Greenock Glenpark Harriers were delighted to incorporate the Scottish Athletics Junior Hill Running league race into the clubs Cornalees Hill Race. The host club welcomed a record breaking 48 runners from 9 different clubs across the country to take part in the races on a warm and dry Saturday afternoon.
In arguably the toughest race of the day the under 11’s competed in a 500m uphill only race with 70m of accent. The 4 runners all ran brilliant finishing close to each other. GGH youngster Orla Trainer was quickest in the uphill race.
The u13’s race Springburn Harriers athletes took the honours with Sam Robertson recording the quickest time of 11:06.
Three athletes competed in the under 15’s race. On this occasion it was Giffnock North athlete Ethan Scobie who was first to cross the line. Nuala Quigley of GGH was the solo u15 girl. Stepping up an age group meant it was a going to be a tough race for Nuala and she took on the challenge finishing in a great time of 23:18.
In the hotly contested u17’s race 9 runners competed for the medals. Rowan Taylor of Lasswade AC was first young male to cross the line in 28:33. Rowan took a good chunk off his time from last year. In the young female race GGH star Erin McEleny recorded the quickest time of 41:45. Incredibly Alex Dunlop from Central AC took a whopping 5 minutes and 47 seconds off his time from last year!
The u20’s competed with the senior runners over the full 8km distance. Rachel Giffen of Springburn Harriers recorded a hugely impressive time 37:47, just over 1 minute shy of the female course record at such a young age. Rachel finished 4th athlete overall in the senior race and was clear winner in the female race. U20 male Calum Hannah from Ayr Seaforth ran a fantastic time of 45:12 over the tough course.
In the senior race u23 Dylan Crawford led from the gun, making his intentions clear as he broke away from the group after the first climb and continued to build an unattainable lead. The GGH youngster built a two minute lead at the summit and it was now a question of how much he would win by. Even with his usual fearless decent, Andy McCall could not make up any ground on Dylan. In 3rd place Daniel Doherty ran one of his strongest races of the year. Doherty set off sensibly pulling in runners throughout the climb eventually getting within reaching distance of Andy. Another strong descent meant Daniel ran his quickest time over the course. Dylan’s time of 31:36 is a new course record, breaking Stephen Trainer’s long held record of 31:51 in 2013.
The senior women’s race was dominated by the host club with all 4 seniors representing GGH. This meant there was big points up for grabs in the race for the championship titles. First home was the in-form Jill Cox cruising to win her first ever hill race in a time of 43:39. No stranger to the hills was Cheryl Thomas rounding off a very strong race to finish in 2nd place. Cheryl reversed the result the last time she race on this course with Marianne. Marianne McKay made up the final podium place with Lynne Harrison descending quickly with Marianne in her sights. Both Cheryl and Marianne took a huge chunk off their times from 2021 with Cheryl taking over 4 minutes off her time and Marianne gaining 90 seconds.
It was great to see founder and previous winner of the Cornalees Hill Race, Stevie McLoone, take on the race again after a long lay off from racing. We hope to see Stevie compete in his new age category again this year. New member Aaron McCrone has a stormer of a race finishing just ahead of the ever green Danny McLaughlin. It was a pleasure to hear from guest runner Phil Smithard who was signing the praises of the club for putting on the race. Phil taking the biggest cheer of the day as he crossed the line well under the hour mark, no mean feat over the course.
Races like this cannot go ahead with the support of our volunteers. A huge thank you to everyone who volunteered for this and all other races throughout the year. Thanks to our race photographer Peter McLaughlin for the fantastic photos.
Greenock Glenpark Harriers would like to thank our race sponsor Clydeview Motors for their support of the race.