February/March Race Review

With the weather taking a turn for the worse in February and into March in 2018, there has not been much opportunity for racing among the Glenpark Harriers since the national Cross Country. There have been a few exceptions to this and in some cases, some real success to share. If you have raced in recent months, please let someone at the club know and we can share our story on the website.

With the Alloa Half Marathon cancelled today, we hope that this is rearranged swiftly for all Harriers who had trained for this. Similarly for the cancelled Yound Athletes Races at the Battery Park. Keep an eye out on the website and social media outlets for more information. We also wish good luck to any harriers planning to race in the coming weeks with the Balloch to Clydebank Half Marathon and the Tom Scott 10 mile road race coming up shortly.

Inverness Half Marathon

Andrew White headed north on Sunday 11th March to take part in the 2018 Inverness Half Marathon. Andrew had been running great around the tun of the year, with his first club race victory coming at the Harris Trophy. Sadly, an unexpected back injury a few weeks later had put him on the sidelines for a few weeks. However, when Andrew regained his strength to get back on running, he hadn’t missed a beat and was right back out running his high mileage and his pace soon returned.

Andrew ran the Inverness half in 75.53, a 9 second pb! A great run from Andrew. This was enough for a top 20 finish in the race and 2nd v40, narrowly missing out on 1st by 13 seconds. Here’s hoping Andrew can continue this form into Manchester Marathon. The race itself was won by Scottish Commonwealth athlete Robbie Simpson with recent National XC champion Kris Jones in 2nd, with Garscube’s Katie White taking the female prize.


Valencia Half Marathon

Susie Gilles took herself to warmer climes for the Maraton Rioja de Túria in Valencia for the half marathon on 4th March. Susie managed to get round the tough hilly route in 2.12. Well done Susie, good to see the Glenpark vest making an outing in the Spanish sunshine!


Greenock parkrun

Greenock parkrun has had to contend with the wild snowfall in late February, and in recent weeks the runners have had to contend with the fierce east wind! However, there has been some success in recent weeks for the harriers at the weekly event.

Young Ava Beaton took almost a minute off of her time on 24th February with a run of 24 minutes dead. On the same day, Ian McKee got his first pb in almost a year with a run of 22.18, and took another 20 seconds off of this time the following week. Sadly his attempt at the pb hattrick died in the howling winds on his next outing on 17th March.

The howling wind hasn’t stopped Chris Mooney picking up a coupe of first place finishes on 10th and 17th March. His sub 17 minute run on the 10th will be a particularly big confidence boost given the grueling conditions. Sue Hewitson has done likewise, powering her way to back to back first lady positions at the same parkrun outings. Sue has now been first lady at Greenock on 61 different occasions!

Some crafty harriers took themselves away from the Greenock wind on 17th March, with harriers popping up at Linwood, Ruchill, Strathclyde and Springburn parkruns.

3k On The Green 

Andy McCall and Nicola Stevenson took themselves down to the February running of 3k on the Green. Andy managed to get there in better time and put in a great run of 10.08! Special mention to Andy, who amidst the red warning of snow on the following Wednesday, got his running gear n in the office, and ran from Glasgow City centre down the road in the fierce weather! True dedication/craziness, you decide…

This was Nicola’s first attempt at the shorter 3k racing distance, and put in a good showing with a time of 13.26, very comparable to her recent 5k times. A quick reminder that the March running of this event falls this Friday 23rd March, register here: http://www.3konthegreen.com/

National Cross Country 2018

Saturday 24th February saw the annual running of the Scottish National Cross Country. The event is held at Callendar Park in Falkirk and features a stern test for the senior runners taking part in the 10k route. The course was almost unrecognisable from last year’s mudbath, with firm underfoot conditions making for great running. Let’s all be glad it wasn’t scheduled for this weekend! The course take runner on a 2 mile loop around the park. The first mile undulates around the woodland area behind Callendar House and on towards the golf course where the second mile loops round before heading up into the trees adjacent to the main road. The route was slightly changed again this year, but maintained the traditional frantic downhill finish.


The ladies set off first, with Marian Monk leading the way in 50.43, a good run from our defending ladies champion. Nicola Stevenson showed further signs of her recent improvements to come home in 2nd position for the club, and only just over a minute slower than Marian. As mentioned previously, the conditions were great underfoot with very little soft ground for the runners to deal with. However, Marianne McKay found a rogue slippy patch and went head over heels only one mile into the race. She bounced back up like a pro and went on to run a solid race whilst caked in mud! Lynsey Mooney had a good run in 4th position for Glenpark closely followed by Eileen Stevenson.


