Greenock Glenpark Harriers are a running and triathlon club based in Inverclyde on the west coast of Scotland. We cater for all abilities of athlete and warmly welcome new members from ages 9 to 90. Check the ‘Contact Us’ page for more info
There was indoor success for Harris Morrison and Jude Dolan to bring the curtain down on 2021. The ‘Harriers’ young duo recorded quality performances during December at the Emirates Indoor Arena in Glasgow.
Harris recorded a hat trick of lifetime bests over 60m, 200m and the longest sprint the two lap 400m. First up was his first attempt over 400m, Harris blasted out from the gun and was well into the race plan by the back straight passing his competitors within the first 100m, hitting the bell with one lap to go Harris had built up a lead and was flowing well as he crossed the 300m mark showing a degree of maturity he continued with his plan as the experience of coping with the pain of the longest sprint hit with 50m to go, however a determined Harris crossed the line securing a fine time for his first effort. He made a return to 60m and 200m after a break of 2 years and blew the rust off recording a fast 7 seconds for the 60m and 24 seconds for the 200m.
In the 800m Jude was stepping down in distance to tackle the challenge of the 4 lap indoor event. A fine first half of the race saw Jude assess the competition as he kept in contact with the pace before shifting through his gears to move into contention with the leaders with 400m to go, approaching 300m to go Jude moved into a top three place as the speed of the race increased, reaching the bell Jude made his bid forcing the pace of the race to move to a new level , Jude continued this determined attempt through to the finish where he won a very good silver medal position.
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There are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes and horrible weather for the Greenock Glenpark Harriers Wilson Trophy race in December! On Saturday, our brave runners and volunteers were faced with chilling winds and driving rain in the hills behind Overton.
The 4.5 mile trail race is many of the club member’s favourite race, but could also be described as Marmite! It is a conceding handicap race, with runners setting off in reverse order, with the first runner back the winner. Charlotte McKay was set off first, and faced quite an obstacle at the mile mark… a herd of at least 20 cows! Luckily there were 3 cowboys still on their warm ups, and they were able to shoo the big girls off the course. Maybe there’s a new career beckoning for Gordy Hepburn, Kevin Craig and Stephen Hanley?!
Charlotte looked on course for victory too, but with not long to go she was finally caught by Colin McKnight. The new member of the Harriers took the handicap victory by around 90 seconds in the end, so massive well done to Colin. Owen Atkinson, Kyle Johnstone and James Doherty ran well to round out the top 5 of the handicap race. Kyle might just have been the story of the day, as a tumble n the course lead to a few scrapes and a lot of mud as can be seen in the picture below!
Kyle was one of four Glenpark juniors who made their mark on this race. Senior races of this distance are open to our U17s, and they can’t half compete too. Ruby McGill, no stranger to winning senior races, stormed to victory in the female scratch race in a great time of 34.58! Edging out Marian Monk and Lyndsey Hunter who were not far behind.
The juniors were at it in the mens race too, with Shaun Wiseman storming to 3rd place overall, and Kyle as mentioned running 3rd in the handicap and 11th overall. A top 10 was probably nailed on if he hadn’t taken a tumble! Abbigael Crawford was the other junior to run, and she ran superbly with her dad Graeme and of course beating him cleanly!
The men’s race was won by Neil Lafferty, making it three out of three for the season, and stamping his authority on the 2021/22 championship. Neil’s winning time of 27.38 was very impressive in some stinking weather. Michael McLoone was 2nd, his best senior race finish to date. Michael is at home in the hills, and ran really well to push Shaun into 3rd spot. Only 9 seconds separated 2nd to 5th, with Captain Steven Campbell edging out Kevin ‘The Cowboy’ Craig to finish 4th by 2 seconds.
It was great to see so many new faces up the hills for their first club race. Stephen and Lynne Harrison both ran well on the back of a few practice runs with the club over the last month. Lynne ran the same time as fellow new member Lorna Mitchell, and both put themselves straight into the top 10 in the womans race.
The turnout of runners was once again fantastic, with 54 running when in the past it has been as low as 20. Races and events are comng thick and fast, and the club’s Lyle Mile will run on New Year’s Day at 11am this year after Greenockparkrun. The next club race is less than 3 weeks away, with the Harris Trophy on 8th January at Coves Reservoir. The 5.5 mile (4 big laps) course will set our runners a stern challenge for the dawn of 2022.
