Petrofac Challenge Gets Off to a Flying Start - 24 April 2011
Great Britain junior hill running international Robbie Simpson (Deeside Runners) defeated a field of 150 runners to win the first Petrofac Challenge multi-terrain half marathon at Balmoral on Sunday (24th April).
The Banchory athlete completed the testing course around the Royal estate in 1hr 13min 40sec to finish well clear of his rivals. It was an impressive performance given that Robbie had little time to recover from setting a personal best of 32min 15sec when finishing third in the previous day's Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km.
Simpson said:"It was quite fast at the beginning, but I just tried to relax.
"After about three miles I began to pull away and I worked pretty hard on the long uphill part of the course to open up a gap. Nobody came with me.
"It's a tremendous route with a lot of variety and I really enjoyed it."
Niku Millott (Metro Aberdeen Running Club) took second position ahead of Andrew Budiansky.
Millott is one of the north east of Scotland's most prolific half marathon runers having won the Dyce, Nairn, Moray, Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Glen Clova races in 2010.
Budiansky, who comes from Virginia but is spending a short spell at St Andrews University, had been lying in second position with a couple of miles to go, but took a wrong turning which cost him the runners-up position.
He said:"These things happen. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the race although it's a tough course and that was my slowest half marathon time."
Donald Kerridge, in sixth position overall, was the leading man in the over-40 age group while 10th placed Lewis Walker was the top over-50.
Clare Whitehead (Deeside Runners), runner-up in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km less than 24 hours earlier, won the women's race in 1:26:01.
The Scottish hill running champion was delighted with the result and impressed with the event.
She said:"This is the best off-road, trail course I have ever done. It's absolutely tremendous and I'll definitely be back next year."
Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers) was the leading veteran,second overall, in 1:31:19 and Jane Simpson (Bellahouston Road Runners) took third position in 1:32:47.
Simpson echoed Whitehead's comments about the course. She said:"It was just so beautiful. This is the first time I have been here and I'm sure I'll be back."
Morag Taggart (Dundee Road Runners) won the over-50 women's prize in 1:41:48.
Edinburgh's Alex MacEwen completed the Challenge in 42nd position in a time of 1:41:08 to complete a hectic weekend of action.
The veteran runner had also tackled Saturday's ConocoPhillips 5Km in which he jogged round in 30:42 before blasting round the Stena Tartan Drilling 10Km in a respectable 46:06.
He said:"It was interesting! I really enjoyed the Petrofac Challenge. It's a great event and the course is testing without being too demanding.
"It should really suit runners who are looking for a manageable target.
"I'm sure next year there will be many more taking part."
Summary of Main Results:- (for full results please visit the results page)
PETROFAC CHALLENGE MULTI TERRAIN HALF MARATHON (Balmoral Castle) -
Men: 1 R. Simpson (Deeside Runners) 1hr 13min 40sec; 2 N. Millott (Metro Aberdeen) 1:16;22; 3 A. Budiansky (St Andrews University) 1:16:54; 4 T. Christie (Peterhead) 1:20:03; 5 B. Ingram (Metro Aberdeen) 1:21:02; 6 D. Kerridge (Deeside, over-40) 1:22:44; 7 P. Murdoch (Keith) 1:24:00; 8 J. Cardenas 1:25:00; 9 C. Mackintosh 1:27:06; 10 L. Walker, over-050, 1:27:09.
Women: 1 C. Whitehead (Deeside) 1:26:01; 2 V. Oldham (Cosmic, over-40) 1:31:19; 3 J. Simpson (Bellahouston) 1:32:47; 4 G. Carr (Corstorphine) 1:35:03; 5 R. Wolfe (Metro Aberdeen, over-40) 1:37:00; 6 C. Roberts (Corstorphine)1:40:14; 7 M. Taggart (Dundee Road Runners, over-50) 1:41:48; 8 J. Kerridge (Deeside, over-50) 1:42:09; 9 S. Mackay 1:43:01; 10 L. Provan (Hunters Bog Trotters) 1:43:04.