HUNDREDS of runners blew away the winter blues in Kirkintilloch on Sunday as they enjoyed a 12.5k.
Nearly 250 entrants took part in the event – part of the Run Kirkintilloch series of road races for 2012.
Perfect weather conditions encouraged the runners as they crossed the East Dunbartonshire countryside from Gartconner Primary School to Stoneyetts, Woodilee and Fauldhead.
Homegrown talent was strongly in evidence with local men and women winning the team events.
Annmarie McCaffrey, Ros O’Sullivan and Ada Stewart took the female team prize, with Annmarie also winning an individual prize in the veteran categories. Carole Setchell (Shettleston Harriers) was the overall female winner, completing the course in a time of 50mins 1sec, ahead of Rebecca Johnston (Bellahouston) and Charlotte Fortune in second and third places.
Kirkintilloch Olympians dominated in the men’s race. Stuart Kerr had an outstanding run, leading the race from the start and building up a lead of more than three minutes ahead of Stephen Allan.
Gavin Harvie completed the top three places, securing the team prize for all three as well. Kirkintilloch’s Graham McCabe (eighth overall) also won a veteran prize.
Within the race there were other noteable achievements. Gerry Craig (Victoria Park/City of Glasgow) held off the challenge from brother Michael (Macritchie Runners Singapore) to take the top vets prize.
Iain Burns recorded an excellent 16th place, admitting: “I thoroughly enjoyed it despite all the hills.”
The course includes 12 separate climbs – including Market Road up to Fauldhead just after halfway.
Janine Graham from the local jogScotland group at Cumbernauld also found the course a challenge.
Having started conservatively she ran with the company of the first aiders for most of the course. Janine finished with a big smile on her face and like many others will probably be returning to do it all again next year.
Thanks to the excellent support from the marshals and officials from Kirkintilloch Olympians there were no injuries and lots of happy runners who left with their goody bag, Kirkintilloch mug, and fond memories and stories of how they conquered the hills of the 12.5k race.
See next week’s Herald for a full list of results and more pictures.