Roon the Toon gets off to a flying start

Kilmarnock’s new 10k road race got off to a flying start when 1500 runners raced Roon the Toon.

Leaving the Ayrshire Athletics Arena, competitors raced through the town centre and surrounding countryside over a very fast course.

Less than a minute separated the top three finishers – Stuart Gibson (Cambuslang Harriers) finished in an incredible 31:39; Kenny Wilson (Moray Road Runners) was second with 31:53 and Robert Gilroy (Cambuslang Harriers) finished third in 32:32.

The first woman across the line was Fionnuala Ross (Kilbarchan) with 34:57, second was Jenny Bannerman (Inverness Harriers) with 36:57 while third place went to Avril Mason (Shettleston Harriers) with 37:15.

An invitational wheelchair race took place just before Roon the Toon and inspirational Paralympian Sammi Kinghorn completed the 10k course in just 25 minutes.

Provost Todd said: “The Arena was absolutely buzzing. There were 1500 runners, of all fitness levels, taking part in Roon the Toon and for many different reasons. Some people were raising money for charity; some were focused on improving their fitness and many were running in memory of a loved one.

“Whatever the reason, the runners were united together. There was great camaraderie between everyone and they cheered each other on during and after the race.

“They also received rousing support from Centrestage who encouraged the runners through song on King Street; St Andrews and St Marnock’s church congregation lined the streets to support the runners and the bell ringers inspired everyone by playing Chariots of Fire on the church bells; Kilmarnock Baptist church ran a water station and hundreds of family and friends lined the streets providing much needed motivation.

“I was also delighted to welcome visitors to Kilmarnock, especially Meg and Bruce from Syracuse, New York who were in Scotland to celebrate Meg’s 50th birthday. I presented Meg with a special Roon the Toon birthday cake and a Burns book to mark her big day.

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Kilmarnock Harriers and in particular Ian Gebbie and Matt Dodds who organised this wonderful event.

“The Kilmarnock Harriers have a vision to grow Roon the Toon year on year and to make it one of the best 10k events in Scotland. With their drive and determination I don’t doubt that they will achieve their aims.”

Photos from the event are available