Monday 27th December saw the long awaited return of PH Racing Club’s Tilli 10k, and the mouthwatering line up of top runners who flocked to sell out the race in record time did not disappoint.
With over 350 runners making it to the start line, the super fast Tilli 10k was once again blessed with perfect running conditions. The out and back course threw up a great battle at the front with Commonwealth Games Marathon bronze medalist, and the inaugural Tilli 10k winner, Robbie Simpson setting the pace alongside Ryan Thomson from Cambuslang, making his first race outing since his marathon debut at the Virgin Money London Marathon in October.
Thomson made a strong push heading into the infamous final “Z” bend and was able to kick hard to break the tape in an official personal best of 29:45, taking over a minute off his previous best over the distance on the road and picking up his first win since January 2020, a tremendous performance from Thomson in a stacked field. The win has spurred Ryan on and he said he is “going after more of this (winning) in 2022”.
Robbie Simpson, who enjoyed being away from the trails and back on the roads, pushed Thomson all the way round the course and was only four seconds back, picking up the second place in 29:49. Fergus Roberts, representing Ochil Hill Runners, as opposed to his first claim club Richmond & Zetland of North Yorkshire, came home in third place in a time of 30:20, holding off the pressure of Central AC’s Alastair Marshall (30:23) who continued his huge improvement as he set the 10th fastest Under 20 time in the UK this year.
Race favourite, multiple times Scottish Champion and 2022 Commonwealth Games hopeful, Morag Millar made her Tilli debut and took the glory in the women’s race, setting a huge new course record in the process. Morag’s impressive time of 34:04 took over 50 seconds off the previous record held by Fife AC’s Annabel Simpson. Morag shared her great experience of the race on social media, describing Tilli 10k as a “well run” “lovely friendly race”.
Young star Holly Little of Victoria Park City of Glasgow made her 10km debut and ran a superb 35:44. This was a fantastic debut by Holly, who has enjoyed some great runs over the cross country this season already and will be hoping for more success in 2022. Third place was Giffnock North’s Yvonne McNairn, setting a personal best of 36:53. McNairn was delighted with her performance and the very impressive prize money paid out to the placed athletes.
The inaugural women’s champion, Fiona Matheson, also returned to Tilli, but this time with record breaking in her sights. Matheson is one of Britain’s great masters athletes and the Falkirk Victoria Harrier showed this again as she clocked 38:40 to set a new British Record for the F60 age group for 10k on the roads. Youngster, Grace Tindal safely secured the junior women’s victory in 37:38 to place herself a very impressive 11th in the UK for the under 20s category.
The performances throughout the field were fantastic with 18 runners breaking the 32 minute barrier, and a staggering 12 of the first 18 setting new personal bests. This shows what a fantastic race Tilli 10k is proving to be both in terms of producing performances and competitive racing. Some other standout performances include the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic T20 1500m Champion and New Year Honours recipient, Owen Miller MBE, who ran a superb 30:51, which is 46 seconds quicker than the current T20 track 10,000m world record. Youngster Andrew Thompson took the male junior prize, dipping under 32 minutes for the first time to set a new PB. Other top performances include PH Racing Club’s very own Kristin Lownie who secured victory in her new F40 age category, whilst Ewan Cameron set a new PB of 31:05 on his way to the equivalent M40 prize. Finally, M65 British record holder Alastair Walker secured the M65 category victory, only 11 seconds off his own record.
In the mixed team results, the ‘Yellow Train’ of Central AC, with more members racing (21) than any other club, showed their quality as they came out victorious over Shettleston Harriers by only 21 seconds. Fife AC were a further ninety four seconds back, taking third place.
As always there was a great turn out of PH Racing Club members, with new recruit John Hammond first home in 36th place, and Aaron Bennet hot on his heels in 38th place setting a huge PB as he continues his impressive improvement. Craig Paterson was another PH racer to set a PB and was third home for the club.
Kristin Lownie was not only F40 winner but also came away with the club bragging rights as first woman home for PH, with the Lindsay sisters, Gayle and Kat, who were home for Christmas from the Caribbean, completing the top three women finishers for the club.
PH Racing Club would like to specifically thank club member Andrew Wright for all his hard work in organising the race both on the day and in the weeks leading up to it, making it such a big success once again. Thanks must also go to all the volunteers who gave up their time to help out on the day and contribute to making what PH believe to be the best winter 10k in Scotland.
A special thanks to photographers Gordon Donnachie, Graeme Doig and Daniel O’Neill as well as all those involved in the timing, announcing and hall organisation on the day.