Greenock Glenpark Harriers are a running and triathlon club based in Inverclyde on the west coast of Scotland. We cater for all abilities of athlete and warmly welcome new members from ages 9 to 90. Check the ‘Contact Us’ page for more info
Greenock Glenpark Harriers have been fortunate in the last few months to have some club races to keep their competitive juices flowing. Across Scotland, some open events are starting to come back into the racing calendar. Last Wednesday night we were fortunate enough to have such an event on our doorstep. The new wind farm at Corlic Hill has been dominating the skyline behind Inverclyde for over a year now, and what better way to christen the access road than to have a race around it!
Owners of the windfarm, BayWa kindly sponsored this new race, and thanks to the tireless work of Glenpark’s Andy McCall and Alex Osborne of Acorn Trails the race went ahead last Wednesday night. The 117 runners on the night were presented with a typical Greenock summer’s night, which started brightly but the wind and mist descended to challenge their toughness.
The route itself was three clockwise loops of the access road which links all eight of the wind turbines. The route starts with a gentle downhill but soon rises steadily upwards towards the western end of the loop, at this point the runners are met with “Killer”. There is 100ft of elevation gained in the space of around 150m of running, the challenge isn’t just to run to the top of it, it’s to keep the legs going for the downhill after! The hills and the wind made for a challenging route along the stoney roads over the 5.5 mile distance (9km).
Kieran Cooper has won events across Scotland, and at 21 is a real talent in the Scottish running scene. Him and his dad Richard are well kent faces down Inverclyde way with a number of Greenock parkrun and local races to their names. Kieran proved to be a class apart and won this race in a great time of 30 minutes 50 seconds, with Richard in 7th in 33.37 (first M50). Shaun Lyon has been prolific in winning the Glenpark Harriers club races recently, and he was 2nd overall here to again take the Glenpark crown in 31.47. Stuart Donnachie, an Acorn Trails regular, was 3rd in 32.18.
The ladies race was very tight. Like Shaun, Sue Hewitson has been pretty prolific for Glenpark in recent years, but couldn’t quite catch Louise Mitchell who edged her out by just 14 seconds. Louise runs for Cani Sport Fife, and it was another guest runner taking third with Bellahouston Harriers’ Kristina Greig nipping just under the 40 minute mark.
Glenpark Harriers have a club championship schedule of 1 races in the season, and normally the Harris Trophy would be run around Greenock’s Coves reservoirs in the midst of winter. However, due to the lockdown this year that race has not gone ahead. The trail around the Coves is tight, and perhaps not suitable for a race during times of social distancing. This year, this windfarm race substituted itself into the championship schedule as the eighth race of the season. Sean and Sue took home the crowns in the senior races. Neil Lafferty and Wes Pattison the closest challengers for the mens title and Marian Monk and Fiona MacFarlane closest to the ladies crown.
The handicap aspect was won by new member Ross Morrison in just his third race for the club. Ross raced superbly in just under 40 minutes to take the title ahead of Marian Monk and Lisa Boonsanong. The handicap committee deserve huge credit for judging this one given that it is a brand new race route!
The gratitudes do not stop there. This is one event where the hard work and dedication of many needs to be highlighted. The brainchild of Andy McCall, he worked tirelessly to bring his vision to reality. Acorn Trails involvement allowed the race to go ahead with online public entry, chip timing and superb publicity. It was great to see runners from across Scotland travel to our home turf and see what Inverclyde has to offer. The club volunteers were aplenty too, and made sure all runners got to and from the start line safely, and were well marshalled and supported around the course. Finally to BayWa for allowing us to use their land for the race, and for kindly sponsoring the club and the race.
Additional sponsorship was received from Migo Sports, Tesco Port Glasgow and Tunnocks. Some fantastic photos were taken on course from GBR Photographs. Money was raised on the day for Ardgowan Hospice, with over £400 donated to the local charity.
Acorn Trails race report: Link Race Results: Link GBR Photographs: Link
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
The Covid-19 pandemic put pay to Greenock Glenpark Harriers club racing in December of last year. The club had enjoyed a few months of racing in the lead up to Christmas, and three of our championship races had been run safely in that period. However, we had to wait until late April until we were in a position where we were allowed to put on another club race.
