Richard Strachan (Jogscotland Kintore) recorded 34:43 to finish second in the 10km with Aberdeen’s David Marshall third in 35:28.
The age group prizes went to Fraserburgh’s Andrew Blackhall (over-40) in 36:31, Steven Ord (over-50), 41:38, and Peterhead’s John Robertson (over-60), 40:13.
Greig enjoyed a clearcut victory in the half marathon which came just five weeks after he finished fifth in a 102km multi-terrain race in New Zealand.
He said: “I’m glad I did the 5km as a warm-up. I felt a bit sluggish to begin with but I think it helped me get ready for the half marathon.
“My time in the half was more than two minutes slower than the course record I got a few years ago, but that’s to be expected as I haven’t got the speed at the moment. I’m just happy to get a performance under my belt.
“A win is a win. It was a solo run and it was quite hard.
“The first half of the course is usually fast but it was windy on that section this time, so it was tough going. I could see the lead motorbikes ahead of me in the distance.I tried to focus on that, which helped to some extent. But today was about getting a good training done. Now I’ll need to get back to doing some hard work before competing in the Balmoral 15-mile trail race and the 53-mile Highland Fling race between Milngavie and Tyndrum, both of which are next month.”
Tom Roche (Garioch Gazelles) and David Barclay (Garioch Road Runners), both in the over-40 age group, finished second and third behind Greig in the half marathon with respective times of 1:18:00 and 1:20:44. Bill Irvine took the over-50s crown when finishing the race in 10th overall in 1:25:00 while Alex McEwan (Edinburgh AC) led home the over-60s in 1:48:09.