It wasn’t just the runners (and cows) having to bear the brunt of the conditions yesterday, and we must thank the army of volunteers that were out there! We cannot run these events without them, and we do appreciate their time. We also really appreciate the sponsorship from Wilson Buses via long standing club member and sponsor Robert Wilson. Everyone who was there are also indebted to the Crawfords for getting the van up to the start line and providing some much needed shelter!
Results: Neil Lafferty 27.38, Michael Joseph McLoone 29.33, Shaun Wiseman 29.38, Steven Campbell 29.40, Kevin Craig 29.42, Oliver Reilly 30.35, Owen Atkinson 31.19, Daniel Doherty 31.22, Gavin Morrison 31.32, Stephen Hanley 31.46, Kyle Johnstone 31.51, Paul Monaghan 32.24, Sam McVicar 33.22, Gordy Hepburn 33.35, Colin McKnight 34.47, Ruby McGill 34.58, James Doherty 35.13, Stephen Harrison 35.34, Marian Monk 35.45, John Stevenson 35.48, Danny McLaughlin 36.11, William Taylor 36.31, Craig Hyslop 36.36, Campbell Cromar 36.51, Alan O’Rourke 37.17, Lyndsey Hunter 37.46, Ian McKee 37.46, Greig Turner 37.47, Stephen Reid 37.49, Fiona MacFarlane 38.08, Callum Gorry 38.45, Matthew Deegan 39.14, Frank McMahon 39.21, Richard Jow 39.56, Lynne Harrison 40.25, Lorna Mitchell 40.25, Marianne McKay 41.03, Heather Lafferty 41.09, Cheryl Thomas 41.19, Abbigael Crawford 45.01, Debbie McKenzie 45.02, Graeme Crawford 45.05, Claire Monaghan 46.12, Nathalie Smith 46.22, Yvonne Prager 48.45, Kirstin Arthur 49, Elaine Medinelli 50.02, Sandra Devine 50.06, Jennifer Boyd 50.22, Sharon Black 51.14, Fiona Cushnaghan 51.32, Jason Skilling 52.53, Simon Hutton 53.03, Charlotte McKay 56.43
A big well done to all those who bravely turned out for the club this week ! We had 18 Senior Men, 10 Senior Ladies and 13 Juniors representing the club.
It was a mainly dry day on the infamous hilly course at Balloch Park. The day’s competitors were relieved to see just a few patches of well-trampled slippery mud and the going was reasonably good overall.
From the start, competitors followed a zig-zagging course down the hill and then out along Loch Lomondside to two steep hills; the tough 2nd hill leading up to the start again, with a stunning backdrop.
Meanwhile Captain Steven was rallying the troops for the races ahead. The weather was baltic and his theme of the day was ‘schoolboy errors’. The first lesson he pointed out was to Big Craig who turned up in a pair of shorts with two hours to wait. “That’s your first schoolboy lesson Big Man!” he said. “The next you lot is keep your feet dry before you start running. I hope you’ve all got decent sized spikes in ?”
All that said…three minutes before the start the bold Stevie was seen scrambling about in the tent trying to take aff his trackies !
Marian Monk finished first for the ladies once again in an excellent time of 38:22. Fiona McFarlane and Viki Smith followed just over 2 minutes behind. Viki had a great run off the back of all of her ultra marathon training, finishing 7 seconds ahead of Fiona. Fiona however took a tumble at one point but managed to get up quickly and keep going.
Lynsey Mooney had another gritty run finishing in the top 100 as did 5th lady finisher for the club Heather Lafferty, just 30 seconds behind in 43:47. Cheryl Thomas was delighted to complete the course this year after a DNF last time.
For the majority of the early part of the race, Eileen, Elaine and Sandra ran together. On the second lap Eileen managed to ease away from the group to finish 30 seconds ahead. Unfortunately Michelle Morgan had a bad fall and didn’t finish this time out. Hang in there Michelle, you’ll smash it next time!
The day was topped off by a fantastic run from Neil Lafferty who earned himself a silver medal in the Vet 40s category.
The Vet 40s team (Neil Lafferty, Steven Campbell and Kev Craig) also secured the club a prestigious bronze medal. Meanwhile Frank McMahon added another v70 medal, silver this time, to his collection.
Excellent runs worthy of mention were Michael McLoone, Gavin Morrison and Gordon Hepburn. Craig Hyslop, Ross Morrison and Colin McKnight also did exceptionally well in this their first 8k cross country outing.
