A BUSY week for Irvine’s running and jogging group Ron's Runners saw members entering a variety of events - from 5k Park runs to the Scottish National Cross Country at Callendar Park near Falkirk.
With the cancellation of the local Parkrun last week two runners entered Ayr Parkrun at Rozelle Park where a strong run from Hugh Hood saw him finish in 11th position in the race overall when timing 25:03 Hugh - who is now over 60 - left a long column of runners, probably all much younger than himself, behind as a total of 77 crossed the finish line. Also, taking part was Sylvia Mulholland 26:36 out simply to enjoy her first run for some time having been carefully nursing a niggling injury.
Four hardy members travelled to Glentress, which is more used to holding mountain bike events and is situated between Innerleithen and Peebles.
After a night of constant heavy rain which continued throughout the morning the four knew they were in for a tough time.
Three members opted to enter the 21k race meaning that by the end the total climb amounted to some 2,460 feet but for one who had entered the 42k event it meant facing a total climb start to finish of a gruelling 4,920 feet.
Ultra-man Neil McMullen entered the longer distance but after 15 miles of slipping and slithering on the muddy underfoot conditions he decided enough was enough and wisely pulled out. A conservative pace saw Neil run for three hours and 20 minutes before stopping.
In the shorter race conditions were just as bad, with one runner exclaiming that the water was gushing down towards them.
The hills, which are tough enough on a good day, and which utilised part of a renowned mountain bike trail, turned in to torturous muscle-aching obstacles each one becoming harder as the strength was sucked from the legs. First of the three home was London marathon bound John Owens timing 2:44:39 followed by Thomas Hodgart 2:49:26 just yards ahead of his training group pal James Elliot. A guide as to how tough the race was can be gauged by both Neil and James who both finished the Glencoe event though their day’s experience the toughest challenge endured.
Pamela Porteous was the only member to enter the National Cross Country, an event which attracted some of the starts of Scottish running including Olympian Callum Hawkins. For the first time, the ladies route was 10k, meaning they had to run the same route and distance as the men. With races for all age categories, by the time the ladies started the course more resembled a sea of mud with any vestige of green turned to a brown ooze with the numerous pairs of spikes in the preceding races. After a hard exhausting slog Pamela should be justifiably proud of her finishing time, coming home under the hour mark, recording 59:31.
Fiona Wyper and Jennifer Shaw enjoyed the DB12 Disney fun run at Strathclyde Park, choosing the 12k course. Dressed in Disney outfits and ears they braved the rain and wind – no times were recorded for this fun event.
On Wednesday night, Mark Garton ran an impressive 23.55 in the Glasgow Quays great 5k run.
In this week's Eglinton Parkrun, 11 club runners took part, Hughie Hood was first home for the club in an impressive 23.49 followed by Mark Garton, running his 50th Parkrun in a time of 23.59, Neil Kyle was next over the finish line in 24.33, John Owens 24.34, Pamela Porteous 25.50, Fiona Wyper 27.04, Jennifer Shaw 27.14, Susanne Dickson 31.01, Sandra Murphy 32.04 and Anne Hay 32.49.
Well done to volunteers Andy Davidson, who was tail runner finishing the course behind the final runner in 52.03, Andy Stewart, Mary Huggan and Carol Rome. Sylvia Mulhollan was the first lady over the finish line at Ayr Parkrun in 25.47.