The 32 nd Stonehaven Half Marathon was completed last Sunday in fine style as new male and female records were set.
The challenging course saw 300 runners complete 13.1miles on a route that starts in Mineralwell Park and climbs over 330metres in the first eight miles as competitors make their way up and out of Stonehaven and into Fetteresso forest.
The last four miles are a fast downhill returning into town, along Farrochie Rd, past Mackie Academy and back to the finishing line in Mineralwell Park.
The men’s race was won by Bartek Ossior from Poland setting a new course record of 1hr 15mins 53secs, taking more than 2mins off the previous record, set last year.
Second place was Hamish Battle from Metro Aberdeen in 1:17:09 and who also beat last year’s winning record time.
Third was Ben Ward of Metro Aberdeen in 1:19:12. For Bartek this was his third Scottish race win in as many weeks and sets himself up perfectly for the Ballater 10mile race later in July .
The women’s race was won by Fiona Brian of Metro Aberdeen who came sixth overall and took over 6mins off the previous record finishing in a time of 1:19:54.
Second female was multiple Stonehaven Half Marathon winner Carolyn McLeod in 1:30:08 and third female was Nicola Mawson in 1:32:06.
In the age category placings, Jim Tole of Metro Aberdeen won first male over 40s in 1:20:06 and Marie Baxter of Garioch Road Runners won first female over 40 in 1:33:45.
The over 50s male category was won by Graeme Kennedy of Motherwell AC in 1:30:37 and first female over 50 was Louise Kelly of Stonehaven Running Club in 1:43:13.
First male over 60 male was Graham Ritchie of Stonehaven Running Club 1:46:38 and first female over 60 was Mary Davies in 2:26:47.
Conditions on the day were variable adding to the challenge as initial sunshine gave way to blustery wind and a passing shower before a return to sunny spells. Entrants were kept well hydrated by the three water stations on the course that were manned by local members of CLAN, Lions Cub and The Rotary.
Yet again the Half Marathon attracted wide range of runners from the local club elite to those running for fun and for charity.
The race featured runners from all over Scotland and as far away as USA, The Netherlands, Poland and Canada.
Many local clubs and Jog Scotland groups were represented with our very own Stonehaven Running Club providing 23 competitors.
Most of the field were from the North East of Scotland.
A large number of volunteer marshals, including a large group from The Legion shouted encouragement and made sure runners went on the right direction.
This year the event also had additional technical volunteer support for road crossing management with groups from Balfour Beattie and Hatton Traffic Management of the AWPR, and trained traffic marshals from Run Garioch giving up their Sunday morning to support the event.
After the half marathon runners had set off younger athletes were able to show off their stamina (with a little help from mum and dad) in the Specsavers 1k fun run.
Two laps of the Mineralwell cricket ground finishing with a sprint, was rewarded with juice and Specsavers 1K Frisbee and beach ball for the speedy youngsters.
Another big winner from the event was CLAN who are the nominated charity for the Half Marathon receiving donations of over £800 from runners entering the event.
John Ritchie, Chairperson of the organising committee said: “After the success of last year’s race on the new course this route is now embedded and is enhancing the reputation of the Stonehaven Half Marathon as being a very friendly event, club-organised, event with an extremely challenging profile for runners.
“I want to congratulate all who took part.
“It’s really really pleasing every year to see so many local running club groups and fun runners with their families, supporting each other and mixing in the park after the race and refuelling on a great spread put on by Stonehaven Running Club members and fiends.
“The support from individual volunteers and organisations that come together to make this event run smoothly has, yet again, been fantastic.
“Many people give up time to bake, marshal and help our event in so many different ways.
“We are also grateful for the support of many local businesses that provide facilities, equipment, and volunteer time and sponsor our event on the day.”