AN EASING of restrictions on organised sports have allowed Pitreavie AAC Endurance members to go on the run.

Through inter-club events and some outwith, they have taken up the opportunity to race whilst enjoying some promising performances.

Club members were represented at the Falkland Hill Trail Race, in a field of 120 runners who began the competition in waves of five to ensure compliance with COVID-19 protocols.

With more than 1,100 feet of ascent over the course to East Lomond, it was a tough race but Kirstyn Suttie conquered it in style, finishing as the first senior female in a time of 37 minutes and 42 seconds.

Further Pitreavie success arrived at the popular, four-mile Binary Gala Trail Race where 13 members took part along Loch Ore and up Harran Hill.

Iain Howatt, an M50 athlete, placed first in his age category, and fifth overall, in a time of 27:55, while Paul Dick was the third M40 runner home in 30:04.

Meanwhile, on the same day as Scottish Athletics’ Superteams event for under-13s, Endurance section members took part in a mixed age and pace ‘Novice Mile’ at the Pitreavie track.

Designed to build confidence, it was the first track race for many of those competing and, as well as several runners gaining PBs, Kirstyn Suttie (5:42.07), Matthew Kelly (6:04.04), and Scott Walker (6:22.01) completed the top three places.

In addition, Pitreavie members whipped themselves into a frenzy for another inclusive club meet which centred around a local landmark they nickname the ‘Walnut Whip;.

During the whole of September, the ‘Whip-Round’ challenged allowed them to run or walk up the spiral structure on the site of the former St Ninians opencast mine, with prizes up for grabs for fastest times and who could produce the best art on the Strava tracking app.

Cam Warner and Kirstyn Suttie placed first with the shortest times up ‘the Whip’, in 6:38 and 6:59 respectively, whilst the Reid family were first with their Strava art of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars.

Pitreavie’s inclusive approach, combined with welcoming members, have ensured the Endurance section continues to grow, with membership now at 190 from around 35 members only four years ago.

Campbell Blair, one the key driving forces behind this success, recently received a Pitreavie AAC Award for services to the club and, in support of the Scottish Athletics and Jog Scotland’s ‘Keep on Running’ campaign, the club is currently offering free membership until March 2021.

Anyone interested can contact (existing runners) or (new runners).

Meanwhile, a mile paid off in style for a trio of PH Racing Club members as they set new records over the distance.

Thirteen might be unlucky by some but, for three of that number which made up PH’s contingent at the Pitreavie Open Mile, Wright Beveridge, Kristin Lownie and Mary Western, it didn’t stop them breaking club bests.

Beveridge, in the male V50 category, set a new top time of 5 minutes and 25.07 seconds, with Lownie taking the female best in 5:29.06, while Western clocked 6:14.03 in the female V50 category.

Paul Kieran was the fastest club member to finish the race, in 4:56.05, and was rewarded with second place behind Dundee Hawkhill’s Ryan Donald in the first heat, while Robert Sellar placed third in 5:05.07.

He was enjoying his first race since lockdown, alongside Stuart Tite, who clocked 5:11.05, and he was followed by V40 runners Alan McGowan (5:16.02), Scott Love (5:19.00) and Martin Butcher (5:21.08).

In the second heat, Allen Marr and Alan Cockburn repeated their tussle from the recent Monument Mile Classic in Stirling, but with conditions not conducive to fast times, weren’t able to run quite as quick.

Track specialist Marr again came out on top, however, posting an effort of 5:38.06, with Cockburn crossing the line in 5:42.09.

Mark Western (pictured), who was running his second race in a matter of days after posing a fine 39:25 at the Tatton 10k in Cheshire, finished the mile in 5:53.09, while Ed Norton, the sole PH runner in heat three, finished third.

His time of 5:56.03 was also good enough to rank him fourth across the UK this year, as well as 24th in the all-time V65 category standings.

Prior to the event at Pitreavie, four PH runners had competed in the Bennachie 50k Ultra, in the north east of Scotland, and Paul Hammond was the quickest to finish.

He placed 20th in a time of 5:00.17, a few minutes and three places ahead of Jordan McDonald (5:08.14), while Alan McGowan and Susan Wilmanski – the 13th female – posted times of 5:27.43 and 6:23.04 respectively.

Last week saw a debut in PH colours for James Adam at the Blast 5k at the Meadows in Edinburgh, where he marked the occasion with a victory.

Despite taking some wrong turns along the way, he was able to hold off Harmeny AC’s Phil Buckley to win the two-lap race in 17:19.

PH have been represented at each of the previous two such events, which resumed at the beginning of October, with Michael Lindsay and Scott Love running times of 19:13 and 19:15.