Athletics: Houston has no problem picking up Scottish marathon title at Loch Ness

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Commonwealth Games hopeful Ross Houston (Central) ran the fastest marathon by a Scot this season in winning the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon in a personal best of two hours 20 minutes 24 seconds (2:20.24) at the weekend. Houston, who was second last year, also 
retained the Scottish marathon title and was only 11 seconds outside the course record set 
by Kenyan Simon Tonui in 2009.

“It’s another step forward for me and it’s great to win this race and the national title,” said the 32-year-old, who will now look for a suitable race in the New Year, probably the London Marathon in April, to try to record a Glasgow 2014 qualifying time of under 2:19.00.

Houston was nearly nine minutes faster than the runner-up Ben Hukins (Aberdeen). 
Capital runners were prominent in the 10k event held in conjunction with the marathon, with the women’s race being won by Edinburgh University’s Rhona Auckland in a personal best of 34:35 from former EAC track star Nicola Gauld (35:17), with Morgan Murphy (EAC) third in 35:42.

“It was a really nice, fast course,” said Auckland.

Edinburgh-based Andrew Douglas (Inverclyde) won the men’s race in 30:27, just holding off John Newsom (Central) by one second.