John Kydd Neave Trophy 7th Sept 2017
Mick Dunn dragged himself to the starting line to spectacularly win Greenock Glenpark Harriers inaugural John K Neave 100metre handicap trophy.
The veteran athlete who had needed physio to ease off a hamstring strain he incurred in his semi-final heat, overcame the pain to sprint through the heavy rain to the loud cheers of the crowd for a famous victory. The 62 year old running off 18metres handicap hauled back Frank McMahon who was off 26metres. But the real pressure was coming from behind as Harry McGill (8metres) came charging through. The speedy youngster had moved up to 3rd and with the line in sight passed Frank, but he just ran out of track to deny the jubilant Dunn.
It was a fantastic turnout of 62 athletes young and old, whose ages ranged from 7 to 67 years old that came to compete in this unique age graded handicap event. The earlier heavy rain had eased as the first of 10 heats got under way, and there were no surprises as all the seeded athletes moved comfortably into the semi-finals.
The biggest shock of the night came in the 3rd semi-final, when the hot favourite Joshua Ruddy who was quickest in the first round heats was eliminated when he just failed to catch Harry McGill and Mick Dunn. Joshua can count himself unlucky as this race turned out to be the quickest of the night.
In that final were semi winners Frank McMahon, Beth McKenna, Michael Dunn and Paul Beaton alongside the runners-up Ewan Ferguson, Ava Beaton, Harry McGill, and the surprise athlete of the night Josephine Young who had earlier won her heat. The heavy rain had returned as the athletes nervously went to their marks. On the starters whistle the eight hurtled down the track, and with runners catching and passing each other, it looked as if it could go any way, but after 11 seconds it was all over and the glory was to go to Dunn who was lofted high onto the shoulders of his team-mates.
Sally Mack, the daughter of former Harrier John Neave, who inspired the competition, sent her wishes before the race, she said;
“It is such an honour for this race to be named after my father that I just wanted to congratulate the winner. My father would have been very proud that so many wanted to participate in this event 102 years after his own success. It is wonderful that Glenpark Harriers continues to encourage and facilitate the sport of athletics in Scotland. I am really sorry that I cannot be there in person but hope everyone who participated in the race had a great experience and I send you all my very best wishes…Sally Mack”
Special thanks to all the officials who made the 15 races go off like clockwork; at Declarations Silke Loehndorf, Eileen Stevenson, Nathalie Smith, Terri Wall, Mary McCabe; Starters Ian McKee, Hazel Wiseman, and Graeme Crawford; and finishing judges Steven Campbell, Fiona Cushnaghan, Andy MacLean, and Ian Hanley, and photographers Marianne McKay and Robert Dolan.
RESULTS: Heat1 Frank McMahon 11.61, Heat2 Ava Beaton 12.24, Heat3 Michael Dunn 12.00, Heat4 Josephine Young 12.90, Heat5 Mhairi Moore 12.22, Heat6 Mia Forrest 13.20, Heat7 Harry McGill 12.12, Heat8 Paul Beaton 12.74, Heat9 Joshua Ruddy 11.31, Heat10 Ryan Brown 13.02.
S/F1 Frank McMahon 11.64, S/F2 Beth McKenna 12.10, S/F3 Michael Dunn 11.20, S/F4 Paul Beaton 12.07
Final 1.Mick Dunn 11.48, 2. Harry McGill, 3. Frank McMahon, 4. Beth McKenna, 5. Ava Beaton, 6. Ewan Ferguson, 7. Josephine Young, 8. Paul Beaton