Kirkintilloch Olympians take it in their stride

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THE annual Broadwood 5k fun run organised by local athletics club Kirkintilloch Olympians attracted more than 200 runners and was proclaimed a great success.

The run offers people of all abilities a chance to experience a competitive, locally-organised race without the pressures of a large group of runners or the cost of the big city races. The £2 entry fee meant there was a real sense of value for money – with each finisher going away with a sports drink, sports voucher for £5 and a medal!

At the front of the race it proved to be highly competitive. Tom McDonald (Bellahouston Road Runners), Barry Paterson (Falkirk Victoria) and local junior athlete Gavin Alexander (Kirkintilloch Olympians) were in a neck-and-neck battle for first place. After more than three miles, they were separated by only two seconds, with McDonald fending off the challenge from Alexander. Less close was the race for first female, with Claire Couper easily winning this year’s title.

This year for the first time, the 5k was also part of the Tour of Clydeside, a series of four races held over five nights with the combined times counting for prizes. The 5k was one of the shorter and faster components of the series and four of the top 10 were taking part in the tour.

However, the essence of the fun run was epitomised by Karen Robertson, one of the last runners to finish.

The Broadwood 5k was her first ever race. A few years ago she set out to lose weight and get fit. After losing nearly seven stones she then was encouraged by her friends (also running) to enter a race. The 5k was her first experience of running on roads having only trained on the treadmill. There was a huge smile on her face as she crossed the finish line at the stadium in 44 minutes. Enthused by her experience she is now off to take part in the Great Scottish 10k run in September.

Race director, Robert Rogerson said: “Running is a sport for everyone and, as Karen and others showed tonight, with will power and training, anyone can get great satisfaction and personal pride from competing in local races. I hope that others will be encouraged to take part in the half marathon in October which is once again being held in Kirkintilloch”.

The Neil McCover Half Marathon is being held on Sunday, October 7. Details can be found at the Kirkintilloch Olympians website.

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