Inverness Harrier Megan Keith is targeting 10k record and Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running
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The women’s 10k record is the longest standing at the Festival of Running, but one local talent has her eyes on breaking it this weekend.
Megan Keith won the race two years ago in something of a surprise result given that she was 17 at the time, but having continued to improve since she believes the record is a possibility for her this time around.
Cathy Mutwa currently holds the time to aim for of 33:46, setting that benchmark in 2006 – and nobody has gone under 34 minutes since.
Keith’s best 5k time of 16:08 suggests she is more than capable of challenging it though, and she comes into the event on good form having won the British under-20 5k title and come close to a medal in the 3k at the European Junior Championships in Estonia this summer.
“This year I’d hope to run faster than in I did in 2019 and the record is certainly something I’ll keep in mind,” Keith, now a student at Edinburgh University, said.
“I’ll give it a good crack. I’d like to think it’s possible, but we’ll see what happens. It’s just a great event to be involved in.
“There’s a fantastic atmosphere with the course going round the town and so many people coming out to watch.”
Keith will face competition from clubmates Amy Hudson and Jenny Bannerman, who will be hoping to add to her previous three victories in the women’s 10k.
Bannerman struggled with illness over the summer, but last month won the 10k at Stirling.
In the men’s race, two more Harriers, Stephen Mackay and Sean Chalmers, are among the favourites for the title, but Chalmers has also had a tough summer.
“I got a couple of runs in but picked up the norovirus and then a throat infection, so my summer of running was written off,” he said.
“I’m getting some sessions in now and the pace is getting there. I got a confidence boost when running 14:37 in last week’s Aberdeen parkrun 5k so I’m excited to race.
“It will be interesting to see how it unfolds but I aim to make it honest by setting off at a good pace.”