The turnouts are growing week on week and the medals are now coming home.
So Moneglenpark !
Let’s get more of our big guns out for the next one!
In 2020, we held our Colin Shields Race as a 5km track race and attracted an amazing 64 runners to Ravenscraig. This was due to the Covid situation last winter, and it was too soon for us to be pounding Inverclyde’s pavements. The big question is, one the race returned to the road in 2021, could we match the amazing turnout in 2020? The answer? A resounding yes! 65 hardy harriers turned out on Saturday to break our senior club race record!
The Colin Shields race is traditionally a time trial event, historically linked to team selection for sadly now defunct road relay races. The time trial element remains, and makes it unique within our club racing schedule. Runners were set off in groups of 3, meaning they didn’t know where their competition was. Some runners were set off in a mass group before this, ensuring nobody was left behind on the course.
The route sees runners start at the top of Murdieston Street and run west along Inverkip road towards Branchton, crossing the footbridge and ascending to the IRH, before returning via Cumberland Road. Once across the bridge again, runners head back to where they started. The 4.5mile (7.25km) course is fairly undulating, but a nice calm day lead to some super quick times.
The ladies race was hotly contested between former club champion, the ever present Marian Monk, and new member Lyndsey Hunter. It was Marian who snuck the win in 31.56, a big PB for her over that course. Lyndsey was not far behind in 32.29, a superb debut! Fiona MacFarlane rounded out the top 3 with a 3 minute PB in 33.27.
It was great to see 19 ladies in attendance, one of our best ever turnouts of female runners. There were great performances throughout the field. Viki Smith, Heather Lafferty ran well to finish in the top 5, and Nathalie Smith had a great run as part of the first pack out, and was first back to the start line.
Neil Lafferty was the strong favourite going into the mens race on Saturday, having racked up a string of PBs and club race wins in the last few months. He had travelled to Burnley at the weekend to compete in the Podium 5k event, narrowly missing out on a sub 16 in windy conditions. Neil duly delivered the goods with a phenomenal winning time of 24.45, the fastest winning time since Stephen Trainer in 2014 (23.09).
The time trial element worked to perfection, with a real narrow battle for the podium positions. Oliver Reilly just nipped to the line quicker than Kyle Wilson for 2nd place, giving both men their best ever finishes in club races. Stevie Campbell and the returning Andrew White rounded out the top 5 just seconds behind. Paul Monaghan and Kevin Craig also broke the 27 minute barrier, and there was a great run from young Shaun Wiseman too. Gavin Morrison ran a stormer, while Owen Atkinson also showed a return to form with a solid run.
The format was even more in evidence in the middle of the field, as an example there were 6 runners finishing between 32.16 and 32.29, with literally seconds in between them all. Our next club race will be the Wilson trophy, held on the trails behind The Cut, on Saturday 11th December at 2pm. This will be a conceding handicap race, with the handicap winner being the first runner to cross the line after everyone is set off in handicap order. We are planning trial runs of the course each Sunday, with the first one this week at 12 noon at the clubhouse, or 12.15 at the Waterman’s Cottage, Overton.
We would like to say a huge thank you to our race sponsor, our very own Sue Hewitson at Creative Route https://www.creativeroute.co.uk/. Also a big thank you to our army of volunteers keeping us all safe at the busy road crossings, and manning the other tasks on race day.
