Julie Misses Out on ConocoPhillips Team Challenge - 27 February 2011
Julie Hendry has a good reason for not being able to help her ConocoPhillips Finance team-mates in their bid to successfully defend the team title in the 5Km sponsored by their own company at Balmoral Castle on 23rd April.
Julie finished 17th overall, third woman, in last year's race when she clocked an impressive 19min 22sec.
But she won't be competing this year as she'll be getting ready for another major and much more important event in her life.
She said:"I'm having my first baby in May so, unfortunately, I will not be running.
"My place will be taken by Claire Taylor and I'm sure she'll do very well."
Alastair Blain was the next ConocoPhillips finisher last year, taking 33rd position in 20:30, while Julie Fairley (48th in 21:39) and Simon Taylor (71st in 22:54) completed the scoring.
The ConocoPhillips side have thrown down the gauntlet to other organisations aiming to challenge them for the winner's trophy.
Close to 1,000 runners are expected to take part in the 5Km race in which Aberdeen AAC's Myles Edwards plans to defend the individual men's title.
Pamela Tosh (Aberdeen AAC) won the individual women's prize last year but she has been toiling with injuries lately and may not be able to defend.
Dunblane runner Fiona Thompson, winner of the Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km in 2007, runner-up in 2008 and bronze medallist last year, will tackle the 5Km on this occasion.
She certainly has the pedigree to challenge Tosh's course record of 18min 16sec as she set a personal best of 17:39 in Glasgow last summer.
Fiona is looking forward to the challenge. She said:"I am doing the 5km this year as I will be coming into the track season and I want to work on doing something shorter and faster in preparation for that.
"But I still want to be involved in the Balmoral weekend as I really enjoy it."
The women's division of the race is shaping up to be very competitive with Celtic nations under-20 cross country winner Rhona Auckland (Banchory Stonehaven) looking to improve on her performance last year when she finished second, while top North athlete Moira Davie (Forres Harriers) is also in the line-up.
Scottish under-17 cross country champion Emma Dunnett and her twin sister Oonagh, from Thurso, are also to take part in what promises to be a top class event.