The Willow Bowl is one of the most popular races among our senior members. The race is a conceding handicap run around the Greenock Cut. Starting at the Long Dam near Overton, the runners are sent off west-bound in reverse handicap order. They travel up the stony road and down into Cornalees before joining the Cut and racing back to the start. The first person across the line is the winner of the Willow Bowl. This year the wind was unusually coming from the east, making the last 4 flat miles or so along the cut a tough prospect into the breeze.
In recent years, an additional prize has also been awarded to the first veteran runner across the line. Last year, Eric Lindsay won the Tommy Knight Trophy for this feat, and this year he went one step further by winning the Willow Bowl itself. Eric had a commanding lead of almost one minute over Fiona MacFarlane, who herself took home the Tommy Knight Trophy this year. Eric has been running great in his first couple of years as a Harrier, and this was perhaps his best performance yet. The same can be said for Fiona, who has now been unlucky to finish second in the last two handicap races! With 4 races to go in the handicap championship, both Eric and Fiona are battling it out as the top 2 runners.
In the scratch races, Sue Hewitson once again asserted her dominance on the trail. Sue has won the ladies scratch race every time she has ran it, which is four times in the last five years. Sue ran just under 56 minutes for the 7.8 mile course, her second fastest time in those four victories. Fiona MacFarlane and Marian Monk both broke the hour mark to claim second and third respectively. Marian claimed the v45 title and Terri Wall took home the v55 crown. Elsewhere there were some really strong runs from Debbie McKenzie, Heather Lafferty and Lynsey McLaughlin. There were 16 ladies running in total, which is a great turnout.
One person who is more than comfortable on the hills is Kev Craig. Our club ultra marathon specialist showed that he has some good speed on the shorter routes too. After a steady start up the hill, Kev threw everything at it from there to the finish line to take the mens race by the narrowest of margins. In a conceding handicap race, you are often not starting with your main competitor, and Andy McCall had started two minutes after Kev, and had to wait until they compared watches at the end to see he had just been pipped at the post by 10 seconds! In third place was Andrew Osborne, who had an incredible race. Andrew took two and a half minutes off his time from the year before, and in tougher conditions! Andrew finished ahead of a number of the club’s top guys, like last year’s winner Kevin O’Donoghue who was fourth.
Elsewhere there was another brilliant run from Oliver Reilly in fifth place, who continues to improve race on race, and big things are expected in the near future! James McFadden had another great run, with a high placing in the handicap standings, as did Callum Gorry who had a superb run, taking seven whole minutes off of his time from last year! Craig Hyslop ran well in his first club race, and Graeme Boyce too in his longest run to date. Kev Craig was the v40 winner, with Paul Monaghan taking the v50 crown (yes, you read that right… watch out v50s all over Scotland when big races return!!), Danny McLaughlin took the v60 and Frank McMahon the v70.
Its great to have club races back, but they would not be possible without the help of so many volunteers in the run up to the race and on the day itself. So a big thank you to all of them, and especially to John Stevenson for driving it. A big thank you has to go to our race sponsor and club member Dick Hodelet as well. Since this race, we have held our next club race, the Docherty Cup, so look out for another exciting read soon!
Results: Kevin Craig 46.31, Andrew McCall 46.41, Andrew Osborne 47.26, Kevin O’Donoghue 47.29, Oliver Reilly 47.36, Steven Campbell 48.1, Chris Mooney 49.14, Paul Monaghan 50.04, Stephen Hanley 50.57, Chris Jones 51.59, Gordy Hepburn 53.39, Eric Lindsay 54.02, Paul McAuley 54.23, David Roberts 54.28, James McFadden 54.3, Sue Hewitson 54.5, Chris Watson 55.33, Craig Hyslop 56.14, Ross Paul 56.41, Stuart Austin 56.53, Owen Atkinson 56.58, Graeme Boyce 57.08, James Doherty 57.12, Campbell Cromar 57.49, Ian McKee 58.06, Robert Dolan 58.46, Danny McLaughlin 58.46, Ross Slater 59.05, Fiona MacFarlane 59.27, Callum Gorry 59.35, Marian Monk 59.57, Viki Smith 61.18, Graham McGrattan 63.08, Robin McAuslan 64.13, Debbie McKenzie 64.29, Jim Cuffe 64.37, Frank McMahon 64.52, Lisa Boonsanong 65.17, Liam McFadden 67.11, Marianne Mckay 67.47, Heather Lafferty 68.29, Terri Wall 68.53, Lynsey McLaughlin 69.17, Lucas Bezian 72.22, Sharon Black 72.41, Sandra Devine 72.56, Susie Gillies 57.18, Elaine Medinelli 76.2, Yvonne Prager 77.35, Matthew Young 82.56, Angela Nelson 90.51
Greenock Glenpark Harriers’ fastest athletes returned from lockdown to competition recording fastest athlete and personal bests at the recent Stirling University invitation track meeting.
