17/05/18 - Dumbarton 10k


At the Dumbarton 10k, which is the second of the three race Babcock 10k series, Paul Lafferty followed up his good performance at the previous week’s Helensburgh 10k with another good run with his time of 35 minutes and 52 seconds good enough to take 34th position behind winner Stephen Trainer of Greenock Glenpark who recorded a time of 31 minutes and 42 seconds. The final race in the series, the Shettleston 10k, taking place at Glasgow Green the next weekend.


03/02/18 - Scottish Masters Cross Country Championships


The Scottish Masters Cross Country Championships was held at a muddy Dean Park on Saturday afternoon and it proved to be an outstanding success for Irvine Running Club’s Billy Richardson who took gold in the men’s 45 age group. The event, which is for runners over the age of 40, attracted a large field from all across Scotland who faced a demanding course. This included a long strength sapping muddy section, followed by a sharp descent and steep climb before a tricky technical section through the woods including deep mud, a jump over a fallen tree and some sharp turns before a final straight.

A field of almost 250 took to the start line of the men’s 40 – 64 race which consisted of two long and one short laps totalling 5 miles and from the gun Richardson was up with the leaders settling into sixth place after the first short lap of a mile. Richardson, who has a long pedigree over cross country, powered through the tough muddy sections showing the strength that has led him to many past successes in this race format and finished strongly to take fifth position overall in the race in a time of 30 minutes 58 seconds and first in the M45 age category. The race itself was won by defending champion Jethro Lennox of Shettleston Harriers in 30 min 13 secs, only two seconds ahead of Ian Reid of Cambuslang Harriers with Tom Ferrington of Corstorphine taking bronze. There were also solid runs from the other Irvine runners Mark Livingstone (37:02) and Graeme MacFarlane (37:54).

In the male over 65 race which consisted of two laps of the course there was another superb run from the evergreen Andy Rennie, who’s took fifth place overall and fourth in his age category with a time of 29 minutes 24 seconds behind winner Tony Martin of Falkland Trail Runners. There was a close fought battle between two other Irvine runners with Peter Taylor taking eleventh place in a time of32 minutes 26 seconds only 10 seconds and one position ahead of club mate Mike Flinn.

In the women’s race, which was run alongside the men’s over 65 race and also consisted of two laps, there was an excellent run from Susan Rhodes, who showed that the additional mileage that she had been doing in training had paid off with a time of 32 minutes 18 seconds, a great return on a tough course. The race was won by Charlotte Morgan of Carnethy Hill Runners in a time of 23 minutes 41 seconds, ahead of Catriona Morrison of Stirling Triathlon Club with last year’s winner Lesley Chisholm of Garscube Harriers having to settle for bronze this time.


17/12/17 - Cyclists v Harriers


The historic Cyclists versus Harriers race was held at a soggy Irvine Moor on Sunday afternoon. This unique race, which has been held annually for more than fifty years, pits runners against cyclists over a cross country course which includes a number of obstacles. In recent years the race has been largely dominated by the cyclists, however the overnight thaw and rain after the recent could snap had left large sections of the course very heavy and proved to be a leveller making the contest an extremely tight one.

As the race set off at the Maress Sports Club, last year’s winner Brian Yates of Carrick Cycling went into an early lead in the loop round the playing fields, having to dismount and his bike over the strategically placed obstacles which the runners were able to hurdle over. As the athletes and cyclists headed onto the first loop of Irvine Moor, the heavy going began to take its toll on the cyclists and runner Billy Richardson, in his first major race after returning from injury, began to close with the gap down to only a few seconds as they made their way through the narrow trail through the gorse bushes. On the second lap of the Moor, Yates began to pull ahead again but Richardson maintained a big advantage over the third and fourth place entrants who were both cyclists.

On the final stretch back round the sports field Yates continued to stretch his lead to retain his title in a time of 27 minutes 58 seconds, with Richardson finishing strongly to take second place just over a minute behind in 29:12 with third place going to Scott Kerr of Walkers Cycling in 30:47. First women home was runner Laura Wallace finishing in an excellent eleventh place overall in a time of 33:46.

There were excellent runs from a number of Irvine runners with Paul Lafferty 6th in 32:28 closely followed by Scott Brown in 8th (33:31) and Alan Douglas 10th (33:41). Jim Sneddon (37:34), Joe McNamee (41:00), Gordon Thomson (41:51) and M70 vet Ian McManus (73:10) completed the Irvine contingent.


10/12/17 - West Districts X-County Championships


The West Districts cross country championships returned to Irvine Moor for the first time in a number of years. The West Districts championships is open to clubs across the west of Scotland and there was a large turnout of runners for the event from across the area for the various races which covered various junior age groups as well as senior events. The recent cold snap had left the ground very firm which was in contrast to recent years which have tended to be muddy affairs.

The final race of the day was the men’s race which consisted of three laps of the Moor with a total distance of 10k and included some long flat sections which, given the firm ground, was conducive to fast running along with some twisty and hilly segments through the gorse bushes. A large field of approximately 220 runners took to the start line with seven from Irvine braving the cold conditions.

Misfortune struck one of Irvine’s leading runners when a recurrence of a hip injury picked up after a recent fall during a training run meant that Paul Lafferty had to walk half of the final lap and so finished down the field in a time of 45 minutes 29 seconds. There were good runs however by a number of Irvine runners with Colin Whitby first home in 93rd place with a time of 39:16.Next to finish for the Maress club was Alan Douglas (40:47) closely followed by a trio of Scott Brown (41:51), George Irving (41:54) and Graeme Macfarlane (42:19), with vet 65 Peter Taylor having a fine run finishing in a time of 50:58. The trio of Brown, Irving and Macfarlane also claimed 10th place in the Masters Team which is for runners aged 40 and above.

The men’s race was won in a sprint finish by Scottish Commonwealth Games triathlete Grant Sheldon of Cambuslang Harriers in a time of 31:13, which was the same time as the second place Andrew Douglas of Inverclyde with Lachlan Oates of Shettleston Harriers taking third place. In the team race, Cambuslang Harriers took the honours.

In the senior women’s race which was 6400m in length, Michelle Sandison of Springburn Harriers took the win in a time of 24:47, 12 seconds ahead of Kilbarchan’s Elspeth Curran with Nicola Hood of Dumfries Harriers taking bronze. Cambuslang Harriers also took first place in the women’s team race.


