Newspaper Reports

Irvine Running Club Report 17/10/2021

Irvine Running Club were competing in the Ayrshire cross-country relay championships at the Ayrshire Athletics arena in Kilmarnock. With no wind and a cool temperature, conditions were perfect for racing. With adjustments needed to be made to the normal race route the modified course around the Arena was mainly flat with only one small hill to test the runners. The club had three men’s team turning out with the bonus of a lady’s team also taking part. At one time the senior men were dominant in this event with a multitude of victories throughout the years but although there have been a couple of runners up places recently it has been 11 years since the club last tasted victory. With the men turning out their current top four runners’ confidence was high that a victory was on the cards. On leg one Steve Daye got the club off to a great start where he finished 2nd to Kilmarnock Harriers top runner finishing only 10 seconds behind at the changeover. On leg two Ross Harvey quickly got Irvine into the lead and finished with a large gap over the chasing teams. Craig Houston was on leg three and the lead was further extended when he handed over to Michael Rimicans who brought the club home and at last bring the trophy back to Irvine. The club had a strong ‘B’ team in place and Cameron Blades had a good run in only his second cross-country to hand over in 8th place. Mark Sands had a storming run to get the team up to 3rd at the end of the second leg where he handed over to Stephen McDougal who maintained the position after leg three. Alex Allardyce recently returning from injury had a real battle to hold onto the medal position and was only beaten over the last 150 metres to end up finishing 4th. The ‘C’ team had club captain Stuart Moffat running the first leg and handed over in 9th place to George Irving who got the team up to 7th. Colin Miller held the position handing over to Jim Sneddon who came home in 8th place. It was good to see the ladies turning out for the championships and a first taste of cross-country running for some of them. Jennie Jackson finished in 6th place before handing over to Rebecca Dale who came home in 12th place with Nicole Tulloch bringing the club home in a final position of 11th.

Irvine individual times were Steve Daye (11:57), Ross Harvey (12:05), Craig Houston (12:54), Michael Rimicans (11:56), Cameron Blades (14:12), Mark Sands (13:26), Stephen McDougal (14:15), Alex Allardyce (13:49), Stuart Moffat (14:59), George Irving (14:49), Colin Miller (14:40), Jim Sneddon (15:21), Jennie Jackson (16:15), Rebecca Dale (23:19), Nicole Tulloch (21:24)


With most of the club running a 2.25 mile race distance, David Blane continued with the other extreme where he competed in the Moray Way 100 mile Ultra event. David finished in an impressive time of 27 hours and 48 minutes to take 22nd place overall and 2nd in his age category. To prove how tough this race was only half of the starters actually made it to the finishing line.

Irvine Running Club Report 09/10/2021

With the previous cancellations of winter district and national championship races, things are starting to get back to normal when the district cross-country relay championships were held at the weekend. This was a long awaited and welcome return and the West district clubs responded well with a good number of teams entered. The format of the relays consists of four team runners running the same 4,000 metres loop and the venue on this occasion was Alexandra park in the Springburn area of Glasgow. Irvine had entered two teams in the men’s event but due to injury and registration problems were only able to turn out one full team on the day. This was a new venue and the course was mainly held around the perimeter of the golf course with a few testing hills to make it more interesting.The first leg is a tight affair with runners jockeying for position on the tight bends and first off for the club was Scott Brown who got the club into 34th position with a time of 15:19 at the end of the first lap. Taking over was young Cameron Blades running his first cross-country race and he didn’t disappoint by taking the club up another place to 33rd with a time of 15:49. Elder statesman Colin Miller who has been running running in this championship since the 1980’s managed to grab another place taking the club to 32nd with a time of 16:49. Also running this third leg was marathon Olympian Callum Hawkins, who although moving his Kilbarchan club up to 2nd, just missed out on the medals when they finished 4th. Running is one of the few sports where all standards can compete together. Last up was Craig Houston who moved the club up to 28th place with the fastest Irvine time on the day of 14:46.

Irvine Running Club Report 03/10/2021

Last weekend was London Marathon and Irvine running club’s Stuart Moffat was taking part. The race had ben re-scheduled from the spring and unlike last year’s event which was only open to elite athletes this one was back to mass participation. The event was still conforming to Covid restrictions with the race split into waves of 1,000 runners. Stuart was in wave three and started just after 9:40 with almost perfect running conditions, a cool and light breeze. Getting into his stride for the first 18 miles and being cheered on by the crowds who lined the route, he was well within his target time of 3:30 which would be a new personal best for him. However, the marathon is a difficult distance and unfortunately Stuart got cramp just after the 18 mile mark which affected his pace and caused him to eventually stop at the 25 mile mark to try and stretch and reduce the pain. He did get going again and managed to finish in a time of 3:36 which although outside his target time was still his fastest for the distance.


