In 2020, we held our Colin Shields Race as a 5km track race and attracted an amazing 64 runners to Ravenscraig. This was due to the Covid situation last winter, and it was too soon for us to be pounding Inverclyde’s pavements. The big question is, one the race returned to the road in 2021, could we match the amazing turnout in 2020? The answer? A resounding yes! 65 hardy harriers turned out on Saturday to break our senior club race record!
The Colin Shields race is traditionally a time trial event, historically linked to team selection for sadly now defunct road relay races. The time trial element remains, and makes it unique within our club racing schedule. Runners were set off in groups of 3, meaning they didn’t know where their competition was. Some runners were set off in a mass group before this, ensuring nobody was left behind on the course.
The route sees runners start at the top of Murdieston Street and run west along Inverkip road towards Branchton, crossing the footbridge and ascending to the IRH, before returning via Cumberland Road. Once across the bridge again, runners head back to where they started. The 4.5mile (7.25km) course is fairly undulating, but a nice calm day lead to some super quick times.
The ladies race was hotly contested between former club champion, the ever present Marian Monk, and new member Lyndsey Hunter. It was Marian who snuck the win in 31.56, a big PB for her over that course. Lyndsey was not far behind in 32.29, a superb debut! Fiona MacFarlane rounded out the top 3 with a 3 minute PB in 33.27.
It was great to see 19 ladies in attendance, one of our best ever turnouts of female runners. There were great performances throughout the field. Viki Smith, Heather Lafferty ran well to finish in the top 5, and Nathalie Smith had a great run as part of the first pack out, and was first back to the start line.
Neil Lafferty was the strong favourite going into the mens race on Saturday, having racked up a string of PBs and club race wins in the last few months. He had travelled to Burnley at the weekend to compete in the Podium 5k event, narrowly missing out on a sub 16 in windy conditions. Neil duly delivered the goods with a phenomenal winning time of 24.45, the fastest winning time since Stephen Trainer in 2014 (23.09).
The time trial element worked to perfection, with a real narrow battle for the podium positions. Oliver Reilly just nipped to the line quicker than Kyle Wilson for 2nd place, giving both men their best ever finishes in club races. Stevie Campbell and the returning Andrew White rounded out the top 5 just seconds behind. Paul Monaghan and Kevin Craig also broke the 27 minute barrier, and there was a great run from young Shaun Wiseman too. Gavin Morrison ran a stormer, while Owen Atkinson also showed a return to form with a solid run.
The format was even more in evidence in the middle of the field, as an example there were 6 runners finishing between 32.16 and 32.29, with literally seconds in between them all. Our next club race will be the Wilson trophy, held on the trails behind The Cut, on Saturday 11th December at 2pm. This will be a conceding handicap race, with the handicap winner being the first runner to cross the line after everyone is set off in handicap order. We are planning trial runs of the course each Sunday, with the first one this week at 12 noon at the clubhouse, or 12.15 at the Waterman’s Cottage, Overton.
We would like to say a huge thank you to our race sponsor, our very own Sue Hewitson at Creative Route https://www.creativeroute.co.uk/. Also a big thank you to our army of volunteers keeping us all safe at the busy road crossings, and manning the other tasks on race day.
Results: Neil Lafferty 24.45, Oliver Reilly 26.03, Kyle Wilson 26.05, Steven Campbell 26.23, Andrew White 26.31, Paul Monaghan 26.37, Kevin Craig 26.54, Andrew Osborne 27.21, Shaun Wiseman 27.46, Gavin Morrison 27.53, Stephen Hanley 28.19, Owen Atkinson 29.03, Sam McVicar 29.03, Robert Dolan 29.08, John Stevenson 29.38, Ross Morrison 29.59, Campbell Cromar 30.09, Duncan Anderson 30.17, Chris Watson 30.22, Craig Hyslop 30.32, George McCallum 30.49, Eric Lindsay 30.50, Paul McAulay 31.03, William Taylor 31.20, Danny McLaughlin 31.50, Marian Monk 31.56, James Doherty 32.08, Matthew Deegan 32.14, Alan O’Rourke 32.16, Graham McGrattan 32.21, Graeme Boyce 32.22, Ross Paul 32.23, Lyndsey Hunter 32.29, David Roberts 32.31, Stephen Reid 32.52, Ian McKee 32.53, Callum Gorry 33.03, Fiona McFarlane 33.27, Colin McKnight 33.54, Greig Turner 34.25, Viki Smith 34.57, Rich Jow 35.34, Heather Lafferty 35.51, Frank McMahon 36.03, Marianne McKay 36.10, Donna Campbell 36.21, Kevin Gill 36.33, Lisa Boonsanong 36.33, Cheryl Thomas 37.00, Kenneth Scott 37.43, Claire Monaghan 37.53, Jim Brannigan 38.30, Fiona Cushnaghan 38.59, Lynsey McLaughlin 39.30, Nathalie Smith 40.36, Yvonne Prager 41.34, Elaine Medinelli 42.25, Sandra Devine 42.29, Liz Heywood 42.33, Gerry Gillespie 43.20, Grace Campbell 45.30, Simon Hutton 46.00, David Carruthers 47.05, Charlotte McKay 48.38, David Black 57.05