12/11/17 - Dunoon Ultra Marathon


Two Irvine runners, Liz Colquhoun and Karen Figgins, made the trip across to Dunoon to take part in the recent 33 mile ultra marathon. After competing as part of a relay team in last’s year’s inaugural event Liz and Karen decided to take on the challenge this year of completing the full distance which entailed a total elevation gain of 4012 feet over the course of the race.

The event started at 8am at Benmore Gardens and quickly began to climb up through the picturesque Pucks Glen. The route continued on trails through forested land before descending into Glenbanter. From there the runners headed along the south side of Loch Eck and then back towards Benmore Gardens. The last section of the course took them through Glenkin Forestry and Bishops Glan before finally turning onto the esplanade to finish on Dunoon Pier. Liz was first home in a time of 7 hours 31 minutes with Karen not too far behind, crossing the line in a time of 7 hours 51 minutes.

Although the weather for the race was somewhat variable, both Liz and Karen enjoyed the event immensely and hope to return again next year.


05/11/17 - National X-Country Relays


Last weekend was the culmination of the cross country relay season with the National event attracting teams from across Scotland. Irvine sent a strong squad to the race which consists of teams of four with each running a 4 kilometre loop round the park at Cumbernauld House. The course, which had been affected by the recent rain, was heavy going in places and had a tough uphill opening section before a flatter middle section with the last part mainly downhill. A strong wind also made it a challenge for the runners.

Irvine got off to a good start with Ryan Evans on the first leg having a strong run with his time of 14 minutes 51 seconds placing in 62nd position in a field of approximately 180 teams who took to the starting line. Alan Douglas on the second leg was hampered at the start at the congested changeover but recovered well recording a time of 15 minutes 44 seconds. Next up was Paul Lafferty who had a fine run overtaking more than ten other teams in recording a time of 14 minutes 57 seconds to leave the Irvine club in 60th place. On the final leg was Mark Livingstone who also ran well with his time of 15 minutes and 7 second good enough to put the Irvine club in 56th position overall.

The race was won by Inverclyde AC in a time of 50 minutes and 50 seconds with Aberdeen AC 22 seconds behind in second place and defending champions Central AC having to settle for a bronze medal on this occasion a further 11 seconds back.


22/10/17 - Ayrshire X-Country Relays


There was disappointment for Irvine at the Ayrshire Cross Country Relay Championships as they narrowly missed out on a medal as a dominant Kilmarnock Harriers squad swept the board in the men’s race taking the first three places. The men’s race consisted of four legs of 4000m of a route round the Beach Park which included a couple of sharp inclines and a number of flat sections which allowed for fast running. Irvine were deprived of a number of their top runners due to injury but managed to enter four teams in the men’s race and one team in the women’s race which covered three legs of the same route.

In the men’s race Irvine got off to a good start with Paul Lafferty on the first leg keeping pace with the leaders in the opening stages and putting the first team into fourth place in a time of 14 minutes 40 seconds before handing over to Mark Livingstone on the second leg. Livingstone (15:02) paced his leg well coming through into third place in the final stages to hand over to Scott Brown for the third leg. Scott (15:26) also had a solid run in the blustery conditions enjoying a good battle to maintain his place but Kilmarnock’s runner managed to open up a gap going into the changeover. On the final leg Ryan Evans went off strongly in pursuit of third position and started to close the gap in the first mile. However, despite an excellent run and his best efforts Evans (14:40) was unable to overcome the Kilmarnock runner and the team had to settle for fourth position.

There were some fine runs in the other men’s team. The second team of Alan Douglas (15:26), Steven McDougall (15:42), Graeme MacFarlane (15:40) and Tommy Begley (16:02) all ran well to place the team in sixth position overall. There were also some good performances in the third team with George Irving (16:07) back from recent injury, Gordon Thompson (18:30), debutant Jim Hobson (18:53) and Jim Sneddon (17:23) on the final leg landing thirteenth position. There was only two runners in the fourth team with veterans Mike Flinn (18:23) and Peter Taylor (18:56) both running solidly.

In the women’s race Susan Rhodes got the team off to a good start with her time of 20 minutes 16 seconds placing the team in tenth position. Susan handed over to Alison Gartland, making her cross country debut for Irvine, running well in a time of 21:01 to take Irvine up to eighth place. Last up was Jennie Jackson who had a fine run and brought the ladies team home in a time of 18:41 to finish in seventh place overall.


14/10/17 - George Cummings Road Relays


Irvine sent two strong teams to the first of the autumn seasons relay events at Houston in Renfrewshire. The George Cummings Road Relay is a fixture of the Scottish Athletics calendar and attracts a large number of teams. The race consists of teams of four for the men and three for women with each completing a 2.7 mile loop on the roads and paths around the village and includes some short but challenging hills.

The men’s first team got off to an excellent start with Colin Whitby, following up his new half marathon personal best at the recent Great Scottish Run, ran strongly to record a time of 14 minutes 45 seconds to put the Irvine team in 22nd position. Next up was Alan Douglas who started well found it tough going in the second half of the leg after recent outings at ultramarathon events but finished in a creditable time of 16 minutes 12 seconds with the team in 28th place. Steve Daye, another coming off the back of a personal best at Glasgow’s half marathon, took over for the third lag and had an excellent run recording a time of 14 minutes 36 seconds and moving the team up 8 places. On the final leg Paul Lafferty continued his fine run of form finishing the race in a time of 15 minutes 2 seconds and bringing the team home in 19th place out of 60 teams.

There was good strength in depth for the men’s second team. Steven McDougall on the lead leg had a fine return having only recently returned to competitive running following injury, recording a time of 16 mins 6 secs. He handed over to Scott Brown who also had a strong run pacing the race well to finish in a time of 15 mins 57 secs. Next up was Graeme MacFarlane who showed a fine turn of speed as he crossed the line in 16 mins 37 seconds to hand over to Mark Livingstone on the anchor leg who ran strongly to bring the team home in a time of 15 mins 46 secs to place the team in 35th place.

The overall men’s race was won by Giffnock North in an impressive time of 53 minutes 41 minutes ahead of Inverclyde AC and Corstorphine AC. The strength of the field was illustrated by the presence of Scottish marathon star Callum Hawkins Kilbarchan team only able to finish in 5th place.

