April Review

Welcome to this months bumper race reports! There’s been plenty of marathons for us to keep track of this month with some superb performances from Glenparkers on tour.

Manchester Marathon

Stuart Austin, George McCallum and Gordy Hepburn all headed to Manchester for the increasingly popular marathon. There were PBs all round for the trio as well, making it a very successful trip!  Gordy was first home for the team in 3.12, a superb 12 minute improvement on his PB. More to come though I think we’ll all agree. George set his new PB at 3.25 and Stuart had only ever ran a marathon previously, not raced it so his new PB is excellently set at 3.32.

Stuart gave his thoughts on a great day out for the lads:
I was fairly pleased with my run which pretty much went to plan with fairly even splits. Learnt lots, mainly what not to do but those are typically better learning points. 1hr 6min PB for me as although I’ve ran the distance, not raced it! Great to be be able to share the experience with fellow harriers, I think that’s just reflective of the work hard/play hard Harrier ethic, even if George ended up drinking half pints (couldn’t hack the pace) as were thrown out the pub at closing time!”…Sounds like my sort of race, sign me up!

Results: Gordon Hepburn 3.12.24 George McCallum 3.25.31 Stuart Austin 3.32.05

Brighton Marathon

Newcomer to the club Oliver Reilly has really come on leaps and bounds in the last six months since structuring his training with our club sessions. His parkrun time have flown down to the mid 18s and sub 18 is only a matter of time this summer. Taking it to extremes though, he took on the Brighton marathon making his marathon debut for the club! After a typically rapid start Oliver held on for a superb 3.17!

Boston Marathon

Shaun Lyon set off for the USA to take on the famous Boston marathon. After an injury hit end to the 2018 season, Shaun has put in the miles over the winter and was getting back to his best shape in the weeks leading up to the race. Shaun shared his thoughts on how it went:

Was going to do a Boston marathon training blog but with fear of not making the start line and looking foolish thought I would do a report instead. It was a real privilege to do such a prestigious race which unlike other marathons you have to qualify for in the first place. After fears of storms,heavy rain and headwinds; the weather actually wasn’t too bad, no rain, but a slight crosswind and quite high humidity. My plan was too run a 2.33 but not being a flat course I couldn’t just run even splits, with 5 mile downhill to start I allowed myself to run 5-10 secs above race pace (5:48-5:50 per mile). Unlike any other marathons I have done, this one is rather hilly and it really beats up your quads on the downhills. So I was starting too feel it in the legs from as early as the 4th mile. I hit the halfway stage in 1.16, about right but with hills to come I knew I would prob be 2 mins slower on the second half. I kept my breathing under control most of the way, then came heartbreak hill at mile 21 which slowed me right up dropping down to a 6.20 mile. However I dropped a 5.44 on the other side to get some time back, but the legs were gone after that and a 2.33 was looking out of reach. The saving grace for miles 23 to the finish was it was mostly downhill which meant a pb was still within reach. By mile 25 I was hurting so bad but had too keep pushing and came onto Boyleston Street and could see the clock and knew I had a minute to get there too break 2.35! So I turned myself inside out and made it with 9 secs to spare to finish in 2:34:51, a minute PB, 181st place and 5th British runner.

Congrats to Shaun for a superb race and a great PB on a tough course. It will be good to see Shaun back with the club for the remainder of the season.

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London Marathon

The annual pilgrimage to London for one of the world’s biggest marathons took place last weekend, with 7 harriers represented in the capital. The rest of us had to make do with sitting at home and trying to spot the sky blue vests on the telly. Sadly there were a few notable last withdrawals among the harriers that had to also make do with couch viewing. However, we are all hopeful that the likes of Chris Mooney and our ballot winner Paul Beaton will make it next year and smash it.

Speaking of smashing it, that’s exactly what Andy White had in mind. With a good spot just behind the elites, Andy set off to set a big PB and take on the challenge of the V50 British contenders. Andy set off a slightly quicker pace than intended but cling in there. The last couple of miles brought on a slight stitch, but a sub 2.39 was achieved. Andy was 5th V50, narrowly missing out on the medals. However it was still a great run, a new PB and a mark that can be challenged in Berlin later this year.

Robert Dolan travelled south on the back of social media posts threatening to give Mo Farah a battle. Perhaps this was a premonition of the media headlines days before the race, Mo is clearly up for a square go… Joking aside, Robert absolutely smashed his PB with a super run of 2.55, an excellent PB for the club President. Thankfully he came home with only a bloody nipple and not a bloody nose.

