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
We all hope that 2021 will bring with it greater fortunes for all, and what better way to start 2021 than by running one mile up a big old hill! The Lyle Mile is back this year, but in virtual form. You can run the Lyle Mile any time between 1st and 3rd January 2021. Read on to find out more…
The main Lyle Mile course is unchanged, you need to run from the lampost before the railway bridge at the bottom of Lyle Road, and finish at the Beacon on the very top of Lyle Hill. See images below for exact points. You must follow the pavement the whole way, and only cross the road at the corner of Merlin Avenue when safe to do so. As you approach the top, follow the pavement past the car park spaces and then fork right up the slope to the beacon.
Of course, we are fully aware that the usual Lyle Mile course is limited to those that live in Inverclyde only. However, if you live out with Inverclyde, do not fear! We would love to see entries from near and far. All you have to do is find a one mile route that goes uphill! We will have leaderboards for both the Lyle Mile course itself, and those taking part elsewhere.
This year, we will be supporting Ardgowan Hospice, and we have set up a justgiving page. Typically, we would ask runners to donate £2 to the charity as your entry fee, so that is our suggested donation for those taking part this year too. Please see the justgiving page here: https://justgiving.com/fundraising/gghlylemile2021
We are delighted that CM Autos have agreed to sponsor the event again this year, a big thanks to them for helping us out especially in these uncertain times!
So, now for the fun part. Entering your result! There are 3 main ways of doing this:
For the first time since March of this year, Greenock Glenpark Harriers were able to host one of their club championship races on its usual course. In the past few months, Scottish Athletics guidance has allowed us to hold two time trials, but these have been away from the public eye. The Wilson Trophy race is always held on the trails behind the Greenock Cut, and as always is a conceding handicap race which allowed us to spread the start times for the runners to keep group sizes down.
The runners are set off in reverse order, with fastest runners starting last. The winner of the handicap race is the first person back to the finish line. In between, the runners have to contest with an undulating 4.5 mile course across the tracks and trails behind Overton. For the second year in a row, the fastest time was good enough to win the overall race and the handicap trophy. Shaun Lyon was last out and first back, tearing the course to pieces in a great time of 26.47, the fastest time in at least five years.
For once, the weather was favourable. This is a race synonymous with poor weather conditions, and is often cancelled for snow or ice! However this year, there was no rain or wind to be found. The weeks leading up to the race have been wet, and the trails were very much chewed up making it quite heavy going underfoot. It is also typically the club’s poorest attended event, with the most runners in the last five events being just over 30. An amazing 56 runners toed the line for this year’s event, no doubt excited for the opportunity to race! The club have done wonders during lockdown to get regular training, and now some events, all carried out safely and in line with Scottish Athletics guidelines.
In the ladies race, the scratch winner was Sue Hewitson, defending her title from 2019. Sue is at home on the trails, and has spent most of lockdown training on the runners’ paradise around The Cut and Cornalees. Fiona MacFarlane had a fantastic run in second place (third handicap), and Marian Monk was not far behind in third spot overall. Sandra Devine was so close to winning the handicap race, only being caught by Shaun with 11 seconds to spare! It was a really good run from Sandra, and there were a lot of good performances from the newcomers on the ladies side. Olivia Devine, Jennifer Boyd and Emma Sinclair all ran well on their Wilson debut, but it was Lynsey McLaughlin who perhaps had the best of the bunch. The regular training has been paying off for this group in particular!
Andy McCall couldn’t quite defend his double win at this race from last year, but he was still second in the scratch race and took over two and a half minutes off of his time from last year. Debutant Kyle Wilson was set off with a group of the fastest runners in the club, but he didn’t let that affect him. He held off multiple club champion Stevie Campbell to claim third spot. Stevie did however claim first vet. There was some fine performances from the likes of Daniel Doherty, Kevin Craig and Michael McLoone.
