Report by Croy Thomson
THE EVER POPULAR Giffnock North AC Festival of Running returned for its 27th edition in leafy Rouken Glen Park last Thursday, and in almost perfect weather 527 entrants completed the testing 10k event. Cambuslang Harriers’ Iain Reid was first home, claiming a fourth victory in a row in a rapid 33 minutes and 15 seconds, ahead of unattached U20 runner Keiran Cooper and Cambuslang team-mate Michael Healy.
First Giffnock North runner over the line was Niall Fraser in fourth overall. With the two Cambuslang men ahead of him being veterans over 40, Fraser duly claimed the Senior Men’s crown and led clubmates Michael Cross and Ruairidh Maclean to the senior men’s team award for the host club.
First female was Rhona Mowatt in a commendable 39 minutes and three seconds, the Giffnock North teenager and international hill runner taking the U20 prize into the bargain. First Senior Lady was Amy Ritchie of Glasgow Triathlon Club in second place overall, followed by Migo Sports’ Jenny Brown. We were honoured to have GB Olympian Lee McConnell starting the early-evening Primary School races and awarding prizes in the Secondary School Races in the sunshine.
The “To The Pond and Beyond” 2.5k charity races for secondary school students attracted well over 100 runners, all vying for the £500 cheque for the school with most finishers, the money going to the charity of the school’s choice. Hillpark Secondary were triumphant, lining up more than half the starters, including the winner of the boys’ race, Reuben Macdonald. St Ninian’s High School’s Esme Dougall won the girls’ race.
A Hillpark Secondary spokesperson said, “Many thanks to Giffnock North for organising this event, the kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly and are delighted to put the £500 towards our efforts for charity work in Malawi.”
For Giffnock North AC a spokesperson said, “Hats off to all the runners – 527 finishers is one of our best ever totals in the 10k, and the schools charity turn-out sets a great new standard too. Thanks go to our major sponsors Specsavers and C Hanlon, and to our hard-working officials and volunteers, and the ever-helpful East Ren Parks Department, without whom this event could not happ