Author Archives: greenockglenparkharriers

Emma & Jude Win Mile Race

Wilson Trophy 1 mile Handicap, Ravenscraig stadium 21st March 2019

Emma Aitken & Jude Dolan took the honours in Greenock Glenpark Harriers re-arranged Wilson Trophy Mile, as the pair won the Girls’ and Boys’ Handicap races under the floodlights at Ravenscraig stadium.

But it was almost a dream debut for new boy Grant Munro who was first away in the Boys’ conceding handicap, as he stayed in front for 1400 metres, alas it wasn’t to be, as he was swamped by the chasing pack in the closing stages. It was Jude Dolan who led the charge, striding past Grant with 200 metres remaining to win the Boys title, followed in by Leo Beaton, with  3rd spot claimed by Cameron Crawford whose lunge over the line held off the fast finishing Shaun Wiseman.

The back markers and recording the quickest scratch times on the night were Ryan Brown and Harris Morrison who set off together. Ryan pushed the pace from the start and established a comfortable gap, but Harris responded strongly at the bell and closed Ryan’s lead to a few metres.

In the girls race Emma Aitken appropriately wearing the number 1on her vest was impressive as she cut through the early starters before finally hitting the front in the final lap to win by 30 metres. Francesca McKay was back her best form to take the runners-up spot with young Mirren McConnell holding on well for 3rd.

Ruby McGill, Ava Beaton and Katie Johnson were the final group sent off, and the trio stayed together for the first of the 4 laps as they caught the early starters. But it was Ruby who made made the break and she steadily opened up a lead over her 2 team mates. They can all be happy with their nights work as all 3 smashed their PBs for the distance.

1 mile results: Ryan Brown 5.19, Harris Morrison 5.21, Shaun Wiseman 5.31, Jude Dolan 5.37, Ruby McGill 5.43, Ava Beaton 5.52, David Docherty 5.54, Katie Johnson 6.00, Euan Johnson 6.03, Emma Aitken 6.24, Leo Beaton 6.26, Abbie Tosh 6.29, Cameron Crawford 6.31, Cameron Beck 6.34, Erin McEleny 6.49, Ruari Trainer 6.51, Maria McCabe 6.53, Summer Taggart 6.56, Francesca McKay 7.02, Leah Knox  7.02, Oliver Jones 7.03, Sophie McGinty 7.11, Aimee McEleny 7.18, Olivia Trainer 7.18, Alex Wiseman 7.24, Mirren McConnell 7.37, Johnathon Lamont 7.37, Beth Docherty 7.48, Stella McCabe 8.13, Matthew Ross 8.15, Abbigael Crawford 8.18, Jacob McCabe 8.25, Murray Brown 8.30, Rob Mcnee 8.33, Finlay McCabe 8.47, Grant Munro 9.02, Zac Gallacher 9.13, Orla Trainer 9.16, Jamie Gallacher 9.43.


National Cross Country 2019

The national cross country championships took place in Falkirk on Saturday, with the Harriers being well represented across all of the age groups. The seniors mens and womans races are now equal in distance with both being billed as 10k. The ladies were out first on the course and were the first ones to discover that the 10k wasn’t quite as billed, with an extra 700m thrown into the tough course!


The course has changed over the years, but as always the steep muddy hill leading to the forest section of the course was still there in all its glory, with runners tackling it three times during their race. Cheryl Thomas mastered this and all else that the course threw at her the best, returning home as first female harrier. Claire Monaghan paced her race well and picked off plenty of runners on the way as she finished not too far behind Cheryl. Marianne McKay was third back and was loving the hills as always, she even managed to stay on her feet this year! Lynsey Mooney wasn’t so fortunate, as she took a nasty stumble on the gravelly section of the course and sadly could not finish. Debbie McKenzie and Heather Lafferty did well at their first nationals as well.


The two under 20s races interjected the seniors races, with the course getting to its ultimate chewed up state for the men to tackle it. Although, even a bit of rain during their rain was not able to really result in a muddy course this year. Paul Monaghan was first to return home for the men with a run of just over 40 minutes, with Steven Campbell not far behind.


Paul Beaton and Neil Lafferty had a great battle for third spot, with Paul showing a little bit more experience on the cross country terrain to finish just ahead. It was a really good debut on the cross country for Neil, and a sign of things to come for both in the future. It was a similarly promising debut for Oliver Reilly, who ran cross country for the first time ever, and managed a very respectable finish.


