Willow Bowl 2021

The Covid-19 pandemic put pay to Greenock Glenpark Harriers club racing in December of last year. The club had enjoyed a few months of racing in the lead up to Christmas, and three of our championship races had been run safely in that period. However, we had to wait until late April until we were in a position where we were allowed to put on another club race.

The Willow Bowl is one of the most popular races among our senior members. The race is a conceding handicap run around the Greenock Cut. Starting at the Long Dam near Overton, the runners are sent off west-bound in reverse handicap order. They travel up the stony road and down into Cornalees before joining the Cut and racing back to the start. The first person across the line is the winner of the Willow Bowl. This year the wind was unusually coming from the east, making the last 4 flat miles or so along the cut a tough prospect into the breeze.

In recent years, an additional prize has also been awarded to the first veteran runner across the line. Last year, Eric Lindsay won the Tommy Knight Trophy for this feat, and this year he went one step further by winning the Willow Bowl itself. Eric had a commanding lead of almost one minute over Fiona MacFarlane, who herself took home the Tommy Knight Trophy this year. Eric has been running great in his first couple of years as a Harrier, and this was perhaps his best performance yet. The same can be said for Fiona, who has now been unlucky to finish second in the last two handicap races! With 4 races to go in the handicap championship, both Eric and Fiona are battling it out as the top 2 runners.

In the scratch races, Sue Hewitson once again asserted her dominance on the trail. Sue has won the ladies scratch race every time she has ran it, which is four times in the last five years. Sue ran just under 56 minutes for the 7.8 mile course, her second fastest time in those four victories. Fiona MacFarlane and Marian Monk both broke the hour mark to claim second and third respectively. Marian claimed the v45 title and Terri Wall took home the v55 crown. Elsewhere there were some really strong runs from Debbie McKenzie, Heather Lafferty and Lynsey McLaughlin. There were 16 ladies running in total, which is a great turnout.

One person who is more than comfortable on the hills is Kev Craig. Our club ultra marathon specialist showed that he has some good speed on the shorter routes too. After a steady start up the hill, Kev threw everything at it from there to the finish line to take the mens race by the narrowest of margins. In a conceding handicap race, you are often not starting with your main competitor, and Andy McCall had started two minutes after Kev, and had to wait until they compared watches at the end to see he had just been pipped at the post by 10 seconds! In third place was Andrew Osborne, who had an incredible race. Andrew took two and a half minutes off his time from the year before, and in tougher conditions! Andrew finished ahead of a number of the club’s top guys, like last year’s winner Kevin O’Donoghue who was fourth.

Elsewhere there was another brilliant run from Oliver Reilly in fifth place, who continues to improve race on race, and big things are expected in the near future! James McFadden had another great run, with a high placing in the handicap standings, as did Callum Gorry who had a superb run, taking seven whole minutes off of his time from last year! Craig Hyslop ran well in his first club race, and Graeme Boyce too in his longest run to date. Kev Craig was the v40 winner, with Paul Monaghan taking the v50 crown (yes, you read that right… watch out v50s all over Scotland when big races return!!), Danny McLaughlin took the v60 and Frank McMahon the v70.

Its great to have club races back, but they would not be possible without the help of so many volunteers in the run up to the race and on the day itself. So a big thank you to all of them, and especially to John Stevenson for driving it. A big thank you has to go to our race sponsor and club member Dick Hodelet as well. Since this race, we have held our next club race, the Docherty Cup, so look out for another exciting read soon!