Appropriate footwear is always an essential for this race, and a better choice of shoes allowed Oliver Reilly to take seven whole minutes off of his time from last year! One of the runs of the day came in the v60 category, with Graham McGrattan running a hair over 33 minutes for the course, over 3 minutes quicker than his last time on the course. Age is no barrier in the club, and it was fantastic to see Eddie Devine and Charlotte McKay competing and winning their respective age categories.
Gavin Morrison and Campbell Cromar made their Glenpark debuts having recently switched to the club, and both ran well and enjoyed the chance to compete against so many fellow club members. Everyone at the club was buoyed to see George McCallum competing in the race, and the sense of community spirit was high among all those running and volunteering. It was great to be back to racing as a club, and everyone hopes it is the start of things to come in the New Year.
A big thanks must go to the race sponsors, Wilson Buses. Also thanks to the volunteers who braved the cold on the day, and the day before to set the course up. A lot of work went in prior to the race to make sure it could be ran safely, and we are looking forward to our next opportunity to race in the new year.
Results: Shaun Lyon 26.47, Andrew McCall 27.59, Kyle Wilson 28.23, Steven Campbell 28.27, Daniel Doherty 28.41, Kevin Craig 28.46, Kevin O’Donoghue 28.51, Neil Lafferty 29.00 Michael McLoone Jnr 29.05, Andrew Osborne 29.52, Gavin Morrison 30.09, Oliver Reilly 30.45, Chris Jones 31.03, Robert Dolan 32.23, Gordon Hepburn 32.23, Stephen Hanley 32.51, David Roberts 32.59, Graham McGrattan 33.03, Owen Atkinson 33.14, Sue Hewitson 34.24 Eric Lindsay 34.35, Alan O’Rourke 35.59, Stuart Austin 37.11, Stephen Reid 37.27, Fiona McFarlane 37.28, Campbell Cromar 37.4, Callum Gorry 37.42, Danny McLaughlin 38.11, Frank McMahon 38.22, Craig Canning 38.34, Marian Monk 38.41, Mick Harrington 39.08, Stuart David Crawford 40.32, Debbie McKenzie 41.04, Kenneth Scott 41.24, Marianne McKay 41.31, Matthew Young 41.38, George McCallum 41.4, Lisa Boonsanong 41.44, Cheryl Thomas 41.51, Claire Monaghan 42.05, Heather Lafferty 42.22, Aidan Coyle 42.23, Alex Paterson 42.39, Liz Ness 43.55, Lynsey McLaughlin 44.23, Olivia Devine 44.54, Fiona Cushnaghan 46.04, Jennifer Boyd 46.33, Elaine Medinelli 46.59, Sandra Devine 47.58, Helen Crawford 48.44, Angela Nelson 49.14, Emma Sinclair 50, Charlotte McKay 61.46, Eddie Devine 64.35
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Greenock Glenpark Harriers should have spent the year with a number of events to mark the club’s 125th anniversary. When the world was put on hold in March, the club had to find new ways to commemorate this special year, and keep the members engaged in running.
One of the first club races to fall was the Doherty Cup, a ten mile road race. So instead of a race, that weekend the club held a virtual ‘how far can you run in an hour’ challenge, which kept within the government restrictions at the time. This was the first of many virtual running events put on by the club and latterly by Scottish Athletics too.
The Scottish Athletics challenges proved very popular, and the club were regularly in the top 3 in Scotland in terms of participation numbers. One of the most popular virtual events was ‘how far can you climb in 30 minutes’ which challenged the runners to run continuously on a hill for half an hour to gain as much elevation as possible. Inverclyde offers a few good locations for this sort of fiendish challenge!
