The 2018 Wilson Trophy was held last Saturday having been delayed from the previous week due to bad weather. The previous Saturday had seen the Greenock Cut resemble a skating rink, with treacherous underfoot conditions on the course. The following week brought with it much better conditions for the runners, it was cold and breezy but it always is for this race!
The 4.5 mile race takes runners on a downhill first mile which culminates at the Greenock Cut before heading back up the hill through the trails and back to the stoney middle road. The loop repeats itself before runners head back uphill to the start line. This is a conceding handicap race, with runners set out in reverse order with the aim being to all finish around the same time. The handicap committee did a good job, with large clusters f runners heading back up the hill in packs.
The race for the line in the handicap race was a close one. Young Alan Mollins was putting in a string charge with under a mile to go but unfortunately lost his footing and fell into a rather large puddle, he finished the race in 2nd positions having battled Paul Beaton up the final climb. It was not enough to catch the winner tough, as Chris Jones finished just 18 seconds ahead of the pack to secure his first club race victory. Guest runner Neil Lafferty was actually first over the line after a superb run. Stephen Hanley secured 4th place in the handicap with a 2 minute course PB, and Marian Monk held off John Stevenson for 5th.
The ladies race saw a new face take the victory, with new club member Chloe Simpson competing in her first club race. She finished in 34.32 on an unfamiliar course to finish ahead of Marian Monk and Sandra Campbell in 2nd and 3rd respectively. Marianne McKay and Fiona MacFarlane ran well on their debuts at this race as well.
In the mens race, Chris Mooney retained his title in just under 28 mins, beating his time from last year by 22 seconds. Andrew White was second and Alan Mollins’s great run was rewarded with third place overall. Paul Monaghan and Paul Beaton rounded out the top 5 on the mens side. Elsewhere, there were great runs for Ian McKee who was 3 minutes quicker than the previous year and David Ness who was 2 minutes faster. Last year’s handicap champion Graeme Crawford put up a great fight in defence of his title, he was leading going into the last mile and was only caught by 6 runners before the finish.
A big thank you must go to the volunteers on the day. The course is very exposed and cold this time of year, not ideal for standing outside. However an army of supporters were out there cheering the runners on and keeping everything safe! Thanks also to the race sponsors Wilsons Buses for their continued support of the club.
The next club race is The Lyle Mile on New Years’ Day at 12pm. The race starts at the bottom of Lyle Road underneath the railway bridge and climbs up to the beacon on Lyle Hill, great way to start the new year. This race is not a championship race for the club, but the following Saturday (5th January), the Harris Trophy takes place around the Coves Reservoir. This is a 2pm start for seniors and most juniors, under 9s start at 1.45pm. The seniors race is a non-conceding handicap race, with everyone starting at the same time for 4 big laps (yes, 4!), handicaps will be published this week on the Facebook group.
Results: Chris Mooney 00:27:52, Andrew White 00:29:16, Allan Mollins 00:29:32, Paul Monaghan 00:29:39, Neil Lafferty 00:29:48 (guest), Paul Beaton 00:30:33, Chris Jones 00:31:04, John Stevenson 00:31:37, Steven Campbell 00:32:01, Stephen Hanley 00:32:13, Chloe Simpson 00:34:32, Micky Dunn 00:35:21, Stephen Ried 00:35:32, Ian McKee 00:35:50, David Ness 00:36:07, Marian Monk 00:36:35, Frank McMahon 00:37:14, Sandra Campbell 00:37:21, Alan O’Rouke 00:38:05, Robin McAuslan 00:38:41, Matthew Young 00:38:43, Callum Gorry 00:39:27, Marianne McKay 00:39:34, Fiona MacFarlane 00:39:46, Kevin Gill 00:40:17, Colin Campbell 00:41:01, Graeme Crawford 00:41:39, Boyd MacKenzie 00:42:13, Ken MacFarlane 00:44:06 (guest), Susan Clark 00:44:55, John Curruthers 00:45:24, Fiona Cushnaghan 00:45:40, David Curruthers 00:50:57