Runners taking part in the 10k race

Records fall on great opening day at Balmoral - 27 April 2013

Robbie Simpson, Andrew Butchart, Rhona Auckland and Liam Barnsby were the stars of the show on a great opening day at the 2013 Balmoral races when four course records were broken.

In cold but often bright and perfectly dry conditions, Simpson set a new men's standard in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10K, Butchart and Auckland were record breakers in the ConocoPhillips 5K and Barnsby broke the previous best time for the Kongsberg Maritime secondary schools 2.5K.

On top of that we saw an exciting battle for possession of the magnificent Corporate Team Challenge Trophy which was won by Aberdeen Sports Village.

The successful ASV team included Rowan Chillingworth, Scott Craig, Ross Yeoman, Fiona Caldwell, Kyle Greig, Graeme Matheson, David Beattie and Katrina Pratt.

Simpson's victory in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10k was particularly impressive.

The 21 year-old Great Britain mountain running international sliced six seconds off the course record set by Central AC's Robert Russell six years ago when clocking a fine time of 31min 17sec.

Robbie has won the Balmoral trail race for the past two years, but he had never won the 10K in four previous attempts, his best finishing position being third in 2011.

And he was made to work hard to secure his first victory, with Great Britain under-23 cross country international Scott McDonald (Central AC) and two-times previous Balmoral 10K champion Andrew Douglas (Inverclyde AC) also running strongly in what was a highly competitive race.

Simpson battled up the notorious Balmoral hill in a no-holds-barred neck- and-neck dual with McDonald as Douglas, on the comeback trail after recent injuries, began to drop off the pace.

It was only when they reached the summit that Simpson began to edge clear and as the pair raced over the second half of the course, the Banchory man gradually increased his advantage.

Simpson upped the pace over the final mile and sprinted for the tape when he realised the record was within his grasp.

Robbie was delighted with the outcome, saying: "I knew we were running fast but I wasn't sure if the record was possible until I saw the clock near the finish.

"I'm really pleased with the time because its not all that much slower than my best and this isn't the  quickest of courses."

McDonald finished second in 31:41 with title-holder Douglas taking third spot in 32:04.

Aberdeen AAC's Nicola Gauld came within 10secs of the course record when winning the women's division of the race by finishing ninth overall from a field of 1,852 in 36:33.

The former Scottish 1500m track champion, who was competing at Balmoral for the first time, admitted the 1K long hill on the Deeside course was tougher than she anticipated.

She said:"The hill was much steeper than I expected and I found it very hard. I lost a bit of time there and although I ran hard over the final couple of miles I couldn't quite get inside Lyn Wilson's record."

Megan Crawford (Fife AC), the  2011 winner, was runner-up in 39:53 and Sarah Liebnitz (Inverness Harriers) finished third in 40:50.

Steven Buchan won the award for being the first kilted runner while Denise Forbes won the women's prize.

Rhona Auckland and Andrew Butchart showed outstanding form when smashing the women's and men's course records in the ConocoPhillips 5K.

Auckland, a Great Britain junior international, clocked 16min 35sec when finishing fourth overall from a field of 764 runners.

Her performance knocked 41secs off the mark she set twelve months ago.

She said:"I felt really good and I kept pushing it, but I was on my own for most of the way so I wasn't quite sure if I was inside the record. 

"I'm pleased with the time which is faster than I've done either on the road or on the track."

Twins Emma and Oonagh Dunnett, competing for Edinburgh AC, maintained their consistent record at Balmoral over recent years by finishing second and third respectively in the women's race.

Butchart's victory in the men's race in 14:46 sliced 11 secs off the course record set last year by his Central AC clubmate Ali Hay.

Afterwards, he said:"I really enjoyed the race. It's a great course and it was a bonus to get the record."

Hay had to settle for second position in 14:56 while Garioch 5K champion Kyle Greig (Forres Harriers) was third in a personal best 15:26.

Liam Barnsby (East Sutherland AC) set a course record time of 6min 58secs when outsprinting Steven Murray (Aberdeen AAC) to win the Kongsberg Maritime secondary schools 2.5K.

The North District cross country league champion's time was 21secs inside the record set by Kemnay's Gregor Young last year and Murray shared the same time when finishing a stride behind in second position.

Stewart Millar (Aberdeen AAC) also equalled the old mark when finishing third in 7:14.

Lucy McLeod (Aberdeen AAC) won the  girls' title for the second year in a row and her time of 8:22 was just four secs outside Gemma Cormack's 2006 course record.

Constance Nankivell (East Sutherland AC) pipped Jodie Sutton by two secs to take second position in 8:32.

Banchory Academy won the Aberdeenshire trophy for encouraging the highest number of pupils to take part in the Kongsberg secondary schools 2.5K. Mearns Academy finished in second position.

Luke Graham (Banchory) pipped Ben Cameron (Applegrove) by one second to win the MPH primary schools 1.5K boys' race in 5min 44secs while Kinellar's Cameron Callow  was a further four secs behind in third position.

