Athletics: Murray sets new PB but is left frustrated in New York

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Capital distance star Freya Murray (Edinburgh AC) cut her personal best by 12 seconds in finishing 17th in 72:32 in the New York Half Marathon yesterday, but expressed her disappointment that her time was not faster in what was due to be her last race before making her debut over the full distance in next month’s Virgin London Marathon.

“I’m frustrated,” she explained. “I thought I was in shape to run a lot faster, I think I set off too slowly.”

Murray came down from altitude training in Boulder, Colorado, only two days beforehand and will return there for further training before she flies back to the UK for the London Marathon on Sunday, April 22, which is the official trial for the British Olympic team.

Murray’s main Scottish rival for an Olympic place, Susan Partridge (Glasgow), recently set a personal best of 71:34 in the Bath Half Marathon and has the additional advantage of having run several previous full marathons.

Meanwhile, Rosie Smith (Hunter’s Bog Trotters) who was second to Murray for the Scottish cross country title at Falkirk last month, was second again in the Home Countries international at Rouken Glen, Glasgow, yesterday, nine seconds behind English winner Lauren Deadman. Keira Murray (Lasswade), Freya’s younger sister, was fifth in her Scottish debut, with Morgan Windrum-Geddes third scorer in 11th place as Scotland (18pts) finished second to England (8pts).

Edinburgh University student Rhona Auckland won the under-20 race impressively, beating national champion Laura Muir (Dundee) into third place with Louisa Stewart (EAC), competing for Scottish Schools, a close fourth and Scotland (13) narrowly lost the team race to England (13) on countback.

Scottish champion Derek Harkins (Kilbarchan) was a runaway winner of the senior men’s race with Central pair Ross Houston (7th) and Alex Hendry (10th) helping the hosts also win the team race with 18 points to England’s 22 and Northern Ireland 23.