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
The Chisholm Mile is tomorrow night, so this is your last chance to get entries in. The race will start at 7.30pm on the Esplanade, and early forecasts suggest a westerly wind, so we will likely be starting at the Boat Club (western) end of the Esplanade.
Entries for members and guests are still possible on the night. Registration will be open at the Clubhouse in Orangefield at 6.15pm to 6.45pm and then on the Esplanade itself afterwards. Guests will be charged £4 and if you could bring the correct change that would be ideal.
Glenpark Harrier Juniors returned from the West District Track and Field Championships with impressive performances for those involved. Harris Morrison was a Hat trick Harrier winning his third District title in a row with a dominating display in the under 17 men 400m. After an aggressive start Harris had opened up a small gap over his competition before unleashing a change of gear which opened his winning gap as he strode confidently down the home straight to add the under 17 title for 400m adding to his under 13 and under 15 boys 800m titles.
Simon Okiti confirmed his status as having the fastest feet creating a new lifetime best over 100m where an illegal wind put paid to his celebrations, undaunted with this Simon on his second run over the 100m sprint emulated a similar race plan to stop the clock in 11.11 seconds and a confirmed new best. Weather conditions put paid to some decent sprinting for all concenred running into a very challenging head wind for the longer 200m sprint where Simon had a challenging race and was only squeezed into second by the narrowest of margins.
In the under 15 boys 100m Ben Mullins in his first championship event put all his training to good effect as he successfully negotiated his heat making the final to challenge the fastest boys in the West. With a fine committed run Ben implemented his plan to the letter to secure a 5th position in a fast 13 second run.
Jude Dolan and Ruby McGill were the Harrier representatives in the 800m. Both having ran lifetime best recently confidently attacked the two lap event, Jude against the top male athletes on show gained additional race tactic experiences to finish just outside his best. Ruby benefiting from an increase in her speed base improved her best by 4 seconds.
The girls 1500m Summer Taggart and Maria McCabe set lifetime best performances and enjoyed the experiences which will stand them in good stead for the summer competitions ahead.
The very popular GGH Chisholm Mile is the next competition in the busy summer calendar .
Glenpark Harriers junior sprint duo Harris Morrison and Simon Okiti raised their own performance standards with lifetime best runs at the Central and Southern League at Kilmarnock’s Ayrshire Athletic Arena recently.
First on the track was Harris contesting the under 17 men 400m, after a new best created last week Harris was testing a new race strategy catching the athletes on his outside before reaching the back straight where he controlled the race before injecting speed on the home straight to cross the line victorious and his second lifetime best in two weeks stopping the clock at 51.80 seconds. Shortly after this he lined up in the 100m to test his top end speed and was not disappointed creating another personal best time of 11.47seconds.
More accustomed to the 100m competition, Simon stepped up age group to challenge the fastest senior men on the day. A solid start saw Simon chasing his more experienced opponents however hitting top speed through the halfway mark Simon concentrated on his plan and held speed and form through the finish line where the photofinish awarded a second place finish in a new best of 11.17 seconds.
Both athletes now join their endurance clubmates next weekend competing at the West District Championships.
On the exact day when Glenpark Harrier Willie Jukes would have turned 70, the club headed to Dunoon for our annual memorial race. Starting at Willie’s bench at West Bay, the harriers held a series of races for juniors and seniors. It was not the best weather conditions we’ve ever had for this race, but there was a great turnout from the club on the day.
The day started with the 200m junior race, with 2 heats of juniors competing over the sprint. Daniel Masalskis edged out Zak Dolan in the first heat in 35 seconds. In the second heat, Summer Taggart sped to victory in an impressive 26 seconds! Next up was the one mile junior race, where a good few dusted themselves down after the 200m race to go again. Summer Taggart impressed again as she edged to victory over Aimee McEleny in 6.41. The mile course was out and back, so runners had to judge the wind into their face on the return 800m. Ruari Trainer was in third position with 9 junior tackling the longer race.
