Sunday, 23 December 2007

Mince Pie Run 2007

22 Harriers enjoyed the club's annual festive "Mince Pie Run" on the morning of Sunday, December 23rd. As usual it was a great combination of sociability, fresh air and exercise - tinsel was worn and plenty of time taken to chat and admire the scenery.

This year the route followed a hill road up behind St Fillans then across into Glen Tarken, stopping high above Loch Earn to enjoy the views and some well-earned mince pies and coffee.

Suitably refreshed, the runners continued down through Glen Tarken wood back to the lochside at St Fillans where an excellent outing was rounded off with bacon butties magically prepared by Phil Tipping in the Wake family camper van.

Special thanks to Simon for organizing the run and to all who showed their support by coming along.

Mincepie 2007 - pics by Pete

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Stirling mud

East District cross-country championships at Stirling University on Saturday 8th proved a fine example of what cross-country has to offer. 10k in three laps round a mixed course with lashings of bitter wind, rain and of course, mud.

Nonetheless it was an enjoyable race with what seemed a large and high quality field. Six Harriers ran, all in the men's race, with Cathy having to miss the women's race because of pleurisy (surely one of this year's best excuses!)

First three Harriers home were Will, Colin and Ian, in that order, times not known. Doug sprinted past Gordon in the last ten metres to be the fourth Harrier home in just under 43 minutes, and James finished not long after. Official results available in due course.

Ali and Liz are awarded support points for turning out to provide much needed help and encouragement on a weather-wise grim day.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

East League X-country at Kirkcaldy

Sunday 25th saw some fine runs from the Harriers who turned out for the second of this year's East District League events at Kirkcaldy. Conditions were good - cool and overcast - the course was relatively dry underfoot and there was no hint of linoleum in the air to distract the runners.

In the Women's race Wendy Duigan finished in an excellent time of 29.30, less than 3 minutes behind the winner (26.37). Karen Nicholl was close on Wendy's heels in a fine 31.58.

In the Men's race Phil Mestecky overcame what looked and sounded like a serious hangover to finish in 39.08, with Ian Beattie seconds behind him in 39.22. Gordon Morrison was pleased with his time of 41.33, and James Bussey and Pete Gaylor finished well in 44.01 and 44.45 respectively. The winning time was 31.19.

It was rather a pity that call-offs meant that the club ended up one runner short to count as a team in both the men's and women's races, but many thanks to injured Phil T for his support and for capturing the unofficial times quoted above.

Apologies from me for the fact that my ineptitude with the camera means no usable photo from the event.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

2007 Club Championship - Final standings

Well done to the 33 club members that took part in 1 or more championship race (total 90 performances). I think it's been a success as these numbers far exceeded my expectations for the first year and suggest that we should definitely do it again next year. I will be reviewing the scoring system and also the selection of races for next year and am open to suggestions about how it can be improved, so please give it some thought and let me know ether via the forum or in person.

Anyway, the final standings for the 2007 championship are as follows:


1. Gordon Morrison (9 races) - 81.4 points
2. Ian Beattie (6) - 76.5
3. Adrian Wake (5) - 59.0
4. Peter Gaylor (6) - 56.0
5. Ben Wake (4) - 55.1
6. Phil Tipping (4) - 52.9
7. Rob Bolton (4) - 42.4
8. Doug Flint (3) - 39.4
9. Simon Wake (3) - 31.4
10. Will Manners (2) - 30.9
11. David Adams (2) - 29.8
12. Phil Mestecky (2) - 27.3
13. Allan Mooney (2) - 27.0
14. Digby Sym (2) - 25.0
15. James Bussey (2) - 23.7
16. Jim McConnell (2) - 19.2
17. Kenny Robertson (2) - 14.4
18. Graeme Johnston (1) 13.5
19. Colin Glencourse (1) - 13.0
20. Fred McCain (1) - 12.8
21. Duncan King (1) - 10.3
22. Vic Johnstone (1) - 10.1
23. Eric Sidebottom (1) - 9.6
24. Adam Wake (1) - 9.5
25. Phil Pass (1) - 4.3


1. Ali Manners (7 races) - 59.9
2. Cathy Tilbrook (3) - 34.4
3. Beth Fotheringham (4) - 31.9
4. Liz Mestecky (3) - 25.9
5. Shelagh Crighton (2) - 14.3
6. Angela MacKenzie (1) - 13.8
7. Wendy Duigan (1) - 12.4
8. Karen Pass (1) - 9.0

5 Bag Meall a' Bhuachaille

Graeme J, Phil M, Gordon and James B along with surprise late addition, Will (who was already at Glenmore Lodge running a navigation course) took on the last significant Hill Race of the year.

Having bagged all the Munros, (as indeed have Graeme and James), Gordon is now taking on the Corbetts (over 762m). Meall a' Bhuachaille at 810m therefore qualifies and was the perfect 2-birds-one-stone race for him.

The race itself starts at Glenmore Lodge and winds its way on forest paths and fire-breaks up through the woods. With something like 200 runners, congestion and passing was a bit of a problem in the early stages and those that made fast starts reaped the rewards of less traffic.

Once out of the woods it was again single file up the steep sheep path through the heather before regaining the path on the summit ridge. First harrier to the top was Will followed closely by Graeme and then Phil, with Gordon and James not far apart.

After a steep descent through the heather and a mile or two of undulations back through the woods again, this remained the finishing order with times and positions as follows:

Will 58.25, 19th
Graeme 61.35, 32nd
Phil 62.17, 37th
Gordon 72.54 mins, 91st
James 75.28, 102nd

Monday, 12 November 2007

Club Championship Update - Gordon takes the title.

As anticipated, the final designated race of the Summer Club Championship at the Glen Clova 1/2 Marathon saw Gordon Morrison crowned as our first ever men's champion alongside Ali Manners who had already claimed the women's title after Pitlochry.

The final standings will be calculated after the Meall a'Bhuachaille hill race on Saturday 17th November. This appears to be the last qualifying hill race of the year so if you've not already got a hill race score under your belt then this is the one to target.

So far we have had 32 Harriers taking part in the club championship with a total of 87 performances and 5 have completed 5 or more races.

Current standings are:


1. Gordon Morrison (9 races) - 81.4 points
2. Ian Beattie (6) - 76.5
3. Adrian Wake (5) - 59.0
4. Peter Gaylor (6) - 56.0
5. Ben Wake (4) - 55.1
6. Phil Tipping (4) - 52.9
7. Rob Bolton (4) - 42.4
8. Doug Flint (3) - 39.4
9. Simon Wake (3) - 31.4
10. David Adams (2) - 29.8
11. Allan Mooney (2) - 27.0
12. Phil Mestecky (2) - 26.7
13. Digby Sym (2) - 25.0
14. Jim McConnell (2) - 19.2
15. Will Manners (1) - 15.5
16. Kenny Robertson (2) - 14.4
17. Colin Glencourse (1) - 13.0
18. James Bussey (1) - 12.9
19. Fred McCain (1) - 12.8
20. Duncan King (1) - 10.3
21. Vic Johnstone (1) - 10.1
22. Eric Sidebottom (1) - 9.6
23. Adam Wake (1) - 9.5
24. Phil Pass (1) - 4.3


1. Ali Manners (7 races) - 59.9
2. Cathy Tilbrook (3) - 34.4
3. Beth Fotheringham (4) - 31.9
4. Liz Mestecky (3) - 25.9
5. Shelagh Crighton (2) - 14.3
6. Angela MacKenzie (1) - 13.8
7. Wendy Duigan (1) - 12.4
8. Karen Pass (1) - 9.0

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Harriers in Clova

On Saturday 10th, seven Harriers turned out for the last of this year's club championship races, the Glen Clova Half Marathon, noted for its scenery and its "undulations".

