Balmoral Castle the backdrop to the race

Race Day Report 2010 - 25 April 2010

Caithness athlete Andrew Douglas showed outstanding form at the Balmoral road races which once again proved to be one of Scotland's premier running festivals. The Edinburgh-based athlete defeated a field of more than 2,000 runners to win the Stena Drilling Tartan 10Km over the testing Deeside course.

Douglas, who competes for Inverclyde AC, took control of proceedings in the early stages and went on to win comfortably in 32min 1 sec.His time is the second quickest in the history of the event, being bettered only by Robert Russell's 2007 record of 31:23.

Douglas said:"That was great. It's a tremendous event, but the hill after 3Km was a real killer. I was glad to get to the top. "It's the first time I've been here and it has been really good. I'm pleased with the way it has gone. "I'll be running in the Edinburgh 10Km next week and the Castle of Mey 10Km the week after that, then I'll be taking a break."

Title-holder Keith Hood (Corstorphine) won a hard fought battle with Ben Hukins (Aberdeen AAC) for second place while Great Britain junior hill running international Robbie Simpson (Banchory Stonehaven AC) was fourth.

Grant Wilkie (Corstorphine) won the over-40 age group prize in sixth position overall while 14th placed Alan Reid (Peterhead) was the first kilted finisher and Robert Rossborouh (Clydesdale) topped the over-50's prize list.

Lyn Wilson (carnethy), in her first race for 11 months, won the women's prize when recording 37:03 for ninth position overall.

It was the Aberdonian runner's third win in five years and she was more than happy with the outcome. Lyn said:"I'm happy enough with that given it has been so long since I last raced.

"I was fine until the 8Km mark then I really began to feel it. Still, It's a decent time under the circumstances."

Hill running international Clare Whitehead (Cosmic Hillbashers), who won at Balmoral in 2004, was runner-up in 38:53 while 2007 champion Fiona Thompson (Central AC) was third in 39:18.

Aberdeen's Carolyn McLeod was first in the over-40 age group while Marie Duthie took the top prize in the over-50's.

Pamela Tosh smashed her own course record and set a personal best time when winning the women's division of the ConocoPhillips 5Km.

The Aberdeen AAC runner powered home in 18min 16sec to lift the title for the second year in a row,knocking a massive 30sec off the record she set in 2009.

It was a remarkable performance,coming just seven days after Tosh won the Lochaber marathon, again in a personal best time.

She said:"I'm very pleased to run that time given that it was so soon after the marathon.

"My main aim is to do well in the Edinburgh marathon in May. I'll be doing the Loch Leven half marahon before that and possible the Dunecht Dash 5km."

Scottish under-17 cross country champion Rhona Auckland (Banchory Stonehaven) finished runner-up for the second year in a row but her time of 18:37 was also inside Tosh's old record.

It proved that Rhona is in excellent form and comes on top of her personal best 3000m track time in the previous weekend's Scottish women's league.

Aberdeen AAC's Myles Edwards won the men's title for the second time in four years but was 16secs outside Ian Reid's one-year-old course record.

Edwards was, nevertheless, satisfied with the result. He said:"It was hard work but I'm pleased to get the win.

"I'm going to run in next weekend's British Universities track championships when I hope to break my personal best 800m time of 1min 55sec."

Sam Burgess (Deeside Runners) pushed Edwards all the way and eventually finished second in 16:48 while Owen Miller was third in 17:11.

Alford Academy's Hamish Battle powered home ahead of the field in the Activeschools Aberdeenshire secondary 2.5Km.

Battle crossed the line in 7min 49secs just one sec clear of Andrew Melvin (Banchory Academy) with Gregor Young (Kemnay Academy) outsprinting Blair Little (Elgin Academy) to take the bronze medal.

Roisin Bonucchi (St Modans High) was an impressive winner of the girls' race, recording 9:04 to finish 9secs ahead of Heide Laidlaw (City of Edinburgh) with Christy Grimshaw (Deeside Girls FC) getting the better of Bronwyn Matthews (Aboyne Academy) to take third position.

Dunecht's Morna Holmes produced a strong finish to win the MPH primary schools girls' 1.5Km race in 6:22 but there was a dramatic battle involving three runnners for the other medal positions.

Rebecca Eggeling just managed to claim second position ahead of her Aberdeen AAC clubmate Lucy McLeod while Eilidh Welsh (Aboyne) took fourth position although all three athletes were given the same time of 6:26.

There was also an exciting finish to the primary school boys' race with Thomas Dalgarno (Airyhall) holding off a strong challenge from Stewart Miller (Cluny).

Just two secs separated the youngsters with Dalgarno edging it in a time of 6mins.

It was a repeat of the 2009 result when Thomas won by one sec from his rival.

Finlay Strachan (Chapel of Garioch) produced a strong finish to take third postion ahead of Murray Allan (St Peters) and John Patrick O'Grady (Chapel Cheetahs).

Scotland's Ross Low marked his comeback after an eight year absence from the sport by winning the Pihl wheelchair invitation 10Km.

The Glasgow athlete is now gearing up for an attempt on making the Scottish team for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi later this year.

He said:"I'm going to try for selection in the 1500m and I'll be doing a trial race at Kirby next month.

"But I'll be competing over every distance this season from 100m up to half marathons and marathons. I aim to compete in the races like the Great North Run and Great Scottish Run."

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