Road racing returns to the north-east with Back to Basics 10K in Forres
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FORRES played host as road racing returned to the north-east after a six-month break at the weekend.
The Back to Basics 10K, which started and finished at Benromach Distillery, took place on Sunday – with a more than mild wind challenging the competitors as they ran out towards Kinloss and back.
There was a men’s race and a women’s race, with runners setting off in two separate groups due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The women’s run was won by 19-year-old European Junior Championship contender Megan Keith, with the men’s won by Max Abernethy.
Keith ran the 10 kilometres in 35 minutes and six seconds to take the woman’s title, ahead of fellow Scotland international Jenny Bannerman (35 mins 42 secs), while Catriona Fraser made it an Inverness trio on the podium with a time of 36 mins 31.
Meanwhile Abernethy, running in his first competition for 18 months, came home in a personal best time of 31 minutes 34 seconds to beat off competition from Ben Ward (31 mins 49 secs) and Shaun Cumming (31 mins 54 secs) in the men’s race.
Both athletes enjoyed the run – although admitted it was challenging.
Keith said: “10Ks are definitely a lot farther than I remember them being, so that was a tough one.
“It felt like a long straight on the way back.
“It went on for a while, but I’m just glad to be out in a local race and to be able to come out and support it.”
Abernethy found battling into the wind on the long final straight the biggest challenge.
He added: “It was really tough. The first four miles I paced it quite well and then I just turned back and it was a struggle into the wind.
“I went off a bit slower than expected so I went to push the pace on my own and I think that’s why I slowed down on the last little bit.
“It’s my first race for 18 months. I’ve been training all through, although with quite a few injuries this last year and I’ve got a fairly decent personal best.”
The next Back to Basics race will also be in Forres, again starting and finishing at Benromach Distillery on July 4. Organisers are currently hoping restrictions will have lifted enough to allow athletes to run in bubbles of 100 by that date.