International duo Louise Hill-Stirling and Kerry-Liam Wilson made the journey across country last Wednesday evening, May 16, to the Silverknowes area of the capital to compete in the Scottish Athletics National five kilometre road race championships.
And it was a journey worth making as both athletes came away with medals for their efforts.
Louise, who just five days earlier secured her first national title at the Ben Lomond hill race – which incorporated the Scottish Hill Running Championships – when she won the junior race followed that success up with taking bronze medal in the under-20 age group with a time of 18:51.
Louise said: “I felt a little tired after recent races, which included the hill race and the British Uni Championship event at the new Olympic Park but it was a race that I wanted to do and it paid off. I’ve got the Inter-Counties Hill Championships at Keswick on Saturday but will ease up for those.”
Kerry-Liam, who just nine days previously had a superb marathon race over in Belfast, had to work right to the line to retain his National Vet five-kilometre title with just five seconds separating him from next vet runner and teammate Robert Gilroy.
Stevie Cairns was just a further seven seconds behind Robert to take third Vet placing. Ross Houston of Central took the race victory with a personal best performance of 14:35. Kerry-Liam recorded 15:37.
With the race being part of the Scottish Athletics Grand Prix series, Kerry-Liam secured four points. Mike Johnston, head endurance coach for Scottish Athletics, said: “There were low points tonight here for Kerry-Liam and so soon after the marathon he can’t complain as the depth of competition tonight was very deep so to come away with anything is a bonus, as Robert and Stevie were closing ground on him. Thankfully he held on.
That’s two Grand Prix events now and two national titles to take from the series so far.
“Kerry-Liam needs to take a few weeks easy now to let the body recovery properly from the marathon and tonight’s race. Like Louise, it was a worthy trip over.”