In the women’s race home club Kilbarchan AC took the victory in a time of 48 minutes 11 seconds for the three legs ahead of Garscube and Cambuslang Harriers.


01/10/17 - Great Scottish Run


The Great Scottish Run is the biggest mass participation running event in Scotland and the weekend’s races in Glasgow consisted of a wide range of events to suit all ages and abilities. On Saturday events were aimed at younger runners with a 100m race for under 5’s, a 1 mile race for ages 3 - 8 and a 2.5k race for ages 9 – 15. On Sunday there were two events for adults: a 10k race and a half marathon race with both attracting large fields of over 8000 runners in each.

The half marathon race which started in George Square took in a number of Glasgow’s main sites including Pollok and Bellahouston Parks, the Transport Museum, the Squinty Bridge before a final sprint underneath the McLellan Arch to finish in Glasgow Green. The race was held in wet conditions which, although not ideal for spectators, can be good for runners as it provides some cooling. A number of runners from Irvine Running Club took part in the 13.1 mile race and there were some fine performances. Colin Whitby ran a four minute personal best to finish in an excellent time of 1 hour 17 minutes and 7 seconds which was good for 70th position. Not too far behind in 94th place and also running a new best time was Steve Daye who clocked 1 hour 18 minutes 53 secs. Next to finish were Steven McDougall also in a new best time (1:27:21) and Alan Douglas (1:27:55) with Susan Rhodes (1:52:30) also clocking a new best. The final Irvine finisher was Liz Colquhoun (2:21:39) who was pacing a friend round the course. The half marathon was won by English international athlete Chris Thompson in a time of 1 hour 2 minutes and 44 seconds who led home local favourite Callum Hawkins of Kilbarchan, who recently placed fourth in the World Athletic Championships marathon, by 34 seconds.

In the 10k race, which followed a shortened version of the half marathon course, there were also a number of good performances. Paul Lafferty was the first Irvine finisher, with his time of 35 minutes 55 seconds good enough for 33rd position with Stephen Carlyle (39:12) also running strongly to finish in 116th place. There were also fine runs for Ross Collier (47:24), Gordon Thomson (1:02:08), Fergie Collier (1:10:12) and Maureen Millar (1:14:11). The 10k race was won by Cambuslang Harriers athlete Stuart Gibson in a time of 31 minutes and 37 seconds.


16/09/17 - River Ayr Way Ultra Marathon


Last Saturday’s River Ayr Way proved to be a navigationally challenging race for Irvine Running Club’s Alan Douglas. The race covers the 40 miles of the River Ayr Way from Glenbuck to Ayr via Sorn and Annbank and is beautifully scenic run. Heavy rain had left parts of the course quite muddy making conditions difficult for all the competitors which also included a number of teams that took part in the race as part of a three leg relay event. Alan, who is relatively new to ultramarathon running and making his debut in this event, started off strongly and was well placed in the field. Misfortune struck however as his good start was undone by going off course on a couple of occasions. The first time was only by a few hundred yards before the mistake was realised and he was able to double back but the second occasion led to a more substantial loss of time as he missed a route marker and went more than a mile on the wrong path meaning that a total of more than three additional miles was covered. However, the event was an enjoyable one being well supported along the route and although the time of 8:01:07 was slower than hoped plans are afoot to return next year.


16/09/17 - Mourne Mountain Marathon


Last weekend saw team "Ayrshire Tatties" consisting of Tommy Begley (Irvine Running Club) and Alasdair McCallum (North Ayrshire Athletic Club), Ayrshire's top Mountain Marathon duo, venture across the water to the Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland. The two day mountain navigation race has become a regular event in the pair's competing calendar. This year saw the two veterans return to the event and looking to improve on last year's third placing.

The race commenced on Saturday morning with the entrants collecting their route card for the B course to plot their points on the map. This showed that a tough day was in prospect with the route covering 21.3km in distance and 1650 metres of assent with some long gradual climbs and a few paths. The team covered the first day in an excellent time of 4hrs 56min 52sec to place third of the 25 teams at the halfway stage of the race.

The overnight camp was cold, wet and windy with all the competitors huddled in their tents in an effort to keep warm. Sunday morning was a fresh start however with a good, clear day forecast. As in the previous morning the entrants received their route card and began marking the map again to plot their course. The second day’s course was slightly shorter at 19.0km and had half the climbing of the previous day with 760 metres of assent. Both runners covered the course strongly with efficient navigation and finished the day in 3hrs 37min 41sec which was the second fastest time of the day on this course. An aggregate time for the two days of 8hrs 34min 33sec placed the Tatties in second overall and the winning veterans and was a superb return for their endeavours.


03/09/17 - Race the Prom 10k Road Race


The Race the Prom 10k road race took place in Ardrossan and Salcoats on Sunday. The event, held by North Ayrshire Athletics Club, starts at the race track at St Matthew’s High School and is a relatively new one to the racing calendar but it attracted a substantial field of more than 550 runners to the start line on what was a damp and drizzly morning. After a loop of the running track the route took the runners onto the seafront and towards Salcoats with a strong breeze making for testing conditions. After a turn at the end of the promenade, the course wound its way through the town and onto a cycle path and then back towards St Matthews to finish with a lap round the track.

First over the line, in a fabulous time of 31 minutes 20 seconds, was Welsh international steeplechaser Jonathan Hopkins from Swansea Harriers. There was a gap of almost four minutes to the next runner, Kenny Neil of Ayr Seaforth (35:08) with Neil Fraser (35:30) of Giffnock North placing third. Fourth position went to Irvine’s Paul Lafferty who finished in a time of 35 minutes 59 seconds with club mates Colin Witby (36:38) and Ryan Evans (37:59) not far behind in 8th and 13th positions respectively with Stephen Carlyle (39:03) also making the top 20.

In the female race Laura Wallace of Ayr Seaforth followed up last week’s win in the Jim Young Marymass 10k with another first place in a time of 38 minutes 41 seconds over a minute ahead of nearest rivals Julie Beveridge of Calderglen Harriers (40:00) and Rhona Nellany (41:20)

There were a number of notable runs from other Irvine runners with John Surgenor’s time of 43:33 taking first place in the male vet 60 category and Jennie Jackson’s 46:21 taking second place in the female vet 50 category. Graeme Macfarlane (41:20), Jim Sneddon (43:59), Peter Taylor (46:22), Mike Flinn (46:26), Colin Patterson (47:01), Susan Rhodes (52:06), Karen Figgins (53:33), Sharlene McGilvray (54:27), Bob Nicol (1:02:15) all put in strong performances in large turnout of Irvine runners.