The men’s race was last up on the day, and ran over the same course as the ladies. Shaun Lyon and Chris Mooney had a great battle to be the first harrier on the day, Shaun led the way for the first two laps, with Chris nipping ahead at the start of the third. However, Shaun dug deep and pulled back in front and led the men home in 37.37, just 3 seconds ahead of Chris. Shaun showed great character to dig it out on the day and Chris has been flying in recent weeks, and both will take away a top 100 finish at the Nationals.


Steven Campbell was third harrier home with Andy McCall in 4th. John Stevenson rounded off a good family day out with his 5th place finish, only 30 seconds behind Andy’s time. Great run from the men’s captain! The battle for 6th counter in the men’s team was the battle of the Daniel’s, with Danny McLaughlin ultimately pipping Daniel Doherty for those bragging rights. Derrick MacNish put in a really good run, even if he forgot to put his time chip on!

In the team events, the ladies placed in 22nd and the men in 17th. Ultimately it was a disappointing placement for the men who had finished 8th last year, but a few runners missed out on the day through injury.


Ladies 10k: Marian Monk 50.43, Nicola Stevenson 52.16, Marianne McKay 53.36, Lynsey Mooney 56.06, Eileen Stevenson 62.23
Mens 10k: Shaun Lyon 37.37, Chris Mooney 37.40, Steven Campbell 39.20, Andy McCall 41.40, John Stevenson 42.10, Danny McLaughlin 42.49, Daniel Doherty 42.52, Derrick MacNish 45.30

Young Harriers at National

Ten of Greenock Glenpark Harriers youngsters turned out at Falkirk for the National cross country championships. For many it’s the most looked forward to and the most competitive event of the year. Instead of last year’s rain and mud, Callendar Park was bathed in sunshine with the ground firm underfoot – perfect conditions for the athletes and spectators alike.

The youngsters had been preparing for this race for months over the winter at Tower Hill, and their hard work paid off with all performing well on the day.

Proceedings got under way with the under 13 girls 3.1km race, and Ruby McGill got her pacing spot on. After a cautious start she moved steadily through from 80th early on to finish in 43rd place in the large field. Special mention to her team mates Katie Johnson and Francesca McKay who were both making their debut in a national event. Katie who was doubtful with a foot injury ran through the pain to finish midway up the field. Francesca who has been showing a marked improvement in training, produced that recent good form on the day.

Jude Dolan was the Harriers leading under 13 boy with an excellent run, finishing ahead of his team mate Cameron Patton, followed by Alex Wiseman who produced a blistering turn of pace down the last 100m to hold off two challengers.

The under 15 boys were tested over 4.1km, and Harry McGill produced his best run of the season to finish 20th, an improvement of 40 places on 2017. Ewan Ferguson had been battling a heavy cold all week, and he did well just to make the start line, even so he still managed to better his placing from last year. Shaun Wiseman didn’t let his very limited cross country training this season put him off, as he turned out an excellent display.

The final runner was Ryan Brown, another returning after a bout of flu. This was a big step up in distance for Ryan, but it was a determined performance over the hilly course, to show a marked improvement from the Renfrewshire Road Race just a few weeks earlier.

Results 3.1km: Ruby McGill 14.08, Katie Johnson 15.23, Francesca McKay 17.41 3.1km: Jude Dolan 13.07, Cameron Patton 13.52, Alex Wiseman 15.46 4.1km: Harry McGill 14.53, Ewan Ferguson 16.59, Shaun Wiseman 17.55 : 6km: Ryan Brown 25.30.

Willow Bowl 2018

Saturday 17th February saw the Greenock Cut play host to the annual Greenock Glenpark Harriers Willow Bowl Race. The near 8 mile route sees the runners start along the long damn near the Waterman’s cottage and takes them up the back hill towards Loch Thom. The runners then pass through Cornalees, into the nature trail and back onto the Greenock Cut towards the finish line at the Waterman’s Cottage. The race is a conceding handicap race, with the runners set out in reverse order, with the aim that they all finish roughly the same time. This always results in a frantic finish, as the runners try and catch those in front before the finish line. This year was no different, and the first 15 runners all crossed the line within the space of 2 minutes.

