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Men’s champion returns to defend his title at Inverness Half Marathon

By Will Clark

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Half Marathon men's winner - Fraser Stewart. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Half Marathon men's winner - Fraser Stewart. Picture: Callum Mackay..

Fraser Stewart will not give up his Scottish title without a fight when he lines up in Sunday’s Inverness Half Marathon.

The 36-year-old Cambuslang athlete claimed victory last year in Inverness with a winning time of one hour, five minutes and 24 seconds, and he believes he is in shape to match or improve on Sunday.

He said: “I’m confident, but I know it’s going to be hard.

“There are guys who can beat me, but equally I know I can beat them.

“You want all the top men to be there, so, it’ll be a good race as there could be six or seven of us in contention on the day.

“There’s a lot of us at a similar level and hopefully we can push each other along.

“That’s exactly what you want at a national championship race.

“My training has been going well and I feel I can run a similar time to last year, maybe even a bit quicker.

“I’m preparing for next month’s London marathon, as I was in 2023, so Inverness comes at an ideal stage in the build-up. It worked well for me last time as I went on to set a personal best of two hours, 18 minutes and 34 seconds at London, so hopefully it’ll happen again.

“This will be my third time at Inverness as I was third in 2022, and I love the course.

“You get all the climbing done early on when you are still fresh, then you can get moving after that.

“It always seems to produce fast times.”

Fellow Cambuslang athlete, Michael Christoforou, is planning to compete, with an improvement on his 2022 personal best of 1:05:41 being the target.

Fife Athletic Club’s Lewis Rodgers, who was only 14 seconds behind Stewart when taking silver last year, is returning, as is Central AC’s Luca Fanottoli who was fourth in 2023 in 1:06:17.

Aberdeen AAC’s Michael Ferguson is aiming to improve on his best of 1:06:23 set when taking fifth position 12 months ago while his clubmate Sean Chalmers is also likely to come into the reckoning.

The former Inverness Harriers athlete won in 2022 and has a best time of 1:04:22 from Farnborough that same year. Ferguson and Chalmers will join forces with Myles Edwards in a strong Aberdeen AAC side hoping to take top spot.

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