IRVINE Athletic Club rising star Pat Cullinane, pictured, gave a glimpse of his potential over the four 10k road races held on consecutive weeks at different venues in Dunbartonshire.
Each race routinely attracts a field of almost 1000 runners with most of the top club runners in the country taking part including the Eritrean group who run for Shettleston Harriers. Pat competed in three of this year's races and showed that he is developing into a strong talent for the club. In the first race of the series at Helensburgh on 20th May he recorded a fantastic 34m27s to finish 7th. He missed the next race at Clydebank on 27th May but competed at Dumbarton on June 3 finishing in 13th place with 34m41s and then he completed the series on the hilly Vale of Leven course on June 13 with another solid time of 34m46s for eigth place. Work commitments mean that Pat, who was brought up in Dalry, finds it easier to live and train in Glasgow but he maintains a strong link with Irvine AC.
Another series of races which have caught the imagination of Scottish runners are the 5k road races organised by 'Parkrun'. These races are now held in parks all over Britain every Saturday morning with Scottish events held in Edinburgh, Strathclyde Park and Pollock Park, Glasgow. The attraction of the Parkrun events is that they are held on traffic free courses, you don't need to pre-enter and there is no entry charge. The informal nature of Parkrun races certainly doesn't mean that they are not competitive with entrants striving for personal bests and as high finishes as possible. Irvine Athletic Club had it's first ever Parkrun winner on June 5 with Alex Allardyce completing the tough Pollock Park course in an excellent 17m11s followed by Colin Miller in 5th place in 17m50s.