23/08/17 - Jim Young Marymass 10k Road Race


Last Wednesday saw a large turnout of runners for this year’s edition of the Jim Young Marymass 10k road race with a strong field of almost 220 taking to the start line at Montgomery Street of a course which had been slightly altered from previous years. This year’s race also doubled as the Ayrshire 10k road race championship and so there was a large number of runners from all the Ayrshire clubs. Conditions for the race were good with it being a warm evening with only a a light wind. From the gun Neil Renault of Edinburgh AC a previous winner took to the lead as the runners passed along Gottries Road and onto the path at the Beach Park with a large group of runners giving chase. As the field made the turn at the halfway point at the Three Stanes roundabout Renault had extended his lead to more than a minute and similarly in the ladies race Laura Wallace of Ayr Seaforth had opened up a commanding gap.

As the race entered a new section of the course around the boating pond at the Beach Park the battle for the minor places was hotting up with the four runners between second and fifth position all within 10 seconds. However, there was no such drama at the front of the race as Neil Renault crossed the finish line at Harbour Street in a fine time of 32 minutes and 22 seconds, more than two minutes ahead of the next runner. Second home was Graeme McCabe of Kirkintilloch Olympians in 34min 56 secs with John Lloyd of Salford Harriers third, five seconds further back. There were fine runs from Irvine’s Paul Lafferty and Colin Whitby whose times of 35:41 and 36:21 were good enough for seventh and eighth places respectively.

In the women’s race Laura Wallace comfortably maintained her lead and was first home in an excellent time of 38 mins 01 secs more than two minutes over nearest rival Julie Beveridge of Calderglen Harriers (40:35) with Charlene Kelly of Dumbarton AC (42:31) taking third place.

There were fine runs from a number of other Irvine runners with Steven McDougall finishing in 40:44, John Surgenor placing third in MV60 age category in a time of 42:29, Jim Sneddon (45:24), Jennie Jackson finishing second in FV50 age category in 46:15, Susan Rhodes (52:50), Sharlene McGilvray (54:00), Bob Nicol (1:01:44) and Liz Colquhoun who was acting as the tail runner completing the field in a time of 1 hour 13 minutes.

The Ayrshire 10k Championships which includes runners who live in Ayrshire or run for a local club saw Kenny Neil of Ayr Seaforth take first place in the senior men’s category with Craig Ferguson of Kilmarnock Harriers taking silver two seconds in front of Irvine’s own Paul Lafferty. The male vet 40 prize went to Matt Pearce of Troon Tortoises, the vet 50 prize to Keith Haining of Jog Stewarton with Irvine’s John Surgenor taking the vet 60 prize. Kilmarnock took the team honours.

In the women’s Ayrshire Championship Laura Wallace took first place in the senior event, followed by Kirsty Alexander of KIlmarnock Harriers and Susie Hubbard of Ayr Seaforth. Kirsty Alexander was the vet 40 winner with Val Martin taking the vet 50 honours and Janice McKellar of Ayr Seaforth taking the vet 60 prize. Ayr Seaforth took the team prize.


20/08/17 - Paisley 10k


Sunday’s Paisley 10k saw another fine run from Irvine runner Paul Lafferty who finished in 28th position in a large field of more than 1700 runners with a time of 35 minutes and 30 seconds.



14/08/17 - Tour of Clydeside


The recent Tour of Clydeside consisted of five races in five days which included a mixture of 7k, 8k and 10k races on a variety of terrain including trail, canal towpaths and road. Two runners from Irvine, Alex Allardyce and Colin Whitby, took part in all five races and what proved to be a ding-dong battle ensued between the pair to be the first Irvine runner home. The first race, the 7k Prologue saw Alex finish eighth in a time of 26 minutes 11 seconds with Colin ninth in 26:47. The second race was the Lochwinnoch 8k saw the positions reversed with Colin 8th in 28:48 and Alex next home only 4 seconds behind. The Garscube Gallop 7k trail race was next up with this time Alex running strongly in a time of 25:59 good enough for 6th place with Colin finishing 12th in 27:41. At the following evening’s Canal Canter it was Colin who this time had the upper hand completing the 8k race in 8th place in 29:26 with Alex one place and 7 seconds behind. The final race in the series was the Bellahouston Belter 10k road race which attracted a larger field than the other races and this time Alex came out on top finishing in 17th position in a time of 36 minutes 31 seconds with Colin 22nd in a time of 37 mins 24 seconds. Overall Alex finished the five race series in seventh position in a cumulative time of 2 hours 27 minutes with Colin in eighth in a total time of 2 hours 30 minutes. This was a great achievement by both athletes in what proved to be a test of mental and physical endurance.



13/08/17 - John Lucas Round Strathaven 50 Mile Relay


Last Sunday a team of five female runners from Irvine Running Club took part in the John Lucas Round Strathaven 50 mile relay. The race consisted of five legs which ranged between a distance of 6 and 15 miles. Clare Sutherland took the first leg which started in Strathaven and finished at Drumclog running the 11 miles in a very good time of 1hr 35 minutes which put the team in a strong position passing the baton to Susan Rhodes for the 9 mile leg to Sandford. This section was very challenging with steep hills and Susan managed a great time of 1hr 22 minutes and handed the baton over to Sharlene McGilvary for the section to Stonehouse. This leg which was more than 6 miles began with a steep uphill mile and despite this and the rising temperatures Sharlene had a very creditable run finishing in just over an hour. The fourth and longest leg of 15 miles between Stonehouse and Auldhouse was run by Liz Colquhoun who, even though much preferring to run in cool conditions, was able to cover the distance in 2 hours 25 minutes. The last leg of the race of 10 miles which returned to Strathaven was run by Jennie Jackson who brought the baton home for the team in just under 1hr 15mins which was an excellent time. This was the first time that the club had entered a team for this event and it proved to be an enjoyable outing on a demanding course.



