The 2017 Colin Shields Road Race saw 50 senior runners take on the 4.5 mile course that took them from Notre Dame High School up to the hospital and back via Cumberland road. It was a brisk autumn day and there was a stiff breeze into the runners’ faces as they headed out along Inverkip Road towards the bridge at Branchton Station.
In the mens race, it was a welcome first GGH victory for Chris Mooney in his first time running the route. His win rounds off a great few weeks for Chris as he completes his comeback from an injury hit summer. As a time trial race, runners were set off in random pairs from the start line at 30 second intervals. When the times were tallied up at the end, there was only 24 seconds separating the top 4 finishers. Mick McLoone continued his recent good form with a second place finish, just 10 seconds behind Chris. Winner of the first club race of the season, Steven Campbell, was a further 5 seconds behind in third. Daniel Doherty finished in 4th place, taking 34 seconds off of his time from last year. There were only a few runners able to produce better times than last year’s race showing that conditions were not as ideal.
The biggest improvement on last year’s times came from Kenny Scott, who took around 90 seconds off his time. Kenny has been steadily improving in the last 6 months and it’s good to see that continuing. Stephen Hanley took over a minute off of his time from last year an managed to just dip into the top 10 finishers. Some other notable strong runs came from Robin McAuslan, Paul Beaton and Robert Adams. It was good to see some new faces in the light blue vest including James McFadden and Malcolm MacLean, and some returning from injury like Graham McGrattan and David Ness.
The ladies race saw Lorna Coyle take the victory in 34.08. Lorna had 4 wins last season as well as 2 overall age category prizes, and it looks to be a good start to this season for her too! Donna Clark took second place and one minute off of her time from last year to boot. Marianne McKay showed no ill effects of her recent marathon to take home third place. Claire Monaghan and Viki Smith both took over 30 seconds off of their times from last year. Claire has been improving her parkrun times in recent weeks, so it was good to see this continue in the club race. Viki has been running the cross country relays, and her time improvement here may be the result of that hard work!
Chris Mooney 26.03, Mick McLoone 26.13, Steven Campbell 26.18, Daniel Doherty 26.27, Paul Monaghan 26.46, Andy McCall 27.20, Andrew Osborne 27.53, Chris Watson 28.24, Paul Beaton 29.00, Stephen Hanley 29.03, Robert Dolan 29.04, Chris Jones 29.56, David McCorkindale 30.37, Graham McGrattan 30.45, Sam McVicar 30.49, George McCallum 31.22, Stuart Austin 31.37, Robert Adams 31.42, James McFadden 31.46, Stephen Reid 32.04, Robin McAuslan 32.29, Malcolm MacLean 32.57, Steven Smith 33.01, Ross Slater 33.02, Alan O’Rourke 33.17, Stuart Crawford 33.25, David Ness 33.41, Jim Cuffe 33.56, Lorna Coyle 34.08, Ian McKee 34.19, Colin Campbell 34.39, Donna Clark 35.05, Marianne McKay 35.43, Boyd MacKenzie 35.45, Sandra Campbell 36.03, Fiona McFarlane 36.08, Gerry Gillespie 36.10, Claire Monaghan 36.27, Viki Smith 36.31, Terri Wall 36.42, Kenny Scott 36.47, Lynsey Mooney 37.56, Silke Loehndorf 40.43, Kirstin Arthur 41.21, Graeme Crawford 41.25, Yvonne Prager 41.27, David Carruthers 42.17, James Campbell 42.26, Wenda Crawford 43.25, Eddie Devine 48.03
Harry McGill claimed the Laurence Mulaghton Trophy with a convincing win in the junior 2 lap race around the testing circuit of Dunlop Street and through Murdieston Park. He opened an early gap on the chasing group led by Ewan Ferguson and continued to extend his lead from Ewan and the 3rd placed Cameron Patton.
Ruby McGill came from behind to win the girls race with an excellent paced run. After 1 lap she was sitting in 3rd spot, behind Ava Beaton and Katie Johnson. But with a second lap time matching her first, she timed it to perfection to take the win from runner-up Ava and Katie in 3rd , both looking as if they can put up a strong challenge in this year’s club championship.
The closest competition came in the under 11s one lap race, where Douglas Campbell had a 30metre lead at half-way from Jack Hay, but on the steep climb up Murdieston Street Jack had pulled level. With the finish line fast appearing a final kick from Douglas gave him the narrowest of wins. Just a few seconds behind came Connor McCrorey.
Maria McCabe, the reigning under 11 champion, was again leading girl, and not only that, she had put the boys under a great deal of pressure for the top spot overall. In 2nd place in the girls race was Sophie McLaughlin just edging out Erin McEleny, both girls showing big improvements in recent months.
The most pleasing aspect for the coaches, was the size of turnout from the junior section, which saw 37 youngsters taking part, this has been increasing over the last couple of years. The major individual advances since last year were shown by Shaun Wiseman and Mhairi Moore both an impressive one minute quicker, and in the shorter event Maria McCabe and Ashlin Monaghan.
2.2km: Harry McGill 7.13, Ewan Ferguson 7.43, Cameron Patton 8.01, Scott Meechan 8.10, Shaun Wiseman 8.53, Aidan McElwee 9.00, Ruby McGill 9.13, Ava Beaton 9.16, Alex Wiseman 9.21, Katie Johnson 9.22, Brodie Stone 9.31, Alyshia Singleton 10.00, Bobby Stone 10.01, Mhairi Moore 10.09, Sophie Campbell 10.58, Francesca McKay 10.59, Olivia Trainer 11.05, Abbigael Crawford 12.26,
1.1km: Douglas Campbell 4.15, Jack Hay 4.15, Connor McCrorey 4.19, Maria McCabe 4.21, Euan Johnson 4.25, Patrick McCabe 4.30, Cameron Crawford 4.31, Brodie Stone 4.33, Gregory Hay 4.44, Sophie McLaughlin 4.47, Erin McEleny 4.48, Leo Beaton 5.00, Ruari Trainer 5.05, Nathan McCorkindale 5.06, Leah Knox 5.13, Ashlin Monaghan 5.16, Murray Brown 5.24, Aimee McEleny 5.52, Lewis McGowan 5.56, Amy Campbell 7.27
The turnout from the seniors and junior was the most pleasing thing. 87 runners tackled the various distances and the support on the route from the volunteers was greatly appreciated by everyone. The hard work during the day allowed everyone to relax and enjoy the annual prize-giving that night at Lady Alice Bowling Club. The revelers particularly enjoyed the pies and sausage rolls on offer from prize-giving sponsors Robert Alexander Butchers, so a big thank you to them.