Still on the longer distance races, the club had David Blane and Jennie Jackson competing in various ultra events. David competed in the Speyside Way 50 mile race, coming home in a time of 5:20 and coming home in 21st place. Not content with that he also competed at the Strathaven 46 mile race where he came in 5th overall and 1st in the over 50 category. For the ladies Jennie Jackson was also in ultra-marathon mood competing in the 33 miler at Dunoon in a time of 5:56 to finish in 5th place in the women’s event, which was also enough to be 1st over 60.


The club recently held a couple of track races at Marress which formed part of the summer championship. First up was the one mile race and in the first race Jennie Jackson was first home in a time of 6:45, followed by Mike Flynn in 7:09 and new member Anthony McNulty in 7:20. The second race was a real ding-dong affair where the lead over the last 600 metres changed hands three times with Owen McWilliams coming home first in 5:24 with Scott Brown only two seconds behind in 5:26 and youngster Cameron Blades finishing third in 5:30.

Next up was the 3,000 metres and in the first race the positions were similar with the winner once again Jennie Jackson in 13:47 followed by Mike Flynn in 13:57 and Anthony McNulty in 14:48. Race two had Mark Sands victorious with a time of 10:49 followed by Scott Brown in 10:55, with Cameron Blades once again taking third in 11:05

Irvine Running Club Report 05/09/2021

Runners from Irvine Running Club were out in force at a few of the local races with victories for the club in two of the events. The first victory was by Ross Harvey at the Ron’s Runners 5K which is held at the Beach Park over a testing course. From the gun Ross, who has recently returned from injury, got into the leading pack and as the race reached the closing stages he managed to move in front to come home in 1st place with an excellent time of 16:04. It was a close finish with the first three runners separated by only six seconds. Alex Allardyce had a good run to finish 24th and first over-50 in a time of 18:37 with Jennie Jackson first lady home for the club in 40th position and time of 20:58.  Other Irvine positions and times were Craig Houston (13th, 17:46), Jim Sneddon (38th, 20:54), Peter Taylor (67th, 22:31), Joyce Stewart (115th, 26:57), Layna Thompson (136th, 29:40), Janet Robertson (139th, 30:13). There were 188 finishers.


On Sunday Irvine had a good turnout of 14 runners at the popular North Ayrshire AC 10K which is held along the coastal paths between Ardrossan and Stevenston. Once again it was an Irvine runner coming home in 1st place with Steve Daye well ahead with a time of 34:27 which was almost a minute and a half faster than the second placed Motherwell AC athlete. Steve had been a member of Irvine in his younger days before heading off to Shetland to work where he continued his athletics with Shetland AC. He has now returned and has been a great asset for the club being a the front in many races. Another good asset for the club is Cameron Blades running his first 10K and finishing in  18th position with a time of 39:42 which was enough to give him 1st place in the junior category. Cameron has only recently joined the club and is continually improving. Peter Taylor was first over-70 finishing in 54th position with a time of 46:57 with Joyce Stewart first Irvine lady to cross the line in 132nd position with a time of 56:42. Other Irvine positions and times were  Craig Houston (14th, 39:38), Mark Sands (15th, 39:47), Jim Sneddon (45th, 45:42),  Mike Flinn (57th, 47:10), Teri Evans (146th, 59:24), Colette Austin (152nd, 60:08),  Layna Thompson (175th, 64:46), Janet Robertson (176th, 65:27), Bob Nicol (195th, 72:51), Rebecca Dale (199th 65:59). There were 202 finishers.


Irvine times at the Eglinton parkrun were

Steve Daye(18:11), Cameron Blades(19:13), Owen McWilliams(20:46),  Joe McNamee(24:25), Mike Flinn(24:28) , John Surgenor(24:46), May Sharp(27:26), Peter Taylor(28:28), Susan Rhodes(29:02), Amy Rhodes(30:43), Jennie Jackson(32:22), Clare Paton(35:26), Joyce Stewart(36:36), Layna Thompson(36:36), Bob Nicol(39:51), Janet Robertson(39:55)

Irvine Running Club Report 29/08/2021

Once again John McGarry has brough a British track title back to Irvine when he won the over-70 100 metres at the master’s track and field championships at Birmingham. John has been on a great run of form this year and after winning the Scottish and inter-area championships this was the icing on the cake. With the effort he had to make in the 100 metres he unfortunately picked up a hamstring injury but still decided to contest the 200 metres race. With a good lead at the 150 metres mark the injury proved to much and John had to slow down but was still able to hold onto 2nd position. A disappointing end to the trip but still two tremendous results in a major championship.


