20-05-18 UPDATE: FINAL RESULTS ADDED
It’s kinda traditional that the ATRX is run on a glorious evening and so that was to prove again in 2018 as a record number of runners started the 4th edition of this now hugely popular running event. After selling out in record time there was many a familiar face milling around at the start line as the specially arranged JAPES race got off and running with the brilliant pilot Abbie leading the charge for the team. The race took place 45 minutes before the main event but the runners’ funnel that greeted the start and the finish absolutely carried the biggest cheer of the evening.
We are honoured to be partnering with JAPES in 2018 and cannot express our gratitude to the team for the opportunity. It is an incredibly worthwhile cause and one any runner should check out. Please go to www.japes.scot to find out more and be a part.
Not only is the race popular but it is also starting grow a reputation as one the toughest trail 10ks in Scotland. And with that there is a quality field turning up. In the men’s race 2016 champion and 2018 Highland Fling runner-up John Connolly was returning and was the stand-out favourite for the race. The fireworks were to be saved for the ladies race however where 2017 champion and CR holder Hilary Robinson was back once more. We love seeing her at the race. She would face tough competition from 2017 ATR champion Rachel Hunt and the 2017 WHW champion Lynne Allen who was running into fine form. Add in the wildcard of Rachel Normand and there was a strong sharp end battling out for the ladies title.
Records were to tumble all over the place. We had the most runners ever with 142 starters, up 4 on 2017’s record. But it was in the races the big numbers fell.
In the men’s race John Connolly lived up to his pre-race tag and crushed the field, winning in 39:40 to be the first person under 40 minutes at the ATRX. John led from start to finish and won by the largest margin in the overall race’s short history. Chris Smyth took the 2nd spot on the podium in a brilliant 41:34 and David Reay took 3rd place by just 3 seconds in 42:13 in a sprint finish with Chris MacNeill.
If John was burning up the men’s course the podium three in the ladies race were like petrol on the flames as they all smashed Hilary’s 2017 course record mark. Lynne Allen came home in 44:11 to win comfortably and she looked smooth throughout. Rachel Normand took the runner’s up slot in 46:19 a full 85 seconds inside the course record and perennial podium hogger at these events, Hilary Robinson took 3rd and bettered her own PB and former CR by over 1 minute.
To put into context the blistering performance of the ladies. Lynne’s run was good enough for 7th overall, Rachel 13th and Hilary in 16th. The average position of the 3 was 12th place, last year’s ladies podium, hitherto the quickest ever, averaged 28th. Exceptional standards out there.
David Downey took the MV50 title after finishing 2nd last year and had Gerry Craig cursing the fact he was still a young thing. Meanwhile, Sylvia Mulholland took the FV50 title for 2018.
That’s the ATRX done for another year. Provisional results can be found at the link below. If you have any queries on the results please email us in the first instance.
Thanks again to Co-op, Tunnocks and Walkers for their amazing and generous support. To our volunteers and cheerleaders on the night. You are super special and make it so worthwhile. And big shout to Phil Hunter for the incredible work to make the trophies and medals. To all runners for taking part, smiling and being easy to deal with – and for the incredible haul for Kilsyth Community Foodbank.
Lastly, to JAPES and Abbie for coming along and reminding us all about what the ethos of the Antonine Trail Races is about. Humbled.
Peace, love and trails. The ATR team.
PS: Another lastly, a wholly loving and caring shout out to the Keatings. That’s Stewart and Fiona. Two of the kindest people you could meet. Stewart was the guy with the #fuckyoulymphona tee on. Fiona was one of our final finishers. Their daughter, Megan, is battling cancer and they are doing it with bravery, humour, gusto and an attitude that is an inspiration to us all. The ATR team are always thinking of you guys. Keep being awesome.