A gamble by Dan Wallis to embark on a solo pursuit paid off as the New Zealander coasted to victory in yesterday’s Great Edinburgh Run.
The 28-year-old from Napier completed the 10 mile course that began and ended in Holyrood Park in 51 minutes and 11 seconds, well clear of college team-mate Rob Watson with Corstorphine’s Mike Crawley in third.
And Wallis, who is plotting a move up to the marathon ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, was left surprised by the ease of his triumph.
“I was initially just taking it conservatively,” he said. “I did wonder if Rob would close on me because he’s getting ready for London next week. So I was running scared for seven miles. But once I knew I was clear, I just tried to enjoy it.”
The late decision of his Australian-born girlfriend Hillory Davis to fly in on Friday to join Wallis and thousands of others pounding the streets of the Capital paid off as she coasted to first place in the women’s race in 66:13 with Edinburgh AC’s Janet Dunbar second. “The last three miles were some of the hardest three miles I’ve ever done,” Davis confirmed. “But it’s also possibly the most beautiful course I’ve ever done and that probably got me through it.”
Dunbar was only 33 seconds adrift but at the age of 47, it was a performance to remember. “I’m delighted with how that went,” the Capital runner said. “It’s a tough race and when I got to seven or eight miles, I was having to tell myself to keep going. But it’s nice to end up second.”
Elsewhere. Edinburgh AC duo Chris O’Hare and Josh Kerr launched their summer season with victories in the United States. O’Hare, the double European 1500m medallist, won the Boston Mile while Kerr, the European junior champion, was first in the Clay International in California in a personal best of 3:42.09.
Jess Mayho took the hammer title at yesterday’s Alan Bertram Memorial meeting in Livingston with Myra Perkins third.