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National Cross Country Championships – Calendar Park, Falkirk 26.02.2022

The biggest Scottish inter club race of the season returned for the first time since 2020 last Saturday with the National Cross Country Championships. The races once again took place at the iconic Callander Park in Falkirk, and allowed athletes in all age categories to race against their peers from across the country.

mass start of the mens race

Two busses of runners, parents and supporters let Greenock for the trip along the motorway to Falkirk for what proved to be another great day out for the club. The junior athletes got things underway, with five of our under13s having a go on this stage for the first time. This would be a great learning experience for them all as they see the possibilities that running for a club can do for them.

The under 15 girls, Summer and Erin, ran well and were able to provide the first warning to the older runners of the new feature of the course added this year. At the far end of the loop, the bridge across the muddy ditch was out of action and replaced with, well the muddy ditch! The steep run down to the mud and back up the other side proved to be a fun hazard throughout the day! Summer herself was a victim of the ditch, but no injuries apart from a bruised ego and muddy coupon!

Summer and Erin

The under 17s and u20s had been training hard as a group at the track for the last few months, and joining in with the seniors out there. They all ran well on the day, and Kyle and Jude once again had a good battle for position in their race.

The senior woman stepped up to race with Marian Monk leading the way. Marian has had a strong cross country season, leading by example by running all the events through the winter leading up to this one. It was good to see the ladies able to field a full team and register in the overall national standings. Viki Smith ran really well on what is a very short run for the ultra specialist.

Marian Monk

Ladies captain Elaine Medinelli had rallied the troops beforehand to get the full complement, which had sadly reduced due to injury and illness. However Charlotte McKay ran her first national and was only one of only ten in a field of 268 in her age category. At the top end of the field, Mhairi MacLennan won her third National Cross title ahead of Scout Adkin and Morag Miller.

Stephen Trainer

The senior mens race was contested by 627 athletes in the last race of the day, where the course was at its muddiest! Stephen Trainer made a starring return to club running, donning the famous vest and leading the men home in 66th spot. Andrew McCall and Oliver Reilly battled it out for second club spot, with the veteran McCall just edging it. Our only medalist on the day was Paul Monaghan who claimed a bronze in the v50 category, and rounded out our top six with Michael McLoone and Kevin Craig.

Some newcomers to the national cross country race included Colin McKnight and Craig Hyslop who enjoyed their experience. At the sharp end of the race, Central’s Jamie Crowe defended his title ahead of Ross Gollan and Andy Douglas. If you want to see the scenes of the first men through the ditch of doom, then head over to our Twitter page for the video shared by Bellahouston Harriers. A few cracking faceplants!

Thanks to all our supporters through on the day. Especially those that positioned themselves at the ditch and cheered our runners through the mud. You could hear the cheers throughout the course!

Results:

U13 Girls: Scarlett Farrell 18.16, Nuala Quigley 18.18, Ava Lyle 18.33

U13 Boys: Cameron Beck 14.32, Jonathan Lamont 15.02,

U15 Girls: Summer Taggart 21.18, Erin McEleney 23.15

U17 Men: Jude Dolan 24.32, Kyle Johnstone 24.58,

U17 woman: Ruby McGill 29.12

Senior Woman: Marian Monk 49.14, Viki Smith 52.18, Lynsey Mooney 56.49, Cheryl Thomas 57.37, Eileen Stevenson 64.56, Elaine Medinelli 68.12, Charlotte McKay 81.12

U20 Men: Shaun Wiseman 27.15

Senior Men: Stephen Trainer 36.53, Andrew McCall 39.57, Oliver Reilly 40.07, Michael McLoone 40.14, Paul Monaghan 40.36 (3rd v50), Kevin Craig 41.17, Steven Campbell 42.30, Stephen Hanley 43.01, Craig Hyslop 46.53, Colin McKnight 47.26, Campbell Cromar 47.35, John Stevenson 48.25, Stephen Reid 53.10

Willow Bowl 2022

Greenock Glenpark Harriers were able to host their first senior prize giving in over two years on Saturday night. However, before all of the celebrations could get into full swing, there was the small matter of a cold, wet and windy race around the Greenock Cut. The Willow Bowl is one of the best races on our club’s race calendar, and is always a stern test to our hardy Harriers and guests.

The race is a conceding handicap starting from the Long Dam near Overton, and running up and over the stony road into Cornalees before returning to Overton via The Cut itself. The race was last held in May, where runners faced an awkward easterly wind, but it was back to the prevailing westerly on Saturday. The hill and run into Cornalees was brutal, but once onto the cut the runners could get into a stride and let the breeze carry them home!

