Foustok and Maclean make history repeat itself
Mo Foustok and Tannille Maclean won the Riyadh Road Runners’ 10km race last Friday and in doing so repeated their victories at the same venue in January 2016.
Foustok was imperious as ever in his race to the line, however in the women’s race the spectators were treated to an exciting sprint finish, as the previously undefeated Carolyn Paajanen and her young rival Tannille Maclean battled for the win over the final 200m of the race, with Maclean snatching victory by the tiny margin of 3 seconds.
Maclean had taken an early lead in the race, with the split times indicating that she led Paajanen by 30 seconds in the early stages. However Paajanen was not about to give up her unbeaten record without a fight, and fought back over the second and third laps to pull level with Maclean. The leading ladies ran the final lap together, with Paajanen opting to continue despite visibly suffering from a torn soleus muscle. On the athletics track which marks the final 300m of the race, a sudden burst of speed from Maclean opened a gap between the runners which her Finnish rival was unable to bridge. Maclean’s overall time was 45:52, which was excellent considering the hot and dry conditions. Maclean’s victory was all the more impressive when one takes into account that she is still competing in the Junior (under 18) category. In third place was the ever-present Claudine Roghi, who ran four consistent laps to finish in a time of 47:36 and put the finishing touches in place for her Ultra Marathon in Jeddah next weekend.
In the male race, Mo Foustok won in 37:20 to maintain his unbeaten record for the season. In the end the victory over newcomer Samuel de la Rochebrochard was by quite a wide margin, however de la Rochebrochard was pleased with his time of 39:44 which made him the only other runner to dip under the magic 40 minute barrier. Seasoned ultra-runner David Dubois completed the podium in 40:28. Dubois is another Riyadh Road Runner who will be representing the city and the club in the Hejaz 50 Ultra Marathon next weekend – good luck to the Riyadh contingent.
The RRR would like to thank Carrefour Tala Mall for providing the runners with water, fruit and juice, as well as Al Bustan compound for their excellent venue.
Male race – 1. Mo Foustok (KSA) 37:20, 2. Samuel de la Rochebrochard (FRA) 39:44, 3. David Dubois (FRA) 40 :28
Female race – 1. Tannille Maclean (NZ) 45:52, 2. Carolyn Paajanen (FIN) 45:55, 3. Claudine Roghi (FRA/NZ) 47:36
By Richard Slater