Fiona Brian hopes to lead Metro Aberdeen to more individual and team honours in tomorrow’s Lossiemouth Turkey Trot 10-mile road race.
The Scotland international showed fine form last weekend when she and clubmate Ginie Barrand became the first Metro Aberdeen women for 25 years to finish on the podium in the Scottish East District cross country championships’ senior women’s race.
No one from the club had picked up an individual medal since American student Elizabeth Riley struck gold in season 1994-1995.
But that all changed when Brian finished second behind Fife AC’s Annabel Simpson, with Barrand taking third place at the end of the 8.5k race.
The duo were backed up by Claire Bruce, eighth, and Kirsty Mitchell, 40th, in the Metro side which finished second behind Fife in the team competition.
It’s the fourth season in a row the Metro squad have featured among the team medals. Gold remains elusive, however, with three sets of silver and one of bronze having been acquired.
Brian said: “It was a great day for the club. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I hadn’t done any specific preparation for it.
“I took my spikes out a few days beforehand to make sure they were ok and that was about it, so it was a good, solid run.”
Brian’s performance puts her in line for a possible call-up for the Scotland team to compete in the home countries international at Stirling next month.
The international match will be combined with the Scottish inter-district championships and a British cross challenge series race, ensuring a top-class field.
She said: “I wasn’t originally planning to run at Stirling.
“I haven’t been selected either for the Scotland or East District teams but if I am I will probably do it.
“I’d expect a few other Metro girls to be in the east team as well, which would be good.”
Brian, who ran a personal best marathon time of 2hr 42min 51secs at Berlin in September, is turning her attention now to next year’s London marathon.
In the meantime she wants to fit in a few more road races, beginning with the trip to Lossiemouth tomorrow. She wouldn’t be drawn, however, on whether the course record of 57min 49secs, set by Inverness athlete Jenny Bannerman in 2015, is on her radar.
Brian has a best time of 56:35 which was posted when taking second position in the Scottish championships at Motherwell in March.
She said: “To be honest I’m not sure what shape I’m in at the moment so I want to use the race to get a benchmark for where I’m at.
“I just hope the weather is kind and it’s not too windy.
“The last time I did it, there was a headwind for the first half but then we turned downhill and the wind was behind, so that was fine.”
Metro will field a strong squad at Lossiemouth with Brian backed up by Nicola Gauld, Ginie Barrand and Kerry Prise among others.
Gauld, who won the race in 2017, showed solid form last weekend when winning the Aberdeen Proms 3k race.
Barrand, runner-up in August’s Great Aberdeen half marathon, finished third behind Brian at last weekend’s East cross country championships.
Prise has also shown with her win in this year’s Lairig Ghru race that she is always going to be a tough competitor.
Other contenders for leading positions include Fraserburgh’s Lisa Allan, who finished third last year, and Lossiemouth’s former Metro runner Kayleigh Jarrett (Shettleston Harriers), who was second in last weekend’s Scottish West District cross country championships.