Results: Kevin Craig 46.31, Andrew McCall 46.41, Andrew Osborne 47.26, Kevin O’Donoghue 47.29, Oliver Reilly 47.36, Steven Campbell 48.1, Chris Mooney 49.14, Paul Monaghan 50.04, Stephen Hanley 50.57, Chris Jones 51.59, Gordy Hepburn 53.39, Eric Lindsay 54.02, Paul McAuley 54.23, David Roberts 54.28, James McFadden 54.3, Sue Hewitson 54.5, Chris Watson 55.33, Craig Hyslop 56.14, Ross Paul 56.41, Stuart Austin 56.53, Owen Atkinson 56.58, Graeme Boyce 57.08, James Doherty 57.12, Campbell Cromar 57.49, Ian McKee 58.06, Robert Dolan 58.46, Danny McLaughlin 58.46, Ross Slater 59.05, Fiona MacFarlane 59.27, Callum Gorry 59.35, Marian Monk 59.57, Viki Smith 61.18, Graham McGrattan 63.08, Robin McAuslan 64.13, Debbie McKenzie 64.29, Jim Cuffe 64.37, Frank McMahon 64.52, Lisa Boonsanong 65.17, Liam McFadden 67.11, Marianne Mckay 67.47, Heather Lafferty 68.29, Terri Wall 68.53, Lynsey McLaughlin 69.17, Lucas Bezian 72.22, Sharon Black 72.41, Sandra Devine 72.56, Susie Gillies 57.18, Elaine Medinelli 76.2, Yvonne Prager 77.35, Matthew Young 82.56, Angela Nelson 90.51

Sprinters Back in Action

Greenock Glenpark Harriers’ fastest athletes returned from lockdown to competition recording fastest athlete and personal bests at the recent Stirling University invitation track meeting.

First up was Mark MacLachlan in the 100m, who after some fine performances at Glenpark’s local event recently, was seeking an official time over the shorter sprint. A fine start saw Mark into his stirde accelerating into the middle part of the race in a commanding position, capable of maintaining his speed further down the straight Mark stopped the clocked in a new best close to the 11 second barrier.  He the followed this up with a fine 200m to ensure a successful conclusion to the days efforts.

Mark MacLachlan

Scott Hannaway the areas fastest 200m athlete pre lockdown was back to put his marker down. An explosive start from the blocks saw Scott catch the athletes on the outside lanes as he powered around the tight bends, as he cruised into the home straight it was a race against the clock as he pulled clear of the competition, crossing the line Scott had announced his return with another 22 second run and fastest athlete of the day. 

Both are now focus on the coming available events in the summer. 

Virtual Half Marathon 2021

Greenock Glenpark Harriers staged a virtual half marathon on the first weekend in May which was open to all runners in the area and beyond. This was to provide our members and others with a training target to get them all through the latter stages of the Spring lockdown. With the incentive of a unique GGH T shirt on offer, the uptake and turnout was fantastic. Over 100 people took part, with some fantastic results throughout.

The rules were that you could run the full half marathon distance anywhere you like, as long as you cover the 13.11 miles or 21.1 kilometres. Some people chose this as a perfect opportunity to attack their Personal Best (PB), some to tackle the distance for the first time, and some to try and run it on as inventive a course as possible (more on that later…)

The running took place from Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May, with 102 final results tallied. The fastest time posted was from our very own Paul Monaghan, who ran a superb solo 76.20 on the Cloch Road on the Saturday, also the fastest time by a v40. Paul is a great team player, and has done brilliant work coaching our junior athletes in recent years. it was no surprise to see him not stop there after his incredible run, he was straight to the track at Ravenscraig to help pace the latter stages of Oliver Reilly’s attempt on the track. A half marathon on the track is just under 53 laps! Oliver, who has been on of the stars of the virtual racing over the last year had a bold target of getting under 80 minutes for the first time, which he did in 78.43. A great run, spurred on by a great set of pacemakers and good for second fastest overall. The third fastest time was posted over on Bute by Wes Pattison in 80.08.

Paul Monaghan wasn’t done there though, he turned up the next morning on The Esplanade to help pace another two of our runners. Chris Mooney and Stephen Hanley were setting out to break 85 minutes, and Paul took the lead and paced it perfectly the whole route. Chris pushed on for the last 5k and ran 83.18, which is great to see the former club champion starting to put good times back together. Stephen ran 84.35 which was a very hard earned 3 minute PB with Paul shouting encouragement in the closing stages!

