Its been a hectic summer for Greenock Glenpark Harriers. So hectic that this reporter cannot keep up with the races. So this report consists of as many of the run reports as I can find from what has been a very busy summer! Hopefully there will be more regular updates as we go into the winter season. Enjoy!
Clydebank Vets 5k
On a scorching hot night, 8 harriers travelled over to Clydebank for the annual Scottish Veteran Harriers 5k Road Race. With a top quality field of veterans and under age guests, including Stephen Trainer returning to racing, the pace was frantic from the very start. v45 Steven Campbell tracked his younger club mate until the last kilometre, before going head-to-head with top Scottish runner Stephen Wylie in a sprint finish. Campbell came out on top by a second to win the v45 category in a new lifetime best of 16:12, beating his previous best time from 5 years ago. Trainer was the first harrier home, 12 seconds ahead.
There was success also in the v55 category for GGH, with a superb run from Mick McLoone to break the 18 minute barrier by the narrowest of margins as he followed Andrew McCall home, with Andrew recording his fastest time for several years. Duncan Anderson had a solid run just over the 19 minute mark, while Malcolm MacLean’s 19:46 paled in to insignificance when he smashed his PB at Greenock parkrun 3 days later. Daniel Doherty stayed on the edge of getting back to his best, with Robin McAuslan happy to get back out racing again for the first time in several weeks.
Results: Stephen Trainer 16:00, Steven Campbell 16:12 (PB 1st V45), Daniel Doherty 17:24, Andrew McCall. 17:56, Mick McLoone. 17:59 (1st V55), Duncan Anderson 19:02, Malcolm MacLean. 19:46, Robin McAuslan. 22:35
3k on the Green
Mad dogs and 2 Harriers went out in the midday sun at the end of June for the 3k on the Green race at Glasgow Green. With temperatures in the mid 20s, Andrew McCall and Robin McAuslan lined up at the start of the race at the McLellan Arch, but the temperature and the exertions from the SVHC 5k less than 48 hours earlier impacted their ability to hit the times they were looking for. Andrew started well but felt the pace on the way back, still managing a decent time of 10:21 under the circumstances It was a similar story for Robin who failed to maintain his early pace but at least managed to match his recent time trial time, coming home in 12:37.
Andrew returned in July to try and break the time from the previous month, but fell just shy running in 10.25. Next 3k on the Green is scheduled for Friday 30th August 2019 at 12.30pm.
August saw the turn of Nicola Stevenson to smash her PB at 3k on the Green. With a previous best of just over 13 minutes, Nicola absolutely smashed that with a a time of 12.36. Stephen Hanley was making a start at a return from inury and helped pace Nicola along to her fantastic PB.
June: Andrew McCall 10.21, Robin McAuslan 12.37
July: Andrew McCall 10.25
August: Stephen Hanley 12.30, Nicola Stevenson 12.36
Black Rock 5
A few hardy Harriers descended on sunny Kinghorn in Fife for the 30th famous Black Rock Beach Race with the biggest entry yet (1140 runners) in soggy footed madness! Stephen Reid was 1st harrier back in 36.40 mins, followed by Lorna Coyle in 39.05 mins (2nd V60), Stuart Austin (running with his brother-in-law) in 48.35 mins & Angeline Austin (running with her sister) in 54.44 mins (while also including lots of photos & jumping) Bottle of beer (or 2 if you were lucky) for all runners followed by prizegiving & BBQ.
Taynult Highland Games
Thanks to Nicola Stevenson for her report onTeam Stevenson’s trip to the Taynuilt Highland Games in Argyll.
We’re hoping to make it an annual trip to my fiancé’s home village and take part in the track events as well as watching the heavies in awe and wonder as they toss the caber and other heavy objects!
John, Eileen and myself all took part in the hill race which sees runners go out of the village, along farm track, through fields and forestry land to the top of Barran Dubh (311mAOD), a hill on the side of Ben Cruachan. Total distance 6.6miles.
All three faired well in the race, with John finishing in a nippy 1hour 11mins and Nicola in 1hr 26mins, claiming second place in the women’s race!
This was the first time Eileen took part in the race, finishing in 1hr 46mins after taking a few wrong turns and getting stuck in ditches and in the trees!
John and Nicola also took part in shorter field events, with Nicola claiming first prize in the 220yds open category and John taking part in the 1mile race.
A good day out had by all enjoying the sunshine and a bit of glory!
John Lucas Memorial Ultra
Viki Smith took on the full 50 mile ultra distance at this years John Lucas Memorial Ultra. The race is organised by The Strathaven Striders and takes on the countryside around Strathhaven, East Kilbride and Eaglesham. Stating in Strahaven and heading west to Loch Goin, the route then goes north to Eaglesham before heading back east, skirting the south side of East Kilbride, finishing back at Strathaven brewery. Viki not only completed the course in an amazing 9 hours 19, he was 10th overall and 3rd female! Superb stuff.
