The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Roche aims for good time in de­but marathon

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North-east run­ner Tom Roche is hop­ing for a good per­for­mance on Sun­day when mak­ing his marathon de­but in the Scot­tish cham­pi­onships at Stir­ling.

The Old­mel­drum-based com­peti­tor, who rep­re­sents Gar­i­och Gazelles, has been fo­cus­ing on this race over the win­ter and is ready to give it his best shot.

The 2017 Dyce half marathon cham­pion has put to­gether some de­cent per­for­mances on the lo­cal cir­cuit since the be­gin­ning of the year.

He took two min­utes off his pre­vi­ous best half marathon time in Fe­bru­ary’s Kin­loss to Lossiemout­h race where he clocked 1hr 13min 54sec when fin­ish­ing sec­ond be­hind Dee­side’s Com­mon­wealth Games marathon bronze medal­list Robbie Simp­son.

Roche then fin­ished

“My train­ing has been ex­cel­lent. I’ve no aches and pains and I feel great”

sec­ond be­hind GB trail run­ning in­ter­na­tional Kyle Greig (Metro Aberdeen) in last month’s Run Gar­i­och half marathon where he ran slower, but on a tougher course.

He said: “My train­ing has been ex­cel­lent. I’ve no aches and pains and I feel great. I’m not sure what to ex­pect but a cou­ple of guys who are around my level in other races did just un­der 2hr 40min at Lon­don, so I’d hope to do at least match that es­pe­cially as it will be much cooler at Stir­ling.

“As it’s the Scot­tish cham­pi­onship I’ll also be keep­ing an eye on other run­ners in my age group.”

The in­au­gu­ral Stir­ling race had 6,500 run­ners last year and a sim­i­lar turnout is ex­pected this weekend.

Scot­tish Olympic Games steeplecha­ser Andrew Le­mon­cello (Fife AC) and Les­ley Pirie (VP Glas­gow), last year’s men’s and women’s cham­pi­ons, are not de­fend­ing their ti­tles.

A half marathon has also been added to the pro­gramme but this doesn’t carry cham­pi­onship sta­tus.

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