Paul pacing Chris and Stephen

The fastest female times were excellent. Fiona Macfarlane has trained so hard throughout lockdown for a marathon that has sadly still not happened. Fiona didn’t want the training to go to waste, and went out and absolutely smashed her PB in a time of 1.42.03, which is 4 minutes off of her previous time and also the best time for v35. Fiona was paced round with a strong team of Harriers in another great show of club team work. Liza Brydon was second fastest female and fastest v45 in 1.44.20. Liza’s run was completely solo and took her out and back on the Cloch Road too. On a similar route was the third placed female, Katy Croucher, who also ran solo. Katy was raising money for the British Heart Foundation, and ran a great time of 1.46.08. Katy is not currently a member of the club, but shows great promise as a runner with a time like that!

Fiona with her pacing team of Stuart, Ross and James (and supporter!)

In the other age categories not mentioned, the first v50 male was Gavin Morrison who was actually running his first ever half marathon! Gavin ran a great time of 87.10, although has said that once was enough… we’ll see! Danny McLaughlin was the first v60 in 98.09, with Graham McGrattan not far behind. Robert Dolan Snr walked the full distance in just over 4 hours to be the first v70. On the female side, Terri Wall, who likes the longer races, was first v55 in 1.53.02. Saving the best until last, we had Charlotte McKay in the v65 age group who ran just over 3 hours assisted by daughter Marianne McKay. Great running Charlotte!

Various runners including Charlotte and Liza

On to some of the more adventurous routes. For some, flat out and back racing is the worst thing imaginable. They’d rather take to the hills! Sue Hewitson and Marian Monk ran a great loop around the trails of the Greenock Cut. Eileen Stevenson, Nathalie Smith and Steven Smith ran along the old Kelly Cut loop around Inverkip and Wemyss Bay. Kirsty Ormond took a few friends on a 13 mile adventure down the old Largs road, starting from Greenock end. Not a bad place to finish for a nice ice cream!

However, the pick of the bunch has to go to Mick McLoone and Andy McCall. If you have ever driven past the old IBM site and seen a very steep trail heading up from the railway line to the Greenock Cut and wondered, why is that there? Well it is there for crazy people to run up it. One ascent of that hill is approximately 350-400ft. So if you run up and down that to get the half marathon distance you get an elevation gain of somewhere between 4500 and 5000ft! That’s what these two guys did. Whichever altimeter was more accurate doesn’t matter, its still higher than Ben Nevis! They completed the distance in around 2 hours 30 mins. They are still smiling in the photo below, but they legs would have felt that for days!

A couple of madmen in Mick and Andy

One of the most encouraging runs we saw over that weekend was rom Aidan Coyle. Having joined the club through our Couch to Club Runner programme in 2020, Aidan has gone from strength to strength. The aim of the course was to get people into running who had never ran before, or thought they were ‘too slow’ for a running club. After months on the programme, some runner like Aidan joined the club and started taking part in big training sessions and club races. In the lead up to the virtual half, Aidan reached out to the Harriers online community asking for a training plan to break his PB. Up stepped Kevin O’Donoghue who gave him a 10 week plan to smash that PB. Kevin went the extra mile and ran with Aidan on the day, and Aidan ran 1.53.05, a 6 minute improvement! This is exactly the sort of story we love to see at Greenock Glenpark Harriers.

A massive thank you has to go to our men’s captain John Stevenson who organised the whole event, and generously donated the T shirts to the club members who completed the run. We are also indebted to Alyson Fielding from Active Physiotherapy Clinic for her generous race sponsorship. Alyson helped a number of our runners prepare (and recover!), and if you are interested in her help then please get in touch.

