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Jeans fits bill as top ultra runner

By Alan Beresford

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AN Elgin man was to claim the glory as the Speyside Way Race ultra marathon celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Saturday saw around 130 runners set off from Cragganmore distillery at Ballindalloch, ahead of them lying the gruelling challenge of 36.5 miles over a varied –and scenically stunning – terrain.

The finish line for the event was in Buckie.

Earlier worries over landslip damage in two spots near Fochabers proved unwarranted, the affected areas being cleared before race day.

Taking the tape was unattached runner Grant Jeans, originally from Elgin and an athlete with huge experience on the ultra marathon scene.

Jeans (36) has run for Scotland in the past, returning to the international scene last year after his career was interrupted by injury.

He has raced for his country over 100km distance.

Jeans came home with a time of 4.10.54, almost 17 minutes ahead of Adam Gray (Penicuik Harriers) in 4.27.39. The first female runner home was Michelle Young (unattached), who clocked 5.22.42.

Moray Road Runners’ Steven Morrison repeated his position last year when he was sixth overall in a time of 4:55.10 and third in the male veteran’s category.

Team-mate Karen Norvell came in fourth in the female super veteran 50-plus category.

The oldest competitor was 66-year-old Alan Robertson (Lothian Running Club).

The event was a swansong of race director Sarah Louise Cull, who resurrected the then defunct race in 2010.

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