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Tomas Abyu powers home to win Baxters Loch Ness Marathon for third time

Tomas Abyu of Salford Harriers won the tenth Baxters Loch Ness Marathon today (Sunday 2 October), with a time of 2 hours 20 minutes and 50 seconds. It is Tomas’s third win in as many visits to Loch Ness. Runner up was Ross Houston of Central AC (2:21:05) (who also won the Men’s Scottish Marathon Championships) and in third place was Chris Wilson of Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers (2:25:15).

Lisa Finlay of Dumfries Running Club won the women’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon course in a personal best of 2 hours 59 minutes and 14 seconds. Crossing the finish line in second place was Carole Setchell of Shettleston Harriers, clipping almost 15 minutes off her personal best with a time of 3:02:56. Third was Gail Murdoch of Carnegie Harriers (3:09:37).

Tomas Abyu, winner of the 2011 Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, said: “The Baxters Loch Ness Marathon is a good fast course, and its such a beautiful area. I had a very good run in the second half of the course today – Ross Houston, second in the Marathon, was pushing the pace but I felt very comfortable. This is my third time running the event and the weather is always great for the event, and a perfect temperature for running.”

Female winner, Lisa Finlay of Dumfries Running Club, said: “There were a lot of good runners taking part today, making for stiff competition. I ran my own race, sticking to my plan and was delighted to win, and even knocked a few seconds of my PB! I enjoyed my run - its a lovely course and the spectators along the route were really warm and supportive.”
In the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon’s 10th anniversary year, Erica Christie, one of ten runners completing the course for the tenth time, was eighth female across the finish line.

Double celebrations are in order for Marathon runners Scott McKenzie and Sarah Mearns, both of Glasgow and raising money in support of Multiple Sclerosis Society. Scott proposed to Sarah on the finish line of the event.

Winner of the Baxters River Ness 10K was Kyle Greig of Forres Harriers with a time of 32:55. Second was Keith Hood of Corstorphine AAC with a time of 33:11, and third was Graeme Campbell of Stirling (34:10).

First woman home in the Baxters River Ness 10K was Inverness Harriers’ Melissa Whyte with a time of 35 minutes and 45 seconds. Second was Sarah Styles of Metro Aberdeen Running Club (39:18)
and third was Vivienne Bruce of Aberdeen (39:33).

The fastest team home in the HSBC 10K Corporate Challenge was Rowantree Randoms of University of Aberdeen in a cumulative time of 3:01:37.

The Scottish Marathon Championships were won by Ross Houston, Central AC, for the male category and by Lisa Finlay of Dumfries Running Club for the female category. The male team champions were Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers and the female champions were the Carnegie Harriers.

The 2011 GORE RUNNING WEARTM Runners Club Award (for the fastest running club member) was awarded to Tomas Abyu of Salford Harriers.

The HSPC Gerald Cooper Memorial Cup and a donation of £1000 to the charity of their choice, awarded to the first person resident in the Highland area to cross the finish line in the Marathon, was won by Harley Davidson of Inverness.

Over 8300 runners from 45 countries entered this weekend’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running, the UK’s most scenic marathon.

The mild start to the day gave way to rain during the morning but the skies were clearing as the winners crossed the finish line, leaving the Event Village bathed in sunshine for the prize giving. The Festival of Running welcomes participants of all ages and abilities to the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon, River Ness 10K, HSBC 10k Corporate Challenge, River Ness 5k, and, for pre-school age children, the Wee Nessie.

Audrey Baxter, chairman of Baxters Food Group, said: “A huge congratulations to everyone who took part in today’s marathon. I’m always so inspired by the dedication from the runners of all levels and the amount of money raised for various charities. Baxters is a proud sponsor of the Loch Ness Marathon.  To see the event celebrate its 10th anniversary is an exciting milestone and shows the growing credibility of the marathon as a major running event.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer for EventScotland said: “Congratulations to everyone who took part in today’s Baxters Loch Ness Marathon. Having 8300 participants shows the passion and appetite for running not only in the North of Scotland but across the country as many of the runners travelled to compete on the scenic course.  Scotland is building its portfolio of running events every year and as the national events agency we are delighted to be supporting a number of them. In the year of Active Scotland, it is great to see so many people involved and we hope their participation will continue for many years to come.”

Malcolm Sutherland of Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running said: “This has been a special year as we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Loch Ness Marathon. It has been wonderful to welcome runners and spectators both locally and from around the world to the Highlands for the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon – and all the other events in the Festival of Running – to experience for themselves one of the most friendly and scenic marathons in the world!  We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Inverness again in the future.”
Runners participating in last year’s event generated over £780,000 for charity, and brought economic benefit of over £2,060,000 to the local area.

In this year of Active Scotland, the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon & Festival of Running offered a great opportunity for people of all ages to take part in a running event. All Festival events finished in a spectacular location in the Bught Park, beside the River Ness and close to the city centre. Here, supporters, families and friends enjoyed a fantastic entertainment including: live music by popular bands Hoodja and the Elgin & District Pipe Band ; delicious food from Highland producers at the Baxters Food & Drink Fayre; live demonstrations by chef Darren Sivewright in the ‘Baxters Kitchen’; Super Jumpers, a thrilling reverse bungee experience; WOW balls, inflatable balls which allow participants to walk on water. a climbing wall, a sports expo with sales of specialist sports clothing; and a charity expo by some of the nominated causes for the event. Visit http://www.lochnessmarathon.com for more information.