Category Results:
Overall Male: 1. Paul Monaghan 2. Oliver Reilly 3. Wes Pattison
Overall Female: 1. Fiona MacFarlane 2. Liza Brydon 3. Katy Croucher

Male Vets:
v40 Paul Monaghan
v50 Gavin Morrison
v60 Danny McLaughlin
v70 Robert Dolan Snr

Female Vets:
v35 Fiona MacFarlane
v45 Liza Brydon
v55 Terri Wall
v65  Charlotte McKay

Full Results: Paul Monaghan 1:16:20, Oliver Reilly 1:18:43, Wes Pattison 1:20:08, Andrew Osborne 1:20:57, Daniel Doherty 1:22:19, Chris Mooney 1:23:18, Stephen Hanley 1:24:35, Robert Dolan 1:26:48, Sean Marshall 1:26:57, Gavin Morrison 1:27:10, Gordy Hepburn 1:28:32, Paul McAulay 1:29:03, Kevin Brown 1:29:10, John Stevenson 1:29:35, David Roberts 1:29:38, James McFadden 1:33:39, Ross Paul 1:34:03, Craig Hyslop 1:34:26, Stuart Austin 1:34:58, Alan Poole 1:35:32, Owen Atkinson 1:35:39, Eric Lindsay 1:36:16, Danny McLaughlin 1:38:09, Steven Campbell 1:38:20, David Holmes 1:38:44, James Doherty 1:38:57, Stewart Ballantyne 1:40:57, Fiona MacFarlane 1:42:03, Ross Slater 1:42:04, Greig Turner 1:42:14, Kev CRAIG 1:42:16, Graham McGrattan 1:43:55, Chris Watson 1:43:56, Liza Brydon 1:44:20, Alan O’Rourke 1:44:48, Malcolm MacLean 1:45:17, Sam McVicar 1:46:00, Katy Croucher 1:46:08, Scot Hill 1:46:44, Debbie McKenzie 1:47:43, Steven Morris 1:48:15, Gary Keogh 1:48:36, Robert Adams 1:50:10, Ross Neilson 1:50:48, Stuart D Crawford 1:51:10, Stephen Reid 1:52:22, Terri Wall 1:53:02, Aidan Coyle 1:53:05, Kevin O’Donoghue 1:53:15, Sean Macfarlane 1:55:03, Oliver Bertinetti 1:55:29, Heather Lafferty 1:56:20, Cheryl Thomas 1:57:20, Lucia Giuntoli 1:58:35, Olivia Devine 1:58:54, Richard Jow 1:59:08, Lynsey Mooney 1:59:54, Liam McFadden 1:59:55, Lynsey McLaughlin 2:00:47, Lucas Bezian 2:03:39, Alex Paterson 2:04:00, Robin McAuslan 2:05:42, Susan Slater 2:06:36, Julie Smith 2:09:00, Donna Campbell 2:09:52, Michelle Morgan 2:11:06, Lisa Boonsanong 2:13:25, Jim Brannigan 2:14:13, Audrey Thompson 2:15:27, Johnny Thompson 2:15:27, Emma Sinclair 2:15:33, Liz Ness 2:15:46, Kirsty Ormond 2:16:00, Jane Dolan 2:16:41, Marian Monk 2:16:49, Yvonne Prager 2:17:49, David Carruthers 2:18:22, Sue Hewitson 2:21:06, Viki Smith 2:22:05 Elaine Medinelli 2:23:07, Sandra Devine 2:23:07, Jennifer Turner 2:24:11, Fiona Cushnaghan 2:24:13, Kirstin Arthur 2:24:13, Marianne Mckay 2:24:17, Graeme Crawford 2:24:19, Callum Gorry 2:24:53, Simon Hutton 2:25:00, Susie Gillies 2:25:00, Nathalie Smith 2:29:27, Steven Smith 2:29:27, Andrew McCall 2:30:59, Michael McLoone 2:30:59, Eileen Stevenson 2:32:34, Wenda Crawford 2:33:52, Andy McIntyre 2:34:04, Helen Crawford 2:53:23, Charlotte McKay 3:00:09, Robert Mitchell 4:01:00, Robert Dolan Snr 4:01:14

Virtual Half Marathon

The time is finally here for our Virtual Half Marathon! You can run your half over the next 4 days on any route you so choose, just making sure you cover the whole 13.11 miles or 21.11 kilometres.