Club coach Alan O’Rourke is deep into marathon training and set off with Ian McKee on the same handicap. The two had quite the tussle as they charged their way around the course. Alan eventually saw Ian off and took home the Willow Bowl handicap trophy. Ian’s consolation was the Tommy Knight Trophy for first vet across the line. A strong run from William Taylor saw him round out the podium spots, just ahead of Natalie Smith who also ran superbly. Eric Lindsay was in fifth spot ahead of him picking up a meritorious award at the prize giving later that night, a well-deserved accolade.

The scratch races are always a bit trickier to calculate, with the conceding handicap format. Michael McLoone ran so well, flying up the hill at the start and keeping the pace to pass all but the top 5 in the handicap along the cut. But when all the times came through, it was a second club race victory for Paul Monaghan! A strong run from Paul, who’s been leading the club in recent weeks. Andy McCall rounded off the gent’s podium with a strong run, closely followed by Oliver Reilly and Wil Scott. Wil has been training with the club in the last few weeks while berthed on the Clyde, and looks to be a talented young runner! Stephen Hanley and Owen Atkinson had another good battle for 6th and 7th, and there was another string run from relative newcomer Colin McKnight.

The ladies race was contested between Marian Monk and Shona Doherty who started together. Shona had briefly joined the club last season and claimed victory in the mile race, but was running as a guest at the Willow Bowl, and was first lady back once again. Marian claimed all the championship points though as she cements her place at the top of the standings with another great run. Another guest, Eleanor Connelly rounded out the top 3. Viki Smith was to be the recipient of two meritorious awards at the prize giving, and the long distance specialist did well over the shorter route to finish 4th lady and second harrier. There were also great runs from Debbie McKenzie on her return from injury and from Charlotte McKay tackling the race for the first time.

It was good to see six guest runners tackling the course on the day. It was especially good to see Donald Shaw return to the club for the race for the first time in over 30 years. He has won the race in the past, and our club championship! Another former champion in Dick Hodelet sponsored the race, so a massive thanks to Dick for his generosity. Also thanks to all of our volunteers braving the conditions, and to Danny McLaughlin for warming them up with some soup after the race! The next club race is 9th April, Docherty Cup 10 mile road race in Gourock. All eyes now on the National XC in 10 days time.

Results: Paul Monaghan 48.09, Michael Joseph McLoone 48.37, Andrew McCall 48.49, Oliver Reilly 49.57, Wil Scott 51.46 (guest), Stephen Hanley 51.53, Owen Atkinson 52.27, Michael McLoone 53.34, Steven Campbell 54.09, Eric Lindsay 55.26, William Taylor 56.23, Donald Shaw 56.43 (guest), Dean Elliott 58.23 (guest), Colin McKnight 58.28, Alan O’Rourke 58.41, Ian McKee 58.48, John Stevenson 58.54, Graham McGrattan 59, Campbell Cromar 59.34, Shona Doherty 59.52 (guest), Callum Gorry 62.23, Marian Monk 62.44, Ross Slater 64.18, Eleanor Connelly 64.26 (guest), Viki Smith 65.12, Stephen Reid 66.17, Michael Connelly 66.17 (guest), Terri Wall 68.34, Lynsey Mooney 70.33, Debbie McKenzie 73.05, Nathalie Smith 74.04, Yvonne Prager 75.18, Elaine Medinelli 79.48, Kenneth Scott 83.53, Charlotte McKay 91.26

A strong westerly wind, gusting to over 42 miles per hour and driving rain welcomed 168 brave runners this Sunday at the Battery Park for this year’s Renfrewshire 5m Road Race.

The club photo-shoot quickly dispersed and 65 Glenpark competitors gathered on the start line for what was to be one of the most brutal tests of character in this race for a good few years. It was most definitely “a hingin’ in day”.

Great GGH turnout

The starter quickly briefed the runners and sounded the starting pistol to release the field from the car park at the pavilion into a driving westerly wind towards Gourock. The course followed an anti-clockwise lap and a half of the park and out the middle gate.  Turning left, with the wind behind all the way to the end of the Esplanade, runners faced the daunting challenge of heed doon into the teeth of the wind all the way back to the park again, finishing with a punishing lap and a half back to the start.

