Category Archives: Race Reports

Red Hot 10k Action

Kilmarnock 10k

This year’s Scottish 10k championships were held at Roon The Toon 10k in Kilmarnock. This was a change of venue from the previous years championships, but still on a popular route that Harriers had ran in the past. The route heads out from the athletics arena and heads through the residential streets of Kilmarnock, eventually finding some small hills in the fields to the west. The route then returns right through the town centre before finishing with a half lap of the track.

Neil Lafferty lead the harriers home in a fraction over 34 mins, with Paul Monaghan and Oliver Reilly in hot pursuit. Paul Monaghan landed himself a v50 gold medal, edging ahead of his competitors by around 20 seconds. Andy White just edged out Chris Mooney, and Stevie Campbell completed the set of 6 runners breaking 39 minutes for the club.

Neil Lafferty 34.01, Paul Monaghan 34.29, Oliver Reilly 35.23, Andrew White 36.48, Chris Mooney 38.07,  Steven Campbell 38.25

Brian Goodwin 10k

The Bellahouston Harrier’s club 10km race in Pollock Park is always a popular one with Glenpark athletes, and this year we were able to fill a bus load of keen runners and supporters. Enticed by the fast course, and maybe by the finish line beer and burger, they headed up to the big city in fine spirits! The course is 2 loops of Pollock Park, over a slightly undulating course, but one that always manages to bring out some quick times.

On the ladies side, Fiona MacFarlane smashed her PB with a run of 45.39! (Note for this report that these are gun times, so the actual times will be quicker!) Lynne Harrison made her 10k debut and impressively broke the 50 minute barrier in 49.02. Nathalie Smith ran 53.29, 1 second off a PB but still a fantastic run, and there was also good runs from Cheryl Thomas and June Anne McKnight (another debutant).

The GGH men brought a strong team up to Pollock trying to compete for county medals on offer for the Renfrewshire 10km championships. Stuart Greenway, off the back of illness, took the first spot for the club, pipping Neil Lafferty in 34.13, but Neil picking up v40 silver for his 34.21. Neil was a fraction ahead of Paul Monaghan in 34.27 who cruised to v50 gold. It would be remiss not to mention Oliver Reilly in 4th place for GGH, who absolutely smashed his PB with a fantastic run in 34.40! Finally getting one over his training buddy Andrew Osborne in 5th. The top 4 were able to take home the team

Daniel Doherty had a fantastic return to racing action with a 36.23, great to see Daniel back to something close to his best after a time out. Same can be said for Duncan Anderson who ran 38.39, but not quite taking the title of fastest Duncan Anderson on the night…. Steven Campbell and Stephen Hanley also ran sub 40, both nursing some injuries but coming along for the banter and free socks!

Stephen Harrison continued his great running since joining the club, and he smashed his PB with a time of 41.15. Just behind him was Greig Turner, also PBing in 42.44 over a much shorter distance than he is used to. Elsewhere there were good runs from Richard Jow, who had great support on the course, Colin McKnight, John Stevenson, Stephen Reid, Malcolm MacLean, Lucas Bezian and Andy MacLean. David Hamill finally took the plunge and donned the GGH colours for the first time, and hopefully he doesn’t look back from here!

Thanks to Bellahouston Harriers for a great event, and to all the volunteers on the course. Even our own David Carruthers got a job in a yellow vest!

Loch Lomond 10k

Held on the Saturday straight after the Brian Goodwin, the Loch Lomond 10k took place in Balloch. Traditionally part of the Polaroid Series, it now stands alone as an event itself and attracts a good crowd for the race. The route starts and finishes in Balloch Country Park, and heads out and back along the River Leven.

Nobody would be mad enough to do this as well as the night before would they?? Nah, just Paul Monagahn. Paul cruised round in 35.27 (taking it easier) and finished 6th overall and 2nd v50. Ross Morrison was next for Glenpark, with Craig Melrose and Gerry Gillespie rounding out the male harriers in action.

