There was an excellent turnout for PH Racing Club at Sunday’s Alloa Half Marathon with a number of fine performances. Fastest for PH was Alloa local Andrew Wright who placed 8th overall and 4th V40 in an excellent time of 74:19. Only 2 places and 13 seconds behind was club mate Andy Davis who was also 5th V40. Ewan Taylor finished in 76:13 to secure 6th V40 and he was just 3 seconds ahead of Scott McDonald who took 1st place in the V50 competition.

Ewan Taylor – photo from Alloa Advertiser

Also dipping under the 80 minute barrier were Mark Webster and Bryan Innes who timed at 79:13 and 79:55 respectively to score new personal bests. Marc Preece showed great consistency to go a few seconds faster than his previous week’s personal best effort at Inverness, finishing in 87:40, a mere second ahead of Paul Hammond. Andrew Kinninmonth clocked 94:23 and Malcolm Hammond placed 1st V70 with an incredible time of 94:40 to propel him to 4th in the UK rankings for 2022.

Fastest female for PH was Louise Lessels who also managed a new personal best time of 96:22. Clare Graham was the other PH lady and she completed her race in 1:56:38, having warmed up at the previous day’s Cupar 5 where she ran 40:01.

Fastest for PH in Cupar was Paul Kieran who just snuck into the top 10 with a time of 27:46 to place 1st V40. Aaron Bennet was next home, 3rd U20 in 28:53. Stuart Meiklejohn finished in 31:11, ahead of Kristin Lownie, 3rd female in 31:51. It was great to see Ian Stewart back racing and his time of 33:35 was surprisingly only 4th fastest in a very strong V60 category.

David Burlton was also in action over the weekend at the supposedly ‘super-fast’ 10k at Ouston Airfield in Northumberland. While he wasn’t sure if it lived up to it’s billing, Dave managed to come in 7th in 35:24.

David Burlton in action at Ouston

There have been a number of other races over the last few weeks. On Sunday 13th March a number of PH athletes made their way up to Inverness for the half marathon. Paul Kieran was first home there too with a time of 75:30 that was close to his best. Birthday boy Craig Paterson celebrated in style, running a new best time of 79 minutes exactly, while Mark McLean and Michael Lindsay were separated by only 6 seconds, timing at 86:23 and 86:29 respectively. Mark Western finished in 87:57, just ahead of Marc Preece who, as already mentioned, set a very short-lived half marathon best.

Kristin Lownie got one over on Julie Menzies after some recent reverses on her less-favoured cross country surface. Lownie finished in 85:52 to Menzies’ 88:36 which was nevertheless an excellent new personal best. Emma Lessels ran a very respectable 1:43:22 in what was possibly her first race over the distance.

Going back another week, we once again had a team representing PH at the classic Allan Scally Relays, at Glasgow Green. Quickest once again was Paul Kieran who ran an excellent time 5k leg of 16:17. Next up was Scott McDonald who overcame some handover issues to also run a superb time of 17:16, before handing over to Scott Love who clocked 18:34. Tony Quinn brought the team home in 23:55 to place 72nd overall in a top quality field. This is definitely an event it would be good to get some of our very best runners involved in next year.

Usually the National XC would have had it’s own article but, with almost a month having passed since then, it’s a bit late for that really! Suffice to say that the top male finisher for PH was Andrew Davis in 36:58 while Julie Menzies was first for the ladies in 44:10. Having taking full points in the first two races, these two are the early pace-setters in the 2022 PH Club Championship. Conditions were certainly above average and it was great to see the return of the famous ditch which produced a few amusing photos and videos including Robert Sellar ‘accidentally’ decking someone into the mud, the result of which can be seen here.

Robert Sellar keeping his vest clean

Last but not least, Kat Lindsay placed 5th overall and 1st female at the recent Trident Trust 5k in the British Virgin Island with an excellent time of 19:30. Well done to Kat and all who have been racing recently! Also thanks to all the various race organisers.