Troon Tortoises are very pleased to introduce our jog Scotland programme starting in March 2016. Say hello to our Certified Jog Scotland leaders who are looking forward to meeting our new and potential members.

* Sharon McNicol – Sharon has been running for 4 years and is currently studying Health, Fitness & Exercise.  Sharon is a local to Troon and has become an established runner completing her 1st & 2nd marathon last year. Sharon’s knowledge on health and fitness is excellent and she regularly puts the Troon Tortoises through their paces with her cool down sessions and circuits.

* Morag Barr – Our local Weight Watchers expert and Guru knows exactly the struggles people have with exercise and keeping fit.  Her expertise with diet, fitness and motivation is infamous around Ayrshire. Morag has been running for 3 years now having never ran before and become addicted like the rest of us. It’s all about feeling good and reaping the benefits for Morag and she focuses on short steady runs instead of distance.

* Ricky Sherriff-Short – The interloper from Edinburgh who is fairly new to Troon. Ricky was useless at anything remotely exercise related and his sports day events were legendary for been the only one to be last at everything.  Under the watchful and support eye of Troon Tortoises regulars Robert Miller and Colin Bucke Ricky was coached and mentored from 5k to 10k to half marathon and will be doing his 1st full marathon this year.  If Ricky can run anybody can.

* Kate McKean – Every group needs the wise and experienced one.  Troon local Kate has been running for 32 years, 14 marathons under her belt and she will be doing London again this year.  There isn’t much Kate doesn’t know about jogging/running. Kate is a regular at all the club nights and events and her infectious motivation and positivity keeps everybody going when the going gets tough for new runners.

Aimed at Beginners/Improvers & established runners this is an 8 week structured training schedule to get you running.  Part of the programme will include membership of the Troon Tortoises and the ongoing support throughout your membership.

Information Session – Tue 8th March 2016 6.30-7.30pm (Marr College Sports Hall)

(Jog Scotland sessions will be Thursday evenings 7pm with optional training nights Tuesdays at 7pm)

Come along and meet the team, don’t have to run.  Just find what we are offering and meet your potential new running buddies. We will all be there to meet you, introduce you to the club and give you some information about the sessions.

Queries welcome on 07720 863192 or Troontortoisesmembers@gmail.com or see us on facebook and twitter – Troon Tortoises.

Great North West Half Marathon – 21st Feb 2016

Three Tortoises braved the gale force wind and rain to compete in the Great North West Half Marathon in Blackpool recently. For someone who has had the pleasure of spending the “Glasgow Fair” in Blackpool as a youngster, the weather conditions on the promenade did not disappoint. The Tortoises were presented with winds of up to 50mph and the sight of waves breaking over the sea wall onto the race course… it made all those winter training runs along the North Shore seem like a walk in the park !

There was a good turnout for the race despite the weather (approx. 1,200 finishers) and registration was quick and efficient despite taking place behind some wind-battered tarpaulins underneath the promenade! It was back to the car to pin on our race numbers and change into our running kit to avoid hypothermia before dashing back in time for the start of the race. The course was run entirely on the promenade and consisted of 2 short loops followed by two longer loops of the promenade. Some impressive wind-assisted mile splits were recorded before turning around to face the gales head-on for the second part of the loops… not so impressive !

The half marathon was great preparation for the upcoming London and Edinburgh marathons and running in the windy conditions was certainly an experience not to be forgotten in a while. Matt Pearce was the first Tortoise home in what promises to be another great year for him. The Tortoises results are as follows:

Matt Pearce – 1:32:03 (60 overall)
Rob Carrol – 1:33:35 (72 overall)
Darrell Dunscombe – 1:46:30 (246 overall)

The full race results are available here


Turkey Trot

Nineteen Tortoises braved the wind and rain to run this years boxing day 10k along the Ayr Esplanade, with both a 5k and a 10k race taking place there was plenty of choice to either run just the Christmas dinner away in the 5k or include desert and also run the 10k – Suzy took this option and continued her run of running more races than any other Tortoise in 2015.

Three Tortoises achieved podium finishes with fantastic times.

Results on the 2015 Results Tab


Cyclist v Harriers XC

This Sunday sees the annual running of this great event, where runners are pitched against cyclists over a cross country course of five miles.

Registration is from 11am at Irvine sports club with the race starting at 1pm.

The organisers also ask that you bring a gift to the value of around £3 for s gift table as after the race everyone gets to pick a gift from all the gifts brought by the runners, a sort of runners secret Santa – without the wrapping up !!



Roll Of Honour

December 5th saw this years Xmas meal followed by the 2015 Trophy Presentations  at Troon’s South Beach Hotel. There was a great turnout from members
both old and new and a great night was held by all.