16/07/17 - Girvan Half Marathon


The Ayrshire half marathon championships were held as part of the Girvan half marathon last Sunday and proved to be a successful outing for runners from Irvine. The race was held in perfect conditions for distance running with a combination of pleasant temperatures, light winds and overcast conditions. The Girvan course is a tough one with an undulating start for the first few miles before a steep downhill into Dailly followed by a long uphill stretch between the halfway point and mile nine. Another sharp downhill section was followed by a steep half mile ascent towards mile 10 before runners turned for home.

Irvine was led home by a fine run from Paul Lafferty, whose time of 1 hour 17 minutes placed him in fourth position overall in the race behind winner Kerry Wilson of Cambuslang Harriers and second in the Ayrshire Championships. Next to finish for Irvine was Mark Livingstone who had a solid run to clock 1 hour 24 minutes which was good enough for 12th position and he was followed home by John Surgenor whose time of 1 hour 37 minutes placed him first in both the male veteran 60 category for the race overall and also in the Ayrshire Championships. Close behind was Peter Taylor whose time of 1 hour 41 minutes was his fastest for a number of years with the Irvine line up completed by another evergreen veteran, Mike Flinn who had a fine run to finish in a time of 1 hour 47 minutes



02/07/17 - Arran Half Marathon


There was a battle for honours at Sunday’s Arran half marathon between a number of Ayrshire’s leading runners with a closely contested race finishing with Irvine’s Paul Lafferty taking fourth place overall and second in the male senior category with a time of 1:19:06 behind the winner Bruce Carmichael of Bellahouston Road Runners (1:14:54). The course, which is a loop that starts and ends at Blackwaterfoot on the west coast heading north then inland across the Machrie moor before turning back along the String road to the finish, is known for being a challenging one with a number of long gradual ascents. In a closely fought race a small leading pack, which also included local rivals, second placed Kenny Neil from Ayr Seaforth and third placed Scott Martin from Kilmarnock Harriers, pushed the pace along and only in the latter section of the race were they able to pull away from Lafferty who continued his excellent form. It is likely that battle between the trio will be re-engaged at next weekend’s Girvan half marathon which constitutes the Ayrshire Championship for this distance.



30/06/17 - Calderglen 10k Trail Race


The Calderglen 10k trail race which was held on Friday evening in East Kilbride proved to be a challenging but enjoyable outing for a small group of Irvine runners. The course is a tough, technical route through Calderglen with recent rainfall having made the ground muddy in parts and a fast start through a steep downhill was followed by tight turns and some significant energy sapping climbs over the first two miles with the tightness of the trail making it difficult to overtake and the section also interspersed with a number of sets of steps which broke stride. The middle section of the race the terrain was flatter and afforded some better running before the course looped back through the narrow section of the glen prior to the finish. First home for Irvine was Mark Livingstone in eighteenth place in a time of 41 minutes and 20 seconds, with John Miller next to finish with a time of 46 minutes and 7 seconds for 41st place and vet 65 Peter Taylor also having an excellent run to finish in 90th place in a time of 53 minutes 29 seconds on his debut at the race. The race was won by Robert Gilroy of Cambuslang Harriers in a time of 35 minutes and 18 seconds


11/06/17 - Roon the Toon 10k, Kilmarnock


The second edition of the Roon the Toon 10k in Kilmarnock proved to be a popular one for runners from Irvine with a large number participating. The route, which starts and finishes at the Ayrshire Athletics Area, goes through the south of Kilmarnock town centre before heading into scenic countryside near to Caprington Castle before returning along the one way system and the pedestrian area the town centre before heading back to the Arena. A large field of more than 1200 runners took to the start line and first home for Irvine was Billy Richardson who was in eleventh place in a time of 35 minutes 29 seconds with Paul Lafferty one place and 8 seconds behind in what was a close duel. Next to finish was Graeme MacFarlane (40:25) followed by Jim Sneddon (43:16), John Surgenor (45:17), Mike Flinn (46:55), Colin Patterson (48:52), Sharlene MacGilvray (53:28), Karen Figgins (53:56) and Robert Nicol (61:32). The race was won by Stuart Gibson of Cambuslang Harriers in a time of 31 minutes and 39 seconds.



10/06/17 - Lochalsh Dirty 30 Ultra Marathon


The recent Lochalsh Dirty 30 Ultra Marathon was a challenging entry into the ultra distance running scene for Irvine’s Liz MacGregor. Not only was the 30 mile course the wettest event since 2010 but it also included a 3600 feet mountain ascent. The race featured a mixture of terrain with some good running at the start then from mile four the route started to climb through some forest then down along the coast towards Eilaen Donan Castle. Some undulating road running was then followed at mile 20 by the mountain climb and after a downhill section, before long a further climb. Although a tough baptism in ultra-endurance racing, Liz recorded an excellent time of 8hrs 2mins and the experience made more memorable by the breath taking scenery and camaraderie of fellow runners in what was a very well organised event.


08/06/17 - Giffnock North 10k


The Giffnock North 10k took place last Thursday on a rainy evening in and around Rouken Glen Park in south Glasgow. The race is notorious for its long hilly first half with the second half containing an easier downhill section. Paul Lafferty continued his prolific season with a fine twelfth placing in a time of 35 minutes and 54 seconds with the race being won by Iain Reid of Cambuslang Harriers in a time of 33 minutes and 30 seconds.


03/06/17 - Killearn 10k Trail Race


Irvine’s Paul Lafferty continued his rich vein of form when finishing in a fine fifth position at the Killearn 10k trail race on Saturday. This scenic Stirlingshire route is multi-terrain with a mixture of tarmac, forest path, farm track and open grassland and the race started from the village’s War Memorial before heading out onto the historic pipe track, following along the foothills of Dumgoyne, returning back to finish in the park. Conditions on the day were warm and a time of 38 minutes 56 seconds was a good return for Paul’s efforts.


28/05/17 - Dunblane 12k


Billy Richardson continued his return to race fitness with an excellent time of 43 minutes and 47 seconds to place in fifth position at Sunday’s Dunblane 12k road race. The 12k distance is an unusual one for a road race and this combined with the central Scotland location attracted a fine field of 300 runners from across Scotland to the event. The race was won by Alistair Masson of Edinburgh University in a time of 41 minutes and 41 seconds.