The senior race was the traditional out and back 5 mile race, heading south from West Bay to Inellan before returning home. The southerly wind made it a real tactical affair, with a really strong headwind to contend with on the way out. This resulted in packs forming right away to try and share the workload among runners of similar ability. The first pack of 10 runners consisted of the strongest runners in the club just now, all working together to reach the turn. That’s when the real race begun, with Neil Lafferty and Stuart Greenway breaking from the pack. Neil just held off Stuart for the win, helped by a near 5 minute final mile! Wes Pattison pipped Kyle Wilson for 3rd place, while Andrew Osborne continued his fine form to take 5th. Neil’s win in 27.19 gives him a huge boost in the championship tables, and it will take a big effort from the chasing pack to stop it now.
Jude Dolan impressed as a junior in the senior race, holding with the fast pack of runners to the turn, and holding on for the return half to finish in 8th place overall. One of many acts of generosity on the day was the donation of a new trophy to mark Willie’s 70th birthday, one of Willie’s own trophies from his career. This was given to Jude for his first junior place in the senior race. One of many if his progress continues in this vein!
The second pack of runners included the wannabees who will be aiming to build themselves up to the same level as the top 10. At the turn, this pack split into a sprint for home too, with Stephen Hanley taking the lead and Chris Mooney, Daniel Doherty and Mick McLoone putting in the biggest challenge to catch. Stephen held on, and pipped one of the fast pack for 10th, with Chris just behind. Sean Marshall and Robert Dolan held with this pack to the turn as well, with Owen Atkinson not far behind.
The ladies race was won by Marian Monk who has 9 and a bit fingers on the ladies championship now after another strong run. Marian’s run was strong, even though she was isolated for the majority of the run. Lynne Harrison continues to impress in her early days as a harrier, grabbing second spot ahead of Lisa Boonsanong. Debbie McKenzie and Claire Monaghan rounded out the top 5, with Yvonne Prager, Lynsey McLaughlin and Jennifer Hanley running well just behind.
The handicap race at Dunoon is always a fun affair, with the crowd gathered in Sinbads after the race speculating on who might have nicked it. Many a minute is spent browsing Strava and trying some mental arithmetic to see who might have won the trophy! However, if the winner doesn’t do Strava, it makes it harder! That was the case when Callum Gorry was announced as the handicap winner, sneaking in just ahead of Lucas Bezian for his second handicap win! Callum had a great run, as did Lucas and William Taylor in third. It was poignant that one of Willie’s good friends in Graham McGrattan was 4th, and has been running great in the last few months. The handicap championship will culminate in August at the Bill Elder 10k, and is up in the air as usual. Graham and William move into a share of the lead, but closely followed by Eric Lindsay and Owen Atkinson.
The Jukes family were once again absolutely amazing on the day. To add to the usual hospitality, every runner received an engraved medal upon finishing which will be treasured by all of us. The post race feast in Sinbads was fantastic, and it was great to see so many of the family come out to cheer us on. We cannot thank them enough for their continued support, and we hope that seeing such a good turnout from the club helps them at this time of the year.
Big thanks to all our volunteers on the day, and to our race sponsor Travis Perkins with James Campbell helping out on the day too.
Results: Neil Lafferty 27.19, Stuart Greenway 27.24, Wesley Pattison 27.55, Kyle Wilson 27.56, Andrew Osborne 28.14, Paul Monaghan 28.34, Oliver Reilly 29.11, Jude Dolan 29.18, Kev Craig 29.25, Stephen Hanley 29.56, Chris Mooney 30.06, Daniel Doherty 30.11, Steven Campbell 30.20, Michael McLoone 30.24, Sean Marshall 30.38, Robert Dolan 30.44, Owen Atkinson 31.24, George McCallum 31.51, John Stevenson 32.30, Alan Poole 32.36, Richard Davidson 32.58, William Taylor 33.02, Graham McGrattan 33.05, Ross Morrison 33.18, Campbell Cromar 33.38, Stephen Harrison 33.43, Colin McKnight 33.48, Callum Gorry 34.10, Marian Monk 36.03, Stephen Reid 36.47, Danny McLaughlin 37.47, Lynne Harrison 38.53, Euan Morrison 39.13, Lucas Bezian 39.44, Lisa Boonsanong 40.12, Debbie McKenzie 40.15, Claire Monaghan 42.42, Yvonne Prager 44.10, Andy MacLean 44.24, Lynsey McLaughlin 44.32, Jennifer Hanley 46.20, Fiona Cushnaghan 46.58, Kenneth Scott 47.22, David Carruthers 48.06, Grace Campbell 48.52, Elizabeth Ness 48.52, June Anne McKnight 52.59, Charlotte McKay 54.22, Edward Devine 59.51
Glenpark Harrier juniors got their outdoor track season off to a flyer recently with lifetime best performances.
