Cameron Strachan hopes to make amends for a nightmare experience in one of Britain’s top track meetings when he defends his title in tomorrow’s Chapelton of Elsick 10km.
The Metro Aberdeen runner, pictured, travelled to London for the Night of the 10,000m PBs at Highgate Harriers’ Parliament Hill stadium last Saturday.
The high-profile fixture included the European Cup international team competition as well as the British championships.
Strachan went into the contest in buoyant mood but the outcome fell well short of even his worst expectations when he struggled through the opening laps and eventually withdrew from the race.
The Scotland cross-country international said: “I want to get that out of my system as soon as possible. It was weird, I really don’t know what happened.
“I was struggling in the first kilometre at a pace which should have been easy.
“By halfway I knew there was no way of getting a decent time but I kept going before deciding to step off the track
“I was running quicker in a training session this week than I managed in that race. I was just so far off the pace I should have been capable of doing.
“On reflection I am a bit annoyed that I didn’t just complete the race. But equally I would have been disappointed to record a poor time.”
Until the Highgate horror show Strachan had been enjoying a good spell of racing with victories in the Aberdeen BHGE 10km and Westhill 10km.
He won last year’s inaugural Elsick 10km in 34min 35secs but knows he’ll more than likely have to run much quicker if he is to defend his title tomorrow.
And that’s because Banchory’s Robbie Simpson, who finished seventh in last weekend’s European Mountain Running Championships in Switzerland, helping Great Britain win the team title for the first time, is considering taking part.
Simpson has a best 10km time of 29:22 compared with Strachan’s quickest of 30:50 so the Metro man knows he faces a serious test.
Strachan said: “When I heard Robbie was to be doing it I decided I definitely wanted to give it a go.
“He’s in a different class and should win, even though he ran last weekend. But I’ll go out hard and see what happens.”
Ginie Barrand and her Metro Aberdeen clubmate Ali Matthews are among the leading entrants in the women’s race but Sarah Milne isn’t expected to defend her title.
There is a doubt over Barrand’s appearance, however, as she is suffering from a hip problem.
A capacity field of 400 runners will take part in the race.