Banchory's Claire McGarvey, who was third last year, stepped up to take top position in the girls' race when completing the course in six minutes, finishing six secs ahead of her clubmate Frances Sealy who was runner-up for the second year in a row.

Eilidh Campbell completed a clean sweep for Banchory runners by finishing third in 6:12.

Crathes pipped Durris to win the Aberdeenshire trophy for having the highest number of entrants in the small schools category while Banchory lifted the trophy in the large schools category ahead of Crombie.

Main Results:-

STENA DRILLING TARTAN 10K - Men: 1 R. Simpson (Banchory Stonehaven) 31min 17sec; 2 S.McDonald (Central) 31:41; 3 A. Douglas (Inverclyde) 32:04; 4 K. Hood (Corstorphine) 34:16; 6 I. Whiteside (Edinburgh University) 35:15; 6 S. Burgess (Aberdeen AAC) 35:35;7 C. Hill (Cosmic) 36:06; 8 P. Hadden 36:28; 9 A. Murray 36:35; 10 A. Brockie (Corstorphine) 36:48. Women: 1 N. Gauld (Aberdeen AAC) 36:33; 2 M. Crawford (Fife) 39:53; 3 S. Liebnitz (Inverness) 40:50; 4 M. Baxter 41:44; 5 P. Morris (Metro Aberdeen) 42:09; 6 J. Hendry (Metro Aberdeen) 42:34; 7 S. Provan (Deeside) 42:52; 8 T. Brogan 43:09; 9 S. Prise (Aberdeen AAC) 43:23; 10 S. Brown 43:57

CONOCOPHILLIPS 5K - Men: A. Butchart (Central) 14:46; 2 A. Hay (Central) 14:56; 3 K. Greig (Forres) 15:26; 4 S. Reilly (Central) 15;39; 5 D. Smith (Aberdeen AAC) 16:49; 6 A. Mutch 17;10; 7 C. Symmons (Aberdeen AAC) 17:16; 8 A. Blackhall (Fraserburgh) 17:35; 9 A. Penrose 17:41; 10 L. Czyzycki (Aberdeen AAC) 18:11. Women: 1 R. Auckland (Banchory Stonehaven) 16:35; 2 E. Dunnett (Edinburgh AC) 18:44; 3 O. Dunnett (Edinburgh AC) 19:11; 4 R. Smith 21:07; 5 J. Kerridge (Deeside) 21:12; 6 J. Fairley 21:34; 7 C. Carmichael 21:38; 8 S. Tulloch (Fife) 21:44; 9 K. Pratt 21:48; 10 N. Ewing (Turriff) 22:40.

KONGSBERG MARITIME SECONDARY SCHOOLS 2.5K - Boys: 1 L. Barnsby (East Sutherland) 6:58; 2 S. Murray (Aberdeen AAC) 6:58; 3 S. Millar (Aberdeen AAC) 7;14; 4 M. Kilner (Aberdeen AAC) 7:27; 5 C. Mulchay (Mearns) 7;34; 6 F. Strachan (Aberdeen AAC) 7:52; 7 D. Young (Kemnay) 7:52; 8 A. odentz (Aberdeen AAC) 7:52; 9 L. Khan 7:54; 10 H. Sherriffs (Mearns) 7:58. Girls: 1 L. McLeod (Aberdeen AAC) 8:22; 2 C. Nankivell (East Sutherland) 8:32; 3 J. Sutton 8:34; 4 N. Lang (Grampian Orienteers) 8:38; 5 E. Sealy (Banchory) 9:05; 6 O. Gemmell (Kilbarchan) 9:09; 7 R. Nankivell (East Sutherland) 9:21; 8 R. Forbes (Banchory Stonehaven) 9:21; 9 B. Cheyne (Aberdeen AAC) 9:26; 10 E. New 9:27.

MPH PRIMARY SCHOOLS 1.5K - BOYS: 1 L. Graham (Banchory) 5:44; 2 B. Cameron (Applegrove) 5:45; 3 C. callow (Kinellar) 5:49; 4 S. Kirk (Lairhillock) 5:55; 5 G. Jones (Ashley Road) 5:56; 6 C. Stone (Robert Gordon's) 5:58; 7 J. Abbott (Edenside, Kelso) 6:01; 8 A. Summers (Crathes) 6:11; 9 D. Black 6:11; 10 L. Watt (Ashley Road) 6:11. GIRLS: 1 C. McGarvey (Banchory) 6:00; 2 F. Sealey (Banchory) 6:06; 3 E. Campbell (Banchory) 6;12; 4 K. Campbell (Banchory) 6:14; 5 J. Collett (Aberdeen AC) 6:14; 6 L. McNeill 6:26; 7 E. Murray (Crombie) 6:32; 8 C. Scott (East Sutherland) 6:32; 9 K. Anderson 6:33; 10 J. McGarvey 6:40

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