Colin Shields Road Race 2021

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 buzz at the start line

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.

Marian Monk
Stevie and Marianne

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.

“If you’re smiling, you’re not working hard”
Fiona with Danny in pursuit

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.

Owen and Sam
Gavin and George

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.

John and Ross
Neil Lafferty striding ahead

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

GGH Weekly Round-Up – 1st-7th November 2021

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.

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Frank with his medal
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Frank in action!

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.

Marian Monk
Lynsey Mooney
Cheryl Thomas

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.

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Alan O’Rourke
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Andrew Osborne
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Daniel Doherty

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).

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Oliver Reilly
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Shaun Wiseman
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Campbell Cromar

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!

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First home doesn’t need to help, just pose!


(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.

https://www.webscorer.com/racedetails?raceid=259790

The young hill team!

Glen Ogle Ultra

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.

Race report: https://acorntrails.run/2021/kx5-race-report/

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 greenockglenparkharriers@gmail.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!!

Race Report – GGH National Relays, Scone Palace, Perth – 23rd October 2021

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.

Run of the Day from Marian

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.

Danny, Alan and Frank

The banter on the way back was hilarious and a few ears were burning!

There’s One Thing Ye Cannie Beat : An Aberfolye Fish Supper after The Nationals !

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!

#SheCanSheWill

#shecanshewill #ActiveGirls @scotathletics @inverclyde @InverclydeL

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.

Greenock Glenpark Harriers 125th Anniversary Ball

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!

Tickets can be purchased here: https://t-s.co/125th

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).

Race Review 11-12th September

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.

Robert checking out the competition and Oliver loosening those hips!

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.

10km GGH Squad

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.

Our 3 in action at Stirling

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!

Kevin with his prize for second

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!

3 GGH Ladies in Skye

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!

Champions Crowned at Glenpark

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.

Runners at the start of the Bill Elder 10k

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.

Sue Hewitson en route to her victory at the Bill Elder

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!

Marian Monk working hard at the Bill Elder

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.

Callum Gorry and Fiona Cushnaghan

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.

Paul Monaghan, mens v50 champion

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.

Neil Lafferty claiming his first race win

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!

2019-21 GGH Senior Champion, Stevie Campbell

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

All race results and championship tables can be downloaded here:
https://greenockglenparkharriers.com/racechampionshiptables/

James Wilson Memorial 10,000m Race – Sunday, 8th August 2021

On Sunday, 8th August, Greenock Glenpark Harriers hosted the first ever James Wilson Memorial 10,000m track race at Inverclyde’s Ravenscraig Stadium. 

19 harriers lined up at the start to take part in a gruelling 25 laps of the Ravenscraig Track. Shaun Lyon continued his excellent run of form to record a fantastic time going under 33 minutes to win the mens’ race. Meanwhile, Sue Hewitson also proved that regular track workouts were paying dividends – going under 42 minutes and taking the ladies crown. 

Shaun Lyon

The race – delayed from last year – was organised to mark the centenary of Glenpak Harrier James Wilson’s participation in the 1920 Olympics Games held in Antwerp Belgium. James earned an individual bronze medal in the track 10,000m race as well as team silver for Great Britain in the cross country event.  

Sue Hewitson

Other 10,000m heats took place on the day as Greenock Glenpark Harriers were host club for the Scottish Athletics 10,000m masters races. Many of the fastest over 40 runners from across Scotland took part.  

The Harriers would like to thank all volunteers, track officials and Inverclyde Leisure staff who supported the event on the day. In addition the following local businesses who contributed to the event: DJ John Curruthers; photographers Peter Wilson & Ken McArthur; as well as Morrisons Greenock who supplied the bottled water.