Two strong gangs of Harriers ladies took on the 5 stage relay as well. The aptly named ‘Not fast, Just Furious’ consisted of Marianne McKay, Cheryl Thomas, Lorna Coyle, Fiona MacFarlane and Lynsey Mooney. They finished in just under 7 hours. The other group, the ‘Glenpark Gals’, consisted of Terri Wall, Silke Loehndorf, Jane Dolan, Sharon Black and Yvonne Prager finishing in just under 8 hours.
50 Mile Ultra: Viki Smith 9.19.03 (10th, 3rd female)
Relay: Not Fast Just Furious 6.53.05, Glenpark Gals 7.58.09
Iron Man UK
Mick Dunn took on the challenge of the UK Iron Man in July. For those who don’t know, the full iron man consists of a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 112 mile bike and a full marathon run. Mick took on this challenge at the age of 64! His training in the hills of Greenock (often with weight pack) over the preceding months was inspirational.
The swim takes place in Pennington Flash, which is situated in the town of Leigh, near Wigan. the flash was used as the outdoor swimming venue for the Manchester Commonwealth Games, and hosts its very own parkrun every Saturday (around the outside paths of course). Once the swim is done, the cycle route takes you north to Bolton, and loops around the surrounding hillside. Then for the marathon! The run is contained within Bolton, and consists of 4 laps of the town centre. A torturous looping and repetitive loop, but essential for health and safety.
Huge congratulations to Mick for smashing this. The training he puts in is fantastic and he was well rewarded.
Swim 1.19.47, Bike 8.55.16, Run 5.07.50
Run the Blades
The trio of Elaine Medinelli, Sandra Devine and Angela Nelson have probably raced more than any other lady over the summer. In their first year of joining the club, they have competed all over the country in club colours. The three of them teamed up with Fiona Cushnaghan and ran the 10k at Run the Blades. The race situated within the Whitelees Windfarm.
10k: Fiona Cushnaghan 56.50, Elaine Medinelli 63.54, Sandra Devine 64.41, Angela Nelson 68.13
Chicago Rock n Roll 10k
Stuart and Angeline Austin embarked on a 3 week long tour of the Eastern USA, and no tour would be complete without a few races and parkruns! Their first running stop was in Chicago for the Rock N Roll 10k. The couple had previously ran in a similar event in Las Vegas. The Vegas event was hot and humid, but they were hoping for better running conditions in the place known as the Windy City… The stunning route followed the shoreline right in the heart of downtown Chicago., and they were rewarded with some snazzy looking medals!
No trip abroad is complete without trying to find a parkrun (or 2!). The first one was the Oak Grove parkrun, just over the border from Tennessee into Kentucky. Stuarts sub 23 earned him the age grade record for his category the course! (which stood until 31st August, so my bad for taking so long to publish this report…). From there they headed north into the capital Washington DC for the Roosevelt Island DC parkrun. The stunning setting on a ‘no cars go’ island is right in the heart of DC. Well done guys, holiday essentials should always include a parkrun barcode!
Chicago 10k: Stuart 48.22, Angeline 64.01
Oak Grove Kentucky parkrun: Stuart 22.44 (age grade record), Angeline 32.24
Roosevelt Island DC parkrun Stuart 24.40, Angeline 34.12
Daniel Doherty ticked a race off of his bucket list by running in the Dundonald 10k, the home of his in laws. A rather hilly route was well tackled by Daniel, and even through a fairly solo run, he was able to run in 37.01. narrowly missing a sub 37, but claiming 4th overall.
GAA Miler Meet 5km Track
The miler meets at Scotstoun offer a chance for a PB on the track over the popular middle distances over the summer. These are split into heats based on target times and each heat has pacer (where our own Stephen Trainer was able to help out). Daniel Doherty was able to just dip under 17 minutes for the 5k and Duncan Anderson also had a good time with 18.27.
Daniel Doherty 16.59, Duncan Anderson 18.27
Dunoon Half Marathon and 10k
The Harriers tend to have a decent turn out at the Dunoon half and 10k over the last few years. Although the time of year isn’t particularly suited to good half marathon running on the first weekend in August, the flat route still provides an opportunity for a PB if the weather behaves. The route takes runners south to Toward and turns pack to Dunoon to finish.
Sue Hewitson continued her brilliant form to be first Harrier home in 95 minutes dead, and was 3rd in her age category. Donna Campbell was 2nd back in 1.52, with Lisa Boonsanong next in 1.55. Debbie McKenzie had a superb run to break the 2 hour mark and finish in the top 10 of her age category.
The 10k follows a similar route, but obviously turning a bit sooner than the half! Sharon Black had a great race and finished 3rd in her age category. Julie Smith, in one of her first races for the club was 5th in her age category and Charlotte was 6th in hers.
