Callum Hawkins delivered a superb Great Scottish Run performance to retain his Scottish Half Marathon title – and set himself up for a crack at the marathon in Frankfurt later this month.
And the Kilbarchan AC athlete’s PB of 62.42 took him into the top three on the all-time list and was only 14 seconds adrift of a National Record and is the best half marathon run by a Scot in Scotland.
Allister Hutton‘s record at 62.28 was run in Newcastle in 1987 and Neil Tennent was at 62.39 the following year in Lincoln. These performance can be viewed on the all-time list on the Road Running and Cross Country Commission archive.
Callum had clocked 63.06 here last year and he was firmly in contention until late on when Uganda’s Moses Kipsiro made his decisive break to win it in 62.18. Japheth Korir, who won the 2013 World Cross, was beaten into third by the 22-year-old local hero – Hawkins, with the Kenyan at 63.14.
The youngest of the Hawkins brothers – with Derek 8th in 66.24 – now heads for Frankfurt on October 25 for his marathon debut and a crack at the Olympic qualifying time of 2.14 for Rio.
Leading the charge just behind the top three yesterday were Shettleston pair, Tsegai Tewelde and Tewolde Mengisteab, with fine runs of 63.34 and 65.39 respectively for Scottish silver and bronze medals in 4th and 7thplace.
Tsegai’s performance at 63.34 was testament to recent hard training and altitude work, helped out by Shettleston, and he is now third on the British rankings for 2015 behind only Mo Farah and Callum Hawkins! Tsegai has been in Scotland for seven years and his time was a qualifier for GB for the World Half Marathon Champs in Cardiff next year.
Beth Potter took the Scottish women’s half marathon title with 73.39 and the VP-City of Glasgow athlete was pleased with that time following a truncated track season. The other Scottish medals went to Fionnuala Ross of Shettleston with 76.35 and Shona McIntosh of Hunters Bog Trotters with 78.11.
‘I’m very pleased and it is all looking not too bad for Frankfurt – just so long as this has not taken too much out of me,’ smiled Callum.
‘I will taper down now and prepare for Germany. We have not yet decided on the extent of the taper, whether it should be three weeks or two weeks.
‘It really was about what I was hoping for in terms of the time. I thought it was possible to dip under 63 minutes if I could get pulled along by the Africans and that’s what happened.
‘At one stage I was starting to think even about the Scottish half marathon record which I believe is 62.29 (Allister Hutton). So I was not too far away from that – it was a wee bit windy at one stage.
‘Derek and I have been helping each other in recent weeks. He was due to run Berlin but had to adjust his plans.
‘It will depend on his fitness now for Frankfurt and I wouldn’t want him to sacrifice his race there just to try and pace me. He’s wanting to try and get a qualifying time for Rio, as well.’
In fact, Callum’s run in Glasgow took him to third just behind Hutton andNeil Tennant (62.39) as he went above the likes of Peter Fleming, Chris Robison and Andrew Lemoncello.