LAST Wednesday saw a large turnout of runners for this year’s edition of the Jim Young Marymass 10k road race, with a strong field of almost 220 taking to the start line at Montgomery Street of a course which had been slightly altered from previous years.

This year’s race also doubled as the Ayrshire 10k road race championship and so there was a large number of runners from all the Ayrshire clubs.

Conditions for the race were good with it being a warm evening with only a a light wind. From the gun Neil Renault of Edinburgh AC a previous winner took to the lead as the runners passed along Gottries Road and onto the path at the Beach Park with a large group of runners giving chase. As the field made the turn at the halfway point at the Three Stanes roundabout Renault had extended his lead to more than a minute and similarly in the ladies race Laura Wallace of Ayr Seaforth had opened up a commanding gap.

As the race entered a new section of the course around the boating pond at the Beach Park the battle for the minor places was hotting up with the four runners between second and fifth position all within 10 seconds. However, there was no such drama at the front of the race as Neil Renault crossed the finish line at Harbour Street in a fine time of 32 minutes and 22 seconds, more than two minutes ahead of the next runner. Second home was Graeme McCabe of Kirkintilloch Olympians in 34min 56 secs with John Lloyd of Salford Harriers third, five seconds further back. There were fine runs from Irvine’s Paul Lafferty and Colin Whitby whose times of 35:41 and 36:21 were good enough for seventh and eighth places respectively.

In the women’s race, Laura Wallace comfortably maintained her lead and was first home in an excellent time of 38 mins 01 secs more than two minutes over nearest rival Julie Beveridge of Calderglen Harriers (40:35) with Charlene Kelly of Dumbarton AC (42:31) taking third place.

There were fine runs from a number of other Irvine runners with Steven McDougall finishing in 40:44, John Surgenor placing third in MV60 age category in a time of 42:29, Jim Sneddon (45:24), Jennie Jackson finishing second in FV50 age category in 46:15, Susan Rhodes (52:50), Sharlene McGilvray (54:00), Bob Nicol (1:01:44) and Liz Colquhoun who was acting as the tail runner completing the field in a time of 1 hour 13 minutes.

The Ayrshire 10k Championships which includes runners who live in Ayrshire or run for a local club saw Kenny Neil of Ayr Seaforth take first place in the senior men’s category with Craig Ferguson of Kilmarnock Harriers taking silver two seconds in front of Irvine’s own Paul Lafferty. The male vet 40 prize went to Matt Pearce of Troon Tortoises, the vet 50 prize to Keith Haining of Jog Stewarton with Irvine’s John Surgenor taking the vet 60 prize. Kilmarnock took the team honours.

In the women’s Ayrshire Championship, Laura Wallace took first place in the senior event, followed by Kirsty Alexander of Kilmarnock Harriers and Susie Hubbard of Ayr Seaforth. Kirsty Alexander was the vet 40 winner with Val Martin taking the vet 50 honours and Janice McKellar of Ayr Seaforth taking the vet 60 prize.

Ayr Seaforth AC took the team prize.