Neil Renault has drive back for Edinburgh Marathon

Veteran Neil Renault plans to prove he can still compete at a high level in tomorrow’s Edinburgh Marathon despite the medical condition that has knocked him off track.

Saturday, 25th May 2019, 06:30 am
Neil Renault from Edinburgh

The Scotland internationalist, from the Capital, who was second in the 2015 race, has been battling rheumatoid arthritis over the past 12 months, forcing him into a rejig of his training regime.

But, after tuning up by winning the Penicuik 10K two weeks ago, Renault insists it is full steam ahead for the showpiece.

“I now feel confident that I’m getting back to PB shape on the marathon and half marathon,” he said. “Although not in the shape for the latter just yet, I am still looking for a decent time over the half-marathon this year and very much looking forward to racing again on the route of the Edinburgh Marathon Festival which was kind to me in 2015.”

Corstorphine’s Dougie Selman is also expected to figure heavily among Scottish challengers while Dan Tanui will bid to become the sixth Kenyan winner in a row of the marathon with the veteran – a two-time winner of the Derry Marathon – arriving with a personal best of 2:15.08 that could see him chase the course record of 2:13.33 set by his compatriot Joel Kiptoo 12 months ago.

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Fellow Kenyan Gideon Cheruiyot Kurgat is set to pose his biggest threat with Tom Roche, 44th in London last month, and Englishman Alan Derby leading British hopes. “Having run this event several years ago, I’m excited to return with high hopes of setting a new marathon personal best,” Derby said. “I come into this race having set a new half marathon PB of 69 minutes earlier this year.”

Rotherham’s Lyndsey Eastman, who completed London in 2.51.40, will head the domestic threat in the women’s race. “My training has been going well,” she said.

For the second year, the marathon course will start in the Edinburgh’s Old Town at Potterow and finish at Pinkie Park in Musselburgh with a half-marathon also included.

Meanwhile, Olympian Chris Bennett has been forced out of today’s Throws Grand Prix in Livingston after the hammer thrower suffered illness in the build-up.