Bute Highland Games
The sun shone on another fabulous day at Rothesay, as the Harriers made their annual visit to the Bute Highland Games. The club’s 16 junior athletes put in some terrific performances in the 100, 200 and 800metres events in front of thousands of spectators in the town’s packed stadium.
The primary school events got proceedings under way with Aimee McEleny, Stella McCabe and Orla Trainer impressing in the under 9 events. Leo Beaton, despite his pre-race nerves, was the most convincing winner streaking clear of the field in both sprints. Team mates Patrick McCabe and Ruari Trainer had their own close battle over the shorter distances. Under 11s Erin McEleny and Maria McCabe were among the medals with Leah Knox and Ashlin Monaghan battling close behind. Douglas Campbell also had success winning 2 silvers. Under 13 Ava Beaton was most successful of all, with wins in all her 3 races, while Ethan Cooper ran strongly to make both sprint finals.
The under 15 girls’ Abbie Tosh and Olivia Trainer both looked impressive in the 800m, finishing with strong burst to the line. Jude Dolan was another who was among the prizes. Thanks to all the organisers at Bute with a special mention to Cameron Spence and Shaun Lyon from Inverclyde AC & Glenpark who helped organised the athletic events.
Four of the seniors gave the 10k run a go. The route takes runners from the track north along the Bute coast towards Port Bannatyne where they are turned to head back to Rothesay, finishing on the track. Paul Monaghan was first harrier home in 35.31, just outside the top 10 and in a similar time to his 10k at the Bill Elder. Jon Stevenson ran a sub 40 with 39.47 as he continues his comeback from injuries sustained in his borderline mental ultra efforts in the spring. The better halves of both runners also ran the 10k, with Claire Monaghan running in 48.48 and Eileen Stevenson in 56.03.
For some however, running was a bit too dull. With a storied history of multiple martial arts, and generally battering folk, Marianne ‘The Hitwoman’ McKay decided to compete in the Scottish Backhold Wresting competitions. Whilst getting to grips with the new technique; Marianne, with Stone Cold focus, impressed to take 2nd place in the under 10 stone category. Now that she was used to the technique, she entered the open weight category. In front of the Rowdy home crowd, Marianne was able to Hulk up and gain the Edge over her opponents, convincingly winning the Bute Highland Games title belt.
Scottish Track and Field Championships
At the Scottish Track & Field championships at Grangemouth on Saturday Harry McGill achieved both his aims in the Under 17 men’s’ 1500m heats – a personal best and a place in the final. He clipped two seconds from his PB bringing it down to 4.18 to scramble into the last 12 by just ½ a second. In Sunday’s final despite being seeded last, he ground out another fantastic performance. After 3 laps he was well off the back of the field and looking out of it, but a determined effort in the last 400m saw him close the gap and pass two athletes to claim an unexpected top ten finish.
Port Glasgow 10k
The highly anticipated first running of the Port Glasgow 10k was on Sunday. The innagural event had been organised by Glenpark’s own Andy McCall and Nicola Gillespie among others. heir hard work and dedication to getting the event up and running has to be commended. They were rewarded with a fantastic turnout of just under 200 runners, even if the Scottish weather didn’t quite play ball.
Andy himself set off as the leading bike and took the runner around lower Port Glasgow, a route he devised and perfected over the last few months. The runners started in the Coronation Park and headed west towards Kingston Dock, they then looped back towards the Port town centre before heading east to Woodhall. The final 2k straight along the boardwalk towards Newark Castle allowed runners a chance to pick up the pace with a good breeze behind them and finish in style back in the Coronation Park.
There were almost 30 Harriers in attendance, and the light blue vests were dominating the Port Glasgow streets. They were dominating the podium as well by the end of the race! Club champion Chris Mooney had a great battle with Bellahouston Harriers Colin Thomas (capable of sub 33 on his day). Chris is the form man though and stuck to his task, shaking off the competition with 1km to go and coming home in just over 34 minutes. Home favourite Daniel Doherty was spurred on by the partisan crowd and grabbed 3rd overall in 36.11.
Emma Baxter returned from her injury troubles to run her first race in months. She was able to cruise round in 43.19 to take 2nd in the ladies race behind Kilbarchan’s Jennifer Rooney. Great to see Emma back out in a Harriers vest. There were good runs elsewhere for Kevin Gill, Gordon Hepburn and David Black (running his first race as a Harrier).
Run Mhor Marathon
Sue Hewitson has been a big advocate of the MAF heart race based training regime for the last few months. This has led up to the Run Mhor marathon, a 2000ft gain race from Callander going north towards Loch Voil and ending in Monachyle. Sue completed the race in 4.07 to claim 3rd v40 overall. The race was tough on her legs but a great result and showing the progress the MAF training has done over a long period of time. A 35th overall position out of 180, well done Sue!
Scottish Veteran Harriers 10k
Not satisfied with a 10k race on Tuesday and Saturday, Paul Monaghan headed to Pollock Park for the Scottish Veteran Harriers 10k. Excited by the prospect of the flat fast course that was used for June’s Brian Goodwin 10k, Paul was sorely disappointing to find that a different, hillier course was the actual venue! Not to matter, Paul went out and comfortably won the race in 38.06, almost 90 seconds clear of his nearest competitor. Having ran close to 35 for his last 2 10k’s, this shows that the route was much tougher than expected.