Renault motors to Baxters River Ness 10km victory for second time and Gyurko completes Inverness double

Loch Ness

Neil Renault (handicap -3.9) successfully defended his title in the Baxters River Ness 10km when sprinting home in 30min 37secs, just four secs slower than his winning time in 2015.

The Edinburgh AC runner finished 16secs ahead of Conan Mccaughey (handicap -3.1) with John Newsom (handicap -3.2) a further three secs behind in third position with Scottish 10,000m track champion Will Mackay (handicap -4.1) fourth in 31:10, three secs ahead of North champion Kenny Wilson (handicap -3.0).

Mccaughey was making his first appearance in the Inverness race while Newsom maintained his remarkable record of consistency. The Nairn-based athlete won in 2013, was second in 2012 and took third spot third in 2014. He stepped up to the marathon last year and finished fourth in 2:32:54.


Renault was delighted with the result, saying: “I am definitely happy with my run. It was nip and tuck with the other guys for the opening few kilometres which was run into a strong wind. I got away from them at exactly the same point as last year, right on the 5km mark, and from then on I just kept it going. I had a look behind at 7km and checked that I was clear. I had another look later on and saw Mccaughey moving fast, but I was able to hold on.


“I’m satisfied because I didn’t really ease back my training too much. I’m looking for a good run in the Glasgowhalf marathon next week and hopefully this will set me up for it. I enjoy coming up to Invernessto race and hopefully I can come back next March for the half marathon.”


Kevin Cormack (handicap 0.5) won the over-40’s prize in 34:25, Stan Mackenzie (handicap 0.4) took the over-50’s award in 35:31 and Brian Urquhart was first over-60 in 40:35.


Scotland-based Hungarian international Fanni Gyurko (handicap 1.5) won the women’s race with an impressive performance which saw her stop the clock at 35:03, a time bettered by only 20 men. The Central AC runner certainly enjoys her visits to the Highland capital, having won the Inverness half marathon on her previous visit six months earlier.


She said: “I wanted to run under 35mins but it was very windy so I am happy with  the time. I took the lead from the beginning and just ran as fast as I could. It’s a nice course and I enjoyed it. I’m going to run in next week’s Glasgow half marathon and I hope I can run my best time there.”


Scotland international Jenny Bannerman (handicap 0.7), the 2014 winner, had to settle for second position in 35:28 but the Inverness Harriers member was satisfied with the outcome.

 She said: “I am really happy with the time as it’s a season’s best for me. It was very windy today, and I felt it especially in the first 3km and I think that affected the times. I could see Fanni the whole way and I might have been catching her a little towards the end but she has been in such great form that I’m not disappointed. I was never going to catch her.”


Fiona Thompson (handicap 2.2) was third in 35:58 with Nicola Gauld (handicap 1.7), who was third last year, finishing fourth in 36:40 and Sarah Liebnitz (handicap 3.1) was fifth in 37:01.


Marie Baxter (handicap 4.7) picked up the over-40’s prize in 38:54 while Linda Watson (handicap 32.2) was first over-50 in 43:29 and Liz Gray (handicap 16.4) topped the over-60’s competition in 51:46.


The Inverness College UHI squad of Robert Boyd, Jennifer Keyes, Paul Moody and Suzanne Stewart won the Corporate Team Challenge.


There was a thrilling ending to the Baxters River Ness 5km fun run in which Dean Kane (handicap 1.0),36, was almost caught on the line by fast-finishing youngster Danny McPake (handicap 2.9),14, while Morgan Lewis (handicap 5.2),15, was further back in third position.

Emily Andrew (handicap 6.1(, 14, led Inverness Harriers’ runners to a clean sweep of the top three positions in the women’s division of the run, with Rebecca Johnstone (handicap 7.0),14, second and Catriona Garvie (handicap 8.4), 13, third.