RESULTS: BAXTERS LOCH NESS MARATHON & FESTIVAL OF RUNNING, SUNDAY 2 OCTOBER

Men:
1: Tomas Abyu, Salford Harriers (2:20:50)
2: Ross Houston, Central AC (2:21:05)
3: Chris Wilson, Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers (2:25:15)
4: Kerry-Liam Wilson, Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers (2:31:06)
5: Grant Wilkie, Corstorphine AAC (2:42:55)
6: Richard Watkinson, Princes Riseborough (2:43:00)
7: Roger Van Gompel, Dundee Hawkhill Harriers (2:46:12)
8: Stefan Simms, Griffithstown Harriers (2:46:18)
9: Paul Holley, Newmarket Joggers (2:47:41)
10: Jim Clark, London (2:49:16)

Men Over 40: 1: Roger Van Gompel, Dundee Hawkhill Harriers (2:46:12)
Men Over 50: 1: Gary Hetherington, Sedgefield Harriers (2:50:58)
Men Over 60: 1: Nicholas Fickling, USA (3:17:23)

Women:
1: Lisa Finlay, Dumfries Running Club (2:59:14)
2: Carole Setchell, Shettleston Harriers (3:02:56)
3: Gail Murdoch, Carnegie Harriers (3:09:37)
4: Claire Thompson, Victoria Park City of Glasgow (3:11:54)
5: Jane Purchase, Doncaster AC (3:12:00)
6: Stephanie Ilsley, Belper Harriers (3:12:44)
7: Joan Henry, Wick (3:14:47)
8: Erica Christie, Bellahouston Harriers (3:18:29)
9: Helen Lawrenson, Wesham Road Runners (3:18:52)
10: Helen Lees, Glasgow (3:20:32)

Women over 40 1: Joan Henry, Wick (3:14:47)
Women Over 50: 1: Stephanie Ilsley, Belper Harriers (3:12:44)
Women Over 60: 1: Ann Rollings, Rugby and Northampton AC (4:04:07)

Scottish Marathon Championships:
Male Team Champions: Ron Hill Cambuslang Harriers
Female Team Champions: Carnegie Harriers
Male Champion: Ross Houston, Central AC
Female Champion: Lisa Finlay, Dumfries Running Club

GORE RUNNING WEAR™ Runners Club Award 2011 (for fastest running club member male): Tomas Abyu, Salford Harriers
GORE RUNNING WEAR™ Runners Club Award 2011 (for fastest running club member female):
Lisa Finlay, Dumfries Running Club
HSPC Gerald Cooper Memorial Cup (for first person resident in the Highland area):  Harley Davidson, Inverness Harriers

Baxters River Ness 10K
Men:
1: Kyle Greig, Forres Harriers (32:55)
2: Keith Hood, Corstorphine AAC (33:11)
3: Graeme Campbell, Stirling (34:10)
4: Stephen Mackay, Inverness Harriers (34:12)
5: Callum Martin, London (34:12)
6: Jack Trevelyan, Castletown (34:13)
7: David Patton, Corstorphine AAC (34:15)
8: Niku Millott, Metro Aberdeen Running Club (34:23)
9: Forbes Reid, Metro Aberdeen Running Club (34:28)
10: Zachary Delaney, Fife Athletic Club (34:33)

Men Over 40: 1: Callum Martin, London (34:12)
Men Over 50: 1: Alastair Dunlop, Isle of Lewis (35:08)
Men Over 60: 1: Mike Gage, Beauly (42:29)

Women
1: Melissa Whyte, Inverness Harriers (35:45)
2: Sarah Styles, Metro Aberdeen Running Club (39:18)
3: Vivienne Bruce, Aberdeen (39:33)
4: Suzanne McMahon, Bellahouston Harriers (39:43)
5: Liz Thomson, Aberdeen (40:39)
6: Marie Baxter, Aberdeen (40:42)
7: Jackie Mair, Inverness Harriers (41:17)
8: Maria De La Torre, Inverness (41:21)
9: Roma Davidson, Inverness Harriers (41:23)
10: Fiona Macritchie, Inverness (41:40)

Women over 40: 1: Suzanne McMahon, Bellahouston Harriers (39:43)
Women Over 50: 1: Sarah Houston, Moray Road Runners (43:34)
Women Over 60: 1: Shirley Hay, Inverness (53:14)

Baxters River Ness 5K Fun Run
Male: Luke Shaw, Ross-shire (17:44)
Women: Catriona Allan, Kilmacolm (21:29)

HSBC 10K Corporate Challenge
Fastest Overall Team and Fastest Public Sector Team:  Rowantree Randoms, University of Aberdeen, cumulative time 3:01:37
Fastest Accountancy and Finance Sector Team: Johnston Carmichael
Fastest Legal and Property Sector Team: CKD Galbraith
Fastest Energy and Engineering Sector Team: Wood Group
Fastest Jack of All Trades Sector Team: Baxters Team A