Author Archives: ronniecairns

The Great Scottish Run

pv-logo white My official sponsor for the Great Scottish Run.

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Well the time has come and I am ready for my final running event of the year raising money for Yorkhill Children’s Charity. I will take part in the Great Scottish Run on Sunday and I am delighted to announce that my good friends at Portavadie will be my official sponsor for Sundays Race. If you have not had the chance to visit the new Spa & Leisure facility at Portavadie then you are missing a treat.

IMG_0817My training has been going great although I did pick-up a calf injury on Monday so I have had to rest so that I can be fit for Sunday. I tried a couple of miles tonight and although I could still feel it, I am on the mend and no matter what; I will get it out of my mind for Sunday, so no excuses!

“If you enter the arena carrying some excuse for underperformance, you’re prepared mentally to lose. Be 100% in your mind & go 100% for the win.” Frank Dick

 Come Sunday, I will reach my running goal for this year and I would like to thank all the people who has supported me with their kind words and sponsorship over the last year. Many have asked me if I will keep up running after Sunday’s race and the answer is Yes. I will also continue to raise what funds I can for the Yorkhill Children’s Charity as I have seen first hand, what wonderful work they do.

If you would like to make a donation to my fund raising, please go to my Just Giving page

May I wish all the runners taking part in the Great Scottish Run all the best and have a great run.

Cowal Highland Gathering 5k


Picture by: Ken Clark

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I have just had a very busy week with the annual Cowal Highland Gathering where I am chairman and have just celebrated my 25th year of being involved in an official capacity with the Gathering. My involvement with the gathering was long before this as I had many happy years as a competitor in both the solo piping events and with the pipe band but now my piping days are long gone and last year I did take part as a competitor again, this time in the 5k road race and this year I was back again to try and better last years effort.

I spent all day on the games field and then rushed down after we finished to take part in the race. After wearing kilt brogues all day it was a relief to get into my running shoes to get going.

Arriving just in time to get registered and get a warm-up and jog, it was down to the start line. There were good number of runners taking part with a good quality field of club runners present and some of our friends here from Canada and the USA who were visiting the games. (Pictured below, our Canadian & American friends)

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Picture by: Archie Reid

(Above pictures by Ken Clark)

The direction of the race was changes this year and started at the Coal Pier out to Hunters Quay and back. A nice flat course so we new we were in for some good times.

For me, well all I was looking for was a personal best and pushed out trying to maintain a pace of 8.50 min miles. On the last half mile I really had to keep my concentration, which was hard as I passed people I knew and acknowledged their support. I dug deep and came over the finish line in a respectable 27mins 32 seconds which beat my PB by over a minute and seven minutes off my time from last year, so a job well done and all the training with Hawkins Running paid off.

This is now my tenth race with one more to go raising money for the Yorkhill Children’s Charity. My next race is the Great Scottish Run, which will be held in Glasgow in October.


Pictured here with my No1 fan, grandson Rory who came to cheer me on.


Bute 10k


Thanks to Archie Ferguson for this picture.

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I had a great day out at the Bute Highland Games, this weekend, catching up with some old friends and also taking part in the Bute 10k road race. The race was very well attended with 160 runners taking part. We had a great send-off and ran round the games field and then onto the road, which took us down into the town and along the promenade to Port Bannantyne and back. I always enjoy my day out at the Bute Games and this year was no exception but it was better taking part rather than just being a spectator.

We had great support out on the course with everyone cheering on the runners as they passed and the DSCF3248marshals looking after us on the the way. As I ran back into the town and started the short climb back to the games park I was overtaken by a woman who had some reserves left for that last push only to hear some people outside a local pub shout over to me “Go on Big-Yin, you can take her” If only I had it in me! I gritted my teeth and pushed on up the hill and back onto the track and onto the finishing straight, where everyone got a great reception from the crowds as they crossed the finish line.

DSCF3252My first Bute 10k was over and I enjoyed every minute of it, or all 58 minutes and 54 seconds of it, which was a personal best by just over 2 minutes.

This was my 9th race, this year, raising money for the Yorkhill Children’s Charity and I was joined by my son Iain and we both ran personal bests, Iain finished in 37 minutes which pleased our coach Derek Hawkins from Hawkins Running, who came over to Bute to see us race, so a good day all-round for Hawkins Running and Hill Runners.