Alex Allardyce was back on the racing scene with two races in a week with one a 5K and the other a trail race in Arran. First up was the Ayr Seaforth club 5K where Alex was an invited guest and where he posted a time of 19:25. This was followed by the Glencloy trail race in Arran where he posted a time of 41:59 over the testing five miles course.


Irvine times at the Eglinton parkrun were

Steve Daye(17:12), Cameron Blades(19:42), Jim Sneddon(21:40), Jennie Jackson(23:01), Peter Taylor(23:17), Mike Flinn(23:44), Joe McNamee(24:35), Joyce Stewart(34:29), Teri Evans(35:08)

Irvine Running Club Report 22/08/2021

At long last Irvine running club have eventually managed to run one of their events with the Jim Young Marymass 10K taking place last Wednesday. The entries had been restricted due to lockdown but there was still a healthy turnout of 159 finishers. Conditions were relatively good with a westerly headwind which for most of the race was not a problem. From the gun Kenny Neil of Ayr Seaforth moved into the lead and it was a position he held through to the end where he took the Jim Young memorial trophy with a time of 33:04. In 2nd position and not too far behind was Greg Templeton from Glasgow based Bellahouston Harriers in 33:31 with ex-Irvine runner Paul Lafferty taking 3rd for Kilmarnock Harriers in a time of 35:57. With most of the Irvine members helping out with stewarding the club only had three runners taking part. First in for the club was Scott Brown in 18th place with a time of 38:52 with new members Claire Paton and Rebecca Dale both running well in their first 10K.


Still on the 10K theme Irvine had 13 runners competing at the Kilmarnock ‘Roon the Toon’ 10K which was held early on Sunday morning. First in for the club was Steven Daye in 42nd place out of a field of 1139 runners with a time of 35:34. Craig Houston was next Irvine finisher, also getting under the 40 minute mark, with a time of 39:27 with Mark sands not far behind in 40:18. Peter Taylor took 2nd place in the over-70 category with a time of 48:29 with Alison Gartland being the first Irvine lady to finish in a time of 54:00.

Other Irvine times were Stuart Moffat(44:24), Jim Sneddon(45:53), Mike Flinn(48:13), Karen Figgins(55:55), Joyce Stewart(56:31), Nicola Tyler(67:13),  Layna Thompson(67:14), Janet Robertson(68:18).


The Eglinton Parkrun has now re-started and Irvine times were Steve Daye(19:08), Cameron Blades(19:57), Jennie Jackson(25:23), John Surgeoner(25:52), Rebecca O’Conner(28:19)

Irvine Running Club Report 08/08/2021

Irvine running club had members at two of the popular road races now back on the calendar after being postponed in 2020. First up was the midweek Kilmaurs Gala 5K event where Irvine had two runners competing. The race is held over a fast course and both runners posted good times. First club member home was Jim Sneddon with a finishing time of 20:37 with Peter Taylor coming home in 22:58.


A few of the lady members were looking forward to a weekend break when they entered the Dunoon 10K. This race attracts a large field of runners from all over the central belt and beyond with more than half the field been made up of women. First home for the club was Jennie Jackson who is on a fine run of form with a 7th place finish out of a female field of 116 runners. Jennie’s time was 45:06 and she also had the pleasure of taking first place in the over-60 age group. Not too far behind was Lorna Mitchell to take 10th place overall and 3rd over-40 in a time of 46:42. Getting two runners in the top 10 was excellent for the club. Next home was Joyce Stewart in 56:41 with a position of 55th which got her into the top half of the field. Joyce was followed home by Karen Figgins in 59th place (57:26), Teri Evans in 67th place (55:58) and Susan Rhodes, returning from injury in 96th place (67:14).


Irvine Running Club Report 01/08/2021

With running events starting to get back to normal Irvine Running club had competitors turning out in some of the major masters races on the calendar. Pride of place must go to sprint specialist John McGarry who once again become Scottish champion over the 100 and 200 metres in the over-70 age category. John has continually been champion in the various masters age groups and going by this performance should continue for some time yet. A few weeks later John was representing the Scottish Masters at the inter-district event at Nuneaton and was up against some formidable components. Once again John won both sprint events against the top British competitors in his age group.


