FOR most members of Irvine running and jogging club Ron's Runners it has again been a quiet time, with few road running events in which to take part though once more the club has been heavily involved behind the scenes at an event.

Some months ago, Scottish Athletics decided the West District cross country should again be held in Ayrshire and appealed to local clubs to act as hosts to the event.

North Ayrshire Athletic Club put their name forward and on being chosen to play host in turn appealed to other local clubs to lend support and help for each race which in turn leads to much effort required to mark out the route and many willing hands to pitch in. It was then determined the event would be held at Irvine Moor as successful events had been held in previous years over the same area, however it meant races are held in a fairly tight area with plenty of sharp turns and doubling back to reach the required distances but as things progressed it became obvious that the chosen path would provide an excellent and interesting run.

With few members prepared to take part in cross country races as they recall school day cross country periods with much distaste and refusing to be persuaded such events can be as rewarding as any road race the club had a magnificent response when asking for members help and as before four members were out on a cold frosty morning preparing to drive marking stakes into the ground Paul McCallum, Thomas Hodgart, Corrie Lotter and James Elliot, who had to report to the school for 8am, and their task was made more difficult when trying to drive stakes into frozen ground.

Three members were also involved inside at registration handing out the numbers to runners of all ages as the time for their races approached and one Sandra Hunter was also tasked with helping at the presentation of the medals to those fortunate to win. Paul McCallum was also given the task of being a steward for the first few races involving the younger ages.

Four more members then reported as asked for at 12.30pm. where James Chalmers, Dayle Burnside, Mary Lotter and William Goggans had volunteered to be stewards and they were joined by the four from the route laying who were pressed into the same duty as stewards, however as they had been cautioned to be well wrapped up they found it a comfortable time. Mary Lotter also did a fine job for a short period, helping Carrol Finlay fend off the usual early press of entrants eager to register.

Incredibly John Thomas Corrie and Willie were happy to continue after the final race had finished and proceeded to dismantle all the posts collect all the driven stakes and clear the area of tape and other rubbish, bringing their long day to an end late afternoon. For all those who helped the club passes on their admiration and thanks for helping stage a successful event.

For the second Saturday running, Eglinton Park was cancelled because of icy puddles but this time runners were pre-warned on Friday night and able to plan an alternative venue if wished.

James Chalmers was one of six to opt to try Troon and was well rewarded when setting a personal best 5k time of 19:41 and run under 20 minutes for the first time ever, which explained the broad smile he bore during his afternoon stewarding at the moor. William Goggans also fitted in the race to recording 23:39. Rachel Wood was first home for the ladies with 27:09 before her aunt Audrey Green’s 27:27 Ann Hay 31:53 this week got the better of her sister Mary Huggan 32:00.

Club runs to which all runners are welcome are on Tuesday and Thursdays at 6pm and start from the Asda end of the Mall. For details contact