Sunday, June 7, 2015
Strathearn Marathon 2015
The fourth Strathearn Marathon was another keenly contested affair, with a new course record in the women’s race, and a whole clutch of terrific performances on what is becoming established as one of the friendliest and most scenic marathon routes in the country.
Heavy blustery rain on Saturday gave way to clear but windy conditions for the runners on Sunday. A good field, along with friends and family, made their way to Cultybraggan Camp, with everyone from marathon novices running their first marathon, to experienced runners with many marathons under their belts. Ray McCurdy, of the 100 Marathon Club, was running his 192nd marathon, with the aim of clocking up his 200th later this year.
A new winner was guaranteed for the men’s race, with none of the previous winners able to compete this year. David Gow and Martin Devine set the early pace, with David gradually opening his lead to win in 2.53.18, with a comfortable gap over second-placed Martin Devine in 2.56.11. A strong headwind on the home stretch from Crieff to Comrie meant it was going to be difficult to match the fast times of previous years, but David and Martin’s performances were very strong runs in the conditions. In third place was David Sidebottom of Edinburgh AC in 3.04.43.
The women’s race saw the welcome return of last year’s winner Victoria Hunter, but she was unable to retain her title, with Fiona Ramsay of Cani-Fit setting a new women’s race record to win in 3.05.59. Victoria Hunter took second place 3.12.49, with Janet Dickson in third place in 3.23.35.
As well as attracting runners from all over Scotland and further afield, there was plenty of local representation. We were delighted to be able to offer new trophies for first male and female runners, supported by Graham and Finlayson Solicitors of Crieff. Paul T and Phil M were racing for first local male, with Phil leading over the first 18 miles. Paul dug deep to take the lead on the South Crieff Road, to take the prize in a time of 3.28.21. For the local women, Cathy and Elaine battled it out, with Cathy gradually increasing her lead to finish in 4.03.57.
As ever, we got a bundle of great feedback from runners, such as this, from David Scott from Aberdeen, who finished in 16th position in a fine time of 3.27.37 “Can I just say thanks, not only for having the most beautiful terrain, lovely hills, and amazing weather - but also for your incredibly friendly marshals, top organisation, terrific t-shirts and medals, and all round great atmosphere? If there was ever a perfect marathon, this is it.”
As is always the case with Harriers races, the runners were superbly supported by the volunteers at Cultybraggan and out on the course, who gave up their time and whose efforts were greatly appreciated by the runners. Extra support came from the Comrie Pipe Band, who popped up in all sorts of unexpected places around the route and gave the runners inspiration and a great sense of occasion. Catering was splendidly provided by the Comrie Allotments, with their cakes getting special praise from the runners and further support was generously given by Graham and Finlayson, Crieff Hydro Leisure, Highland Spring, CDT, Comrie First Response, Derek Saunders Builders and the Fruit Shop, Comrie. Race photography was provided by Gordon Donnachie and Richard O’Grady. Next year’s Strathearn Marathon is provisionally booked for June 12, so there’s plenty of time to work out a training programme and start getting the miles done!
Results of the 2015 race can now be viewed here
A terrific collection of Richard O'Grady's photos can be viewed here. Many thanks to Richard for sharing.
David Gow (unattached) 2.53.18
Martin Devine Portobello Running Club) 2.56.11
David Sidebottom (Edinburgh AC) 3.04.43
Fiona Ramsay (Cani-Fit) 3.05.59 (new record)
Victoria Hunter (unattached) 3.12.49
Janet Dickson (unattached) 3.23.35
Steven Sandilands (unattached) 3.09.55
Karen Best (unattached) 3.27.37
Keith Martin (Harmeny AC) 3.15.41
Judith Dobson (Kinross Road Runners) 3.40.09
Gordon Main (Nairn Road Runners) 3.57.57
Jane Binnie (Wee County Harriers) 4.41.20
Local winners, supported by Graham and Finlayson
Paul Taylor (Strathearn Harriers) 3.28.21
Cathy Tilbrook (Strathearn Harriers) 4.03.57