It was the British 100k championships at the weekend and it was held at the Sri Chinmoy Ultra Races in Perth.
It was a chilly but sunny early spring day, with a strong breeze at times, and the runners ran 42 laps of 2.38 km on the North Inch Park in Perth by the banks of the River Tay.
In the women’s race, Scotland made a clean sweep of the podium for both the British 100k and Scottish 100k Championship medals. Mullins and Fife AC club mate Morgan Windrum, together with Lynne Allen of Kirkintilloch Olympians, ran together in the early stages. They reached 50k in 3.57.39, and by then Mullins held a small lead over Windram (4.00.51) with Allen in third (4.02.25).
Mullins looked comfortable throughout and ran a superbly even paced race to clinch the GB title, just missing the 8 hour mark to win in 8.03.39, a massive PB. Windram took second in 8.21.36 with Scotland’s other team member Jo Murphy. Carnegie Harriers proving strong in the closing laps to take 3rd in 8.28.31 with Allen 4th in 8.33.26. The Scots ladies were clear winners of the team competition ahead of England and Northern Ireland & Ulster.
In the men’s race the Scots duo of defending GB champion Rob Turner, Edinburgh AC, and Kyle Greig, Metro Aberdeen set a steady pace from the start with English competitor Charlie Harpur just off the pace but never more than a minute or two behind. At 50km Greig, 3.19.50 held a slender 7 sec lead over Turner with Harpur in third merely seconds adrift.
At 75 km, it was Turner, 5.04.35, who held a small lead of just 7 seconds over Harpur with Greig still just under a minute behind. Then Greig seemed to have a bad spell, slipping back, and Harpur took the lead just beyond 80km. By 90km he held a 2 minute lead over Turner.
Harper, who had won the Gloucester 50k in January in just under 3 hours, continued to prove the stronger in the closing laps, winning comfortably in the end breaking Paul Navesey’s course record of 6.58.52 set in 2016. The more experienced Turner held things together well to finish second, in 6.51.49, a PB by almost 8 minute,s also claiming the Scottish title. Greig, the current Scottish ultra trail champion, dug in to dip under the 7 hour barrier in 6.54.42 to take third in the GB championship and 2nd Scot. All three athletes were inside Paul Navesey’s course record of 6.58.52 set in 2016.
With England’s Kevin Rojas, Brighton 7.02.58 and Ollie Garrod, South London Harriers, 7.09.37 claiming 4th and 5th and Scotland’s James Stewart, 6th and 3rd Scot in 7.25.31, England claimed a narrow victory on cumulative times, in the Anglo Celtic Plate team contest. Northern Ireland & Ulster, making their first appearance in the competition for a few years, took 3rd team ahead of Wales.
By claiming the Scottish titles Turner and Mullins also became the first winners of the Don Ritchie Trophies. The two cups awarded to celebrate the pioneering ultra distance exploits of the legendary Scot who passed away last year, were presented by Isobel Ritchie, Don’s wife.
In the accompanying 50km event Paulo Natali ran an excellent 3.02.14 in the challenging breezy conditions, with Kerry-Liam Wilson, Cambuslang, taking 2nd place in 3.13.45. The popular Scot claimed the Scottish 50km title to add to his many other Scottish championship medals. Andrew White, Greenock Glenpark, took third and second place in the Scottish championship in 3.14 .51. David Tamburini finished in 5th and took 3rd place in the Scottish championships. Anna Holdroyd won the ladies in 3.28.07, ahead of Beth Pascall in 3.35.19 and Angela Howe took third and the Scottish title in 4.01.31.