Results: Neil Lafferty 24.45, Oliver Reilly 26.03, Kyle Wilson 26.05, Steven Campbell 26.23, Andrew White 26.31, Paul Monaghan 26.37, Kevin Craig 26.54, Andrew Osborne 27.21, Shaun Wiseman 27.46, Gavin Morrison 27.53, Stephen Hanley 28.19, Owen Atkinson 29.03, Sam McVicar 29.03, Robert Dolan 29.08, John Stevenson 29.38, Ross Morrison 29.59, Campbell Cromar 30.09, Duncan Anderson 30.17, Chris Watson 30.22, Craig Hyslop 30.32, George McCallum 30.49, Eric Lindsay 30.50, Paul McAulay 31.03, William Taylor 31.20, Danny McLaughlin 31.50, Marian Monk 31.56, James Doherty 32.08, Matthew Deegan 32.14, Alan O’Rourke 32.16, Graham McGrattan 32.21, Graeme Boyce 32.22, Ross Paul 32.23, Lyndsey Hunter 32.29, David Roberts 32.31, Stephen Reid 32.52, Ian McKee 32.53, Callum Gorry 33.03, Fiona McFarlane 33.27, Colin McKnight 33.54, Greig Turner 34.25, Viki Smith 34.57, Rich Jow 35.34, Heather Lafferty 35.51, Frank McMahon 36.03, Marianne McKay 36.10, Donna Campbell 36.21, Kevin Gill 36.33, Lisa Boonsanong 36.33, Cheryl Thomas 37.00, Kenneth Scott 37.43, Claire Monaghan 37.53, Jim Brannigan 38.30, Fiona Cushnaghan 38.59, Lynsey McLaughlin 39.30, Nathalie Smith 40.36, Yvonne Prager 41.34, Elaine Medinelli 42.25, Sandra Devine 42.29, Liz Heywood 42.33, Gerry Gillespie 43.20, Grace Campbell 45.30, Simon Hutton 46.00, David Carruthers 47.05, Charlotte McKay 48.38, David Black 57.05
Lindsays Short Course XC at Lanark – 6th November 2021
This weekend at the National Short Course Championships in Lanark, Glenpark had an improved turnout with 17 members braving the elements.
Run of the day came from Frank McMahon, winning a silver in the Mens V70 category.
The Senior Ladies race started in near blizzard conditions, with 70 mph gusts. Winner Laura Muir completed the course in 13:09. In our Ladies team, Marian Monk (17:07) and Lynsey Mooney (19:38) finished one and two for the club. As always, Lynsey had a very gritty run in the howling wind and rainy conditions. Marianne and Cheryl finished just 8 and 42 seconds behind, securing 22nd place for the club. Sandra Devine (22:43) and Elaine Medinelli (23:49) also did the club proud on such a challenging course.
The Senior Men’s race had around 450 on the start line, which made for a spectacular sight as they set off. Winner Andrew Buchart completed the course in 11:47. First two in for the club were Oliver Reilly (14:18) and Shaun Wiseman (14:20) who had a ding-dong battle throughout, with Oliver managing to pip Shaun by just 2 seconds on the run-in. 3rd and 4th counters Steven Campbell (14:41) and Andrew Osbourne (14:58) secured the Men’s Team 23rd place overall out of 36 teams competing.
Next in was Daniel Doherty (15:17), Gavin Morrison (15:47), Campbell Cromar (16:53), James Doherty (17:23), Alan O’Rourke (17:42), Danny McLaughlin (18:44) and Frank (19:27).
Another great day at the races. The tent was promptly taken down by the lads whilst the ladies went for a wee bag of chips and a coffee. The bus driver did a blinder. However back at the Clubhouse he drove off with the tent and the whole club of Glenparkers were to be seen running up the street behind it as he shot off to his next job ! Bring back oor tent!
(Thanks again to Campbell for the report)
Tinto Hill Race
On the same day as the National Short Course a trio of Harriers made the trip further South East to Thankerton for the Tinto Hill Race. Only a mere 6 miles from their club mates, they experienced the same horrific conditions at ground level. However, looking at the mountain forecast the hill runners needed to prepare for up to 70mph winds as they approached the summit.
New to hill racing but experienced on the trails, Sue is setting herself up as a force to be reckoned with. Having her first taste of competitive hill racing in August Sue was keen to build on her success where she won Gold in the female v40 category at The Luss Lollipop which incorporated the West District Champs. Sue set off steady and maintained the pace within the first mile of the tough climb. Into the second mile all runners then turned into the gale force winds which literally stopped the runners in the tracks in the exposed valley. Thankfully as runners climbed further the Hillside provided some shelter from the gales until the cairn. Sue then set off to make up places on the descent. Flying down the hill she was passing runners but found that the tricky underfoot conditions meant that more experienced hill racers were passing her in the technical sections. Sue had some great battles and finished in a fantastic 64th overall, 7th female on the day and 2nd Female V40. Notably from the Luss race, Sue overturned the results as West FV50 champ, Lorna Mahoney, finished ahead of Sue but not today. Sue opened up a lead over well over 1 min 30 secs on Lorna on this occasion. This builds on a fantastic season for Sue.