In order to submit your result, please use the form below to enter your time and a link to either Strava or Garmin. If you do not use either of these, then just drop us an email at greenockglenparkharriers@gmail.com with some photo evidence from your chosen app of even just your watch!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/18hAq4heW_0Zfy5zfrHOCA6dxkvSAPBiSKIIlnB92z94/viewform?edit_requested=true

We are absolutely delighted that Active Physiotherapy Clinic are on board as our race sponsor. Alyson Fielding has been treating a number of our runners in preparation for the event, and has some great offers for some recovery treatments if you need them after the weekend! Have a look here: https://www.facebook.com/ActivePhysioClinicGourock/

The T Shirts are here and they look spectacular! Can’t wait to see these dominating the streets of Inverclyde in a few weeks time.

Thinking of Joining? Half Price Fees!

Have you taken up running during one of the lockdowns? Are you worried about busy indoor gyms re-opening? Do you want to improve that 5k PB?

Well look no further than Greenock Glenpark Harriers! Our membership fees for the next 6 months are now only £25. We are taking on new senior and junior members (waiting list still applies for ages 9-11).

As a senior member, you would have full access to the following:
– 2 group training sessions per week (Monday and Wednesday evenings)
– up to 8 club races to be held over the summer (these will have to be member only for the foreseeable, £2 entry per race)
– Access to our clubhouse gym at Orangefield
– Access to Ravenscraig track on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday timeslots for free!

As a junior member, you would have the opportunity to train at the track with our varying age groups on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Not sure it is right for you? No need to worry, we offer a 4 week free trial to the training sessions!

Please get in touch at greenockglenparkharriers@gmail.com or find our membership forms here: https://greenockglenparkharriers.com/join-us/

Scottish Athletics: Virtual Road Challenge VII

Scottish Athletics have been organising virtual challenges over the last year to keep us all engaged with running during the pandemic. Distances have usually ranged from 1 mile to 10, occasionally longer. However for their 7th event, they offered a marathon option! We haven’t always reported on virtual racing, but when one of our members goes ahead and finishes first for a virtual marathon, it is more than deserving of a write up!

Oliver Reilly previously lead the way with his time at the virtual London Marathon in October, running 2.57 around the Battery Park (with a solid team of pacers). This time, he opted for the trickier loop of The Esplanade and Eldon Street (around 3.5km). Completely solo, and battling a brisk westerly wind and uneven and slightly undulating terrain, Oliver proceeded to run an incredible 2.50.59! An incredible run, and it sat rightly as the top virtual marathon entry in Scotland. Oliver ran on the Friday, and the weather admittedly deteriorated over the weekend which may have put some runners off. However, you would have to do something special to get anywhere near that time on your tod!

Oliver was not the only person to attempt the marathon distance. Our very own Ultra runner Kevin Gill had been training hard for the ultimately cancelled track marathon, so he set out to complete his marathon on a shorter loop of Eldon Street and The Esplanade. Kevin, backed by a hearty group of pacers, set out well and despite hitting the wall, he pushed through to break the 4 hour mark by just 37 seconds.

The other options for seniors over the weekend were 10k and half marathon. Oliver was not to be the only runner topping leaderboard for the event, Debbie McKenzie ran her best half marathon time to top the ladies masters leaderboard in a superb time of 1.50.17. Heather Lafferty also had a great run to get herself 4th on the same list, and they combined with Emma Sinclair to finish as the fastest ladies only team. On the men’s masters side in the half, Owen Atkinson was 3rd and Eric Lindsay’s fastest half got him 6th.

All routes need to be on a loop of at least 1km (due to GPS inaccuracies), that is unless you can get on a track, and for a half marathon that’s over 52 laps… Its not for everyone, but Andy McCall isn’t everyone. Andy absolutely smashed it on the track in an incredible 1.19.24, and in his own words that’s his fastest half marathon since the dawn of GPS watches! Andy, Owen and Eric combined to be the number one team for the half marathon category, with Andy 2nd overall individually! Well done guys.

