MORE than 270 runners took part in this year’s 10k race along the canal towpath at Kirkintilloch, making this one of the largest races in recent years.
Favourable weather conditions encouraged local athletes, club runners from across Scotland and some race novices to take part.
At the start in Northbank Avenue, a small group of runners quickly established themselves at the front of the field and set the pace as they ran onto the canal towpath at Townhead Bridge.
With a tail wind, Ciaran Dougherty raced into a lead over local runners Stephen Allan and Graham McCabe in the chasing group.
Behind, the other runners found their own pace and soon they made a colourful procession along the canal towpath to the Stables and ion to Cadder, before returning to the finish on the towpath outside St Ninian’s High School.
Ciaran Dougherty was the clear winner this year – his time of 34:23 minutes more than two minutes ahead of the chasing group.
Craig Prior (Dumbarton AC) took second place ahead of Stephen Allan (Kirkintilloch) and Gary Goldie (Garscube Harriers).
Jennifer Emsley was an equally clear winner in the female category. This talented young athlete had been selected as reserve for the Scottish trail race championship team at the weekend and her run at Kirkintilloch was a good warm-up.
Jennifer finished the 10k in 37mins and 12secs to be eighth overall. Claire McArthur was second female in 37:49. This was an outstanding result for Claire – she ran the 10k course in 2007 in 53 minutes !
Along with the many personal best times, there were some notable performances.
Stephen Rooney, running his first ever 10k, finished in 17th place in a time of 38 minutes, whilst David Rogerson, running his fourth 10k, went under 50 minutes for the first time.
Race winner Ciaran, running the Kirkintilloch 10k for the first time, admitted that the scenic course had brought the best out of him.
“I enjoyed running along seeing the Campsies and the views from the canal,” he said. “Even with the headwind in the second part of the race, I really enjoyed the experience.”
Other runners too appreciated the support along the course from the marshalls and helpers from Kirkintilloch Olympians athletics club.
Geraldine Trotter, from Bellahouston Harriers, said: “Another well-organised race from the Olympians. I thought the course was great, such a lovely route and a perfect night.”
Geraldine, like many other runners, set a personal best time.
The Kirkintilloch 10k was the second race in the year-long Run Kirkintilloch series.
The next race is the Broadwood 5k on August 16 and is open to runners of all abilities aged 13 and over.
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