Emmanuel Bett (KEN) placed 2nd in the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run behind Haile Gebresealisse (ETH) in a time of 61:40. Chris Thompson (GBR) placed 5th in 64:49. In the women’s race Steph Twell (GBR) had a solid run in 4th in 73:59.
Race report from www.greatrun.org –
Haile Gebrselassie added another magnificent victory to his illustrious career when scoring a resounding success at the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run on Sunday. Gebrselassie on his first visit to the country celebrated it in style when roaring to a new Scottish All-Comers’ half marathon record of 1:01:09 to smash the five years old mark belonging to Kenya’s Emmanuel Mutai by a second.
It wasn’t an easy victory for the 40-year-old Ethiopian who was involved in a titanic battle with Emmanuel Bett the Kenyan who clocked the fastest 10,000m time in the world last year. Bett, under a relentless pressure, eventually ran out of stamina and had to settle for second position in 1:01:40 with Ayad Lamdassem of Spain finishing third in 1:01:59.
Yet it looked ominous for Gebrselassie until the 11 miles marker with it seeming possible that Bett racing on the roads for this first time this autumn would use his superior sprinting speed to his advantage over of his veteran opponent. But the wily “Emperor” as he is known worldwide had other ideas and shortly after that marker inserted a punishing burst of speed which initially pulled him 20m clear and then gradually increased the gap for a convincing win. “He’s a tough guy to race, very tough” said Gebrselassie, who found Bett quite happy to share the pace from as early as three miles. “I kept trying to get away but he was running well.” The world’s greatest ever distance runner whose time was easily a new World Masters record erasing the 1:02:28 performances of New Zealand’s John Campbell and Kenyan Nelson Chirchir, added that wasn’t his major target. “For me winning against the best in the world and not just setting age group records is much more important,” he insisted: “When I saw the time at 15km I knew we were heading for a fast time.
“After losing out in the last mile at the Great North Run I had to get clear and decided to make my move when I did and it worked so well,” added Gebrselassie who was beaten by Kenenisa Bekele and Mo Farah three weeks ago. “I’m happy with this win.”
In the women’s race Susan Partridge produced a brilliant host nation victory when crossing the line with a healthy margin of 1min 11sec ahead of fellow Scot Freya Ross with Polline Wanjiku of Kenya third in 1:13:01. Partridge missed her personal best by a margin of nine seconds but avenged the defeat from Wanjiku at the Bath Half Marathon in March, and was surprised at her domination of the race.
“I didn’t think I would get away so early,” said the Leeds-based athlete who was 10th in this summer’s World Championships Marathon and took charge of the contest after four miles. “I didn’t know how fast I was going, but it wasn’t a problem running on my own. It’s easier when you’re leading and much harder when you’ve been dropped.” Simon Lawson produced a solid display to win the men’s wheelchair 10km race in a time of 24:21 while Sammi Kinghorn took the women’s race from Jane Egan recording 30:59 to her rivals 37:33.