This year’s Docherty Cup senior race was held last Saturday in Gourock. The longest club race in the calendar challenges the runners over 10 miles, and this year it actually was 10 miles! With roadworks overrunning at Lunderston Bay, the runners were diverted through the car park along the cycle path before rejoining the pavement. A route that might just we’ll be kept for future years.
The route takes the runners on an initial loop of Gourock Esplanade and then out towards Inverkip, turning to return home just after the roundabout (more on that later). There were over 40 senior runners taking part, which continues the increase in numbers at club races this season.
The weather was far from ideal, dry and bright but a strong easterly wind made it a challenging race on the way back to Gourock. The race is a conceding handicap, with runners set out in a predicted reverse order. Boyd MacKenzie was out first and looked to be on course for holding off the competition. However, disaster struck at the turn as Boyd sadly did not go as far as the roundabout, missing the marshal and turned for home too early. At the finish line, Steven Smith had made up most of the ground on Boyd and was only 20 seconds behind at the end. Steven therefore claimed his first club race victory with an excellent run, a long way in front of the chasing field.
The chasing pack in the handicap race saw some other great runs. Stuart Austin, fresh off of his excellent run at Manchester Marathon placed very high in the race. Donna Campbell showed great signs with her run as well. Steven Watson just held off his fast finishing younger brother Chris to place in the top 5 too. Chris’s run was very well paced to pick off a number of runners who had started to struggle in the wind. One of those was Stephen Hanley, who still placed in the top 10 to close the gap on the handicap championship leaders to 1 point.
In the ladies race, Sue Hewitson claimed the win in a great time, close to her PB from 2 years ago. Donna Campbell was not far behind and Lorna Could had a great race to finish in 3rd. Elsewhere, Heather Lafferty had a great run in her longest race to date.
In the men’s race, Andrew White claimed another victory in a great time. He had been set a tough challenge of trying to close a 2 minute gap on his nearest club mates. He kept them in sight and once the maths were done it was another victory for Andrew, who is looking in top shape for next week’s London marathon. Paul Monaghan ran really well to take second place and a high finish in the handicap standings. Stevie Campbell was not far behind and also placed in the top ten handicaps. Elsewhere there was a great run from Owen Atkinson who held on to Chris Watson for long periods of the race and finished in the top 10.
It was good to see Daniel Doherty back racing and Robert Wilson Jnr continued his strong return with another great race. Callum Gorry had a great run in his longest run to date and Richard Jow ran his first race as a Harrier. There was to be no repeat victory in the handicap race for Stuart Crawford, although he did take one minute off of his time from last year.
There was a great crowd of volunteers out in the route keeping the runners safe, watered and we’ll photographed. There was also a great atmosphere at the finish with a good turnout from the club. We would like to thank all of the volunteers and our race sponsors The Spinnaker for their hospitality after the race.
Results: Andrew White 56.22 (93.52), Paul Monaghan 57.20 (92.50), Steven Campbell 57.55 (93.25), Sean Gaffney 59.44 (96.14), Robert Wilson 63.03 (94.33), Daniel Doherty 63.55 (96.55), John Stevenson 64.31 (95.01), Chris Watson 65.22 (93.22), Stephen Hanley 65.28 (93.28), Owen Atkinson 65.44 (93.44), Steven Watson 65.51 (92.21), Robert Dolan 65.56 (96.26), Danny McLaughlin 66.37 (93.37), Callum McKenzie 67.11 (96.35), Sue Hewitson 69.32 (93.32), Steven Smith 71.20 (87.50), Stuart Austin 71.26 (92.26), Alan O’Rourke 72.11 (96.11), Stuart Crawford 72.19 (94.19), Ian McKee 73.01 (93.31), Stephen Reid 73.50 (94.20), Callum Gorry 74.13 (94.13), Graham McGrattan 74.23 (98.53), Gerry Gallacher 74.54 (96.54), Donna Campbell 76.45 (93.15), Lorna Coyle 78.03 (94.03), Claire Monaghan 80.20 (97.20), Richard Jow 81.52 (104.52), Frank McMahon 82.24 (99.54), Boyd McKenzie 82.29 (87.29), Terri Wall 82.29 (95.29), Kenny Scott 83.26 (94.26), Sarah Jane Whalen 86.09 (99.09), Colin Campbell 87.31 (102.31), Heather Lafferty 87.49 (94.49), Lisa Boonsanong 88.28 (99.28), David Benstead 92.37 (102.07), Graeme Crawford 97.56 (108.56), Ian Hanley dnf