As lockdown continues PH athletes are still making do with the opportunities offered by virtual racing and 22 were in action in last weekend’s latest challenge from Scottish Athletics.  The format was similar to the 15 minute challenge at the end of April but on this occasion there was also a 30 minute option.  Once again all runs were self timed and had to comply with various rules to make things as fair as possible.  You would think it would go without saying, however, from looking at some of the submissions, the next rule that needs added could be ‘Don’t pause your watch and stop for a rest’!

Once again there were various different formats for the competition – an overall distance challenge where PH finished 8th overall; individual leaderboards by age category; and team events where each team was made up of the fastest two males and females.

In the 30 minute team competition the PH team of Paul Kieran, Wright Beveridge, Kristin Lownie and Julie Menzies came out on top with a total distance covered of 32.63km.  Having carefully monitored the conditions over the warm weekend, Kieran was just short of 9km, finally clocking 8.98km late on Monday evening.  Beveridge and Lownie both managed to hit the same mark of 8.01km, causing some debate as their leaderboard positions kept swapping over the weekend, while Menzies was not far back on 7.63km. Kieran (V45), Lownie (V35) and Menzies (V45) all topped their respective age categories, while Beveridge was second in the V50 category.

In the 15 minute challenge the team also finished in a podium position with an excellent third place.  Andrew Thomson racked up 4.76km and was the best of the under 17s in the event.  Robert Sellar finished up third fastest V45 on 4.41km and Gayle Lindsay was second in the senior category, running 4.08km on the island of Bermuda.  The team was completed by Zoe Stuart who added 3.50km to give a total of 16.75km.  Sellar and Stuart also featured in the Masters team where they were joined by Gary Pirie (fourth V45) and Clare Graham (6th V50).  Their runs of 4.28km and 3.12km gave a team total of 15.31km for fourth place.

There were a number of other excellent performances out with the team counters with most of the PH contingent finishing in the top 10 of their age categories.  In the 30 minute event Mark McLean (pictured in the main photo enjoying the heat at a balmy Bayview, Methil) finished as third quickest V50 with a distance of 7.98km.  Ed Norton logged the second farthest distance in the V65s, 7.08km and Katrina Lindsay contributed 6.94km with her run in the British Virgin Islands to be ninth fastest senior female.

In the 15 minute challenge Craig Paterson and Martin Butcher (pictured above) took advantage of the slight easing of restrictions to race each other at the Pan Handle Loop while of course observing all required protocols.  Paterson came out on top by a few metres, 4.23 to 4.21km, and was sixth senior male while Butcher was among the top 10 V40s.  Aaron Bennet also ran at the Loop and passed the test with flying colours for a mark of 3.90km, placing him in the top under 17s.  Alan Cockburn was fourth in the V55 category (3.89km) while Malcolm Hammond was third V65 with 3.37km.

Thanks and well done to all who took part including those not mentioned above.  Thanks also to Ally Love and the events team at Scottish Athletics for putting on these events, the next of which is a hill running challenge towards the end of the month.  Craig and Martin pictured by Ed Norton, who was just passing and definitely not part of any extended ‘gathering’!