A good number of the Glenpark Monday/Wednesday sessions put their training to good use, with Olivia Devine, Ca

Paul Monaghan 35.27, Ross Morrison 45.18, Marianne McKay 53.00, Olivia Devine 53.26, Craig Melrose 58.02, Jennifer Turner 59.12, Caroline Sharpe 59.20, Lynsey McLaughlin 60.36, Gerry Gillespie 62.10, Charlotte McKay 68.26, Sandra Devine 68.30

Port Glasgow 10k

This local 10k event returned for its 3rd running, and first outing since pre pandemic. As always, the famous blue vests of Greenock Glenpark Harriers dominated the start line, but it was good to see vests from far and wide make the trip doon the water on what turned out to be a wet and windy ‘summers day’.

The runners were greeted with the sight of the passing Waverly as they got under way in Coronation Park and headed west to Kingston Dock. After a trip through the town centre, the runners headed east towards Kelburn and Parklea, where they’d turn and head home along the boardwalk, wind assisted to the finish back in the park.

The lead pack consisted of our incumbent senior champion Neil Lafferty, trying to hold off the talent of IAC’s Jon Hammerman and Dylan Crawford, as well as Bellahouston RR’s Brian Mulgrew. Andrew Osborne was clinging on to the back of this group, and continuing his fine form finished in 5th. Inverclyde’s Nynke Mulholland took the female prize and 6th overall with a great run. Neil took the win in 34.08, and Nynke the ladies in 35.51. Hometown boy Daniel Doherty managed a top 10, with Andy White also in that club. Duncan Anderson made a great return to racing in 38.31, with Owen Atkinson not far behind in 38.44.

Just over the 40 minute mark, William Taylor and David Holmes ran really well, and Chris beat Steven in the first battle of the Watsons for a good few years. Harriers were coming in out of the rain thick and fast, with John Stevenson, Stephen Harrison and Eric Lindsay coming home. Too many men to mention them all, another superb turnout!

First lady for GGH was Fiona MacFarlane in just over 45 minutes in 8th place overall, with Lynne Harrison and Terri Wall rounding out the top 3. Heather Lafferty, Debbie McKenzie and Lisa Boonsanong followed them home. Jennifer Hanley ran great for her first competitive 10k, and edged ahead of Karen Tullett who has been training with us for a few months now.

Again, there were so many harrier ladies that ran great on the day in horrible conditions, and it was nice to see a couple of those that couldn’t run out helping on the course to make the event run smoothly. It is great to have a mass event like this on our doorstep, with the next external one to be the Kilmacolm running festival in September. Before then, we have out club 10k, the Bill Elder in August, so let’s see everyone put the work in this summer and smash some PBs that night! We have a club race before then though, with the Singlehurst in Bute next Saturday.

Harriers in a Hurry

Glenpark Harrier junior trio of Simon Okiti, Harris Morrison and Kyle Johnstone were on fire recently at Scottish Athletics Joint League match at Grangemouth.

Simon was first to represent the Harriers on the track in his 200m race, an electric start saw Simon close the stagger on the athletes on the lanes outside him and eased into the home straight where he implemented his personal process once in the lead, a controlled last 30m allowed Simon to hold his form and cross the line victorious in a new lifetime best of 22.81seconds, his first sub 23 second run.

Simon

Immediately following Simon’s race was Harris, fresh from helping Clydeview Academy to the Scotish Schools 4 x 400m relay title two days earlier, he decided to drop down from 400m to test himself over the shorter distance of 200m. After an aggresive determined start Harris utilised his 400m power to storm round the bend cutting the stagger of all athletes outside him to be leading into the home straight, a focused home straight by Harris saw him claim first place in a new best for him 23.14 seconds.

Harris

Kyle concluded the trio of young Harriers to perform on the day this time over 1500m, A mature first 800m Kyle sought a bit of wind protection before excellerating ahead of his competition with 500m left, hitting the bell for the last lap Kyle struck for home, working hard down the back straight he held this until the final 100m where he dug into his deep reserves of endurance to stop the clock in a new best of 4.37minutes. 