Club President George MacGregor did the hosting of the presentation of the club championship trophies for the various disciplines. Winners in each
category were:-

Road Running Champion (Men): Jim Phillips
Road Running Champion (Women): Caroline Mutch
Cross Country Champion (Men): Jim Phillips

Cross Country Champion (Women): Caroline Mutch
Hill Running Champion: Anne Noble
Ultra-Marathon Champion: David Ruthven
Chirstmas Handicap: Richard Beall
Well done to all Tortoises for another great year of running, here’s to great 2016 year of running

Valencia Marathon

What a city for runners!! Before we arrived in Valencia we hadn’t appreciated how focused on running Valencia is. They have named themselves “Cuidad del Running” the city of running. The facilities for runners are fantastic…. There is a permanent running specific 5km long path through a park in the city centre with fantastic surface and facilities. 50,000 runners are reported to use it each weekend!!! Elsewhere in the city and the huge park, there are random facilities for runners, tracks, sprint straights etc.
Back to the marathon! All was fantastically well organised, even the hotels were set up ready for runners with early breakfast etc on race day. The expo, start and finish is in the very modern “City of Arts and Sciences” area. And with quite a few hotels just a couple of hundred metres away, it makes for a very enjoyable experience not having to travel far away! The great thing about this event is that the 10K and Marathon set off at exactly the same time from the same place. They follow the same route (segregated though) until around 5K, then the 10K-ers take their “32K shortcut” back to the finish area!! My Wife did the 10K and it really made it feel like it was all part of the same event.
The marathon course was great; flat, superb organisation, really well supported by enthusiastic crowds shouting “animar! animar!” Which directly translated means “encourage”!! At mile 12 the course got very narrow with crowds leaning in and cheering like mad, it reminded me of the Tour De France hill climbs! Such was the encouragement, I recorded my fastest mile… Some 30seconds faster than my target pace! Oops!! The route took in lots of the city sights. Then it was on to that very famous finish we see in the running magazines….. It was enough to take away the pain in my legs!
Race conditions were perfect too, a sunny day with no wind, temp at the start was 13 degrees rising to 20 by the time I had finished.
Finish time was 3:07:34, I couldn’t manage a PB but a very enjoyable race anyway!! Well recommended!!

Club 2016 Marathon/Half/Relay (Edinburgh)

Following this years succesful Manchester Marathon in May where twelve Tortoises headed south (and returned with nine PB’S) a marathon event closer to home has been chosen as this years official club marathon.

The ever popular Edinburgh Marathon Running Festival on Sunday 29th May 2016 has been selected,

The reason we have selected this event is that there are three running options the full marathon, half marathon or for teams of four to run a marathon relay.

Winter is now upon us but spring is not far away, having a race target really will help your winter running.


Full Marathon

Club members entry is £53 and note this event has sold out in the first week of January for the last four years.

When you have entered on-line let Darrell or George know so you can be included in the longer training run’ at the weekends.

Half Marathon

Club members entry is £31

When you have entered on-line let Darrell or George know so you can be included in the longer training run’ at the weekends

Marathon relay

Teams of four entry is £105 per team of four as with the full marathon this has sold out early January the last few years.

Leg 1: The Royal Leg – 8.3 miles

Leg 2: The Cock & Pan Leg – 5.5 miles

Leg 3: The Gosford Leg – 8 miles

Leg 4: The Glory Leg – 4.4 miles

When  you have  a team of four please enter your team on-line and let Darrell or George know you have entered.

Depending on numbers we will be looking to take a bus to transport runners from Troon to Edinburgh and back followed by an optional meal back in Troon later in the evening.

Let the training begin !!!


Manchester 2015 squad.

The Squad

The Squad




November 5k

On a cold and windy night Lewis Wilson blew everyone away and set a PB and achieved his very first place finish at this months 5K time trial,

We had a great turnout of 22 runners despite the wind and rain with a number of new members making there 5k debut on the club time trial, November also saw the second month of new members and less experienced runners being able to set off ten minutes ahead of more experienced runners. after being driven to the start on Ottoline Drive.

This staggered start helps both runners who are fairly new to the club and are still building up both distance and pace and those more experienced and faster runners, who then have runners ahead to try and catch up, this month a number of our new members even finish ahead of the second group of more ecxperienced runners.

