Edinburgh athlete Stuart Livingstone wins Loch Ness Marathon on debut in race
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STUART Livingstone was crowned Loch Ness Marathon champion as he claimed victory on his debut in the race.
The Corstorphine Athletics Club athlete comfortably took the title in only his sixth marathon, crossing the line in two hours 32 minutes and 20 seconds.
The new champion took almost four minutes off his personal best of the 26.2 mile distance which he recorded in London in 2019.
Livingstone (37) was almost three minutes ahead of Geraint Williams of Swansea Athletics Club in 2:35:05 in second, with Corstorphine team mate Chris Poxton third in 2:36.07.
The Edinburgh based energy consultant says the course was more challenging than he expected, but before the race, felt he was in contention to win.
"Training had been going well so I knew it was on," he said.
"I probably underestimated how tough the first half of the course is with the downhill which takes it out of your legs.
"But as soon as it flattened out, I was able to switch on a bit and hang on until I got to the top of the hill at Dores and then let gravity do its thing."
Livingstone says after running with a group during the first stage of the race, managed to pull away at the midway point and never looked back.
"There was a group of five of us that went for about 10 miles.
"Geraint pushed on a bit when it flattened, I got the sense I was getting a wee gap at 15 miles so I put my head down and got on with it.
"It was only when I got to the riverside I knew that I could relax during the final mile."
Livingstone hinted victory at Loch Ness could be his final marathon due to it not usually being his specialist distance.
"It is only my sixth marathon, I usually do 10k races but every couple of years i think I could get my time down a bit in the marathon.
"I have to admit, I think that could be it for me and marathons. It is easy to say five minutes after i've finished, but I enjoy the 5k and 10k training a lot more.
"I am conscious that every run could be the personal best for the rest of my life."
But he said competing at the Loch Ness Marathon was a race ticked off his list.
"It is my first time at Loch Ness and one that I have always wanted to do. "With so much uncertainty if you'd be able to travel, it felt the sensible thing to do one in Scotland."