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Stranraer Half Marathon

01/03/2014

Last Saturday, the first race of the 2014 Dumfries Running Club Grand Prix series saw 24 club members take part in the Stranraer Half Marathon. Despite a clear, dry and warm day this is not the easiest of courses with a number of steep hills to catch the unwary or to slow down those who start too quickly. After a solid training programme over the winter, a number of club runners were keen to test out their early season form whilst for others reaching the finishing line was the main objective...

The fastest club performer was Steven Smith who was 5th overall out of 162 finishers in 76.59 which bodes well for coming races. In a very close  battle between 3 club runners who are at the top of their game, male club captain Alan Baxter had a fabulous run in 78.55 and headed Lisa Finlay off by 7 seconds with Kevin Conchar winning the prize as first vet man in 79.32. Jacob Tangey had an excellent run in 10th in 82.02. Having entered on the day Steven was not eligible for the team but the trio of Alan, Kevin and Jacob did enough to claim the first team prize.

Kevin McQueen in 12th place in 82.48 was the next DRC runner to finish with Graeme Cross a couple of places behind in 83.03. Sandy Shankland had a strong run in 87.44 and took quiet satisfaction in beating all of the vet 50 runners in the race. In his first club half marathon James Kellock surprised himself with his time of 94.00 and keeping things in the family his wife Kirsteen was delighted to be first woman in the earlier 4 mile fun run. Sian Finlay, the new Dumfries and Galloway cross country champion, won her second prize in 6 days as first vet woman in 94.33 with Steven Bonn in 97.13 and Stephen Mohan a further 2 minutes adrift.

Peter Hill had a steady well paced run in 105.04 with one of the runs of the day coming from Alison Groat in a personal best of 105.42. Not content with that, Alison ran the Glenkiln 12 mile run the next day as extra training for next month’s London marathon. Linda Oates was delighted with her run in 108.08 just over a minute in front of Mike Jardine (109.13). Mark Johnston started strongly but was hampered by a recurring hamstring injury which slowed him down considerably in the final stages and helped along by Frank Skachill, crossed the finishing line together in 113.54.

Sid Oates was very pleased to finish in 117.48 just over a minute in front of Kerry Walker (118.32) and Fiona Jardine was thoroughly delighted to break through the psychological 2 hour barrier with her new personal best time of 119.11. Paula Craven ran a strong race in 125.56 as did Margaret Laurie who completed her fastest half marathon for a while in 135.49. Easing himself back into running Bill Love decided to tackle the walking section of the race and yomped round in a very speedy 3 hours 17 mins and offered cheerful encouragement to all of his club mates.

Steve Mohan

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