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Kirkcudbright Half Marathon and Beeches Run

23/05/2015

The past few years have seen hot sunny conditions for the Kirkcudbright Half Marathon, and this year, the 32nd edition, was no exception. 18 Dumfries Running Club members raced over the half marathon distance with others completing the 11.2K Beeches run, while yet more were out on the course offering much appreciated encouragement...

The course is a testing undulating one, with some short sharp hills in Twynholm. It is, however, a pretty route as runners climb up past thousands of bluebells, before a long sun-exposed section, which ends in patchy dappled shade under the trees again. There is no chance to let tired legs fade at the end as the last couple of miles are rather exposed along the High Street into Kirkcudbright.

The race was won by Neil Renault of Edinburgh AC in 70:18.

First home for DRC, despite an early break to tie his shoelace (though he may need a lesson in this as they came undone again!), was Alan Baxter. Despite an unfortunate marshalling error which saw him run extra distance, Ian Liffen came 4th, (he had been in clear second for the whole race up until that point). Jo Zakrzewski followed him in to win the ladies' race, despite having managed to irritate her heel enough to cause a bloody shoe and sock. Kevin Conchar was not far behind bringing the DRC men's team in to retain their title. Lisa Finlay, as second lady, did a great job of chasing a Kevin (C) in front and pushing away from a Kevin (McC) behind. Sian Finlay narrowly missed the ladies podium but ensured that the DRC ladies were also victorious in the team competition.

Jo.

DRC results:

Alan Baxter 79:38 (3rd, 2nd V)

Ian Liffen 80:01 (4th, 1st SV)

Jo Zakrzewski 80:06 (1st F, 1st FV)

Kevin Conchar 81:32

Lisa Finlay 82:05 (2nd F, 2nd FV)

Kevin McCaig 82:31 (2nd SV)

Graeme Cross 85:43

Sandy Shankland 88:06

Sian Finlay 91:35 (3rd FV)

Stephen Mohan 95:00

Amy Beck 101:44

Ali Groat 105:38

Frank Skachill 109:20

Fiona Jardine 117:04

Jo Needham 119:19

Bob Quin 121:50

Peter Hutchison 129:58

Paula Craven 135:23

Beeches Run

The sister race to the Half Marathon is the Beeches Run, an unusual distance of 11.2k. The two races start simultaneously, with the Beeches runners taking a left turn from the Academy and into the town. After the first mile the course toughens for two miles of climbing on the A755 and ‘The Beeches’ road before reaching the crossroads just outside Twynholm village. At this point the course joins the Half Marathon route and runners can enjoy a well earned mile of descent before the long 3 miles back through Kirkcudbright from Tongland Bridge. Runners suffered similar conditions as the Half Marathon runners, with very warm temperatures for the climbs and a strong wind for the last two miles along Tongland Road and St Mary’s Street. Despite that, the DRC runners in the field had some fantastic performances.

Alasdair Stapleton underlined his potential with a fine 2nd place in a time of 43:34. Norman Neilson was next home in 44:36, finishing as 3rd Vet in 4th place overall.

In preparation for Comrades in South Africa, Craig Malcolmson opted for the Beeches run this year and finished strongly in 47:04. Sue Jeffrey finished 3rd female in 50.51, knocking over a minute and half from last year’s time. Chris Wilson completed the course for a second consecutive year and finished in a time of 62.38 with Helen Steele in 64:49 and Helen Pedley in 65:54 making their Beeches run debuts.

Sue.

DRC results:

Alasdair Stapleton 43:34 (2nd)

Norman Neilson 44:36 (4th/3rd Vet)

Craig Malcolmson 47:04

Sue Jeffrey 50:51 (3rd F)

Chris Wilson 62:38

Helen Steele 64:49

Helen Pedley 65:54

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