Thompson reigns supreme in soggy Great Scottish showdown

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“You always tell the kids ‘don’t go out too hard, it is a long way’,” said Butchart. “And that is what it was like for me today! When you see the mile markers you start to do the calculations in your head. This isn’t a 5k on the track .. this is going to go on for a while. You start thinking ‘these guys can maintain this pace for quite a while, that really is impressive’.

“I’m not moving up to half marathon any time soon,” he added. “So it was just a bit of fun. At the start Callum saw my footwear – I was just wearing what you normally wear for a long run, not race shoes. He said ‘what are you wearing those for?’. Everyone was shouting at me ‘stay on the track’. I said ‘don’t worry, I will’.”

While he was a popular winner – particularly among those with a knowledge of the Achilles injuries which have dogged him throughout the career – Thompson too had to contend with the odd mischievous comment. Leaving Hawkins and his Rio team-mate Tsegai Tewelde trailing after some 7km, this 36-year-old 2010 European Championship 10,000m silver medalist and reigning British half marathon champion spent the rest of the race nervously wondering where the chasing pack was. He also nearly lost his footing on the slippy path as the course took in Bellahouston Park but the gap at the end of his 62 minutes and 44 seconds on the road was another 34 seconds, Hawkins out-sprinting the Glasgow-based Eritrean to keep hold of the Scottish half marathon title for another year.

“There was a hairy bit between miles 7 and 9 when we went through the second park and the gap was closing a little and I nearly went down at one point,” said Thompson. “There were a few people being honest and a few being cheeky. Once I’d got a gap, your mind is playing tricks. This is a hard way to beat Callum because he’s usually doing this to other athletes. Someone said the gap was ‘ten metres.’ I said to myself ‘don’t look’. But then I did and realised it was more than ten metres and I relaxed again.”

Thompson spoke of the ‘privilege’ of beating a runner of Hawkins’ quality on his home turf no less, an achievement made even more remarkable by the aches and pains he feels each morning. “Today it took me an hour to get myself in a position to think about warming up, whereas before I would just get up and go,” he said. “Hobbling to the toilet in the morning is hilarious – it’s literally a step by step process. If you’d seen me this morning you’d have thought ‘there’s no way he’s even finishing today’.”

Hawkins was both disappointed and realistic afterwards. While his legs haven’t been quite the same since a rare two-week break from all running after his fourth place in

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