Road Runners help to fly the flag for Kinross

Sunday 18th September 2022

Check out our Club in Focus series

By Katy Barden

Lesser known that their higher profile neighbours such as Pitreavie AAC and Fife AC, Kinross Road Runners – with a membership of 126 – are punching above their weight.

In March, the club’s W40 team took a ‘surprise’ bronze at the TruWealth National Road Relays.

Club president Ann Malcolm believes they could have finished second had she not muddled up the team order, but it was a forgivable error.

It was only a race, and in the grand scheme of things – most notably the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine – the club’s charitable performance the following weekend, raising in excess of £5000 for the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Appeal, merits even greater recognition.

To show their support for Ukraine, club members came up with the idea of running for 24 hours, starting with Loch Leven parkrun. In total they ran over 1000 miles and raised £5340 – including a £1000 donation from the club.

‘Around 60 of our members signed up to run anything from 30 minutes to 24 hours and we had some real heroes,’ says Ann.

‘One of our members ran 110 miles over the 24 hours, with another running 100K in 12 hours. Many members dropped in and ran several times. It was the sort of thing that once you got folk there, they kept running, or they’d come back and do another little bit.

‘As it happens our club colours are blue and yellow (the colours of Ukraine), so that was another incentive. The event brought us together and the atmosphere was fantastic. We all really enjoyed it and I’m so proud of everyone.’

Kinross Road Runners celebrate Masters bronze medals at the National Road Relays back in March (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Kinross Road Runners was founded in 1985 after a forward-thinking husband and wife decided to write to all local entrants of that year’s Loch Leven Half Marathon, suggesting that a running club would meet a demand in the community.

Perhaps unusually, the club is made up of predominantly masters athletes. The most likely explanation is that it’s representative of the local population demographic, but the fact that there’s no track in the immediate area is also a factor.

The club’s oldest member is 86 years old and still active. Having been introduced to virtual challenges during the coronavirus lockdown, he’s now embracing the opportunities he has to explore local routes without the pressure of time or pace.

Younger athletes tend to move away if they have an interest in track, but that doesn’t mean Kinross is without a legacy.

Great Britain and Scotland stars Laura Muir (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) and Eilidh Doyle (Pitreavie AAC) both grew up in the area and attended Kinross High School. Although not members, they’ve retained links to the club either directly or through their families.

Similarly, Ann’s son Gregor (Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds, previously Fife AC) and Annabel Simpson (Fife AC) are former members of Kinross Road Runners and have made a name for themselves in the sport.

Gregor, who as a child sat alongside his mum at committee meetings in their kitchen, is president of Edinburgh University Sports Union and a former winner of the 4J Studios scottishathletics Volunteer of the Year award, primarily due to his role in organising the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Cross Country Championships in Holyrood Park in February 2020.

Annabel is running exceptionally well and has achieved a host of PBs this year.

Kinross Road Runners’ performance and charitable efforts are significant as is, evidently, its organisational legacy handed down through the Malcolm family.

It’s true that the club might not have the high profile of those well-known neighbouring clubs. But, importantly, their light shines just as brightly.


Tags: Club in Focus, Kinross Road Runners

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