National XC Relays and Weekend Review 27-29 October

National XC Short Course Relays, Cumbernauld House Park, 28.10.17

24 seniors headed to Cumbernauld House Park for this year’s running of the National Short Course Cross Country Relays. The weather may have been dry, but the ground was well worn and there was a stiff wind to keep the test stern.

The men’s masters team consisted of John Stevenson, Steven Campbell, Paul Monaghan and Andrew White. The latter 3 names have teamed up in this event regularly in recent years, with a different fourth man, determined to get in the medal positions. This year it was Captain John’s turn to try get them the hardware, and he set himself off in the first leg to get a boost in doing just that. John covered the course in just over 15 minutes, a great effort from himself to get the team round in 14th position. Steven Campbell went next getting past 5 men, and Paul Monaghan followed passing another 2. Andrew White set off in 7th position and quickly gained 2 places an held that position until the end. Andrew gained 15 seconds on the eventual bronze medalists in that last leg, but the team were 21 seconds out of a medal position. A great effort again by the team.

The mes A team did not fare quite as well, with a depleted squad to chose from, Stephen Hanley was first man up in the A team. Even with his relatively good run, Shaun Lyon and Stephen Trainer had too much ground to cover in the next 2 legs. Sean Marshall ran the tail leg and did well in the worst of the ground conditions. In the B team, there were good runs from Stephen Reid and Frank McMahon (3rd M65). Malcolm McLean is getting used to the cross country running in his second outing on the surface and it was a change of distance for regular ultra runner Kevin Gill in the last leg.

The ladies also put their strength in the Masters team, with Sue Hewitson leading the A team out in the first lap. A superb run in 16.51 seen Sue round in 4th place. Lorna Coyle and Marian Monk followed on and the team finished in 6th overall masters position. Eileen Stevenson produced another good run in the tail leg of the Masters B team, the 4th fastest time from ladies masters runners. In the seniors team, Nicola Stevenson ran a superb final leg run of 19.09 to bring in 7 places, and the 4th fastest overall time by a female Harrier on the day.

Mens: Masters (5th): John Stevenson 15.11, Steven Campbell 14.13, Paul Monaghan 14.51, Andrew White 14.25
Mens A: Stephen Hanley 16.21, Shaun Lyon 14.05, Stephen Trainer 13.25, Sean Marshall 16.02
Mens B: Malcolm MacLean 18.06, Stephen Reid 17.30, Frank McMahon 18.36, Kevin Gill 19.16

Womans: Masters A: Sue Hewitson 16.51, Lorna Coyle 19.10, Marian Monk 17.46
Masters B: Fiona Cushnagan 22.52, Kirstin Arthur 22.32, Eileen Stevenson 22.03
Masters C: Angeline Austin 22.23, Nathalie Smith 23.18
Womans A: Viki Smith 20.35, Donna Clark 20.25, Suzanne Coyle 18.54, Nicola Stevenson 19.09


It was a day of mixed fortunes for a young Harriers squad as they travelled to Cumbernauld to compete in the National XC relays. The dry weather belied the heavy underfoot conditions and all the runners can be proud of their efforts on a difficult blustery day.

First runner of the day in the U13 category was Ruby McGill who showed excellent pace judgement as she started steadily at the back of the pack before patiently picking off a number of runners to finish comfortably inside the top half of the field. Ruby handed over to Mhairi Moore in the U15 leg who, despite an unfortunate mix up at the handover, turned in the type of determined performance that her coaches have come to expect before passing on the baton to Alyshia Singleton. Alyshia stepped up to compete in the U17 leg despite being eligible to run as an U15 and she displayed great character to stay calm before producing an excellent performance to bring the team home.

This was an inexperienced team so all 3 girls deserve great credit for the efforts they put in. They will undoubtedly improve on their position as they continue to work hard and gain more experience at racing in this type of event.

Next up were the U13 boys with Jude Dolan, Cameron Patton and Alex Wiseman all toeing the line for the club. Alex had a steady run but disaster struck at the start line when the runner in front of Jude and Cameron stumbled causing both of them to fall to the ground and get spiked in the process. Both showed their mettle by shrugging off the pain and resolving to finish for the benefit of their team. While both will feel they would have been faster on another day they can be proud of the character they showed to pick themselves up and carry on.

