A WINDY Sunday morning greeted more than 40 members of Irvine running and jogging club Rons Runners as they lined up on the start line of Race the Promenade 10k race at Saltcoats and as the gun went the drizzle turned to all out rain.

A circuit of the running track saw runners onto paths down to South Beach then along the sea front passing Saltcoats harbour then alongside the golf course at Auchenharvie where the path bridged the roadway on the old railway line track back to South Beach then back onto the running track to the finish.

Despite a stiff headwind along the sea shore and the old railway path offering no respite there were some surprisingly quick times recorded with many setting new personal bests over a flat but difficult route.

John Owens - 41 mins and 27 secs William Goggans 50:24 Gemma Davidson 51:56, Sharon Crombie, 56:46 Mary Huggan 65:56, Dayle Burnside 71:17, Gaynor Elliot 71:16 and Allison Elliot 71:17 were those who set best times with Dayle, Gaynor and her mum Allison, all helping each from gun to finish.

Finishing also delighted with their times, though perhaps not their best ever, were Carol Rome with an excellent 55:12 Melanie Sinclair 52:38 Gillian Dunwoodie 57:10 all overcoming bad patches of differing kinds to return times much faster than expected. Another with a super but well-deserved reward was Trish McMullen - surprising the whole club with 56:00, her best run by far in over three years.

Gail Steven was another with more than enough reason to celebrate her time of 50:38, having often struggled since an illness back in her Barcelona Marathon last year took a huge bite from her morale.

David Ridout also had a noteworthy day returning 50:24 his second fastest time over the last 30 years proving you can improve - even aged 60.

Gail was the first home for the ladies then Ruth McLaughlan did well with 51:35 followed by Gemma, and Melanie, while others to finish were Shivaun O’Neil 54:09, Mandy Mackintosh 54:19 Rachel Cox 60:34, Karen Hughes 60:39, Sandra Murphy 61:25, Angela Gibson 63:02, Alison Sutherland 63:22, Astrud Gibson 64:02, Karen Wright 64:40, Ann Hay 66:56 and Ann Pearson finished with 78:27, while fulfilling her aim of not walking at any point.

Andy Stewart claimed second over 50, recording 40:56 James Chalmers managed 43:02, having led the second wave starters out of the field.

Other male finishing times were: Neil Kyle 46:50, Derek Chisholm 47:20, James Elliot 47:22. Other male finishers were Thomas Hodgart 48:11, Mark Garton 48:28, Gordon Burns 48:32 and Ian Short 53:32

On the same day just round the coast at Greenock Andy McNaughton continued his liking for hill and trail events and experienced much better weather conditions at the Bog Stomp 10k trail run with the rain endured at Saltcoats held off except for a welcome drizzle in the closing stages.

The start is in a field behind the Greenock Cut centre where after only a few steps, the route takes a steep climb up to around 400m following the contours of the hills runners zigzag through heather and bog, then with a loop round two water reservoirs a final climb up a gravel track.

From the top it is virtually downhill all the way over a tarmac path for the last 2k and a chance to stretch the legs, increasing the pace to regain time lost in the climbs. This year, his second tilt at the event, Andy timed 69 mins and 12 secs and six minutes faster than his previous time making full use of his experience. The view of the Clyde from Dunrod hill and Cauldron are just reward for the effort.

At the park run in Eglinton this week the club had its own wee gala day to celebrate the 150th park run by Sylvia Mulholland.

Over the period Sylvia has indulged in park runs from Livingstone to Greenock and Ayr and in Glasgow over the time, she has completed 38 runs involving 11 different parks, but by far Eglinton Park has seen her finish 91 5ks including this week’s.

Sylvia can boast that in the majority of cases she finished well within the top six ladies back over the line and on 15 occasions has the honour of first lady home, eleven of these at Eglinton. A remarkable record bearing in mind that she concentrates on much longer races. On this occasion, she recorded 23:06 and second lady overall.

James Chalmers led the led home the club for the first time recording 21:20 with Neil McMullen next with 22:44 followed by Sylvia to Mark Garton’s 25:21. Jennifer Shaw eased round with 26:11 ahead of Hazel Anderson 27:35 accompanied by William Goggans 27:35 Rachel Wood did well managing a finish of 27:51 Eric Pearson took 30:33 to his wife’s Anne’s 39:03 in her first Eglinton outing in some months. Andrew Stewart was a marshal this week.

Members and those wishing to join in should note that as from October 3 both Tuesday and Thursday will start and finish from the escalators in the Mall with the time remaining at 6 pm. With the approach of dark nights run safely and run with company.