THE Scottish National Six Stage Road Relay Championships took place in Livingston on Sunday.
This race consists of six legs which alternate between 3.1 miles and 5.8 miles in distance along paths and roads around the town and attracts a large and high quality entry from across the country this year including Scottish Olympic marathon runner Derek Hawkins from Kilbarchan AC.
Jim Sneddon was off first for Irvine Running Club and completed the first 3.1 mile leg in a solid time of 20 minutes 27 seconds to place him 62nd against strong competition and handing over to Paul Lafferty for the first of the 5.8 mile legs who came through the field strongly to improve to 45th position with an excellent time of 33:38.
Tommy Begley was next up for the Marress club, running well and gaining a couple of places with a time of 19:55 before Ryan Evans - on his debut in the event - running a creditable 35:10 to improve to 39th place.
John Miller took over on the last of the short legs and maintained his place with a fine effort of 20:49 before handing over to Alex Allardyce who improved Irvine’s position further with his time of 34:06 a good return and leaving Irvine 33rd in the final standings in the race which was won by Central AC from Stirling.
The annual Criffel hill race took place at New Abbey, Dumfriesshire.
This year's race was a Scottish hill runners championship counter and attracted a strong field. With well over 200 entries this was expected to be a busy race for the 10.5km, 550m of assent/descent to Criffel summit and back.
With the pre-race rain clearing to glorious sunshine, the underfoot conditions ranged from road, track and path to deep boggy and peaty gloop.
With traction to a minimum this made for some involuntary slip-slide and swim tactics.
Three Irvine Running Club members took part in the race with all having good runs with Alex Allardyce 69:32 (62nd), Tommy Begley 70:38sec (72nd) and Ian McManus 152:09sec (199th).
Saturday morning’s spring sunshine attracted a large field of 183 runners to the Eglinton Parkrun, including a number of athletes from Irvine Running Club.
The dry conditions were conducive to fast times and Stephen Daye was first to finish in the event with a superb new personal best of 16 minutes 47 seconds with Paul Lafferty not far behind in fourth place in a time of 17:50. Jim Sneddon (21:01), John Surgenor (21:14), Joe McNamee (22:13) and Mike Flinn (23:02) were the next Irvine runners home and they were followed by junior athlete Euan Rhodes in an excellent new PB of 24:13 with Ross Laye (24:23), Jim White (24:41), Liz Colquhoun (27:26) and Susan Rhodes (30:30) completing the Irvine entrants.