Tom is king of the hill

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It may have been a glorious day for the Goatfell hill race last Saturday but the temperatures, in the mid 20s, were too hot for the runners.

That did not deter 175 hardy souls to take on the 874m Goatfell challenge – now organised by the Shettleston Harriers – with only six people unable to finish the gruelling 15.5 km race. But there was to be no record breaking runs this year.

Arran was well represented  by around 16 runners, including a number of first-time participants. They included Danny Head, who chose to celebrate his 27th birthday by running the race, and Juliette Walsh who joined her husband Andrew for the first time. Several also sported new bright yellow Arran Fell Runners t-shirts.

After a mass start at Ormidale Park the runners head out the castle drive and up the tourist path to the top of Goatfell and back which this year, given the fine day, was busy with walkers making another obstacle for the runners to have to avoid.

In first place, with a remarkable time of 1:17:19, was Shettleston Harriers runner Tom Owens, followed, by some distance, by John Yells of Lochaber Athletic Club with a time of 1:22:37, while Lochaber fellow Richard Macleod took third spot with a time of 1:27:43.  First female over the line was Ruth Crewe of Westerlands Cross Country Club who finished with a time of 1:40:44.

Trophies are also awarded in a local category for the first male and female to cross the line. Taking the honours were Malcolm Wilkinson came in first place with a time of 1:44:47, while the first female was Corinna Goeckeritz with a time of 1:55:26.

Race organiser Peter Mackie of the Shettleston Harriers said: ‘A great day out was had by all, with special thanks to our helpers from the club, the Arran Mountain Rescue Team, Arran Pipe Band, Brodick Improvements Committee and our friends at Salomon for generously donating some cracking prizes.’

The course record, which had stood for 23 years, was broken by not one but two runners last year, with Murray Strain of Hunters Bog Trotters now holding the record of 1:12:11.