Runners taking part in the 5k race

Top Runners Keen On Balmoral - 5 January 2011

A mouth watering clash between two of Scotland’s top 10Km runners is in prospect at next year’s Balmoral Road races, entries for which have now opened.

Scottish international Andrew Douglas, from Caithness, is keen to have a crack at the course record in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km which is expected to attract a capacity field of 2,400 runners.

Douglas won this year’s 10Km in a time of 32min 1sec which was the second quickest in the history of the event and just 38secs short of Robert Russell’s course record set in 2007.

He has improved significantly since then and now has a best 10Km time of 29:46 to his credit which shows he has the potential to crack the Balmoral record.

He said :”I really enjoyed Balmoral this year and although it isn’t a fast course I’d really like to compete in it again.

“With better preparation and having now experienced the infamous hill, I’m confident that all being well, I could have a better crack at the course record.

“It’s a great setting for a 10km and the atmosphere was brilliant before, during and after the race.

“My Dad and sister want to run the 10km and we are trying to persuade my mum, who hasn’t run since I was a toddler, to do the 5km so it could be an all-inclusive family affair.”

Douglas’s opponents will include Banchory’s Great Britain junior international mountain runner Robbie Simpson, 19, who has finished in the top ten on three previous occasions.

Simpson, a past winner of the secondary schools race at Balmoral, said: “I’ve never run particularly well in the 10Km for some reason, but it would be a good race to do well in.”

The dual between Douglas and Simpson should be fascinating and it could be spiced up even more if course record holder Robert Russell also decides to compete.

He’s contemplating an outing in the London marathon the week before Balmoral, but if that falls through he has said he’d be keen to return to Deeside.

Edinburgh-based Aberdonian Lyn Wilson will bid to win the women’s title for the fourth time in six years.

In addition to the 10Km, the programme also includes the ConocoPhillips 5Km, incorporating a wheelchair race, the Active schools Aberdeenshire secondary 2.5Km and the McIntosh Plant Hire primary school 1.5Km.

Andy Miller, Principal sports development officer for Aberdeenshire Council, said: “We had a great turnout last year with a record entry and wonderful event atmosphere.

“Our adult races were full well before the cut off date and we aim to repeat that this year.

“Again we plan to have fringe events and sports activities to entertain spectators and runners between races, so there will be plenty to do for everyone.”

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