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GGH XC League

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GGH   Junior XC league will go ahead on Sunday 16th Feb at 11am. The worst of the storm will have passed, but it will be chilly and windy so wrap up well and make sure you wear your spikes☄️🌧🌪⚡️ See you all at Tower Hill. *This is the 10th and final round of the league so its double points for everyone😁

Renfrewshire Road Race 2020

There was a fantastic turnout of Greenock Glenpark Harriers for the annual Renfrewshire 5 mile road race last Sunday. This event always seems to bring with it some West of Scotland weather challenges, and this year was no different! However, it didn’t stop 57 seniors from braving the wind a rain. A super turnout from the club in our 125th year.

The opportunity for a fast and flat 5 mile race always brings out a string field. Kilbarchan’s Olympian Derek Hawkins cruised to victory in 24.36. Derek and his reflection was perfectly captured by our photographer just prior to the masses splashing their way through one of the large puddles. It was a Kilbarchan one two, with Holly Thompson winning the ladies race. There were also comfortable wins for Bellahouston Road runners and Inverclyde AC in the ladies and mens team competitions respectively.

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Sue Hewitson was first Harrier female with a good run in 33.2, just missing out on v40 bronze too. There was a silver in the v50 category for Fiona Cushnaghan and also a silver in the v60 for Charlotte McKay. Well done girls! Marian Monk is steadily making her way back to top racing form, as she outfought Claire Monaghan for 2nd Harrier. The ladies team were pushed out into 4th place and sadly missed out on a medal. It was good to see Fiona MacFarlane and Cheryl Thomas pushing the top 3 ladies very close, almost getting themselves in as a team counter.

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Shaun Lyon finished as the top male harrier and was 8th overall in 26.10. Run of the day has to go to Neil Lafferty. He has been flying in recent weeks with storming runs at the vets relays and at parkrun, but he took a good few scalps with his brilliant time of 27.06 for 2nd Harrier and 12th overall. This also saw Neil claim a v40 bronze, brilliant run Neil! Neil was narrowly ahead of Paul Monaghan and Stevie Campbell. Andy White and Daniel Doherty made up the six counters for the male team to claim a brilliant silver medal.

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There were also medals for Danny McLaughlin, with a v60 silver. The solo gold medal of the day for the club came to Andy White, who strolled to victory in the v50 race in under 28 minutes. It wasn’t as fast as Andy’s run here last year, but his training is going well ahead of an other assault on the London Marathon.

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Marathon training was paying off further down the field, as Oliver Reilly continued his great form to claim 7th spot on the team in just over 29 minutes. Similarly, Robert Dolan also ran a big 5 mile PB (with a 5k PB thrown in during the race too). Sandwiched between these two were the returning Chris Mooney who held off Stephen Hanley’s charging sprint finish. It is good to see former club champion Chris making a return to racing after 12 months of injury woes, and he followed this race up with a cracking 17.18 at parkrun yesterday.

Duncan Anderson made a return to racing after a quiet winter, and picked up where he left off at the tail end of last year by dipping under 30. There were good runs for Kevin Craig, James Doherty and Liam McFadden, who have recently joined the club. Another new face Stuart Clark really surprised himself with his time, and really felt the benefit of the Harriers training and the quality of the field on show.

There were two graduates from our Tuesday night Couch to Club Runner sessions taking part in the race. Emma Sinclair has ran 10k races since joining the club, but perhaps not in this sort of weather! Jennifer Boyd took part in her longest race, and indeed longest run to date and was delighted to get round in well under 50 minutes. Hopefully we see a few more graduates as the season progresses.

A big thank you to all of the race volunteers and marshals for helping out in such terrible conditions. The times for our runners are below (noting that there is still a slight issue with the ladies times)

