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Aaron Odentz makes it a double-double at Run Garioch

Aberdeen runner returns to Inverurie to win both the 5K and 10K races for the second time.

Aaron Odentz celebrated two wins at the 2024 edition of Run Garioch. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson
Aaron Odentz celebrated two wins at the 2024 edition of Run Garioch. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Aaron Odentz celebrated a double-double on his return to Run Garioch after repeating his feat of winning both the men’s 5K and 10K races.

Aberdeen AAC runner Odentz, who completed the double in 2022, finished 20 seconds ahead of Fraser Mackenzie in the 5K in a time of 16 minutes and 13 seconds with Gareth Haycroft finshing third in 16:39.

He returned an hour later to race in the 10K where he finished in a time of 33:40, well clear of Newburgh Dunes Running Club’s Jack Arnold (34:39) and Harry McCartney of Jogscotland Meldrum who finished in exactly 35 minutes.

Odentz was thrilled to carry on where he left off two years ago.

He said: “I won the double in 2022 and didn’t take part last year as I was training for another race down in London so it’s good to come back and win it.

“I grew up in Dyce and stay in town and I think I’ve been doing this race since around 14 and I’m 24 now.

“It was so much warmer in the second race and when you were out in the country roads it was pretty close with trees either side which made it really warm. I was sweating buckets.

“The time is quite a bit slower than my PB but today wasn’t about times. It was about coming and getting a decent workout and obviously the two wins.”

Aaron Odentz, central, with 10K runner-up Jack Arnold, right, and third-placed Harry McCartney, left. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

‘It’s not easy, definitely not’

The distances themselves are not an issue for Odentz but he says racing twice, and the pace of the events, are challenging tasks.

Commenting on the 5K he said:  “I’ve done a marathon before so running a 5K and then a 10K isn’t hard in terms of stamina.

“But what is harder is the fact you are obviously running a bit quicker and you have different guys pushing you on.

“It’s not easy, definitely not.”

Following his successful day’s work in Inverurie Odentz is now focused on a race later in the year in Europe.

He said: “I’m doing the Amsterdam marathon in October.

“There’s a group of four us planning on going on to compete in that so that’s the big target I’m working towards.”

Winner of the women’s 5K Charlotte Narducci. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Charlotte Narducci made it a double 5K success for Aberdeen AAC after clinching the women’s title.

The 19-year-old was the first woman home in 18:51 with Kelly Vine-Jones, winner of last year’s 10K, taking second in 20:12. Last year’s runner-up, Metro Aberdeen’s Chloe Gray, was third in 20:28.

Narducci said: “It was tough. It’s the hilliest course I’ve done at 5K so I’m pleased. I think we’re all relieved it was a little cloudier today after the weather on Saturday.

“The first kilometre was quite fast but I tend to do quite well in those ones and thankfully today was one of those days where it went perfectly.”

Mckenzie enjoying 10K running

Women’s 10k winner Louise Mckenzie, centre, with runner-up Elaine Wilson, right, and third-placed Nicola Gauld, left. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Louise Mckenzie was thrilled to mark her return to Run Garioch in style by taking the honours in the women’s 10K race.

Mckenzie won in 41:07 with Hidden Peak Running’s Elaine Wilson coming home in second place 31 seconds behind while Nicola Gauld of Metro Aberdeen was third in 42:20.

Mckenzie finished as runner-up in the 5K in 2022 before missing out on last year’s event due to injury.

It has been a busy season so far for Mckenzie who will be back in action again on Sunday.

She said: “I’ve only just started running 10Ks really so it’s great to win. I’ve been training for a while but I’ve only really been running for the last few months.

“It was so hot. It was winter not that long ago.

“It was a fast time for me.  I’ve run in three 10Ks recently and Balmoral was 43:18 and the two before that were up at 44 or 45 so 41 was good for me.

“I have a PB of just under 40 but that was two years ago in my first 10K really.

“I like doing the local 10ks and supporting them and I’ve entered the Gordon Castle 10K next weekend.”

Third time lucky for Roche in the marathon

Picture centre is Tom Roche, marathon winner, with runner-up Rory Brand, left, and third-placed Charles Howorth, right. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

Tom Roche, who was runner-up in the marathon in 2018 and 2019, was delighted to tick the box of winner after taking the men’s title for the first time.

The 47 year-old JSK runner won in a time of 1:23:04 with Garioch Roadrunners’ Rory Brand second in 1:23:59 while Charlies Howorth of Stonehaven RC was third in 1:24:12.

Roche was pleased his tactics paid off.

He said: “It was nice and breezy in the first half and I held back but I felt I had an edge on the guys around me.

“Everything just fell into place and after about eight or nine miles I felt if I hit it hard I could take it.

“I was able to open up a gap and thankfully I held it to the end.

“It’s a tough course. This is the fourth time I’ve taken part. I won the 10k in 2017 and it was great to come back and do the half marathon.

“I didn’t ever think I’d win so I’m really pleased.”

Easton happy to win after changing terrain

Women’s half marathon winner Rebecca Easton. Image: Kath Flannery/DC Thomson

There was a first-time winner in the women’s half-marathon too as Garioch Roadrunners’ Rebecca Easton won in a time of 1:35:16.

Alison Jardine of Newton Roadunners was runner-up (1:38:14) with Ailsa Webster of Jogscotland Westhill third home in 1:39:50.

Trail runner Easton was pleased to see a switch to road running pay-off with a victory.

She said: “I’ve ran twice before but it has been a few years since I ran here. I think it was 2017 the last time and I was in the top 20 back then.

“I haven’t done a lot of half marathons since then as I compete in marathon ultras so it was a nice, short event for me.

“My preference is trail running more than road running so I’ve got the Bennachie Ultra in October.

“But before then I’m running the Barra 10k in a few weeks’ time and then the Lairig Ghru which is in the Cairngorms.”


Mackie’s 5K

Men – Aaron Odentz (Aberdeen AAC) 16:13; Fraser Mackenzie (Metro Aberdeen) 16:33; Gareth Haycroft (Garioch Road Runners) 16:39.

Women – Charlotte Narducci (Aberdeen AAC) 18:51; Kelly Vine-Jones 20:12; Chloe Gray (Metro Aberdeen) 20:28.

Dandara 10K

Men – Aaron Odentz (Aberdeen AAC) 33:40; Jack Arnold (Newburgh Dunes RC) 34:39; Harry McCartney (Jogscotland Meldrum) 35:00.

Women – Louise Mckenzie 41:07; Elaine Wilson (Hidden Peak Running) 41:38; Nicola Gauld (Metro Aberdeen) 42:20.

McWilliam Lippe Architects Half-marathon

Men – Tom Roche (JSK) 1:23:04; Rory Brand (Garioch Roadrunners) 1:23:59; Charles Howorth (Stonehaven RC) 1:24:12.

Women – Rebecca Easton (Garioch Roadrunners) 1:35:16; Alison Jardine (Newton Roadrunners) 1:38:14; Ailsa Webster (Jogscotland Westhill) 1:39:50.