Archive for July, 2015

Arran Relay race report

Thirteen Tortoises gathered at Androssan Harbour to  join 28 other running club teams to  journey over to Arran for the annual Round Arran Relay race.

For those who are not familiar with this event the relay consists of teams of six runners who combine to run the 56 miles around the Island, the legs are split into six sections with distances varying from 8.5 miles to 11, the routes are listed North 1,2&3 and South 1,2&3.

Each runner runs a leg and all times are totalled to give an overall time, luckily this is not a relay in the sense of handing over a baton you are bussed to your start location and picked up at the end of your section.

So after an uneventful crossing for everyone except George who was fielding questions from everyone about how difficult and hilly there section was we disembarked with lots of other running clubs into a very balmy Broddick.

After a short walk along from the harbour to register and change into our kit we then had the obligatory team  photos taken, the organisers then bussed all the teams runners to Blackwaterfoot  as the first set of runners set off.

We had a gents team and a mixed team and the first runners on the North leg 1 were Stewart Swan and Mags & Hazel with Fraser and George heading off at the same time on the south leg 1.

The rest of us was then split onto busses and driven to our respective start locations, i was running South 2 along with Lucy Oldham, on arrival at our start location we were faced with a 2 mile killer hill run to start off with and it did not get easier from there, i must say my leg and Lucy can vouch for this was tough with lots of hills but some spectacular views to compensate.

After a brisk 8.9 miles and eevryone had finsihed it was back on the bus to Broddick to meet up with every one else, eevry Tortoise had a horror story to tell with some killer hills on every section, however there was also much to be proud off with some great times posted and a great overall result for both teams.

I must say that Claire Bain has alraedy said she cannot wait for next years run and wants to captain a ladies team so she can pick her own route i am sure thats what she said by ‘never again’

For those who did not have to rush home the usual post race recovery took place in The Douglas Arms and involved stretching no further than to the bar.

Next year we hope to enter three teams a ladies, gents and mixed team, its a great day out on a great island.


Gents Team 9th overall time 6hrs 56.35

North 1 Stewart Swan 1.28.09 11th overall – North 2 Jim Phillips 1.14.37 9th overall – North 3 Rob Carroll 1.12.52 14th overall

South 1 Fraser Mcphail 49.38 7th overall – South 2 Darrell Dunscombe 1.09.32 13th overall – South 3 Jamie Bickett 1.01.47  11th overall

Mixed Team 21st overall 8hrs 19.47

North 1 Hazel & Mags 1.46.50 25th overall – North 2 Ian Mcnee 1.31.15 23rd overall – North 3 Graham Mckenzie 1.17.49 17th overall

South 1 George Mcgregor 1.05.15 18th overall – South 2 Lucy Oldham 1.20.02 21st overall – South 3 Claire Bain 1.18.36 26th overall




Fort William Marathon

Two Tortoises travelled north for the inaugural Fort William Marathon. Anne Noble and Matt Pearce.What a great day it turned out to be! Whilst Southern Scotland got damp weather and England got battered by wind and rain, the Highlands got blessed with perfect running conditions! No wind, no rain, perfect temperature, sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny! Great!

Now to the race! We all knew it was going to be hilly and multi-terrain……and up hill for the last 4 miles! Doh! So setting off slow and pacing yourself on the mid-section was the order of the day!

It starts and finishes at the Nevis Resort car park. The first third is up and down hills, mostly on tracks and occasionally on very narrow paths and trails….. With fantastic scenery!!!

The middle third comes after you turn at the Commandos Memorial, where the race joins a road for a welcome downhill stint to Spean Bridge. Then it’s along the canal towpath for a long flat section.

The final third sees you finish the flat on the canal, down Neptune’s Staircase (which was a brilliant bonus!! As I thought we were going to run UP it!!!) then down the hill towards Fort William….. Turn here and head for home! Just then you get the best view of the race…. Right there in front of you Ben Nevis North Face (4406ft) and Aonach Mor (4006ft) (cue…..English Boy getting goose pimples!!!). Then it’s uphill for the last 4 miles on roads/paths/tarmac cycle paths/trails and the last mile on mountain bike singletrack!!! (That was quite good fun) Glad I saved lots in the tank for the last 4 miles though!

If you fancy a change from flat road marathons…. You’ve gotta give this a go! I really enjoyed it! And no pressure for a fast time either!

Oh and the benefit of running a marathon slower than you would normally……. I can still walk downstairs after it!!

Matt Pearce 3:29:37 23rd position & 10th male vet

Anne Noble 4.25.58 145th position & 3rd female senior vet



Did I mention the goody bag?…… You also get a wee dram for your efforts!!!

Irvine 5 Mile Road Race

Ten Tortoises made the short journey to support the annual Irvine 5 mile road race organised by Irvine Running Club, the start and finish was next to Irvine train station and the route headed towards the Magnum and joined the cycle path, you stayed on this until the Gailes roundabout where you doubled back on the road to the train station, apart from the hill close to the golf club it’s a nice easy run and those who ran the Manchester Marathon will remember part of the route from the 20 mile training runs

Jim Phillips led the Tortoise charge and maintained the club lead until the last few meters where Fraser Mcphail took the honours passing Jim and being first Tortoise home by 6 seconds in a speedy 31.02 for a final placing of 26th.

Darrell Dunscombe was third home in 35.15 followed by Bobby Miller in 35.41, full list of results on the 2015 results tab.



Isle Of Bute 10k 22nd August

As part of the Island’s famous highland games there is a 10k race, last year three runners represented the club George, Mags and Matt while I supported from the beer tent !

Entry is on the day and doubles as your entrance into the Highland Games arena, a great day out.


Club Championship

The latest club championship league table will be posted after the August  club 5k, with a number of local 10k’s in the coming weeks plus a number of runs posted during July there may well be some changes at the top.

In the ladies championship Lucy Oldham posted an impressive Arran Half Marathon time and if she can make at least one of the forthcoming 10k races could move into contention for a top three position.

In the men’s races its still to close to call between Jim and Matt at the top of the table, the whole season could come down to who posts  the best 10 mile race time over the remaining year, however with Rob still to run a club 5k or a 10 mile and Stewart currently running strong there may yet be more changes as the season goes on.

Remember to post your results on the Forum or give to myself or any other committee member on a club night.


A busy summer of running

The start of the summer has seen a number of Tortoises posting some good times and running lots of races including the Arran Half Marathon, 10k’s and various 5k’s across Scotland coupled with various park-runs across the Uk from Cambridge to Burnley its been a busy start.

Special mention for Bruce Walker who again completed the Hebrain five which is five half marathons across the Scottish Islands even if the Cal Mac ferry dispute put paid to one of the races – all results on the Results 2015 Tab

Many Tortoises have posted some impressive holiday running over the last month as everyone stays sharp for the club championship, runs have been posted from Turkey, Greece, Egypt, Spain, various Scottish Islands and even England !!