Over a busy weekend Harris Morrison was first to compete at the Livingston Open meeting competing over 400m. Harris recently moved to the event and looking to set himself up for the coming season started conservatively as he strode down the back straight before reaching the 200m mark when he moved into a higher gear and moved into contention for a leading position as he hit the home straight Harris was stride for stride for the win crossing line just a fraction of a second of the leader recording a new lifetime best of 52 seconds.
On a busy Joint League meeting at Grangemouth Jude Dolan set the standard for his teammates to follow, keeping in contact with the leading group Jude showed maturity to avoid the blustery head wind on the home straight before he strode for glory with 300m to go, a sprint finish from the 200m mark it was nip and tuck coming into the last 50m as the endurance background of Jude came to the fore as he broke clear to claim victory in a 7 second lifetime best of 2.06.
Also in the 800m event Nyah Gillan ran a tactical race as she cruised through the halfway stage before increasing pace to pass her competitors before reaching the home straight where she crossed the line equaling her own best time. Ruby McGill dropped down distance to the 800m and gained valuable race experience in what for her is a shorter distance setting a personal target which she will work toward in the coming season.
In the 100m the ‘Harriers’ fastest athlete Simon Okiti fresh from his recent lifetime best of 11.20 for the event was confident of emulating this run only for the scottish weather to put a dampener on that with a very challenging headwind. Undeterred Simon was out of his blocks and powering through his sprint phases to hit maximum speed as the athletes went through the 50m line, Simon endurance work was profitable as he moved into the lead to claim victory in his heat stopping the clock at 11.57, one of the fastest of the day for the young 17 year old.
Moving from the shortest event to the longest, 3000m Kyle Johnstone put a marker down on the track after his recent aquathon successes, completing the seven and a half laps in a creditable 10.51 minutes.
Glenpark juniors now move onto local club races before coaches and parents start the travels throughout Scotland for the forthcoming National events.
Beinn Dubh Hill Race – 27/04/22
After success at Kaim the previous week, Harriers headlined to Loch Lomondside for the 2nd race in Scottish Hill Runners ‘Bog and Burn’ series. Beinn Dubh has runners climbing almost 2000ft in under 2 miles, a lung bursting challenge. Yet another sunny and calm evening, perfect conditions which showed off the stunning location at its best.
Glenpark President Andy McCall had another outstanding run. A strong and determined climb, keeping a close eye on the front runners, followed by another masterclass of a descent. Andy picked off all but one of the challengers to take 2nd place on the podium, finishing just 6 seconds behind the winner.
Next Harrier was Kyle Wilson. Confident following his impressive 6th place at Kaim, Kyle set the pace at the front, leading the race for the first mile up the hill. Despite being surrounded by experienced hill runners, Kyle wasn’t daunted and put together a solid race to finish just outside the top ten in 12th place.
Owen Atkinson powered his way up and down the hill and his literally blistering pace, resulted in an eye watering blister on show at the finish line, which he crossed in 16th place. Owen secured a consecutive top 20 in the series with another impressive effort.
Daniel Doherty, hill racing his way back to fitness, struggled on the ascent but managed to pick up a few places coming back down to finish in 50th place. With another race under the belt Daniel will be focussed on moving up the positions next time.
3rd race in the series is the Whangie Whizz , which Andy McCall and Daniel Doherty competed at on Wednesday of this week. With the club hill race tomorrow, it is time for our hill runners to shine!
Check out the Scottish Hill Runners report and positions for the ‘Bog and Burn’ series so far below, which sees GGH sit 2nd in the club table, with Andy rolling back the years and leading the overall standings.
