This year’s Willow Bowl club ace took part last Saturday around the Greenock Cut. It was a cracking day for it, with bright sunshine spoiled only by a strong southerly wind. The annual loop around the cut saw the runners face a cutting head wind as they made their way up the hill from the Waterman’s Cottage and down into Cornalees. Once onto the cut itself, the runners were able to use to tailwind to get them home.
As a conceding handicap race, the runners were set out in a staggered start, with the aim of seeing them all hurtling towards the finish line at the same time. However, there was a clear winner in the form of Kevin Gill. The popular taxi driver come ultra runner lead from near the front and was never in any danger of being caught as he swept the handicap race. His celebrations in the race sponsored Willow Bar went on into the small hours. Well done Kev!
The first vet runner across the line gets to take home the Tommy Knight trophy, and this year it went to new member and keen triathlete Helen Ridley who was second only to Kevin in the handicap race. Helen becomes the second recipient of the trophy dedicated to the late Tommy Knight and presented by his family in his memory.
Elsewhere in the handicap race, there was a tremendous battle between two Roberts, as President Dolan battled it our with Robert Wilson Jnr who was making his return to club racing after a two year absence. Setting off together, it was only in the last mile that Dolan got clear in a huge PB for him for this race. This also sees him jump up to the top of the handicap championship standings alongside John Stevenson who also had a cracking race.
Among the ladies performing well in the handicap race was Debbie McKenzie securing her first top 10 as a harrier. There were many individual battles along the cut as runners fought tooth and nail to get as good a finish as possible. Cheryl Thomas fought her way, quite literally, to a good finish. David McCorkindale, Frank McMahon and Robin McAuslan also had great runs to nestle inside the top 10 in the handicap race.
Sandra Campbell claimed the victory in a hard fought ladies race, only 35 second ahead of Claire Monaghan as they both ran really well on the day. Cheryl Thomas was not far behind in third place with Helen Ridley and Marianne McKay rounding out the top 5. Elsewhere there were great runs from Sharon Black, Lisa Boonsanong and Debbie McKenzie as they all tackled this route for the first time
The men’s race was made very interesting with Andrew White taking advantage of the good early morning conditions to test himself at Greenock parkrun. His 5k time of 16.32 was just outside of his pb as he continues his excellent recent form. The question would be if his legs could hold up for the afternoon race? Well we should never really doubt Andy’s strength as he ran out a clear winner in just 46.35, almost a minute clear of Paul Monaghan in second place. Paul’s run of 47.30 was also a great time for the course and shows that his high mileage is paying dividends.
Robert Dolan’s fine run of 50.15 was good enough for third place, with Robert Wilson Jnr just behind in fourth spot. John Stevenson was in fifth place and just 7 seconds separated 3rd to 5th! Andy McCall was able to nab 6th sot narrowly from Steven Campbell and there was also some pb runs in the chasing pack with Stephen Hanley among them.
Elsewhere it was great to see young Callum Gorry complete the race in a fine time of just over 62 minutes, with this being the farthest he has raced so far. He is one of seven members now to have ran every race this year! How many of them can keep it going for all 11? Next race is the longest in the calendar, the 10 mile Docherty Cup on April 13th.
We’d like to thank the army of volunteers who were out helping the runner get round the course safely last week. there were so many photographers out taking advantage of the scenic views and it was hard to whittle them down for this article! A massive thank you to each of them and to our race sponsors The Willow Bar. 42 runners were in attendance, a trend that sees our club races growing in popularity this year. Lets keep it going!
Results: Andrew White 46:35, Paul Monaghan 47:30, Robert Dolan 50:15, Robert Wilson Jnr 50:19, John Stevenson 50:22, Andy McCall 51:27, Stevie Campbell 51:29, Paul Beaton 52:36, Stephen Hanley 52:42, David McCorkindale 53:17, Danny McLaughlin 54:37, Duncan Anderson 55:27, David Roberts 056:22, George McCallum 56:59, Graham McGrattan 57:58, Stephen Reid 59:33, Robin McAuslan 01:00:50, Sandra Campbell 01:00:57, Kevin Gill 01:01:30, Claire Monaghan 01:01:32, Jim Cuffe 01:01:52, Frank McMahon 01:02:03, Cheryl Thomas 01:02:23, Callum Gorry 01:02:31, Helen Ridley 01:02:47, Jeremy Deveney 01:03:04, Marianne McKay 01:03:06, Nicola Stevenson 01:03:44, Matthew Young 01:03:49, Lucas Bezian 01:04:25, Lorna Coyle 01:04:54, James McFadden 01:05:40, Alan O’Rouke 01:05:52, Colin Campbell 01:07:15, Fiona McFarlane 01:07:30, Kenny Scott 01:07:38, Lisa Boonsanong 01:07:44, Terri Wall 01:07:53, Debbie McKenzie 01:08:11, Boyd McKenzie 01:08:39, Sharon Black 01:09:48, Fiona Cushnaghan 01:13:4