Conditions at the start were cold and dreich, but the mist and drizzle lifted after an hour or so, revealing at least some of the glen's scenic attraction.

The race was won in a time of 1.15.10 by Chris Russell of Fife AC, first home in a field of 281 runners.

Will Manners was the fastest Harrier by some margin, finishing in 14th place overall in a very impressive 1.22.40. James Bussey, Gordon Morrison and Pete Gaylor were next Harriers home, in 1.37.08, 1.40.22 and 1.44.24 respectively. Ali Manners improved on her 2006 time by several minutes, to finish around 1.55 ish (don't have exact time as the results list is incomplete).

Beth Fotheringham overcame the illness of the previous week to run an excellent 2.01.55 and Kenny Robertson - equipped for all eventualities - was close behind in 2.04.36.

Full results are at

As our picture shows, Kenny's shoe dilemma (see )was still unresolved shortly before the start of the race, but he will no doubt share his final decision and its consequences on the forum in due course.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Record turn-out for a Cross Country

Before yesterday's East District XC race at Broxburn the Harriers had never even managed to get a full team of 6 men out for a cross country race. Yesterday we had eight and also Cathy Tilbrook running in the women's race!

The Broxburn course is a loop of about 3km which the women run twice and the men three times. For spectators it is a great course as the runners pass the starting area 4 times during each lap. (See photos)

Cathy's race was first and after setting off at a cracking pace, she settled into a good position ahead of some arch-rivals from her orienteering activities. Although the fast start took its toll on lap 2 she hung in well and finished in an impressive time of 28.10 in 72nd out of 107 finishers.

In the men's race, after the obligatory cavalry charge down the hill followed by some elbowing and jostling as the path narrowed towards the bottom of the hill, the 228 runners settled down into a single file for most of the circuit with only a few open sections where overtaking was easy.

By the end of the first lap Phil M was leading the Harrier team with Ian Beattie and Ben Wake neck-and-neck. Next Harrier was Adrian Wake and then Gordon Morrison not far behind. Then came James Bussey while Doug Flint, worse for wear from his work leaving do on Friday night, was begining to lose his grey-green pallor and taking on a more human appearance and Peter Gaylor was also looking strong at this point.

This was pretty much the Harrier order to the end of the race although Ian pulled away from Ben and Gordon overtook Adrian with half a lap to go. Doug, meanwhile, demonstrated the restorative powers of running by finishing strongly and overhauling James in the later stages.

95. Phil Mestecky 35.49
101. Ian Beattie 35.59
134. Ben Wake 37.32
163. Gordon Morrison 39.16
168. Adrian Wake 39.38
179. Doug Flint 40.30
187. James Bussey 41.02
204. Peter Gaylor 42.16

Full results are now on the East District League site.

Well done to the whole team for turning out and running hard for the club.

Next race is Sunday 25th November at Kirkcaldy when maybe we can get double figures showing up!

P.S. Club Championship Points have now been worked out and can be found here.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Club Championship Update - Ali unassailable; Gordon takes the lead

Congratulations to Ali who, with just one race to go, has clinched the women's title with her performance at Pitlochry 10K.

In the Men's championship, it's between Gordon and Ian. Gordon has the slenderest of leads (1.7 points) but rumour has it that Ian is unavailable for the last race at Glen Clova.

Overall, we now have had 30 Harriers taking part in club championship races this year averaging nearly 3 races each (total 80). 5 people have already completed 5 or more races (Gordon, Ian, Ali, Adrian and Peter) and 3 people have done 4 (Rob, Ben and Phil T).

Current standings:

1. Gordon Morrison (8 races) 78.2 points
2. Ian Beattie (6) 76.5*
3. Adrian Wake (5) 59.0
4. Ben Wake (4) 55.1
5. Phil Tipping (4) 52.9
6. Peter Gaylor (5) 48.4
7. Rob Bolton (4) 42.4
8. Doug Flint (3) 39.4
9. Simon Wake (3) 31.4****
10. David Adams (2) 29.8
11. Allan Mooney**(2) 27.0
12. Phil Mestecky (2) 25.8
13. Digby Sym (2) 25.0
14. Jim McConnell (2) 19.2
15. Colin Glencorse (1) 13.0
16. Fred McCain (1) 12.8
17. Duncan King (1) 10.3
18. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
19. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
20. Adam Wake (1) 9.5****
21. Phil Pass (1) 4.3

* Includes West Highland Way Race as a Long category C Hill Race.
**Allan's total includes a "joker" race local to him (Dick Wedlock 10k).
***As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.
****Includes Lairig Ghru as a Long Category C Hill Race.

1. Ali Manners (6) 56.9
2. Cathy Tilbrook (3) 34.4
3. Liz Mestecky (3) 25.9
4. Beth Fotheringham (3) 24.2
5. Shelagh Crighton (2) 14.3
6. Angela MacKenzie (1) 13.8
7. Wendy Duigan (1) 12.4
8. Shelagh Crighton (1) 9.8
9. Karen Pass (1) 9.0

Final race in the series is the Glen Clova 1/2 Marathon 10th November.

East District XC Relays

On Saturday, four Harriers, Digby, Ian, Simon and Colin took part in East District XC Relays which consisted of 4 laps each of 4000m or 2 1/2 miles in old money.

In Simon's view "It was a very fast not too hilly cross country course that saw us complete in under the hour which was probably about half way up the field. All in all a very enjoyable event even more so as the pain only lasted for 15 mins or so!"

In actual fact the team made the top 20 out of 51 teams and finished in 59.34. Full results are at Scottish Athletics.

Digby led the team off with a strong run of 14.31 and 24th place, and handed over to Ian who, despite running the Loch Ness Marathon 6 days ago, ran an excellent 15.37, slipping just a couple of places to 27th. Simon ran a storming 3rd leg in 15.08 moving the team up to 26th before Colin brought the team home in an excellent 14.18 and 20th place.

Monday, 8 October 2007

Happy-ness at the Loch Ness Marathon

Five Harriers took part in this weekend's Loch Ness Marathon. Of these 2, Liz Mestecky and Shelagh Crighton, were running their first ever Marathon while Ian Beattie was running Loch Ness for the 6th time.

The weather was perfect with light winds and cool temperatures and a good covering of cloud. The picturesque course follows the south bank of Loch Ness and can euphemistically described as undulating with some significant climbs in the first 10 miles and then a real heartbreaker at mile 18.

Ian was first Harrier home having gone through half way in 1.29 he slipped a little in the hillier second half of the race to come home in 3.05.54 and 60th position out of field of over 1400. See his blog for more on his run.

Phil Tipping found the going tough but still managed a respectable 3.13.23 and 96th place.

Duncan King's time of 3.26.03 was more than 10 minutes faster than the time he set over the flat Edinburgh course earlier in the year and shows what a week running in the Atacam desert can do for you (see the blog entry for September).