Kyle

Young Harriers now look forward to the next National championships, Scottish Schools this week

Edinburgh & Lothian Trails 10/4/22

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.

Simon’s 11.20 seconds 100m

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.

Simon in action

Docherty Cup 2022

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 – Handicap Winner

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.

Paul – Men’s winner

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.

Marian – Ladies winner

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.

Junior race

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.

Senior results

  1. Paul Monaghan, 00:57:19
  2. Oliver Reilly, 00:57:31
  3. Kyle Wilson, 00:57:37
  4. Andy McCall, 00:58:21
  5. Neil Lafferty, 00:59:04
  6. Andrew White, 00:59:40
  7. Michael McLoone, 01:01:09
  8. Michael Joseph McLoone, 01:01:11
  9. Steven Campbell, 01:02:49
  10. Robert Dolan, 01:04:00
  11. George McCallum, 01:05:08
  12. Owen Atkinson, 01:06:08
  13. Eric Lindsay, 01:07:10
  14. Stephen Harrison, 01:08:27
  15. Graham McGrattan, 01:08:38
  16. Campbell Cromar, 01:09:00
  17. William Taylor, 01:09:26
  18. Daniel Doherty, 01:09:41
  19. Stewart Anderson, 01:11:42
  20. Graeme Boyce, 01:13:00
  21. Craig Hyslop, 01:13:30
  22. Marian Monk, 01:13:35
  23. Lorna Mitchell, 01:13:49
  24. Stephen Reid, 01:14:21
  25. Colin McKnight, 01:14:24
  26. Callum Gorry, 01:17:47
  27. Ross Morrison, 01:18:00
  28. Lynne Harrison, 01:19:42
  29. Heather Lafferty, 01:22:13
  30. Terri Wall, 01:22:43
  31. Danny Mclaughlin, 01:22:44
  32. Cheryl Thomas, 01:24:01
  33. Yvonne Prager, 01:29:49
  34. Lynsey McLaughlin, 01:32:33

Junior results
U11
Jack Campbell, 5:12

U15
Summer Taggart, 10:49

U17
1. Jude Dolan, 8:27
2. Kyle Johnstone, 8:50
3. Shaun Wiseman, 9:13
4. Ruby McGill, 9:55

Race roundup 20th March – 3rd April 2022

The Harriers have been out in force over the last few weekends. Here is a summary of the various races. As always if you have any results or short reports you want included just send them along.

Sunday 20th March 2022

Young Athletes Road Races, Greenock

Well done to all of our junior athletes who took part in the various races. Stevie will send out a report with the newsletter in the coming days.

U13 Girls
Ava Lyle – 14:44

U13 Boys
Johnathon Lamont – 12:52
Grant Munro – 14:10
Oscar Boyce – 14:17

U15 Girls
Summer Taggart – 17:23
Maria McCabe – 18:43
Erin McEleny – 19:05

U15 Boys
Oliver Boyce – 17:24

U17 Women
Ruby McGill – 20:21

U17 Men
Jude Dolan – 17:00
Kyle Johnstone – 17:46


Alloa Half Marathon

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

Liza and Heather after the race

Beith 10k

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 marathonSunday 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.

Marathon – 2nd place, 3:42:24 PB
Half Marathon – 4th place, 1:43 PB
10km – 3rd place, 47:01
Full series – 2nd female overall, 6:12:25

Fiona collecting her well deserved trophy

(Super) Sunday 3rd April 2022

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)

Trio of Harriers at the Tom Scott 10 miles

Self Transcendence 50km Road 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

Craig delighted with his 50km time

Manchester Marathon

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

Gordy smashes his Personal Best

Next up

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

Glenpark Harriers Smash the Virtual London Marathon 2020

This year has been very different for Greenock Glenpark Harriers. It was supposed to be a year of joy celebrating the club’s 125th anniversary. Those celebrations will have to be put on hold. There have been no races throughout the summer, and the runners have all kept themselves busy with a variety of virtual races set by Scottish Athletics and the club itself.