Next up on The U15 leg were Harry McGill and Shaun Wiseman. Harry, like his sister Ruby earlier in the day, produced a strong and disciplined performance by hauling in a huge number of runners on his way to posting the 13th fastest U15 run of the day. Shaun gave an excellent account of himself over the hilly course and his coaches were extremely pleased with his efforts.

The final leg of the day belonged to Ryan Brown and Ewan Ferguson. Ryan has not had his troubles to seek lately with a succession of injuries hampering his training but he shrugged that off to post a very credible time that gives him a great foundation to kick on from as the winter season progresses. Ewan, like Alyshia, was running in the U17 leg despite being eligible for U15 but just like his club mate he was not overwhelmed by the step up and pulled in several places as he once again underlined his capacity to produce big performances when the chips are down.
(Big thanks to Coach Neilson for his report on the Juniors)


Boys A: Jude Dolan 11.20, Harry McGill 9.11, Ryan Brown 10.13
Boys B: Cameron Patton 11.20, Shaun Wiseman 11.52, Ewan Ferguson 10.21
Boys C: Alex Wiseman 13.10
Girls A: Ruby McGill 11.32, Mhairi Moore 15.04, Alyshia Singleton 13.20

3k on the Green, 27.10.17

Conditions were perfect with Harriers Andy McCall, Andrew White and Chris Mooney managing to make it out of the office for the event run on the last Friday of each month. As usual this race starts with a frantic pace with 20-30 runners sprinting out the first 200m. After the 1st kilometre Andrew White had positioned himself in a pack just behind Inverclyde’s Chris Barlas in around 8th position with Chris Mooney leading a pack of runners a further 15 metres behind. Meanwhile Andy McCall decided to make things even more difficult by only just making the start in time to see the last runners making their way out. He quickly detached his backpack and headed out to chase the leaders.

At the turn Chris Mooney began to push to keep in touch with Chris Barlas and Andrew, managing to make up the ground with around 1 km to go. The group were now in a battle for fourth place with the leading three runners a further 150 metres ahead. It was Chris Mooney who first made a move with around 500 metres to go passing Andrew and Chris Barlas. Andrew broke to follow Chris as well with another runner from Newport with Chris Barlas now starting to tire. Despite making an early break for the line, Chris Mooney managed to hold on to finish in 4th with Andrew only a couple of seconds behind in 6th place (1st veteran). This was a personal best time of 09:39 for Andrew. Andy McCall meanwhile had managed to make up a number of places in the field to finish in a time of 10:40 (not bad considering his warm up consisted of a mile at race pace!)

4th Chris Mooney (09:39), 6th (1st Vet) Andrew White (09:41), Andrew McCall (10:40), Others: 1st Ross Mackenzie (09:21), 8th Chris Barlas (09:51) (Inverclyde)

A video of the frantic start can be found here (watch out for Andy McCall’s late arrival!)

Erskine Bridge 10k, 28.10.17

The Erskine Bridge Buster 10k took place on Saturday. Lisa Ruddy finished in 3rd place in a time of 47.30. Well done Lisa!


Lisa Ruddy 47.30 (third female, 26th overall), Fiona MacFarlane 50.47, Cheryl Thomas 51.32

Greenock parkrun

Greenock Glenpark Harriers legend Dick Hodelet completed his 200th parkrun on Saturday doon the splash. Dick has been doing parkruns since 2009, when he was a regular at Pollock Park, and has completed 123 at Greenock since it began in 2014. Sadly, he wont get a free T shirt for 200, just have to do another 50 to get the coveted 250!


It was tough conditions on Saturday, but one harrier managed to get a pb! Well done to Claire Monaghan for her pb of 23.53, a full 17 second improvement and her first ever first finisher. Overall, it was a Harriers 1,2,3 with Chris Mooney edging out Mick McCloone and Daniel Doherty for first position. Not bad for Chris after his effort on Friday at 3k on the Green!

One other note, young Harrier Abbigael Crawford turned her hand to run report writing, and her work can be found here:
It’s not as easy as she makes it look!

