RIYADH — Club Chairman Richard Slater pulled off a shock victory at the Riyadh Road Runners’ 10km race recently, claiming the top step on the podium despite never finishing higher than third previously. In the ladies race, the familiar figure of Claudine Roghi won again in interesting circumstances!
With a number of leading athletes missing from the race, it was clear from the outset that the race would be an open one. Donal McElwee took an early lead over the four lap event, but Abdulaziz Al-Humaid, Slater and Stephan Wullschleger stayed within touching distance. Due to the cold conditions the pace on the first lap was relatively gentle, as the runners and their muscles warmed up in the 2 degrees conditions.
As the third lap began, a lead group of McElwee, Al-Humaid and Wullschleger formed, and the race looked like it would become a tactical battle with a sprint finish. However, Slater had other ideas, and surged into the lead on the third lap, which took the lead group by surprise. They were unable to respond in time, and Slater soon established a healthy lead. He was able to maintain this lead over the remaining lap, eventually winning by a margin of 16 seconds over Wullschleger, who dropped Al-Humaid and McElwee during the fourth lap.
Claudine Roghi won the female race, despite missing the race start as she was closing the runners’ registration! The race times are measured chip to chip, which ensures fairness even when runners miss the gun start! Roghi ran an even paced race, as ever, and had too much in the legs for all her rivals. Her nearest rival was Marie-Pierre Arminjon, who produced an excellent performance and even managed to run each lap quicker than the last! Mia McDowell was third, continuing her remarkably consistent season.
The Road Runners thanked Carrefour for providing food and water, and Al-Bustan for the use of their excellent facility.
Male race: 1. Richard Slater (GB & NI) 40:00, Stephan Wullschleger (SUI) 40:16, 3. Abdulaziz Al-Humaid (KSA) 41:08.
Female race: 1. Claudine Roghi (FRA/NZ) 47:10, 2. Marie-Pierre Arminjon (FRA) 47:44, Mia McDowell (FIN) 49:19. — RS