Chairman geared up for City of Edinburgh Running Festival

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City of Edinburgh Running Festival chairman Graeme Armstrong is gearing up for tomorrow’s fifth edition at Meggetland after showing that he can still cut it on the track during a recent racing tour of Australia.

The former Meadowbank Thistle footballer, who turns 61 tomorrow, finished second in Ballarat and Trinity before finally making the top spot on the podium at Avondale Heights, near Melbourne.

Graeme Armstrong

Graeme Armstrong

“I was drawn in a relatively easy heat and found some energy from somewhere to reach my 11th straight 300m masters final,” recalled Armstrong. “What really helped me was the huge time gap before the final. Two hours after my heat, I was fully rested and finally won the sash I thought had passed me by.”

Tomorrow night’s blue riband event will be the 110m sprint, which carries a first prize of £3000. It was won last year by Jedburgh’s Cameron Fisher. Emily Dagg claimed the women’s invitation title over the same distance.

Youths and juniors race 90m instead, while both sexes and all age groups also compete in the 200m, 800m and 1600m. Novices have their own 110m sprint as they get their first taste of the handicap system.

“We’re thrilled to be back for our fifth year,” said Armstrong. “CERF is a great opportunity for the whole family to get involved as we have races for all levels and distances. Spectators always get behind the runners and cheer them on, so it’s a wonderful atmosphere to be part of.”