Robin and Gordy for GGH

Results:
32:45.63 Shaun Lyon, 34:50.92 Paul Monaghan, 36:05.24 Neil Lafferty, 36:44.64 Oliver Reilly, 37:09.74 Andrew McCall, 37:14.81 Christopher Mooney, 37:29.15 Kevin Craig, 40:06.10 Gordon Hepburn, 41:36.73 Paul McAulay, 41:47.86 Sue Hewitson, 44:08.40 Graeme Boyce, 44:20.58 Campbell Cromar, 44:31.81 Marian Monk, 44:41.37 Micky Dunn, 47:57.20 Stephen Reid , 50:09.05 Debbie Mckenzie, 54:00.87 Lynsey Mooney
Selected Others: 35:18.57 Graeme Hyett Inverclyde Athletic Club, 40:11.12 Thomas Jamieson Inverclyde Athletic Club

Three Golds for Glenpark

Scottish Triathlon Association’s National Aquathlon Championships Race Report

At the Scottish Triathlon Association’s National Aquathlon Championships at Irvine on Sunday the 1st of August, Glenpark had a medal haul of three golds.

After an initial recci the week before when Danny McLaughlin, Marian Monk and recent new member Campbell Cromar went down to familiarise themselves with the course, they did a 5k warm up and swam twice the distance by mistake (Danny insisted it was two laps and not one but the Garmin doesn’t lie). When it became apparent that the swim distance was wrong Danny swam the 2nd lap calling himself an idiot, whilst Campbell, who was quite a bit ahead got out early and continued into the run. Meanwhile Marian, being the ever considerate one, waited for Danny. The real reason was to call him the numpty he already knew he was! The terrific trio continued into the run and suffered quite badly in the sweltering heat. So ended the confidence boosting course recci. On the bright side, they now knew what to do come race day!

Campbell during the run

Marian and Danny also ran hard mid-week in the Glenpark Harriers Hill Race. Campbell decided not to run the Hill Race, saving himself confessing he felt guilty to begin with, but the more he watched the race the less guilty he felt!

On race day it was a lot cooler and confidence was high. Campbell, who had no previous experience of multi-sport competitions, but a lot of experience with open water swimming, decided to swim in skins. That way he figured he wouldn’t need to get tangled up in his wetsuit at the transition. He persuaded Marian to do the same. Danny however decided (along with almost all of the other competitors) that he’d put his wetsuit on to get more buoyancy. That decision saved Marian and Campbell 30 seconds. The chances are if Campbell wore his wetsuit he’d still be down there!

Marian preparing for the water

Anyway, to the race itself.

There were 2 heats, male and female.

Marian was easy to spot in her Glenpark tri suit. She was well up with the leaders at the start but dropped into the following pack at the mid-way point of the 750m open water swim at Shewalton Water in Irvine. Coming out of the water looking very fresh she went through the transition in less than 30 seconds, gaining quite a bit on those in the group ahead who looked tired by comparison. Marian then proceeded to pass at least 8 on the 5k run, clocking a fabulous post-swim time of 20:50.8 and finishing 33rd out of the total 67 men and women competitors. For this she was justly rewarded with the National Aquathlon title in the 45-49 age group category.

Danny Ready for the swim!

Next came Danny and Campbell in the Men’s competition. With around 50 in the water at the start line and a lot of splashing going on, it was a good time to throw in your washing ! Campbell went with the leading group for the first leg and settled into a steady pace whilst Danny, who admits swimming isn’t his strongest event, worked very hard to minimise the gap going into the run. Coming out of the water in 11:36, Campbell was well up the field with a lot of younger athletes behind. Danny as expected stormed through the field very successfully. With a swim time of 15:50.6 and a transition of 1:04.9, Danny ran a blistering pace, passing several runners to clock 20:22.0 for the run. This was 5 seconds faster than Campbell, who although passed by a few runners further up the field, was delighted with his 5k post-swim time of 20:27.5 following a 32.9 seconds transition.

Marian and Campbell

Campbell finished a meritorious 21st out of 67 competitors, whilst Danny finished 47th. Both Campbell and Danny won their age group categories too (55-59 and 60-64 respectively), making it three national gold medals for Glenpark on the day.

Throughout the event there was an excellent running commentary, video footage of each competitor finishing and a real-time results service. Marshalling was also first class.

Full results are here.