Social media running site Strava has been a great tool to help keep our runners engaged with each other. During lockdown, it was creatively used as a way to set up virtual leaderboards. GPS watches and smartphones allowed us to create routes across Inverclyde, and Strava compiles leaderboards on each of them. The routes were all 1.25 miles long (a nod to the 125 years) and involved some of the area’s steepest hills. The competitive juices were flowing once again! To give an idea of the toughness involved, try running from Port Glasgow’s Glen Avenue all the way to the golf course (and a bit further…). These routes were steep! There were 6 in total, and one of our runners Kevin Craig was mental enough to complete all 6 in one run, a total route of over 31 miles. If you’re on Strava, get involved!
Social media engagement was high throughout lockdown. Daily photos from the club’s archives were posted on our Facebook group to amuse and bemuse in equal measures. Somehow baby photos of the club’s committee members snuck their way in too!
Scottish Athletics have worked hard with the government to provide ever changing guidelines as the country eased its way out of Lockdown. In recent months, the club has been able to get senior and junior training sessions up and running again. Running was very popular during lockdown. Perhaps with the gyms closed, and also due to the various charitable challenges doing the rounds on social media. The club have benefited greatly from this, taking on a huge number of new members as a result. The senior training sessions have been the lifeblood of the club in recent months, with numbers almost doubling from pre-lockdown. A huge credit must go to Alan O’Rourke, Alison King and a whole host of volunteers and coaches for keeping these organised and safe.
In recent months, some club time trials have also been organised, but held away from the public eye and in line with Scottish Athletics guidelines. Perhaps the public are not quite ready for the sight of our runners in the famous sky blue vests charging along the Esplanade. The lockdown put pay to our 2019/20 club championship after only 5/11 races complete. We will be carrying the points from these over to the 20/21 championship. The two time trials held since the relaxation of rules will count towards the championship. We have held these up Greenock Cut and at Ravenscraig Track. They have proven very popular, and have given our runners a much needed excuse to get the special 125th anniversary vest on!
Our annual New Year’s Day race, The Lyle Mile, is likely to be going ahead as a virtual event. We hope we can get the community engaged with running to start the New Year, and we all hope that 2021 will see a return to something closer to normality. Not just for our club, but the whole of Inverclyde.
If you want to know more about the club, please drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Big thank you to the Greenock Telegraph for publishing the article in the paper last Wednesday, and for their continued publicity.
This is Scottish Women and Girls in Sport Week and @GGHarriers girls & ladies will join in the celebrations by competing on Sunday at Ravenscraig stadium in the Annual Colin Shields races. Our Seniors will contest the 5000m, and Juniors will go over 2000m and some shorter sprint races.
Unfortunately due to restrictions, we cannot meet as a group this year. So it is proposed that the following format is adopted in order to get some sort of AGM and bring this season to a close.
Leading up to the 30th September we’ll invite members to email in anything they would like to have brought up under Any Other Business (AOB) to email@example.com
This will be discussed by the committee , minuted, and a reply sent. This will all be put together with the President, Treasurer and Secretary’s report and emailed to all members on the 30th September.
As far as setting the fees for next season Yvonne Prager (Treasurer) proposes keeping the fees the same as recent years. Senior £50 Junior £50 Family £100 2nd member from same household £30 Early bird (paid before 31st October) Senior £45 Junior £45 Family £95 2nd member from same household £25
Fees will be due from 1st October bank details to follow.
I hope you will support this format and we can move forward and plan for season 2020/21
The current committee is listed below. There has been a couple of changes recently. There are two vacancies at the moment. One for the treasurers position, Yvonne Prager has decided to step down after 4 years as Treasurer and 8 years before that as President. Graham McGrattan is also stepping down as Clubhouse Manager (with someone showing an interest in the position). Steven Watson stepped down recently as Membership secretary with Liz Ness taking over. We would like to thank everyone for their hard work over the years. If anyone is interested in the Treasurers position please get in touch.
