New 10k a runaway success
BRAVING the torrential rain and a cold wind, dozens of hardy Barrhead runners took part in the inaugural Arthurlie UFC 10k challenge in aid of charity.
The route, that took in some of Barrhead's best scenic locations, was completed in less than an hour by the fastest runners while come competitors opted to walk, and take in the soggy scenery.
However organisers fear that the weather did have an impact on numbers, and have aimed for an earlier start date next year.
Alan Kelly, manager of Arthurlie United Football Club and one of the key organisers, said: "It was a great event but it was dampened by the weather a little bit.
"We still had 30 runners which is a great turn out considering the really terrible weather that we had."
Runners were encouraged to find sponsorship for Sunday's event, and could enter the race using a donation. The route took in the Main Street, Cowan Park, Aurs Road, the Craigie and returned to the Main Street, with a drinking station being provided at the half way marker near Barrhead's tallest landmark.
The first woman and man to return were given medals, with Mr D. McIntosh taking the men's category in 41.30, and Ms S. Paget with a time of 53.58.
"We had some great sponsors with Tesco providing the water and snacks for the runners," said Alan.
"All the runners were back after an hour and 45 minutes, but we had some really keen runners taking part who got round very quickly, and I think the weather actually suited them. So far we still have some sponsor forms to be returned along with some of the money so we haven't been able to add up the final total yet."
However it was the integrity and willpower shown by all the competitors that impressed Alan most.
He said: "Despite the pouring rain and the very wet conditions, people still turned out and made a great effort to take part and really admire the spirit there.
"Even the volunteers who manned the drinking station up at the Craigie who got soaked to the bone, I have to thank everyone who helped and took part."
While some of the money being raised will go to keeping the club afloat, the money will be used to help several charities improtant to the club's members.
A former player who suffered a stroke and was treated at the Royal Alexandra Hospital's ward 4, and some of the money will go to fund the specialist care facilities there, while the Accord Hospice will receive another generous portion.
Alan said: "It's important for us to be supporting these local charities, I think everyone in the town knows someone who has been affected in some way by the work that the Accord does, so we feel very strongly about that. Next year, I think we will try and hold the event a bit earlier in the year for the sake of the weather, and hopefully we will be able to build on the success we had this year - this was just the beginning.
This article appeared in Barrhead News 31 Oct 12