Results: Shaun Lyon 26:10, Neil Lafferty 27:06, Paul Monaghan 27:16, Steven Campbell 27:19, Andrew White 27:53, Daniel Doherty 28:48, Oliver Reilly 29:12, Chris Mooney 29:15
Stephen Hanley 29:16, Robert Dolan 29:21, Duncan Anderson 29:51, Kevin Craig 30:17
Michael McLoone 31:17, John Stevenson 31:23, Owen Atkinson 31:33, Sean Marshall 32:15, David McCorkindale 32:46, Sue Hewitson 33:27, Danny McLaughlin 33:47, James Doherty 34:46, Stephen Reid 34:59, James McFadden 35:08, Liam McFadden 35:30, Stuart Austin 35:42, Richard Jow 35:44, David Holmes 35:51, Alan O’Rourke 35:55, Ian McKee 35:57, Eric Lindsay 36:07, Marian Monk 36:11, Calum Gorry 36:12, Stuart Clark 36:16
Robin McAuslan 36:18, Claire Monaghan 36:19, Fiona MacFarlane 36:40, Cheryl Thomas 36:45, James Campbell 36:56, Scot Hill 37:22, Frank McMahon 37:51, Lucas Bezian 38:08
Lisa Boonsanong 39:12, Debbie McKenzie 39:18, Lynsey Mooney 39:35, Gerry Gillespie 40:09, Kenny Scott 40:21, Stuart Crawford 40:36, Fiona Cushnaghan 40:54, Heather Lafferty 40:55, Boyd MacKenzie 42:19,Elaine Medinelli 43:28, Angela Nelson 43:33, Julie Smith 43:49, David Carruthers 45:29, Jennifer Boyd 47:42, Emma Sinclair 50:04, Charlotte McKay 52:10, Simon Hutton 52:31

GGH Sprinters Make History

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History Makers: Mark Holliman, Scott Hannaway, Scott McCluckie, Mark McLachlan

GREENOCK Glenpark Harriers sprint relay quartet set local history in the club’s 125th year by winning silver in the National Indoor Relay championships held at the Emirates Indoor Arena, Glasgow.

Scott Hannaway, Mark Holliman, Scott McCluckie and Mark McLachlan, contesting the senior men 4 x 200m relay, made light work of the heat qualifying for a spot in the final with room to spare.

Scott Hannaway, on the lead-off leg, lived up to the announcer’s introduction as one of the country’s top juniors by getting out of his blocks sharp. He ignited the back straight as he overcame the stagger, hitting the home straight in the lead as he handed over to Mark Holliman for the second leg.

Mark, coming down in distance from his usual 400m and 800m, had a strong leg, holding off his competitors in the last 100 metres before the smoothest of changeovers with Scott McCluckie, the Harriers still contesting for the title.

Scott used his valuable experiences to cruised on to the back straight and remain calm under the pressure of the Giffnock North athlete. On the last changeover with Mark McLachlan, it was neck and neck with Giffnock gaining a slight edge over the local team.

With the two leaders running clear from the field and into the final 150 metres, Mark began attacking the leader and, despite closing the gap, ran out of time before crossing the line.

The quartet made local history, being the first senior sprint team to reach the podium, and created a new local record of 1:30.3, less than a quarter of a second off the title.

*Congratulations also to the Harriers Sprint Coach Kenny Morrison, who has overseen the sprint groups tough training plan over the winter months.

Girls Make National S/F

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Greenock Glenpark Harriers under 13 girls surpassed their expectations when competing in the National Relay Championships at the Emirates Arena. Prior to their opening 4x200m heat they only gave themselves a slim outside chance of making it through to the semi-finals.

The girls, predominately endurance athletes and no prior relay experience, a fastest loser spot was the best the girls had hoped for.

In the first round heats the diminutive Maria McCabe led the quartet out on the opening leg, and although back in 4th and out of the automatic qualifying positions Maria was still within touching distance of the teams in front.

A slick exchange of the baton and an explosive start from Sophie McGinty saw the Harriers surge into 2nd place by the time she had rounded the first bend, Sophie then continued to extend the lead over the 3rd placed athlete.

There was another faultless baton switch to Erin Mceleny on the 3rd leg, who’s powerful running put more daylight between the chasing pack, before passing onto Summer Taggart. With the pressure now off, Summer cruised around the 200m track recording the teams fastest time and an automatic place in the semi-final.

The semi-final saw a switch in the team format, with Maria stepping aside to make way for Islay Newsome. And it was another flawless performance from the girls, although not making it through to that elusive final, a 4th place finish, and all 5 girls recording personal bests on the day, it was highly successful; with the bonus of seeing the Harriers Men’s team win Silver, and also watch trackside an exciting 800m race as Jemma Reekie outsprinted Laura Muir to set a new British record.

Results: Heats – 2nd Place (Maria McCabe; Sophie McGinty; Erin McEleny, Summer Taggart) 2:14.10

Semi-Final – 4th Place: (Summer Taggart; Sophie McGinty; Erin McEleny; Islay Newsome) 2:16.80

Young Harriers Impress Indoors

Greenock Glenpark Harriers youngest athletes were out in force at the National indoor Open Championships, with all competing in the 1500metres event.