Jedburgh Running Festival, 29.10.17


Fiona Ramsay continued her winning streak with her first position in the Jedburgh half marathon in a great time of 1.26.55. Her prize appears to be a stuffed Kangaroo… The race was part of the Jedburgh Running Festival. There was also an ultra marathon on the day, with harrier Emma O’Rourke taking part. Sadly, Emma was not well on the day and had to pull out after 22 miles. A fine effort when unwell! She’ll be back next year.

Fiona Ramsay 1.26.55 (first female, 27th overall)

Antonine Trail Race:

Boyd MacKenzie and Terry Wall competed in the Antonine Trail Race half marathon. This takes place on the trails in and around Kilsyth. The video below shows some excellent drone footage of the race!

Boyd MacKenzie 2.07.35, Terry Wall 2.11.26

Dublin Marathon, 29.10.17


Last, but by no means least, we had two Harriers make the trip over to the Emerald Isle for the 2017 Dublin Marathon. Both Ashley Anderson and Marianne McKay have certainly caught the running bug in their first year or so in the club and had both signed up to this as their first marathon. Marianne secretly wanted to break the four hour mark on her debut, and did just that. Fantastic effort. Ashley had not really been able to train for the marathon distance due to injury in recent months, but to get round in under five hours is a great effort. Well done girls!

Marianne McKay 3.58.18, Ashley Anderson 4.51.43

Remember, Club race this Saturday! 4.5 mile road race starting at Notre Dame High School at 2pm. Club photograph at 1.15pm at Lady Alice Bowling Club and prizegiving there at night, 7.15 🙂


Tommy Knight


Everyone at Greenock Glenpark Harriers was deeply saddened last week to learn of the passing of Tommy Knight. A member of the club for almost 60 years, 7 of which served as president, Tommy will be sorely missed in and around the club. He passed away on Thursday 19th October 2017.
In July 1960, Auchmountain Harriers was winding down and several of the members decided to join Greenock Glenpark Harriers. That included Tommy Knight, Jim Sheridan and Dick Hodelet. In his early days in the Club Tommy was involved in track (running in Highland games), road and cross country. Dick has kindly helped recollect some memories of Tommy.
Dick Hodelet recollects “As time went on I would say his favourite distance was the marathon. I always tried to talk him out of that as I felt it was taking too much out of him but he just loved it.”
Tommy was on the club committee from his early days, eventually progressing to club President for 7 years. Tommy would be the first to tell you that he was never going to win the Club Championship, but that did not matter in the slightest to him as he just loved running. Over the course of the years, Tommy won each of the club’s handicap races, and these meant everything to him.
“Obviously Jim and I were his best friends but he made friends with everyone. He just loved to run and even latterly as his health deteriorated he would try and get out even if he had to end up walking. I never knew him to wear tracksters even on the coldest winters day! And I never heard him swear! Latterly he loved 10ks and we had some great races in the Bill Elder.”
In recent months, Tommy’s health was deteriorating. However, this did not stop him from getting out and helping the club. Just 5 weeks ago, Tommy was positioned at the start of the Esplanade directing runners towards the finish of the club’s JG Cameron 4k race. He was there with a smile on his face and passing out advice in the clubhouse before and after the race.

Tommy’s funeral takes place on Wednesday 1st November at 11am in Greenock Crematorium. His family have asked for no flowers and donations can be made to Marie Curie.
We’ll leave the final word with Dick: “We ran together since we were 13, same school, BB and GGH. Went to discos and chased girls! If anyone was Mr Glenpark it was Tommy!”



More information on Auchmountain Harriers, with references to Tommy can be found here:

Donations to Marie Curie can be made here:


Renfrewshire XC Relays and Weekend Roundup 22.10.17

Renfrewshire Short Course XC Relays, Pollock Park, 22.10.17

28 seniors and 19 juniors headed to Pollock Park for Sunday’s Renfrewshire XC short relays. A nice Autumn day greeted them, but sadly the preceding few days (weeks, months etc) rain was well on display and it made for a good old muddy course.

The under 11 boys managed to get 2 full teams out and the girls had a full team as well which shows great promise for the junior section. Some of them running were well under the age limit and certainly didn’t look out of place.Jude Dolan and Harry McGill continued their good form in the later races finishing 5th and 7th overall in there respective age categories. Hopefully more of the same next week at the Nationals!

