The last Harriers race of the decade took place last Saturday, the annual race around some of the best trails near the Greenock Cut. The Wilson Trophy is a conceding handicap race, but this year the severe weather conditions were the real handicap. Howling wind and rain battered the runners from the west as they tackled the mud and puddles that littered the route. It was that cold that we only have a handful of photos to prove that it happened! A big thank you has to go to the volunteers who braved the conditions to stand out and ensure the race went ahead safely.
The 32 runners were sent off in reverse order to tackle the course, with Elaine Medinelli first out to brave the course. Sadly, Elaine took a wrong turn early on, and suffered the conditions for an extra mile than the rest of the field. Well done Elaine for sticking it out! 2 other ladies, Marian Monk and Lynsey Mooney were out early in the field and managed to hold their ground right up until near the end, with both putting in high placed finishes in the handicap race. It was only on the uphill home straight that Marian was eventually caught by the winner.
Andrew McCall makes the hills above Greenock his home turf, with many an afternoon spent exploring the trails. This was his sort of race, and he embraced the tough conditions from the start as he ploughed through the field. He caught Marian with less than 500m to and took the victory in the handicap race. Owen Atkinson also surged through the field, and the harrier’s rookie looked right at home on the trail. Neil Lafferty finished 4th in the handicap race, one year on from his near miss when he won the race as a guest. Now as a member of the club, Neil is proving to be a top contender in the club races.
Sue Hewitson is another one who embraces the challenges that the cut trails throw at you, as she is very much at home in these races. She took the ladies scratch race title, her second club race victory of the year which moves her to the top of the overall standings. Marian Monk was second and Sandra Campbell was third overall. There was a great turnout from the ladies on the day, the best this race has seen in a good few years so well done to everyone who gave it a go!
With everyone knowing that Andrew McCall had won the handicap race, it was a nervous wait back at the clubhouse afterwards as the maths was done for the mens scratch race. In the end, Andrew was crowned the double victor on the day as he took his first scratch race victory in ten year, narrowly edging out current club champion Steven Campbell. Paul Monaghan was third, with Neil Lafferty fourth and last year’s handicap winner Chris Jones in fifth.
Thanks to the race sponsor Robert Wilson of Wilson’s Buses, and it was good to see Robert out on the course cheering on the runners. The club has two races coming up in short succession with the Lyle Mile at noon on New Year’s Day and the Harris Trophy at the Coves Reservoir on January 4th. See you all then and have a Merry Christmas and all the best for 2020, our 125th year!
Results: Andrew McCall 30.37, Steven Campbell 31.20, Paul Monaghan 31.46, Neil Lafferty 32.05, Chris Jones 32.45, Owen Atkinson 33.12, Kevin Craig 33.21, Stephen Hanley 34.13, Robert Dolan 34.33, Sue Hewitson 36.07, Danny McLaughlan 36.31, Oliver Reilly 37.24, John Stevenson 37.37, Ian McKee 38.58, Marian Monk 39.23, Sandra Campbell 40.16, Stephen Reid 40.16, Callum Gorry 40.20, Helen Ridley 41.15, Alan O’Rourke 41.23, Rich Jow 41.48, Donna Campbell 42.26, Marianne McKay 43.16, Robin McAuslan 43.18, Lynsey Mooney 43.36, Cheryl Thomas 43.55, Colin Campbell 45.28, Debbie Mckenzie 45.44, Heather Lafferty 47.43, Fiona Cushnaghan 51.03, Elaine Medinelli 61.35
Championship Tables: Championship Tables 2019-20