By 1:30pm the Community Centre thronged with runners of all ages as they queued to register for the 10k and fun run, the first of the 2011 Northern Scot series. Months of winter training and careful planning were about to be put to the test as the runners trooped over to the High St to get in some last minute warm-ups and listen to the music that was supplied by Jim Graham, thanks to the Vic hotel.
With a couple of minutes to go before the "OFF", Alistair called the runners to order and we were walked up to the start line outside Pat Fraser's and as the town clock ticked over to 2:30pm, the hooter was blasted and 353 bodies headed off to what they hoped would be an enjoyable 10k.
The fun runner's were set off from the same spot just minutes after the last of the 10k rs had left the high street, by this time Ben Livesey had well and truly thrown down the gauntlet for the 10k front runners as he sped into the lead, which was now becoming an annual event for the RAF man.
The pack were met with a bit of a head wind as they left the town and followed the Balblair road out past the sawmill and into the countryside, before heading up "Kennedy's Brae" and then turning towards the river and back to the town via Little Killdrummie and Broadley road.
The water station which was set up opposite the garden centre proved a pleasant sight for the runners as they ran past the 4 mile mark before they turned down Mill road and then up the dreaded George st brae. Local runners knew by then that they had negotiated the hard part of the race and were now only minutes away from the cheering crowd that awaited them outside the townhouse.
Ben Livesey was the first runner to recieve the applause of the crowd as he flew over the finish line in a time of 33:39, which is an incredible feat for the airman, who only came back to this country 36hrs before after serving his country in Afghanistan. It was a tremendous race for 2nd place with Moray Road Runner Gareth Jenkins beating Forres Harriers Lloyd Gallantree by only one second in a time of 34:22.
Melissa Whyte repeated her 2010 success as she recorded a time of 35:50 to claim the womans first prize.
Laura Ross went home with awards for 3rd Lady and also first Nairn Lady, first Nairn Man prize went to Stuart Thomson.
Team awards went to Forres Men and Inverness Harriers Women.
The Fun run, which this year attracted 143 entrants, was won by Blair Little in a time of 19:25, when you take into account that the fun run course is just over 3 miles long and takes in that "George St Brae" you will appreciate what a fantastic time that Blair achieved.
The 10k runners triumphantly crossed the line and collected their well deserved medal, then made there way back to the Centre to join the queue for a well earned cup of tea and help munch their way through what looked like enough fine food to feed a small country.
But for many of the volunteers and committee the day was not yet over as they had the task of course clearing and result reporting. But by early evening this had all been completed and another NAIRN 10k had been successfully hosted by NAIRN ROAD RUNNERS.
As a wee footnote, I would just like to point out that the planning for the 10k/fun run, started back at the end of October and no doubt gave Alistair many a sleepless night, but with his usual efficiency he had masterminded another great event and he and ALL the volunteers should be soundly congratulated on that.
2011 Placings and results
1st male - Ben Livesy (Birchfield Harriers) 33:49
2nd male - Gareth Jenkins (Moray Road Runners) 34:22
3rd male - Lloyd Gallatree (Forres Harriers) 34:23
1st male vet - Stan McKenzie (Forres Harriers) 34:48
1st senior vet - Frankie Barton (Keith and District) 34:30
1st Nairn male - Stuart Thomson 37:28Team - Forres Harriers (Lloyd Gallantree, Stan McKenzie, Paul Rogan)