Robert Dolan – President Yvonne Prager – Treasurer (vacant) Stevie McLoone – Secretary/Coaching rep Alison King Welfare – Officer/Assistant Secretary/Covid Co-ordinator John Stevenson – Mens Captain Elaine Medinelli – Ladies Captain (newly filled position) Stephen Hanley – Communication Secretary Liz Ness – Membership Secretary Stephen Reid – Kit Manager Graham McGrattan – Clubhouse Manager (Stepping Down, someone showing interest) Claire Melville – Social Convenor Alan O’Rourke – Ordinary Member Lorna Coyle – Ordinary Member
At long last we are able to return to Ravenscraig stadium for training, commencing Tuesday 15th September 2020. Times are slightly different than usual, and there are some restrictions been put in place. ***Please note that there will be NO toilet facilities available.
Junior training – Ravenscraig Stadium 6.15 to 7.15pm (upto 7.45pm for sprint group). Meet outside the stadium – no entry prior to 6.15pm.
Junior training – Ravenscraig Stadium 6.00 to 7.00pm (upto 7.30pm for sprint group). Meet outside the stadium – no entry prior to 6.00pm.
Junior training – Ravenscraig Stadium 11.45am to 12.45pm (sprint group speak to Kenny M. for your times). Meet outside the stadium – no entry prior to 11.45am.
We have taken advantage of the Covid shutdown to refurbish the Orangefield clubhouse. The work is nearing completion, with expectation that we can start using it again by the 1st October 2020.
Unfortunately there will be quite significant restrictions in order to comply with Government guidance. This will include:- clubhouse limited to TWO users at any one time: Coming changed for your session: No use of the showers. Users Wiping down equipment on completion of session: Toilets can be used, and users to follow all current Government guidance.
There will be a booking system in place on the clubwebsite. Members may book a single 1 hour gym session up to 1 week in advance**. The Gym will be available 24/7.
**If an adjacent slot is available 24 hours prior to your current booking, you may book a back to back session.
Please note: You will need to Contact committee for a new key, as lock has been changed on outer door.
We are delighted to once again begin taking on new senior members to Greenock Glenpark Harriers. We have had our popular Monday and Wednesday senior training sessions up and running now for the last month, and we are now in a position where we can open these sessions up to new senior members and free trials.
Our senior training sessions run on Monday and Wednesday nights at 6.20pm. These sessions are for all abilities, please do not feel that you are not fast enough for these sessions. That will never be the case. Currently, Monday nights are in Greenock Cemetery and Wednesday will be in the Battery Park until the clocks change. Pre-booking for sessions is currently essential so that we comply with track and trace. More information on this will be passed on if you email in.
We are currently offering membership for free until the start of our new season next month, so now is the perfect time to come along and give it a bash!
Unfortunately, our popular Couch to Club Runner group on a Tuesday night will not return until Spring 2021. It was always the plan this year to stop this for winter due to too many cancellations last year, and poor visibility on the Esplanade. The lockdown easing just came too late to run a full block before the clocks change.
However, we hope that the runners who were attending this will give one of our other sessions a chance for free in the next month, and we guarantee that you’ll love it! You wont find a more welcoming bunch of folk than the Harriers on a Monday or Wednesday night.
We recently received an old Harriers picture taken during the Great War. We are very grateful to Peter Hayden who’s grandfather is featured, for the photo and the background story. (see below)
my grandfather, Isaiah Williams in his Glenpark running kit with other members of his team and their
coach ( I bet your current coaches don’t look as scary!)
The photo was taken during the First World War when my grandfather was stationed , we believe, in the dockyards. He was a steelworks engineer in Llanelli, South Wales
when the War broke out…and we understand his expertise was needed in the dockyards when the ships and submarines were being built for the War effort.
He is seated in the front row on the right as you look at the photo. Both he and the other athlete standing back left have the club emblem on their running kit…it looks like GGH which would make sense.
He was born in 1889 and died..sadly… a few weeks after he retired in 1959. He moved back to the steel/tin industry in Llanelli and married his childhood sweetheart. They had two
daughters…one being my mother. His elder daughter…my Aunty… died in 2015..aged 93 and it was in her albums we found this great photo.