Liz and Shelagh ran together most of the way until Mile 25 when the distance started to tell on Shelagh who had been struggling with a heavy cold for most of the week. Liz pushed on and finished in 4.24.32. Shelagh kept plugging away and completed the 26.2 in just under 4.30.

All in all an excellent effort and a great achievement from Liz and Shelagh who can now call themselves Marathon Runners!

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Pitlochry 10k

On a busy racing weekend for the club, it was great to see a turnout of 10 Harriers for the penultimate race in this year's club championship. They were rewarded by a beautiful day and a very enjoyable race.

Conditions were ideal - flat or gently undulating course, sunshine, blue sky and a gentle cooling breeze - which helped to ensure a series of fine performances from the Harriers taking part, who included David Adams, Rob Bolton, Doug Flint, Beth Fotheringham, Pete Gaylor, Ali Manners, Gordon Morrison, Kenny Robertson, Cathy Tilbrook (and Wendy Duigan, I think).

Places and official times are not yet available, but unofficial timing suggests several PBs and some marked improvements on last year. More details to follow asap.

Some of the Harriers involved were captured above on camera before the race - apologies to those omitted (but gathering runners before a race can be akin to herding cats). Thanks to Brad and his cousin for the photography.


Official results now available on the link here confirm a series of very good performances.

Particular congratulations to Wendy - a terrific time of 40.12 and the prize for second Senior Woman - and to David Adams ,whose impressive 44.06 deservedly earned him the prize for second fastest in the MVG category.

Saturday, 6 October 2007

Adrian adds the Pentland Skyline

Ade climbing Scald Law (Photo from Scottish Hill Runners)
Phil running up Scald Law (photo from Scottish Hill Runners
Ade crosses the finishing line

In his time, Adrain has taken part in most of Scotland's toughest hill races and today he added the Pentland Skyline to nhis collection.

This is a seriously tough race of 16M over 6200' of climb and taking in 17 hills in the Pentlands overlooking Edinburgh.

The weather was wonderful with blue skies and temperatures in the 60s so navigation was made easy.

Ade finished in 4 hours 19 mins 20 secs in 111st place with team-mate Phil Mestecky in 24th place in a time of 3.09.55 (more than 8 1/2 mins slower than 2006).

Monday, 1 October 2007

Gut gelaufen!

Congratulations to Jim McConnell on his run of 3.57.36 in the Berlin Marathon at the weekend. That made him finisher number 13031 out of a huge field of over 40,000 runners.
Hopefully more detail to follow from Jim, either here or on the forum.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Corbett bagging on Morven

I ventured north to run the well-organised and very enjoyable Morven Hill Race today Saturday 22nd. The conditions were excellent - no rain, a bit windy on top but mostly dry and springy underfoot.

As it happens this was the final race of the 2007 SHR Championship, and it finished dramatically with Brian Marshall of HELP snatching the race and the championship from Stewart Whitlie of Carnethy in a close-fought downhill pursuit. When the two runners (going down) passed me (still only 2/3 of the way up) Brian was at least 200 meters behind, so he must have run an exceptional descent.

The winning time was 45.25, but I was happy to survive a somersault fall more or less unscathed and finish in 1.3.59 in 62nd place out of 101 runners. Full (provisional) results are here.

The bonus for me was to be able to tick off another Corbett (no 96) in addition to a great hill run. The next Corbett hill race is Meall a'Bhuachaille near Aviemore on November 17th - any other Harriers interested please get in touch.

Duncan completes the Atacama Crossing

In August, Duncan King took on one of the mightiest endurance challenges around in the Atacama Desert in Chile. The Atacama Crossing is a six stage 250km race with stages varying in length from 20 to 80km across terrain which could be described euphemistically as "varied" and at altitudes of over 4000m.

This year 80 competitors from 16 countries and ages ranging from 18-67 took part. Competitors have to carry all food and equipment (apart from their tent which is transported ahead of them to the next camp) but while some managed to keep their packs down to under 10kg our Duncan was less frugal and started the race with the heaviest pack of all - 17.2kg (see photo above).

Added to that, Duncan arrived only a couple of days before the race and so had no time to adjust to the climate and altitude.

Despite these self imposed handicaps, he managed to complete the race in 35th place in an excellent time of 57hrs 32mins, surviving injury-free apart from one or two memorable blisters.

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Sterling efforts at Stirling 10k

Four Harriers went to Stirling for the 10K on Sunday. Conditions were wet but with no wind it was near ideal for racing. Phil Tipping was first back in 61st place out of 720 finishers in a time of 38.31.

Ali Manners, had the run of the day, setting a big PB of 47.42 (although some problems with the chip-timing system may have added 20 seconds or so onto her unofficial stopwatch time which read 47.22). This is a well-deserved reward for some hard and consistent training over the summer.

Beth Fotheringham and George Carson ran the race together and finished in a time of 55.59.

Robert Russell from Central won the race in an impressive 30:46, nearly 2 minutes ahead of his nearest rival.

Full results.

Club Championship: Gordon closes in on Ian at Merrick

On Saturday, Gordon took on the challenge of the Merrick Hill race in the Galloway Hills. His time of 2.04.26 was good enough to bring him home in 60th place out of a field of 84 runners (full results).

More to the point, his 3 participation points in the race brings him within spitting distance (perish the thought) of Ian Beattie in the Harriers club championship. With two races to go Ian's lead has been cut to just 1.8 points.

1st: Ian Beattie: 76.5
2nd: Gordon Morrison: 74.7

Nest race is Pitlochry 10K on October 7th...

Monday, 10 September 2007

Harriers retain their title at the Comrie Relay!

This years Comrie Hills Relay was full of incident and interest with local knowledge (or recce runs) proving the decisive factor! As a result Strathearn Harriers Men's Team ended top of the tree for the second year running and our Mixed Team (Liz's) were able to take home the 1st Mixed Team prize as well.

21 Teams from Carnethy, Central, Fife, Highland, Ochils, Westerlands, Corstophine, Beacon, Cosmics and 3 teams from Strathearn Harriers assembled for the race. Many had sent considerably stronger teams than last year with most bookies probably favouring a Carnethy win over Central.

However, not far into Leg 1, the form book was thrown completely out of the window as most of the leaders took a wrong turning. Last years leg winner, Simon Peachey from Carnethy, decided that if a job's worth doing it's worth doing well by finishing the leg dead last in a time 35 minutes slower than last year! Goodness knows where he got to.

Meanwhile, Colin Glencorse rescued two Fife runners who were disappearing off course and was rewarded for his kind action with a stage win for the Harriers. Allan Mooney somehow managed to avoid getting lost and recorded an excellent time of 59.16 for his Harriers mixed team, while Liz Mestecky took a full minute off her time from last year to bring her team in in 15th place.

Leg 2 was much more straightforward with no runners losing their way or missing checkpoints. Phil Mestecky and Simon Wake had a strong run and managed to extend the lead from 1 second to nearly 2 minutes over Fife due to some good route choices and fast descending off the hill. Their time of 45.46 was second fastest on the leg behind Fallon and Ashcroft from Carnethy. The pairing of Doug Flint and a resurgent Gordon Morrison were the 9th fastest in an excellent 53.11. Cathy Tilbrook and Ali Manners also had a strong run on this tough leg finishing in 1.06.28.

