Record set for fastest Arran half marathon

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Words and pictures by Colin Smeeton

A new record has been set for the fastest Shiskine half marathon with the first runner crossing the finish line of the 21km (13 mile) race in a record time of 1hr 13 min 47 sec.

Organised by Shiskine Valley Improvements the popular race, which takes place on the relatively flat roads around Blackwaterfoot, enjoyed a good entry of 130 runners with a healthy number of local runners also taking part.

Among them was first place local runner Michal Bochenek with a time of 1.28.13, who was also the first Arran runner home in the Ormidale 10k earlier this year.

In first place overall was Bellahouston Harriers runner Gregor Yates while Kilmarnock Harrier and Athletic Club runners David Mclure and John Speirs took second and third place respectively with times of 1.17.31 and 1.22.24. And for the second year in a row Laura Wallace of Ayr Seaforth AC was the first female home in a time of  1.27.57.

Enjoying warm but slightly windy conditions the runners set off from a new starting location further down the road from the Blackwaterfoot playing fields at exactly noon, as is customary, and finished at the playing fields with race timings all undertaken by the professional timing company KitST.

Following the race hand made Arran-shaped ceramic medals, made by Margaret Gruber, were presented to participants by Shiskine Valley Improvements’ Sheila Gilmore who awarded them to participants in each of the age categories.

Sheila said: ‘ The feedback has been really positive, especially on the new medals!  This was a great event run and supported by the community. There’s many people to thank who gave their time freely as well as village businesses such as A&C Cameron, and Kinloch Hotel – and of course thanks also to Scottish Water for their sponsorship.’

Runners line up at the Blackwaterfoot playing fields to register. 01_B27marathon01

Team Arran. A number of local runners took part in the marathon. 01_B27marathon02

An they are off. Runners set off at the start of the race. 01_B27marathon03

Runners made their way through the village at Blackwaterfoot harbour. 01_B27marathon04

In first place, Gregor Yates of Bellahouston Harriers. 01_B27marathon05

Former Arran runner David Allsop included the Arran half marathon in his five marathon challenge in aid of UNICEF. 01_B27marathon06

First female over the line, Laura Wallace of Ayr Seaforth Athletic Club. 01_B27marathon07

First local runner Michal Bochenek crosses the finish line with a smile on his face.  01_B27marathon08

Arran’s Tim Keyworth powers towards the finish line. 01_B27marathon09

Neil Miller and Andy McNamara laugh and hold hands as they cross the finish line. 01_B27marathon10

Ken Hogge of Arran Pacemakers finishes his race. 01_B27marathon11

First Local female, Carol Brown, crosses the finish line.  01_B27marathon12

Catherine Logan joins her mum Lorna for the last few metres of the race. 01_B27marathon13

Barbara Crawford present local winner Michal Bochenek with his trophy. 01_B27marathon14

Barbara Crawford present race winner Gregor Yates with his trophy. 01_B27marathon15

Richard Harris ran the marathon to help raise funds with Rosario Gray of Venezuela who is fundraising for a Venezuelan hospital. 01_B27marathon16