Special thanks to our race sponsor Andy Smith(4th from left) of WB Smith Trees & Turf Ltd for coming along to cheer the runners in the Harriers first club championship race in our 125th year.
Special thanks to our race sponsor Andy Smith(4th from left) of WB Smith Trees & Turf Ltd for coming along to cheer the runners in the Harriers first club championship race in our 125th year.
The first club championship race of 2020 was held at the Coves Reservoirs in Greenock on the first Saturday of the year. Seniors and Juniors tackled the tricky undulating trails in good numbers. This race is typically met with freezing temperatures, but this year was a bit milder for the runners albeit with a strong southerly wind to add to the difficulty.
The senior race takes on 4 full laps of the reservoir, with each lap measuring around 1.35 miles (2.2km). The senior men and women tackle the same route with all runners starting at the same time. Shaun Lyon made his full return to club racing, and the 2017 club champion took an early lead. Steven Campbell kept pace with Shaun in the early stages, but Shaun charged ahead an held on for the victory. Andrew White made a steady start to the race, and took his time picking his way through the field in what was a well timed run, eventually leading to a third place finish and narrowly missing out on catching Steven by just 12 seconds.
Daniel Doherty held off the challenge of Neil Lafferty to finish in fourth, and our previous race winner Andrew McCall faded to 6th after a fast start. Elsewhere in the mens race, there were good runs from Owen Atkinson, taking a minute off of his time from last year, and from James Doherty who has recently joined his brother Daniel in the club.
Sue Hewitson was in imperious form in the ladies race. Sue powered round the course in under 40 minutes to take her third straight club race win and cement herself firmly at the top of the lady’s club championship table. Sandra Campbell held off the challenge of Donna Campbell to claim second place. Nicola Stevenson survived a scare as she fell en route to a solid run in fourth place. Marian Monk was not far behind Nicola as she looks to be recapturing some of the form that saw her win so many races in recent years.
The handicap race is always interesting at this race. The runners all start a the same time and it comes down to the maths after the race when the handicaps are subtracted to reveal the winner. This time it was the turn of popular runner Stuart Austin to take the glory. Stuart has been back in the club racing frame this yea, and his recent hard work paid off with a 30 second PB on a day where there were not many PBs to be had. Stuart just edged out Viki Smith who also had an incredible run. Viki managed to finally get her sub 50 minute 10k target over the Christmas period at Beith, and her sub 45 minute time for this race shows that her times elsewhere should continue to tumble. Stephen Reid ran really well to claim third place.
There was a good turnout from the juniors as well. Starting at the same time as the seniors, but doing less laps (lucky them!). Leo Beaton and Aimee McEleny won the under 11 races, while Aimee’s sister Erin claimed the under 13 race with David Docherty winning for the boys. The family affair continued with Ava Beaton winning the under 15 race. The under 17s race was won by Shaun Wiseman, as he continues to smash it this season. Abbie Tosh won ahead of Anna Docherty in the girls under 17 race, and well done to the 7 under 15s and 17s who took on 2 full tough laps of the course.
As always, a big thanks to all of our volunteers for their efforts and keeping us safe around the course. Also to ur club members who helped out with a morning litter pick at the Coves prior to the race, and thanks to the Friends of Coves Community Nature Reserve who are making a great job of keeping the area clean and safe. Finally a big thank you to our race sponsor WB Smith Trees and Turf.
Results: Shaun Lyon 32:11, Steven Campbell 33:19, Andrew White 33:31, Daniel Doherty 33:53, Neil Lafferty 34:01, Andy McCall 34:20, Andrew Osborne 35:44, Kevin Craig 36:08, Owen Atkinson 36:31, Robert Dolan 36:55, Stephen Hanley 37:19, John Stevenson 37:53, George McCallum 38:48, Sue Hewitson 39:42, Danny McLaughlin 40:39, Chris Watson 40:45, Stuart Austin 41:10, Stephen Reid 41:22, Graham McGrattan 41:33, Alan O’Rourke 43:01, Sandra Campbell 43:07, Donna Campbell 43:19, Liam McFadden 43:58, Nicola Stevenson 44:01, James Doherty 44:04, Marian Monk 44:28, Callum Gorry 44:39, Frank McMahon 44:46, Viki Smith 44:53, Robin McAuslan 45:07, Rich Jow 45:13, Lucas Bezian 45:30, Cheryl Thomas 46:00, Marianne McKay 46:28, Colin Campbell 46:57, Debbie McKenzie 48:51, Stuart D Crawford 49:29, Fiona Cushnaghan 52:27, Helen Crawford 55:03, Angela Nelson 55:08, Susan Clark 57:10, Liz McAuslan 57:10, Charlotte McKay 35:04 (2 laps)
The fourth annual Lyle Mile took place on New Year’s Day and was once again the perfect way to start the new year. The turnout was way above 100 for the second year running and the weather once again was kind to all involved. The forecasted southerly winds never really materialised, and it was dry and mild conditions throughout.
