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WATCH - Dundee teenager destroys Inverness half marathon record to become Scottish champion

By Will Clark

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Teenager Natasha Phillips has destroyed the Inverness Half Marathon record to become Scottish Half Marathon champion.

The Dundee Hawkhill athlete claimed the national title in a sensational time of 71 minutes and 57 seconds.

The 18-year-old thrashed the old record set by Kenyan Cathy Mutwa by 84 seconds which had stood since 2007.

It’s the 12th fastest time ever recorded by a Scottish woman and it earned her a first national title.

Women's Half Marathon winner Natasha Phillips. Picture: Callum Mackay
Women's Half Marathon winner Natasha Phillips. Picture: Callum Mackay

Runner-up Fionnuala Ross of Shettleston Harriers was also inside the previous record when clocking a personal best of 72:17.

Ginie Barrand of Metro Aberdeen set her fastest time of 74:03 to take the bronze medal.

Phillips never expected to win by such a huge margin and is pleased to become national champion.

"I remember looking at that record thinking that I would never beat that," she said.

"I am just delighted that I did and it was such an amazing atmosphere.

"I felt good and I went out fast, but I did think have I gone round too fast then i got to 6k and my legs started to hurt.

"In the last bit I felt my legs hurt but thankfully I got round."

Despite setting a new record, Phillips did fall behind halfway during the race, but eventually powered her way to victory.

"I was leading for 5k then I was second for a good bit then last 5k I was in front. I was looking behind and I thought where was everyone?"

Phillips was previously a swimmer before taking up running four years ago and concentrated on athletics during lockdown.

She hopes she can progress her career over shorter distances in the next few months.

"I have not been running long, I used to be a competitive swimmer but I have been running since lockdown and I thought I will do more 5k's and liked it.

I have been a Dundee Hawkhill member since 2019 and did some cross countries since then and here we are.

"Fingers crossed I stay injury free."

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