National Open2020 team

First away  over 7 ½ laps of the tight 200m track was Ruby McGill, who started very cautiously at the back of the field. As the race progressed her confidence grew and she moved effortlessly through the pack to finish in 4th improving her personal best by 9 seconds.

Six of the Harriers were drawn in Heat 10, and it was an impressive display of front running by Shaun Wiseman winning clear from team mate David Docherty, with Abbie Tosh running superbly for 3rd. Sophie McGinty, Maria McCabe and Francesca McKay followed closely behind.

Shaun Wiseman

Shaun Wiseman

The trio of Ava Beaton, Ruari Trainer and Sophie Campbell were up next. Ava ran solidly to take 3rd, with Ruari producing a speedy final lap to come within a fraction of a second of breaking the 6 minute barrier. Sophie also rallied well in the last 200m to record an excellent debut at the distance.

In the final Heat there was another large contingent of Harriers competing, and it turned out to be the most exciting race of the day, with Leo Beaton, Douglas Campbell and Euan Johnson pitted against each other. Euan had been the leading Harrier until the bell, but in an exciting tussle which saw their positions exchange numerous times over the final circuit, Leo edged it with just one second separating all three. Erin McEleny and Summer Taggart were impressive in the same heat. Erin stayed close on the heels of the boys with both girls going comfortably under 6 minutes.

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Leo Beaton, Douglas Campbell & Erin McEleny

For many, this was the first time they had competed indoors, and their performances evidence of the hard work they have put into training over the winter months.

Photos courtesy of (C) Bobby Gavin.

Results: Shaun Wiseman 4.48, David Docherty 5.13, Ruby McGill 5.17, Ava Beaton 5.22, Leo Beaton 5.30, Douglas Campbell 5.30, Euan Johnson 5.31, Erin McEleny 5.44, Abbie Tosh 5.48, Summer Taggart 5.56, Ruari Trainer 6.00, Sophie McGinty 6.04, Maria McCabe 6.06, Sophie Campbell 6.15, Francesca McKay 6.27.

Sprint Squad in Top Form

The ‘Harriers’ senior sprint squad were on top form at the recent National Indoor Open Championship held at the Emirates Indoor Arena, Glasgow. 17 year old Scott Hannaway reaffirmed his status as the area’s fastest athlete with two blistering runs over 200m and 400m.

Scott Hannaway

Scott Hannaway

First up in the 400m event Scott faced the country’s top senior athletes, after a steady first 200m Scott eased into another gear which saw him close the gap to his senior competitors, his steely determination not to be overawed pulled him through the field to stop the clock in a top position with another sub 50 clocking to add to his impressive performances.  Next up in the 200m a blistering start had Scott flying into the back straight and closing the stagger on the athletes in the outer lanes, before entering the home straight in a top two place. As he was stride for stride with his competitor crossing the line, the photo finish was required to decide who was victorious with Scott placed second with a very quick 22 second run.

Scott McCluckie

Scott McCluckie

Scott McCluckie tackled the shorter double 60m and 200m. Having worked on his start over the last few weeks Scott was out and flying as he covered the shortest race in little over 7 seconds just off his lifetime best to secure victory on the day. In his 200m his start again was impressive before he moved into the back straight and was always contesting the lead holding his position onto the home straight and crossing the line just off his 200m best.

Mark Magee similar to Scott Hannaway contested the 200m and 400m.  A mature first lap in the longer sprint had Mark contesting the lead at the bell, and an aggressive back straight saw Mark overtake the leader before being pipped on the line for victory in his fastest time for 2 years. In his 200m, Mark was out of his blocks sharply and moved into the lead on the back straight. With an efficient bend Mark’s lead was cut, however his strength over the last 50m proved valuable as he ran to victory in his fastest 200m for 18 months.

Mark Magee

Mark Magee

The ‘Harriers’ sprint squad now looking forward to the coming weeks of indoor competition to enhance their preparation for their outdoor summer season.

Photos courtesy of (C) Bobby Gavin.