The senior ladies had 4 full teams out on show. With no veteran categories counting, Captain Monk was able to assess her options ahead of next week’s National XC relays at Cumbernauld. Sue Hewitson was fastest on the day in 15.28 (10th overall) and along with Marian Monk and the returning Suzi Coyle were able to place 7th on the day. There were strong runs in the other teams as well, with Lisa Ruddy, Marianne McKay and Lynsey Mooney putting in particularly good performances.

Similarly, the men set out to put in a good show ahead of next week. Captain Stevensson sent Daniel Doherty and Paul Monaghan out first for the A and B team respectively and forced them into a head to head battle. It was Daniel who nicked it on the home straight by the finest of margins. The rest of the A team followed suit and finished in 7th place overall. The best performance was perhaps from the anchorman Chris Mooney who recorded the second fastest time of the day for a harrier, only behind club champion Shaun Lyon. Chris may be more happy that he just survived the race as he was feeling the ill effects of his Ibiza ‘training camp’…

Elsewhere in the men’s teams there were strong runs for Mick McCloone, Paul Beaton and Steven Smith. Captain Stevenson put himself out in the D team, expecting some adverse jetlag effects, but he ran a solid run worthy of a place much higher up.

The national XC Short Course Relays are on next Saturday at Cumbernauld and lets hope we see a great turnout from the club. With the Cross Country season stretching into the new year, it is worth reminding members that there are runners up at Tower Hill most Saturday mornings at 11am. A great way to prepare for the big one in Falkirk in February.


U11 Boys:
A Team: Douglas Campbell 7.17, Nathan Adams 7.26, Aidan McElwee 6.46
B Team: Connor McCrorey 7.37, Cameron Crawford 7.41, Leo Beaton 7.53
U11 Girls:
Ava Beaton 7.27, Erin McEleny 7.51, Leah Knox 8.58
U13 Boys:
Jude Dolan 9.35 (5th), Cameron Patton 9.54, Jack Hay 11.49
U13 Girls:
Ruby McGill 10.53, Francesca McKay 13.48, Abbigail Crawford15.41
U15 Boys:
Harry McGill 8.52 (7th)
U15 Girls:
Mhairi Moore 12.36, Alyshia Singleton 12.49


Team A: Sue Hewitson 15.28, Marian Monk 16.39, Suzi Coyle 17.51
Team B: Lorna Coyle 17.59, Lisa Ruddy 17.07, Marianne McKay 17.36
Team C: Donna Clark 19.24, Lynsey Mooney 17.56, Cheryl Thomas 19.17
Team D: Ashley Anderson 19.54, Nathalie Smith 21.15, Eileen Stevenson 20.28

Team A: Daniel Doherty 13.26, Shaun Lyon 12.59, Steven Campbell 13.11, Chris Mooney 13.05
Team B: Paul Monaghan 13.28, Mick McCloone 13.27, Robert Dolan 15.13, Andy McCall 14.00
Team C: Stephen Reid 15.53, Paul Beaton 14.25, Stephen Hanley 15.07, Malcolm MacLean 17.46
Team D: Steven Smith 16.15, John Stevenson 14.35, Frank McMahon 16.42, Mick Dunn 16.54

Cowal Way Ultra Marathon, 50km, 21.10.17

Fiona Ramsay was first overall at the Cowal Way Ultra on Saturday. The 50km course ran from Glenbranter to Portavadie with over 3000 feet of climb! Fiona finished in 4.04.26, over 3 minutes ahead of the next competitor. Fiona describes the day in her own words below:

Challenging weather with Dunoon ultra still in the legs made today’s 30 miler tougher than usual. A much smaller field, mixed in with the biker made for an interesting, wet and muddy course. Very well route marked, a fantastic buffet after the race and access to the Portavadie spa and pool got me across the finish line. Another part of the Scottish countryside explored today and a new race for the calendar.”

Well done Fiona. Maybe your tales of enjoyment from this race will see a few more take it on next year!


parkrun – 21.10.17

There were 27 Harriers in action at a testing Greenock parkrun on Saturday. Steven Campbell held off Andrew White to be first finisher for the 25th time in a time of 17.37. Andrew Osborne was 3rd to make it a Glenpark 1,2,3. Marianne McKay was first female finisher for the 2nd time in 23.50. Cheryl Thomas and Nicola Gillespie also made it a Glenpark 1,2,3 for the ladies!

