Cold, windy, lots of hills… what wasn’t to love about this year’s Kirkintilloch 12.5k. Just over 300 runners tackled this cracking race which followed its usual route from St Agatha’s Primary School up and over the 12 hills through Kirkintilloch’s country roads.

Merit league points were at stake and six Mighty Harriers took part – Chris G, Chris H, Craig W, Kevin, Linda and Scott. The breaking news in the morning was that Andy would not be racing so the first placed 30 points were up for grabs.

Photo by Drink Baotic

The Harriers huddled together in the pack trying to keep warm, and primed themselves for action as we were counted down to the start of the race. It was very tight for the first few hundred metres and the narrow roads made it difficult to break into a stride whilst trying not to catch anyone’s heels. Scott had managed to find a wee pocket of space and was running ahead whilst the rest of us ducked and dived among the crowds.

Encouraging words from Chris on the journey there about how I would find the hills and Craig suggesting I should be alright managing 4min/kms gave me a sense of optimism.

After the busy start, my watch showed 3:59 for the first km. I then pushed on, upping the pace slightly and settled into a fairly consistent run. I was catching runners on the hills and moved my way up the pack. After the first few kms I had two runners in front then another few further in the distance that I kept as my markers.

I passed 5k in 19:05 and caught up with the two in front round about this time. As I kept a steady pace on the hills I could feel myself opening up a wee bit of space between us, but I could hear footsteps thundering towards me as one kept trying to catch me on the flats/descents. I managed to push on and the watch showed 38:25 for 10k as I pulled closer to the next runner in front.

Similar to the Nigel Barge, he encouraged me to push on when we were at the final hill, but he caught me as we headed downhill towards the finish and I crossed the line behind him in 48:19.

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A wee bit further back in field and Craig and Scott were having a right old ding dong. Viewing their runs on Strava Flybys shows them almost neck and neck up to about 8k when Craig started to edge ahead. Fantastic running by all the Harriers, credit to Linda who completed a 22 mile training run the day before in preparation for the Fling, Craig and Chris H who bettered their times from last year, Scott who got a course PB and Chris G on his Kirky 12.5k debut.

The race was won by Robert Gilroy, Cambuslang Harriers, 41:43, followed by John Fergusson, East Kilbride AC, 44:32 and Chris Black, Stirling Triathlon Club, 44:57. First female was Shona McManus, West End Road Runners, 49:46, followed by Ruth Fraser-Moodie, 50:36, and Nikki Lyons, Dumbarton AAC, 50:40.

Maryhill finishers:
15th Kevin Campbell: 48:19
57th Craig White: 52:58
62nd Scott Coulter: 53:19
169th Chris Hever: 1:04:05
203rd Linda Sinclair: 1:07:11
279th Chris Gunn: 1:16:39

Thank you to the Kirkintilloch Olympians, marshals, first aiders and all involved for a well organised, challenging and enjoyable race. Results available here

Photos via Drink Baotic and Kenny Phillips

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