Abu-Rezeq tells of Olympic ambitions after third win in Baxters Loch Ness Marathon

HSBC get fit and have fun training for 10k corporate challenge

Mohammad Abu-Rezeq (handicap -4.7) has set his sights on earning a place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games after completing a hat-trick of wins in the Baxters Loch Ness marathon. There were impressive times for the supporting 10k event too. 

The Manchester-based athlete completed the course in 2hr 23min 56secs to finish well ahead of his closest challengers then announced he is targeting next April’s London marathon where he hopes to gain selection to represent his native Jordan in Japan two years from now.

Abu-Rezeq’s time was the slowest of his three victories at Loch Ness but he was delighted with the result and feels he can run much quicker in future to gain Olympic selection.

He said: “The conditions were good and it was a very nice race. I like this course so much which is why I keep coming back here. It’s not an easy course and I know I can run much quicker.

“My big aim is to run for my country in the Olympic Games so I need to run under 2:18 at London and I am sure I can do that. However I would like to go under2:15 as that would give me a sponsor which would allow me to train properly for the Games.”

Prolific long distance runner Adam Holland (handicap -2.3) showed great strength over the final two miles to pull away from Kenyan athlete Isaiah Kosgei to take second position in a personal best 2:24:24.

Kosgei, who was fifth last year, finished third to take top spot in the over-40 age group in 2:26:37. It was important for the Kenyan to feature in the prize list as part of his reason for competing here was to raise money for the school he founded in his homeland.

Fife AC’s Sheena Logan (handicap 2.4) set a fine new personal best time of 2:51:11 to win the women’s race by finishing ahead of two-time previous champion Jenn Wetton (handicap 3.2) who was competing nine months after giving birth to son Adam.

Wetton, who recorded 2:53:19, was equally happy with the outcome. She said: “I might need to reassess which is harder, childbirth or marathon running. On the basis of today I’d say its marathon running. I was so tired over the last mile but I knew my wee boy would be at the finish so that kept me going and made it special. I was as well prepared for the race as I could be at this stage and I really needed to do it as a target to help me get back.”



10k Race

Kilbarchan’s Euan Gillham (handicap -3.4) got the better Moray’s Kenny Wilson (handicap -3.9) in an enthralling battle for supremacy in the Baxters River Ness 10km.

The duo were locked together in the early stages before Wilson pulled away, opening up what appeared to be a decisive lead. But Gillham, who was bronze medallist in the Scottish 10km championships at Stirling a fortnight earlier when Wilson finished fifth, gradually reeled in his rival and burst clear in the closing stages to win by 11secs in a personal best 30:22.

Wilson, who is to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth half marathon at Cardiff next month, was disappointed not to win but took some positives from the outcome. 

Jenny Bannerman (handicap 0.4) set a personal best time of 34:53 to score her third victory in five years in the women’s race. The Inverness Harriers club member sliced 14secs off her previous best and charted new territory by dipping under the 35min barrier for the first time.

She said: “I am really delighted. I wanted to win the race today but getting a good time was more important. So I’m so happy to have done both. It’s has taken me a long time to get under 35min. I don’t know many times I’ve tried. I ran 35:15 in  2015 and thought I was getting to close to it then, but it has taken another three years to do it.

Edinburgh AC’s Ella Revitt (handicap 1.7) was only a few secs outside her personal best when finishing second in 35:35.

5k Race 


Ross County AC’s Hamish Hickey (handicap -1.1) won the Baxters River Ness 5km for the second year in a row. The 17 year-old, who recently started a sports studies course at Stirling University, recorded 16:22, which is 50seconds quicker than his 2017 winning time. He said:” I’m happy with that. It’s slower than my best for the distance but I just wanted to run it at my 10km pace, so it’s fine. This is my last road race of the season so my next competition will be the North District cross country relays at the beginning of October.”