Summer of running race records
I know there will be many others – and it would be great if you could tell me about them – but two major running race records have come to my attention. First, the epic West Highland Way race just become even more awesome when Paul Giblin broke the already jaw-dropping finish time this month.
West Highland Way Race record-breaker
Paisley runner Paul Giblin set a new record for running the 95-mile West Highland Way. His time of 15 hours 07 minutes and 29 seconds bettered the existing record set by Terry Conway in last year’s annual event by more than 32 minutes.
The Scottish ultra distance international set off in determined fashion from the start. By the first checkpoint at Balmaha, on the shores of Loch Lomond, he clocked in at 2.30.23, eight minutes ahead of all other runners. By Beinglass Farm (40 miles) at the top of the loch Lomond the time was 5.58.12 and he had a lead of more than 30 minutes.
Reaching the 50-mile point at Auchtertyre Farm near Tyndrum (7.30.53), he was showing no signs of flagging and indeed maintained his steady pace down to the 60-mile point at Bridge of Orchy (8.51.58). The Glencoe Ski Centre checkpoint (71 miles), reached after crossing Rannoch moor on the old drove road, was hit in 10.33.45, almost an hour ahead of second placed Marco Consani (Garscube Harriers).
Giblin then reached Kinlochleven in 12.27.36 and with victory, and a new course record seemingly assured, still maintained a steady pace to the finish.
His finishing time also eclipsed the 15 hours 26 minutes recorded by Edinburgh’s Dave Wallace in one of the very early editions of the race in 1989, set when the trail was slightly different and some have argued harder.
In the ladies race, 2012 winner Rosie Bell, from Strathaven Striders, retained her title and improved her PB by more than 40 minutes but was pushed all the way by first-time competitor Lorna Mcmillan, of Glasgow. Macmillan held a 20- minute lead at Bridge of Orchy. At Glencoe this had been reduced to 10 minutes and at the final checkpoint at Kinlochleven the gap between them was down to a minute. Bell proved the stronger over the final stage and won comfortably in 19.27.04. McMillan held on well to record 19.46.00, a sub 20- hour clocking in her debut, which shows she could be one to watch in the future.
Altogether 149 runners finished the 950-mile trail, the longest event to receive a permit from Scottish Athletics, in the 35-hour time limit. Full results available at the http://www.westhighlandwayrace.org/
And this weekend, Neil Renault of Edinburgh AC set a new Barrathon record of 1:13:13, beating the previous record by nearly two minutes. The half-marathon on the Outer Hebridean island of Barra also saw Gloria White repeat last year’s achievement of being the first female finisher, and took more two minutes off her previous time to finish in 1:30:10.
The annual Barrathon also saw several of my Glasgow Triathlon pals competing.
* Both events already have dates set for 2014 and the Barrathon entries sell out within hours so keep an eye on their website.