Colin Shields 2023 – 4-mile Road Race

Sponsored by Harbour Barbers

This Colin Shields race follows the route from the traffic lights at the top of Dunlop Street, down through Barrs Cottage, over the pedestrian bridge at Branchton and up past Inverclyde Royal Hospital. Runners then turn left at the wee shop at the bottom of Hilltop, past the cemetery, down Cumberland Road and back over the bridge, following the outward route to the finish. The runners are set off in groups of three in a sort of conceding handicap fashion. This keeps the runner traffic manageable for the Marshalls.

Seventy-five participants took part, equalling last year’s record turnout.

With exceptionally heavy traffic throughout the route on the day of the race, especially at Branchton and at the High School, our volunteers did a sterling job. Many thanks to Eileen Stevenson, Lesley Clark, Stevie McLoone, Alison King, Emma Sinclair, Fiona Cushnaghan , Jennifer Rooney, Andrew Osborne, Richard Newsome, Malcolm Maclean, Kevin Clark, Colin McKnight, Eric Lindsay, Sue Lassman, Terri Wall, David Thomson, and Lj Mac.

Adding to the tough hilly course was a strong north westerly wind which made the run-in all the more challenging. Some wise words from ex-international runner Cameron Spence to some of those eager for advice was to “run tall on the way out and run small on the way back”! How do you run small? Answers in the comments below.

The race itself is exciting to watch as well as to participate in because the faster runners chase down the slower runners all the way to the finish. And sure enough, the Handicap Committee delivered again with the usual stampede of runners sprinting up Dunlop Street en masse.

Winner in the Ladies race was Jill Cox (29:04), followed by Evie Harrison (33:50). In 3rd place was Fiona McFarlane (34:31). A special mention goes to Cheryl Thomas (35:17) and Debbie McKenzie (35:50) who are both reaping the benefits of their recent training and racing.

Top 3 Ladies

1st Jill Cox 29:04

2nd Evie Harrison 33:50

3rd Fiona MacFarlane 34:31

Jill Cox being presented with the Winner’s trophy by new Ladies’ Captain Lynne Harrison

Full Ladies Results

Winner in the Men’s race was Neil Lafferty (24:42), followed in by Dylan Crawford (25:53). In 3rd place with an excellent run on the day was the ever-improving Kyle Johnstone (26:17). Runs worthy of mention were Daniel Doherty (26:34) and John Logan (26:39). Sam McVicar (30:55), Gavin Morrison (27:57), Steven Campbell (27:10) and Lewis McRae (27:55) are all showing excellent form too.

Neil Lafferty being presented with the Winner’s Trophy by Men’s Captain Stephen Harrison

Top 3 Men

1st Neil Lafferty 24:42

2nd Dylan Crawford 25:53

3rd Kyle Johnstone 26:17


The next club race, The Wilson will take place on the 9th of December at 2pm. Details to follow.