The start was once again frantic as runners set off from underneath the railway bridge o Lyle Road and headed up the hill. 350ft of climb awaited them, with some of the steepest climbs occurring right from the off! The hill evens out to a steady climb in the middle section, before one last steep section at the final turn before the route heads towards the finish at the beacon.
Greenock Glenpark Harrier’s Neil Lafferty was 3rd last year, having lead the race in the early stages. He was not to be outdone this year as he once again lead from the off and held off all challengers to finish in a fantastic time of 6.37, four seconds quicker than the previous year. Graeme Hyett was second in 6.43 closely followed by young Shaun Wiseman in 6.45. Shaun was first junior on the day and it tops off a great few weeks for the Glenpark athlete having recently broke the 18 minute mark at Greenock parkrun.
All three previous editions of the race have been won by Claire Thompson, but she was not in attendance this year. Ayr Seaforth’s Toni McIntosh won this year and smashed the female course record by 49 seconds, becoming the first female to break 8 minutes with a super time of 7.38. Impressively, the second ever sub 8 minute female came along just moments later as Greenock Glenpark’s own junior runner Ava Beaton came through in 7.53! A phenomenal run from Ava.
Ava and Shaun were not the only standout juniors on display. Scott Newman, Ben Campbell, Jude Dolan and David Docherty all breaking the 8 minute barrier. Leo Beaton and Euan Johnson both had great runs, with Aimee and Erin McEleney both having huge PBs. It could be a brilliant 2020 for our junior athletes who are continuing to produce great results!
It was great to see a big turnout from members of the club’s couch to club runner group taking pat in the route. Many of whom would never have thought that 6 months ago they could run up the Lyle Hill the hard way!
The group is completely free and a new block starts again on Tuesday 7th January. Email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The event raises money for charity each year and this year we were able to donate £270.00 to the Inverclyde Homeless Forum. A big thank you must go to Alison King and all of the other volunteers who dedicated their time to making sure the event ran smoothly.
As well as the volunteers, we had a big team of photographers out on the route getting some great shots. As well as our very own Emma Benstead, we also had great photo albums from GBR Photographs and Ross Cameron Photography
It was a big day for our members across Scotland. There was a great turnout for Greenock parkrun in the morning, with 47 Harriers in attendance. There were 3 PBs, including youngster Connor McCrorey and not so youngsters George McCallum and Gordon Hepburn. A couple of our members even managed the New Year double taking on 2 parkruns in one day, with Sue Hewitson and Kirsty Ormond doing Victoria at 9.30 and Greenock/Linwood at 11am. Elsewhere, Julie Smith completed the New Year’s Day Triathlon in Edinburgh and Scott Hannaway was racing in Musselburgh.
Lyle Mile Results: Neil Lafferty 6:37, Graeme Hyett 6:43, Shaun Wiseman 6:45, Sean Gaffney 6:47, Daniel Doherty 6:54, Stevie Campbell 7:09, Paul Monaghan 7:12, Andrew Osborne 7:19, Scott Newman 7:25, Owen Atkinson 7:29, Colin Morrison 7:29, Ben Campbell 7:34, Oliver Reilly 7:35, Dylan Crawford 7:36, Andrew White 7:36, Jude Dolan 7:37, Toni McIntosh 7:38, Mark Wheeler 7:39, James Healey 7:41, Gordon Hepburn 7:50, Ava Beaton 7:53, David Docherty 7:54, Richard Wheeler 8:00, Leo Beaton 8:06, Daniel Ashworth 8:14, Finn Boyd 8:30, Euan Johnson 8:33, Stephen Hanley 8:33, Ross Neilson 8:34, Ian McKee 8:40, Stephen Reid 8:43, Kai Wheeler 8:47, Erin McEleny 8:51, Graham McGrattan 8:55, Andy McLean 9:05, Summer Taggert 9:07, George Hegarty 9:08, Katie Johnson 9:10, Steven Jackson 9:12, Lucas Bezian 9:19, Stuart Clark 9:21, James Doherty 9:22, Frank