HELENSBURGH man and record holding ultra runner Iain Docwra recently acted as a guide runner for Paul Watts during the gruelling 100km Race to the Stones.

Paul is an experienced runner but is visually impaired so requires a guide runner to take him safely over the course. Iain is well known on the ultra scene, his experience and calm approach to all challenges made him an obvious choice as a guide runner This was hugely important during the Race to the Stones as it is run over mixed and very unforgiving terrain requiring Iain’s full concentration as he relayed the upcoming obstacles to Paul, allowing him to safely negotiate the challenges ahead. Iain and Paul finished in a time of 20 hours and 13 minutes, a remarkable achievement for both men.

The last two weekends have seen Helensburgh Amatuer Athletics Club well represented on two islands. The inaugural Round Arran Relay sees teams of six take on the challenge of running round the 56 mile course to cover the whole island.

First off for Helensburgh was Carole Barrie who set a steady pace for the first leg which is an undulating 11 miles. Carole finished comfortably in 1 hour 4 minutes, meaning that the club were siting mid table before handing over to Maria Dye.

Maria set off at a pace quicker than she anticipated in an effort to chase down the club in front. Having caught the runner she was able to maintain her speed claiming the fastest female time of the day over that leg as she finished in 1 hour 8 mintues.

Mary Connoly has been concentrating on swim challenges recently, not that you would have known in this race. She took over from Maria, making light work of the challenging third leg to finish in 1 hour 16 minutes.

Phil Dye maintained his usual solid, steady pace throughout his 7.5 mile leg to bring the team into fifth position in the mixed team race and hand over to Gail Thomas.

Having competed in this event several times, Gail knew what to expect during her exceptionally challenging 8.5 mile leg. Not letting the hills en route faze her, Gail finished in 1 hour 36 minutes allowing the final runner Becky Parry to set off.

Becky picked up her trademark fast pace and ran an strong leg to finish second female in a time of 1 hour 10 minutes. Overall Helensburgh were sixth mixed team, a commendable position.

On Islay, seven club members took on the Islay Half Marathon in exceptionally strong winds. First home for Helensburgh was Paul Thompson who claimed fifth in the super vet category with a time of 1.25.

He was closely followed by Debbie Savage who took sixth female overall in a time of 1.38. Becky Beale and Alastair Wylie crossed the line in 1.39 and 1.47 respectively followed by Jan Fellows in 1.48, Gail Thomas in 1.49, Carole Barrie in 1.56 and Anna Wylie just outside the 2 hour mark with 2.01.

The combined times of Gail, Jan and Becky claimed second female team. This accolade along side Debbie’s sixth place and Paul’s fifth made it a very successful club outing.