This years Dunoon Ultra Marathon proved once again to be popular with Greenock Glenpark Harriers, with 6 runners tackling the full ultra and another 12 taking part in the relay. Now in it’s third year, the hilly course provides a great opportunity for Harriers to stay local and try out their first ultra marathon event.
The course starts in the idyllic Benmore Botanical Gardens and heads briefly south towards Pucks Glen where the runners head off road an onto tricky paths and stairs through the valley. The route then heads north towards the first relay changeover point at Glenbraner, passing the highest point of the course en route for the stunning views back down Loch Eck. The second stretch of the race takes the runner back down the western edge of Loch Eck and back into the relay changeover in Benmore. The final stretch climbs back up hill along the forestry roads at Glenkin before returning downhill into Dunoon. The familiar final half mile along the promenade culminates in the finish line on Dunoon Pier.
There were 4 ultra marathon virgins taking part this year, 2 of which had never even ran a marathon before. There were another 2 returning Harriers looking to enjoy the better weather on the day than the previous year! Steven Watson was the first harrier home in just over the 5 1/2 hour mark. This was a great ultra debut for Steven who had never even ran the marathon distance before. Stephen Hanley was not far behind, who similarly had never done anything like this sort of distance in the past.
George McCallum and Sue Hewitson were not far behind on their ultra marathon debuts. The group had trained under the tutelage of now ultra veteran Stuart Austin, who had taken them over to Benmore the previous month on a scouting mission, a test run that greatly benefited them on the day. Stuart was unable to beat his time from the previous year, but hasn’t been put off entering more ultra events in the near future.Terri was narrowly missed out on beating her time from last year, but still a superb effort on very little training.
The 4 relay teams faired very well on the day, with all runners enjoying the pleasant conditions. The first team back finished in 4th overall place, thanks to Robert Adams setting a good pace round the longest of the 3 legs to start. Silke Loehndorf and Eileen Stevenson made up the team of 3. Robert had the best time for the first leg out of all the Harriers, with Silke having the fastest second leg and Sandra Campbell having the fastest final leg.
A big thanks has to go to all those that attended on the day to provide support for the runners. Also to Thomas Loehendorf for his fantastic photos!
Steven Watson 5.30.14, Stephen Hanley 5.34.50, George McCallum 5.46.17, Sue Hewitson 5.49.58, Stuart Austin 5.53.15, Terri Wall 6.39.50
Team 1: Robert Adams (2.18.34), Silke Loehndorf (1.27.11), Eileen Stevenson (1.47.27) – Total 5.33.02
Team 2: Kirsten Arthur (2.35.48), Fiona Cushnaghan (1.31.20), Viki Smith (1.34.09) –
Team 3: Susie Gillies (2.41.03), Susan Clark (1.33.14), Lorna Coyle (1.30.14) –
Team 4: Graeme Crawford (2.44.48) Wenda Crawford (1.49.12) Sandra Campbell (1.28.38)- Total 6.02.13