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Forres Harriers athletes among 45,000 runners from over 120 countries taking part in Amsterdam international marathon

By Craig Christie

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A magnificent seven runners from Forres Harriers raced their way to great times in Amsterdam.

Gary McFadyen and Susan McRitchie lap up the atmosphere in Amsterdam.
Gary McFadyen and Susan McRitchie lap up the atmosphere in Amsterdam.

The Dutch capital hosted their international marathon, half mrathon and 8km races this month.

Harriers were well represented with six taking on the full marathon and master athlete Douglas Cowie doing the 8km.

A total of 20,000 runners packed the marathon field, with the same number doing the half marathon and another 5000 involved in the 8k event.

The entire entry came from more than 120 countries across the globe.

Amsterdam's Olympic Stadium, which hosted the 1928 Games, was the point of start for each race.

A dramatic change of weather saw the heavens open with sleet and hail raining down on all of the athletes, who had to run for cover prior to the big start.

Sunshine eventually prevailed, with brief hail showers failing to dampen the enthusiasm of the crowds of spectators and the athletes, who enjoyed conditions better suited to running.

The first Forres Harrier to the finish line was Jenny Urquhart, who smashed her target time of three hours, 30 minutes by coming in with a superb time of 3:23.

Forres Harriers in Amsterdam
Forres Harriers in Amsterdam

Team captain Gary MacFadyen wasn't far behind on his marathon debut, clocking three hours and 42 minutes.

Susan McRitchie (3:44), Paula Boon (3:46), Katy Beck (3:56) and Clare Nicholas (3:58) closely followed, with McRitchie, Boon and Nicholas posting times for London qualification next year and Beck impressing on her marathon debut.

The 8km race started 45 minutes after the marathon and Cowie was among the 5,000 battling through total congestion, but he was delighted to finish third in his age group.

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