First up was Mark MacLachlan in the 100m, who after some fine performances at Glenpark’s local event recently, was seeking an official time over the shorter sprint. A fine start saw Mark into his stirde accelerating into the middle part of the race in a commanding position, capable of maintaining his speed further down the straight Mark stopped the clocked in a new best close to the 11 second barrier. He the followed this up with a fine 200m to ensure a successful conclusion to the days efforts.
Scott Hannaway the areas fastest 200m athlete pre lockdown was back to put his marker down. An explosive start from the blocks saw Scott catch the athletes on the outside lanes as he powered around the tight bends, as he cruised into the home straight it was a race against the clock as he pulled clear of the competition, crossing the line Scott had announced his return with another 22 second run and fastest athlete of the day.
Both are now focus on the coming available events in the summer.
Greenock Glenpark Harriers staged a virtual half marathon on the first weekend in May which was open to all runners in the area and beyond. This was to provide our members and others with a training target to get them all through the latter stages of the Spring lockdown. With the incentive of a unique GGH T shirt on offer, the uptake and turnout was fantastic. Over 100 people took part, with some fantastic results throughout.
The rules were that you could run the full half marathon distance anywhere you like, as long as you cover the 13.11 miles or 21.1 kilometres. Some people chose this as a perfect opportunity to attack their Personal Best (PB), some to tackle the distance for the first time, and some to try and run it on as inventive a course as possible (more on that later…)
The running took place from Friday 30th April to Monday 3rd May, with 102 final results tallied. The fastest time posted was from our very own Paul Monaghan, who ran a superb solo 76.20 on the Cloch Road on the Saturday, also the fastest time by a v40. Paul is a great team player, and has done brilliant work coaching our junior athletes in recent years. it was no surprise to see him not stop there after his incredible run, he was straight to the track at Ravenscraig to help pace the latter stages of Oliver Reilly’s attempt on the track. A half marathon on the track is just under 53 laps! Oliver, who has been on of the stars of the virtual racing over the last year had a bold target of getting under 80 minutes for the first time, which he did in 78.43. A great run, spurred on by a great set of pacemakers and good for second fastest overall. The third fastest time was posted over on Bute by Wes Pattison in 80.08.
Paul Monaghan wasn’t done there though, he turned up the next morning on The Esplanade to help pace another two of our runners. Chris Mooney and Stephen Hanley were setting out to break 85 minutes, and Paul took the lead and paced it perfectly the whole route. Chris pushed on for the last 5k and ran 83.18, which is great to see the former club champion starting to put good times back together. Stephen ran 84.35 which was a very hard earned 3 minute PB with Paul shouting encouragement in the closing stages!
The fastest female times were excellent. Fiona Macfarlane has trained so hard throughout lockdown for a marathon that has sadly still not happened. Fiona didn’t want the training to go to waste, and went out and absolutely smashed her PB in a time of 1.42.03, which is 4 minutes off of her previous time and also the best time for v35. Fiona was paced round with a strong team of Harriers in another great show of club team work. Liza Brydon was second fastest female and fastest v45 in 1.44.20. Liza’s run was completely solo and took her out and back on the Cloch Road too. On a similar route was the third placed female, Katy Croucher, who also ran solo. Katy was raising money for the British Heart Foundation, and ran a great time of 1.46.08. Katy is not currently a member of the club, but shows great promise as a runner with a time like that!