My next race is the Cowal Games 5k on Thursday and then my final race of the year The Great Scottish Run, Half Marathon in October.

So far I have managed to raise £2,413.75 for my charity and I know I can do better with your help, so if you have not had the chance to sponsor me, please do so at

Dunoon Hill Runners – Volcano Run

IMG_0518I had a great day yesterday, taking part in the Volcano Race with The Dunoon Hill Runners. I joined the Dunoon Hill Runners this year and this is the first event I have been able to take part in and really enjoyed it apart from my navigation skills. Due to my error I ended up doing just over six miles rather than the four it should have been, but the one saving grace was that on my detour, I met up with fellow runner Shona Ritchie who had done the same thing and together we eventually found our way off the hill.

A big thank you to Kirsty Mundell for organising the race and to her and husband David for their kind hospitality afterwards. There is no better way to finish a race that with a few beers, a barbecue with good company. I will treasure my first hill-race medal, which as you can see by the picture was a piece of homemade shortbread on a string.

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Spot where I went wrong!

As I reached the top of the hill yesterday, I said to myself ‘never again’ but It’s amazing how those negative thoughts disappear once you complete a challenge and I will definitely be back next year and maybe I will actually run the course as it was planned!

My next scheduled race raising funds for Yorkhill Children’s Charity is the Bute 10k on the 22nd August. If you would like to sponsor me, please go to my JustGiving page

Running on Tiree

Balephetrish Beach Tiree

My wife and I are taking a short break on the lovely island of Tiree in the west coast of Scotland this week. The island of Tiree is known in Gaelic as Tir an Eorna ‘The Island of the Corn’, and also Tir barr fo thuinn ‘ the land below the waves’.

It was here last year that the running bug took hold of me, each morning I would get up and run along the 3-kilometer beach in front of the house, the sand is hard packed so easy to run on. I was joined on my run each morning with Gem, our friends brown Labrador but sadly Gem is no longer with us and I missed her company this morning.

A holiday is a break from the pressures of work but not from training, so it was on with my trainers today and off for a nine-mile run round part of the island.

Tiree is a very flat island but it is deceiving because when they build the roads here they just went with the contours’ of the ground and there are many rises and falls, which makes it great for training on.

With out doubt running or cycling is the best was to see this Island, although you have to be careful on the single-track roads, when cars come by so not a good idea to wear headphones although it does add to the atmosphere of the run if you are listening to a bit of ‘The Angry Fiddler’ from Skerryvore or ‘Walking on the waves’ from Skipinnish but keep them for the beach or when running over the machair.

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My run today started at Lower Kenovay on the west side of the island and I headed east past the airport to
Crossapol Bay, where the kite surfers were already out enjoying the waves. From Corssapol Bay I turned along by Island House, the Duke of Argyll’s holiday home and back over down to Cornaig and along to Loch Bhasapol, where Wild Diamond have their surfing school, then a small loop and back to enjoy a short beach run along Balephetrish Bay. As I had now reached the sea and could go no further, I just had to take a paddle in the clear blue water of the Atlantic to cool down.

Tiree web-100After any long run it is a good idea to rehydrate, which for me is usually an SiS recovery drink but on this trip I forgot to pack this so the next best thing is a LFA recovery drink, in other words a bottle of Jarl from Loch Fyne Ale’s. Ah! I feel the better of that but may require a couple more recovery drinks before the day is out. Well, I am on holiday!

