Campbell surprises with Craig Dunain Hill Race win
Former junior international hill runner Craig Campbell made a surprise appearance at Saturday’s Craig Dunain Hill Race, scoring a comfortable win in an event which featured three Inverness Harriers in the top four.
The 24-year-old crossed the line with a time of 36:22 for the 5.5-mile race involving 900 feet of climb which took place in cold, sleety conditions. Despite a fast start, Campbell was unable to shake off Highland Hill Runner Ally Bevan (37:10) until they passed through the former Craig Dunain Hospital on the descent, but then he opened up a 48-second gap in the final mile and a quarter.
Another Harrier, Gordon Lennox, took a further step back to form, finishing third in 37:51, followed closely by clubmate Graham Bee.
“That was quite a blast from the past because I used to do that race when I was 15 or 16 and still living up here,” said Campbell.
“I’m quite pleased with my run although the conditions were fairly difficult and I’m now looking forward to running for the Harriers again next weekend in the national road relay championships.”
Highland Hill Runner Willie Nicholson, sixth overall, was the first veteran over-40 in 39:02 while Harrier Alec Keith, eighth in 39:32, was the top over-50. Graham Arthur of the Hill Runners (56:08) was the first over-60 finisher despite being over 70.
There was a Highland Hill Runners 1-2-3 in the women’s contest where Cat Morrison took first place in 40:54 ahead of Morvern MacKenzie (43:15). Third, and the first woman over-40, was Karen Lyons in 46:53.
The team contest for this race is an unusual one, decided on average times for each club’s entire squad.
This was comfortably won by the Harriers on 41:09 with the Hill Runners on 47:10, although the hosts only produced seven runners in the field of 57 as opposed to the 25 from their rivals.