It was a busy weekend for the Harriers, with members competing at home and abroad, running half-marathons, a full marathon, and an ultramarathon. We even had some swimming and running in an aquathlon, and some “ultra” good news to round off the weekend.
D33 Ultra – Sat 12/03/2016
Setting the long distance theme for the weekend was Fiona Cushnaghan, running the D33 ultramarathon, a 33 mile race along the Deeside way from Aberdeen to Banchory and back to Aberdeen again. Fiona had a rough target of 6 hours, and was only just outside this, finishing in 6:04:57.
Barcelona Marathon – Sun 13/03/2016
Several Harriers travelled to Barcelona to compete in the city’s popular marathon. Andrew White was the first home from the club, in a time of 2:47:08, a PB of over 5 minutes, finishing in 176th place out of almost 17,000 runners. Andrew had set off at 6:15/mile pace, aiming for a sub 2:45 time, and was on course through 20 miles, but the pace and the heat took their toll and Andrew slowed over the last 7k. Next home was Silke Loehndorf, running a perfectly paced 3:54:29 for a 1 minute PB. Silke had been unsure of her target pace, so started conservatively before gradually upping her pace to run an elusive negative split. Thomas Loehndorf was a major doubt before the start due to injury, and battled through the pain barrier, passing halfway in 1:27, before being forced to withdraw. Also running in Barcelona were George Cooke and Mick Skelton, who ran together for the first 35k, before George slowed in the final 7k, with Mick finishing in 4:16:49 and George in 4:33:29.
Balloch to Clydebank half marathon
Balloch to Clydebank is a favourite for runners in the build up to the Spring marathon season, and a number of Harriers were using the race as part of their marathon preparation. Robert Dolan ran almost a 2 minute PB of 82:53, which sets him up well for a crack at sub-3 hours at London. Robert Wilson Jr. was also in good form, running 85:41, just ahead of Robert Wilson Sr., who was first V60 in 86:40, as they prepare for Manchester marathon in a few weeks. Gordy Hepburn just missed his target of sub-88 mins, running 88:10, and Stephen Hanley ran a solid debut half marathon, 1:40:41. Steven Smith was only a couple of minutes away from his best time, in 1:42:43, in his build up to the Edinburgh marathon. Meanwhile, Andy Maclean and Ian Hanley ran together, with Ian taking 10 minutes off his PB, as they prepare for the Warsaw marathon in late April.
Inverness half marathon
Shaun Lyon travelled north to compete in the Inverness half marathon, as part of his preparation for the London marathon. In a strong field, Shaun finished in 9th place with a time of 72:44, not far away from his best.
Glasgow University Aquathlon
Marian Monk used her swimming prowess, in addition to her running ability, to take first female vet place at this early season aquathlon, held at Bellahouston Park, and featuring a 750m swim and a 5k run. Lesley Nelson also made an impressive aquathlon debut in her new GGH trisuit.
Marian Monk: 35:10 (swim: 13:00, transition: 00:24, run: 21:46)
Lesley Nelson: 46:04 (swim: 18:36, transition: 01:29, run: 25:59)
Ian Smith: 1:03:21 (swim: 25:15, transition: 01:37, run: 36:29)
Rounding off the weekend, we had the good news that ultra runner Kevin O’Donoghue had been called into the Scotland team for the 100k Anglo-Celtic Plate international, at Perth on 27th March, for his first Scottish vest. Kevin will join club mate Thomas Loehndorf in Perth, as Thomas has been appointed as manager of the Scotland team. Good luck to Kevin, Thomas and the rest of the Scotland team in Perth!