Sarah McCormack continued her fine run of form with victory in the 5000m at the Scottish Athletics Track and Field Championships at Scotstoun in Glasgow today. Despite running the event for speedwork ahead of forthcoming international trail and hill races, and after a hard training week, Sarah still had the legs to outkick her main rival, GB marathon Internationalist Susan Partridge, to sprint clear for victory.
It was a disappointingly small field but with pre-race favourite Partridge in the line-up, who had recently posted a fast 3000m PB, a quality race was still ensured. In what was almost a mirror of her recent British Universities 10000m win, Sarah was 25m adrift at half-way but Partridge’s fast early pace started to drop in the face of the stiff breeze up the home straight. With Sarah lapping consistently, the gap gradually closed and she worked hard to latch on again with 2 to go. Sarah then sat on the leader’s heels until unleashing what is fast becoming her trademark devastating kick with 130m to go and sprinting over 30m clear for the gold medal in 16 minutes 19.83, a 20-second PB despite the wind.
“I didn’t taper for the race, so my legs weren’t as fresh as they could be and I had to really dig in to get back in contact with Susan. I wasn’t as confident going into the final 200m as I was at the British Universities so I delayed my kick a bit but still managed to produce a good sprint to win.”
On receiving the 5000m trophy Sarah was pleased to note the names of Peebles based EAC runner Susan Ridley, winner in 1992 and 1994, along with fellow Moorfoot and sometimes training partner Ruth McKean, winner in 1999.