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.
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.
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!)
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
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