28/05/17 - Shettleston 10k


There were two fine performances for Irvine runners Steve Daye and Paul Lafferty at Sunday’s Babcock Shettleston 10k road race. This event is a new one to the Scottish running calendar and was held on the paths in and around Glasgow Green attracting a field of 300 athletes. Daye continued his impressive form this year clocking another fast time of 34 minutes and 18 seconds to take 13th place and Lafferty once again demonstrated his consistency with a time of 35 minutes and 28 seconds, only 3 seconds outside his personal best, good enough for 21st position. The race was won by Shettleston Harrier’s Wayney Ghebresilassie in a time of 30 minutes and 10 seconds to complete a hat-trick of victories in the three race Babcock 10k series which included races at Helensburgh and Dumbarton.


24/05/17 - Land O’ Burns 10k, Ayr


The Land O’ Burns 10k has become a popular fixture of the local running calendar and was held last Wednesday in Ayr on a warm evening. The race, which starts at the shorefront at Seafield, winds its way along the streets of Doonfoot and heads through Alloway past Burn’s Cottage before finishing at the park beside Seafield golf course. A number of Irvine runners took part in the event and leading the way home was Paul Lafferty with his time of 35 minutes and 54 seconds good enough to place ninth behind winner Richard Mair of Kilmarnock Harriers (33 minutes 7 seconds). Next to finish for Irvine was Mark Livingstone in 18th place in a time of 37 minutes 49 seconds who was followed home by club mates Jim Sneddon (42mins 11 secs), Peter Taylor (47 mins 43 secs) and Bob Nicol (64 mins 16 secs).


20/05/17 - Goatfell Race


The annual Goatfell race was held last Saturday on Arran and proved to be a successful outing for Irvine’s top hill runner Tommy Begley. The race starts at the Ormidale pavilion in Broddick with a two mile run on road and trail before beginning the steep ascent up Goatfell on a mixture of trail and rocky paths before a scramble over scree and rocks to the summit with the descent via the same route to finish back to the Ormidale. The tough course proved to be no obstacle to experienced runner Begley who finished in a fine time of 1 hour 44 minutes. The race was won in a new course record time of 1 hour 12 minutes by Scottish international runner Murray Strain of Hunters Bog Trotters and the quality of the field was illustrated by the fact that Scottish Commonwealth Games marathon runner Ross Houston’s time of 1 hour 23 minutes was only good enough for sixteenth position.


07/05/17 - Largs 10k Fun Run


There was a maiden race victory for Irvine athlete Ryan Evans at the Largs 10k Fun Run on Sunday as he ran a fine personal best of 35 minutes and 43 seconds to take first place. Colin Whitby continued his comeback from a broken metatarsal in his foot with a solid run of 38 minutes to take fourth place. The race was organised by the Rotary Club of Largs with more than £600 raised for local charities.


03/05/17 - Troon 10k


It was a busy week for Irvine Running Club with a number of athletes involved in two major local 10k races. First up was the Troon 10k on Wednesday which attracted a massive entry of almost 1200 runners making it one of the biggest midweek races in the Scottish running calendar. Conditions for the race were almost perfect with the late evening sunshine and light breeze along with the relatively flat course making it a good opportunity for fast times. Indeed it proved to be the case as Stephen Daye, who had been targeting this race all year, followed up his win at the recent Ormidale 10k with another great run and new personal best of 33 minutes 43 seconds to take sixth place behind the winner Robert Gilroy of Cambuslang Harriers (31:47). Next across the line for the Marress club was Paul Lafferty in a good time of 35:33 to take 15th place with club captain Mark Livingstone following with a solid run of 37:55. John Miller was another to record a personal best with a fine time of 40:30 closely followed by Fergie Collier (40:31) with Jim Sneddon (41:18) just behind. Mike Flinn (46:21), Ross Laye (48:57), Karen Figgins (52:27), Susan Rhodes (55:34) and Bob Nicol (1:06:03) all had good runs to complete the Irvine line up.


23/04/17 - Ormidale 10k


There was both collective and individual success for Irvine Running Club at the recent Ormidale 10k on Arran. The course is an out and back one which starts at the Ormidale pavilion in Brodick heading north to Corrie before turning to finish at the Ormidale. A number of Irvine runners were on the start line and from the off Steve Daye and Billy Richardson set off at the head of the field. Richardson has only recently returned from injury whilst Daye is in the midst of a fine run of form having set a number of personal bests since the turn of the year. For the first few miles of the race it was nip and tuck between the two athletes but eventually Daye managed to break free and was able to open up a gap on his club mate, which he was able to maintain to the end of the race finishing in a new personal best time of 34 minutes and 5 seconds. This was a doubly impressive time as the second half of the race was into a strong headwind. Richardson had to settle for second place in a time of 34:43 which was a good return considering his recent injury problems. There were solid runs from John Miller (41:48), Mike Flinn (45:57) and Ross Laye (49:10), with Daye, Richardson and Miller combining to give Irvine the male team prize for the race.


19/04/17 - Kaim Hill Race


The Kaim Hill Race in Fairlie is a short but testing event with 380m of climbing over the 5.5 km distance. The race is run on mixed terrain with an opening section on road quickly followed by a steep ascent on a mixture of rough trail and heather to the top of the hill followed by a descent back down the same route. Weather conditions were cool with a slight drizzle and some mist at the top of the hill. First home for Irvine was Tommy Begley who finished in 22nd place in an excellent time of 35 minutes 42 seconds which was only 20 seconds outside his best for the race. Next to finish was Colin Whitby in a time of 42:08 which was good effort as this was both his first race back from injury and also his first hill race. Veteran runner Bob Nicol was the final Irvine finisher with a time of 1 hour 6 minutes and 14 seconds a fine performance.


02/04/17 - Tom Scott 10 Mile Road Race


It was a busy week for Irvine Running Club’s Paul Lafferty as he continued his preparations for this month’s London Marathon. He followed up a fast time of 16 minutes 58 seconds at the weekly Glasgow Quay 5k race on Wednesday with a superb showing at the Tom Scott 10 mile road race on Sunday. The Tom Scott race takes place at Strathclyde Country Park and involves a challenging but fast course around the loch and this year was also the Scottish 10 mile road race championship. The race took place in ideal conditions with the dry weather and light breeze perfect for fast times and so it proved for Paul who clocked an impressive time of 58 minutes and 23 seconds for the 10 miles, breaking the one hour benchmark for the first time at this distance. The race itself was won by Wayney Ghebresilassie from Shettleston Harriers in a time of 49 minutes and 40 seconds.