In the mens race Michael McLoone and Andy McCall both were delighted with their performances. Both runners could not be separated on the climb as they traded places several times on the 1500ft climb. It wasn’t until they were exposed to the gale force winds and that Andy managed to open a lead of about 15 seconds on Michael and sustained this until the cairn. Andy turned at the cairn in 18th position with Michael chasing in a competitive group. At the turn Andy started his fearless descent to try and catch the runners in the distance but paid for the quick start as he lost his footing and took a tumble within the first half mile. This led to a more cautious decent in the final mile but didn’t stop him catching 5 runners to finish 13th overall. Michael’s experience in the hills certainly showed as he descended extremely well and managed to keep with some fearless descender to finish in 24th position. Its great to see Michael back on the hill racing scene.
Results: Andy McCall, 13th, 36:42, Michael McLoone, 24th, 38:52, Sue Hewitson, 64th overall, 7th Female, 2nd FV40 – 44:58 Thanks to Andy for the report.
Our ultra mad man Kevin Craig took to his 4th ultra of the year on Saturday at the Glen Ogle 33 at Killen. Kev is making a habit of silver and bronze medal performances at these ultras recently, and this was no different! The 33 mile route takes runners south from Killen and along part of the Roby Roy way, and through Loachearnhead and over the Glen Ogle Viaduct. The route takes in some 3000ft of climbing too!
Kevin got himself round in just under four hours and good enough to bank himself another 2nd place finish! Kev’s time of 3.58.43 was just 10 minutes behind winner Iain Carroll from Giffnock North and 5 minutes clear of Martin heggie in 3rd. Iain warmed up for the race at Greenock parkrun the week before, off the back of a superb 2.35 at London Marathon.
Kevin’s four Ultras this year have been as follows: 3rd at Glen Lyon 2nd at Conic Canter 2nd at Dunoon 2nd at Glen Ogle. Well the only thing that’s going to top that is a first place at the next one!
South by 5 – Kings Park
Out friends at Acorn Trails organised a 5km trail run around Kings Park in Glasgow. This is the first in a series of races in Glasgow parks inspired by the old Southside Six race, a former favourite of some of our runners. The Smiths were in attendance, and Steven ran the route alongside Nathalie to prove that he is still a Charming Man.
Also well done to Fiona Cushnaghan who ran the Strathaven Striders half marathon on Sunday in a time of 2.03, its not a flat one! Well done to anyone else who was racing over the weekend. There was a good turnout for Greenock parkrun despite the weather, and we even had a Harrier do a parkrun in Dundee on his own stag do…! Remember, if you want to write a race report, please feel free to send on into email@example.com and we will get it published!
This Saturday we return to the roads for the Colin Shields race. Looks like it could be a record turn out for a Harriers race!!
This Saturday all roads led to the National Cross-Country Relay Championships at Scone Palace in Perth. This venue provided a fantastic course and splendid weather for the depleted team of 9 Glenparkers.
The first team selection was Steven Campbell (new Club Captain), Oliver Reilly (the way he’s been running of late you’d never guess he’s just off the back of a 2hr 48mins at the London Marathon), Alan O’Rourke and Frank McMahon, who’s training’s been going so well recently he ousted the cream of the club to clinch his first 1st team slot!
The vet’s team “nearly never made it” with recent new member Gavin Morrison and his well kent camper careering headlong into the muddy car park twenty minutes before the start. Gavin was running the first leg, followed by another recent new member Campbell Cromar, just back from a month’s injury and Danny McLaughlin also just back from injury running the anchor leg.
Unfortunately, with only 2 ladies; Marian Monk and Nicola Doohan available to run, the objective was to get a good time and some fun on the single lap scenic course.
Marian inspired the other team members with the run of the day on the first leg of the Ladies Senior race. Marian finished in 17 minutes exactly, an excellent time on the windy 4,000m course which consisted of two challenging hills in the first half followed by a long fast section on the run-in. Marian finished 133rd out of the 294 senior lady starters and 45th in the V40 category. Marian moves up to the V50s next year and will soon be securing top 10 placings.
Nicola went off like a pocket rocket on the second leg, passing runners right, left and centre but unfortunately after the hills section had an exercise-induced asthma attack and had to retire from the race just before half way. The team consoled Nicola and reassured her that with a steady start next time she would comfortably complete the course with a time to be proud of.
