Millport 10 Race Report by Graeme Wilson

I became aware of this race through a Facebook notification. I quite liked the idea of a race which was on an island, reached by ferry and I messaged the organisers asking for information on where I could enter online. I was a bit surprised to get a message back telling me that it was all entries on the day, just to turn up with the completed paper entry form and £20 cash. So far, very old school. I was a bit concerned that I would drive to Largs ( 65 miles), get the ferry and a bus to registration, only to be told the race was full. “Don’t worry” they said, “that won’t happen” .

So off I went on Sunday 19th May, a drive across Scotland and through some very pretty and green Renfrewshire countryside to Largs, which was just waking up when I arrived at the ferry terminal at 9.30. This was quite early for a race start at 12:15 but I had read online race reviews that the ferry could get very busy and you might have to wait a while to get on. But no problem, straight onto he ferry for the 15 minute hop across the Firth of Clyde to Cumbrae slip. The ferry terminal is in the North of the island and Millport, the town is in the South, and a bus meets every ferry to take you there.

Race registration consisted of handing over the entry for and £20 and getting a number and pins. No chips . The race is described as a 10 mile fun run, so I don’t think it’s SAF registered and there’s no £2 reduction for club/SAF members. £20 might be seen as quite expensive for a 10 mile race where there’s no prizes, no goody bag and very little in the way of costs for the organisers like traffic management costs. But it’s all in aid of charity so I hope my £20 is going to a good cause.

There were very few club vests in evidence – from any club- so I did feel a bit like I was taking it too seriously. “Proper” runners i.e. me were asked to come to the front of the start line, to allow joggers and walkers to stay at the back. The pre-race warm up was my absolute Room 101. Aerobic/dance steps to music. And of course being at the front, everyone could see what a complete and uncoordinated tool I looked . If you think that there’s some random jerking about doing Lesley’s lunges and high hops at club warm up, this was the mother and father of all shambles. Christ, I was glad when the running started.

The course is one anti-clockwise lap of the island on a quiet road that stays close to the water’s edge, with clear views of the Clyde Coast and then of Bute. The weather was excellent , with warm sunshine and a gentle breeze. If it was windy there would be nowhere to hide. The road is undulating and only one hill as you re-enter Millport, then drop down to finish on the seafront.

This race was great, it would be a fantastic club trip. Non-running partners or kids could play on the beach or have coffee and cakes in one of the many cafes while you ran.