Home   Sport   Article

WATCH: Inverclyde athlete edges Maryburgh runner to win Inverness Half Marathon title

By Will Clark

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!
Inverness Half Marathon men's winner John Bell. Picture: Callum Mackay
Inverness Half Marathon men's winner John Bell. Picture: Callum Mackay

John Bell claimed the Scottish Half Marathon men's title for the first time in his career at the Inverness Half Marathon on Sunday afternoon.

The Inverclyde Athletics Club athlete claimed victory in one hour, five minutes and 34 seconds as he beat Maryburgh athlete Sean Chalmers by 10 seconds.

Chalmers, representing Aberdeen Amateur Athletics Club, and was 2022 Inverness Half Marathon winner, claimed second place in 1:05:44.

His AAAC teammate Michael Ferguson was in third place with a time 1:05:58. Title-holder Fraser Stewart (Cambuslang Harriers) had to settle for fourth spot 1:06:27.

Mens Half Marathon ..2nd. Sean Chalmers, winner. John Bell. 3rd. Michael Ferguson. ..Picture: Callum Mackay..
Mens Half Marathon ..2nd. Sean Chalmers, winner. John Bell. 3rd. Michael Ferguson. ..Picture: Callum Mackay..

Gourock athlete Bell, recorded a new personal best time as he went faster by one minute and 20 seconds.

He said picking his moment to sprint away from the chasing pack was key to his victory on Sunday.

He said: "It is a massive personal best of over a minute and 20 seconds.

"I am delighted as the plan was just to sit in at the start, I am normally quite aggressive and it has not done me any favours.

"I planned to sit in the first 10 miles and then race the rest.

"A few boys started dropping off about five or six miles and then picked up the pace around about the eight mile mark.

"Then it was me against Sean for the last mile shoulder to shoulder.

"With 900 metres ago, I knew Sean was quick so I thought that I would try now. To be honest I thought I went too early, in the last 100 metres I was treading water.

"I was constantly looking over my shoulder, I usually don't do that, but I knew that he was coming in fast.

"I got the road title last year, it was my first gold individually, but this is the first time that I have got a medal at this one.

"It was a cracking course, I really enjoyed it and I will definitely be back for it."

Bell is now preparing for the Tom Scott Road Races in Motherwell at the end of the month and is also looking to get under 29 minutes for the 10,000 metres during the summer.

Chalmers wasn’t too disheartened by finishing second. He said: “It’s a bit of a confidence-booster to be honest, after a bad performance at the national cross country championships last month, when I had stomach problems.

"I’ll be racing against John again at the Tom Scott race, so that should be good.

“It’s also a huge bonus to have won the team title as that was something we had our eye on.We have a really good squad at the club now and looking further ahead, myself, Michael and Myles are all planning to do the Amsterdam marathon in October.”

James Wilson (Moray Road Runners) won the Scottish North District title when finishing 10th in 1:08:58 with silver going to Shaun Cumming (East Sutherland AC) in 1:09:19 and bronze going to Donnie Macdonald (1:10:16) who also collected the Graeme Moffat Memorial Quaich as the first Inverness Harriers club member to finish.

Former world indoor and European 800m champion Tom McKean took time out to act as the official race starter, and after setting the runners on their way, he joined in and went on to complete the course in 1:55:16.

In the Inverness Half Marathon, Kirkhill athlete Mhairi Maclennan broke the women's record to become Scottish champion.

In the Women's 5k race, Inverness Royal Academy pupil Katie Meek won the title for the first time in her career.

In the men's 5k race, Ross County Athletics Club teenager Lachlan Thomas ran the fastest time in the event for 10 years to defend his title.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More