Closer to home Jennie Jackson was competing in the Scottish masters 5K road race at Clydebank and finished in a time of 21:36 to take 2nd place in the over-60 category.


The club had two competitors in the Scottish master’s track and field championships which was held at the Kilmarnock Arena, and both had good runs. Steve Daye, competing in the over-35 age group posted a time of 16:23 which was a new personal best time for him with Jennie Jackson once again taking 2nd over-60 with a time of 21:45.

Irvine Running Club Report 11/04/2021

Irvine Running Club held the third of their virtual relays over a distance of 50Km. Each team consisted of four runners but unlike the previous relays where each member ran a similar distance the distances varied from 5Km to 20Km. Five teams took part with the winning team consisting of Colin Patterson, Stuart Moffat, Alison Gartland and Michael Rimicans posting a cumulative time of 3 hours 43 minutes and 12 seconds. Final distances and times were Team-1 4:03:32 (Jennie Jackson (10Km, 47:25), Mark Sands (10Km, 52:25), Billy Richardson (20Km, 1:16:54), Mary Miller (10Km, 1:06:50)). Team-2 4:11:29 (Liz Duncan (10Km, 52:47), Steven McDougall (17Km, 1:24:57), Graeme McFarlane (18Km, 1:27:17), Mike Flinn (5Km, 26:28)). Team-3 4:16:20 (Teri Evans (10Km, 57:11), Alex Allardyce (15Km, 1:00:33), Colin Miller (10Km, 47:36), Susan Rhodes (15Km, 1:31:00)). Team-4 4:02:23 (Jim Sneddon (15Km, 1:07:49), George Irving (15Km, 1:04:53), Stacey Anderson (10Km, 1:09:03), Mark Livingstone (10Km, 42:38)). Team-5 3:43:12 (Colin Patterson (10Km, 51:05), Stuart Moffat (20Km, 1:28:14), Alison Gartland (5Km, 26:55), Michael Rimicans (15Km, 56:58)).

Irvine Running Club Report 14/03/2021

As the current pandemic has caused all races to be cancelled Irvine Running Club have been organising virtual races in order to give their members some kind of competitive events. These events have consisted of relays with four members being in a randomly picked team who then select a route of their choice over the pre-determined distance. The most recent event was a four by 3K distance and when the times were gathered the winning team consisted of Mike Flinn (15:51), Susan Rhodes (14.55), George Irving (11:14) and Michael Rimicans (9:58). The times for the three fastest men were quite close and these were Michael Rimicans (9:58), Billy Richardson (10:06) and Craig Houston (10:10). For the women, the fastest three were May Sharp (12:15), Jennie Jackson (12:44) and Liz Duncan (14:51).


Still on the virtual racing theme, Jennie Jackson was competing in the British Masters one mile challenge which attracts runners from all over Britain. Jennie Placed 3rd in the over 60 category and had the added bonus of being the fastest Scottish runner with an excellent time of 6:29.


With all physical activities either cancelled or postponed and being unable to meet for training the club has been preparing for the future by getting members onto the coaching courses organized by Scottish Athletics. Once complete the registered coaches will be involved in all areas of athletics for Juniors and Seniors and the various jogging groups. With this structure in place the club will be re-launching the junior section and will be organizing various initiatives for juniors to come along to the club once it is safe to do so. The club previously had a large and successful junior section, but it has dwindled over the last few years but now with having qualified coaches available the club is keen to start building the junior section once more. For anyone wanting further information on the club then contact details can be found on the club website at website at


The club couchto5K will be starting on Tuesday 6th April and this is a good way to start your running journey in similar company. The club has had many runners coming through from the couchto5K sessions who are now confident in running over various distances. For further information contact our couchto5K coordinator Janet Robertson at   

Irvine Running Club Race Report 15/11/2020

Irvine Running Club held their annual Chic Forbes memorial handicap at the weekend on a very wet and muddy course at Eglinton Park. Due to current restrictions and in order to adhere to Scottish Athletics policy the event was restricted to members of IRC and split into two separate handicaps. The first race was for the ladies and was set off at 8:30am and at that time the rain had decided to take a well earned break. Twelve ladies had decided to tackle the two mile course on the Eglinton Park paths which was more akin to a cross-country course due to the amount of mud and water on the surface. New member Fiona  Howie who has come through the club couchto5k program set off first with a 14:30 start over the scratch runner Jennie Jackson. With the pack behind gradually pulling her in she made a final effort over the last four hundred metres to finish in first place with a fast finishing Teri Evans coming through to take second place, 34 seconds behind with Carol Wylie, another couchto5k graduate taking third place. Starting off last Jennie Jackson posted the fastest time for the ladies with an impressive 13:43.