The Kaim Hill race returned on Wednesday night with a slight change to the course but with spectacular conditions as standard. 109 runners completed the first race in the Scottish Hill Runners popular ‘Bog & Burn’ series with 9 Harriers tackling the 3.5 mile route. Don’t be fooled with the distance as runners climb a thigh burning 1,100ft in just over 1.5 miles.
The race started quick with Kyle Wilson showing his strength on the hills as he steadily picked off the pack reaching the top of Kaim Hill in 3rd place and just over a minute ahead of his team mates, a real sign of what’s to come from Kyle. Next to the halfway point was Andy McCall in 9th place followed closely by a big group of runners which included Michael McLoone, Owen Atkinson and Shaun Wiseman all bunched together. Daniel Doherty was next to the top with sights on a pack just in front. Fiona MacFarlane’s marathon training had clearly put in her in good stead as she reached the turn well up in the strong field of runners. Elaine Medinelli wore her infectious smile for the entire race and seemed to loving every minute but the same couldn’t be said for Lynne Fulton who was battling with her own thoughts to reach the summit.
Hill racing is the epitome of a ‘game of two halves’ as the runners found out when they started the descent. Fresh from a fantastic 10 mile performance at the recent club race, Kyle Wilson was having the race of his life with dreams of a podium finish dashed as training partner McCall came storming past him in the technical section of the downhill. Andy’s experience and fearless descending paid off as he moved into 4th place with around half a mile to go. It was on the final fast descent that Andy passed Westerlands Del Young to take 3rd place in a big personal best time of 30 minutes and 19 seconds. Andy last won this race in 2011 and was delighted to get back on the podium. Kyle Wilson finished in 6th place and can take a lot from his first hill race into the next one. Michael McLoone and Owen Atkinson battled it out for 13th and 14th place with Michael taking the honours after one of his best downhill races. Owen had arguably the race of the day with his performance and on his debut hill race. He paced the race perfectly to finish strong. Shaun Wiseman was delighted with a much stronger descent than he had in 2019. Now armed with a pair of trails shoes he smashed his previous time by well over 1 minute to take the first Junior male prize. On his return to fitness, Daniel will be happy to have taken several people on the descent to finish strong in a very respectable 40th place. Fiona MacFarlane was next home in 83rd place with another huge PB for this race. Elaine will be delighted with her downhill as she again took a big chunk off her previous time, well over 2 minutes improvement. This was Lynne Fulton’s first hill race and will be delighted to have finished the race, fighting off the urge to pull out on the tough climb. At least it was a stunning night to enjoy the views and we hope to see Lynne back for more.
The next race in the Bog & Burn series is on Wednesday 27th April where the Harriers will head to Luss to take on the gruelling Beinn Dubh Hill race.
Kaim Hill Results:
Andy McCall – 3rd place, 30:19 Kyle Wilson – 6th, 31:20 Michael Joseph McLoone – 13th, 32:41 Owen Atkinson – 14th, 32:56 Shaun Wiseman – 18th, 34:02 Daniel Doherty – 40th, 37:45 Fiona McFarlane – 83rd, 45:34 Elaine Medinelli – 108th, 66:18 Lynne Fulton – 109th, 85:31
Shaun Wiseman went on from Kaim Hill race to finish in 6th place at the Scottish Schools Aquathon championship on the Friday night. Shaun busy as always!
Saturday saw the return of the popular Ultra marathon, the 2022 Highland Fling , with four Harriers ‘lucky’ enough to have entry into this prestigious event. Running the first 55 mile of the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Tyndrum were Kev Craig, Greg Turner, Lorna Mitchell and Viki Smith. Kevin was first back in 9 hours 23, who was hoping for a bit quicker and had a hard time in the later stages, but it was still a PB. Viki came in just ahead of Greig in 11.47 and 11.49 respectively, while Lorna wasn’t much further back in 11.55.
Michael McLoone Snr ran 37.22 for the Arran Ormidale 10k for 4th place, a time that improved on his previous year by almost 5 minutes and would have been good enough for victory 12 months ago.
Run Mhor Hidden Glen 10k was on Sunday 24th with Lorna Coyle finishing 3rd FV60 in 58:16 and Kirsty Ormond was 3rd female in 46:59.
