MEMBERS of Ron's Runners continue to find various events in which to take part but those who prefer road running do find their choice of venue rapidly shrinking as the winter cross country season begins in earnest.

Four members only entered the Kilmarnock cross country race, which is the only surviving winter event still being organised locally and the host club are working hard to attract entries from further afield.

Although the Ayrshire Cross Country Championships is still to the fore, the venues differ from club to club and is held at different places of the host club’s choice.

Sadly events such as Stewarton Louden and Cumnock not to mention the Beach Park, the races have all fallen by the wayside and even Girvan has not taken place for some years but still the Kilmarnock race holds firm.

Over a boggy, wet, but fairly flat course that saps the stamina from even the fittest runner the men who run last must endure three laps over ground made much worse by all the preceding races having been churned up by countless pairs of feet which leaves barely a dry patch remaining although the weather at least was dry on the day. The start is on flat well-tended but soft ground close to the Arena before heading out into farmed fields from where over various terrains it returns to the start.

Still in recovery mode from his exhaustive summer exploits and just returned from holiday John Owens having started conservatively finished strongly to leads his team home with 46:58 but admitting the course a “nightmare” draining stamina and will power almost to the limit.

In his first stint at country running in some 30 years Neil Kyle was surprised at just how tough he found the course but content, though tired, with his time of 49:07, hopes to enter more such events as winter progresses. Will Goggans was next home and his time of 51:52 won a wonderful spot prize for his efforts while Mark Garton finished with a spectacular high dive, or trip, over the finish line to record 53:55.

Knowing only full well country running is just not her cup of tea, Dayle Burnside chose to support the Ayr Santa Dash which was held by Ayrshire Cancer Support with the start at Ayr Central Shopping Centre from where runners head down High Street cross Sandgate through houses onto the promenade which takes them to Café India then turns into Seafield Road before Blackburn Road back onto the prom to retrace the outward route back to the Centre.

Dayle’s time over the 5k course was recorded as a pleasing 38:17.

Escaping, temporarily the winter weather Pamela Porteous entered the Knysna Waterfront 10k in South Africa carrying the club’s colours to yet another new event.

Starting at 7am to avoid the worst of the day’s heat and over a flat course, Pamela timed a satisfactory 54:34 finish - having endured a week of good food and easy living, with some light training, over the first half of her holiday and was rather pleased to receive a beautiful Knysna Seahorse medal but did report that the extremely hot weather even at that early time certainly took a toll.

The jogging and running club meet

at the bottom of the Mall at 6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and welcome runners of all abilities with beginners especially welcome.

At night people should wear reflective or white clothing, run in well lit busy areas and for added safety and enjoyment run with like paced company. Saturday runs for the slower runners are also organised starting from various points and Fridays when members other commitments permit trail running is often enjoyed again, over different areas.

For further details please contact