So on Leg 3 Digby took off in the lead and held it until near to the summit ridge where he was overhauled by Mark Harris of Fife and then later on by Dave Weir of Fife Vets. In all, 4 runners dipped under 1.05 on this leg with Andrew Wright of Highland recording an awesome 1.01 dead for a new course record. Phil Tipping ran well to come home in 1.17.16 for Liz's Mixed Team with Adrian Wake finishing in 1.31.07 for Allan's Mixed Team.

Further chaos ensued on Leg 4 as several contenders managed to get lost and the Central A team runner missing out on a leg 4 stage win by failing to punch the final checkpoint. Ian Beattie, running serenely through the mayhem, emerged into Laggan Park with a lead of nearly 7 minutes to the great surprise of the waiting crowds, officials and indeed himself. Meanwhile, the two Fife runners were apparently enjoying a sightseeing tour of the Dunira estate while the Highland Hillrunner, who had started Leg 4 in 4th place missed the turning over Shakey bridge and shot off down the Balmuick road and thence over the horizon.

For Liz's Mixed team, Karen Pass also had a fun-packed afternoon! Literally caught with her pants down by the early arrival of Phil Tipping, she then failed to retrace her steps correctly from the monument and began descending the steep path towards the Deil's Cauldron. Despite these faux pas, she only lost one position overall and brought the team home to their Mixed Team victory in a time of 1.08.30. Shelagh's time of 1.04.49 was good enough to bring Allan's team home in 15th place.

All in all, a fun-filled event made possible by the efforts of Alex Dillon as race co-ordinator and his team of helpers and marshalls especially Phil Tipping and Gordon Morrison. The day was topped off perfectly with a wonderful B-B-Q and home baking provided by Liz Tipping, Alison Beattie, Beth Dillon and Hazel Sym for which much thanks.

Full results are here

Read what others thought of the day
Ian Beattie's blog
Scottish Hill Runners
Highland Hillrunners (also see their message board click on Highland Hillrunners link)
Fife AC Bulletin Board (see thread entitled "Results Week Ending 9th Sept. 50km, Strett Athletics Final, Comrie, Devils Beeftub. etc")

...and see some excellent photos from a Fife AC Photographer
and some more good ones from Cosmics too

Monday, 3 September 2007

Weegie wonders - Harriers in action at Glasgow Half

Five Harriers joined the more than 6400 runners (and Jimmy Saville too!) that descended on Glasgow Green on Sunday for the Half Marathon.

In good running conditions, Phil Tipping led the Blue and Whites home in a time of 1:24.54 and 144th place (Top 2% of the field!) showing that he is regaining some of the speed which West Highland Way training had removed from his legs earlier in the year.

Ian Beattie had a steady but reassuring run after a recent hamstring pull and a dramatic tumble while running through Laggan Wood in Comrie on Thursday combined to give less than perfect race preparation. Ian's time of 1:28.34 (275th) was some way off his best but getting through the race uninjured was the chief objective on this occasion.

Jim McConnell's 1:37.26 (792nd) shows that his Marathon training is starting to kick in - so, Jim, we'll be looking for something around the 3.45 mark in Berlin based on this.

Liz M, was not too far behind Jim, finishing in 1:46.37 (1729th) and setting a new personal best by 2 minutes in the process and Shelagh came in shortly afterwards in 1:54.17 (2761st).

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Ade clocks up another Ben

On Saturday, in wild and wet conditions, Adrian moved a step closer to his free bottle of whisky for completing 21 Ben Nevis races. This was No 17 and proved to be one of his better recent runs finishing in 2:39.02 (325th/404), a minute faster than in 2006 and more than 15 minutes better than 05.

Also running in the race was Digby Sym whose 2:06.57 (139th) was nearly 10 minutes faster than his previous attempt in 2005. Digby was not entirely satisfied though as he felt he went off too slowly and got held up in traffic on the narrow climb and then struggled to fully let himself go on the steep downhill section. So, with better conditions and some more specific training, it looks like a sub 2hrs could be on the cards for next year. (Digby's face in the photos clearly shows the agony and the ecstacy of the Ben race!)

The race was won by Ian Holmes from Bingley in 1:32.57 and first woman was Angela Mudge in 1:48.28 (27th overall).

Friday, 31 August 2007

Should have gone to Run Ecosse!

Is your running wardrobe looking sad and tired? Do you find yourself wearing Rowan Atkinson's cast-off hats? Then I've got good news for you!

A new running shop has opened in Falkirk by the name of Run Ecosse. The shop is run by club member Karen Pass's cousin Andrew who has kindly agreed to an extend a 10% discount to all purchases made by bona fide club members.

So ditch those smelly trainers and tatty tops and get yersel' down to Run Ecosse.

Monday, 20 August 2007

Atacama Crossing

Some of you may be interested to see here what Duncan King is doing at the moment. You can follow his progress day by day. He is carrying the heaviest pack of any of them at 17kg !

Sherrifmuir 11

Another excellent turnout from Harriers at the second ever running of the Sherrifmuir Challenge road race. The 11 mile route starts at the Sherrifmuir Inn and is mostly downhill for the 5.5 miles to the A9 at Blackford and then retraces its steps back up the long tough hill for the second half. At 12 pounds for entries on the day, the price is also fairly steep, but it's for a good cause and you do get a free drink in the pub afterwards!

11 of us showed up this year including 2 debutants (Jim Bussey and Dario Melaragni) out of a field of 63. Phil Tipping ran a strong, controlled race to finish in 9th overall and 1st Harrier home. Liz Mestecky picked up the prize for 3rd woman and Shelagh Crichton was 1st female vet.

The race was won by local boy Paul Arcari in an impressive 59.26 mins ahead of 2nd place by over a mile! Harriers finished as follows:

9. Phil Tipping - 1.12.38
14. Ian Beattie - 1.15.08
17. Phil Mestecky - 1.17.12
21. Jim Bussey - 1.22.37
23. Adrian Wake - 1.23.02
34. Fred McCain - 1.25.33
35. Jim McConnell - 1.25.46
43. Liz Mestecky - 1.31.13
51. Shelagh Crichton - 1.37.22
52. Vic Johnstone - 1.38.49
61. Dario Melaragni - 2.04.00

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Hebridean Harrier

Full results are now available for the Hebridean Challenge 2007 which took place in late June /early July, so we can congratulate Graham Johnston on being a member of Fox and Hounds who were the second placed team of 5.

The Heb is a tough race which involves moving from one end of the Outer Hebrides to the other, doing a series of competitive events along the way - running, on- and off-road cycling, kayaking and swimming. Not for the unfit or the faint -hearted!

Well done Graham.

Full results and info about the race are here.

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Phil T at Haddington

Phil T ran the Haddington Half Marathon on Saturday August 11th, finishing well in 87 min 53 sec and 28th in a field of 200.

Phil adds "It's a well organised race starting from a pleasant town and run through rolling countryside. The course is undulating with 3 or 4 hills. The conditions were ideal being heavy drizzle and light winds."

(not sure whether the combination of "ideal" and "heavy drizzle" is meant to be ironic!)

Cross country fixtures for the diary

Dates are now available for this year's cross country season, and it would be good to see Strathearn Harriers being more active in this discipline.