Inverclyde Windfarm Race 2021

Greenock Glenpark Harriers have been fortunate in the last few months to have some club races to keep their competitive juices flowing. Across Scotland, some open events are starting to come back into the racing calendar. Last Wednesday night we were fortunate enough to have such an event on our doorstep. The new wind farm at Corlic Hill has been dominating the skyline behind Inverclyde for over a year now, and what better way to christen the access road than to have a race around it!

Runners set off on the course (GBR Photos)

Owners of the windfarm, BayWa kindly sponsored this new race, and thanks to the tireless work of Glenpark’s Andy McCall and Alex Osborne of Acorn Trails the race went ahead last Wednesday night. The 117 runners on the night were presented with a typical Greenock summer’s night, which started brightly but the wind and mist descended to challenge their toughness. 

Race winner Kiran Cooper (GBR Photos)
First Harrier home Shaun Lyon (GBR Photos)

The route itself was three clockwise loops of the access road which links all eight of the wind turbines. The route starts with a gentle downhill but soon rises steadily upwards towards the western end of the loop, at this point the runners are met with “Killer”. There is 100ft of elevation gained in the space of around 150m of running, the challenge isn’t just to run to the top of it, it’s to keep the legs going for the downhill after! The hills and the wind made for a challenging route along the stoney roads over the 5.5 mile distance (9km).

First Female Louise Mitchell (GBR Photos)
First Female Harrier Sue Hewitson (GBR Photos)

Kieran Cooper has won events across Scotland, and at 21 is a real talent in the Scottish running scene. Him and his dad Richard are well kent faces down Inverclyde way with a number of Greenock parkrun and local races to their names. Kieran proved to be a class apart and won this race in a great time of 30 minutes 50 seconds, with Richard in 7th in 33.37 (first M50). Shaun Lyon has been prolific in winning the Glenpark Harriers club races recently, and he was 2nd overall here to again take the Glenpark crown in 31.47. Stuart Donnachie, an Acorn Trails regular, was 3rd in 32.18.

3rd Male Stuart Donnachie (GBR Photos)

The ladies race was very tight. Like Shaun, Sue Hewitson has been pretty prolific for Glenpark in recent years, but couldn’t quite catch Louise Mitchell who edged her out by just 14 seconds. Louise runs for Cani Sport Fife, and it was another guest runner taking third with Bellahouston Harriers’ Kristina Greig nipping just under the 40 minute mark.

3rd Female Kristina Greig (GBR Photos)

Glenpark Harriers have a club championship schedule of 1 races in the season, and normally the Harris Trophy would be run around Greenock’s Coves reservoirs in the midst of winter. However, due to the lockdown this year that race has not gone ahead. The trail around the Coves is tight, and perhaps not suitable for a race during times of social distancing. This year, this windfarm race substituted itself into the championship schedule as the eighth race of the season. Sean and Sue took home the crowns in the senior races. Neil Lafferty and Wes Pattison the closest challengers for the mens title and Marian Monk and Fiona MacFarlane closest to the ladies crown.

Sprint finish! (GBR Photos)

The handicap aspect was won by new member Ross Morrison in just his third race for the club. Ross raced superbly in just under 40 minutes to take the title ahead of Marian Monk and Lisa Boonsanong. The handicap committee deserve huge credit for judging this one given that it is a brand new race route!

Danny McLaughlin battling it out against handicap winner Ross Morrison (GBR Photos)

The gratitudes do not stop there. This is one event where the hard work and dedication of many needs to be highlighted. The brainchild of Andy McCall, he worked tirelessly to bring his vision to reality. Acorn Trails involvement allowed the race to go ahead with online public entry, chip timing and superb publicity. It was great to see runners from across Scotland travel to our home turf and see what Inverclyde has to offer. The club volunteers were aplenty too, and made sure all runners got to and from the start line safely, and were well marshalled and supported around the course. Finally to BayWa for allowing us to use their land for the race, and for kindly sponsoring the club and the race. 

Additional sponsorship was received from Migo Sports, Tesco Port Glasgow and Tunnocks. Some fantastic photos were taken on course from GBR Photographs. Money was raised on the day for Ardgowan Hospice, with over £400 donated to the local charity. 

Acorn Trails race report: Link
Race Results: Link
GBR Photographs: Link

The chase is on! (GBR Photos)