We look ahead to the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run
EVER-IMPROVING HAWKINS IS BACK FOR MORE OVER HALF-MARATHON
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