Half Marathon Results: Sue Hewitson 1.35.00, Donna Campbell 1.52.38, Lisa Boonsanong 1.55.53, Matthew Young 1.55.54, James Campbell 1.56.34, Debbie Mckenzie 1.57.18
10k Results: Sharon Black 54.28, Julie Smith 58.42, Juliane Neilson 69.10, Charlotte McKay 80.58
Bog & Burn Series 2019
Our resident Hill runner Andy McCall took to the slopes again this summer, and here is his review of a fantastic series of events:
For a keen ‘hill runner’ there are certain races you have to do. Ben Nevis, Ben Lomond, Goatfell and so on but one target has always escaped me – the Scottish Hill Runners Bog & Burn series. This consists of 12 midweek hill races organised across the country with runners required to complete a minimum of 6 to be eligible for the series. These races vary in distance, climb and terrain which is great for hill running newbies, of which the club had several this year.
Up until now the most I have been able to do is 4 races. This year one of my targets was to complete at least 6 and I did it! Another was to try and encourage others in the club to take part in hill races, another one ticked off. As always the series was kicked off at the Kaim Hill Race in Fairley which was well attended with 15 Harriers travelling down the Ayrshire coast. This year was a record turnout for the race and this theme continued as almost all hill races seen record attendance.
Next was Beinn Dubh at Loch Lomond followed by the Whangie Whizz, Cort-ma Law, Kilpatricks and Caerketton Hill races. I was delighted and surprised to finish the series in 7th place. With some mixed performances I would have been happy with a top 20. 10 hill races in total for the season which is another personal best for me, and the season isn’t over. 18 Harries in total completed at least 1 hill race in the series.
Fair play to Andy for smashing his way through that series. But he didn’t stop there… There was one more hill to climb, and what better way to end the season than a trip up Ben Nevis! Again, Andy takes us through a fantastic race:
Having only ran this icon race once, in 2008, I had unfinished business with Britain’s biggest mountain. The weather couldn’t have been better, sunny, no cloud for perfect visibility and most importantly no wind, even at the summit! I set off feeling good and relaxed about the race. After the first mile we were on the tourist path heading uphill. The downside of amazing weather was the masses of people walking the course. It was single file for the entire ascent.
The steeper the race got in I remembered why I didn’t enjoy this race last time round. Heading off the tourist path and climbing through the scree was absolutely soul destroying and thigh bursting. I was steadily being passed by person after person with each foot of climbing.
The turn was in sight and I was hoping to make up as much ground as I could on the descent. Straight away I started taking people. Sliding down the scree was an exhilarating experience to say the least. Once on better ground I was still gaining places however the fun stopped with 2 mile to go. The dreaded cramp set in and I was stuck in slow gear. The last mile on the flat consisted of me and another guy shaping places by running and walking to the finish line (I recon I took around 45 people on the descent). The only thing that kept me going was knowing the kids would be there to cheer me on. Glad to get it in, enjoyed the experience but never again!
2008 time – 3 hours 11 mins 42 secs.
2019 time – 2 hours 19 mins 23 secs (unofficial)
The harriers often travel in numbers to our county neighbours in Paisley for the annual Renfrewshire Leisure 10k. A fast, flat route attracts a strong field as the end of the 10k season looms.
Club champion Steven Campbell was fit back with a great sub 35 run on a day where the underfoot conditions wee far from ideal. Fiona MacFarlane had another great run while just missing out on sub 47. However, it is the form that saw her get a huge parkrun PB a few weeks later. Cheryl Thomas was not far behind, swapping the hills for the flat. Elsewhere, club newcomer of the year Oliver Reilly broke 40 minutes again.
Steven Campbell 34.39, Mick McLoone 37.47, Oliver Reilly 39.34, Fiona MacFarlane 47.03, Cheryl Thomas 47.24, Rhys Jones 49.23, Debbie McKenzie 49.40, Malcolm McLean 49.54, Dannie Seddon 51.31, Gerry Gillespie 54.36, Angela Nelson 55.50, Sandra Devne 59.52, Charlotte McKay 78.58
Tour of Clydeside
The tour of Clydeside is a series of races over varying distances. These are ran over five consecutive nights, culminating in the Bella Belter 10k in Pollock Park on the Friday. This year, it was Natalie Smith and Viki Smith who took on all 5 races for the club. The Smiths showed no signs of panic on the streets of Glasgow as they handled the gruelling schedule with ease. Our resident charming man Andy McCall even made it along for the Toota Linn trail 7k, a new addition this year.
The big winner on the day at this year’g Gourock Triathlon was Sandra Campbell, who was the first veteran lady! The sprint triathlon distance culminated in a superb sub 22 minute 5k from Sandra following on from the half mile swim and 12 mile cycle. Sandra finished ahead of Mick Harrington by only 30 seconds as he finished 5th in his category. Frank McMahon was 3rd in his age category, mere second ahead of Boyd McKenzie. David McCorkindale was the fastest Harrier on the day, breaking the hour mark for the event and finishing 2nd n his category. Kirsten Arthur was second behind Sandra in the veteran category.