Paul Monaghan

First home for the club and first V-50 was Paul Monaghan, leading the mens’ team who finished 4th. Paul clocked an impressive time of 27:44. Andrew Osbourne, Andrew McCall and Kev Craig followed within 20s of each other in just under 29 minutes, with Michael McLoone and Steven Campbell finishing in 29:43 and 30:03 respectively.  Other excellent runs came from Shaun Wiseman (U-20 silver), Daniel Docherty, Gordon Hepburn and Michael McLoone (V-50 silver). Graham McGrattan won gold in the men’s V-60 category, another excellent return to form whilst Owen Atkinson had an excellent run following his recent gradual return to fitness.

Marian Monk

The ladies team did one better than the men, clinching bronze. First in was Marian Monk with yet another excellent performance, finishing 7th overall and V-40 silver, whilst Charlotte McKay won the V-60 gold. Marian was followed in by recent new members Lorna Mitchell (V-40 bronze) and Lyndsey Hunter; both showing tremendous improvement and great potential for the future.  Heather Lafferty continues to improve, being our 5th lady finisher in 38:53. With a further 22 Glenpark ladies completing the challenging course on the day, we can confidently say the ladies’ team has a strength in depth to be proud of! Full results can be seen here.

Harris Trophy 2022

Greenock Glenpark Harriers returned to the Coves Reservoir for their annual 5.5 mile trail race. The race had not been held at its normal location since January 2020, but we did manage to award the trophies in summer 2021 at the Corlic Hill Windfarm Race co-organised between the Harriers and Acorn Trails. However, it returned to its normal early January slot on the first free Saturday of the Year.

Cheryl, Vicki, Kyle and Donna

The path around the Coves reservoir is just over 2km long, and the race sees runners take on 4 full laps starting and finishing at the IRH end. The path is undulating, with killer steps at the half way mark making for a tough race for our hardy harriers. It was once again a high turnout for our club race, with seniors and juniors starting at the same time. The junior athletes would run different numbers of laps depending on their age category. It is always good to see the junior mixing it with the older runners!

Boys among men

In the one lap junior race, Aimee McEleny, Zac Dolan, Jonathon Lamont and Cameron Beck all competed well. In the the 2 lap race, Summer Taggart just edged out Erin McEleny. Over 3 laps, there was not much between Kyle Johnston and Jude Dolan, with Kyle edging it by 3 seconds. Ruby McGill, off the back of her senior race victory before Christmas, completed the laps in an impressive 30.26. It wont be long until these athletes are allowed to step up to the full 4 laps.

The mens race was a tight affair, with Neil Lafferty looking to continue his winning streak that extends back four races to last summer. It would take a special performance to beat him, and his new found training partner Stuart Greenway did just that. Stuart has joined the club in recent months, and has some rich pedigree with some amazingly quick times in his running career. It was good to see him toe the line in close to his racing fitness, and he held off the challenge of Neil to claim the win in under 32 minutes. Neil was second around 30 seconds behind and Kevin Craig ran well for third. Kyle Wilson returned to club racing with an impressive run to claim 4th, and Andrew Osborne continued his fine form to finish 5th. Shaun Wiseman continued to impress as a junior in senior races with a 7th place finish.

Battle for first overall

The ladies race saw Marian Monk claim her second win of the year, and ascend her to the tp of the ladies championship table. Lorna Mitchell beat Viki Smith to second placed Harrier, and is looking like being a great addition to our ladies team as she has shown some real strength in her first few months with the Harriers. With restrictions easing across the country, we are happy to welcome back guest runners to our races, and would encourage members to go see if any of their friends from other clubs or general running contacts want to try our races out. Laura Lennon from Victoria Park Glasgow did just that, and found herself finishing as second lady overall.

Marian Monk

Other newer members like Lynne Harrison and Katie O’Donnell ran well, and look to be enjoying the challenge of the club races. It was also great to see Lynsey McLaughlin, Ross Morrison and Gary Keogh back running for the club too. Cheryl Thomas and Gordy Hepburn ran well, and Owen Atkinson once again showed he is back to fitness after a long layoff! The option was given for members to opt out of the full 4 laps, but it was brilliant to see that everyone took on the full challenge on the day. Charlotte McKay had ran 2 laps a few years back, and took on all four this year along with June Anne McKnight (who had signed up for 3, and did all 4!)

Katie O’Donnell

The Harris race is a handicap race, and everyone starts at the same time. The winner of the handicap is only revealed later that night when all the maths has been done! This time it was the turn of Graeme Boyce to take the crown. Graeme has trained well with the Harriers since joining 2 years ago, and has really benefitted from track sessions at Ravenscraig. Graeme pipped birthday boy Stephen Hanley, who clearly didn’t wish hard enough when blowing out the candles! It was a big PB for Stephen, and he pipped Eric Lindsay and Lorna Mitchell by just one second each! The handicapping was once again spot on, so a big thanks to the handicap committee for their Mystic Meg like skills.

