Since our last report there have been a number of virtual events organised by Scottish Athletics but perhaps the most impressive feat has been the 1st place achieved by our M65-74 team at the recent British Masters 1 Mile Challenge.

The PH team of Ed Norton (5:55), Allen Marr (6:03) and Malcolm Hammond (6:44) combined for a time of 18:42 to take gold in this UK-wide competition, ahead of Sheffield RC and Ipswich Jaffa.  PH also had the top team in Scotland in the M35-44 with Stuart Tite (5:03), Scott Love (5:26) and Martin Butcher (5:30) posting an overall time of 15:59.  There were also good individual performances from Kristin Lownie who was overall 6th F35 in 5:32 and Julie Menzies, 4th F45 in 5:40.

At the start of February there was another Virtual Hill Challenge organised by Scottish Athletics.  Once again. Each participant had to gain as much elevation as possible in a 30 minute period.  Only three members were tempted to do this but all three were top 5 in their age group.  Aaron Bennet covered 251m to finish 2nd under 17 while Ross Bennet managed 226m to secure 5th place in the M45s.  Mark McLean separated the father and son duo, posting 235m to also take 5th, this time in the M50s.

Next up on the weekend of 19th to 22nd February was another Scottish Athletics Virtual Road Challenge with seniors and masters covering 5 miles.  There was a team element to this with the best overall team of four males and four females going on to represent Scotland in a UK-wide competition.  In truth that was never on the cards, though a top 3 finish was very nearly achieved, and would have been had it not been for the very scrupulous officiating, Katrina Lindsay being spotted to have finished her effort more than 1km from where she started!  This left us with only three female finishers and therefore, unfortunately, an incomplete team.

There were nevertheless a number of impressive times, as ever with the caveat that they were self-timed. Paul Kieran (M45) and Kristin Lownie (F35) were both top of their age categories with times of 26:59 and 30:18. Their achievement was matched by Julie Menzies (F45) and Malcolm Hammond (M70) who timed at 31:45 and 34:47.  Mark McLean came 4th in the M50 competition with 30:48, while Gayle Lindsay was 7th senior female in 31:04.  Aaron Bennet was the sole PH entrant in the under 17 event, over 4 miles, which he completed in 24:44.

Last but not least was another Scottish Athletics Road Challenge at the start of March with seniors and masters covering 10k on this occasion.  Susan Allan was the only PH member to take part, likely due to the clash with the British Masters Mile, as well as some virtual fatigue perhaps!  Her effort of 48:06 placed her 5th F40.

Well done to all and thanks to Scottish Athletics for keeping these events going.  Here’s hoping we are back racing at some real events again before long!

Photo of Malcolm Hammond by Thomas Ward