Anglo Celtic Plate ultra race preview

Jo Murphy credit Steve Adam

International ultra running is heading to Scotland this weekend with the annual 100km Home International event the Anglo Celtic Plate, being hosted in Perth.

The event on Sunday will feature both the British and Scottish 100km road championships for 2022. There is an accompanying 50km distance which incorporates the Scottish 50km road champs for 2022. There are also open races at both distances.

The races take place on a traffic-free loop course at the North Inch park on the banks of the River Tay. The loop is measured at 2.381km and is expected to again produce fast times.

Scotland were team winners when the Anglo Celtic Plate was held in Ireland in August 2021 and look set to challenge England for the team competition in both men’s and women’s events.

Rob Turner running for Scotland is an experienced GB 100km international – the British 100km champion in 2018 and has also been on the podium in two previous UK championships, 2016 and 2019.

The England teams have a mix of experience and first time 100k runners. They are led by the in form Ollie Garrod (handicap -4.1) recent winner of the Barry 40 race and the very experienced Sam Amend  (handicap 2.7). Like Scotland’s Jo Murphy (handicap 9.2), Amend is a former British 100km champion and international. She finished 2nd behind Murphy (pictured here) in the 2021 100km champs and last year also broke Eleanor Robinson’s long standing British 100 mile record.

Both Northern Ireland and Ireland have been improving with their ultrarunning in recent years and this could be a year for a key breakthrough.

An added incentive for the leading runners is possible GB selection for the World 100km Championship being held in Berlin in August. The winners in the men’s and women’s 100km events, subject to them achieving the qualifying standards laid down by UKA of 6:45.00 for men and 7:55.00 for women will gain automatic selection. Other fast times will put athletes in contention too.

The Perth event is being co-ordinated by Adrian Stott and the Sri Chinmoy AC with help from scottishathletics. Volunteer support as usual, from the Scottish ultra running community, will ensure the event works well on the day.

The 100km race starts at 7am with leading men expecting to be around 7 hours and the leading women around 8 hours. The 50km race starts at 10am.

Scottish 100km runners compete for the Don Ritchie Cup.

To honour Scotland’s pioneering ultra distance record holder, who passed away in June 2018, Sri Chinmoy AC, the organisers of the Perth event, together with scottishathletics, will once again present the Don Ritchie Cup.

Don, in an illustrious career spanning over 20 years at the top level in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, set Scottish, GB and world records at all the classic ultra distances from 30 miles through 50 miles and 100km up to 100 miles. Several of these records still stand today. He was inducted into the scottishathletics Hall of Fame in 2018.

This will be the third year in which trophies are awarded to the Scottish Men’s and Women’s 100km champions.

Photo credit: Steve Adam