Very nearly a clean sweep for cracking Kirkintilloch Olympians

Neil McCover
Neil McCover

RECORD-breaking athletes from Kirkintilloch Olympians achieved a gold-standard performance at the 5k Parkrun in Strathclyde Park on Saturday.

The club took four of the top five positions in the race.

Scottish endurance runner David Gardiner was first in a time of 16.45 and this inspired Stephen Allan to chase him to the finish line, finishing only a second behind.

This was a massive personal best time for Stephen and the first time he had got under 17 minutes at this distance.

Clubmates Adrian Dow and Howard Elliott both achieved personal best times too, taking fourth and fifth places. Their times of 17:09 and 17:28 were bettered only by Ross MacKenzie who must have felt isolated amidst the Kirkintilloch vests.

The Parkrun is one of a series of free races organised by volunteers and runners for runners. With support from some of the main manufacturers and retailers of sporting goods, the races are held across the UK each weekend.

Locally, there are races at 9.30am at Pollok Park in Glasgow as well as at Strathclyde Park. Thanks to the dedicated volunteers, the races now attract a very large following and offer an opportunity for runners of all abilities to get together regularly.

Locally, families and fun runners are being encouraged to go along to join in the athletics events associated with the Neil McCover Memorial Half Marathon. A 3k fun run is being held for families and runners of all ages.

The race is on Sunday, October 7. Registration is at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre from 8.30am, with the run starting at 9.20am. Entry is free.

Children under the age of nine must be accompanied by at least one adult, but families are encouraged to join in.

The race is being organised by young athletes from Kirkintilloch Olympians. It is being held as part of the celebration of local athlete Neil McCover, who was tragically killed in 2010. Neil was a junior coach at the club and the junior members will be assisting at the event.

Entries for the half marathon are open until Monday, October 1. This large race will be going through Kirkintilloch, Milton of Campsie, Lennoxtown and Torrance before finishing along Gallowhill Road at Civic Way.

Race organiser Robert Rogerson is encouraging local residents to support the runners.

He said: “This year we are delighted to welcome runners from across the UK who are coming to Kirkintilloch to take part in our race and we hope many people will cheer them as they pass through East Dunbartonshire.”

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