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WATCH: Kirkhill athlete breaks Inverness Half Marathon record to become Scottish women's champion

By Will Clark

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Mhairi Maclennan broke the Inverness Half Marathon Women's record to become Scottish champion. Picture: Callum Mackay..
Mhairi Maclennan broke the Inverness Half Marathon Women's record to become Scottish champion. Picture: Callum Mackay..

Mhairi Maclennan broke the Inverness Half Marathon women's record as she claimed the title for the first time in her career and also became Scottish Half Marathon champion.

The Kirkhill athlete cruised to victory when she crossed the line in a time of one hour 11 minutes and 47 seconds.

She beat the course record by nine seconds, which was set last year by Dundee Hawkhill Harriers athlete Natasha Phillips who claimed gold in 1:11:56.

Ginie Barrand set an impressive personal best of 1:12:38 to take second position.

She also led Metro Aberdeen to the women’s team title with backing from Claire Bruce, who also set a personal best of 1:15:58 when finishing third.

Maclennan, who runs for Inverness Harriers, says she was pleased with her performance which landed her the Scottish Half Marathon women's champion title and also set a course record at the Inverness Half Marathon.

She said: "That was the aim, but the course was hard.

"At nine miles the course was downhill and I thought OK, but nine miles is actually quite far for it not to be flat.

"It was good, hilly, tough and windy so quite good.

"I am training for the London Marathon so this was a good fitness tester.

"I am happy with the time as this has been a normal training week.

"I feel like I was yo-yoing at the end and I was really trashed. The crowd kept me honest, it was so good."

Maclennan is preparing to compete at the London Marathon next month when she hopes to run inside the Olympic qualifying time.

However, she says she is not putting any pressure on herself, saying she is mainly looking to enjoy the experience.

She said: "I just want to finish and enjoy it, I don't want to put too much pressure on myself for the first one.

"A goal of mine would be to get as close as I can just to get to the Olympic qualifying time.

"But just to say that I have done it, more than anything else.

"There are two athletes selected and the next athlete that is selected will probably run 2:22:22 which is probably out of my scope right now.

"Getting under 2:30 would be really nice."

Barrand was pleased to finish in silver medal position

She said: “Mhairi was always well ahead, but I’m very happy with my run. My previous best was 1:14:01 here last year, so this is a big improvement.

Now I’m looking forward to trying to improve my best marathon time when I compete at

Copenhagen in May.”

Amy Hudson (Moray Road Runners, 1:23:19) was North District silver medallist

behind Maclennan while Muriel Macleod (Stornoway) was third in 1:23:41.

In the men's race, John Bell from Inverclyde Athletics Club won the title for the first time in his career.

In the 5k races, Inverness Royal Academy pupil Katie Meek won the women's title for the first time.

In the men's race, Invergordon teenager successfully defended his title by setting the fastest time in the 5k in 10 years.

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