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Athletics: Aberdeen’s Myles Edwards wants to roll back years in Scottish indoor 1500m race

Aberdeen international track athlete Myles Edwards. Picture by Kami Thomson
Aberdeen international track athlete Myles Edwards. Picture by Kami Thomson

Aberdeen AAC’s Myles Edwards hopes to turn the clock back this evening when he competes in the 1500m at the Scottish indoor track and field championships in Glasgow.

The 33-year-old hasn’t raced at the Emirates Arena since 2015 when he won the men’s 1500m title – and now he’s determined to give his all in a bid to repeat that success.

He said: “I feel I’m in the best shape I’ve been in at any time since 2015, so I’m excited to find out what I can do.

A few years ago I didn’t think I’d ever get back to that level, but I’ve been responding well to the training sessions I’ve been doing. My build-up has been perfect other than having a Iliotibial band niggle for a short while, but that hasn’t held me back and I’m exactly where I wanted to be at this stage.

“I’m certainly in better shape than last summer, when I ran 3min 53secs.

“It all depends who else is there so far as a finishing position goes, but I want to be in the mix.”

Aberdeen AAC age group record holder Kai Crawford makes his first appearance of the year in the 800m, in which his opponents include clubmate Stewart Millar, who has made a successful comeback in recent weeks after a long spell away from serious competition.

A third Aberdeen runner, Lewis Watt, is also in the field and he’ll be hoping to feature strongly.

Aberdeen AAC’s Michael Ferguson is a strong medal contender in the 3,000m, in which Dundee Hawkhill’s Great Britain international Kris Jones is clear favourite.

Ferguson set the Aberdeen club’s indoor record of 8:15.60 when finishing fifth in the 2020 championship race and he is currently in good form, having recently set an indoor 800m best of 1:52.94.

Aberdeen twins Kirsty and Caitlin Purcell face a tough task in their quest for medals in the women’s 3,000m. But, although they have the slowest personal best times of the seven entrants, they have shown good form during the cross country season and look poised to climb the rankings.

Kirsty Purcell (154) and Caitlin Purcell (155).

Alister Mackay is among the favourites for a medal in the shot put at the under-20 championships in Glasgow. The Inverness Harriers club member set a PB of 13.77m when finishing third in the heptathlon championships last month.

Elgin’s Kyle Wilkinson could be among the prizes in the long jump if he can hit top form.

Aberdeen AAC’s Hanna Taylor, who has won the Scottish under-17 and Scottish schools titles in recent weeks, steps up an age group to test herself in the 1500m.

And at under-15 level, Elgin’s Holly Whittaker aims for double sprint success in the 60m hurdles and long jump while Orkney’s Emily McArthur is tipped to do well in the 800m.

Granite City’s Chalmers targets Commonwealth mark in Seville

Aberdeen-based Sean Chalmers bids for a Commonwealth Games qualifying time when he makes his marathon debut in Seville on Sunday.

The Inverness Harriers club member gave himself a major confidence boost last month by clocking a personal best 1hr 4min 23secs in the Farnborough half marathon.

Now he’s aiming for the Commonwealth standard of 2:15:12.

Sean Chalmers.

Meanwhile, Great Britain mountain running international Robbie Simpson is clear favourite to win the Fetteresso Forest trail marathon on Sunday.

Although the Deeside runner doesn’t plan to be racing flat out, he is  more than capable of challenging the course record of 2hr 50min 40secs set by Banchory’s Mark Mosgrove in 2019.

However, because of the large number of trees which have fallen in recent storms, a new route will be in place for this year’s race.

Simpson’s rivals include Metro Aberdeen’s Allan Christie, who enjoyed success in 2022 by setting a marathon PB of 2:31:15 at Berlin in September, before going on to win the Bennachie 50k trail ultra in October and the Dava Way 5k in November.

Another Metro club member, Paul Knight, came close to winning in 2018 after holding a clear lead at 22 miles, before slipping back to finish fourth. He was also fourth in 2020.

Sam Milton (Moray Road Runners), a former winner of the Aboyne Illuminator head torch run, is also expected to feature in the tussle for podium positions.

And Aberdeen’s Duncan Chadburn, third in 2020, is again in the line-up.

Veteran Jenni Rees-Jenkins (Insch Trail Runners), who won in 2019 and finished third in 2018 and fifth in 2020, is again expected to be in the frame for the top honours in the women’s race.

Her opponents include Edinburgh’s Jo Wallace, who finished third in 2020. Newmachar-based Slovakian runner Jana Vidis, winner of the women’s division of the Dava Way 50k in November, is among the other contenders.

Fraserburgh’s Gillian Cardno-Strachan appears to be in good form as she continues her build-up towards April’s Manchester marathon.

And West Lothian’s Lynne Lamont, who completed the six-day Marathon des Sables through the Sahara Desert last year, is also taking part.

Final North District cross county league meeting

There’s some thrilling action in store at the fifth and final North District cross country league meeting of the season at Forres on Saturday as the battle for a number of individual and team titles goes down to the wire.

John Newsom (Inverness Harriers) leads the men’s competition, but Kenny Wilson (Moray Road Runners) can pip him for the title with victory at Grant Park.

The Moray athlete is favourite as he goes into the race with better form, having beaten his rival in the two most recent races, while Newsom’s victories earlier in the season came when Wilson was absent.

The struggle for team honours is also extremely close, with a single point separating leaders Moray Road Runners from Inverness Harriers.

It’s equally exciting in the women’s competition as Catriona Fraser-Lennox (Inverness Harriers) and Kirstie Rogan (Highland Hill Runners) are locked together on 299 points, each having won two races. Whoever comes out on top tomorrow will take the title.

Rogan could share in another triumph as her club currently holds a healthy lead over Forres Harriers in the team contest.

The under-15 girls’ league could also throw up an exciting race as Caitlin Heggie (Ross County) and Abbie Stewart (Stornoway) currently share top spot and the winner will take all.

It’s the same story at under-11 level with Inverness clubmates Lexi Macrae and Niamh Doorley sharing pole position.

While much has still to play out, a number of other divisional titles have already been decided.

Roy Taylor (Elgin) and Katie Slimon (Highland Hill Runners) have already sewn up the under-17 men’s and women’s leagues, while Callum Thompson (Nairn) and Lois Macrae (Inverness Harriers) have done likewise at under-13 level.

Andrew Baird (Ross County) has won the under-15 boys’ title and Owen Mathis-Foot (Inverness Harriers) has secured the under-11 boys’ division.