GO Festival runners enjoyed good conditions at Saturday's (7 September) Half Marathon and 10K. A sunny day's temperatures relented in late afternoon and that combined with a cooling breeze and partially shaded routes meant fast times. The 10K route was also flat although Half Marathon finishers reckoned they had been tested by an 'undulating' course.
Local club stalwarts Richard Mair (Kilmarnock Harriers) and Toni McIntosh (Ayr Seaforth AC) collected the main prizes in the 10K. Richard's 32:24 saw him finish ahead of Daniel Graham and Iain Carroll while Toni McIntosh (37:09) was a very respectable 5th overall with Amy Vincent and Claire Wilkinson second and third.
In the feature half marathon Sean Chalmers (Inverness Harriers) led the field home in 1:11:35, four minutes ahead of Garscube Harrier Ian Thomson (1:15:40) who in turn was four minutes clear of Ayr Seaforth's Brian Robinson (1:19:43).
Unattached Stuart Murdoch was on song in the longer race stopping his watch on 1:25:39 for a respectable 11th place while West End Road Runner Graeme Jack had a fruitful journey down the M77 to claim the M55 prize. Post-race Graeme said: "The hills around Burns house ruined my splits but I couldn’t have worked much harder."
As well as their individual successes Ayr Seaforth claimed three of the four team prizes with Troon Tortoises top ladies team in the half marathon.
Runners in both races had great support around the route – in the early stages in the town centre, and from family groups and locals in the middle sections before some much-needed encouragement along the front in the final stages up to the Low Green finish.
There was lots of interest around both routes from the town centre buzz to the tree-lined residential streets, stretches along the town's golf courses and the dramatic seafront finale with its superb views to Arran and the Firth of Clyde.
Race organiser John Lloyd of Cannonball Events was delighted that the weather was favourable. He told runABC Scotland online: "There was a great atmosphere today. The pipe bands, the early evening air display and the dramatic fireworks all helped create a real sense of occasion. I hope runners will be back to join us in 2020."