We look ahead to the Bank of Scot­land Great Scot­tish Run

EVER-IMPROVING HAWKINS IS BACK FOR MORE OVER HALF-MARATHON

Athletics Weekly - - nEWS -

CAL­LUM HAWKINS will round off a road rac­ing year to re­mem­ber when he re­turns to Glas­gow this Sun­day to defend his Bank of Scot­land Great Scot­tish Run ti­tle.

Last year the 25-year-old ran an im­pres­sive 60:24 – a Scot­tish record for the half-marathon at the time – in fin­ish­ing ahead of Ugan­dan Moses Kip­siro and Kenya’s Joel Kimu­tai to be­come the first Scot­tish man since

1983 to win the event.

How­ever, the time was sub­se­quently an­nulled af­ter the course was found to have been mea­sured in­cor­rectly, fall­ing 149.7 me­tres short.

Now Hawkins will be back again to see how quickly he can go this time af­ter a 2017 in which he made sure of the Scot­tish record with a run of 60:00 over the 13.1mile dis­tance in Marugame, Ja­pan, in Fe­bru­ary, and fur­ther un­der­lined his talent with a re­mark­able fourth place in the marathon at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in 2:10:17.

“I have been do­ing this event since 2013 and it is very close to my heart,” said Hawkins of the Glas­gow show­piece. “The sup­port from the home crowd is al­ways great. I’ve had a good year and I’m con­fi­dent of putting in a good per­for­mance in the half-marathon.”

Hawkins’ fel­low Scot,

An­drew Butchart, will also be toe­ing the start line as he makes his half-marathon de­but. The man who fin­ished eighth in the 5000m fi­nal at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don in­sists his run out is merely ‘a bit of fun’ and not in­dica­tive of any plans to move up the dis­tances just yet, but it will be in­trigu­ing to see how he fares.

“I’m look­ing forward to rac­ing against Cal­lum on the day,” said Butchart. “It’ll be a case of see­ing how long I can keep pace with him.”

A strong Bri­tish trio will be com­pleted by Chris Thomp­son, fourth in Glas­gow last year and 13th in the re­cent Sim­ply­health Great North Run, who will be back to chal­lenge for hon­ours.

There will be plenty for the home crowd to cheer in the women’s race, too, with Jo Pavey look­ing for a pos­i­tive end to a year which has been ham­pered by in­jury.

A heel prob­lem pre­vented the 44-year-old for­mer 10,000m Euro­pean cham­pion from mak­ing it to Lon­don 2017 but she will be look­ing to build her form and fit­ness again in Glas­gow, where she fin­ished fourth in this event in 2015.

Char­lotte Pur­due, mean­while, is an ath­lete whose ca­reer tra­jec­tory has been trav­el­ling firmly up­ward.

Her move to the marathon has proved suc­cess­ful thus far, the 26-year-old fin­ish­ing as the sec­ond Bri­tish woman at the Lon­don Marathon in

April to qual­ify for the World Cham­pi­onships. When she re­turned to race over 26.2 miles in the UK cap­i­tal in the sum­mer, Pur­due came out top Euro­pean at Lon­don 2017 by fin­ish­ing 13th in 2:29:48. With next year’s Com­mon­wealth Games in her sights, it will be in­ter­est­ing to see if she can im­prove on a half-marathon best of 71:43.

Flom­ena Daniel will also be mak­ing her pres­ence felt and she knows what it takes to win on the streets of Glas­gow al­ready. The Kenyan be­came Com­mon­wealth marathon cham­pion when the Games were held in Scot­land’s largest city three years ago.

There will be a healthy club pres­ence in the 10km road race, too, while dou­ble Par­a­lympic cham­pion Sammi Kinghorn, fresh from be­ing named Scot­tish Sportsper­son of the Year at the Team

Scot­land Scot­tish Sports Awards, will race in the wheel­chair 10km.

The Bank of Scot­land Great Scot­tish Run, which will also be the Scot­tish Half Marathon Cham­pi­onship race once again, will be broad­cast live on BBC2 Scot­land from 11am-1.45pm

Cal­lum Hawkins leads out the field in last year’s Bank of Scot­land Great Scot­tish Run

Jo Pavey: in­jury prob­lems

An­drew Butchart: half-marathon de­but

Char­lotte Pur­due: marathon success

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