Donna Clark was this year’s winner of the handicap race, finishing half a minute clear of the field. Donna found herself leading the race with around 1.5 miles to go, and she was looking over her shoulder to see if anyone was gong to catch her from there to the finish line. Nobody did, and Donna’s great run was rewarded with the trophy. This run follows up a strong showing at this month’s Renfrewshire Road race for Donna, and her hard work is paying off. One of the many fantastic photographs taken on the day captures Donna with one mile to go, looking comfortable with a stunning backdrop.


This race was a favourite of the late Tommy Knight, a long standing member of the Harriers who sadly passed away at the tail end of 2017. As recognition of this, Tommy’s family donated a new trophy to be awarded on the day. It was decided that the new trophy would be passed onto the first veteran to cross the line in the handicap race. It was somewhat fitting that long time member and past senior champion Steven Campbell took the trophy home on Saturday. Steven finished the handicap race in 2nd place behind Donna, and put in a really strong run of just over 47 minutes. Steven can be seen in the picture below frantically chasing down Nicola Stevenson near the end of the race.

willow 3

In the senior mens race, Chris Mooney was set the daunting task of having to chase down the entire field by being sent out last. His nearest competitor had a 2 1/2 minute head start on him from the word go, and it would be a lonely run for Chris as he wouldn’t see another runner until Cornalees! This didn’t put him off though, and Chris ran a super sub 45 minute race, which included a sub 35 minute 10k along the Cut! His speed saw him catch all but 3 of the other runners in the race, and he took home the mens prize by over 2 minutes from Steven Campbell in 2nd place. Andy McCall revels in these sort of runs, and he put in a good performance to finish 3rd in both the mens and senior races. He was probably a little disappointed that the gates on the cut were open, leaving him without the option to jump over them!

willow 2

Last year’s Lady winner Sue Hewitson made it two in a row on her home track. Sue ran the race in just over 57 minutes on a course that really suits her strong running style. Donna Clark’s run was rewarded with a runners up spot in the scratch race, with Nicola Stevenson putting in a great performance to take 3rd. Current ladies champion Marian Monk was next, and keeps her position at the top of this year’s ladies championship standings. Lorna Coyle was narrowly pipped into 5th position, and Marianne McKay had a great run to finish 6th.

willow 4

There was great support all the way along the route from fellow harriers and a big thanks goes out to all of them for their encouragement on the day. Special thanks goes to Planet AD Photography and to Thomas Loehndorf for some fantastic photos on the day. Last but not least we want to say a big thank you to The Willow Bar for their continual support of the race with their sponsorship. The runners all appreciate the spread put on in the Willow Bar after the race.

willow 5

Results (handicap times in brackets):

Chris Mooney 44.51 (76.51) 1st Male, Stevie Campbell 47.04 (76.34) 1st Vet handicap, Andy McCall 48.48 (76.48), Paul Monaghan 50.14 (79.44), John Stevenson 50.36 (77.06), Paul Beaton 52.09 (77.39), Danny McLaughlin 52.48 (77.18), Derrick MacNish 53.34 (77.04), Chris Watson 53.38 (78.38), Richard Davidson 53.53 (78.53), Stephen Hanley 54.04 (77.34), Graham McGrattan 55.33 (79.03), Sue Hewitson 57.04 (78.04) 1st Lady, Malcolm McLean 58.23 (80.53), Duncan Anderson 58.59 (79.29), Stephen Reid 59.02 (77.32), James McFadden 59.39 (79.09), Donna Clark 59.57 (75.57) 1st Handicap, Ian McKee 60.26 (78.56), Nicola Stevenson 62.01 (77.01), Marian Monk 62.21 (80.51), Lorna Coyle 62.24 (77.54), Matthew Young 63.16 (78.46), Colin Campbell 63.2 (79.5), Marianne McKay 63.35 (77.35), Kevin Gill 63.57 (81.57), Ian Hanley 64.52 (78.52), Kenny Scott 66.19 (78.19), Claire Monaghan 66.25 (78.55), Lucas Bezian 66.32 (77.32), Andy McLean 66.35 (79.35), Boyd McKenzie 67.29 (80.29), Graeme Crawford 73.23 (82.23), Barry O’Donnell 80.49 (91.49), Wenda Crawford 87.41 (89.41)

Inverclyde Sports Personality


Greenock Glenpark Harriers have been nominated in two categories for this year’s Inverclyde Sports Personality of the Year.

The club has been nominated as Club of the year and Stevie McLoone has been nominated as adult volunteer of the year. If you would like to vote in both categories, you can do so via the link below. Good luck to everyone involved.