Handicap winner Graeme Boyce

These races cannot go ahead without our team of volunteers, and we would like to thank them all again for keeping us and the general public safe during the race. Another huge thank you must go to our race sponsor WB Smith Turf and Trees, who’s continued sponsorship of the club is greatly appreciated.

Stuart, Stephen and Kev


There are some fantastic photos available from this race, some shown on this report and more can be found thanks to our local photography enthusiasts:
Paul Malloy Flickr: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjzxVhi
Campbell Skinner Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Campbell-Skinner-Photo-111786773599198

Results: Stuart Greenway 31.54, Neil Lafferty 32.53, Kevin Craig 33.27, Kyle Wilson 33.46, Andrew Osborne 33.54, Paul Monaghan 34.23, Shaun Wiseman 34.43, Oliver Reilly 34.57, Steven Campbell 35.01, Stephen Hanley 35.03, Owen Atkinson 35.07, Andrew White 36.14, Gordon Hepburn 36.22, Sean Marshall 36.52, Daniel Doherty 37.28, Sam McVicar 38.19, Eric Lindsay 38.34, Robert Dolan 39.17, John Stevenson 39.48, Stephen Harrison 39.53, Colin McKnight 40.05, Graeme Boyce 40.14, David Holmes 40.43, William Taylor 41.14, Ross Morrison 41.27, Marian Monk 41.36, Laura Lennon 42.04 (guest), Campbell Cromar 42.05, Callum Gorry 42.31, Alan O’Rourke 42.33, Graham McGrattan 43.04, Lorna Mitchell 43.35, Viki Smith 44.33, Donna Campbell 44.55, Gary Keogh 45.09, Stephen Reid 45.22, Lynne Harrison 45.45, Cheryl Thomas 46.35, Rich Jow 46.44, Heather Lafferty 47.3, Katie O’Donnell 48.11, Debbie McKenzie 49.54, Alex Paterson 51.00, Fiona Cushnaghan 52.00, Yvonne Prager 53.47, Lynsey McLaughlin 54.50, Jason Skilling 55.48, Simon Hutton 59.12, Claire Monaghan 59.56, Angela Nelson 60.24, Charlotte McKay 67.05, June Anne McKnight 71.52

Indoor Success for GGH Youngsters

There was indoor success for Harris Morrison and Jude Dolan to bring the curtain down on 2021.  The ‘Harriers’ young duo recorded quality performances during December at the Emirates Indoor Arena in Glasgow.

Harris recorded a hat trick of lifetime bests over 60m, 200m and the longest sprint the two lap 400m. First up was his first attempt over 400m, Harris blasted out from the gun and was well into the race plan by the back straight passing his competitors within the first 100m, hitting the bell with one lap to go Harris had built up a lead and was flowing well as he crossed the 300m mark showing a degree of maturity he continued with his plan as the experience of coping with the pain of the longest sprint hit with 50m to go, however a determined Harris crossed the line securing a fine time for his first effort.
He made a return to 60m and 200m after a break of 2 years and blew the rust off recording a fast 7 seconds for the 60m and 24 seconds for the 200m. 

Harris Morrison

In the 800m Jude was stepping down in distance to tackle the challenge of the 4 lap indoor event. A fine first half of the race saw Jude assess the competition as he kept in contact with the pace before shifting through his gears to move into contention with the leaders with 400m to go, approaching 300m to go Jude moved into a top three place as the speed of the race increased, reaching the bell Jude made his bid forcing the pace of the race to move to a new level , Jude continued this determined attempt through to the finish where he won a very good silver medal position. 

Jude Dolan

To be part of the ever expanding ‘Harrier’ movement in 2022 follow Greenock Glenpark Harriers on all social media outlets. 

Wilson Trophy 2021

There are three things in life that are certain: death, taxes and horrible weather for the Greenock Glenpark Harriers Wilson Trophy race in December! On Saturday, our brave runners and volunteers were faced with chilling winds and driving rain in the hills behind Overton.

The 4.5 mile trail race is many of the club member’s favourite race, but could also be described as Marmite! It is a conceding handicap race, with runners setting off in reverse order, with the first runner back the winner. Charlotte McKay was set off first, and faced quite an obstacle at the mile mark… a herd of at least 20 cows! Luckily there were 3 cowboys still on their warm ups, and they were able to shoo the big girls off the course. Maybe there’s a new career beckoning for Gordy Hepburn, Kevin Craig and Stephen Hanley?!

