Ayr Roads members go off in search of Captain Corelli

Alan and Kathryn Thomson
Alan and Kathryn Thomson

Northern Ireland Ayr Roads/Harry Fairbairn CC exiles, Alan and Kathryn Thomson have just returned from a tour of the the Greek island of Kefalonia.

All the pair knew about the island beforehand was it was where the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin was shot (they now know that there are no flat roads on the island - its either up or down).

The six day tour took in the whole of the island covering 180 miles and climbing almost 15,000 feet in lovely riding conditions justifying Alan’s new found love of Kefalonian meat pies.

Here’s the two of them on ambassadorial duties for Ayr Roads CC and next year’s Gran Fondo Northern Ireland.

Meanwhile Michael Curran has also returned from the Southern French Alps, where he took part in the La Dromoise Cyclo Sportive with Roads colleague, Alex McAllister.

With a total entry of well over 1,000 riders, this sportive is one of the biggest events in the region. The pair rode the longest event.

A 119km distance with 6,000 feet of climbing.

They took in four climbs; the Col de Penne, the Col de Vache, the Col de Roustans, before returning to the village of Die. Both finished in the top 50 of their respective age groups.

Two days later they were off again. This time tackling an 83 mile circuit and with another 6,000 feet of climbing. Taking in a loop that featured in Stage 13 of this year’s Tour de France.

On the racing scene, Toni McIntosh was the sole representative from Ayrshire competing in Sunday’s National Hill Climb Championship. Already a National silver medallist at the event in 2014, and with an individual Gold at National level at 100 mile distance, and a silver in the 50, as well as Team Gold medals at 10 and 25 mile distances with Roads colleague Janet Erskine this year, all Ayrshire was hoping for further success.

On the day however, Toni could only finish 5th. Her time was 9 mins 40 seconds. The winners time was 9:08 (Emily Palmer of Glasgow Nightingale). Toni was only 7 seconds away from a bronze medal!

That said, on Saturday Toni competed in the Ayrshire Cross Country Relay Championships with her sister Laura and fellow Ayr Roads member Beth Macrae.

The result – none other than Ist Team. So she can be excused for her result at the National Hill Climb Championships.

Both Toni and Beth are also keen runners with young Beth a triathlete.

Toni is now taking a well earned rest from competition and just wants to enjoy her sport with club colleagues.

With poor weather last week, numbers were down for the club runs.

The mid week run started from Barrhill and took in the Machar region of Galloway, by way of Mochrum, Kirkcowan, returning by the three lochs and Knowe Village to Barrhill. A distance of 65 miles.

On Sunday with an easterly wind blowing, it was a shorter run of 45 miles, by way of east Ayrshire Roads to Laigh Coylton, Skares, Ochiltree and home by Stair and Tarbolton.