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Athletics: Aaron Odentz works six-hour pizza-making shift in Asda – after topping 5k and 10k at Run Garioch

Nicola MacDonald and Aaron Odentz secured first place in the female and men's 10k race at Run Garioch. Picture by Chris Sumner
Nicola MacDonald and Aaron Odentz secured first place in the female and men's 10k race at Run Garioch. Picture by Chris Sumner

Aaron Odentz could have been forgiven for giving his part-time retail job a miss on Sunday evening, seeing as he had pulled off a magnificent double victory in the 5k and 10k at Run Garioch only a few hours earlier.

But anyone who knows the economics student would understand it is not Odentz’s style.

Despite his morning exertions, the 22-year-old still headed straight to Asda after he received his medals in Inverurie, and worked his usual six-hour shift before finally allowing himself a break.

Odentz revealed, after collecting his medal at about 12.30pm, he managed to fit in a quick snack before clocking in at the supermarket at 2pm.

“I walked straight over to the car, went in by Starbucks, bought a large coffee, and went to work. I was stacking shelves and making pizzas.

“My main job is on the deli counter so that’s just making pizzas all day, basically.”

It was part of a busy day all round for Odentz, who has set his sights on the longer distances this summer.

Self-coached, the Aberdeen athlete has plans on running the London Marathon in October – and, given his performances at Run Garioch event, the early signs are good.

Nicola MacDonald and Aaron Odentz secured first place in the female and men’s 10k race at Run Garioch. Picture by Chris Sumner

Odentz ran 15:11 in the 5k and 32:54 in the 10k an hour later.

He was 90 seconds ahead of his nearest competitor – the talented youngster Caleb McGuire – in the 5k.

In the 10k, Odentz had a similarly hefty margin of victory, placing a minute ahead of second placed Allan Christie, despite making a wrong turn about six kilometres into the course.

Unflustered, Odentz still crossed the line with plenty left in the tank.

Reflecting, Odentz was certainly pleased with his day’s work – half of which was spent running, half of which was spent in Dyce’s Asda superstore.

He said: “The 10k was good, but I struggled a wee bit being out on my own.

“The wind picked up a little bit on the far side of the course, and then I went the wrong way at one point, so I ran about 20 metres in the wrong direction.

“I lost site of the lead biker and there was no marshal visibly telling me where to go. I could either ago left, straight on, or right – so I had a 33% chance of getting it right.

“I went left, and you were meant to go right. So that wasn’t great. But it is what it is – these things happen.”

Despite the odd wrong turn, Odentz will be hopeful he is on the straight and narrow as he turns his focus to the Scottish 10k championships next month.

Day went like ‘clockwork’ – organisers

Thousands of runners took to the streets of Inverurie to mark the return of Run Garioch. Picture by Chris Sumner

Race support manager Christine Appel was left feeling elated after the return of Run Garioch, which saw more than 2,000 runners take to the streets of Inverurie in the first time in three years.

Despite initial nerves about the event, they soon settled as Christine watched the day unfold like clockwork.

She said: “We’re elated, we’re exhausted, we’re thrilled, we’re proud – all the things you’d expect. We’ve been working hard for more than a year, because it’s been more than three years since we had our last one.

“There were times, as with many people over the pandemic, you forget stuff that you’ve been doing regularly and you wonder how it will all come through, but it went like clockwork on the day.

“Everyone snapped back into their race day jobs – from the event village, to the marshals, time keepers – we all remembered what we were doing and why love doing what we do.”

Zoey Clark runs Commonwealth Games standard at season-opening meet

Zoey Clark looks set to be selected for her third Commonwealth Games.

Zoey Clark secured the qualifying standard for the Commonwealth Games on Sunday after clocking 51.92sec in the 400m in Grangemouth.

It means Aberdeen’s Clark now has a strong chance of being picked for her third Commonwealth Games when selectors meet to finalise the Scotland team next month.

The race was Clark’s second of the weekend, after she ran her fastest-ever season-opener of 52.00sec over the 400m on Saturday.

Clark, who switched coach from Eddie McKenna to Ryan Oswald in September last year, will now set her sights on two more major championship standards.

The World Championships standard, of 51.35sec, has only been surpassed by two athletes in the UK so far this season. The European Championships standard sits at 51.70sec.

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