Commonwealth Games runner Robbie Simpson in record breaking form at Inverness

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Robbie Simpson (handicap -5.1) showed his preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Australia are well on target by setting a record time at the Inverness half marathon, which attracted a capacity turnout of 2,800 runners.

Robbie, the Deeside athlete, who is to represent Scotland in the marathon at the Gold Coast  next month, completed the route around the Highland capital in a personal best 1:04:27.  This is the fastest time recorded in the 34 year history of the event, bettering the 1:04:32 clocked by Glasgow’s Peter Fleming in 1993.

Dundee-based Welsh international Kris Jones (handicap -5.7) , who won the Scottish cross country title in February, made a determined bid to stay with Simpson but was unable to match the Banchory athlete’s sustained fast pace over the final three miles. Jones had to settle for second position in 1:04:58, a time which would have been good enough to win in any other year other than 1993.

Simpson, who returned a few days earlier from a short training break in Barcelona, was delighted with the outcome. He said:

“That’s the best race I’ve had for a long time. I felt I have trained well all year but the races haven’t gone well until now. I did a brilliant session of repetition miles when I was in Barcelona last week and it was probably the best I have ever done, so I came here feeling confident. I realised I could get a personal best time and when I got onto the track, so I just sprinted as fast as I could. It’s a real boost to get this performance just before heading to Australia this week. So I can take a lot of confidence from it because I felt so good.” 


Kirkcaldy’s Derek Rae (handicap -2.0), who preparing for next month's London marathon in which he'll represent Great Britain in the World Para Athletics Cup, was a few secs outside his best when recording 1:10:27 for sixth position.

Kevin Cormack (handicap 1.4) won the over-50’s title when finishing 14th overall in 1:15:30 while  Brian Hughes (handicap 2.4) led home the over-60’s in 1:19:55.


Katie White (handicap 1.2), who is preparing for next month’s Manchester marathon, set a personal best 1:15:58 to win the women’s race. The Glasgow-based athlete finished 48secs ahead of two-time previous winner Shona McIntosh (handicap 2.4). McIntosh’s time was the quickest she has recorded from her five appearances in the Inverness race.  

White was pleased with her performance, which represented a 54 second improvement on her previous best set when winning at Alloa last year. She said: “This is the first time I have run here and it exceeded my expectations. It was a perfect day and I really enjoyed it. I’m doing next month’s Manchester marathon when I hope to improve on my best time of 2:42. Hopefully, after this result, everything is on track for that.”

Scottish young athlete’s road running champion Lucas Cairns (handicap 1.8) recorded 16: 50 to defeat a field of 1,000 runners in the accompanying 5km. Scottish North District under-17 cross country champion Emily Andrew (handicap 5.4) was first woman in 18:51. 

Race Director Malcolm Sutherland was delighted that Robbie Simpson had broken the long standing event record but was equally pleased that so many other runners enjoyed the occasion. He said:  “Overall, it was a great day with record numbers taking part in the half marathon and in the 5km. It was particularly encouraging to see so many youngsters taking part in the 5km and hopefully some of them will be motivated to follow in Robbie’s footsteps in the future.”