Luke and World Half Marathon Champs





Luke winning the recent Manchester Half Marathon

A WORLD HALF MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIP Great Britain call-up to compete in Spain this month, victory in a major city half marathon, GB cross country vests, stellar appearances in Europe and the USA, the respect of his international peers … Glaswegian Luke Traynor ticks all those boxes, but like all top athletes, he’d like more.

“The 2020 Olympics would be the ultimate, but right now I’m totally delighted with being selected for the GB World Half Marathon champs team in Spain on the 24th of this month,” said the Giffnock North AC distance stand-out, from his altitude training camp in Mammoth Lakes, California. “Injuries and illness have come at bad times for me in the past – I was out for months with a broken foot at one point – but I’m now racking up consistent, high quality training blocks and some decent results so maybe my fortunes are changing.”

“The Valencia course is relatively flat, a touch downhill and a bit twisty maybe, but with the calibre of athletes on the start line it promises to be super-fast – and that’s where I want to be. One of my team-mates will be a Rio Olympian, after all, and from a Glasgow club at that – Tsegai Tewelde of Shettleston Harriers.”

Traynor is well used to top-class competition, his speed and tactical awareness honed by years on the mercilessly competitive US collegiate circuit. As we speak, he is preparing alongside top US athletes such as Daniel Tapia, a seasoned two-hour 12 minute international marathoner.

When Traynor says, “high quality” it might mean the near 8,000 feet elevation of the Mammoth Lakes training base, where he was invited by coach Andrew Kastor, husband of 2004 Olympic bronze medallist Deena Kastor. But more likely the southside Glasgow man is referencing his course-record win last October in Manchester in 64 minutes 10 seconds, or the even faster performance in Barcelona, where he blitzed home as second Brit in a breathtaking 61 minutes 55 seconds – well inside the mark for GB selection for the World Champs in Valencia.

Will the southside Glasgow man get the break and the recognition merited by his efforts, which have seen him crowned previously as a national Under 20 cross country champion and Scottish 10k track champion? A race a couple of years ago saw him edged into bronze medal place over the country only by a couple of guys who have gone on to make serious names for themselves: Rio Olympians Calum Hawkins and Andy Butchart. Maybe Traynor could be the third element in a Scottish long-distance triple whammy, and add even more power to the nation’s emergence as an athletic powerhouse.

“I’m self-funded at the moment, which isn’t ideal, but I reckon the best way to remedy that and attract a sponsor is to keep producing the goods. I’m quoted by Calum Hawkins, which is good of him because he’s already an Olympian, and I’ve actually run faster than him recently on his home roads in Kilbarchan … sorry, Calum!”

GB Honours:
7th MARCH 2018 – Selected for GB World Half Marathon Team, Valencia, Spain 24.03.18
European Cross Country Championships, Hungary 2012: bronze team medal U20
European Cross Country Championships, France 2015: silver team medal U23

Recent Road Results
Manchester Half Marathon – winner in 64 minutes 10 seconds. Course Record.
Barcelona Half Marathon – 61 minutes 55 seconds. 3RD fastest Scot all time.
Holland 15k (Pfixx Solar Montferland Run) 43:44. 5th behind top African opposition.

Scottish Honours:
2017 Winner over 3k for Scotland at Manchester International track meet, defeating World Championship athletes.
2015 National CC Senior Championships, bronze behind Callum Hawkins and Andy Butchart.
2012 National U20 Cross Country Champion
2014 National 10k track champion

USA honours, representing University of Tulsa, Oklahoma:
• Arrived Tulsa August 2015. Regular opposition included multiple African athletes.
• Four-time All American
• USA Midwest Male Athlete of the Year 2016
• USA Midwest Cross Country Champion 2016
• Highest placed European athlete at NCAA XC championships 2016
10k track: 29:10
5k track: 14:04
3k indoor: 8:14
Half Marathon: 61:55

Academic Career:
BSc in Environmental Management – Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow Scotland.
MA in Education – University of Tulsa, Oklahoma USA – qualifying summer ’17.

Luke Over XC in USA

Thansk to Croy and also to long term Coach Dudley Walker for this compilation of Luke’s Journey to a Senior GB Vest.And for the photos too. The entire Giffnock Athletics Club sends their best wishes to Luke in Valencia.