No matter what Cameron Strachan goes on to achieve in his athletics career, he will always be able to claim he once got the better of two world record-breakers.
The Metro Aberdeen athlete has been in fine form over the winter and last month won his first Scotland call-up for the home nations cross-country international in Belfast.
He performed well, finishing 20th overall and second Scot in a contest which featured a number of top African athletes as well as English, Irish and Welsh competitors.
His main target for the winter season, however, is to finish as high as possible in the Scottish cross country championships to be held at Falkirk’s Callendar Park this coming weekend.Hazlehead PHazlehead HA
Strachan decided to fine-tune his preparations by tackling last Saturday’s Hazlehead parkrun 5km.
Among the other 341 runners taking part were Gideon Gathimba, who was part of a Kenyan team who set a world 4x1500m world record in 2009, and Coventry’s Dave Moorcroft who set a world 5,000m track record of 13min 00.42secs in 1982.
Gathimba, 38, and Moorcroft, 65, were in the city to support the work of the Gathimba Edwards Foundation, a children’s charity established by the Kenyan athlete and Aberdeen AAC’s Myles Edwards.
Strachan was delighted with the outcome, as he sped home ahead of the field in 15min 21secs, finishing 13secs clear of Edwards with Gathimba third in 16:47.
Only Gathimba has run quicker over the woodland trail, having set the course record of 14:48 on a previous charity-related visit two years ago.
The Kenyan, who admits to not being in his best form at the moment, had to settle for third position in 16:47.
Moorcroft, who had a knee replacement operation a couple of years ago, completed the Hazlehead route in a little over 26min, more than double the time it took him to cover the same distance when setting his world record in Oslo 37 years ago.
Strachan was bemused when told he had got the better of two world-record breakers.
He said: “That’s funny but I don’t think they are at their best nowadays.
“I am happy with my run. I wanted a good, sharp effort before going to the national cross-country championships which have been my main focus all winter.
“I was going to do a speed training session on my own but with Myles and Gideon deciding to run I thought I might as well give it a bash. I’m glad I did.
“I have been training quite hard and putting in a lot of miles by my standards, about 70 a week, and it seems to be working.
“I felt good from the start. Myles and Gideon seemed to let me lead up the hill and I thought they were setting me up. However, Gideon dropped back quite early but Myles was still with me at the turnaround point.
“I just tried pushing on for the final mile and managed to get away. I wasn’t really checking on the pace but I knew if I was going to beat these guys I would get a decent time.
“At some stage this year I want to run a fast 5km and I’m sure when I get into the right sort of race I’ll do that. I’m confident that I can run much quicker.
“Now I’m really looking forward to the national on Saturday. There will be a good field with some excellent runners.
“This has been my priority race all winter and I feel I have been making good progress.
“Even since the Belfast international in January I feel as though I have come on quite a bit so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
“I’ll be tapering my training and hopefully I’ll be fine.
“This is the race that really matters to me. I’m aiming for the top 10 as a starting point, but after that it’s not easy to predict.”