Metro Aberdeen’s Kyle Greig is playing down his chances of success in tomorrow’s Baxters Loch Ness marathon which will be his final race before marrying Scottish triathlon champion Debbie Moore next weekend.
The Great Britain ultra-distance trail running international finished third in the Highland race last year, clocking 2hr 26min 21sesc which was 62secs outside his best time set at London four months earlier.
Greig is making no predictions as to whether he will run faster tomorrow and claims he’s going to take a conservative approach to the race.
He said: “I don’t expect to win. I won’t be going out with the leaders, but I want to run a good race and run fairly even splits to see where that gets me.
“My endurance is fine at the moment and I feel I could just keep going, but my speed isn’t so good. I think it’s because I’m busy at work, I’m training, and on top of that we’ve had all the wedding planning.”
Greig completed his preparations for the marathon by winning last weekend’s Crathes half marathon in 1:11:30, which is faster than he ran in 2016.
While Greig was winning the men’s prize at Crathes, his fiancee was setting a new course record of 1:22:26 in the women’s division of the run.
Moore is now enjoying her hen weekend, leaving her husband-to-be to slog out 26.2 miles in the marathon.
Greig said: “I was told to stay clear of the house this weekend, so I’m as well being at Loch Ness.”
The Metro runner faces some strong opponents tomorrow, including the two athletes who finished ahead of him last year.
Altrincham-based Jordanian Mohammad Abu-Rezeq plans to defend his title and is aiming to run faster than his winning time of 2:20:52.
Edinburgh-based Polish athlete Patryk Gierjatowicz, who was engaged in a cat-and-mouse battle for second position with Greig in 2016 before pulling away to take second in 2:25:28, is also in the field.
They all face a potentially strong challenge, however, from veteran Kenyan athlete Isaiah Kosgei.
He has set his sights on making a winning comeback after a decade’s absence from top level competition.
Kosgei, 42, is excited about making his first trip to Scotland and although he knows he will not get close to his best time of 2hr 12min 48sec, he is confident of challenging the course record.
Aberdeen runner Myles Edwards, who along with fellow local athlete Peter Wilson, has helped bring Kosgei over for the marathon, is excited about the Kenyan’s prospects.
He said:”Kosgei has been preparing specifically for the Baxters Loch Ness marathon and although he knows he can’t emulate the times he achieved in the past, he is confident of running close to 2:20.”
Metro Aberdeen’s Hazel Wyness will be in the mix for a podium position in the women’s division.
The Westhill athlete was 16th at Loch Ness two years ago, but has improved since then.
She set her best time of 2:56:28 at this year’s London marathon when she was a member of the Metro Aberdeen side which won the British championship team title.
The race boasts a generous prize kitty with £1,500 on offer for the first man and woman to finish while cash prizes are available for the top five competitors. There will also be voucher awards for leading masters runners in the over-40, 50 and 60 age divisions.