Crinan Puffer proves a tough test for athletes

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A delighted Stuart McGeachy went one better than his 2017 second place when he won this year’s Scottish Sea Farms Crinan Puffer race.

The Campbeltown Running Club athlete was one of many who made the journey from Kintyre to support the event – billed as one of Scotland’s friendliest and most inclusive running events.

In the ladies race, Taynuilt’s Ailsa Lopez surprised herself with an impressive first place.

The eight-mile race, held on Sunday April 22, saw dozens of athletes from as far away as Glasgow pounding the banks of the Crinan Canal between Crinan and Ardrishaig in damp conditions.

Stuart McGeachy said: ‘It was a tough race with a slight headwind, but I like the route so that made it a bit easier. I’m happy enough with my time given the conditions.

‘I’ve done the race a few times, had a few podium finishes and came second last year. A few years ago I pulled up injured while I was in the lead, so it’s good to finally win it.’

He added: ‘Garry Muir, who was second, is a good, up-and-coming athlete in our club and he pushed me all the way, so that was good.’

First woman over the line, Ailsa Lopez, had no idea she had won until friends broke the news to her.

‘I wasn’t expecting that. I couldn’t believe I’d won,’ she said afterwards.

Originally from Ardrishaig and now living in Taynuilt, Ailsa runs for fun. ‘I started running again after the birth of my youngest son, who’s now 18 months old,’ she explained. ‘I felt as if there was someone behind me all the way during the race and it was tough and I can’t believe I’ve won.’

If there was a prize for the greatest distance travelled to compete, it would surely go to Frazer Munro, originally from Ardrishaig but now living and working in Saudi Arabia.

The race is organised annually by Mid Argyll Community Pool (MACPool) and is sponsored by Scottish Sea Farms Heart of the Community Trust. It is also supported by Mid Argyll businesses including the Co-op, Midton Acrylics and the Sweetie Jar.

Results

Overall and senior male

1 Stuart McGeachy, 46:09, Campbeltown Running Club; 2 Garry Muir, 46:30, Campbeltown Running Club; 3 Alistair Andrew, 51:07, Parnie Street Runners.

Female overall

1 Ailsa Lopez, 1:00:46; 2 Sarah McFadzean, 1:02:31, Campbeltown Running Club; 3 Elaine McGeachy, 1:02:31, Campbeltown Running Club.

Senior female

1 Alisa Lopez, 60:46; 2 Elaine McGeachy, 62:31, Campbeltown Running Club; 3 Laura Thomson, 66:50.

Veteran male

1 Darren Renton, 57:06, Campbeltown Running Club; 2 Alan Reid, 59:42, Campbeltown Running Club; 3 Frazer Munro, 63:38, Sara Harriers.

Veteran female

1 Sarah McFadzean, 57:06, Campbeltown Running Club; 2 Morag Neilson,  59:42, Jog Scotland; 3 Rebecca Fulton.

Super veteran male

1 William Dickson 51:52; 2 Alan Cockburn, 55:31; PH Running Club; 3 Clem Clement, 57:20, Springburn Harriers.

Super veteran female

1 Jean Mclennan, 67:40, Dunoon Hill Runners; 2 Sheila Ravenhill, 79:01; 3 Sheila Ireland, 80:58, Dunoon Hill Runners.

Vintage male

1 Andy Law, 53:18; Victoria Park City of Glasgow AC; 2 Ross Robb, 67:49; 3 Gordon Wilson, 68:14.

Vintage female

1 Phylis Hands, 66:48, Motherwell AC; 2 Margaret Sinclair, 72:44, Campbeltown Running Club; 3 Doreen Henderson 73:23.