26/03/17 - Scottish National Six Stage Road Relay


The Scottish National Six Stage Road Relay Championships took place in Livingston on Sunday. The race consists of six legs which alternate between 3.1 miles and 5.8 miles in distance along paths and roads around the town and attracts a large and high quality entry from across the country this year including Scottish Olympic marathon runner Derek Hawkins from Kilbarchan AC.

Jim Sneddon was off first for Irvine Running Club and completed the first 3.1 mile leg in a solid time of 20 minutes 27 seconds to place 62nd against strong competition and handing over to Paul Lafferty for the first of the 5.8 mile legs who came through the field strongly to improve to 45th position with an excellent time of 33:38. Tommy Begley was next up for the Maress club, running well and gaining a couple of places with a time of 19:55 before Ryan Evans, on his debut in the event, running a creditable 35:10 to improve to 39th place. John Miller took over on the last of the short legs and maintained his place with a fine effort of 20:49 before handing over to Alex Allardyce who improved Irvine’s position further with his time of 34:06 a good return and leaving Irvine 33rd in the final standings in the race which was won by Central AC from Stirling.


19/03/17 - Criffel Hill Race


The annual Criffel hill race took place at New Abbey, Dumfriesshire. This year's race was a Scottish hill runners championship counter and attracted a strong field. With well over 200 entries this was expected to be a busy race for the 10.5km, 550m of assent/descent to Criffel summit and back. With the pre-race rain clearing to glorious sunshine, the underfoot conditions ranged from road, track and path to deep boggy, peaty gloop. With traction to a minimum this made for some involuntary slip-slide and swim tactics. Three Irvine Running Club members took part in the race with all having good runs with Alex Allardyce 69min 32 sec (62nd), Tommy Begley 70 min 38sec (72nd) & Ian McManus 152min 09sec (199th).


11/03/17 - Jack Crawford Springburn Cup 10k


The Jack Crawford Springburn Cup is traditionally one of the first 10k races of the year and is run mainly of towpaths and footpaths along the Forth and Clyde Canal at Bishopbriggs providing a flat course which is suitable for fast times. The race proved to be another successful one for the prolific Paul Lafferty from Irvine Running Club who recorded a new personal best of 35:36, finishing in eleventh place overall in the race, which was won by Michael Deason of Shettleston Harriers.



04/03/17 - Stranraer Half Marathon


Ultra-runner John Miller stepped down in distance to take part in the Stranraer half marathon on Saturday. It proved to be a successful outing as he recorded a new personal best of 1:33:27 for the 13.1 mile distance which was an excellent effort on this hilly course.

John is used to running much longer distances and in 2016 he completed the triple crown of the three races on the West Highland Way; the Highland Fling which is 53 miles on the southern end from Milngavie to Tyndrum, the Devil o the Highlands the 42 miles from Fort William to Tyndrum as well as the full West Highland Way race from Milngavie to Fort William. Additionally, last year he also ran more than 100 miles in 24 hours when competing in the Glenmore 24 hour race.


05/03/17 - Hillbilly 10k


The Hillbilly 10k on Sunday proved to be a successful outing for two Irvine runners. The race is a relatively new one in the running calendar and takes place on trails starting in Dalmellington and as the name suggests, is not one for the faint hearted as this is a challenging course on a route which includes two long and punishing climbs. The stunning scenery particularly on a warm spring morning made the course more bearable and there was a fine run from Paul Lafferty who finished in second place in a field of nearly 140 runners in a time of 40:19. Not far behind in eleventh place was Alan Douglas who completed the course in a time of 44:23.


26/02/17 -National Cross Country Championships


The National Cross Country Championships took place at Callendar Park in Falkirk on Saturday. The deluge from Storm Doris had left the course water-logged and the overnight high winds had put the event in doubt however, the organiser’s decision to go ahead proved to be a sound one as the wind and rain had died down before the main senior races were due to start in mid-afternoon. First up for Irvine was Liz Colquhoun making her debut in the Senior Women’s race, which had its largest ever field with more than 270 runners taking to the start line for three loops of the park and covering an increased distance of 10k for the first time to be in line with the men’s race. The race proved to be a disappointing one though for Liz as a fall resulted in an injury which forced her to retire midway through the second lap. The race was won by Central AC’s Morag McLarty in a superb time of 38:32 to defeat defending champion and Olympic 10,000m runner Beth Potter of Victoria Park, Glasgow by more than one minute.

The Senior Men’s race had its largest field in more than 20 years with 650 souls braving the muddy conditions in a high quality race with runners participating from all over the length and breadth of Scotland. Irvine had a depleted entry of only two runners in this year’s race with Paul Lafferty and Mark Livingstone using it as part of their training for the London and Stirling marathons respectively. The start of the race was akin to the start of the Grand National with runners jostling for room as the field made a sharp left turn up the first hill and the first decent showed the shape of things to come as the runners entered the first of the numerous quagmires on the course caused by the rain and the preceding number of races. Both Irvine runners started steadily and began to move through the large field despite the treacherous conditions. Paul, after his excellent run at last week’s Strathaven half marathon had high hopes of a good run at this, his first time at the National, but found the heavy going unsuited to his running style but persevered to finish in a time of 45:21 to place 272nd. Mark had a solid run and finished not far behind Paul in a time of 45:45 to place 291st. Both were creditable runs in a race which was won in a time of 33:34 by Scottish Olympic star Callum Hawkins, fresh from his recent Scottish record when winning the Karagawa Marugame half marathon in Japan in a phenomenal time of 60 minutes dead.


19/11/2016 - Ayrshire X-Country Championships


The Ayrshire Cross Country Championship took place on Saturday at the Beach Park in Irvine. This sadly may be the last time that the event is held at this popular location due to the imminent closure of the Magnum meaning that there is a lack of a nearby changing facility. This year’s event was well hosted by North Ayrshire Athletics Club and they set a challenging course with the 3km loop including a number of steep hills in its second half. The cold wind meant it was test not for the feint hearted but it proved to be a successful outing for Irvine Running Club. In the senior women’s race, which consisted of two loops of the course, Jennie Jackson scooped the vet 50 prize with her fine time of 31:00 giving her 10th place overall and putting her well clear of her age group rivals.