Charlotte looked on course for victory too, but with not long to go she was finally caught by Colin McKnight. The new member of the Harriers took the handicap victory by around 90 seconds in the end, so massive well done to Colin. Owen Atkinson, Kyle Johnstone and James Doherty ran well to round out the top 5 of the handicap race. Kyle might just have been the story of the day, as a tumble n the course lead to a few scrapes and a lot of mud as can be seen in the picture below!

Kyle covered in mud!

Kyle was one of four Glenpark juniors who made their mark on this race. Senior races of this distance are open to our U17s, and they can’t half compete too. Ruby McGill, no stranger to winning senior races, stormed to victory in the female scratch race in a great time of 34.58! Edging out Marian Monk and Lyndsey Hunter who were not far behind.

The juniors were at it in the mens race too, with Shaun Wiseman storming to 3rd place overall, and Kyle as mentioned running 3rd in the handicap and 11th overall. A top 10 was probably nailed on if he hadn’t taken a tumble! Abbigael Crawford was the other junior to run, and she ran superbly with her dad Graeme and of course beating him cleanly!

The men’s race was won by Neil Lafferty, making it three out of three for the season, and stamping his authority on the 2021/22 championship. Neil’s winning time of 27.38 was very impressive in some stinking weather. Michael McLoone was 2nd, his best senior race finish to date. Michael is at home in the hills, and ran really well to push Shaun into 3rd spot. Only 9 seconds separated 2nd to 5th, with Captain Steven Campbell edging out Kevin ‘The Cowboy’ Craig to finish 4th by 2 seconds.

It was great to see so many new faces up the hills for their first club race. Stephen and Lynne Harrison both ran well on the back of a few practice runs with the club over the last month. Lynne ran the same time as fellow new member Lorna Mitchell, and both put themselves straight into the top 10 in the womans race.

The turnout of runners was once again fantastic, with 54 running when in the past it has been as low as 20. Races and events are comng thick and fast, and the club’s Lyle Mile will run on New Year’s Day at 11am this year after Greenockparkrun. The next club race is less than 3 weeks away, with the Harris Trophy on 8th January at Coves Reservoir. The 5.5 mile (4 big laps) course will set our runners a stern challenge for the dawn of 2022.

It wasn’t just the runners (and cows) having to bear the brunt of the conditions yesterday, and we must thank the army of volunteers that were out there! We cannot run these events without them, and we do appreciate their time. We also really appreciate the sponsorship from Wilson Buses via long standing club member and sponsor Robert Wilson. Everyone who was there are also indebted to the Crawfords for getting the van up to the start line and providing some much needed shelter!

Results: Neil Lafferty 27.38, Michael Joseph McLoone 29.33, Shaun Wiseman 29.38, Steven Campbell 29.40, Kevin Craig 29.42, Oliver Reilly 30.35, Owen Atkinson 31.19, Daniel Doherty 31.22, Gavin Morrison 31.32, Stephen Hanley 31.46, Kyle Johnstone 31.51, Paul Monaghan 32.24, Sam McVicar 33.22, Gordy Hepburn 33.35, Colin McKnight 34.47, Ruby McGill 34.58, James Doherty 35.13, Stephen Harrison 35.34, Marian Monk 35.45, John Stevenson 35.48, Danny McLaughlin 36.11, William Taylor 36.31, Craig Hyslop 36.36, Campbell Cromar 36.51, Alan O’Rourke 37.17, Lyndsey Hunter 37.46, Ian McKee 37.46, Greig Turner 37.47, Stephen Reid 37.49, Fiona MacFarlane 38.08, Callum Gorry 38.45, Matthew Deegan 39.14, Frank McMahon 39.21, Richard Jow 39.56, Lynne Harrison 40.25, Lorna Mitchell 40.25, Marianne McKay 41.03, Heather Lafferty 41.09, Cheryl Thomas 41.19, Abbigael Crawford 45.01, Debbie McKenzie 45.02, Graeme Crawford 45.05, Claire Monaghan 46.12, Nathalie Smith 46.22, Yvonne Prager 48.45, Kirstin Arthur 49, Elaine Medinelli 50.02, Sandra Devine 50.06, Jennifer Boyd 50.22, Sharon Black 51.14, Fiona Cushnaghan 51.32, Jason Skilling 52.53, Simon Hutton 53.03, Charlotte McKay 56.43

West District XC – Balloch

A big well done to all those who bravely turned out for the club this week ! We had 18 Senior Men, 10 Senior Ladies and 13 Juniors representing the club.