As anyone who has taken part in cross country events will confirm, they are very enjoyable - well-attended, competitive and with a great atmosphere.

Sat. 13th October East Relays, Dulloch Park Dunfermline
Sat. 20th October East League at Livingston

Sat. 27th Oct. National Relays, Cumbernauld.
Sun. 25th Nov. East league at Beveridge Park, Kirkcaldy.

Sat. 8th Dec. East XC Champs at Stirling Univ.
19th Jan. East league at Broxburn.

23rd February. 2008. National Champs at Falkirk

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

Planning ahead for Glen Clova

Phil T helpfully points out that pre-entry is required to take part in our final club championship race of the season, the Glen Clova half-marathon on Saturday November 10th.

A copy of the entry form can be downloaded from .

Entries close on November 3rd, but there is a race limit of 300 so sooner is likely to be better.

Monday, 6 August 2007

A dram fine run

Ian Beattie and Phil Tipping had a great day out on Saturday August 4th, running in the Islay half marathon.

Ian finished 11th in 1.28.25 and Phil was 14th in 1.29.54, so they both won veteran's prizes (2nd and 4th) and took home some of the island's most famous product!

Ian commented "Fantastic event - we should think about making it a club weekend next year so we can all go to the post race ceilidh…"

A Law unto himself...

Digby was the lone Harrier at the North Berwick Law Race on August 1st, a short sharp run of 4.5k and 185m up and down the hill above N Berwick.

No doubt assisted by the stylish new shoes, he did himself and the club proud by finishing as 4th Vet and in 7th place overall in a field of 189 runners.

The action pic is from the SHR website - full results and more pics there too.

Friday, 3 August 2007

Club Championship Update - Massive Turn Out at Comrie

Table after the crucial Comrie Hill run. Ian and Phil T both scored a Maximum 17 points as their times rounded up/down to the same time as the winner's. Not a good race to miss (or get DQ-ed)!

Ian and Gordon have now completed 6 races so we take out their worst performance but they keep their 3 points for participation in that race.

1. Ian Beattie (6 races) 76.5 points*
2. Gordon Morrison (6) 71.7
3. Ben Wake (4) 55.1
4. Adrian Wake (4) 51.6
5. Phil Tipping (3) 40.8
6. Peter Gaylor (4) 37.6
7. Rob Bolton (3) 32.9
8. Simon Wake (3) 31.4****
9. Doug Flint (2) 27.2
10. Allan Mooney**(2) 27.0
11. Phil Mestecky (2) 25.8
12. Digby Sym (2) 25.0
13. David Adams (1) 15.9 (is David a MV50???)
14. Jim McConnell (1) 15.1
15. Colin Glencorse (1) 13.0
16. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
17. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
18. Adam Wake (1) 9.5****
19. Phil Pass (1) 4.3

* Includes West Highland Way Race as a Long category C Hill Race.
**Allan's total includes a "joker" race local to him (Dick Wedlock 10k).
***As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.
****Includes Lairig Ghru as a Long Category C Hill Race.

1. Ali Manners (5) 50.2
2. Cathy Tilbrook (2) 23.8
3. Liz Mestecky (2) 20.9
4. Beth Fotheringham (2) 16.9
5. Angela MacKenzie (1) 13.8
6. Shelagh Crighton (1) 9.8
7. Karen Pass (1) 9.0

Only 2 races left to go (+ Marathons and Long/Medium Hill Races). Can anyone catch Ian or Ali?

Next race is the Pitlochry 10K on October 7th.

Fun at Comrie

winners of the junior and adult races
August 2nd saw a great Harriers turnout of 15 runners and many supporters enjoying the 5 mile Comrie Fun Run - perhaps more accurately described on the finisher medals as Comrie Fortnight Hill Race - round lower Glen Lednock on a beautiful evening.

It was a little unfortunate that problems with route signage meant that a number of runners - including Digby Sym and Patrick O'Kane among the leading group - went astray, but first home in 35.42 was Richard Wheeler, a talented young Perth-based runner.

Angela picked up another prize for finishing as first woman, and there were lots of other impressive performances, not least by race organiser Colin Howat and sponsor Rob Bolton whose battling sprint finish raised a cheer from the crowd.

Full race results are now available here and Club Championship points are being calculated!

Enjoy Liz M's pics of the event:

Sunday, 22 July 2007

The Famous Grouse Crieff 10k

I went off on hols immediately after the 10k last Sunday, so this is the first opportunity to give it some brief blog coverage.

There were 240 entries, encouragingly up on last year's 217, and 223 finishers. First home in 34.18 was last year's winner and course record holder Robert Gilroy. Sandra Brett of Dumfries was first woman in 42.12.

Nine Harriers ran, with Digby and Angela picking up the prizes for first local man and woman. Digby ran a particularly impressive 38.40.

The weather was great, Gilbert the Famous Grouse really got into the spirit of things, and informal feedback on the day from the runners was that the club had managed to provide another very enjoyable experience. Thanks to all who contributed, particularly to Club Secretary Liz Mestecky for all her hard work.

Club photographers, please send your pics of the event to - I was hunched over a hot laptop and didn't have a chance to capture any of the day on camera.

Extra: See Brad's photos of the day below!

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Club Championship Update - Ian and Ali extend their leads

Results after Brig Bash and including Ian and Phil's West Highland Way Race and now Simon and Adam's Lairig Ghru.


1. Ian Beattie (5 races) 67.8 points*
2. Gordon Morrison (5) 62.6
3. Ben Wake (3) 38.8
4. Peter Gaylor (4) 37.6
5. Adrian Wake (3) 35.6
6. Simon Wake (3) 31.4****
7. Phil Mestecky (2) 25.8
8. Digby Sym (2) 25.0
9. Phil Tipping (2) 23.8
10. Rob Bolton (2) 20.1
11. Colin Glencorse (1) 13.0
12. Allan Mooney**(1) 12.8
13. Doug Flint (1) 12.2
14. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
15. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
16. Adam Wake (1) 9.5****
17. Phil Pass (1) 4.3

* Includes West Highland Way Race as a Long category C Hill Race.
**Allan's total includes a "joker" race local to him (Dick Wedlock 10k).
***As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.
****Includes Lairig Ghru as a Long Category C Hill Race.


1. Ali Manners (4) 37.1
2. Liz Mestecky (2) 20.9
3. Cathy Tilbrook (1) 10.7
4. Shelagh Crighton (1) 9.8
5. Karen Pass (1) 9.0
6. Beth Fotheringham (1) 8.0

Next race is the Comrie Fun Run Thursday 2nd August 7.30pm in Laggan Park, Comrie.

Thursday, 5 July 2007

The Brig Bash 5

And there were indeed 5 Harriers running in the Brig Bash in Bridge of Earn last night. The rain stayed off, the sun came out and a field of 173 runners competed round a loop of 5 flat miles on road. They were led home by John Hargreaves of Carnegie in a time of 26.07, with Ian Beattie the fastest Harrier in 31.56, a respectable time given his recent WHW run.

Gordon Morrison finished in 34.48, pleased to have run sub-7 minute miles, Pete Gaylor ran 36.31 without recurrence of injury, Ali Manners ran a very creditable 38.09 and Rob Bolton ran a solid 41.24. Full results are here.

