The 2021 Docherty Cup saw Greenock Glenpark Harriers returned to the road for a club race for the first time since November 2019! The Docherty Cup is a ten mile conceding handicap race ran along the Cloch Road, and was cancelled in 2020 due to the pandemic. Our club racing made a return in the autumn, but we have kept ourselves to secluded trails and the track for each race so far. However, with restrictions easing, and an early start time on Saturday, we safely put on our first road race in over 18 months.
The ten mile race sees runners do a lap of Gourock’s Ashton promenade (starting near the Spinnaker Hotel) before heading along the Cloch Road towards Inverkip. The runners are turned at the Bankfoot roundabout and head back to the finish line at The Spinnaker. The race is a conceding handicap, where the runners are set out with the fastest runners last, with the aim being that everyone finishes at the same time. First runner back wins the Docherty Cup. This made it back to back handicap races in a short period of time, so a big thank you has to go to the handicap committee for putting the work in. They can rest easy for a few weeks now!
In conceding handicap races, we always hope to see a tight finish among runners of a variety of different abilities, but that wasn’t the case for this one. Donna Campbell was miles ahead! Donna was a whole two and a half minutes ahead of her nearest competitor as she ran a big PB of 74.02, almost a minute quicker than her time in 2018. James McFadden continued his good form, which saw him finish 4th at the Willow Bowl and now 2nd at the Docherty Cup, and is enough to see him top the handicap championship with 3 races to go. Paul Monaghan ran a storming time of 57.52 to break into third spot in the handicap race.
Paul’s run was bettered by only two other men in the scratch race. Shaun Lyon returned to winning ways with a run of 56.19. Shaun now has four wins in the five races he has ran over the extended Harriers 2019-2021 season, and sees him make a late surge for the crown. Kevin Craig continued his superb form on from the Willow Bowl as he found himself in second place, 21 seconds ahead of Paul Monaghan. Steven Campbell, Oliver Reilly, Andrew Osborne and Andy McCall all dipped under the hour mark for the ten miler. Michael McLoone Jnr narrowly missed out in 60.05, but took family bragging right by beating his dad by just under one minute having set off in the same group.
Sue Hewitson won her seventh ladies race of the year, which is a clean sweep of the races she has ran! Things may have been different for this one though, with Nicola Doohan toeing the line for the second time in a harriers vest. However, Nicola had to pull out through injury at the 10km mark. It will be good to see both ladies toe the line for a club race in the near future! Sue now has a commanding lead at the top of the ladies championship. Donna Campbell was the runner up in the ladies race with her great run. She edged out Fiona MacFarlane who continues to run well on the back of her steady training.
Debbie McKenzie and Cheryl Thomas rounded out the top 5 in the ladies race. It is harder to see progress when the race hasn’t been held for over two years, but a look at the 2019 results showed that Lisa Boonsanong took 6 minutes off of her time and Heather Lafferty took almost 4 minutes off of her time. Callum Gorry took 30 seconds off of his time and saw him nip into the top 10 handicap for the second race in a row. Conditions wise, it wasn’t too bad a day for the race. Bright and mild, with a bit of a northerly wind.
The biggest thing though is that once again the club turned out in force to volunteer and make the race run smoothly. Timekeepers, marshals, registration, photographers all helped on the day, and tireless work went on behind the scenes from John Stevenson once again. Another big thank you goes to The Spinnaker Hotel for their continued sponsorship of the race. Races continue to come thick and fast throughout the summer months for Glenpark Harriers, and a report from last Saturday’s Singlehurst Race will be posted soon, and then its onto the Chisholm Mile next Tuesday at Ravenscraig Track!
Results: Shaun Lyon 56.19, Kev Craig 57.31, Paul Monaghan 57.52, Steven Campbell 58.47, Andrew Osborne 59.08, Oliver Reilly 59.26, Andrew McCall 59.42, Michael McLoone Jnr 60.05, Chris Mooney 61.02, Michael McLoone Snr 61.02, Robert Dolan 63.01, Gavin Morrison 63.52, James McFadden 65.27, Stuart Hodge 65.54, John Stevenson 66.52, Paul McAulay 67.16, Chris Watson 67.24, Eric Lindsay 68.32, Sue Hewitson 68.58, David Roberts 69.19, Stuart Austin 70.01, Danny McLaughlin 71.19, Craig Hyslop 71.52, Ian McKee 72, Callum Gorry 73.41, Donna Campbell 74.02, Fiona Macfarlane 75.48, Ross Slater 76.02, Kevin Gill 79.17, Greig Turner 80.19, Debbie McKenzie 81.29, Cheryl Thomas 82.08, Lisa Boonsanong 82.09, Robin McAuslan 82.26, Marianne McKay 83.17, Terry Wall 83.25, Heather Lafferty 83.35, Jim Cuffe 85.07, Fiona Cushnaghan 87.47, David Benstead 88.33, Graeme Crawford 90.44, Gerry Gillespie 91.03, David Carruthers 94.27, Yvonne Prager 95.15, Wenda Crawford 96.48, Emma Sinclair 96.57, Simon Hutton 101.12