There were some superb runs at Greenock parkrun on Saturday too, in howling wind conditions. Congratulations to GGH member Stephen Harrison for his first stint as run director.
Sprinter, Simon Okiti, got the outdoor track season off to a flyer at the recent Edinburgh & Lothian Trials. The u20 athlete got his season off to a flyer, clocking new personal best times in both the 100 and 200 metre events.
In the 200m event Simon reduced his PB from 23.9 secs to 23.00 earning himself 4th place overall. In the 100m race, the speedster crossed the line in 1st place in heat 1 earning himself the second quickest time of the day in 11.20 seconds, a big improvement on his previous PB which was 12.3 secs. Simon’s 11.20 seconds is the quickest 100m time run by a local athlete in a number of years, and it’s only the start of the season.
On Saturday 9th April 2022 the seniors took on the longest race of the club championship, the Docherty Cup 10 mile road race. The race started with a 1 mile loop of the Gourock esplanade and then headed West to Inverkip and back. The junior race took place at the same location and consisted of various distances.
George McCallum continued his awe-inspiring form to take home the Connie Gavin Memorial Handicap Trophy for the first runner to cross the line on his home turf, only 6 days after his epic performance at the Manchester Marathon. In the end, George’s performance was enough to stop newcomer Stephen Harrison from taking the honours. Stephen has been going from strength to strength since joining the club and it took George to run another incredible race to take home the trophy. A well deserved victory for George who has been working incredibly hard and is reaping the benefits in every race. Third across the line was club veteran Graham McGrattan, thanks to the handicap committee who set up a tasty battle for the trophy.
In the senior men’s race Paul Monaghan earned a hard fought victory to take home the trophy after a very quick start seen him through to the finish. Paul overturned the result against Oliver Reilly only 6 days after the Tom Scott 10 mile race with both athletes improving their time over the distance. At the start Paul quickly caught up with Andy McCall and his training partner Kyle Wilson after an initial one minute head start. Both runners held Paul into Lunderston Bay until the short hill leading to the Bankfoot roundabout. It was then Kyle who showed his strength on the inclines to take the lead on Paul. At the turn, with the trophy in his sights, Oliver was catching up to the group but with Kyle and Paul in a head to head race they had the advantage. In the end Kyle managed to sustain a gap on Paul and will be delighted to take 3rd place and well ahead of his target time. Paul now makes this 3 club race wins and his rich vein of form continues into a busy race calendar. Good luck to Oliver as he heads to the Boston Marathon and will now enjoy a well deserved taper period after a fantastic 2nd place.
In the senior women’s race it was Marian Monk who edged out Lorna Mitchell by only 14 seconds to take home the trophy. Lorna started one minute ahead of Marian in the staggered start and knew she couldn’t give an inch. In the end Marian made it 4 wins from 6 this season and a new 10 mile Personal Best time. Lorna will be delighted with a Personal Best time over the distance which will be a big confidence boost ahead of The Fling, a mere 53 mile trail race – good luck Lorna. The Harrison household will be delighted with their days work as Lynne took a well deserved 3rd place.
Following his impressive run at the Young Athletes Road Race, Jude Dolan claimed the honours in the U17 race. Pursued closely by Kyle Johnstone, Shaun Wiseman & Ruby McGill, Jude was made to work all the way to the line finishing in an impressive time of 8:27. Ruby McGill’s consistent training is paying off as the pushed her training partners all the way. Summer Taggart was next home in the two lap race with Jack Campbell completing the 1 lap course in a great time. Well done to all of our junior athletes.
Our races can’t go ahead without our fantastic army of volunteers. Thank you to everyone for your support on the day in various roles.
A huge thanks to our race sponsors The Spinnaker Hotel for their continued support and post race hospitality. Thanks also to Inverclyde Leisure for providing use of the shower facilities.
Next up, the Harriers head across the water to Dunoon for the Willie Jukes 5 mile road race. This is a special occasion for the club as we come together to celebrate with Willie’s family in what would have been Willie’s 70th birthday. Let’s see our usual big family turnout for the race on Saturday 30th April. Guest runners are also welcome.
