Aberdeen-based Scotland international distance runner Sean Chalmers is keen to secure a place in the British 10,000m track championships at Birmingham in early June.
The St Machar Academy PE teacher, who competes for Inverness Harriers, set his best time of 29min 55sec when winning the Back-to-Basics 10k at Forres in December.
That was one of the few road races to be held during a season severely curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Chalmers’ performance earned him fourth place in the 2020 Scottish 10k road rankings behind Olympians Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC), Andrew Butchart (Central AC) and Derek Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC).
He said: “I would love to be able to run in the British championships, but I have no idea what the qualifying requirements might be. I don’t know if road times will be taken into account.
“It would be great to be involved as it’s always a quality race and would be a fantastic opportunity to run a fast time.”
Chalmers was one of a handful of elite athletes allowed to compete in a half marathon at East Fortune motor racing circuit near Haddington last weekend.
It was his first competitive race since the 10k at Forres and he performed well in windy conditions to finish third.
Greenock’s Johnny Glen (Inverclyde AC), making his debut over this distance, won in 1hr 5min 40sec, while James Donald (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) was runner-up in 1:06:21.
Chalmers, who ran all but the opening three miles on his own, was next home in 1:07:13, with Kenny Wilson (Moray Road Runners) taking fourth in 1:08:47.
The Aberdeen runner said: ”It was good to get the racing vest on again and blow the cobwebs away.
“I knew the pace at the front would be very fast and I had to decide whether to go with it an get a bit of shelter, or hang back.
“I went with Kris, Johnny and James, but after three miles I knew I couldn’t keep going at their pace. So, from then on, I was on my own.
“I’m happy enough with my time in these conditions as the wind was brutal. I’m sure there’s a couple of minutes to come off that.”
Chalmers is confident of getting himself into sharper form over the next couple of months.
He said: “I missed a bit of training for a few weeks after Christmas because of a niggling injury. Since then I haven’t been doing a big mileage, but I’m now getting back up to about 60 miles a week soon.
“It should be easier now that it’s possible for people to train together again. Hopefully, I can get some runs done with some of the other Aberdeen guys. I certainly feel I’ll be much fitter in another four or five weeks.”
He is also encouraged to hear that Moray’s Paul Rogan is planning to hold another series of Back-To-Basics 10k road races at Forres in the near future, if guidelines allow.
He said: “I’m keen to do the 10k in May. I’d like to try to get a 29min time again, so, hopefully, there will be a good field again.”
While Chalmers is an accomplished 10k runner, he also has longer term aspirations over longer distances and has been included in the Scottish Marathon Project.
The Marathon Project was initiated by scottishathletics 20 months ago with the aim of building on Scotland’s strong tradition in this event. It is headed by Robert Hawkins, father and coach of Scottish record holder Callum.
With this in mind, Chalmers has already signed up for a major half marathon at Antrim later in the year.