CHRIS Thompson turned party pooper by claiming Callum Hawkins’ Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run title in the half marathon in Glasgow.
All eyes were on Scotsman Hawkins in the lead-up to the race, with many expecting this to be a procession for the Scottish half marathon record holder – but Thompson, a European silver medallist, had other ideas, clocking 62.44 ahead of 2016 winner Hawkins, who outsprinted Tsegai Tewelde on the line to finish second in 63.18.
Flomena Daniel was a comfortable winner in the women’s race, clocking 70.17 with Great Britain’s Charlotte Purdue second in 72.18 and Fionnuala Ross top Scottish finisher, third in 74.26.
For Hawkins, the half marathon was his first race back after a break in training, and the 25-year-old was shown a clean pair of heels by Thompson despite difficult conditions.
With the rain teeming down, Thompson led through 5k in 14.46 with Hawkins and Tewelde, while Olympian Andrew Butchart formed part of the chasing pack 40 seconds behind, only to drop to an eventual 14th on his half marathon debut.
Thompson, the 2016 Great South Run winner, made an early break, running a 4.36 fifth mile to create the gap away from Tewelde and Hawkins.
The 36-year-old passed 10k in 29.39, 15 seconds ahead of Tewelde and Hawkins, a lead which he maintained despite a slip in Pollok Park, and was unduly troubled as he eased home alongside the Clyde towards Glasgow Green.
A delighted Thompson said: “It was certainly an interesting position to be in, at my age where I have good days and bad days to beat someone who has come fourth in the World Championships closing you down.
“He stuck with me and you know that one slip and he can smell blood. I almost had to prepare myself for that. It was a mental battle for me because he is such a good athlete.
“I told him at the end that it was an honour to beat him because he is a world-class athlete.”
In the women’s race, Daniel set the agenda from the gun, stretching into a 27-second lead through 5k with Purdue 27 seconds behind, and Jo Pavey, who finished an eventual seventh, 51 seconds adrift.
Daniel, the 2014 Commonwealth Games marathon winner returning to Glasgow, was paced by para athlete Derek Rae and opened up a 47-second gap over Purdue through 10km which stretched to beyond a minute at the 15km mark as the Kenyan turned the screw, winning more than two minutes ahead of Purdue.
The weather conditions in Glasgow were similar to what greeted Daniel on her 26.2mile victory in the city three years ago, and the 35-year-old said: “The weather was not good, but it was the same three years ago and that win is still fresh in my mind. It was good. In 2014 when I won here people were great, cheering all the way.
“I love the way they cheered me round. This is a special place for me. Good things happen here, despite the rain.”
Earlier, Scottish World Para Athletics Championship 100m and 200m gold medallist Sammi Kinghorn won the women’s wheelchair 10k race in 29.45, while Sean Frame was men’s winner in 29.28.
In the 10K races which set off earlier in the morning in Glasgow, Stuart Gibson took victory in a time of 31.37, with Alasdair McLeod second in 31.55 and Darren Thom third in 32.55.
Rebecca Murray took the women’s race in 34.30, ahead of Jenny Bannerman who clocked 35.50 and Claire Bruce third in 35.55.
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