Balmoral Castle the backdrop to the race

British Rowing Record Holder Heads for Balmoral - 12 January 2010

A Yorkshire athlete who holds an unusual British record is among the latest runners to sign up for the 2010 Stena Drilling Tartan 10K at Balmoral Castle. Julian Norton, 37, who competes for Thirsk and Sowerby Harriers, set a UK age group best time of 7hr 9min 38sec for rowing 100Km indoors last September.His performance removed 29mins from the previous mark for men aged 30-39 and weighing under 75kg.

Norton achieved his feat on an indoor rowing machine which is designed to simulate the same actions of a waterborne craft. He said:"I do quite a bit of indoor rowing. Last summer I decided that the 100Km record needed to be challenged so I trained specifically for it over a three month period."

"I also enjoy my running. I did quite a bit when I was younger, but only got back into it again about seven years ago when my wife started running."

"I also do ski-mountaineering, which is another tough sport. I'm going to the French Alps in March to take part in a ski-mountainering race."

Julian's whole family has signed up for Balmoral with wife Anne also doing the 10K, while sons Archie and Jack are doing the children's races. Julian said:"The boys are keen runners and mountain bikers so they are looking forward to it."

So what prompted them all to head for Deeside? Julian explained: "My mate from university days, Mike Sibson, lives in Banchory so we're combining a visit to see him and his family with the Balmoral races. "Mike's family are all taking part as well so it should be fun."

Julian is a veterinary doctor so oftens has to work at weekends, which limits his racing opportunities. But he still amkes time for training and is happy with his form at the moment. he said:"My training is going quite well. I try to get out s even or eight times a week.

"My best 10Km time is around 36mins but that was a while ago. At the moment I'm probably more likely to run around 37min or 37 and a half minutes, so I'm not likely to win the Balmoral race!"




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