CROSSGATES athletics star Jo Murphy set a sensational new course record on her way to glory in a prestigious race at the weekend.
The ultra running competitor pulled on a Scotland vest for the Anglo Celtic Plate competition in Perth and, as well as helping her country to second place in the team competition, she won both the Scottish and British 100 kilometre championship titles.
The event, which was held at North Inch Park in Perth, is a 100K international race that features competitors from Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
It took place over a 2.831-kilometre loop and doubled up as the Scottish and British 100K Championships, as well as featuring an open Scottish 50km Road Championship, and was Murphy’s third appearance at the event.
Currently unattached to any club, the former Carnegie Harriers member made her debut for Scotland in 2019 – when the plate was last held in Perth – and finished third in the women’s race in a time of eight hours, 28 minutes and one second.
With the Coronavirus pandemic ensuring that no race was run in 2020, Murphy was selected again for last year’s competition, held in Dublin, where she finished second – behind Ireland’s Catriona Jennings, a marathon participant at the London 2012 Olympics – in a time of 7:50.58.
This time around Murphy – who was also the winner of the women’s race at the Gloucester 24-hour elite track race last year – had set her sights on running a quicker time than she had last year, and did so in style.
In near perfect conditions, the 100k race featured one of the most competitive fields ever witnessed in Britain, with three women breaking the magical eight-hour barrier, while there were also a string of personal bests throughout the field.
One of those belonged to Murphy, who ran at her own pace through the first 50km, sitting a few minutes further back from former champion, Sam Amend, and her English team partner, Caroline Turner, in a time of 3:52.29.
Showing fine pace judgement, she proved the stronger runner, coming home in 7:41.12 – a new PB by almost 10 minutes – which also saw her take the long-held course record of 8:00.30 that was set by former Great Britain international, Emily Gelder, in 2011.
Murphy’s superb run also helped Scotland to finish second in the women’s Anglo Celtic Plate team competition, a position they also secured in the men’s event.