Posted on Scottish Athletics website:
Scotland’s Craig Stewart and Wales’s Emily Gelder claimed the first UKA road running titles of 2011 in the Self Transcendence 100km race including, UKA and Scottish Championships and the Anglo Celtic Plate Home Countries International on Sunday, 27 March 2011.
A strong field of domestic ultra runners had gathered in Perth, to contest the longest and possibly most arduous event in the UK road running calendar. After the field had settled down in the opening hour or so, it was England’s experienced international Alan Smalls who showed at the front. He was being shadowed by Ireland’s Daniel Doherty and John Byrne, George Dayantis of England and the Scottish duo of Craig Stewart and Grant Jeans. In the ladies race, the experienced English pair of Adela Salt and Heather Hawker led from Wale’s Emily Gelder.
At the 50km halfway point Smalls in 3.26.20 held a two minute lead over Stewart and Jeans and Doherty, all 3.28.20, with Dayantis and Irish pair John Byrne and Keith Whyte a further two minutes adrift.
Salt and Hawker reached the halfway mark in 3hours 50, with Emily Gelder almost 5 minutes behind (3.55.20) but looking very comfortable.
At 60km Stewart had moved ahead of Jeans and Doherty, but Smalls still held a two minute lead. As experienced ultra observers know everything can change in the latter stages and in the next 10km Stewart slowly closed the gap on Smalls and by 70km they were running together as joint leaders. They stayed together for the next 10km and went through 80km (Approx 50 miles) in just over 5 hours 30 min with Jeans still very much in touch just 3 minutes back. Dayantis and the Irish pair of Byrne and Doherty having their own little battle for 4th place.
Over the next 10km, spurred on by the enthusiastic home support, Stewart opened a lead over Smalls and led by just over a minute and seemed to be moving away. With victory seemingly secure Stewart increased his lead slightly in the closing stages to record a magnificent victory in his first 100km road race and claim the UK and Scottish titles in a time of 7hours 01 minute and 35 seconds.
The Forfar Road Runner, who has been running well in ultra trail races over the last two years with victories in the 42 mile Devil O the Highlands and 52 mile Highland Fling to his credit, was delighted with his run and even happier to learn he had also dipped under the UKA “A” standard of 7.02.00 and secure automatic selection for the GB 100km team at the World championships. Smalls held on for a deserved PB and second place in 7.04.53.
Over the last few laps the battle for third place turned into quite a scrap, with Jeans (7.11.53) fading away in the last 5km to be overtaken by Irishman John Byrne (7.09.33) and George Dayantis (7.11.11). All three recording substantial PBs in the process.
Stewart of Forfar Road Runner’s, has been running well in ultra trail races over the last two years with victories in the 42 mile Devil O the Highlands and 52 mile Highland Fling to his credit. He was delighted with his run and even happier to learn he had also dipped under the UKA “A” standard of 7.02.00 and secure automatic selection for the GB 100km team at the World championships.
In the ladies race Emily Gelder (Dulwich Runners) continued to show she is maturing into a top class international ultra runner. Maintaining a steady pace throughout, she retained her UK title improving her PB by over 10 minutes in 8.00.37 and setting a new ladies Scottish all comers 100km record. Early leaders Salt and Hawker faded and their compatriot Karen Rushton took second place in 8.16.05, joining Gelder in achieving the womens A standard for the GB 100km squad.
In a very exciting team competition Gelder with her compatriot Jen Salter secured victory for Wales for the first time in the womens Anglo-Celtic plate by a narrow margin of under two minutes based on their first two runners cumulative time.
In the mens team race English domination of this event stretching back to its inauguration on 1995 was finally ended. They were beaten into third place with the young emerging Irish team all setting PBs to claim second spot. Fittingly the Scottish squad of Stewart and Jeans backed up by Dave Gardner in 8th place (7.30.47) claimed victory on home soil.
Results Sri Chinmoy Races.org
David Bauchop – www.roadrunpics.com/
David Hall – Race Photos
Alan Young Race Photos
John Kynaston – Race Video