I’ve not signed up for many races this year and other than the internal club races, my last competitive outing was the Kirkintilloch 12.5k. Instead, I’ve been focussing on getting some consistency back in my running and trying to get back to a decent level after a period of constant niggles.

Being a Cumnock lad and with family now in Kilmarnock, I was keen to do Roon the Toon 10k organised by Kilmarnock Harriers. Starting from Ayrshire Athletics Arena, the course is on closed roads and snakes it way out into the countryside before it comes back into the town and up John Finnie Street. From there it’s down the pedestrian town centre and back to the arena to finish with lap of the running track. It’s billed as a flat fast race, and whilst there are no major hills it is a bit up and down.

I jogged down to the Arena for a 10am start where there was a good contingent of running clubs represented, myself being the sole representative from Maryhill. The run of good weather continued and the heat felt a bit relentless on my fair scalp. Thankfully once we got going there was a light breeze which took the edge off a bit.

I took myself up to the sub 40 starting pen and found myself pretty close to the front as I waited for the start. About 5 minutes after the wheelchair race was underway, we were off. I took off pretty fast, finding some space but probably running some corners a bit wide and my first mile was done in 5:45. I eased off a bit and ran most of the race with two other runners before one pulled away from us. Miles 2-5 went from 5:54 to 6:17 however I knew I had a decent finish in me with some recent mile reps under my belt. After the watch buzzed for mile 5, I upped the effort and managed to open a wee gap. With encouragement from the family on the final stretch I kept pushing and moved up another spot. However as we entered the arena the spot was reclaimed with about 2-300m to go. I might have lost the spot but it pushed me on for a good strong finish, crossing the line in a chip time of 37:34, finishing 30th overall out of over 1,000 runners.

Roon the Toon was a great race and I’d recommend it. It has good support from the locals as well as a cracking t-shirt and empire biscuit in the goodie bag.

First male was Neil Renault of Edinburgh A.C. in 32:11. First female was Elspeth Curran, Kilbarchan AAC in 36:37.

Ben Rowlings, Coventry Godiva Harriers, won the men’s wheelchair race with a course record 26:51. Murran Mackay, Red Star A.C won the women’s.


30th Kevin Campbell 37.34.

Results available on Stuweb

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