Heat is on in hot half marathon

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Sub-heading: Double win for Ayr Seaforth

A big field of 91 runners took on the sweltering temperatures and 13 and a bit miles of hot tarmac in the Isle of Arran half marathon last Sunday.

A few locals, and a number of runners with island connections, took the startline in Blackwaterfoot at high noon. Organisers, Shiskine Valley Improvements, had made a plea to anyone who could help with extra water stations on the route and several people set them up outside their homes.

Formerly known as the Shiskine Valley half marathon, the route takes runners on a figure of nine from Blackwaterfoot up to Shiskine, across the Rodden, up to Machrie, across the moor road and back to Blackwaterfoot via the String.

For the first time organisers used the services of a professional electronic timing company, and every runner had a timing chip in their ankle strap.

Ayr Seaforth AC made it a double win with Kenny Neill taking the men’s title in a time of 1hr 17min 43sec and Laura Wallace winning the women’s race in a time of 1.28.16.

Other winners were: M40 Alex Allardyce, Irvine Running Club; F40 Tomoyo Fujiwara, Bellahouston Road Runners; M50 Andrew Stewart, Rons Runners; F50 Jennie Jackson, Irvine Running Club; M60 Terence Coyle, Glasgow (no club); F60 Janet Fellowes, Helensburgh AAC. First local male was Andrew Rigby in 1:48:24, and first local female was Fiona Clarke who pipped him by coming in at 1:47:35.  Winning team of three was Irvine Running Club.

Race c0-ordinator Sheila Gilmore said: ‘Shiskine Valley Improvements would like to thank all the voluntary marshalls, water stops and sprayers for helping to keep runners hydrated throughout the race. Thanks also to Arran Cadets, Chris Traill, and Keep it Simple Timning (KitST).

‘Finally the committee wish to thank event sponsors Arran Active and Trespass, Arranshand Business Development Services Limited, A & C Cameron, Kinloch Hotel, the Big Co, ABC First Aid Arran, West Coast First Responders, and everyone en route who cheered and supported all the runners.’

Photographs by Hugh Boag

Fresh-faced runners at the start of the race. 01_B27half01

A group of runners make their way up the hill in Blackwaterfoot. 01_B27half02

Men’s winner Kenny Neill crosses the finishing line. 01_ B27half03

Thumbs up from the first woman home, Laura Wallace. 01_B27half04

Winners Kenny and Laura with their trophies. 01_B27half05

A sprint race to the finishing line is won by Fraser Peat, just beating Scott Brown. 01_B27half06

Fiona Clarke and other runners near the String roadend. 01_B27half07

Maggie Cacot pounds up a hill on the String with the red church behind her.01_B27half08

Arran runner Julia Harrison still smiling in Shiskine. 01_B27half09

Ines Lenart is delighted with a shower provided by Evie Southwick at Bridgend campsite. 01_B27half10

Tom Hannah welcomes Evie’s shower with open arms. 01_B27half11