In the 10km, Daniel Doherty completed his on the track for a great run of 36.33 and Stephen Hanley wasn’t far behind in 37.04 while opting for a coastal route in Gourock. John Stevenson made up the club A team which finished in 5th spot, with a B team of Graeme Boyce, Viki Smith and Fiona MacFarlane.

One of the main things is seeing good participation and representation from the club, and Donna Campbell, Sandra Devine and Elaine Medinelli also combined for a full 10km team. Eddie Devine and Charlotte McKay also took part, which is great to see. It is hard to compete with the numbers that Bellahouston Road Runners have entered in almost all of these events, but Greenock Glenpark Harriers have regularly been second behind them in terms of numbers. We only had one junior have a go at the options available, well done to Summer Taggart running a quick 3km in 12.33.

Results: https://salicence.sportserve.net/useruploads/eventinfo/11662-RoadChalVII%20Full%20Results_v2.pdf

Junior Training

Following an easing in restrictions, Greenock Glenpark Harriers have now restarted their popular group training sessions for their junior athletes.  Training sessions are held at Ravenscraig Sports stadium on Tuesday evening from 6.15pm to 7.15pm, Thursday from 6.00pm to 7.00pm and Saturday from 11.30 to 12.30. 

Anyone interested in getting into athletics is very welcome to come along and try some free training sessions. These are open to anyone of age 8-17. Our youngest age group, 8-11, has a waiting list. Please email us to find out more. We hope to cut the list down ASAP depending on numbers for the new season and number of volunteers required. We are always looking for more volunteers if you are interested!

If anyone would like any further information, the Club can be contacted at greenockglenparkharriers@gmail.com  A member of the coaching team would be happy to speak to anyone interested and provide more information about the clubs junior section.  More information is also on the club’s Facebook page (@Greenock Glenpark Harriers), Twitter (@ggharriers) or Instagram (@greenockglenpark)

Virtual Half Marathon

It is only 6 weeks to go until the Greenock Glenpark Harriers virtual half marathon! We have already had an amazing 130 runners sign up for the event. You can still enter right up until the start date on 30th April.

The half marathon (13.11 miles or 21.1 kilometres) should be ran over the long weekend of 30th April to 3rd May on any route you so choose (Although if you a running on a short loop, please try and keep to a loop over 1km due to GPS inaccuracies). Your result can then be emailed in to the club with a link to Garmin, Strava or whatever you use to track your run (even a picture of your watch will do).

The event is open to non-members, and we are thrilled at the numbers who have signed up so far that are not in the club (even one all the way from Germany!). Non-members can still get a T shirt, but the T shirt is only free for members (and only £9 for non-members if you want one).

Please use the link below to enter:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1sbRnqUpheiR4cwVZPNYZvmkAS7WQMl_3DOCXTxlayd8/edit

Let us know how your training is going?! You can get us on Facebook (Greenock Glenpark Harriers), Twitter (@ggharriers) or Instagram (@greenockglenpark).

Lyle Mile 2021 Race Report

It’s a New Year and for all those involved with Greenock Glenpark Harriers that means only one thing: time to run up a big steep hill! The people of Inverclyde will be heading into this New Year with a sense of cautious optimism that hopefully things can return to some form of normality. Sadly, given the current circumstances we find ourselves in as a community, this year’s Lyle Mile had to adapt. However, we can safely say that this year’s version of the challenge has proven to be an enormous success!

Instead of the New Year’s Day mass race, we adapted the rules and allowed people to have a go at the challenge over a three day period from 1st to 3rd January. The Lyle Mile route remained the same, but you could do it when you wanted, record your time and submit a result. Runners still started the challenge at the railway bridge at the bottom of Lyle Road, and followed the winding pavement all the way up to the beacon on top of the Lyle Hill. The course is exactly one mile long and takes on about 400ft of elevation! An absolute lung buster to blow away the cobwebs.