Robin McAuslan ran at Luton Wardown parkrun for the 4th time, joining 324 others on the outskirts of London. He was 40th overall in 23.23

A group of Greenock regulars including 7 Harriers headed up to Ruchill Park in Glasgow to try out the city’s newest parkrun. The 5k route ran 2 1/2 laps of the undulating park and created a rather interesting whale shape when viewed from GPS! Stephen Hanley was first Harrier home in 2nd overall place in 20.34 followed by Graham McGrattan in 21.11. Graham took the overall age grade by a good 10% on the day, showing he might be on the way back from a recent injury. The other Arriers in action were Steven Watson, David Benstead, Stuart Austin, Angeline Austin (first female Harrier) and Emma Benstead.


West District XC Short Course Relays, Hamilton Park Racecourse 15.10.17

117 Harriers made it to the starting gates at Hamilton Park Racecourse on Sunday for the West District Short Course Relays. 2 mens teams and 3 ladies teams competed over the 20 furlong course which took them up and down the finishing stretch of the raecourse. The going was certainly heavy in places.

The ladies vets team of Marian Monk, Lorna Coyle and Marianne McKay were 5th overall vets team, a great performance from them. The other two ladies teams competed well with a particularly strong run from Lisa Ruddy in the A team. Lorna Coyle’s time in the vets team landed her 2nd v55!

Our top male team were hit by a late non runner and Paul Beaton was elevated into the A Team on the day. Paul put in a really strong run in the tough anchor leg to ensure a good finish for the team. Stephen Trainer had led the team out with a great run in 8th overall spot for the first leg. The star performer in the B team was Frank McMahon taking home first m65 in 19.05!


Some found it tougher than others on the soft grass at Hamilton, but everyone will feel the benefit of it as the cross country season gets into full swing. Next up, Renfrewshire short course relays at Pollock Park next Sunday!

If you want to get involved with the cross country races this season, please let your Captain know (Mens Captain: John Stevenson, Ladies Captain, Marian Monk)

Vets Team A: Marian Monk 18.33, Lorna Coyle 19.20 (2nd F55), Marianne McKay 20.09
(total 58.02, 25th overall, 5th vets)
Vets Team B: Angeline Austin 23.00, Eileen Stevenson 22.45, Nathalie Smith 24.18
(total 70.03, 55th overall)
Team A: Lisa Ruddy 19.12, Kirstin Arthur 23.39, Viki Smith 21.32
(total 64.23, 43rd overall)

Team A: Stephen Trainer 13.52, Paul Monaghan 15.21, Andrew White 15.09, Paul Beaton 16.33 (total 60.55, 20th overall)
Team B:  Frank McMahon 19.05 (1st M65), Stephen Reid 18.59, Stephen Hanley 17.56, Steven Smith 19.05 (total 75.05, 68th overall)


Weekend Round-up: 7-8th October


Dunoon Ultra – 55km – Saturday 7th October

18 Harriers plus a vast travelling support headed to Cowal for this year’s Dunoon Ultra. Some great times from the club, with Andrew White and Fiona Ramsey first Harriers home.

Andrew White ran this after the Loch Ness Marathon and the Glasgow half marathon in previous weeks, also finishing 3rd vet. Fiona Ramsay first lady, taking around 25 minutes off of the previous best ladies time for the course!   Stuart Austin showed that his training paid off with a great debut, and a well executed race. Robert Adams was next home and had only ran about 10 miles in training.

Emma O’Rourke took home the family bragging rights taking around 17 minutes off of her time for last year. Alan bravely finished the race having suffered cramps in the final two stages, Sam sticking with him all the way. There were other debuts at this distance for Heather, Susie, Terry, Yvonne and Jane. Well done to all.