In the other age categories not mentioned, the first v50 male was Gavin Morrison who was actually running his first ever half marathon! Gavin ran a great time of 87.10, although has said that once was enough… we’ll see! Danny McLaughlin was the first v60 in 98.09, with Graham McGrattan not far behind. Robert Dolan Snr walked the full distance in just over 4 hours to be the first v70. On the female side, Terri Wall, who likes the longer races, was first v55 in 1.53.02. Saving the best until last, we had Charlotte McKay in the v65 age group who ran just over 3 hours assisted by daughter Marianne McKay. Great running Charlotte!
On to some of the more adventurous routes. For some, flat out and back racing is the worst thing imaginable. They’d rather take to the hills! Sue Hewitson and Marian Monk ran a great loop around the trails of the Greenock Cut. Eileen Stevenson, Nathalie Smith and Steven Smith ran along the old Kelly Cut loop around Inverkip and Wemyss Bay. Kirsty Ormond took a few friends on a 13 mile adventure down the old Largs road, starting from Greenock end. Not a bad place to finish for a nice ice cream!
However, the pick of the bunch has to go to Mick McLoone and Andy McCall. If you have ever driven past the old IBM site and seen a very steep trail heading up from the railway line to the Greenock Cut and wondered, why is that there? Well it is there for crazy people to run up it. One ascent of that hill is approximately 350-400ft. So if you run up and down that to get the half marathon distance you get an elevation gain of somewhere between 4500 and 5000ft! That’s what these two guys did. Whichever altimeter was more accurate doesn’t matter, its still higher than Ben Nevis! They completed the distance in around 2 hours 30 mins. They are still smiling in the photo below, but they legs would have felt that for days!
One of the most encouraging runs we saw over that weekend was rom Aidan Coyle. Having joined the club through our Couch to Club Runner programme in 2020, Aidan has gone from strength to strength. The aim of the course was to get people into running who had never ran before, or thought they were ‘too slow’ for a running club. After months on the programme, some runner like Aidan joined the club and started taking part in big training sessions and club races. In the lead up to the virtual half, Aidan reached out to the Harriers online community asking for a training plan to break his PB. Up stepped Kevin O’Donoghue who gave him a 10 week plan to smash that PB. Kevin went the extra mile and ran with Aidan on the day, and Aidan ran 1.53.05, a 6 minute improvement! This is exactly the sort of story we love to see at Greenock Glenpark Harriers.
A massive thank you has to go to our men’s captain John Stevenson who organised the whole event, and generously donated the T shirts to the club members who completed the run. We are also indebted to Alyson Fielding from Active Physiotherapy Clinic for her generous race sponsorship. Alyson helped a number of our runners prepare (and recover!), and if you are interested in her help then please get in touch.
Full Results: Paul Monaghan 1:16:20, Oliver Reilly 1:18:43, Wes Pattison 1:20:08, Andrew Osborne 1:20:57, Daniel Doherty 1:22:19, Chris Mooney 1:23:18, Stephen Hanley 1:24:35, Robert Dolan 1:26:48, Sean Marshall 1:26:57, Gavin Morrison 1:27:10, Gordy Hepburn 1:28:32, Paul McAulay 1:29:03, Kevin Brown 1:29:10, John Stevenson 1:29:35, David Roberts 1:29:38, James McFadden 1:33:39, Ross Paul 1:34:03, Craig Hyslop 1:34:26, Stuart Austin 1:34:58, Alan Poole 1:35:32, Owen Atkinson 1:35:39, Eric Lindsay 1:36:16, Danny McLaughlin 1:38:09, Steven Campbell 1:38:20, David Holmes 1:38:44, James Doherty 1:38:57, Stewart Ballantyne 1:40:57, Fiona MacFarlane 1:42:03, Ross Slater 1:42:04, Greig Turner 1:42:14, Kev CRAIG 1:42:16, Graham McGrattan 1:43:55, Chris Watson 1:43:56, Liza Brydon 1:44:20, Alan O’Rourke 