Fiona Brian hopes to become the most successful athlete in the history of Aberdeen’s BHGE 10K when she lines up with close to 2,500 other runners in the 33rd edition of the race tomorrow.
The Scotland international has won the women’s title four times over the past five years to equal the record of most victories achieved by Carnethy’s Aberdeen-born Lynn Wilson between 2006 and 2010.
Another success would put the Metro Aberdeen club member out on her own at the head of the standings, although Wilson can still claim the women’s course record of 35min 7secs.
Brian came within four secs of that mark in 2018, but isn’t making any predictions as to how fast she might go this weekend, particularly as she is still recovering from an outing in the Boston marathon less than three weeks ago.
She battled through hot and humid conditions to complete the hilly New England course in 2:49:58, which was slower than she was hoping to do.
She said: “It was very warm and humid and got worse the longer the race went on.
“Then we hit the hills and it became very tough.
“My quads were really sore afterwards and took a lot longer than normal to recover.
“I think I’ll be fine on Sunday, but I won’t really know until the race gets under way.
“I want to retain my title so I’ll be giving it a go.
“I was close to the record last year, and I always have an eye on the time, but it all depends on how I feel and what the conditions are like.”
Brian’s opponents include Gemma Cormack (Inverness Harriers), who finished second to the Metro runner in 2015. The Highland athlete’s chances depend on how well she has recovered from competing in the Scottish 5km championships in Edinburgh last night.
She said: “Hopefully my legs will be fine. If conditions are good I’d like to run under 37min.
“My training is going well at the moment, so I hope to do well. But we’ll see what happens.”
Two of the main contenders for the men’s title, Cameron Strachan (Metro Aberdeen) and Kenny Wilson (Moray Road Runners), were also in action in the capital on Friday evening.
The duo also faced up against each other at Balmoral last weekend, Strachan getting the better of Wilson in the ConocoPhillips 5km.
Strachan said: “I’m looking forward to the 10km, especially as Kenny is doing it.
“That means it’s going to be a good race, although we’ll both be a bit tired after the 5km on Friday.”
Strachan is tackling the BHGE 10km for the first time but Wilson has been a regular, finishing on the podium three times over the past four years, but is still without the win he craves.
The Moray athlete said: “It’s good we are both doing the double and I think we’ll be close in both races.
“The 10km is probably a better bet for me.
“I’ve been on the podium a few times and I’d like to win it this time, but it will be tough against Cameron.”
Although the focus has been on Strachan and Wilson, Aberdeen AAC’s Will Mackay should not be discounted.
He won the 10km in 2015 and 2016 and, although he hasn’t raced much in recent months, he showed decent form when finishing 11th in April’s Scottish 10,000m track championships when he recorded 31:32.54.