Thanks to Sam and Brad for their support, and congratulations to Perth Road Runners for a well organised race and a fine spread afterwards.

See Sam's pics below.

Friday, 29 June 2007

Crossing the Cairngorms

Meanwhile, further north, two brothers Wake were also engaged in a long-running contest. Simon and Adam ran the 28 mile Lairig Ghru race from Braemar to Aviemore on June 24th.
They ran and finished together in 27th and 28th places in a time of 4.35.32, an improvement of 12 minutes on their previous effort in this event.
In a field of 76 runners, the winning time was a new event record of 3.04.25, set by Paul Raistrick of Highland Hillrunners.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

West Highland Way Warriors

They did it!

Both Ian Beattie and Phil Tipping (pictured enjoying a nourishing bowl of chicken soup at Benglas Farm after 39 miles and then putting a brave face on it at Bridge of Orchy - just 35 miles to go!)completed the full 95 mile route from Milgavie to Fort William in this years West Highland Way Race. Ian finished in a new P.B. time of 21.10 in 11th place overall - a truly impressive performance.

Phil overcame a bout of vomiting after 70 miles, where a similar affliction had scuppered his previous attempt in 2005, and soldiered on to the finish in 27.32 hours.

More details to follow...

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Grousing about...

Gilbert and a few Harriers got together yesterday for a bit of a jog. It was all in a good cause of course - publicity for club and sponsor - but we though you might like to see some of the evidence!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, 18 June 2007

Colin at Ben Sheann

Colin Glencorse was the only Harrier to make the journey to Strathyre for the short and sharp Ben Sheann race on Wednesday 13th June. In a field of 70, Colin finished 14th in a time of 29.29 3 1/4 mins behind the winner, Jamie Stevenson - a Junior from Ochil Hill Runners. First lady, as usual, was Angela Mudge finishing in 8th place in 27.37 - breaking her own course record set in 1996.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

With a little help....

As many of you will know, two Harriers are in serious training for a wee 95 mile run that takes place on June 23rd, called the West Highland Way Race. For a slightly different perspective on the event you might enjoy reading

Saturday, 9 June 2007

John back to winning ways

At the annual Morrison's charity fun run at Dallerie this Saturday, John (I'm not a pothunter honestly!) Burke proved he still has what it takes to triumph at important high profile events. Against a quality field and in searing heat, John hit the front after 1km of this 5.5km race and never looked back trailing many-times-winner Patrick O'Kane and Phil Mestecky in his wake. John finished in a time of 19.09 with Patrick about a minute behind and Phil finishing in 3rd in just over 21 minutes.

Among the women, Wendy Duigan ran an excellent race to finish in 5th only 30 seconds behind Phil while Liz Mestecky was second woman home in 25.12.

David Adams showed he is returning to form with an excellent run finishing in around 24 minutes and Rob Bolton put in his usual solid performance coming in a minute or two later.

In the children's races, future Harriers Ruairi Burke and Dominic Mestecky both ran strongly to each finish in 6th place in their respective races. Dominic ran the 1150m race for P4-6 and was first P4 home in 3.56.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Ian takes over at the top - Championship Update 8/6/07

Standings are provisional awaiting confirmation from the official results of Lang Toon 10K

1. Ian Beattie (4 races) 51.4 points*
2. Gordon Morrison (4) 49.8
3. Ben Wake (3) 38.8
4. Adrian Wake (3) 35.6
5. Peter Gaylor (3) 27.1
6. Phil Mestecky (2) 25.8
7. Digby Sym (2) 25.0
8. Phil Tipping (2) 23.0
9. Simon Wake (2) 21.4
10. Colin Glencorse (1) 13.0
11. Allan Mooney**(1) 12.8
12. Doug Flint (1) 12.2
13. Rob Bolton (1) 10.3
14. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
15. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
16. Phil Pass (1) 4.3

* Includes Highland Fling as a Long category C Hill Race (53miles, 7000ft).
**Allan's total includes a "joker" race local to him (Dick Wedlock 10k).
***As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.

1. Ali Manners (3) 26.8
2. Liz Mestecky (2) 20.9
3. Cathy Tilbrook (1) 10.7
4. Shelagh Crighton (1) 9.8
5. Karen Pass (1) 9.0
6. Beth Fotheringham (1) 8.0

Next race is the Brig Bash 5 Mile Wednesday 4th July 7.30pm.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

A good outing to the Lang Toon

Seven Harriers enjoyed a great run at the Lang Toon 10k last night, on a beautiful warm evening. They managed a collectively strong performance and the club picked up a string of prizes.
A fine group of athletes!
Ian Beattie - 2nd overall and 1st male vet
Simon Wake - 3rd overall and 2nd male vet
Ben Wake - first Junior
Gordon Morrison - 3rd senior vet.

Phil T was 5th overall, close behind Simon, so the club achieved 2nd, 3rd, 5th vs Perth Road Runners 1st, 4th, 6th.
We await official times and placings from the race organiser, but Harriers finishing order and (where known) unofficial times are Ian 38.36, Simon 39 ish, Phil T 39.11, Ben 43.30 ish, Gordon 44.33, Rob and Beth.

The winning time was 35.22, so points are in prospect when the official times are known!
Thanks also to Pete Gaylor and Adrian Wake for support and photos.
EXTRA: more photos here

Monday, 4 June 2007

Club Championship Update 4/6/07

1. Gordon Morrison (3 races) 36.1 points
2. Ian Beattie (3) 36.0*
3. Adrian Wake (3) 35.6
4. Peter Gaylor (3) 27.1
5. Phil Mestecky (2) 25.8
6=. Ben Wake (2) 25.0
6=. Digby Sym (2) 25.0
8. Allan Mooney**(1) 12.8
9. Doug Flint (1) 12.2
10. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
11. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
12. Phil Tipping (1) 7.6*
13. Simon Wake (1) 6.0
14. Phil Pass (1) 4.3

* Includes Highland Fling as a Long category C Hill Race (53miles, 7000ft).
**Allan's total includes a "joker" race local to him (Dick Wedlock 10k).
***As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.

1. Ali Manners (3) 26.8
2. Liz Mestecky (2) 20.9
3. Cathy Tilbrook (1) 10.7
4. Shelagh Crighton (1) 9.8
5. Karen Pass (1) 9.0

Next race is the Lang Toon (Auchterarder) 10K on Wednesday 6th June 7.30pm.

More Harriers in Action

On a cool and blustery day last weekend (May 27th), three Harriers joined the masses assembled in Edinburgh for the Marathon. First to finish was Karen Pass in a time of 3.55.46 and 51st in her age group. I think that Vic Johnstone finished in under 4 hours though I'm not certain in what time as his chip fell off along the way (if anyone knows his time, please let me know) and Phil Pass finished in 4.50.58. Other local runners in the race well known to the Harriers included John Pritchard (3.45.32) and Duncan King (3.37.43).

On Saturday 2nd June, Rob Bolton took part in the Strathallan 5 organized by Carnegie Harriers. Rob fininshed in 79th place in a time of 42.35. Kate McKinnon, nee Bolton, from the host club, came home in an excellent time of 31.19 and picked up the prize for first woman in the race and, rumour has it, a course record - clearly demonstrating that running genes, like red hair, can be regressive!

