One day to go . . . . - 24 April 2015
Classy women's line-up in Stena Drilling Tartan 10km
Scottish marathon champion Jenn Wetton hopes to be in record-breaking form when she competes in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10km at Balmoral Castle on Saturday but knows she'll have to overcome some top class local opposition is she is to be successful.
The target the Stirling-based athlete would dearly love to beat is the 36min 23secs set by Aberdonian Lyn Wilson in 2006. Many other top runners have tried and failed to improve on that performance over the past nine years.
However, Wetton, who won the national marathon title at Loch Ness last year, has the pedigree which suggests she is more than capable of setting a new standard for the testing course around the royal estate.
Earlier this month she recorded 34min 38secs to win the Jim Dingwall memorial 10Km at Grangemouth despite having arrived back in Scotland just four days earlier from her honeymoon in Dubai and Mauritius.
Wetton said: "I was surprised to run as fast as I did at Grangemouth considering I'd only been home for a short time, although I was able to train most days I was away.
So everything is going well, although I hurt my heel a bit in that race, but I think it should be fine.
After Grangemouth I had a look at the Balmoral course record and thought it's a time that should be within my capabilities.
I've heard, however, that there's a really tough hill on the route which, according to some of my club mates who have run there in the past, goes on for about a mile.
"They have told me that it can add about one minute to the time you would normally expect to run, so even taking that into account, I think I should have a chance of being close to it.
I'm certainly looking forward to running at Balmoral as I've not been there before. My dad has done it and he'll be coming with me to run in the 5km this year."
Wetton's opponents on Saturday include former Scotland 1500m track champion Nicola Gauld (Aberdeen AAC) who was only 10secs outside the record when winning in 2013.
Gauld's form has been improving over the past month since she returned to action following a lengthy spell on the sidelines because of injury.
Last month she won the Garioch 10Km in 36:23 and earlier this month set an Aberdeen Hazlehead parkrun 5km course record of 18:07.
Wetton tried to break Gauld's Hazlehead record last weekend, but fell 10secs short. She said: "I must admit I did want to get Nicola's record. She's a very good athlete and it's great she's running so well again, so it will be a good race at Balmoral."
Metro Aberdeen's Fiona Rudkin is should also be among the front runners after returning from the US. The Aberdeen Baker Hughes 10km champion set a personal best 5km time of 17:09 in Boston last weekend.
Hill running international Clare Whitehead (Deeside Runners), who was third last year, is another contender while world masters over-50 cross country champion Fiona Matheson (Falkirk Victoria Harriers) is another who is expected to be well-placed.
Last year's winner, Aberdeen's Carolyn McLeod, should give a strong performance although she is focusing more on Sunday's 15 mile trail race, while others likely to challenge include Glenlivet 10km champion Jennifer Elvin (Clapham Chasers).
Pics show (1) Nicola Gauld winning in 2013 and (2) Carolyn McLeod winning last year.