In the men’s race, Steven got the first team off to an excellent start, finishing in 82nd place out of the 155 starters in a time was 14:13. Taking over from Steven, Oliver ran a blinder, passing 18 runners and finishing 65th. Oliver was delighted to discover his time (13:58) was 15 seconds faster than Steven. Steven however wasn’t slow in reminding him he was 15 years younger and that he “should’ve been even faster!”. That’s good Captain’s psychology Steven ! Alan ran his race of the season with a cracking 16:38 to hand over to Frank who held on well to finish in 83rd place overall in a time of 18:35. A brilliant effort in the circumstances for a much depleted 1st team.
Steven and Gavin on the 1st Leg
Campbell and Oliver on the 2nd Leg
In the vet’s race, bottles were crashing all over the place after Marian’s fabulous run.
Gavin took the first leg, with a seriously gritty run, having just recovered from a bad cold. He clocked an excellent time of 15:36 despite the fact he hadn’t trained properly in the lead-up. Campbell also dug deep to try to equal Marian’s time. Turning up ill prepared as usual, with track spikes in, Marian offered Campbell a new set of 15mm cross country spikes. This kind but serious tactical blunder on Marian’s part gifted Campbell a few precious seconds. He finished in a time of 16:20, handing over to Danny who ran so fast in the first half trying to beat Marian’s time that his “flipping sole” came off the bottom of his spikes (no joking) ! After tearing it off at the half-way point it was thankfully reasonably flat and firm underfoot all the way to the finish. Danny finished in 17:01 and afterwards had a bit of sole searching to do. The team finished 17th overall in the V50 category.
The banter on the way back was hilarious and a few ears were burning!
As is tradition for all races up Perth-way, the bus driver took a slight detour to Aberfoyle and the legendary chippy. Danny (our new Janny) had a sausage supper, Frank a pie supper and everyone else has a fish supper, except Nicola who had a bag of chips and a diet coke!
Let’s get the numbers up for the next few SAF races. It’s a brilliant day out !
Apologies for not managing to get a photo of Nicola. If anyone has one, please send it on.
Thanks to Campbell Cromar for the brilliant report. If you want a race report published, then please email in!
This is Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week and @GGHarriers girls will join in the celebrations by competing on Thursday evening at Ravenscraig stadium in the Annual Colin Shields races. Juniors will compete on the road and track.
Tickets are now on general sale for everyone for our 125th Anniversary Ball on the 20th November 2021 at Greenock Town Hall. It would be great to see a huge turnout from members past and present, friends and family, to celebrate this grand old club turning 125!
The night promises to be one to remember! Here is a wee taster of what is in store:
Piper Glass of fizz on arrival 3 course meal followed by tea/coffee Gin bar w/ GGH Celebration Cocktail Hosted by TV Presenter Bryan Burnett Q&A with Olympic athlete Callum Hawkins Presentation by Iain Beattie, UK Athletics Chair 7 piece band The Riffreshers Commemorative 125 Programme Individual Favours
The costs for the Ball are considerable and the club are very generously subsidising the ticket cost to just £32.50pp (inc. ticket fees).
It’s been a busy couple of days for Greenock Glenpark Harriers, as the return of open events has ramped up in recent weeks culminating in one very busy weekend! We’ve not done one of these round up reports since pre Covid, so its good to have plenty of reasons to publish one now.
Kilmacolm Running Festival
It was great to see the return of the Inverclyde Leisure running festival on Sunday, with junior 3km and senior 10km and half marathon races taking place. The routes all encompass the Kilmacolm to Bridge of Weir cycle path, providing a great running surface with some slight undulation (mostly on the second half of the longer races!)
The half marathon was lead by PB man Oliver Reilly, who added another personal best to his recent haul. Oliver broke the 78 minute barrier with a great run of 1.17.51 for 6th place overall. Robert Dolan and John Stevenson ran well, with both in the midst of marathon and ultra marathon training, with Robert clocking 1.23.28 and John 1.29.59 (which shows that every second counts!). Eric Lindsay mashed his PB by finishing in 1.32.03 and Ross Morrison was just behind him with a time of 1.33.31, a brilliant debut half for Ross. Craig Hyslop was not far behind Ross, and Lynsey McLaughlin ran a superb 1.54.57 as the only female harrier to tackle the half. Shout out to Inverclyde AC’s John Bell who took the win, and he looks in great shape for his marathon next month.