It was a mainly dry day on the infamous hilly course at Balloch Park.  The day’s competitors were relieved to see just a few patches of well-trampled slippery mud and the going was reasonably good overall.

From the start, competitors followed a zig-zagging course down the hill and then out along Loch Lomondside to two steep hills; the tough 2nd hill leading up to the start again, with a stunning backdrop.

On the walk-in from the bus drop-off point at the Balloch bus terminus, a few were reminiscing about the Big Country and Oasis concerts back in the 1990s.

Meanwhile Captain Steven was rallying the troops for the races ahead. The weather was baltic and his theme of the day was ‘schoolboy errors’. The first lesson he pointed out was to Big Craig who turned up in a pair of shorts with two hours to wait. “That’s your first schoolboy lesson Big Man!” he said. “The next you lot is keep your feet dry before you start running. I hope you’ve all got decent sized spikes in ?”

All that said…three minutes before the start the bold Stevie was seen scrambling about in the tent trying to take aff his trackies !

Ladies Race

Marian Monk finished first for the ladies once again in an excellent time of 38:22. Fiona McFarlane and Viki Smith followed just over 2 minutes behind. Viki had a great run off the back of all of her ultra marathon training, finishing 7 seconds ahead of Fiona. Fiona however took a tumble at one point but managed to get up quickly and keep going.

Lynsey Mooney had another gritty run finishing in the top 100 as did 5th lady finisher for the club Heather Lafferty, just 30 seconds behind in 43:47. Cheryl Thomas was delighted to complete the course this year after a DNF last time.

GGH ladies resuts

For the majority of the early part of the race, Eileen, Elaine and Sandra ran together.  On the second lap Eileen managed to ease away from the group to finish 30 seconds ahead. Unfortunately Michelle Morgan had a bad fall and didn’t finish this time out. Hang in there Michelle, you’ll smash it next time!

The day was topped off by a fantastic run from Neil Lafferty who earned himself a silver medal in the Vet 40s category.

Neil in action and with his medal

The Vet 40s team (Neil Lafferty, Steven Campbell and Kev Craig) also secured the club a prestigious bronze medal. Meanwhile Frank McMahon added another v70 medal, silver this time, to his collection.

Excellent runs worthy of mention were Michael McLoone, Gavin Morrison and Gordon Hepburn. Craig Hyslop, Ross Morrison and Colin McKnight also did exceptionally well in this their first 8k cross country outing.

GGH Mens results

The turnouts are growing week on week and the medals are now coming home.

So Moneglenpark !

Let’s get more of our big guns out for the next one!

Colin Shields Road Race 2021

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 buzz at the start line

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.

Marian Monk
Stevie and Marianne

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.

“If you’re smiling, you’re not working hard”
Fiona with Danny in pursuit

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.

Owen and Sam
Gavin and George

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.

John and Ross
Neil Lafferty striding ahead

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

GGH Weekly Round-Up – 1st-7th November 2021

Lindsays Short Course XC at Lanark – 6th November 2021

This weekend at the National Short Course Championships in Lanark, Glenpark had an improved turnout with 17 members braving the elements. 

Run of the day came from Frank McMahon, winning a silver in the Mens V70 category.

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Frank with his medal
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Frank in action!

The Senior Ladies race started in near blizzard conditions, with 70 mph gusts. Winner Laura Muir completed the course in 13:09. In our Ladies team, Marian Monk (17:07) and Lynsey Mooney (19:38) finished one and two for the club. As always, Lynsey had a very gritty run in the howling wind and rainy conditions. Marianne and Cheryl finished just 8 and 42 seconds behind, securing 22nd place for the club. Sandra Devine (22:43) and Elaine Medinelli (23:49) also did the club proud on such a challenging course.

Marian Monk
Lynsey Mooney
Cheryl Thomas

The Senior Men’s race had around 450 on the start line, which made for a spectacular sight as they set off. Winner Andrew Buchart completed the course in 11:47. First two in for the club were Oliver Reilly (14:18) and Shaun Wiseman (14:20) who had a ding-dong battle throughout, with Oliver managing to pip Shaun by just 2 seconds on the run-in.   3rd and 4th counters Steven Campbell (14:41) and Andrew Osbourne (14:58) secured the Men’s Team 23rd place overall out of 36 teams competing.

