THE Race the Prom 10k road race took place in Ardrossan and Saltcoats on Sunday.

Hosted by North Ayrshire Athletics Club, the event starts at the race track at St Matthew’s High School and is a relatively new one to the racing calendar but it attracted a substantial field of more than 550 runners to the start line on what was a damp and drizzly morning. After a loop of the running track the route took the runners onto the seafront and towards Salcoats with a strong breeze making for testing conditions.

After a turn at the end of the promenade, the course wound its way through the town and onto a cycle path and then back towards St Matthews to finish with a lap round the track.

First over the line, in a fabulous time of 31 minutes 20 seconds, was Welsh international steeplechaser Jonathan Hopkins from Swansea Harriers.

There was a gap of almost four minutes to the next runner, Kenny Neil of Ayr Seaforth (35:08) with Neil Fraser (35:30) of Giffnock North placing third. Fourth position went to Irvine’s Paul Lafferty who finished in a time of 35 minutes 59 seconds with club mates Colin Witby (36:38) and Ryan Evans (37:59) not far behind in eighth and 13th positions respectively with Stephen Carlyle (39:03) also making the top 20.

In the female race, Laura Wallace of Ayr Seaforth followed up last week’s win in the Jim Young Marymass 10k with another first place in a time of 38 minutes 41 seconds over a minute ahead of nearest rivals Julie Beveridge of Calderglen Harriers (40:00) and Rhona Nellany (41:20).

There were a number of notable runs from other Irvine runners with John Surgenor’s time of 43:33 taking first place in the male vet 60 category and Jennie Jackson’s 46:21 taking second place in the female vet 50 category.

Graeme Macfarlane (41:20), Jim Sneddon (43:59), Peter Taylor (46:22), Mike Flinn (46:26), Colin Patterson (47:01), Susan Rhodes (52:06), Karen Figgins (53:33), Sharlene McGilvray (54:27), Bob Nicol (1:02:15) all put in strong performances in what was a large turnout of Irvine runners.