Two harriers made the trip through to Alloa for the annual Half Marathon. Liza Brydon was first back for the club in a fantastic time of 1 hour 40 minutes and 54 seconds, a 5 second Personal Best time. Heather Lafferty came storming home in a time of 1 hour 51 minutes and 12 seconds. This was Heather’s first time racing over the 13.1 miles distance and she will be delighted with this performance.
Liza Brydon, 1:40:54 Heather Lafferty, 1:51:12
Rothesay man Wes made the trip across the water to Beith to take part in their annual 10k. Wes has been training consistently for some time now and was a little disappointed with his outcome over the hilly distance. It’s great to see Wes back racing again.
Wes Pattison, 6th place, 37:03
105 Track marathon – Sunday 27th March 2022
After a fantastic training block, and two races from the track series already in the bag, Fiona MacFarlane headed to East Kilbride to take part in the gruelling track marathon. The track marathon is like no other marathon, it covers just over 105 laps of the track with each lap displayed for you to see as you run. Fiona, with a clear target of breaking 4 hours, started ahead of target pace and managed to sustain this for the duration finishing a whopping 17 minutes ahead of the target. Finishing second place in the marathon gave Fiona second place overall in the series, well done Fiona.
A big weekend on the race calendar with 9 Harriers racing in 3 different locations.
Tom Scott Memorial Road Race
At Strathclyde Loch Oliver, Paul and the two Michael’s – McLoone and Follan, raced over the 10 miles distance with hopes of another Scottish medal for the in form V50 Paul. Monaghan set the pace with Oliver hot on his heels. Oliver’s Boston marathon training made the difference as he took Paul with 2 miles to go. Training partners Michael McLoone and Michael Follan with be happy with their times and surely the trio were one of the top V50 teams on the day? Paul will be disappointed to miss out on another Scottish medal but will be looking to make amends at the GGH Docherty Cup 10 mile race this weekend.
Oliver Reilly – 57:48, 38th PB Paul Monaghan – 58:27, 46th (4th MV50) PB Michael McLoone – 61:12, 74th (6th MV50) Michael Follan – 64:27, 102nd (12th MV50)
Self Transcendence 50kmRoad Race
Perth hosted the Anglo Celtic Plate which incorporated the Scottish & British 50km and 100km championships. Craig Hyslop was the only Harrier to take on the looped 50km course as he continues his excellence block of ultra marathon training. This was Craig’s first Ultra marathon and he can be delighted with this well executed performance over a very tough distance.
Craig Hyslop – 4:27:31, 21st place
Further South it was a hattrick of Personal Best times for the GGH team. First home in the Manchester Marathon was Gordy Hepburn in a time of 3 hours 7 minutes and 56 seconds – a 4 minute improvement on his previous PB. Having recently recovered from Covid Gordy will be delighted with this performance. Following closely behind was George McCallum clocking a massive 9 minute improvement on his best time over the distance, a truly inspiring performance from George. He clocked 3 hours and 15 minutes 28 seconds! Stuart Austin’s West Highland Way training is clearly making the difference in his training as clocked another massive PB of 3 hours 24 minutes and 22 seconds, an 8 minute PB. Lucas Bezian crossed the line a very good time of 4 hours 23 minutes and 47 seconds, a strong performance.
Gordy Hepburn – 3:07:56 George McCallum -3:15:28 Stuart Austin – 3:24:22 Lucas Bezian – 4:23:47
Our next club race is the Docherty Cup 10 miles on Saturday 9th April. This is a conceding handicap race with the first senior runner starting at 2:00pm. There will be junior races held from 1:45pm. Please join us for refreshments and the prize giving after the race at the Spinnaker Hotel. Thanks to the Spinnaker Hotel for their continued sponsorship and support of this race.
Following this we will head across the water to Dunoon for the Willie Jukes 5 mile club race on Saturday 30th April. This year would have been Willie’s 70th birthday and the family have invited all attendees to celebrate together in Sinbads Bar after the race. Let’s see our usual big turnout at both events. Again massive thank to our race sponsor Travis Perkins for the continued support and sponsorship of the race.
Key race dates: Docherty Cup – Saturday 9th April Willie Jukes – Saturday 30th April Cornalees Hil Race – Saturday 7th May Chisholm Mile – Tuesday 24th May