Danny McLaughlin had a great run to put a few of the younger guns to shame! Bragging rights were deservedly his on the bus trip back home (although some dodged the bus to avoid the pelters!). Last weeks winner Kevin Gill was brought back down to earth, sadly no trophy on offer for 631st this week, but a great run nonetheless. Alan O’Rourke said he felt the benefit of the Monday night hill sessions he has been running for the past few months, closing the gap on those ahead of him compared to previous weeks results. Can’t get a better advert than that for our regular training sessions, so get yourself along! A big shout out to the support of the seniors and juniors who cheered everyone on as they flew past the club tent. Brilliant to see so many through with plenty of bobble hats on show.


The cross country season is now at a close but the racing never sleeps. A few big races coming up in the next month or two with the Balloch to Clydebank half marathon, Tom Scott 10 miler and of course the GGH Doherty Cup. Greenock parkrun celebrates it’s 250th event this Saturday and there will be pacers on the day, a great opportunity to get yourself a shiny new pb.

Womans ’10k’: Cheryl Thomas 53.17, Claire Monaghan 53.42, Marianne McKay 55.05, Debbie McKenzie 60.25, Heather Lafferty 64.42
Mens ’10k’: Paul Monaghan 40.27, Steven Campbell 41.17, Paul Beaton 43.13, Neil Lafferty 43.32, Danny McLaughlin 45.58, Oliver Reilly 46.55, Stephen Hanley 47.24, David Roberts 48.13, Alan O’Rourke 49.52, Scot Hill 52.35, Kevin Gill 53.45, Frank McMahon 54.33

Junior Harriers Strong Showing at National XC

It was an early start for the 15 young Greenock Glenpark Harriers on Saturday who were heading up to Falkirk to compete at the national cross country championships. The day started off with the sun beating down on Calendar Park and there was a buzz in the atmosphere with thousands of nervous and excited runners.

The first race of the day was for U13 girls, and included Katie Johnson and Ava Beaton. Both girls started off strong and gradually worked their way forward, throughout the race both girls managed to maintain a consistent pace which enabled them to get a great finishing position with Ava Beaton coming 18th and Katie Johnson 42nd.

The next race of the day involved the u13 boys Ben Campbell and David Docherty. Unlike the girls the boys were pushed to the back of the pack during the race but managed to gradually pick up the pace and earn a place much further up with Ben earning 20th place and David securing 126th from a field of almost 200.

One of the strongest team efforts of the day came from the U15 girls Abbie Tosh, Emma Aitken, Ruby McGill, Olivia Trainer and Francesca McKay who managed to come 9th overall. The leader for the GGH girls was Ruby who started off the race looking very comfortable, whilst Abbie and Emma kept each other company throughout the race up in till the end where Abbie just got ahead of Emma by a couple of seconds. Another strong performance was shown by Olivia Trainer and Francesca McKay, who managed to keep a consistent pace which participated in the team’s overall finishing position.

U15 boys Shaun and Alex Wiseman were in the second to last race of the day and considering it was first time competing in a national event, it was a great effort from the brothers. Shaun showed a great pace throughout the race but gradually increased it to be able to get a better time, not too far behind him was team mate Jude Dolan who kept fighting until the very end of the race. Alex worked extremely hard on his national debut by pushing on with determination throughout the 4km and ending off with a sprint finish.

The last race of the day was the U17 men’s 6km. For this race all three runners, Harry McGill, Ewan Ferguson and Alan Mollins put in a fantastic display. Harry quickly progressed into the leading pack (despite having a slip at the starting line) and managed to maintain this position throughout the race which enabled him to come home in 6th place. Another who impressed was Alan who had managed to gain himself an impressive time and placing, despite only have coming back from a long term injury a couple of months ago. Ewan Ferguson also ran well and though he was injured throughout the race, he managed to keep going and fight through the pain which overall enabled him to come 79th place.

Overall the juniors had shown strong performances and should be proud of themselves, and that it is all down to the hard work and dedication they have put into their training. Race Reporter – Mhairi Moore

Willow Bowl 2019

This year’s Willow Bowl club ace took part last Saturday around the Greenock Cut. It was a cracking day for it, with bright sunshine spoiled only by a strong southerly wind. The annual loop around the cut saw the runners face a cutting head wind as they made their way up the hill from the Waterman’s Cottage and down into Cornalees. Once onto the cut itself, the runners were able to use to tailwind to get them home.

