After the 2017 running of the Wilson Trophy was delayed a week due to poor ground conditions, it was rearranged for Saturday 23rd December. With a hectic running schedule in early 2017, it was good to get the race on at such short notice. A big thanks must go to the volunteers and race organisers who set up the course and helped on the day.
The busy Christmas schedule meant only 21 Harriers were able to attend on the day, and their effort was rewarded with a howling southerly wind that greeted them on their way up the steep climbs around the cut. The 4.5 mile trail race is run around the roads and trails near the Waterman’s Cottage and is a conceding handicap race.
Graeme Crawford was set off first as the highest handicapped runner on the day, with 20 Harriers setting off at intervals behind him to chase him down. Alas, none were able to catch Graeme and he won his first club race, much to the delight of his family who were screaming him home at the finish line. Many of the runners knew who had won the race even if they were still a mile from home, given the volume of the cheering!
Andy White put up the best chase from the pack. Starting over 14 minutes behind Graeme, Andy put in a really strong run to close the gap to only 15 seconds at the end. This run was enough to secure Andy second place in the mens race, with Chris Mooney making it back to back victories with a great run in tough conditions. Paul Monaghan put in a strong performance to round out the top 3 with Andy McCall and Steven Campbell close behind. Notable runs in the mens race also include Derrick MacNish, who made it into the top 10 in his first Harriers race.
Marian Monk got her second win of the season, finishing 2017 on a high with a great run and victory in the ladies race. Lynsey Mooney was second lady on the day.
There are two Harriers club races in quick succession in the coming week. Start your new year in the best way by taking part in the Lyle Mile. Monday 1st January, 12 noon underneath the railway bridge on Lyle Road. This a a one mile ‘lung buster’ up the Lyle Hill the hard way, and proved very popular among Harriers last year. Juniors encouraged to take part as well as seniors, and it is open to non members as well so spread the word. The race is a bit of fun and all proceeds on the day will go to Inverclyde Downs Syndrome Support Group. (the race does not count towards Club Championships)
Following this is the Harris Trophy club championship race at the Coves Reservoirs in Gourock. The 5.5 mile race for the senior starts at 2pm on Saturday 6th January, with junior races starting from 1.45pm. Registration available in the clubhouse from 12 noon to 1.15pm or at the race, with parking available in the hospital overflow car park. The senior race is a non-conceding handicap race, and handicaps will be posted later this week.
Results (handicap time in bracket):
Chris Mooney 28.14 (51.14), Andrew White 29.29 (50.59), Paul Monaghan 29.52 (51.22), Andy McCall 30.29 (51.59), Steven Campbell 30.48 (53.18), John Stevenson 32.19 (51.49), Robert Dolan 32.40 (51.40), Paul Beaton 32.40 (52.10), Derrick MacNish 34.12 (52.42), Stephen Hanley 35.41 (54.41), Stephen Reid 36.03 (53.03), Graham McGrattan 36.09 (54.09), George McCallum 36.42 (55.12), Marian Monk 37.48 (53.18), Robin McAuslan 38.05 (54.35), David Ness 38.20 (54.50), Ian McKee 38.36 (52.36), Boyd McKenzie 42.31 (54.31), Ian Hanley 42.58 (53.58), Lynsey Mooney 43.37 (55.37), Graeme Crawford 43.44 (50.44)