The club is open to new runners (we have a new to running group) or indeed any more experienced runners looking for more structured running during the cold winter evenings, we meet at Marr college Gym 7pm on both Tuesdays and Thursdays – go on give it a try

Results on 2015 Tab at the top of the page




Troon Tortoises A view from the Hills

Over the last few weeks a number of Tortoises have made there running debuts on grass at the XC in Kilmarnock and also ran a couple of hill races, who better than our very own Ladies Club Champion Anne Noble to give us an insight into this type of event and run

Hill Running – one Tortoise’s view
I love hill running because it releases the child in me. Having spent much of my childhood enjoying the Scottish countryside, I relish that feeling of carefree pleasure that comes from having reached the top of a hill and then tearing back down the other side. Quite different from the steady effort made over a road race.
There is a good introduction to hill racing on the Scottish Hill Racing website which it would be wise to read if you are planning your first race:
http://www.shr.uk.com/Info/Introduction … 202012.pdf
Having started racing later in life I’ve only tried a few Ayrshire races and there are many Scottish races I have not run so I hope others will add their comments. Over the years these have included:
• Kaim in April fills me with both the anticipation of being in the hills for the first time that year and also the knowledge that there is a tough challenge ahead. The first few hundred metres are on the road in Fairlie and then it’s up, up, up! If you prefer to wear shorts rather than leggings then be prepared to have your legs scratched on the heather. The first time I attempted Kaim I fell over twice in the mud but it just made me laugh I was having such fun acting like a kid. As with ultras, the people are friendly and there are always a few competitors from other Ayrshire clubs. On a clear evening the view is incredible over the marina at Largs, over Cumbrae and across to Arran. If you are lucky enough to have good weather then the drive back south along the coast can be lovely too.
• In May this year I finally managed to get to Arran to attempt Goatfell. There is always a check with the local Mountain Rescue group before the race proceeds and there was some doubt about the conditions (I heard one runner say we were only getting our photo taken so that they would know who to search for later in the day) but we set off from the sports centre in Brodick to the sound of bagpipes and were lucky and there was a magnificent view from the top (yes, it is worth taking a minute to look). A long route but very rewarding and the tea and cake at the end is most welcome. A fabulous Saturday out.
• On a Sunday afternoon in June you can head south to Girvan to take part in the Lowland Games Saugh Hill race. This gives a completely different context with local dignitaries starting the race and a very public finish back in to Victoria Park.
• Mid week in July brings the Cairn Table race organised by East Ayrshire. Even July can bring bad weather and I did once drive over from Irvine only to find it had been cancelled. Be prepared to get wet and muddy! This is true of all the hills but the flat section at the beginning (and end) can be really boggy. I really like Cairn Table and this was my first hill.
• There’s a great atmosphere at Straiton on a Saturday afternoon in August when villagers hold their annual fete which includes the Craigengower Hill Race. You might be fooled into thinking that it is a comfortable run as you make your way through the pretty village but, once off the road, you soon realise that even the farmer’s field is on a hill and it becomes harder to breathe. After an interesting twist through the forest (by which point the children have returned) you will emerge at the stile from which only the fittest can run up the hill proper. Mere mortals like me are happy to walk to the top (again a great view) and then run, slide or slip all the way back down to the forest returning the same way to the field where the fete takes place. A short race but still very much a challenge. If you have young children it is a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon with lots of events. If you don’t, then you might want to indulge in home baking or an ice-cream.
• In September make your way to Glen Trool and tackle the Merrick. Having walked the route a few times I knew the summit could be windy but my first attempt at the hill race the route was shortened due to wind speeds of 70mph! We were very grateful to the marshalls who braved the wind and cold and, indeed, it is the first time I have seen prizes given to marshalls when some who had helped out for several years were thanked with a gift and a warm round of applause from the runners. Last year I returned to tackle the complete route and loved it.
Don’t forget that hill running has its own risks and some of the above require waterproofs, compass, map, etc. Although most of the races I have run are out and back the same way, it is not always easy to be sure of your route.
Scottish Hill Racing is also a good source of information:
As you will have realised, I tend to stick with the Ayrshire races so you may want to try further afield. Scottish Hill Runners have a list of the 2015 races which will give you an idea of what 2016 might look like. Go on, give it a try!



Strathaven Striders 10k

1st November saw five Tortoises head from Troon along the A71 to run Strathaven Striders Run With The Wind 10k , with the West Of Scotland in the grip of some crazy weather, bright blue skies no wind and warm conditions in November ?? Even Darrell ran with just the running vest for the first time this year !!

After a brisk registeration and bag drop it was time to jump onto the bus which then drove you to the start location which was up in the hills where you start under the wind turbines above Strathaven, with pipers playing and a drone filming the start we were soon on our way, with most of the route downhill it was a comfortable pace but when you hit an incline it was a shock to the legs.

Matt was first Tortoise home followed by Rob Carroll who continued his fine running of late with a PB.

On completion of the race you were able to enter your bib number into a computer and get a readout of your chip time, pace, final position and age group position a nifty bit of kit and one i have not seen at other races.

There was just time afterwords to catch up and take advantage of the excellent home made soup and sandwiches before heading back to sunny Troon.

Results on the ‘2015 Results tab’