1:44:48, Malcolm MacLean 1:45:17, Sam McVicar 1:46:00, Katy Croucher 1:46:08, Scot Hill 1:46:44, Debbie McKenzie 1:47:43, Steven Morris 1:48:15, Gary Keogh 1:48:36, Robert Adams 1:50:10, Ross Neilson 1:50:48, Stuart D Crawford 1:51:10, Stephen Reid 1:52:22, Terri Wall 1:53:02, Aidan Coyle 1:53:05, Kevin O’Donoghue 1:53:15, Sean Macfarlane 1:55:03, Oliver Bertinetti 1:55:29, Heather Lafferty 1:56:20, Cheryl Thomas 1:57:20, Lucia Giuntoli 1:58:35, Olivia Devine 1:58:54, Richard Jow 1:59:08, Lynsey Mooney 1:59:54, Liam McFadden 1:59:55, Lynsey McLaughlin 2:00:47, Lucas Bezian 2:03:39, Alex Paterson 2:04:00, Robin McAuslan 2:05:42, Susan Slater 2:06:36, Julie Smith 2:09:00, Donna Campbell 2:09:52, Michelle Morgan 2:11:06, Lisa Boonsanong 2:13:25, Jim Brannigan 2:14:13, Audrey Thompson 2:15:27, Johnny Thompson 2:15:27, Emma Sinclair 2:15:33, Liz Ness 2:15:46, Kirsty Ormond 2:16:00, Jane Dolan 2:16:41, Marian Monk 2:16:49, Yvonne Prager 2:17:49, David Carruthers 2:18:22, Sue Hewitson 2:21:06, Viki Smith 2:22:05 Elaine Medinelli 2:23:07, Sandra Devine 2:23:07, Jennifer Turner 2:24:11, Fiona Cushnaghan 2:24:13, Kirstin Arthur 2:24:13, Marianne Mckay 2:24:17, Graeme Crawford 2:24:19, Callum Gorry 2:24:53, Simon Hutton 2:25:00, Susie Gillies 2:25:00, Nathalie Smith 2:29:27, Steven Smith 2:29:27, Andrew McCall 2:30:59, Michael McLoone 2:30:59, Eileen Stevenson 2:32:34, Wenda Crawford 2:33:52, Andy McIntyre 2:34:04, Helen Crawford 2:53:23, Charlotte McKay 3:00:09, Robert Mitchell 4:01:00, Robert Dolan Snr 4:01:14
The time is finally here for our Virtual Half Marathon! You can run your half over the next 4 days on any route you so choose, just making sure you cover the whole 13.11 miles or 21.11 kilometres.
In order to submit your result, please use the form below to enter your time and a link to either Strava or Garmin. If you do not use either of these, then just drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with some photo evidence from your chosen app of even just your watch!
We are absolutely delighted that Active Physiotherapy Clinic are on board as our race sponsor. Alyson Fielding has been treating a number of our runners in preparation for the event, and has some great offers for some recovery treatments if you need them after the weekend! Have a look here: https://www.facebook.com/ActivePhysioClinicGourock/
The T Shirts are here and they look spectacular! Can’t wait to see these dominating the streets of Inverclyde in a few weeks time.
Have you taken up running during one of the lockdowns? Are you worried about busy indoor gyms re-opening? Do you want to improve that 5k PB?
Well look no further than Greenock Glenpark Harriers! Our membership fees for the next 6 months are now only £25. We are taking on new senior and junior members (waiting list still applies for ages 9-11).
As a senior member, you would have full access to the following: – 2 group training sessions per week (Monday and Wednesday evenings) – up to 8 club races to be held over the summer (these will have to be member only for the foreseeable, £2 entry per race) – Access to our clubhouse gym at Orangefield – Access to Ravenscraig track on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturday timeslots for free!
As a junior member, you would have the opportunity to train at the track with our varying age groups on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Not sure it is right for you? No need to worry, we offer a 4 week free trial to the training sessions!
Scottish Athletics have been organising virtual challenges over the last year to keep us all engaged with running during the pandemic. Distances have usually ranged from 1 mile to 10, occasionally longer. However for their 7th event, they offered a marathon option! We haven’t always reported on virtual racing, but when one of our members goes ahead and finishes first for a virtual marathon, it is more than deserving of a write up!
