IT was billed as an-all Scottish showdown between Callum Hawkins and Andy Butchart. Or maybe Callum Hawkins versus the clock, after the Scottish half-marathon record the 25-year-old from Elderslie set as he won this race last year was wiped off the board due the course being 149.7m too short. But instead the story of a spectacularly soggy Great Scottish Run day was an injury-plagued English veteran called Chris Thompson raining on the parochial parade.

The weather yesterday lunchtime was as dreich as had been predicted, yet still insufficient to dampen the enthusiasm of the 30,000 or so who had signed up to participate in Scotland’s biggest weekend of running. Neither did it adversely affect the banter from the drookit crowd huddled under umbrellas against this grey Glaswegian day.

This was perhaps particularly noticeable in the case of Butchart, Dunblane’s third most famous sporting son behind the Murray brothers. On his maiden half marathon appearance, this sixth-place finisher in the Rio Olympics 5,000m, and the current Scottish record holder over 3,000m and 5,000m, was dropped by Hawkins, Thompson and co. within the first 400m drag up St Vincent Street, and eventually finished back in 14th. Informed by Hawkins at the start that his footwear wasn’t exactly ideal, he was also told by an uncharitable few along the way that this distance wasn’t his forte.

“You always tell the kids ‘don’t go out too hard, it is a long way’,” said Butchart. “And that is what it was like for me today! When you see the mile markers you start to do the calculations in your head. This isn’t a 5k on the track .. this is going to go on for a while. You start thinking ‘these guys can maintain this pace for quite a while, that really is impressive’.

“I’m not moving up to half marathon any time soon,” he added. “So it was just a bit of fun. At the start Callum saw my footwear - I was just wearing what you normally wear for a long run, not race shoes. He said ‘what are you wearing those for?’. Everyone was shouting at me ‘stay on the track’. I said ‘don’t worry, I will’.”

While he was a popular winner - particularly among those with a knowledge of the Achilles injuries which have dogged him throughout the career - Thompson too had to contend with the odd mischievous comment. Leaving Hawkins and his Rio team-mate Tsegai Tewelde trailing after some 7km, this 36-year-old 2010 European Championship 10,000m silver medalist and reigning British half marathon champion spent the rest of the race nervously wondering where the chasing pack was. He also nearly lost his footing on the slippy path as the course took in Bellahouston Park but the gap at the end of his 62 minutes and 44 seconds on the road was another 34 seconds, Hawkins out-sprinting the Glasgow-based Eritrean to keep hold of the Scottish half marathon title for another year.

“There was a hairy bit between miles 7 and 9 when we went through the second park and the gap was closing a little and I nearly went down at one point,” said Thompson. “There were a few people being honest and a few being cheeky. Once I’d got a gap, your mind is playing tricks. This is a hard way to beat Callum because he’s usually doing this to other athletes. Someone said the gap was ‘ten metres.’ I said to myself ‘don’t look’. But then I did and realised it was more than ten metres and I relaxed again.”

Thompson spoke of the ‘privilege’ of beating a runner of Hawkins’ quality on his home turf no less, an achievement made even more remarkable by the aches and pains he feels each morning. “Today it took me an hour to get myself in a position to think about warming up, whereas before I would just get up and go,” he said. “Hobbling to the toilet in the morning is hilarious – it’s literally a step by step process. If you’d seen me this morning you’d have thought ‘there’s no way he’s even finishing today’.”

Hawkins was both disappointed and realistic afterwards. While his legs haven’t been quite the same since a rare two-week break from all running after his fourth place in the London marathon, this would kick start his process of building for April’s Commonwealth Games marathon. “That was tough, the legs just weren’t there,” said Hawkins. “When Chris made his move, I was in a terrible spot. I tried to recover and hoped he’d come back. But towards the end I was just racing Tsegei - and it’s nice to win a sprint finish for once. I’ve been struggling since I started back. This week the legs felt normal and I hope it would be there but it wasn’t. To get my butt handed to me a bit there gives me extra motivation.”

While Sammi Kinghorn made light of a recent wrist problem to take the women’s wheelchair 10k race in a time of 29.45, another woman revelling in the Glasgow gloom was Flomena Daniel. The Kenyan, who won the Commonwealth Games marathon title in similar conditions in 2014 was the first female finisher in the half marathon in 70.17, ahead of Charlotte Purdue in 72.18 and Scotland’s Fionnula Ross in 74.26. Stuart Gibson and Rebecca Murray were the men’s and women’s 10k winners. “Glasgow, somehow, is a special place for me,” said Daniel. “Good things happen, despite the rain. In 2014, I got the gold medal, despite the rain. And today I won, despite the rain.” You could call her the raining champion.