As a conceding handicap race, the runners were set out in a staggered start, with the aim of seeing them all hurtling towards the finish line at the same time. However, there was a clear winner in the form of Kevin Gill. The popular taxi driver come ultra runner lead from near the front and was never in any danger of being caught as he swept the handicap race. His celebrations in the race sponsored Willow Bar went on into the small hours. Well done Kev!


The first vet runner across the line gets to take home the Tommy Knight trophy, and this year it went to new member and keen triathlete Helen Ridley who was second only to Kevin in the handicap race. Helen becomes the second recipient of the trophy dedicated to the late Tommy Knight and presented by his family in his memory.

Elsewhere in the handicap race, there was a tremendous battle between two Roberts, as President Dolan battled it our with Robert Wilson Jnr who was making his return to club racing after a two year absence. Setting off together, it was only in the last mile that Dolan got clear in a huge PB for him for this race. This also sees him jump up to the top of the handicap championship standings alongside John Stevenson who also had a cracking race.


Among the ladies performing well in the handicap race was Debbie McKenzie securing her first top 10 as a harrier. There were many individual battles along the cut as runners fought tooth and nail to get as good a finish as possible. Cheryl Thomas fought her way, quite literally, to a good finish. David McCorkindale, Frank McMahon and Robin McAuslan also had great runs to nestle inside the top 10 in the handicap race.


Sandra Campbell claimed the victory in a hard fought ladies race, only 35 second ahead of Claire Monaghan as they both ran really well on the day. Cheryl Thomas was not far behind in third place with Helen Ridley and Marianne McKay rounding out the top 5. Elsewhere there were great runs from Sharon Black, Lisa Boonsanong and Debbie McKenzie as they all tackled this route for the first time

The men’s race was made very interesting with Andrew White taking advantage of the good early morning conditions to test himself at Greenock parkrun. His 5k time of 16.32 was just outside of his pb as he continues his excellent recent form. The question would be if his legs could hold up for the afternoon race? Well we should never really doubt Andy’s strength as he ran out a clear winner in just 46.35, almost a minute clear of Paul Monaghan in second place. Paul’s run of 47.30 was also a great time for the course and shows that his high mileage is paying dividends.


Robert Dolan’s fine run of 50.15 was good enough for third place, with Robert Wilson Jnr just behind in fourth spot. John Stevenson was in fifth place and just 7 seconds separated 3rd to 5th! Andy McCall was able to nab 6th sot narrowly from Steven Campbell and there was also some pb runs in the chasing pack with Stephen Hanley among them.


Elsewhere it was great to see young Callum Gorry complete the race in a fine time of just over 62 minutes, with this being the farthest he has raced so far. He is one of seven members now to have ran every race this year! How many of them can keep it going for all 11? Next race is the longest in the calendar, the 10 mile Docherty Cup on April 13th.


We’d like to thank the army of volunteers who were out helping the runner get round the course safely last week. there were so many photographers out taking advantage of the scenic views and it was hard to whittle them down for this article! A massive thank you to each of them and to our race sponsors The Willow Bar. 42 runners were in attendance, a trend that sees our club races growing in popularity this year. Lets keep it going!

Results: Andrew White 46:35, Paul Monaghan 47:30, Robert Dolan 50:15, Robert Wilson Jnr 50:19, John Stevenson 50:22, Andy McCall 51:27, Stevie Campbell 51:29, Paul Beaton 52:36, Stephen Hanley 52:42, David McCorkindale 53:17, Danny McLaughlin 54:37, Duncan Anderson 55:27, David Roberts 056:22, George McCallum 56:59, Graham McGrattan 57:58, Stephen Reid 59:33, Robin McAuslan 01:00:50, Sandra Campbell 01:00:57, Kevin Gill 01:01:30, Claire Monaghan 01:01:32, Jim Cuffe 01:01:52, Frank McMahon 01:02:03, Cheryl Thomas 01:02:23, Callum Gorry 01:02:31, Helen Ridley 01:02:47, Jeremy Deveney 01:03:04, Marianne McKay 01:03:06, Nicola Stevenson 01:03:44, Matthew Young 01:03:49, Lucas Bezian 01:04:25, Lorna Coyle 01:04:54, James McFadden 01:05:40, Alan O’Rouke 01:05:52, Colin Campbell 01:07:15, Fiona McFarlane 01:07:30, Kenny Scott 01:07:38, Lisa Boonsanong 01:07:44, Terri Wall 01:07:53, Debbie McKenzie 01:08:11, Boyd McKenzie 01:08:39, Sharon Black 01:09:48, Fiona Cushnaghan 01:13:4

