NORTH Ayrshire Athletics Club had a bevy of runners braving Storm Dennis this weekend as they took on the Hillbilly 10k in Dalmellington.

A tough, technical and challenging race caught the eye of almost 300 runners who battled through the wind, mud and three hills to complete one of the most popular races on the Ayrshire running calendar.

Leading the charge for NAAC was Mark Preston who finished in a mightily impressive 6th place in a time of 41.51, closely followed by Stephen Nisbet in 48.25. Graeme and Drummond Bone battled it out for the brother’s bragging rights with Graeme coming off best in 51.36, followed 10 seconds later by Drummond in 51.46.

Suzanne Dickson was the first female home for the club in a fantastic 52.10 just ahead of Stephen Forsyth in 52.20 and Paul Fisher in 52.57 with Paul pulling it out of the bag in the final sprint to win the overall best time for the finish with an effort of nine seconds, making him the only runner in single digits. Stephen Dickson was next home in 54.23 and there were course PBs galore for the club’s female runners with Lynsey Renfrew and Cheryl Gilmour coming in together with Lynsey edging the time by a mere second in 1.02.03 and Cheryl in 1.02.04.

Carole Stewart finished in 1.03.18 followed by Lauren Smith in 1.04.30 and Cameron Clark in 1.05.10.

Mhairi McCandless was next home and seven minutes quicker than last year in 1.06.45 alongside Gillian Dunwoodie in 1.07.48 with Archie Caldwell just behind in 1.07.50 who was supporting his wife Paula but impressed again this weekend with third place overall at Greenock Parkun on Saturday.

He was closely followed by Stephanie Finnigan and Tracy Anderson in 1.08.05 and 1.10.59 respectively to make it a resounding success of a day for the club.

Members enjoyed the wonderful hospitality from the organisers, including the legendary buffet, and many will use this as a warm-up for the Glentress Half Marathon next Saturday where NAAC will again be richly represented.

Away from the Hillbilly, Stephen McKinney took on his first ever marathon at the Fetteresso Forest Marathon and despite tough conditions he completed it in just over five hours.

A fantastic effort in the weather and terrain.

NAAC Seniors train every Monday, Tuesday and Thursday night at 6pm meeting at the track at St Matthew’s Academy.