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VIDEO AND PICTURES: Best of the Run Garioch action

Thousands of runners of all standards took to the streets of Inverurie yesterday for the Run Garioch Junior Run, 5k, 10k and half marathon races.

Here’s a look at how each of the races went on the big day.

The 5k race

Winner of the 5k Callum Symmons. Pictures and video by Colin Rennie
Winner of the 5k Callum Symmons.<br />Pictures and video by Colin Rennie

Aberdeen AAC’s Callum Symmons powered to victory ahead of 500 rivals in the Run Garioch Eblast 5km at Inverurie, just 24 hours after making his Scotland debut in the home countries cross-country international at Falkirk.

The 19-year-old Edinburgh University physics student finished 16th in the under-20 men’s race at the international.

He recovered well enough to win yesterday’s contest, recording 17min 13sec to finish ahead of his Aberdeen AAC clubmate Fraser Cruickshank, who was runner-up in 17:48, while Blackburn’s David Langan finished third in 18:11.

Symmons said: “I was only called up for the international race on Thursday night, so didn’t have time to think about it. I don’t think I ran as well as I could have there but it was a great experience and I enjoyed it.

“I had always planned to do the Run Garioch race so I decided I may as well still do it despite having run at Falkirk. It was good fun, I enjoyed it and it completed a very satisfactory weekend.”

John Gaull (Jogscotland Rosemount) was first over-40 in 21:42, with Martin Cossar first over-50 in 22:52.

Metro Aberdeen’s Debbie Moore, who is in the 2018 Scotland Commonwealth Games triathlon relay training squad, celebrated her 28th birthday by winning the women’s prize when clocking 19:08 for seventh position overall.

She said: “I’m happy enough with the time I got but it was hard work. Now I’m going to go and enjoy the rest of my birthday.”

Rebecca Wain was second in 20:00 and last year’s runner-up, Emily Cossar (Aberdeen AAC) third in 21:53. Gail Ren-nie (Aberdeen AAC) was first over-40 in 22:55, with Elaine Tierney leading over-50 in 25:49.

The 10k race

The start of the Run Garioch 10k. Picture by Colin Rennie
The start of the Run Garioch 10k. Picture by Colin Rennie

Kenny Wilson (Moray Road Runners) showed his class by racing to a clear-cut victory ahead of 1,000 participants in the Run Garioch Dandara 10km at Inverurie yesterday.

The Scottish North District champion, from Craigellachie, moved into an early lead and was never put under any pressure from that point on.

He took on a troublesome wind and overcame some testing hills to sprint home in 32min 32sec, with Aberdeen-based Kenny O’Neill (Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers) second in 34:49 and James Kirk (Garioch Road Runners) taking third in 35:39.

Wilson, who won the Nairn 10km this month, was satisfied with his performance and said: “Kenny O’Neill made a fast start so I had to go with it but after the first kilometre I began to move ahead.

“I lost a bit of time after that, however, as there were a lot of headwinds over the next few kilo-metres and it was very windy again around the 8km point. I just kept going, trying to keep my technique working and I was able to pick up the pace again.”

O’Neill, who was also runner-up in 2015, was not disappointed after his run.

He said: “I’m in a lot better shape than last year, so I made a brisk start but it was tough into the wind.

“I do a lot of my training on a treadmill and I don’t think it prepares me enough for outdoor conditions. I’ll get back to training for the Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10km in May.”

Kirk (Garioch Road Runners) was third in 35:39, with Alec Young (Run-4-It) fourth in 37:02. Andy Williams was first in the over-40 age group when finishing fifth overall in 37:02 while his Metro Aber-deen clubmate John Matheson was the first over-50 in 38:36.

10k runners Sarah Bartlet, Tammy Wilson and Hanah Hadley. Picture by Colin Rennie
10k runners Sarah Bartlet, Tammy Wilson and Hanah Hadley.<br />Picture by Colin Rennie

Aberdeen AAC’s Nicola Gauld picked up the women’s title for the fourth time in the 11-year history of the race when clocking 37:10 to finish in sixth overall.

The former Scotland track international said it was a hard-earned victory: “That was tough. I found it very hilly and the wind made it difficult, so I lost a lot of time. I had hoped to run faster but it wasn’t going to happen, so I’m just happy to have achieved the win.”

Tammy Wilson (Garioch Road Runners), a previous winner of the Run Garioch half marathon, was satisfied with her effort when finishing runner-up in 38:29.

She said: “I am so pleased with that time on such a tough course and I’m delighted to have finished that close to Nicola.”

Ashley Pearson (Fleet Feet Triathletes) was third, first over-40, in 40:56, with Claire Barrie (Metro Aber-deen) taking fourth in 41:50.

Half marathon

Winner of the half marathon Kyle Greig. Picture by Colin Rennie
Winner of the half marathon Kyle Greig.<br />Picture by Colin Rennie

Aberdeen’s Kyle Greig came within four seconds of the course record he set in 2015 when winning the Run Garioch Accord Energy half marathon, despite having completed a seven-mile training run shortly before the race.

The Forres Harriers club member took an early lead and went on to post a time of 1hr 10min 41sec to finish well ahead of his nearest challengers.

He said: “I’m preparing for the London marathon so my coach, Lewis Walker, suggested doing a steady seven-mile run immediately before racing the half marathon. I felt pretty tired after that but I seemed to be fine during the race. I’m happy with the way it went as it shows my preparations for London seem to be going well.

“I’ll not do any more races before the marathon now.”

Newcastle-based Aberdonian Darren Thom (New Marske Harriers) set a personal best time of 1:12:43 when finishing in second position. He said: “My previous best was 1:14:17 set on a flat course at Redcar last year, so I’m delighted to run quicker here on a much tougher route. I tried to stay with Kyle for the first mile or two but he was too fast and I had to let him go. He quickly opened a big gap but after that it didn’t seem to grow too much.”

First woman in the Half Marathon Jennifer Elvin. Picture by Colin Rennie.
First woman in the Half Marathon Jennifer Elvin.<br />Picture by Colin Rennie.

Michael O’Donnell (Inverness Harriers) was 22sec outside his best time when finishing third in 1:18:10, while Jamie Birse pipped his Metro Aberdeen clubmate Sam Milton by 23sec to take fourth spot in 1:19:52.

Douglas Grieve was first over-40 in 1:22:34 with Douglas Adamson first over-50 in 1:33:08.

Aberdeen-based Irish runner Jennifer Elvin (Clapham Chasers) won the women’s race when clocking 1:27:05, a time bettered by only 16 men in the field of 600 competitors.

She finished 51sec ahead of the 2015 champion and course record-holder Marie Baxter (Garioch Road Runners), while Kerry Prise (Aberdeen AAC) was third in 1:29:05.

Elvin had to dig deep to secure her win but enjoyed the occasion. She said: “It’s the first time I’ve done this race and I found it quite hard, especially because of the wind. Marie led for about the first four miles then I passed her and after that I had no idea whether she was close to me or not.

“I’m pleased with the win and hopefully it will set me up for the London marathon where I hope to get a time of around the three-hour mark.”

Baxter was not too downbeat about losing her title and said: “I really didn’t expect to win as I wasn’t feeling too good and I’ve done a lot of races recently.

“It was almost a relief when Jennifer went past me. I’m concentrating on the London marathon now, although I’ll be doing the Berlin half marathon in a couple of weeks.”

Ginie Barrand set a personal best 1:30:11 when finishing fourth.