Erin & Douglas are XC League Champions

All Harriers

Erin McEleny and Douglas Campbell were joint winners of the GGH Tower Hill cross country League after recording the quickest times in the final time trial on a windswept Tower Hill. After 4 long months of competition the pair couldn’t be separated with both gaining maximum points, attending all 9 rounds and running quickest in their category in the 3 time trials.

In the final round despite the weather it was a record attendance with 31 youngsters taking part smashing the previous best of 24. The under 11s raced 1 mile, u13s & 15s 2mile, and u17s 3miles around multiple laps  of the 800m course.

The u13 girls was the closest contest, with Sophie McGinty and Ava Beaton taking advantage of Katie Johnson’s absence to leap frog her to share the girls’ title. Douglas’ brother Ben took the u13 boys title.

In the U15s Harris Morrison won from Shaun Wiseman by 1 point, while ever present Abbie Tosh was the victorious girl.

Ewan Ferguson and Mhairi Moore came out top in the U17s age group.

The most improved athlete was Summer Taggart whose time of 7.26minutes for the hilly 1 mile xc route was 1minute and 40 seconds quicker than she ran in the first time trial.

This was the 2nd year of the competition, with overall numbers taking part up by 50%

Final Time Trial:

1mile: Douglas Campbell 6.18, Leo Beaton 6.48, Connor McCrorey 6.56, Cameron Beck 7.00, Erin McEleny 7.07, Summer Taggart 7.26, Ruari Trainer 7.59, Ben Mullen 8.20, Brooke Taylor 8.23, Leah Knox 8.29, Aimee McEleny 8.43, Matthew Ross 8.46, Mirren McConnell 9.51,

2miles: Shaun Wiseman 12.07, Ben Campbell 12.14, Harris Morrison 12.45, Ruby McGill 12.59, Euan Johnson 13.10, Ava Beaton 13.13, David Docherty 13.22, Jude Dolan 14.06, Abbie Tosh 15.24, Sophie McGinty 15.43, Francesca McKay 16.01, Alex Wiseman 16.15, Olivia Trainer 16.56, Emma Aitken 17.22, Holly Beck 17.56,

3miles: Harry McGill 17.14, Alan Mollins 17.51, Ewan Ferguson 19.58,

Joint Overall League winners Douglas Campbell & Erin McEleny

Age Category Winners

U11s: Douglas Campbell, Erin McEleny

U13s: Ben Campbell, Ava Beaton & Sophie McGinty

U15s: Harris Morrison, Abbie Tosh

U17s: Ewan Ferguson, Mhairi Moore

U20: Ryan Brown

Harris & Ben Compete in National Finals


Harriers trio of Harris Morrison, Jude Dolan and Ben Cameron secured excellent performances at the National Indoor Age Group Championships held in the Emirates Indoor Arena.

Harris and Jude contesting the under 15 boys 800m both made huge improvements over the four lap event. Harris running for the first time in this age group was up to cruising speed and held a steady pace over the first 400m. Harris increased his speed approaching the last 200m to move into a qualifying spot to make the final in a new lifetime best.  In his final the pace from his competitors was a step up from the heat, however Harris stuck to his own race plan over the first half of the race, which proved fruitful as he began to pull in his competitors to finish a creditable 6th in a time under his previous best prior to this competition.

In the other 800m heat Jude was focused  from the gun and after a few laps was clearly ahead of previous best times, benefiting from his endurance strength Jude pushed himself into the final 200m and ran clear to cross the line improving his lifetime best by an incredible 10 seconds.

Ben participating over the longer 1,500m Final, in his first taste of indoor competition relied on his cross country endurance to tackle the new challenge of the seven and a half laps indoor. With a gutsy performance Ben created a new best to now work towards  lowering his time below the 5 minute barrier.

Results: 1500m Ben Campbell 5.06; 800m Harris Morrison 2.14 (heat) 2.15 (Final) Jude Dolan 2.30 (Heat)