At 9:30am the rain had restarted for the men’s handicap with Peter Taylor starting off first and holding on to finish first, with Stuart Moffat second and Mike Flinn third.  however it wasn’t enough to take the trophy as that was won by Fiona Howie in the first race. The club had some of the big guns appearing in the men’s race and Ross Harvey also running off scratch stormed through to finish in 10:28 which was the fastest time of the day. Billy Richardson also posted an excellent time of 11:18 with new member Craig Houston giving an indication of his potential finishing third fastest with 11:24. It was also good to see Owen McWilliams back after a long lay-off with injury.


Full results in order of time taken were: Ross Harvey(10:28), Billy Richardson(11:18), Craig Houston(11:24), Mark Livingstone(12:02), George Irving(12:11), Stuart Moffat(12:51), Colin Miller(13:09), Owen McWilliams(13:25), Jennie Jackson(13:43), Jim Sneddon(14:38), Mike Flinn(13:42), Andy Rennie(14:45), Peter Taylor(15:00), Teri Evans(16:54), Joyce Stewart(18:15), Layna Thompson(19:18), Carol-Anne Harkins(19:21), Liz McGarry(19:21), Colette Austin(20:03), Janet Robertson(20:57), Mary Miller(21:19), Fiona Howie(25:49), Carol Wyllie(26:36).

Irvine Running Club Race Report 27/09/2020

Irvine running club athletes were competing at the prestigious Monument Mile which is held on the Stirling University track and is an event which attracts runners from clubs the length and breadth of Scotland and further afield.  The main talking point was the breaking of four minutes by not one but two athletes in the main race. It has taken eleven years for that to happen in Scotland and it is all due to the high esteem this event carries.
Not to be outdone the three IRC athletes shone under the floodlights at the event which was hosted by Central AC. Lee Shaw busted off the rust of 6 months without races to clock an electric 4:58 in his debut over the mile distance, placing 3rd in his heat. Colin Whitby, back in action after a stellar run at the Larne half marathon, ran a courageous race from the gun to earn a PB in a speedy 4:51, placing 5th in his heat. Michael Rimicans ran a careful, tactical race. After leading for most of the race, Michael then unleashed a powerful finishing kick on the home straight to win his heat, breaking the tape in a personal best of 4:45.
All athletes were delighted to run personal bests and enjoy their first race in a long time.

Closer to home the club organized a three mile time trial in order to give the members some much needed competition. The course started at the low green bridge and headed out across the moor to the recycling centre where they turned and followed the same route back. Fourteen club members turned up for the early morning event and runners were set off at three minute intervals. Ross Harvey now recovered from injury posted the fastest time of the day with 16:25 and Colin Whitby was not far behind with 16:41. Fastest lady was Jennie Jackson with a time of 22:02. Other times were Alex Allardyce (18:32), Alan Douglas (19:18), George Irving (19:49), Jim Sneddon (20:38), Stuart Moffat (20:51), Mike Flinn (23:15), Susan Rhodes (24:59). Layna Thomson (28:35), Joyce Stewart (28:37), Bob Nicol (33:54) and Ian McManus (43:46).

Irvine Running Club Race Report 13/09/2020

With the current restrictions and race cancellations Irvine Running Club members have had to contend themselves with small group training runs and virtual races. However with restrictions now easing race events are starting to take place mainly with smaller fields and Colin Whitby after many months of race inactivity made a start at the County Antrim half marathon. Similar to many of the major races this event was elite only with forty men and forty women making up the field with an ‘A’ and ‘B’ race in each of the categories. The race gained a good deal of publicity as it was packed with champion and international runners including multiple Olympic and World champion Mo Farah. Colin set off with the ‘B’ group where the first four miles consisted of an undulating lap of Larne. The next section headed out along the beautiful Antrim Coast road up to Ballygalley, then looped back into Larne. The Weather conditions were almost ideal except for a strong wind occasionally. Due to the small field the Irvine runner spent most of the time running by himself but was rewarded with an excellent time of 71:49 beating his previous personal best time by over two minutes.