Also, well done to Colin Glencorse in the Glas Tulaichean Uphill race. Colin finished well up the field in 14th place in a time of 42.28.

Finally, Allan Mooney, resplendent in his new Harriers vest (see photos above), came close to breaking the 40 min barrier at the Carluke 10K on Sunday. Despite missing out on this goal, he took 2 minutes off his time and now plans to set his sights on the St Andrews Hospice 10K in September.
Extra: Allan finished a very creditable 19th in the Carluke 10k - full results are at

Friday, 1 June 2007

New Club Run on Thursdays

From the results of the questionnaire which most harriers completed a month or two ago, it is clear that a fair number of us struggle to get to Crieff on a Wednesday by 6pm. It seems that for some there is a preference for Comrie and for others it is more to do with the problem of getting back from work in time.

So, for a trial period in June, we have decided to try a Thursday run at 7.00pm in Comrie beginning Thursday, 7th June. The trial will run for 4 weeks so, depending on the take-up, the last one will be Thursday 28th June.

This will be in addition to the usual runs:

- Monday 9.15am Macrosty Park
- Wednesday 6pm Macrosty Park
- Sunday 8.15am from either Crieff or Comrie (Comrie this Sunday)

The hope is that all of you that indicated that you wanted a later start time and/or a Comrie run will show their support for this new slot. If it turns out that there is not much support for this we will just scrap it and go back to the usual runs in July.

See you all there!

Wednesday, 23 May 2007

Other recent performances in May

Well done to David Adams and Rob Bolton who took part in the Auld Toun 10K (Dunfermline) on 9th May. David finished 169th out of 334 in 47.18 and Rob not far behind in 53.26. Results.

Then, on Sunday 20th on a windswept Goat Fell, Colin Glencorse took on the cream of Scottish Hill Running in the ScottishAthletics Championship Race. He finished well up the field as usual in an excellent 34th place out of 129 in a time of 1.18.49. Results. Photo courtesy of arran online.
With this performance Colin moves into 8th place in the club championship with 13.0 points from just one scoring race so far.

Club Championship Update

Following the third designated race in the series the league tables look like this:

1. Gordon Morrison (3 races) 36.1 points
2. Ian Beattie (3) 36.0*
3. Adrian Wake (3) 35.6
4. Peter Gaylor (3) 27.1
5. Phil Mestecky (2) 25.8
6=. Ben Wake (2) 25.0
6=. Digby Sym (2) 25.0
8. Allan Mooney**(1) 12.8
9. Doug Flint (1) 12.2
10. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
11. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
12. Phil Tipping (1) 7.6*
13. Simon Wake (1) 6.0

* Includes Highland Fling as a Long category C Hill Race (53miles, 7000ft).
**Allan's total includes a "joker" race local to him (Dick Wedlock 10k).
***As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.


1. Ali Manners (3) 26.8
2. Liz Mestecky (2) 20.9
3. Cathy Tilbrook (1) 10.7
4. Shelagh Crighton (1) 9.8

Next race is the Lang Toon (Auchterarder) 10K on Thursday 7th June.


Knock knock...

Who was there? 11 of us at this years Knock Hill Race with some excellent performances and a trio of prizes to boot.

A smaller than usual field of only 45 runners showed up with the Champions League Final and an accident on the A85 near Perth perhaps explaining the low numbers.

However, Harriers were out in force led home in an excellent 4th place by Digby Sym who picked up the prize for 2nd Vet. Other notable performances came from Ben Wake who finished in 15th place and was the 1st Junior. First local woman prize went to Liz Mestecky in a PB of 42.36 and well done to Cathy Tilbrook who took fully 6 minutes off her previous time for the race set in 2004. Credit too to Ali Manners who continues to show good form finishing in 44.18.

Full list of Harriers is as follows:

4th Digby Sym 33.06
11th Phil Mestecky 35.30
15th Ben Wake 36.36
17th Ian Beattie 36.54
26th Adrian Wake 39.01
29th Gordon Morrison 39.51
32nd Peter Gaylor 41.46
34th Liz Mestecky 42.36
36th Cathy Tilbrook 43.18
39th Ali Manners 44.18
40th Shelagh Crighton 45.06

Now to work out what this does to the Club Championship!

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Simon and Phil blown away by the Scottish Islands Peaks Race

Strong winds, heavy rain and high seas were forecasted for last weekend's Scottish Islands Peaks Race and Mother Nature delivered in fine style with gusts of 65 mph, squally showers and estimated seas of 30ft around the Mull of Kintyre. As a result, at the pre-race briefing on Friday morning the organizers shortened the race to include only Mull and Jura.

The race began with a 4-5 mile run in the hills overlooking Oban. Phil and Simon finished in the top quarter of the field and were dingied out to their boat, Lady Q (photo shows the full crew - left to right: Simon, Phil, Skipper Malcolm and Pauline Lamb, and Tommy Hunter), for the race to Mull. Despite the strong winds, the seas were not too rough with the result that record times were set for this sailing section and Lady Q had made up several places to set the runners ashore in about 13th place.

For the first part of the run the weather was not too bad with warm breezes and only occasional rain showers, but nearer the top the winds picked up and the squalls came in with increasing frequency.

Despite a few of the stronger running teams overtaking the Lady Q runners, good route selection allowed them to keep their position and reached the summit (where the checkpoint had been blown away!) in around 13th place.

Leaving the summit Simon was hit by a huge gust of wind which literally blew him off his feet and resulted in him smashing his shin on a rock. From that point on he was in significant discomfort and not able to keep his normal speed over the ground. The descent was tough for him especially over the rough tussocky ground and a couple of teams were able to catch up and overtake.

As they reached the long road section back to Salen bay, the organizers announced the anbandonment of the race due to the danger of getting runners back to their yachts. In increasingly strong winds, one team had been run over by their own yacht and thrown into the water causing a rescue operation to be launched.

The Lady Q team reached the end of the Mull section of the race in 13th place having completed the Ben More run in just under 5 1/2 hours. Results to the end of the Mull run are now on the SIPR site.
As is clear from the second photo above Simon in particular was devastated that he didn't get to run up the Paps and Goat Fell!

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Gordon tops the table after Kinnoull

Following the second designated race in the series the league tables look like this:


1. Gordon Morrison (2 races) 23.1 points
2. Ian Beattie (2) 22.2*
3. Adrian Wake (2) 22.1
4. Peter Gaylor (2) 16.3
5. Allan Mooney**(1) 12.8
6. Doug Flint (1) 12.2
7. Phil Mestecky (1) 11.9
8. Ben Wake*** (1) 10.9
9. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
10. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
11. Digby Sym (1) 9.4
12. Phil Tipping (1) 7.6*
13. Simon Wake (1) 6.0

* Includes Highland Fling as a Long category C Hill Race (53miles, 7000ft).
**Allan's total includes a "joker" race local to him (Dick Wedlock 10k).
***As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.


1. Ali Manners (2) 16.6
2. Liz Mestecky (1) 10.3

Next race is the Knock Hill Race here in Crieff on Wednesday 23rd at 7.30pm.

Sunday, 13 May 2007

Fired up for sub-40

Happy Harrier Allan Mooney reports that he ran the Dick Wedlock International Firefighters 10k race in Pollock Country Park on May 12th in 41.06.
As Allan put it:
"It is my fastest 10k time and I'm dead chuffed. What makes it even better is that I stopped to tie my laces twice!! Therefore my sub 40 target is becoming even more achievable- yippee."