The Lyle Mile always has a charitable element to it. Each year, the £2 entry fee goes towards a local charity close to our hearts. This year, we chose to recognise the great work of Ardgowan Hopsice and the work they do in our community, especially in challenging times such as these. We opened up a justgiving fundraising page and asked that the £2 entry fee was donated there. We were absolutely taken aback by the level of generosity shown by the local community. At the time of writing we have raised £1600! We could not be more delighted. We have to give a huge thank you to everyone who donated and shared our story across social media. Special thanks to Greenock Telegraph for publicising and to CM Autos for their continued sponsorship.

We had just under 100 official entries to the virtual race itself. However, we know that there was even more people out there who ran the route or donated money. As always with this race, some of the times were incredible. Inverclyde AC’s John Bell smashed the race record with a time of 5.59, beating his own 6.26 set at the inaugural race in 2017. John is one of the top runners in Scotland, and we all hope to see him fulfilling his promise at some big races this year. John has ran the route quicker in training, which is quite hard to fathom! It was an IAC one two with Dylan Crawford taking second place in an amazing 6.18, which any other year would have been good enough for the win!

First Greenock Glenpark Harrier was Neil Lafferty in an amazing 6.22, setting a new GGH record for the race, beating Chris Mooney’s 6.36 from 2018. It is a shame that these runners were not able to go head to head this year, as a race always gets a few more seconds off the time. Andy McCall was second for GGH in 6.54, and Daniel Doherty just pipped Kevin Craig for fourth place in a real battle of the Port boys.

The Glenpark juniors always impress in this race, and this year saw Ava Beaton defend her GGH ladies crown in 8.04, finishing ahead of fellow junior GGH athlete Summer Taggart. It was dead heat in the GGH senior ladies category, with newbie Liza Brydon tying with Fiona MacFarlane on 9.30. Jude Dolan was once again the fastest GGH junior male, and he took 14 seconds off of his previous best at the same time. Ruari Trainer had a great run in 8.30, and Euan Johnson narrowly missed the 9 minute barrier!

There was an option to run the Lyle Mile elsewhere, as travel restrictions put pay to some people being able to attend in person. We were delighted to see that 2 Helensburgh AC athletes took on a one mile stretch of Ben Bowie that was similar elevation gain to the Lyle Mile itself. We had another runner from Helensburgh do it too, and one as far away as Ireland taking part and donating to the cause!

It was great to see a number of our Couch to Club Runner group take part. Margaret Bryce felt the benefit of a few practise runs at it, and there were great runs from Emma Sinclair, Lynne Fulton and especially Aidan Coyle. Let’s hope 2021 sees a return of this Tuesday training group, and we see more runners graduate and join in the main training sessions too.

The current lockdown has put pay to our usual training, January club race and cross country schedule. However, as soon as we are able to, we will be looking to get training sessions back up and running and the next club race organised. In the meantime, there will be some more Scottish Athletics virtual races to have a go at and the club’s 125th Anniversary Strava segments are still out there for you to have a go at!

We would like to say a big thank you to CM Autos for their continued sponsorship of this event, it is much appreciated especially in these times.

