Sun shines on Kirkcaldy as hundreds take part in town parks half marathon

The runners set off from Beveridge Park
The runners set off from Beveridge Park

Kirkcaldy was buzzing as hundreds of runners took to the streets and parks for the town's first long distance race in nearly three decades.

Organisers couldn't have asked for a better day as the sun shone making the day one to remember for all involved in the fantastic event.

Ally Caldicott, of Ian Johnston Funeral Directors, was running to support local charity Nourish.

Ally Caldicott, of Ian Johnston Funeral Directors, was running to support local charity Nourish.

Altogether 930 runners completed the course which kicked off at 10am in Beveridge Park, after a warm up session led by fitness instructor and personal trainer Ben Smith from Gym 64 in the grounds of Kirkcaldy Rugby Club and a speech from Fife Provost Jim Leishman, who officially opened the half marathon.

From there, the runners made their way through the town including Dunnikier Park, Ravenscraig Park, Fife Coastal Path and Dysart Harbour before heading towards the waterfront in Kirkcaldy and back up to Beveridge Park to cross the finish line.

A time of approximately three hours was given for runners to finish the marathon with the prize-giving starting after noon to allow the fastest runners to receive their medals.

Locals were out at various points along the route to cheer on the participants, many turning out to support friends and family involved in the 13-mile race.

Members of the Auchtertool Running Society who were taking part to raise money for Kidney Kids.

Members of the Auchtertool Running Society who were taking part to raise money for Kidney Kids.

Among those taking part were: Ally Caldicott, of Ian Johnston Funeral Directors in Kirkcaldy, who was running to support local charity Nourish which is based at the Glebe Park Neighbourhood Centre in Kirkcaldy and is a support centre for children and adults (Ally has smashed his £1000 target, raising £1,150 so far) and members of the Auchtertool Running Society who were running to raise money for Kidney Kids because of the help it gave local youngster Milo Carter who sadly passed away in April. They have raised an incredible £4000.

Also take part were six runners who had travelled all the way over from Kirkcaldy's twin town of Ingolstadt especially for the event.

Members of the Kirkcaldy Parks Half Marathon organising committee Jim Taylor and councillor Alistair Cameron said they were really pleased with how everything came together.

Jim said: "It went really smoothly and we had a good turnout. This isn't a personal best course it is all about selling Kirkcaldy. We have tried to show the town at it's best and I hope we have done that."

Six runners came over from Ingolstadt - Kirkcaldy's Twin Town - especially to take part in the half marathon. They are pictured with Fife Provost Jim Leishman.

Six runners came over from Ingolstadt - Kirkcaldy's Twin Town - especially to take part in the half marathon. They are pictured with Fife Provost Jim Leishman.

Alistair added: "It has been amazing and I am quite emotional. All the work that has gone in over the past number of months by a small group of people has paid off. To see how the town has come together, Fife Council, the volunteers and the runners, it has been fantastic."

The winner of the half marathon was Kirkcaldy para athlete Derek Rae from Fife Athletic Club who crossed the finish line in 01:10:23; followed by Ryan Lafferty also of Fife Athletic Club at 01:11:03 . Third place finisher was Iain Whitaker from Edinburgh Athletic Club at 01:11:28

Despite a miscommunication, resulting in the front runners being directed downhill to the beach by mistake, Derek Rae said sometimes mishaps can happen and the incident didn't take away from a fantastic day.

Speaking after the event, Derek said: "Unfortunately it was a case of miscommunication and the marshal got her wires crossed. It was frustrating at the time, but I soon got over it. These mishaps can happen in running but it didn’t ruin the race which is the most important thing.

"The race was fantastic. A perfect day for running and it is great to have a race sold out in your local community. The spectators were second to none - they were out in their numbers which was good to see. I am a proud runner and proud of my local town. It was a great race to win especially the first one in 30-odd years - a proud moment for me."