Glasgow Mens !0k

DSCF3039I had a great fathers day today and spent it running in the Men’s 10k in Glasgow. The highlight was being able to run over the Kingston Bridge I but never realised what a climb it was up and over. There were over 1500 men took part in the race today and everything went well and was very well organised. The race started at the Riverside Transport Museum and headed East along by the SECC, then around Finnieston onto St Vincent Street and down and over the Kingston Bridge, it then swung East and back over the river onto Argyll Street, up Buchanan Street and along past George Square. On leaving George Square it was back down to cross the river for the third time and through the Gorbals before crossing back over and on to the finish at Glasgow Green. I got my race tactics wrong today, not realising that the first 5k was rather hilly I went out a bit fast, which caught up with me on the second part of the race so much so that I started to feel a recurring injury come back and had to walk through the drinks station at George Square, loosing a bit of time. I however made it through and I reached Glasgow Green where the Yorkhill Childrens Charity Volunteer’s were out giving their support, which was a real boost to me through the final stage. As I turned into the finishing straight the atmosphere was great, with everyone cheering and supporting the runners. I crossed the line, looked at my time and realised that I had taken 20 seconds off my personal best so all was not in vain. DSCF3046 That’s my fifth race in six weeks so its now time for a bit of recovery and believe me I need it. My next scheduled race is Bute Highland Games 10k in August but in the meantime I will be continuing my training schedule with Hawkins Running and continuing to raise money for Yorkhill Children’s Charity. Please support my efforts by going to my JustGiving page and making a donation if you have not had time to do so. I really appreciate the great support I have had so far. DSCF3056DSCF3069DSCF3065 DSCF3063

Success At Last!

I thought I would give you an update on where I am to date with things. This Saturday I will be taking part in the Glasgow Men’s 10k and this will be my last race for eight weeks to get down to some training. My training has been going well with the assistance of my coach Derek Hawkins at Hawkins Running. I am doing about four training sessions a week. This week on Sunday I did an easy nine miles and then on Tuesday it was down to Dunoon Stadium for some interval training on the track, which consisted of a 12 min run at easy pace with three 6 min intervals with a minute recovery jog between them and then finishing off with another easy 12 min run. Tonight, Thursday it was another 9 miles in the rain and tomorrow I have a nice easy 35min jog (I like this one best) then a rest-day on Saturday getting ready for the race on Sunday. When I started running late last summer, I never thought I would manage this sort of weekly routine but it has just been amazing what a bit of dedication and good coaching can do and better still, I am really enjoying it all. DSCF2114

Enough of all this, I had cause for some celebration today. I took an hour off work this morning to go down to see my granddaughter, Abigail at the Kirn School Nursery sports. She did really well with three firsts, two seconds and a third and I was very proud of her although we have identified that we will have to do some work on her beanbag race technique over the winter season but we will get it sorted for next year. As the sports came to an end it was time for the fathers race and as the numbers were low, grandfathers were invited to join in. Now not to be one who ducks a challenge the bold Ronnie lined up for the race. This was my chance to make my granddaughter proud of me, even although I was the oldest person in the race. I eagerly waited on the start and then we were off, I had a slight slip but soon gained my footing and headed for the tape as if there was an Olympic gold medal at stake. As I came to the tape, I was still at maximum speed and nearly took-out a few mums and kids as I crossed the line. Photo Finnish! My supporters on the left said I had won but the supporters on the right said this man half my age had won, he was probably an older brother and not a father anyway and should have been disqualified. 11427162_665989593501266_3908505454630193935_nWhat can you do, not that I am competitive but you can clearly see from the photograph here there was no way I was losing this one. Look at the race face, look at the drive from the right leg, look at the arms as they power through my body, look at that 50+ guy making an absolute fool of himself! If the truth be known I think the guy did pip me at the post but hey! a silver medal is still an achievement at such a prestigus event. It was great fun and the kids had a good laugh at our expense.

Wardrobe Clear-Out

ClothesThey say that one of the advantages of taking up running to keep fit is that it is doesn’t cost much money, all you need is shorts, a t-shirt and a pair of trainers and that’s true. But when you get hooked and then start loosing weight it’s time to start discarding all the clothes that don’t fit. Today I threw out four suits, three jackets, six pairs of trousers, jeans, shirts, in fact the only articles of clothing that still fit’s me are my socks and hats. The lesson here is that if you want a new wardrobe, take-up running!

My Race Sponsor for the Glasgow Men’s 10k

imagesI am looking forward to my 7th running event raising money for the Yorkhill Children’s Charity. The Men’s Glasgow 10k takes place on Sunday 21st June starting at the Glasgow Transport Museum, finishing in Glasgow Green.

I am delighted to have the support of Aviva as my race sponsor for this event and am looking forward to an enjoyable race. 160,000 babies, children and young people are treated at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children every year. donate_headerThe Yorkhill Children’s Charity sits firmly at the heart of the hospital, raising money to ensure that the young patients and their families receive the best possible care. They desperately need our support and you can help in a small way by making a donation at my JustGiving page

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