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Alan O’Rourke
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Andrew Osborne
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Daniel Doherty

Next in was Daniel Doherty (15:17), Gavin Morrison (15:47), Campbell Cromar (16:53), James Doherty (17:23), Alan O’Rourke (17:42), Danny McLaughlin (18:44) and Frank (19:27).

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Oliver Reilly
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Shaun Wiseman
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Campbell Cromar

Another great day at the races. The tent was promptly taken down by the lads whilst the ladies went for a wee bag of chips and a coffee. The bus driver did a blinder. However back at the Clubhouse he drove off with the tent and the whole club of Glenparkers were to be seen running up the street behind it as he shot off to his next job ! Bring back oor tent!

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First home doesn’t need to help, just pose!


(Thanks again to Campbell for the report)

Tinto Hill Race

On the same day as the National Short Course a trio of Harriers made the trip further South East to Thankerton for the Tinto Hill Race. Only a mere 6 miles from their club mates, they experienced the same horrific conditions at ground level. However, looking at the mountain forecast the hill runners needed to prepare for up to 70mph winds as they approached the summit.

New to hill racing but experienced on the trails, Sue is setting herself up as a force to be reckoned with. Having her first taste of competitive hill racing in August Sue was keen to build on her success where she won Gold in the female v40 category at The Luss Lollipop which incorporated the West District Champs. Sue set off steady and maintained the pace within the first mile of the tough climb. Into the second mile all runners then turned into the gale force winds which literally stopped the runners in the tracks in the exposed valley. Thankfully as runners climbed further the Hillside provided some shelter from the gales until the cairn. Sue then set off to make up places on the descent. Flying down the hill she was passing runners but found that the tricky underfoot conditions meant that more experienced hill racers were passing her in the technical sections. Sue had some great battles and finished in a fantastic 64th overall, 7th female on the day and 2nd Female V40. Notably from the Luss race, Sue overturned the results as West FV50 champ, Lorna Mahoney, finished ahead of Sue but not today. Sue opened up a lead over well over 1 min 30 secs on Lorna on this occasion. This builds on a fantastic season for Sue.

In the mens race Michael McLoone and Andy McCall both were delighted with their performances. Both runners could not be separated on the climb as they traded places several times on the 1500ft climb. It wasn’t until they were exposed to the gale force winds and that Andy managed to open a lead of about 15 seconds on Michael and sustained this until the cairn. Andy turned at the cairn in 18th position with Michael chasing in a competitive group. At the turn Andy started his fearless descent to try and catch the runners in the distance but paid for the quick start as he lost his footing and took a tumble within the first half mile. This led to a more cautious decent in the final mile but didn’t stop him catching 5 runners to finish 13th overall. Michael’s experience in the hills certainly showed as he descended extremely well and managed to keep with some fearless descender to finish in 24th position. Its great to see Michael back on the hill racing scene.

Results: Andy McCall, 13th, 36:42, Michael McLoone, 24th, 38:52, Sue Hewitson, 64th overall, 7th Female, 2nd FV40 – 44:58
Thanks to Andy for the report.

https://www.webscorer.com/racedetails?raceid=259790

The young hill team!

Glen Ogle Ultra

Our ultra mad man Kevin Craig took to his 4th ultra of the year on Saturday at the Glen Ogle 33 at Killen. Kev is making a habit of silver and bronze medal performances at these ultras recently, and this was no different! The 33 mile route takes runners south from Killen and along part of the Roby Roy way, and through Loachearnhead and over the Glen Ogle Viaduct. The route takes in some 3000ft of climbing too!

Kevin got himself round in just under four hours and good enough to bank himself another 2nd place finish! Kev’s time of 3.58.43 was just 10 minutes behind winner Iain Carroll from Giffnock North and 5 minutes clear of Martin heggie in 3rd. Iain warmed up for the race at Greenock parkrun the week before, off the back of a superb 2.35 at London Marathon.

Kevin’s four Ultras this year have been as follows:
3rd at Glen Lyon
2nd at Conic Canter
2nd at Dunoon
2nd at Glen Ogle.
Well the only thing that’s going to top that is a first place at the next one!


South by 5 – Kings Park

Out friends at Acorn Trails organised a 5km trail run around Kings Park in Glasgow. This is the first in a series of races in Glasgow parks inspired by the old Southside Six race, a former favourite of some of our runners. The Smiths were in attendance, and Steven ran the route alongside Nathalie to prove that he is still a Charming Man.

