Sun splits the sky for February Frenzy runners

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High wind and heavy rain in the early hours of Saturday seemed ominous for Campbeltown Running Club’s (CRC) February Frenzy event.

The weather reports had not been promising earlier in the week either with heavy rain and wind forecast.

Even moments before cross-country racers gathered, at the end of the road beside Lussa Loch, light spits of rain were felt.

While runners were arriving, Kintyre Wheelers Cycling Club organiser Robbie Semple cycled round the course to check for any problems.

After the race, he made a second circuit to check for any stragglers.

As if by magic, the weather improved for the start of the 6.5-mile race, with the rain holding off and sun splitting the sky, reflecting off the loch’s surface and burnishing the pine trees.

CRC member Stuart McGeachy said: ‘This year the committee decided to have an “honesty” based handicap where the runners chose their starting time.

‘In addition, there was a prize for the runner who got closest to their predicted time, so there was an incentive not to be a total cheat.’

Once the runners were away, timekeepers Catherine McLean, Suzy Ferguson, Robert McDonald and two youngsters treated themselves, and the Courier reporter, to a cup of tea and some of the home-baking intended for weary runners.

First home, running anti-clockwise, was Alison Semple in an impressive 58:10.

Stuart said: ‘It was a great run by Alison, competing in the race for the first time, and showed great strength to hold off second placed Mairi McKillop, who finished in 59:35.

‘Mairi also had a great run by knocking nearly six minutes off her time from last year, which is incredible.

‘The General (aka Aldo Reid) finished third in 1:04:15 (real time 48:15) with a strong run after returning from injury.

‘Hopefully, the big man can put the injury issues behind him and get a bit of form back in the next few months.’

Elaine McGeachy finished as the runner who was closest to their predicted time. Elaine predicted she would finish in 54:30 and finished in 54:29, perhaps inspired by the prize of a giant Toblerone.

Stuart added: ‘Well done to all runners who competed and a big thanks to all marshals and timers: Robert Semple, Suzy Ferguson, Robert McDonald, Catherine McLean and Elgy O’May.

‘Also, thanks to all bakers who provided cakes and the McLeans for sorting out hot water for the tea.’

Overall time real time results: 1 Alison Semple 58.10, 2 Mairi Mckillop 59.35, 3 Allan Reid 1.04.15 – 48.15, 4 Stuart McGeachy 1.04.18 – 38.48,5 Elaine McGeachy 1.04.29 – 54.29, 6 Rachel McGeachy 1.05.50 – 1.03.50,7 Sandy McLean 1.06.01 –  50.01, 8 Tommy Morran 1.07.54 – 47.54, 9 Margaret Sinclair 1.08.58 – 1.04.58, 10 Jocelyn Richard 1.08.59 – 1.04.59.

February Frenzy runners and time keepers before the event at Lussa loch.  25_c07frenzycrc07_Feb_Frenzy_group

Alison Semple was ‘flying’ as she crossed the line. 25_c07frenzycrc06_Alison_Semple

Mairi McKillop was just behind Alison Semple. 25_c07frenzycrc05_Mairi_McKillop

Elaine McGeachy running clockwise heads for the line. 25_c07frenzycrc01_Elaine_McGeachy