Oliver Reilly previously lead the way with his time at the virtual London Marathon in October, running 2.57 around the Battery Park (with a solid team of pacers). This time, he opted for the trickier loop of The Esplanade and Eldon Street (around 3.5km). Completely solo, and battling a brisk westerly wind and uneven and slightly undulating terrain, Oliver proceeded to run an incredible 2.50.59! An incredible run, and it sat rightly as the top virtual marathon entry in Scotland. Oliver ran on the Friday, and the weather admittedly deteriorated over the weekend which may have put some runners off. However, you would have to do something special to get anywhere near that time on your tod!
Oliver was not the only person to attempt the marathon distance. Our very own Ultra runner Kevin Gill had been training hard for the ultimately cancelled track marathon, so he set out to complete his marathon on a shorter loop of Eldon Street and The Esplanade. Kevin, backed by a hearty group of pacers, set out well and despite hitting the wall, he pushed through to break the 4 hour mark by just 37 seconds.
The other options for seniors over the weekend were 10k and half marathon. Oliver was not to be the only runner topping leaderboard for the event, Debbie McKenzie ran her best half marathon time to top the ladies masters leaderboard in a superb time of 1.50.17. Heather Lafferty also had a great run to get herself 4th on the same list, and they combined with Emma Sinclair to finish as the fastest ladies only team. On the men’s masters side in the half, Owen Atkinson was 3rd and Eric Lindsay’s fastest half got him 6th.
All routes need to be on a loop of at least 1km (due to GPS inaccuracies), that is unless you can get on a track, and for a half marathon that’s over 52 laps… Its not for everyone, but Andy McCall isn’t everyone. Andy absolutely smashed it on the track in an incredible 1.19.24, and in his own words that’s his fastest half marathon since the dawn of GPS watches! Andy, Owen and Eric combined to be the number one team for the half marathon category, with Andy 2nd overall individually! Well done guys.
In the 10km, Daniel Doherty completed his on the track for a great run of 36.33 and Stephen Hanley wasn’t far behind in 37.04 while opting for a coastal route in Gourock. John Stevenson made up the club A team which finished in 5th spot, with a B team of Graeme Boyce, Viki Smith and Fiona MacFarlane.
One of the main things is seeing good participation and representation from the club, and Donna Campbell, Sandra Devine and Elaine Medinelli also combined for a full 10km team. Eddie Devine and Charlotte McKay also took part, which is great to see. It is hard to compete with the numbers that Bellahouston Road Runners have entered in almost all of these events, but Greenock Glenpark Harriers have regularly been second behind them in terms of numbers. We only had one junior have a go at the options available, well done to Summer Taggart running a quick 3km in 12.33.
Following an easing in restrictions, Greenock Glenpark Harriers have now restarted their popular group training sessions for their junior athletes. Training sessions are held at Ravenscraig Sports stadium on Tuesday evening from 6.15pm to 7.15pm, Thursday from 6.00pm to 7.00pm and Saturday from 11.30 to 12.30.
Anyone interested in getting into athletics is very welcome to come along and try some free training sessions. These are open to anyone of age 8-17. Our youngest age group, 8-11, has a waiting list. Please email us to find out more. We hope to cut the list down ASAP depending on numbers for the new season and number of volunteers required. We are always looking for more volunteers if you are interested!
If anyone would like any further information, the Club can be contacted at email@example.com A member of the coaching team would be happy to speak to anyone interested and provide more information about the clubs junior section. More information is also on the club’s Facebook page (@Greenock Glenpark Harriers), Twitter (@ggharriers) or Instagram (@greenockglenpark)
It is only 6 weeks to go until the Greenock Glenpark Harriers virtual half marathon! We have already had an amazing 130 runners sign up for the event. You can still enter right up until the start date on 30th April.
The half marathon (13.11 miles or 21.1 kilometres) should be ran over the long weekend of 30th April to 3rd May on any route you so choose (Although if you a running on a short loop, please try and keep to a loop over 1km due to GPS inaccuracies). Your result can then be emailed in to the club with a link to Garmin, Strava or whatever you use to track your run (even a picture of your watch will do).
The event is open to non-members, and we are thrilled at the numbers who have signed up so far that are not in the club (even one all the way from Germany!). Non-members can still get a T shirt, but the T shirt is only free for members (and only £9 for non-members if you want one).