Tom is king of the hill

The Arran Banner - - Sport - Pho­to­graphs by Colin Smee­ton in Brod­ick and Hugh Boag on Goat­fell

It may have been a glo­ri­ous day for the Goat­fell hill race last Satur­day but the tem­per­a­tures, in the mid-20°Cs, were too hot for the run­ners.

That did not de­ter 175 hardy souls to take on the 874m Goat­fell chal­lenge - now or­gan­ised by the Shet­tle­ston Har­ri­ers - with only six peo­ple un­able to fin­ish the gru­elling 15.5 km race. But there was to be no record break­ing runs this year.

Ar­ran was well rep­re­sented by around 16 run­ners, in­clud­ing a num­ber of first-time par­tic­i­pants.

They in­cluded Danny Head, who chose to cel­e­brate his 27th birth­day by run­ning the race, and Juli­ette Walsh, who joined her hus­band An­drew for the first time. Sev­eral also sported bright yel­low Ar­ran Fell Run­ners t-shirts.

Af­ter a mass start at Or­mi­dale Park the run­ners headed out the cas­tle drive and up the tourist path to the top of Goat­fell and back which this year, given the fine day, was busy with walk­ers mak­ing an­other ob­sta­cle for the run­ners to have to avoid.

In first place, with a re­mark­able time of 1:17:19, was Shet­tle­ston Har­ri­ers run­ner Tom Owens, fol­lowed, by some dis­tance, by John Yells of Lochaber Ath­letic Club with a time of 1:22:37, while Lochaber fel­low Richard Macleod took third spot with a time of 1:27:43. First fe­male over the line was Ruth Crewe of Wester­lands Cross Coun­try Club, who fin­ished with a time of 1:40:44.

Tro­phies are also awarded in a lo­cal cat­e­gory for the first male and fe­male to cross the line. Tak­ing the hon­ours were Mal­colm Wilkin­son, who came in first place with a time of 1:44:47, while the first fe­male was Corinna Goeckeritz with a time of 1:55:26.

Race or­gan­iser Pe­ter Mackie of the Shet­tle­ston Har­ri­ers said: ‘A great day out was had by all, with spe­cial thanks to our helpers from the club, the Ar­ran Moun­tain Res­cue Team, Ar­ran Pipe Band, Brod­ick Im­prove­ments Com­mit­tee and our friends at Salomon for gen­er­ously do­nat­ing some crack­ing prizes.’

The course record, which had stood for 23 years, was bro­ken by not one but two run­ners last year, with Mur­ray Strain of Hun­ters Bog Trot­ters now hold­ing the record of 1:12:11.

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An­drew Walsh at the front of a long line of run­ners on the hill.

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First lo­cal male run­ner, Mal­colm Wilkin­son, re­ceives his medal and tra­di­tional beers from race or­gan­iser Pe­ter Mackie.

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Lead­ing the pack from the start of the race are even­tual first and sec­ond place win­ners, Tom Owens and John Yells.

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Andy McNa­mara heads for the fin­ish.

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Ge­orge Dou­ble­day takes the de­scent in his stride.

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Or­gan­iser Pe­ter Mackie of the Shet­tle­ston Har­ri­ers presents the win­ners tro­phy to Tom Owens.

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Ken Hogge keeps his eyes firmly on the path.

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A swarm of run­ners snake their way up the hill.

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Jon Smith pow­ers down the de­scent.

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Even­tual winner Tom Owens reaches the shoul­der of Goat­fell well ahead of the rest of the field.

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A con­tin­gent of Ar­ran run­ners look­ing fresh and well pre­pared prior to the race.

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First time run­ner, Ab­bie Mckelvie, rosses the line with two sup­portng cers along­side.

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First lo­cal fe­male Corinna Goeckeritz re­ceives her medal and the tra­di­tional prize of beer.

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First-time run­ner Danny Head and last year’s first lo­cal male, Jon Smith, prior to the race.

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Karen Lind­say-Smith makes her way over the fin­ish line.

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