There are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes and horrible weather for the Greenock Glenpark Harriers Wilson Trophy race in December! On Saturday, our brave runners and volunteers were faced with chilling winds and driving rain in the hills behind Overton.
The 4.5 mile trail race is many of the club member’s favourite race, but could also be described as Marmite! It is a conceding handicap race, with runners setting off in reverse order, with the first runner back the winner. Charlotte McKay was set off first, and faced quite an obstacle at the mile mark… a herd of at least 20 cows! Luckily there were 3 cowboys still on their warm ups, and they were able to shoo the big girls off the course. Maybe there’s a new career beckoning for Gordy Hepburn, Kevin Craig and Stephen Hanley?!
Charlotte looked on course for victory too, but with not long to go she was finally caught by Colin McKnight. The new member of the Harriers took the handicap victory by around 90 seconds in the end, so massive well done to Colin. Owen Atkinson, Kyle Johnstone and James Doherty ran well to round out the top 5 of the handicap race. Kyle might just have been the story of the day, as a tumble n the course lead to a few scrapes and a lot of mud as can be seen in the picture below!
Kyle was one of four Glenpark juniors who made their mark on this race. Senior races of this distance are open to our U17s, and they can’t half compete too. Ruby McGill, no stranger to winning senior races, stormed to victory in the female scratch race in a great time of 34.58! Edging out Marian Monk and Lyndsey Hunter who were not far behind.
The juniors were at it in the mens race too, with Shaun Wiseman storming to 3rd place overall, and Kyle as mentioned running 3rd in the handicap and 11th overall. A top 10 was probably nailed on if he hadn’t taken a tumble! Abbigael Crawford was the other junior to run, and she ran superbly with her dad Graeme and of course beating him cleanly!
The men’s race was won by Neil Lafferty, making it three out of three for the season, and stamping his authority on the 2021/22 championship. Neil’s winning time of 27.38 was very impressive in some stinking weather. Michael McLoone was 2nd, his best senior race finish to date. Michael is at home in the hills, and ran really well to push Shaun into 3rd spot. Only 9 seconds separated 2nd to 5th, with Captain Steven Campbell edging out Kevin ‘The Cowboy’ Craig to finish 4th by 2 seconds.
It was great to see so many new faces up the hills for their first club race. Stephen and Lynne Harrison both ran well on the back of a few practice runs with the club over the last month. Lynne ran the same time as fellow new member Lorna Mitchell, and both put themselves straight into the top 10 in the womans race.
The turnout of runners was once again fantastic, with 54 running when in the past it has been as low as 20. Races and events are comng thick and fast, and the club’s Lyle Mile will run on New Year’s Day at 11am this year after Greenockparkrun. The next club race is less than 3 weeks away, with the Harris Trophy on 8th January at Coves Reservoir. The 5.5 mile (4 big laps) course will set our runners a stern challenge for the dawn of 2022.
It wasn’t just the runners (and cows) having to bear the brunt of the conditions yesterday, and we must thank the army of volunteers that were out there! We cannot run these events without them, and we do appreciate their time. We also really appreciate the sponsorship from Wilson Buses via long standing club member and sponsor Robert Wilson. Everyone who was there are also indebted to the Crawfords for getting the van up to the start line and providing some much needed shelter!
Results: Neil Lafferty 27.38, Michael Joseph McLoone 29.33, Shaun Wiseman 29.38, Steven Campbell 29.40, Kevin Craig 29.42, Oliver Reilly 30.35, Owen Atkinson 31.19, Daniel Doherty 31.22, Gavin Morrison 31.32, Stephen Hanley 31.46, Kyle Johnstone 31.51, Paul Monaghan 32.24, Sam McVicar 33.22, Gordy Hepburn 33.35, Colin McKnight 34.47, Ruby McGill 34.58, James Doherty 35.13, Stephen Harrison 35.34, Marian Monk 35.45, John Stevenson 35.48, Danny McLaughlin 36.11, William Taylor 36.31, Craig Hyslop 36.36, Campbell Cromar 36.51, Alan O’Rourke 37.17, Lyndsey Hunter 37.46, Ian McKee 37.46, Greig Turner 37.47, Stephen Reid 37.49, Fiona MacFarlane 38.08, Callum Gorry 38.45, Matthew Deegan 39.14, Frank McMahon 39.21, Richard Jow 39.56, Lynne Harrison 40.25, Lorna Mitchell 40.25, Marianne McKay 41.03, Heather Lafferty 41.09, Cheryl Thomas 41.19, Abbigael Crawford 45.01, Debbie McKenzie 45.02, Graeme Crawford 45.05, Claire Monaghan 46.12, Nathalie Smith 46.22, Yvonne Prager 48.45, Kirstin Arthur 49, Elaine Medinelli 50.02, Sandra Devine 50.06, Jennifer Boyd 50.22, Sharon Black 51.14, Fiona Cushnaghan 51.32, Jason Skilling 52.53, Simon Hutton 53.03, Charlotte McKay 56.43