McMahon 9:24, Eric Lindsay 9:25, Jim Cuffe 9:30, Marian Monk 9:34, Claire Monaghan 9:36, Lynsey Mooney 9:40, Grant Reilly 9:41, Liam McFadden 9:42, James Prior 9:45, Gerry Gillespie 9:46, Sean Woodman 9:50, Alan O’Rourke 9:52, Alex Wiseman 9:56, Cameron Crawford 9:56, John Gordon 10:00, Lesley McKay 10:02, Malcolm McLean 10:04, Nicola Falconer 10:05, Abbie Tosh 10:05, Cheryl Thomas 10:08, Ann Marie Reid 10:09, Jim Nellis 10:10, Gordon Gallacher 10:16, Colin Campbell 10:18, Francesca McKay 10:25, Aimee McEleny 10:26, Marianne McKay 10:27, Ian Hanley 10:27, Islay Newsome 10:33, Ken MacFarlane 10:43, Lynne Lesley 10:44, Katrina Nisbet 10:46, Gordon Murray 10:49, Kevin Gill 10:50, John Green 10:51, Sinead Mclaughlin 10:58, Heather Lafferty 10:58, Debbie McKenzie 10:59, Stacey Hearl 11:10, John MacDonald 11:16, Douglas Green 11:18, Kenny Scott 11:25, Sarah Williamson 11:26, Susan Falconer 11:34, Andy McGilp 11:34, Barbara Watt 11:37, Douglas McCorrie 11:39, Colin Robertson 11:44, John McLaughlan 11:46, Carol Currie 11:50, Sharon Black 11:53, Vicky Cookson 11:54, Sarah McBride 11:55, Moira McCluckie 12:05, Ben Mullen 12:09, Angela Nelson 12:14, Jennifer Boyd 12:21, Claire Melville 12:22, Davie Peaston 12:22, Richie Currie 12:26, Susan Clark 12:29, Liz McAuslan 12:29, Gerry McNellis 12:32, Jan Green 12:33, Stuart Chalmers 12:40, Beth Docherty 12:46, Catherine Macnaughton 12:49, Ross Mullen 12:52, George Nedley 13:06, Chris Lang 13:19, Charlotte McKay 13:30, Brian Heffron 13:32, Shona McCormack 13:41, Rebecca Young 13:42, Adele Newton 14:11, Simon Hutton 14:11, Natalia Doherty 14:38, Sharon McNeil 14:40, David Black 14:57, Lorna McLean 15:36, Joe Hefferman 19:05, Lorna McCartney 19:05
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
The December GGH Junior Newsletter attached contains training sessions and races over the holiday period.
Tonight’s Couch to Club Runner session has been cancelled due to the weather. High winds and rain are expected to continue on past 6pm this evening. We will try and get one final session on next Tuesday prior to Christmas, with the new block starting in January.
West District Relays, Kilmarnock
The 2019-20 cross country season got off to a flying start down in Kilmarnock at the start of October. The West District short relays were ran on the playing fields (and farmers fields) around the North Ayrshire Sports Arena. This was the venue for last years West District long cross country race, so our runners had a good idea of what was in store. However, the weather was much better this year and the course was a little bit firmer. there was still one or two major bogs to deal with!
Stevie Campbell was way out in front as the first harrier home as he tried to hone his legs into shape for a tilt at making the Scottish Vets team. Oliver Reilly had his first taste of short cross country action as he came home in second place for the club, with fellow newcomer Owen Atkinson in third. The male runners were quite bunched up behind that, with Duncan Anderson being pick of the bunch. He was carrying over some great form in the previous few months which culminated in him smashing his 5k PB with a time of 17.45 at Greenock parkrun!
Donna Campbell lead the way for the Glenpark ladies. Her excellent run saw her come home ahead of Marianne McKay, Claire Monaghan and Nathalie Smith.
Mens: Steven Campbell 14.04, Oliver Reilly 15.15, Owen Atkinson 15.39, Duncan Anderson 15.46, Paul Beaton 15.58, Robert Dolan 16.09, Stephen Hanley 16.14, Ross Neilson 16.34, John Stevenson 16.48, Frank McMahon 18.28, Matthew Young 19.48, James Campbell 19.49
Womans: Donna Campbell 18.49, Claire Monaghan 19.08, Marianne McKay 20.23, Nathalie Smith 23.50
Renfrewshire Relays, Pollock Park
It was back to Pollock Park for the short county relays. The short route for the senior runners is fairly flat around the playing fields at Nether Pollock, but with some right boggy bits in the tree lined sections.
