Kenny Wilson breaks Balmoral record while Douglas achieves weekend double at Run Balmoral

kenny wilson balmoral 5k

Scotland international Kenny Wilson was in record-breaking form in the ConocoPhillips 5km at the 21stanniversary Run Balmoral meeting over the weekend while GB mountain running star Andy Douglas showed his remarkable endurance powers by taking top spot in the Stena Drilling Tartan 10km and in the TRAC 15 mile trail race. 

There were also fantastic performances from Aberdeen’s Alan Semple, who retained his Devil of Deeside crown, while Lancashire’s Molly Ralphson lifted the women’s title. Devil competitors had to race in the ConocoPhillips 5km and the Stena Drilling Tartan 10km on Saturday before stepping up a gear to tackle the 27km Apollo duathlon followed by the TRAC 15 mile trail race on Sunday.

More than 5,500 runners of all ages took part over the two days with an equal amount of spectators generating a vibrant atmosphere on the royal estate.

Kenny Wilson’s (handicap -4.0) 5km performance was the highlight of day one. The Moray Road Runners club member sprinted through the finishing tape to win the ConocoPhillips 5km in 14min 42secs, slicing four secs off the previous mark set in 2013 by Central AC's Olympic Games athlete  Andy Butchart (handicap -4.0) .

Wilson had never broken the 15min barrier in his two previous Balmoral wins, so was delighted with his performance which comes a fortnight before he wins his second Scotland international vest in next month's Lillebaelt half marathon in Denmark.

He said:"I hadn't thought too much about the record until someone mentioned it to me last week. But after 2km, I was off the pace so I didn't think it would happen. But I pushed on and fortunately managed to get it.           

"I'm very pleased because I didn't really taper back on my training this week. It's also great to get a record at Balmoral as the event has such a great tradition. 

"Now, hopefully, I can go on to improve on my best half marathon time in Denmark." 

Callum Symmons (handicap -1.5) stayed with Wilson for the opening half of the race before falling back to finish runner-up for the second year in a row.

Scotland international  Jenny Bannerman (handicap 0.3), competing at Balmoral for the fourth year in a row, notched her second title in 17:01, the fastest time she has achieved on the Deeside course.         

She said:"I'm happy; hopefully I'll have recovered for the Scottish 5km championships in a fortnight."

Great Britain junior cross country international Anna Macfadyen (handicap 3.3) was second in  17:46 with Scotland junior international  Clare Stewart (handicap 3.3)third in 18:21.          

Great Britain mountain racing international Andy Douglas (handicap -4.8) completed a memorable double by winning the Stena Drilling Tartan 10km on Saturday then taking top spot in Sunday’s TRAC 15 mile trail race.             

The Edinburgh-based Caithness athlete cruised home in the 10km with a time of 32:16 before completing the trail run in 1:20:39. 

It was the third time he has won the 10km, the previous successes coming in 2010 and 2012, while in 2015 he won the trail race in what remains a course record 1:18:30. 

It all served as a useful part of his build-up towards the mountain running season which starts in June, but before that he is heading for a spell of altitude training in Boulder, Colorado. 

He said:"I'll be in Colorado for three weeks in May, returning in time for the Great Britain trials for the European mountain running championships at the beginning of June. 

"I'll be training with a couple of guys from the US team and it looks an amazing place for running. Hopefully it will set me up for the summer season. 

"I'm hoping to do the European championships in July and the world championships in September. I'll also be running in the World Cup series of races, so it's going to be busy." 

 Kyle Greig(handicap -1.5) was second in the 15 mile race in 1:23:40 with Callum Symmons (Aberdeen AAC) third in 1:28:25. 

Clare Bruce score an emphatic victory in the women's division of the 10km, recording 38:35 when finishing 16th overall from a field of 1901 starters. The Metro Aberdeen runner, who has battled against injuries and illness over the winter, showed she is getting close to her best form again.

"When I look back at the list of women who have won this race in the past, it feels really good to have joined them.

Scottish duathlon champion Debbie Greig won the women's 15 mile title in 1:38:39 with Veronique Oldham (Cosmic Hillbashers) second in 1:45:39.

Rob Brookes, from Monymusk, won the Apollo duathlon, completing the 6km run/16km cycle/5km run in a combined time of 1:18:25 to finish 19 secs ahead of Ballater's Dan Whitehead.

Aboyne's Coralie Arthur, who finished third last year, won the women's race in 1:34:02 with the 2017 winner, Clare Whitehead, second in 1:35:53.

There was a thrilling finish to the FOS Group secondary schools 2.5km with Josh Benton (Deeside Runners) outsprinting Ross Macmillan (Aberdeen AAC) to win by one sec in 7:31 while Calum Dempster was third in 7:40. Emma Swanson (Banchory Stonehaven AC) won the girls' title for the second year in a row when recording 8:24. Beth Collins (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) was a clear winner of the girls' contest when clocking 6:09 to finish 10secs ahead of Anna McNeill (Aberdeen AAC).          

Braemar's Fergus Wood retained his title in the TRAC three mile trail race in 20:26 while his twin brother Angus was second in 20:46. Mora Mcgovern held off a strong challenge from Alison Pilichos (Metro Aberdeen) to win the women's award  in 23:23.

Alan Semple’s winning time in the  Devil of Deeside Challenge, after 50km of running and 16km of cycling was 3:50:49. Molly Ralphson (Trawden AC) won the women's title in 4:53:51 after title-holder Kerry Prise dropped out nine miles into the 15 mile trail run.