Results: John Bell 5.59, Dylan Crawford 6.18, Neil Lafferty 6.22, Andrew McCall 6.54, Daniel Doherty 7.04, Kev Craig 7.05, Jude Dolan 7.23, Stephen Hanley 7.32, Andrew Osborne 7.35, Oliver Reilly 7.43, Paul Beaton 7.57, Ava Beaton 8.04, Rhys Crawford 8.08, Robert Dolan 8.16, Ruari Trainer 8.30, Ian McKee 8.32, Graham McGrattan 8.36, Stuart Clark 8.37, Stephen Harrison 8.40, Graeme Boyce 8.42, James Doherty 8.46, Summer Taggart 8.56, Paul Monaghan 9.00, Euan Johnson 9.01, Greg Turner 9.06, Malcolm McLean 9.06, Eric Lindsay 9.09, Stuart Austin 9.09, Ross Slater 9.11, Ross Paul 9.12, Richard Newsome 9.22, David Holmes 9.28, Stephen Reid 9.29, Fiona MacFarlane 9.30, Liza Brydon 9.30, Mick Harrington 9.31, Erin McEleny 9.35, Sean Macfarlane 9.40, Sophie McGinty 9.40, Craig Canning 9.42, George McCallum 9.47, Rich Jow 9.58, Debbie McKenzie 10.03, Marianne McKay 10.06, Cheryl Thomas 10.08, Alex Paterson 10.17, Gary Keogh 10.19, Lesley Weber 10.23, Lynsey Mooney 10.26, Claire Monaghan 10.27, Lynne Harrison 10.29, Paul Murtagh 10.32, Heather Lafferty 10.33, Stuart Crawford 10.34, Lesley Weber 10.53, Aimee McEleny 10.58, Aidan Coyle 10.58, Robin McAuslan 11.09, Elaine Medinelli 11.12, Lynsey McLaughlin 11.12, Kirsten Arthur 11.23, Ian Hanley 11.26, Fiona Cushnaghan 11.48, Helen Crawford 11.48, Jennifer Boyd 11.48, Liz Ness 11.49, Simon Hutton 11.55, Lorna Coyle 12.01, Emma Sinclair, 12.02, Bethany Atkinson 12.18, Owen Atkinson 12.20, David Benstead 12.25, Islay Newsome 12.36, Sandra Devine 12.38, Beccy Gibson-Knowles 12.54, Matthew Ross 13.00, Angeline Austin 13.02, Kate Austin 13.02, Neve Austin 13.02, Jenni Murray 13.06, Grace Salton 13.06, Jen Turner 13.09, Charlotte McKay 13.10, Margaret Bryce 13.29, Angela Nelson 13.29, Orla Trainer 13.46, Andy McIntyre 13.54, Claire Melville 14.09, Lynne Fulton 14.09, Carol Thompson 14.25, Julie Morrison 14.58, Linsay Miller 15.00, Emma Benstead 16.16, Karen Jamieson 16.18. Helensburgh: Gordon Andrew 8.52, Gordon Turk 9.08, Emma Cummings 10.25

Lyle Mile 2021

We all hope that 2021 will bring with it greater fortunes for all, and what better way to start 2021 than by running one mile up a big old hill! The Lyle Mile is back this year, but in virtual form. You can run the Lyle Mile any time between 1st and 3rd January 2021. Read on to find out more…

The main Lyle Mile course is unchanged, you need to run from the lampost before the railway bridge at the bottom of Lyle Road, and finish at the Beacon on the very top of Lyle Hill. See images below for exact points. You must follow the pavement the whole way, and only cross the road at the corner of Merlin Avenue when safe to do so. As you approach the top, follow the pavement past the car park spaces and then fork right up the slope to the beacon.

Start line
Finish Approach (don’t go left!)
Finish Line

Of course, we are fully aware that the usual Lyle Mile course is limited to those that live in Inverclyde only. However, if you live out with Inverclyde, do not fear! We would love to see entries from near and far. All you have to do is find a one mile route that goes uphill! We will have leaderboards for both the Lyle Mile course itself, and those taking part elsewhere.

This year, we will be supporting Ardgowan Hospice, and we have set up a justgiving page. Typically, we would ask runners to donate £2 to the charity as your entry fee, so that is our suggested donation for those taking part this year too. Please see the justgiving page here: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/gghlylemile2021

We are delighted that CM Autos have agreed to sponsor the event again this year, a big thanks to them for helping us out especially in these uncertain times!

So, now for the fun part. Entering your result! There are 3 main ways of doing this:

  1. Fill out our hand Google form here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfib0lIdY5KeXq_MmCUCpMFitcEzJ4PiOeuImaolUYIB0IWLw/viewform?usp=sf_link
  2. Email us with your time and evidence here: greenockglenparkharriers@gmail.com
  3. Get in touch with us with your time and evidence via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

By evidence, we mean a link to your Garmin or Strava, or some photos including your watch/phone timer. If entering on a course elsewhere, try and provide as much detail as possible.

The important thing is that we all get 2021 off to a bang! Hopefully raising a lot of money for Ardgowan Hospice in the meantime.