Nicola Doohan made her return as a Glenpark Harrier to compete with the ladies A team, and was not far behind our fastest runner Sandra Campbell on the day. Donna Campbell ran well again to be third fastest, with great runs also had by Lynsey Mooney and Debbie McKenzie among others.
Steven Campbell was the fastest male harrier again, but was pushed close by Daniel Doherty who is starting to run well again. Andy McCal made up the top 3 . There was a good turnout among the male harriers, and hopefully a sign of things to come as we go towards the longer cross country season.
Womans: Sandra Campbell 16.53, Nicola Doohan 17.13, Donna Campbell 17.30, Lynsey Mooney 18.02, Cheryl Thomas 18.07, Viki Smith 18.20, Debbie McKenzie 18.37, Lorna Coyle 18.52
Mens: Steven Campbell 12.53, Daniel Doherty 13.03, Andrew McCall 13.42, Paul Beaton 14.26, Stephen Hanley 14.43, Robert Dolan 14.53, John Stevenson 15.08, David Roberts 15.20, Danny McLaughlin 15.56, Steven Smith 17.15, James Campbell 17.45, Steven Laing 18.09
National Relays, Cumbernauld
The undulating 4km route through Cumbernauld House Park seen runners from across Scotland compete, including the Olympians Calum Hawkins and Freya Ross.
The women’s race was first in terms of the senior competition, with Donna Campbell and Marianne McKay setting the pace for their respective teams with some strong starts. Cheryl Thomas and Heather Lafferty were in second leg position for their teams, with both runners competing at Cumbernauld at the first time with excellent form. Third leg was a Stevenson special for each team, with mother-daughter duo Eileen and Nicola in the running. Lynsey Mooney and Nathalie Smith brought it home in great runs for each of the ladies.
Three and half men’s teams were entered on the day. Team A were first home and successfully in the top 50, headed up by men’s club champion Steven Campbell and including Paul Monaghan, Alan Mollins and Kevin O’Donoghue. Team B, including Paul Beaton and Ross Neilson, brought it home in a respectable time of 1:03. Great runs from the Owen duo of Reilly and Atkinson both running their leg in under 16 minutes. Captain John Stevenson lead Team C with Danny McLaughlin, Scott Hill and Steven Laing. The half team consisted of David Roberts and Andy MacLean.
Despite the excitement of the day from the Glenpark Callum Hawkins appreciation society, Andy MacLean was the biggest event of the day, receiving louder cheers from club mates (mostly the juniors) than his Olympic competitor.
All in all another successful and enjoyable cross country day out for the club.
Women’s Results: Team A: (1:16:36) 18:34 D Campbell; 19:41 C Thomas; 18:37 N Stevenson; 19:43 L Mooney. Team B: (1:27:33) 20:18 M McKay; 20:46 H Lafferty; 22:05 E Stevenson; 24:24 N Smith
Men’s Results: Team A: (58:24) 14:04 S Campbell; 14:24 P Monaghan; 14:54 A Mollins; 15:02 K O’Donoghue. Team B: (1:03:39) 15:29 O Reilly; 15:35 O Atkinson; 16:00 P Beaton; 16:35 R Neilson. Team C: (1:12:47) 16:14 J Stevenson; 18:00 D McLaughlin; 18:14 S Hill; 20:19 S Laing. Team D: (35:25) 16:34 D Roberts; 18:51 A MacLean
National Short Course
The short relay season finishes with the manic 4k cross country races for our senior runners. The races were held in Kirkcaldy which saw a lesser turnout from the seniors given the travel distance. This is always a great event to be at given the quality of the fields in the senior races. Hopefully it is held closer to home in future, but we cannot grumble too much with the relative closeness of the other national events.
The ladies race over the 4k distance was won by local runner Annabel Simpson of Fife AC. Glenpark’s first runner home was Sandra Campbell, closely followed by Donna Campbell and Marian Monk. It was great to see Sandra and Marian back racing after sometime on the sidelines through injury.
After the success of the juniors in the early races, it would be a tough act to follow later in the day. Alan Mollins is now getting on in years and could not take part in the youngsters races. He was however first male harrier home in the stacked field for the senior race, won by Olympic runner Andrew Buchart. Oliver Reilly and Robert Dolan followed, with Danny McLaughlin and Frank McMahon thereafter.
Womans: Sandra Campbell 18.13,Donna Campbell 18.32, Marian Monk 18.52
Mens: Alan Mollins 14.30, Oliver Reilly 15.33, Robert Dolan 16.10, Danny McLaughlin 17.51, Frank McMahon 18.53