The usual 1,000 plus field gathered on Wednesday night on the Ayrshire coast for the 2019 Troon Tortoises 10K. The evening race is something of a curtain-raiser and a pointer to the summer ahead. Although as runners shivered on the start line, summer must have seemed a long way off.
The gloom and the low temperatures didn't deter Shettleston Harrier Michael Deason who retained his title in the men's race clocking 31:15, exactly a minute quicker than his 2018 time. Cambuslang Harrier Fraser Stewart (31:21) and Kilmarnock AC's Richard Mair (31:29) were in close attendance.
Local favourite Toni McIntosh (Ayr Seaforth) claimed the ladies title in 37:01 ahead of Giffnock North pair Jill Smylie (38:17) and Yvonne McNairn (39:49).
Gordon Allison (52:19 chip time) was the mid-point runner and the field closed on 1:28:12.
There were big contingents from Ayr Seaforth, Giffnock North AAC, Bellahouston Road Runners and Strathaven Striders in attendance as well local clubs Irvine RC, Kilmarnock Harriers and Ron's Runners. The Ron's Runners group included mental health campaigner John Owens who is running a series of 10ks in 2019.
John told runABC Scotland: "This is a fantastic race and it was great to see so many club vests from all over the country plus hundreds of local runners. There was a fantastic turn out from Ron’s Runners, both supporting and running, with a few PBs recorded."
The irrepressible Jay Cruz Semple was also in action at Troon, wearing his trademark kilt. The visually-impaired runner (pictured below) was guided round by David Gemmell and the pair finished in an impressive 56:48.