NEWCASTLE and Cumbrae were among the stops on what was a busy week for Irvine running and jogging club Ron's Runners.

On Saturday, Andy McNaughton travelled to Tignabruaich to run the Kyles 10 Miles.

Regarded as Scotland’s most scenic 10 mile road run, the race starts on the waterfront, climbs up to the west and over the Ardlamont peninsula to Portavadie, then turns south and follows the coast back to the start.

In unexpected sunshine Andy was running well, and at the seven-mile mark was on track for his target time of under 90 minutes. Unfortunately a recurring hamstring injury flared up and Andy had to ease down over the last couple of miles. Finishing in a time of 1:40:31 he remarked that if the weather could be repeated it’s well worth a return visit.

Furthest travelled were Jennifer Shaw and Gemma Davidson who chose to enter The Great North Run, the UK’s biggest half marathon.

Starting under the iconic Tyne Bridge, the route covers 13.1 miles through Newcastle and out to the coast, finishing at South Shields. In dry conditions the 2 ladies joined over 55,000 other runners to start the race. Both Gemma and Jennifer thought the atmosphere was fantastic, but found the race congested at times, slowing them down.

Jennifer crossed the finish line in 1:54:25 and was delighted with that, considering the crowds. Gemma ran most of the race with a friend who was running her first half. They got separated at mile 11 but Gemma finished in a time of 1:59:23 and set a new PB. Both ladies thought the crowds, marshalls and support from everyone was amazing.

Also on Sunday, a large group of 14 runners and six officials from the club, along with a few supporters, travelled over the sea to Millport for the Round Cumbrae 10 miles road race. The weather was typically Scottish and a torrential downpour just minutes ahead of the start had runners seeking shelter.

Fortunately it remained quite dry for most of the runners during the race. The route takes runners right round the island in an anticlockwise direction and although the course is fairly flat, weather conditions can have a big influence on finishing times. All our club members crossed the finish line safely and for the most part thoroughly enjoyed the event. First home for the club was Andrew Stewart in 69:44. followed by John Owens 73:43, Matthew Watson 78:17, Darren Ridout 84:13, David Ridout 84:59, Thomas Hodgart 85:20 and Robert Wyllie 85:39.

First club lady over the finish line was Ruth McLaughlan 88:37, followed by Helen Marshall 94:33, Patricia McMullen 97:27, Lisa Miller 100:01, Graeme Shaw 107:53, Amanda Lindsay 112:04 and Dayle Burnside 123:28.

Supporting the event as officials were Ron Cheyne, Melanie Sinclair, Sandra Hunter, Linda Edgar, John Watters and Carrol Finlay.

With other events taking place his weekend, the local 5k Parkrun at Eglinton attracted fewer club members than usual.

However, young James Chalmers broke the 20-minute barrier, setting a personal best of 19:51.

Finishing seventh overall, James was the first of Ron's Runners over the line again this week.

Pamela Porteous was first lady home for club, timing 25:10.

Next came Paul McCallum 25:51, Amanda Lindsay 29:53, Lynn Shearer 30:37 closely followed by Ann Hay 30:44. then Mary Huggan 31:44.

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