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Ghebresilasie Heads Chase for Record Bonus

February 4, 2020

Deadline approaches for entering the 2020 Inverness Half Marathon

Weynay Ghebresilasie, winner of the 2017 Inverness Half Marathon

Weynay Ghebresilasie, winner of the 2017 Inverness Half Marathon

Glasgow athlete Weynay Ghebresilasie has his sights firmly set on earning a handy bonus by breaking the men’s course record in this year’s Inverness half marathon, entries for which close on 18th February or earlier if the race capacity is reached.

Organisers are offering a £100 windfall on top of the winner’s prize of £300 if anyone can crack the time of 1hr 4min 27secs set by Deeside’s Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Robbie Simpson in 2018.

Ghebresilasie,who represented his native Eritrea at the 2012 Olympics but hopes to compete for Great Britain at this year’s Games in Tokyo, clocked 1:06:48 when winning the Inverness title three years ago.

The Shettleston Harriers club member is poised to go much faster in the Highland capital on 8th March as his coach, John Mackay, explained. He said:”Weynay is currently training at altitude in Ethiopia but will return for the Big Half marathon in London, then the Inverness half marathon. He hopes to run a very fast half marathon before April’s London marathon. He has done 1:04:06 (at Manchester last year) but we are looking for sub 63 mins or faster.”

The same £100 bonus incentive is being offered in the women’s division of the race, the target being the impressive 1:13:21 by Kenya’s Cathy Mutwa in 2013.
Liz Abbott (Lytham St Anne’s Road Runners), who won last year in a personal best 1:16:48, is returning to have a crack at defending her title.

Race Director Malcolm Sutherland said: “The race has attracted many top calibre athletes throughout its 35-year history and the 2020 event is maintaining that tradition. We are delighted that Weynay and Liz are among the top names returning to our event.

“We thought, however, that we could add a bit more spice to the occasion by offering bonus prizes for record-breaking performances. The existing men’s and women’s records are outstanding and it would be amazing if they could be rewritten. It will be intriguing to see the elite runners trying to achieve that.

“It’s always exciting to see international class athletes competing on the streets of Inverness but we are equally inspired by all the runners who take part.

Weynay Ghebresilasie, winner of the 2017 Inverness Half Marathon

Weynay Ghebresilasie, winner of the 2017 Inverness Half Marathon

“Every one of them is a winner in our eyes and they are all given the same rousing reception at the finishing line regardless of what time it takes to complete the course. The sense of achievement is the same for everyone whether they take just over one hour or more than two hours.

“Our entry places are filling up fast and I’d encourage anyone considering taking part to sign up as quickly as possible. Although our official closing date is 18th February, in each of the past two years we have reached our capacity early.

“There’s also a 5km fun run for people looking for a shorter distance. It’s perfect for younger or less experienced runners. Discounted entry fees are available for schools, youth clubs and disability groups entering a team.

Entries and can be made at www.invernesshalfmarathon.co.uk

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