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Michael McLoone dipped under the radar and under the hour three hour mark with an excellent run. John Stevenson found the latter half of the marathon tough going, but great family support and a saltire to drape round his shoulders got him over the line in 3.06 which is still a solid effort!
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Sue Hewitson set some of the steadiest mile splits you are likely to see on her way to a fantastic 3.23. An absolutely brilliant run from Sue who has been running some great miles for a good time now, and is seeing the big benefits over the distance races! Sue was joined by Susan Clark who ran the race in 4.44.

Wenda and the Crawford gang traveled south to take in all the sights and sounds the marathon experience has to offer. Some illness on the day prevented Wenda from fully going for the race, but she still finished in just over 6 hours and with many stories to tell! Well done everyone. ballot is open for next year! Remember, you need a ballot entry rejection to stand a chance of getting the club entry.

Results: Andrew White 2.38.58, Robert Dolan 2.55.51, Michael McLoone 2.57.49, John Stevenson 3.05.54, Sue Hewitson 3.23.20, Susan Clark 4.44.53, Wenda Crawford 6.02.08

Stirling Marathon

This year’s Stirling marathon was on the same day as London, but it did count as the Scottish marathon championships. The route now take runners west from Stirling out towards Blair Drummond before looking back through Dunblane Bridge of Allan before finishing below castle back in Stirling.

Paul Monaghan went there to have a go at the overall and vets medals. Paul ran an amazing 2.40.18 over the tough undulating course. This made him 4th overall and 2nd vet, so he returned home with a nice shiney silver medal! It was a tough solo run for most of it with Paul well clear of the next runner, making the race a real test of character. Paul has typically worked tirelessly over the winter, putting in big miles and it’s great to see it pay off. Well done Paul.

Paul was not alone in Stirling with Lucas Bezian making his now annual trip to take on his 3rd marathon as a Harrier. Lucas solidified his improvements with a great 5 minute on finishing in 4.17! Well done Lucas.

Kaim Hill Race

The Kaim Hill Race in Fairlie is the first hill race of the season, and it is becoming increasingly popular with the Harriers faithful. This year, 15 Harriers made the short trip beyond Largs. There were some standout performances from the gang too, with veteran hill runner Andy McCall leading the way just ahead of fellow Portonian Daniel Doherty. Youngster Shaun Wiseman was next home with a great run, and Cheryl Thomas edged out Marianne McKay to be first lady. New trio Angela Nelson, Elaine Medinelli and Sandra Devine all took part, and have signed up for more of these races on the back of it. Great to see a new crop of enthusiastic ladies in the club. Elaine was not put off even having a quick dip in the stream (definitely looks like Simon pushed her…)

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Results:
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Andy, Danny and Mick also made it along to the Beinn Dubh hill race the following week, and it’s great to see a good turnout from the Harriers for the hill races which come thick and fast at this time of year. Don’t forget that our club hill race is earlier this year and coincides with the junior Scottish trial race on 19th May.

Highland Fling

Stuart Austin and Kevin Gill don’t think a marathon is enough pain to put yourself through, it’s much more fun to tackle twice the distance in one go! Throw in an elevation gain of almost 7,000 feet and you’ve got yourself a great Saturday’s entertainment.

Stuart tackled the Fling last year and did in fact really enjoy it. He went out this year on the back of his excellent Manchester marathon performance, but with a lot less of the big long runs in the legs. But experience is vital in these races, and Stuart battled through some particularly nasty weather to complete it 24 minutes quicker than last year! A superb 11 hours and 16 minutes seen him home in time for dinner! Well done Stuart!

Kevin has trained very hard through the winter, including a handicap race victory at the willow bowl in February. He and training partner Kevin O’Donogue have really put in the work. Kevin has been a regular in the last few years and this year he managed to smash his PB set back in 2015, and taking 3 hours off of his time from last year! And if that wasn’t enough, he completed the last 6 miles with a broken arm! Unbelievable scenes from Kevin.

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Results: Stuart Austin 11.16.44, Kevin Gill 11.54.54

Arran 10k

Lorna Coyle ran the Arran 10k at the weekend. Lorna was 3rd lad and first v60! Taking home some really nice looking beer as a prize too. Again, sounds like my sort of race…! Well done Lorna.

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