Race report: https://acorntrails.run/2021/kx5-race-report/

Also well done to Fiona Cushnaghan who ran the Strathaven Striders half marathon on Sunday in a time of 2.03, its not a flat one! Well done to anyone else who was racing over the weekend. There was a good turnout for Greenock parkrun despite the weather, and we even had a Harrier do a parkrun in Dundee on his own stag do…! Remember, if you want to write a race report, please feel free to send on into greenockglenparkharriers@gmail.com and we will get it published!

This Saturday we return to the roads for the Colin Shields race. Looks like it could be a record turn out for a Harriers race!!

Race Report – GGH National Relays, Scone Palace, Perth – 23rd October 2021

This Saturday all roads led to the National Cross-Country Relay Championships at Scone Palace in Perth. This venue provided a fantastic course and splendid weather for the depleted team of 9 Glenparkers.

The first team selection was Steven Campbell (new Club Captain), Oliver Reilly (the way he’s been running of late you’d never guess he’s just off the back of a 2hr 48mins at the London Marathon), Alan O’Rourke and Frank McMahon, who’s training’s been going so well recently he ousted the cream of the club to clinch his first 1st team slot!

The vet’s team “nearly never made it” with recent new member Gavin Morrison and his well kent camper careering headlong into the muddy car park twenty minutes before the start.  Gavin was running the first leg, followed by another recent new member Campbell Cromar, just back from a month’s injury and Danny McLaughlin also just back from injury running the anchor leg.

Unfortunately, with only 2 ladies; Marian Monk and Nicola Doohan available to run, the objective was to get a good time and some fun on the single lap scenic course.

Marian inspired the other team members with the run of the day on the first leg of the Ladies Senior race. Marian finished in 17 minutes exactly, an excellent time on the windy 4,000m course which consisted of two challenging hills in the first half followed by a long fast section on the run-in. Marian finished 133rd out of the 294 senior lady starters and 45th in the V40 category. Marian moves up to the V50s next year and will soon be securing top 10 placings.

Run of the Day from Marian

Nicola went off like a pocket rocket on the second leg, passing runners right, left and centre but unfortunately after the hills section had an exercise-induced asthma attack and had to retire from the race just before half way. The team consoled Nicola and reassured her that with a steady start next time she would comfortably complete the course with a time to be proud of.  

In the men’s race, Steven got the first team off to an excellent start, finishing in 82nd place out of the 155 starters in a time was 14:13. Taking over from Steven, Oliver ran a blinder, passing 18 runners and finishing 65th. Oliver was delighted to discover his time (13:58) was 15 seconds faster than Steven. Steven however wasn’t slow in reminding him he was 15 years younger and that he “should’ve been even faster!”. That’s good Captain’s psychology Steven ! Alan ran his race of the season with a cracking 16:38 to hand over to Frank who held on well to finish in 83rd place overall in a time of 18:35. A brilliant effort in the circumstances for a much depleted 1st team.

Steven and Gavin on the 1st Leg

Campbell and Oliver on the 2nd Leg

In the vet’s race, bottles were crashing all over the place after Marian’s fabulous run.

Gavin took the first leg, with a seriously gritty run, having just recovered from a bad cold. He clocked an excellent time of 15:36 despite the fact he hadn’t trained properly in the lead-up. Campbell also dug deep to try to equal Marian’s time. Turning up ill prepared as usual, with track spikes in, Marian offered Campbell a new set of 15mm cross country spikes. This kind but serious tactical blunder on Marian’s part gifted Campbell a few precious seconds. He finished in a time of 16:20, handing over to Danny who ran so fast in the first half trying to beat Marian’s time that his “flipping sole” came off the bottom of his spikes (no joking) ! After tearing it off at the half-way point it was thankfully reasonably flat and firm underfoot all the way to the finish. Danny finished in 17:01 and afterwards had a bit of sole searching to do. The team finished 17th overall in the V50 category.

Danny, Alan and Frank

The banter on the way back was hilarious and a few ears were burning!

There’s One Thing Ye Cannie Beat : An Aberfolye Fish Supper after The Nationals !

As is tradition for all races up Perth-way, the bus driver took a slight detour to Aberfoyle and the legendary chippy.  Danny (our new Janny) had a sausage supper, Frank a pie supper and everyone else has a fish supper, except Nicola who had a bag of chips and a diet coke!

Let’s get the numbers up for the next few SAF races. It’s a brilliant day out !

Apologies for not managing to get a photo of Nicola. If anyone has one, please send it on.

Thanks to Campbell Cromar for the brilliant report. If you want a race report published, then please email in!