Each year in April, Glenpark have always sent a good contingent down to London to run one of the world’s best marathons. This year, the marathon was initially postponed until October, before ultimately being reduced to an elite race only. To try and keep the runners interested, London decided to organise a virtual marathon for those lucky enough to have a place in the actual run.

So whilst Eliud Kipchoge was being proven to be human, and Sarah Hall was sprinting over the finish line in one of the best finishes London has seen, our club runners were out pounding the pavements of Inverclyde in a bid to record their time for the 26.2 miles. We had 7 athletes competing in the race, and some inspirational stories amongst them.

The Battery Park is just over a kilometre in circumference, and all Inverclyde runners know it as a great training ground. It’s flat, it has nice pavement or grass, it usually has a toilet. However, not many people would think that over 41 laps of the park sounds like a good idea? Step forward Oliver Reilly. One of the rising stars within Greenock Glenpark Harriers he was the lucky recipient of the club’s ballot place in the marathon. Well he didn’t want that ballot place going to waste, and he wanted to represent his club with pride. Boy did he do that.

Oliver has ran two marathons before (PB of 3.17), and wanted his solid training to go to use. So he set out with a target of sub 3, and as close to the good for age time of 2.57 as possible. To help, the club rallied round Oliver and he was met with over ten runners and countless supporters who came down to the Battery Park to help with pacing and support. It was a fantastic sight to see the club vest out there for the first time in 6 months. Needless to say, Oliver absolutely smashed it, running 2.57.35! A big thanks must go out to Kevin O’Donoghue, who paced the whole distance with Oliver, and provided many words of ‘encouragement’, especially in the dying stages…

Some of the pacers deserve a shout out too. The likes of Andy McCall and Duncan Anderson, running 20 miles at that pace just shows how well they’ve been training over the summer. Here’s hoping there’s something for these guys to compete in soon.

A traditional Sunday run route for our runners is to head out the IBM road, and loop back through Gourock. It’s essentially a half marathon route, so Donna Campbell set out to do it twice!  Donna ran an absolute stormer, completing in under 3.40! A fantastic run! That time is within the good for age rankings, and will see Donna get to experience the real deal next year hopefully. Other ladies competing included Sue Hewitson who ran 4.08 and Kirsty Ormond who walked it in 7.27. Unreal effort from Kirsty, who went down the Old Largs Road and back up the coast. That’s a lot of time on your feet!

Inverclyde was host to Scotland’s first mass participation marathons in 1981. To commemorate this, and take part in their own virtual London, Robert Dolan and John Stevenson set out to recreate the route. It starts with a loop of the Esplanade, then out to Gourock Road end via the Cloch Road. It then turns and heads all the way back to Coronation Park in Port Glasgow before turning back for a finish on the Esplanade.

Robert, club president and London marathon regular, assisted by different generations of his family on foot and bike, got round the route in 3.23.46. The finish on the Esplanade was greeted with champagne and family members a plenty. It might not quite be The Mall, but it’s not bad. John had less fun in his run. Having went out with Robert, the marathon distance took a prisoner. Not for the first time, and definitely not for the last, a fantastic runner hit the wall. John, a veteran of London and multiple ultra marathons ran well through 16 miles, but the last 10 were not as easy. However club captain John stuck at it, and battled to the finish. Finishing in under 4 hours has to be hugely commended!

Craig Canning picked up a late entry into the virtual marathon, and ran a very steady 3.52 which is brilliant considering the lack of marathon training. Craig benefitted from some more Harriers helping him round the final few laps of the Battery Park.

The stories of the help and support on offer throughout the day sums up what this running club is all about. It’s been a tough year for everyone, but Greenock Glenpark Harriers are going to emerge from it stronger than ever. Bring on 2021.