The 10km saw a great number of female harriers taking part, with Donna Campbell coming home first in 46.18 followed by Marianne McKay in 49.43. Julie Smith, Eileen Stevenson, Emma Sinclair, Jennifer Turner and Charlotte McKay also ran well. Shaun Wiseman and Daniel Doherty finished first in their age category, with Shaun running 38.07 and Daniel just behind in 38.26 and both placing in the top 10 overall. New members William Taylor and Euan Morrison ran well too, and it was great to see Jim Brannigan running so well with a great time of 52.24.
The junior 3km saw three of our juniors take part, with Erin and Aimee McEleny running 13.55 and 14.21 respectively. Summer Taggart was the fastest of our junior in a time of 12.38.
City of Stirling 10km – Scottish Championships
The Scottish 10km championships took place in Stirling on Sunday, and the fast course and stacked field lead to some very impressive times. Three Harriers made the trip to Stirling, and two of them recorded very impressive PBs. Paul Monaghan, off the back of his recent club race victory in Dunoon, went one step further by becoming the Scottish v50 10km champion in a great time of 34.04 and 30 seconds ahead of his closest challenger.
Another recent club race winner, Neil Lafferty, had the fastest time on the day with a 33.13 PB for 4th v40. Chris Mooney made up the speedy trio in 34.29 to squeeze into the top 50, and taking 40 seconds off his time at our club 10km a few weeks ago. This event is one for the calendar next year for sure, with all runners waxing lyrical about the fast conditions.
Conic Canter Ultra Marathon
A new 38 mile Ultra Marathon set up by the organisers of the West Highland Way race was held for the first time last Saturday, with our very own Ultra daft Kevin Craig taking part. The run starts at the start of the WHW in Milngavie and follows the route right to Balmaha, taking in the iconic Conic Hill, before looping back to Milngavie.
Kevin lead the race for long periods en route to Balmaha but was eventually pipped by Robert Turner of Musselburgh. An amazing run from Kevin to complete the course in just under 5 hours 10 minutes for second place!
Skye Half Marathon
A trio of Glenpark ladies headed to the picturesque Skye for the annual Skye half marathon. Starting and finishing in Portree, the route takes runners north west in a big loop through the picturesque countryside and rolling hills of one of Scotland’s nicest places.
Lisa Boonsanong (1.55.56), Sharon Black (2.12.50) and Wenda Crawford (2.30.48) all took part and looked like they had a blast!
Even further afield was Scot Hill running in the Torbay 10km (which is all the way down in Devon!), Scot finishing in 33rd place in 47.33.
It is great to see so many events returning. Greenock parkrun has been back for a month now, and some of our members have been absolutely smashing their PBs at it which is great to see. This weekend we have our first race of the 2021/22 season, and there is still plenty of time to register to run. The JG Cameron is at 2pm on Saturday at the yellow pole on the Esplanade for the fast 4km race. We will have junior races from 1.10pm too, and we are delighted that these are returning to the calender.
It is also time to start thinking about the cross country season. Entries close for the West District XC Relays on 23rd September, so get your name in soon to either captain. We are looking for a new men’s captain to take up the mantle from John Stevenson, who has done a superb job. This will also be Elaine Medinelli’s first outing as Lady Captain, so hopefully we see a great turnout from the ladies to support her!
It has been a busy few weeks for Greenock Glenpark Harriers as we brought our elongated championship season to a close. We started this season’s senior championship in September 2019, and who would have known then what lay in store? We managed 5 races before the March 2020 lockdown, another 3 in the Autumn/Winter months of 2020 and finished it all off with an amazing 8 races since May 2021!
The backlog of races and work going on behind the scenes has meant that some races went ahead without big race reports afterwards, an unfortunate side effect of how busy things were. Back in June, we held the Chisholm Mile at Ravenscraig Track, the one mile race which usually takes place on the Esplanade. This was followed by the windfarm race in mid July (which we did report on) and the club hill race at the end of July. We managed to make our annual trip to Dunoon for the Willie Jukes race on 14th August and last week we held our season finale, the Bill Elder 10k in Greenock.
The mile race saw Shaun Lyon secure a victory in an impressive 4.41 and new member Shona Docherty pipped Marian Monk on the line for the ladies win in 6.02. The mile proved to be tougher shift round the Ravenscraig track, but an incredible 76 harriers took part on the night. Hopefully we’ll be back to a wind assisted Esplanade next year.