In the senior men’s 9km race Billy Richardson once again demonstrated his class over cross country with a strong run from the starting gun and in a close run race his time of 33:28 was only 36 seconds behind the winner Richard Mair of Kilmarnock Harriers and good enough for third place overall and first vet 40. There was also success in the age group categories for Jim White (50:02) who was first vet 60.

In the team event, the strong Irvine turnout was rewarded with silver medals for the first six counting runners with Paul Lafferty (8th in 36:36), Colin Whitby (10th in 36:45), Mark Livingstone (13th in 37:29), Ryan Evans (14th in 37:44) and Alan Douglas (15th in 37:44) the athletes joining Billy Richardson on the podium. There were a number of good runs from the other Irvine participants with Steven McDougal (40:26), John Miller (41:47), Jim Sneddon (41:59), Graeme MacFarlane (42:58) tightly packed and all running strongly on this testing course.

If it is indeed the last Ayrshire Championships at this venue then the athletes from Irvine certainly did themselves proud on this home soil.


13/11/2016 - 'Fun in the Mud' Cross country


The Fun in the Mud cross country race at Kilmarnock on Sunday lived up to its billing, with the weekend rain meaning the course had cut up underfoot making some sections very difficult going. The men’s race consisted of three loops which included an initial flat section followed by a tough undulating stretch through fields and also mixed terrain of gravel and sand with a total distance covered of just over 10k. Irvine were well represented with five athletes taking to the start line. Paul Lafferty led the Irvine contingent from the gun starting off at a fast pace and was well placed in the field throughout the race finishing in a creditable 16th place in a time of 41:10. Mark Livingstone in 19th 42:04 and Alan Douglas, 20th in 42:20 were not far behind with these three runners taking fourth place in the team standings. John Miller in 31st 45:53 and Graeme MacFarlane 32nd 46:40 both had solid runs to complete the Irvine line-up. The race provided a good test prior to next Saturday’s Ayrshire Cross Country Championship which is being held this year at the Beach Park.


06/11/2016 - Strathaven 10k


The Strathaven “Run with the Wind” lived up to it’s billing as one of the fastest 10k races in Scotland and the course, which starts at the Whitelee wind farm has a slight downhill profile which makes it conducive to fast times. The course certainly suited the four entrants from Irvine with Billy Richardson, only recently returning to racing after injury, producing a superb performance to win the race in a time of 33 minutes 54 seconds. The result was a vindication for the hard training that he has been putting in and the 40 second margin of victory proving to be a comfortable gap over the second runner.

The race was also fruitful for the other three Irvine runners with all recording new personal bests. The fast starting Paul Lafferty was neck and neck with Billy for the opening two miles and finished an excellent fifth place in a time of 35:44. Alan Douglas was not far behind taking a large slice off his previous best time finishing in eighth place in 36:27. Ultra runner John Miller demonstrated that he has speed to go along with his endurance knocking almost a minute off his previous 10k best with a time of 40:51.


06/11/2016 - Southside Six


The Southside Six is named after the six parks in the south side of Glasgow that this sixteen mile race passes through: Queen’s, King’s, Linn, Rouken Glen, Pollok and Bellahouston. The autumn sunshine and crisp, cool morning provided good conditions for this tough endurance race and so it proved for Irvine runner Colin Whitby, who finished the course in a time of 1 hour 41 minutes, knocking 8 minutes off his previous best for the event. This was another excellent performance in a remarkable year in which he has also set new personal bests over 3k, 5k, 10k, 10 miles and half marathon distances.


30/10/16 - Chick Forbes Trophy


The annual Chick Forbes Trophy took place on the 30th of October on a dry and sunny day, perfect for running. The event had 41 runners from Irvine Running club, Rons Runners and 2 guests. The race is run as a handicap with runners setting off at different times and despite having 2 minutes deducted from last years handicap, Matthew Dunn finished first in a great scratch time of 15.45 to retain the Trophy he won last year. 26 out of the 41 runners beat their predicted time in which turned out to be a competitive race. The best scratch time of the day went to Billy Richardson who ran the 2 miles in an excellent 10.22.


15/10/16 - Ayrshire Cross Country Relays - results


This years Ayrshire Cross Country Relay Championships took place at Kilmarnock on a course that is traditionally wet & muddy but this year was unusually extremely dry. Conditions on the day were very good for running with it being overcast and no wind at all. It was good to see that the club was represented by both genders at this years event. In the mens race Irvine A finished an impressive 3rd to claim the bronze medal. The team held third spot from the start, the team being Jamie Findlay 14.02, Billy Richardson 13.31, Paul Lafferty 14.45 and Alex Allardyce 14.16. Irvine B finished 7th and consisted of Mark Livingstone 15.07, Alan Douglas 15.04, Graeme McFarlane 16.25 and Jim Sneddon 16.42. Irvine C only had 2 runners who were Andy Rennie 17.38 and Jim White 19.47. In the womens race Irvine A placed 9th with Liz Colquhoun leading the team off in 22.04, followed by Karen Figgins 21.40 and the last leg was run by Susan Rhodes 25.11.


8/10/16 - Dunoon Ultra Marathon


The inaugural Dunoon Ultra Marathon took place on the 8th of October 2016 and is race over 50ks either as a solo event or as a relay. The race takes place mostly on forestry paths around Loch Eck giving stunning views over the west coast of Scotland. Irvine had 4 female runners in the races first year with Sharlene McGilvray running her first ultra, completing the 50k race in a fantastic 7hrs 30mins. In the relay race, Irvine had a 3 female team of Jenny Jackson, Karen Figgins and Liz Colquhoun who got round the course in a great time of 5hrs 38mins.


8/10/16 - George Cummings Road Relay - results


The Irvine Running Club Men's team finished an impressive 14th at the George Cummings Road Relays on a rainy day in Houston. The race, hosted by Kilbarchan AAC is the first relay of the autumn season, the Cummings is known for being a tough route with a fast start and finish but some testing hills in between. At just under 2.7 miles, the race serves as a benchmark ahead of the three cross country relays that span October. Running for Irvine was Billy Richardson in 14.31, Colin Whitby 15.00, Alan Douglas 15.09 and Paul Lafferty 15.46.














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