THERE were celebrations and farewells at the end of what was a very special Speyside Way Race ultra marathon on Saturday. A last-minute blow was delivered to the line when previous winner and many people’s favourite for the race Terry Forrest had to withdraw due to injury. For Elgin native Grant Jeans, who now lives and works in Glasgow, there was victory by some distance to savour after taking the tape in the 36.5-mile course in a time of 4.10.54. He was almost 17 minutes clear of second-placed Adam Gray, who clocked 4.27.39.
The event itself had cause to break out the champagne to celebrate the 10th such race since it was resurrected by race organiser Sarah Louise Cull and a team of fellow enthusiasts back in 2010, having since gone from strength to strength. It was an emotional day for Mrs Cull herself as she brought to a close her association with the race, handing it over to Kyle Greig at Aberdeen metro. She said: “The course was in incredible condition and despite an early scare due to the landslips near Fochabers it all came out right. “A big thanks goes out to the Speyside Ranger for his efforts. “It’s been a perfect race to say goodbye, a very satisfying send-off. “I’ve got such a strange mix of emotions standing here at my last Speyside Way Race, it feels weird bowing out after this one. “Congratulations go to Grant and thanks to all the runners who took part, especially the 17 former category winners and everpresents from down the years who joined us for our 10th anniversary. A big thank as always go to the team of volunteers and marshals who make it all happen. “I definitely feel I’m leaving the race in a good place and it will be in good hands with Kyle Greig at Aberdeen Metro. “It’s become special to not only us but to lots of other people, too, and I’m really going to miss it.” Mr Jeans, who has run for both Scotland and Great Britain, had previously finished third in the 2010 Speyside Race. He said: “It’s great to win it, although I wanted to go for the course
record for Sarah’s last race in charge This is a great course. For someone starting off with ultras, this is a very good course to begin on.” Mr Jeans added that he hoped to be up next year to defend his title. Sponsoring this year’s race were: Buckie Tesco; Walkers, John Dewar and Sons; Baxters. Buckie Area Forum Economic Regeneration Group, who have supported the race in a number of ways since it returned in 2010, also pledged to match the £250 put up by the race team for the first person to break the four-hour finish barrier.
Full story in Banffshire Advertiser 27th August 2019