The hill race saw a recent record of 27 runners take part on a warm Wednesday evening in July. That might not sound a lot, but it is hard to convince too many runners that 2.5 miles of solid climbing is worthwhile! This was the most runners we have had at this race since 2013, on top of an army of volunteers to keep them right. The race starts in Pennyfern, and runs all the way up to Hillside Hill behind Cornalees, and back down to the start. Andy McCall proved once again that this is his terrain, and he took the win in 34.09, just under a minute ahead of Kevin Craig. Sue Hewitson is also adept at this style of running, and she secured her 11th win of the season! Sue finished the season with 12 wins, with no female runner managing to defeat her in any of the races she ran. This was more than enough to secure Sue her first Greenock Glenpark Harriers Woman’s Championship victory.
The Harriers always travel to Dunoon in May for our memorial race for Willie Jukes, a 5 mile race along the waterfront between Dunoon and Inellan. This was cancelled due to the pandemic in 2020, but we were delighted to get it scheduled for 2021 in August. Marian Monk secured her first race win of the elongated season, and it is great to see her hard work paying off (more on that later!). In the men’s race, it was a first club race victory for Paul Monaghan. It was almost hard to believe that Paul had not won a race, as he has been a near ever present for the last 8 years. Paul puts in big big miles, and everyone in the club was delighted to see him win his first race in a great time of 27.57 for the 5 mile race. This race also has a handicap element, and new member Campbell Cromar won this very comfortably with a great run, another member who has been training hard!
Going into the final race of the season, a number of our club championships had been decided. We were able to host 16 races between September 2019 and August 2021. Sue had won the female overall and female v35 championships . Marian Monk won the female v45, Fiona Cushnaghan won the female v55 and Charlotte McKay won the female v65. On the men’s vets side, Stevie Campbell had secured the v40, Danny McLaughlin the v60 and Frank McMahon the v70. The overall senior champion, the handicap champion and mens v50 were still up for grabs.
The Bill Elder 10k runs from the middle of the Battery Park and follows the coast along the Esplanade and eventually to The Custom House, where we turn back and return to the start. A slight detour this year was required to avoid the building site at the Cinema, but thanks to a bit of pre race study, the distance was spot on 10km once again (even if runners used that new cycle path for the racing line!). The race once again saw a brand new winner, with Neil Lafferty taking the crown in an impressive 34.08. Neil ran hard from the gun, covering the first 5k in comfortably under 17 minutes, building a lead on the chasing pack that would not be closed in the second half of the race. Paul Monagahan was the closest chaser in 34.53 and Oliver Reilly just behind in 35 minutes dead. That was a PB for Oliver who had ran 35.12 the Sunday before in Kilmarnock. For Paul it secured his v50 title in his first year in that age category.
The ladies race was won by Sue Hewitson, her twelfth victory of the year and cementing her status as the female champion. Sue ran 40.51 to take the win ahead of Marian Monk who ran a superb PB of 43.13. That PB was rewarded with a top 10 place in the handicap race, and 33 points was enough to secure the victory for the overall handicap champion ahead of Eric Lindsay and James McFadden. Eric and James have raced well all year, and any of the three would have been worthy winners, but Marian took the crown and thoroughly deserved it after putting in a ton of work this season.
The handicap race went down to the wire, and it was great to see young Callum Gorry take the win just ahead of not so young Eddie Devine. Charlotte McKay was right with Eddie at the finish line too, and ran a great time of just under 70 minutes. There were other PBs dotted around the field, Malcolm McLean was rewarded for his hard training with a PB of 41.34 (which was followed by another at parkrun on Saturday). At the top end of the race, former champion Chris Mooney seems to be coming back into form with his run of 35.10, and new member Stuart Greenway was just behind him in 35.16. Stuart has PBs that most can only dream of, so it will be good to see him run in the famous Glenpark colours next season!
None of these races could go ahead without the help of an army of volunteers, so a big thank you to anyone who has volunteered for these races in recent month. Holding this all together has been John Stevenson, who has went above and beyond the call of duty as men’s captain to get these organised. John is sadly stepping down, and we are hopeful we can find someone even half as good as him to fill his boots!
We have to thank all of our race sponsors over the course of the year, and in particular the sponsors for the 5 races mentioned in this report: Chisholm Mile – Harris – Cornalees Cup – Lock and Sole (key cutting and engraving, Oak Mall) Willie Jukes – Travis Perkins Bill Elder – WB Smith Trees and Turf