Results:

400m: Scott Hannaway 49.95; Mark Magee 54.33

200m: Scott Hannaway 22.74, Scott McCluckie 24.10, Mark Magee 24.94

60m: Scott McCluckie 7.53

Harris Trophy 2020

The first club championship race of 2020 was held at the Coves Reservoirs in Greenock on the first Saturday of the year. Seniors and Juniors tackled the tricky undulating trails in good numbers. This race is typically met with freezing temperatures, but this year was a bit milder for the runners albeit with a strong southerly wind to add to the difficulty.

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The senior race takes on 4 full laps of the reservoir, with each lap measuring around 1.35 miles (2.2km). The senior men and women tackle the same route with all runners starting at the same time. Shaun Lyon made his full return to club racing, and the 2017 club champion took an early lead. Steven Campbell  kept pace with Shaun in the early stages, but Shaun charged ahead an held on for the victory. Andrew White made a steady start to the race, and took his time picking his way through the field in what was a well timed run, eventually leading to a third place finish and narrowly missing out on catching Steven by just 12 seconds.

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Daniel Doherty held off the challenge of Neil Lafferty to finish in fourth, and our previous race winner Andrew McCall faded to 6th after a fast start. Elsewhere in the mens race, there were good runs from Owen Atkinson, taking a minute off of his time from last year, and from James Doherty who has recently joined his brother Daniel in the club.

Sue Hewitson was in imperious form in the ladies race. Sue powered round the course in under 40 minutes to take her third straight club race win and cement herself firmly at the top of the lady’s club championship table. Sandra Campbell held off the challenge of Donna Campbell to claim second place. Nicola Stevenson survived a scare as she fell en route to a solid run in fourth place. Marian Monk was not far behind Nicola as she looks to be recapturing some of the form that saw her win so many races in recent years.

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The handicap race is always interesting at this race. The runners all start a the same time and it comes down to the maths after the race when the handicaps are subtracted to reveal the winner. This time it was the turn of popular runner Stuart Austin to take the glory. Stuart has been back in the club racing frame this yea, and his recent hard work paid off with a 30 second PB on a day where there were not many PBs to be had. Stuart just edged out Viki Smith who also had an incredible run. Viki managed to finally get her sub 50 minute 10k target over the Christmas period at Beith, and her sub 45 minute time for this race shows that her times elsewhere should continue to tumble. Stephen Reid ran really well to claim third place.

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There was a good turnout from the juniors as well. Starting at the same time as the seniors, but doing less laps (lucky them!). Leo Beaton and Aimee McEleny won the under 11 races, while Aimee’s sister Erin claimed the under 13 race with David Docherty winning for the boys. The family affair continued with Ava Beaton winning the under 15 race. The under 17s race was won by Shaun Wiseman, as he continues to smash it this season. Abbie Tosh won ahead of Anna Docherty in the girls under 17 race, and well done to the 7 under 15s and 17s who took on 2 full tough laps of the course.

As always, a big thanks to all of our volunteers for their efforts and keeping us safe around the course. Also to our club members who helped out with a morning litter pick at the Coves prior to the race, and thanks to the Friends of Coves Community Nature Reserve who are making a great job of keeping the area clean and safe. Finally a big thank you to our race sponsor WB Smith Trees and Turf.

Results: Shaun Lyon 32:11, Steven Campbell 33:19, Andrew White 33:31, Daniel Doherty 33:53, Neil Lafferty 34:01, Andy McCall 34:20, Andrew Osborne 35:44, Kevin Craig 36:08, Owen Atkinson 36:31, Robert Dolan 36:55, Stephen Hanley 37:19, John Stevenson 37:53, George McCallum 38:48, Sue Hewitson 39:42, Danny McLaughlin 40:39, Chris Watson 40:45, Stuart Austin 41:10, Stephen Reid 41:22, Graham McGrattan 41:33, Alan O’Rourke 43:01, Sandra Campbell 43:07, Donna Campbell 43:19, Liam McFadden 43:58, Nicola Stevenson 44:01, James Doherty 44:04, Marian Monk 44:28, Callum Gorry 44:39, Frank McMahon 44:46, Viki Smith 44:53, Robin McAuslan 45:07, Rich Jow 45:13, Lucas Bezian 45:30, Cheryl Thomas 46:00, Marianne McKay 46:28, Colin Campbell 46:57, Debbie McKenzie 48:51, Stuart D Crawford 49:29, Fiona Cushnaghan 52:27, Helen Crawford 55:03, Angela Nelson 55:08, Susan Clark 57:10, Liz McAuslan 57:10, Charlotte McKay 35:04 (2 laps)