Andrew White – 4.34.26 – 5th overall
Fiona Ramsey – 4.36.19 – 1st Lady
Stuart Austin – 5.36.14
Robert Adams – 6.24.45
Susan Slater – 6.25.54
Emma O’Rourke – 6.28.35
Sam McVicar – 6.31.07
Alan O’Rourke – 6.31.09
Terri Wall – 6.35.20
Kevin Gill – 6.37.23
Heather Kangley – 7.01.38
Susie Gillies – 7.15.31
Yvonne Prager – 7.17.16
Jane Dolan – 7.22.23

Kirsten Arthur, Fiona Cushnaghan and Viki Smith – 6.00.39
Silke Loehndorf, Anne Anderson and Morven Walsh (Dunoon Hill Runners) –

Shoreditch 10k

George McCallum traveled south to take part in the Shoreditch 10k in London. George had set himself a target this year of running sub 19 5k, sub 40 10k and sub 90 half marathon. With the 5k and the half in the bag, George managed to get home in 39.59! A great first year for George as a Harrier.


There were 2 PBs at Greenock parkrun for some of our juniors. Erin McEleny ran 26.09 to take 16 seconds off of her PB and Abbigail Crawford ran 29.24 taking almost 2 minutes off her PB and running under 30 minutes for the first time! Well done girls.

George Cummings Road Relays 2017

Saturday saw 38 Harriers descend upon Houston for the annual George Cumming Road Relay Races hosted by Kilbarchan AAC. It was a great turnout from the club as we entered 11 teams to take on the 2.7 mile course through the sleepy Renfrewshire village. New Captains John Stevenson and Marian Monk worked tirelessly over the preceding week to get as many runners to commit to the race, and their hard work paid off.   Many harriers were taking on the course for the first time, enticed in by the promise of a great day out and a ‘nice flat easy route’….

The best team performance of the day came from the ladies vets team who were 4th overall vet team and 3rd Renfrewshire vet team. The team of Sue Hewitson, Lorna Coyle and Marion Monk covered the course in 55.12, with Sue putting in a fantastic opening leg of 17.20 to take 2nd female vet prize! Elsewhere in the ladies race, there were strong runs from Marianne McKay, Lisa Ruddy and a return to action for Suzi Coyle.


With some of Glenpark’s key vet runners otherwise engaged, Captain John went for full strength in his seniors team with a returning Stephen Trainer leading the way. Stephen covered the course in 13.44. Daniel Doherty, Andrew Osborne and Paul Monaghan followed Stephen’s lead to get the team round in 13th overall out of the 55 full teams entered. Chris Mooney showed he’s getting back to his best after injury with a strong run, second on the day for Glenpark. There were also good runs on the day from Chris Watson, Gordy Hepburn and Derrick MacNish in his first Glenpark outing.


Performance of the day on the ‘mens’ side is reserved for the 4 Glenpark juniors. Alan Mollins, Ewan Ferguson, Ryan Brown and Harry McGill came 37th overall in the mens races with all four posting times that made many of the seniors jealous! Harry McGill, running an isolated final leg, recorded a fantastic 14.53! Only Stephen Trainer, Chris Mooney and Daniel Doherty ran faster on the day for Glenpark.


Finally it wouldn’t be a day out with Glenpark if this bloke didn’t keep trying to get a photo with our ladies. Thankfully Lisa put on a brave face and obliged…


Full Results:

Team A: Stephen Trainer 13:44, Daniel Doherty 14:42, Andrew Osborne 15:05, Paul Monaghan 14:43
Team B: Chris Mooney 14:39, Chris Watson 15:31, Gordy Hepburn 15:39, Mick McLoone 14:57
Team C: Paul Beaton 16:18, Stephen Hanley 16:41, Malcolm McLean 18:26, Derrick MacNish 17:18
Team D: Robin McAuslan 18:40, Ian Hanley 20:10, Gerry Gillespie 19:54, Stephen Reid 18:28
Team E: Robert Rideout 19:16, Boyd MacKenzie 20:20, Simon Hutton 21:34, David Benstead 21:40
Team F: Alan Mollins 16:34, Ewan Ferguson 16:20, Ryan Brown 17:02, Harry McGill 14:53

Team A (Vets): Sue Hewitson 17:20, Lorna Coyle 18:57, Marian Monk 18:55
Team B: Suzi Coyle 18:48, Kirsty Ormond 19:45,  Lisa Ruddy 19:30
Team C: Marianne McKay 19:32, Nicola Stevenson 19:51, Lynsey Mooney 20:58
Team D: Cheryl Thomas 21:31, Ashley Anderson 22:25, Nicola Gillespie 20:53
Team E: Nathalie Smith 22:39, Emma Benstead 25:47