MOKRun movers soak up the sun as race returns

Men's half marathon winner Kieran Cooper, centre, with his dad Richard, who placed second, left, and third placed Neil Nairn, right. Photograph: John McFadyen.
Men's half marathon winner Kieran Cooper, centre, with his dad Richard, who placed second, left, and third placed Neil Nairn, right. Photograph: John McFadyen.

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The atmosphere was as bright as the sunshine last weekend as the Mull of Kintyre Half Marathon and 10K (MOKRun) made a welcome return, in all its glory, following the Covid-19 pandemic.

Although spectators may have enjoyed Sunday’s warm weather, it made conditions challenging for the 825 entrants – 410 who raced around Campbeltown in the 10K and 165 who crossed Kintyre to Westport beach and back in the half marathon.

Half marathon and 10K competitors making their way along Millknowe Road shortly after both races kicked off together on Sunday.
Half marathon and 10K competitors making their way along Millknowe Road shortly after both races kicked off together on Sunday.

It was a father and son duo, both members of Cambuslang Harriers running club, who crossed the finish line first and second in the men’s half marathon.

In one hour, 14 minutes and 35 seconds, Kieran Cooper beat his father Richard, who finished in one hour, 20 minutes and 33 seconds, to the top spot.

The pair were closely followed by third placed Neil Nairn, of Glasgow Dental Hospital and School Runners, who finished in one hour, 25 minutes and 31 seconds.

In the ladies’ half marathon, Fiona Balfour finished first in one hour, 44 minutes and 31 seconds, Isabel Leming was second in one hour, 45 minutes and 19 seconds, with Campbeltown’s own Fiona Cook finishing in the bronze position in one hour, 46 minutes and four seconds.

Local runners also fared well in the 10K races, with Kintyre runners Matthew Turner and Jennifer Martin taking first place in the men’s and ladies’ races, in 33 minutes and two seconds and 41 minutes and 45 seconds respectively.

In the gents’ competition, Aston Nichols placed second in 34 minutes and 54 seconds and Campbeltown Running Club’s Stuart McGeachy came third in 34 minutes and 54 seconds.

In a time of 45 minutes and 24 seconds, Laura Massey was second in the ladies’ race while Lorraine Macpherson of Perth Road Runners was third in 43 minutes and 41 seconds.

The furthest travelled prize went to 17-year-old Connell Metcalf, who travelled all the way from Missouri in the USA. He will have a while to wait before he can enjoy his prize – a bottle of whisky donated by Glen Scotia Distillery.

All those who made it across the finish line, including 21 ‘ever presents’ who have completed every race in the event’s history, collected their well-earned medals, T-shirts and snacks including iconic Danish pastries.

Organisers described the feedback from competitors as ‘amazing’, with comments including: ‘It was a fantastic run. There was a lovely atmosphere all the way round, from the marshals and folk in their gardens to fellow runners – thanks for the support along the way! Well done to the organisers; an all-round superb event.’

Another runner said: ‘Fantastic race – so well organised, helpful, friendly marshals, scenery spectacular, weather unbelievable and lovely medal, snacks etc at the finish. Thank you to all involved in making this such a wonderful event.’

Race director Gail Williams said: ‘After an amazing and very successful but exhausting weekend, not forgetting the committee’s hard work behind the scenes in the lead up to the event, it was great to be back and all worthwhile to hear such positive feedback from runners and non-runners alike.

‘The weather was too hot for some of our runners, but we were not complaining as the opposite is worse; it was ideal for our marshals and spectators.’

The day before the main races, 140 children took part in the junior races on Kinloch Green, completing various distances across several age categories.

As well as Campbeltown and wider Argyll, the youngsters hailed from Ayrshire, West Lothian, Arran, Newcastle and Wilmslow.

Organiser Fiona Macalister said: ‘The junior race team would like to thank the fire cadets and all the marshals, volunteers and committee members who helped make the day the success it was.’

Gail and Fiona also thanked MOKRun’s sponsors: Junior races: AM Transport, Mairi Ireland Fitness, Jog Scotland, Campbeltown Running Club, Archie Johnston, Glenbarr Farms, MACC Gym, Stewart Balfour Sutherland, Springbank Distillery and McKinven and Colville. Senior races: Killegruer Caravan Site, Machrihanish Holiday Park, Springbank Distillery, Glen Scotia Distillery, AM Transport, the Coop and Tunnock’s.

Junior race results: Age five to six (500m): Boys: 1 Jamie Burns, 2.07; 2 Thomas Millar, 2.12; 3 Euan Millar, 2.21; Girls: 1 Amara Mullen, 2.22; 2 Cara McKinven, 2.25; 3 Karak Knowles, 2.43. Age seven to eight (500m): Boys: 1 Robbie Marrison, 2.01; 2 Seth Reid Edwards, 2.01; 3 Max Grumoli, 2.03; Girls: 1 Sophie Millar, 2.03; 2 Caoimhe Quinn, 2.07; 3 Erika Bain, 2.12. Age nine to 10 (1km): Boys: 1 Murray MacKay, 3.56; 2 Craig McMillan, 4.01; 3 Kian Campbell, 4.04; Girls: 1 Eleyna Mceachran, 4.02; 2 Emma Johnston, 4.06; 3 Evie Southwick, 4.25. Age 11 to 12 (1.5km): Boys: 1 Zac Wright, 5.49; 2 Jake McEachran, 6.01; 3 Koby Jack Thornton, 6.03; Girls: 1 Isabelle Hopkinson, 6.35; 2 Carla Renton, 6.58; 3 Lucy McFadzean, 6.58. Age 13 to 14 (2km): Boys: 1 Robert Kerr, 7.55; 2 Cameron Leckie, 8.49; 3 Andrew McKelvie, 8.57; Girls: 1 Niamh Quinn, 8.30; 2 Emma Millar, 8.39; 3 Erin Ralston, 9.07.

10K results: Men: 1 Matthew Turner, 00:33:02; 2 Aston Nichols, 00:34:54, 3 Stuart McGeachy, 00:34:54. Ladies: 1 Jennifer Martin, 00:41:45; 2 Laura Massey, 00:45:24; 3 Lorraine Macpherson, 00:43:41.

Half marathon results: 1 Kieran Cooper, 01:14:35; 2 Richard Cooper, 01:20:33; 3 Neil Nairn, 01:25:31. Ladies: 1 Fiona Balfour, 01:44:31; 2 Isabel Leming, 01:45:19; 3 Fiona Cook, 01:46:04.