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Championship standings after Dumyat

Following the first designated race in the series we now have the following standings:


1. Ian Beattie (2 races) 22.2 points*
2. Adrian Wake (2) 22.1
3. Phil Mestecky (1) 11.9
4. Ben Wake** (1) 10.9
5. Gordon Morrison (1) 10.3
6. Victor Johnstone (1) 10.1
7. Eric Sidebottom (1) 9.6
8. Digby Sym (1) 9.4
9. Phil Tipping (1) 7.6*
10. Peter Gaylor (1) 6.3
11. Simon Wake (1) 6.0

* Includes Highland Fling as a Long category C Hill Race (53miles, 7000ft)
**As Ben is U17 his points have been multiplied by 1.45.


1. Ali Manners (1) 6.9

Next race is Kinnoull Hill Race in Perth on Wednesday 16th at 7.30pm

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

Doing the Dumyat

This evening - Wednesday May 9th - saw another great Dumyat race and a good turnout by Strathearn Harriers. The weather was good for running - mild and a bit rainy - and the downhill run is one of the most enjoyable around, even with some interesting/challenging stretches through the woods!

Ben Wake ran extremely well to finish as first Harrier - he didn't note his time but certainly well below 48 minutes. Dad Adrian finished next in around 49 minutes, followed by Gordon Morrison in an unofficial time of 49.49 and pleased with the improvement on last year's 51.29.

Ali Manners - self-confessed Dumyat virgin - ran a fine race and finished in around 57 minutes, well inside her target of 1 hour. Another Dumyat virgin, Pete Gaylor, got a series of excuses in before the race - sore leg, ill at the weekend, not run since last Wednesday - but nonetheless managed a creditable sub-1 hour race despite a further handicap in the form of a bloody encounter with a bramble .

Colin Glencorse was unfortunate to be about 10 minutes late for the 7pm race start because of traffic en route to Bridge of Allan. He ran anyway and on approximate unofficial timing must have done around 40 minutes.

Thanks to injured Will Manners for being team photographer and driver for three of the running Harriers. Official times and placings to follow here when available.

Extra: Official timings are Ben 47.48, Adrian 49.17, Gordon 49.50, Ali 56.33, Pete 57.40. There were 263 finishers and the winnng time was 32.52. Full results here

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Dumyat Hill Race - First race in the club championship

The first race in the club championship is the Dumyat hill race on Wednesday 9th May from the University of Stirling. Details are on the SHR website. The race is 5 miles and 1250ft of climb so not a killer and a good opportunity to get a taster of hill racing if you've not done one before. It's also part of the Bog and Burn series and usually attracts around 200 runners.

It looks like a fair few of us are planning to go: Simon, Ali, Peter G, Gordon, Adrian (and son, Ben) so it should be a good, sociable occasion too. Let us know if you plan to go too.

Then on the following Wednesday (16th May 7.30pm) it's the second round of the club championship with the Kinnoull Hill race. And the following week (Weds May 23rd 7.30pm) Round 3, the Knock Hill Race here in Crieff.


After Stuc a Chroin the current points table is as follows (all with one race under their belts):

1. Phil Mestecky 11.9
2. Adrian Wake 11.4
3. Ian Beattie 11.3
4. Victor Johnstone 11.1
5. Eric Sidebottom 9.6
6. Digby Sym 9.4
7. Simon Wake 6.0

P.S. After consideration, we have decided to also allow any Medium Hill Race to be considered for inclusion in the club championship. So the full list is now:

To be included in the club championship you will have to complete ANY 5 of the following races:
1. Glen Clova 1/2M
2. Knock Hill Race
3. Dumyat
4. Auchterarder 10K (Lang Toon)
5. Comrie Fun run
6. Brig Bash 5 Mile
7. Pitlochry 10k
8. Kinnoull Hill Race
9. Any Marathon (only your best one will be counted)
10. Any Long or Medium Classified Hill Race (only your best one will be counted)

We've added a "Joker" for remote Harriers to help mitigate the disadvantage of distance. If you are based over 50 miles from Crieff, you can substitute for any one of the named races above a more local race that is 5 miles or longer and run under Scottish Athletics or equivalent rules.

Getting Stuc in

A large, high quality field assembled in Strathyre on Saturday for the traditional May Bank Holiday hill race up and down Stuc a Chroin (Photo courtesy of Carnethy Hill Runners website). This year the 14 mile, 5000 feet hill race was selected as the opening race in the SHR Hill Racing championship so most of the best hill racers in the country had showed up to swell the field.

After weeks of dry weather the course was at its best and though sunny, it was rarely too hot for the competitors.

Phil M and Digby turned out for the club with mixed fortunes. Phil knocked nearly 3 minutes off his previous best finishing in 58th place out of 179 in a time of 2.45.58. Digby, on the other hand, had to contend with a dodgy stomach and struggled home in a disappointing 3.27.19 in 134th.

The men's and women's races were won by Carnethy - Stewart Whitlie and Jill Mykura finishing in around 2.14.24 and 2.34.09 respectively.

Hats off to the organizers and marshals for staging this excellent but gruelling event. The ascent up Beinn Each, scrambling up through deep heather, is the toughest I've come across and the final climb out of Glen Ample is a real heart breaker, not to mention the "magic" forestry track which manages to be much longer on the way down than on the way up. The marshals are dotted liberally along the length of the course and are on hand with supplies of water, jelly-babies and words of wisdom and encouragement (e.g. "Look happy, you volunteered to do this you know! It's supposed to be fun.)

Sunday, 29 April 2007

The longest Highland Fling ?

Just in - news from PT on a long-running story from the mountainous west:

On Saturday April 28th Harriers Ian Beattie and Phil Tipping took part in the Highland Fling ultramarathon along with approx 70 other people.The race takes place over the first 53 miles of the West Highland Way and so it starts in Milngavie and finishes in Tyndrum.

The day itself was a wonderful sunny day with a light following breeze from the south east and clear skies the whole way with great visibility. The race started at 6am from Milngavie railway station after the shortest briefing possible. " The only rules are there are no rules !"

Ian and Phil were in part using this race as build up to the full West Highland Way race on the 23rd of June. However this is a fantastic race in itself and was superbly organised by a very friendly group of people and was a big enough challenge in itself. There were checkpoints at Balmaha, Rowardennan, Inversnaid and Derrydaroch Farm. Water was provided and runners had the opportunity to have bags taken to each checkpoint for food etc.

Ian and Phil had very different races. Ian ran strongly the whole way delayed only by some cramp and finished in the top 15 with a time of 10 hours 36 min.
Phil was less well prepared and after a fast first 20 miles slowed significantly to finish in 12 hours 24 min.

There was a great welcome for all the finishers with lots of people enjoying the sunshine and making all the runners feel special as they crossed the finishing line. Each runner received a medal and a nice bottle of champagne. I have no idea how all this was achieved for an entry fee of £10 but it rivals our own 10K for value for money.

All in all a great day out in the Highlands.

Friday, 27 April 2007

Kinross 10k

Three Harriers made the trip to Kinross on the evening of Thursday April 26th. Conditions were good for running - bright but cool - and the race was well attended as ever.

Official results are not yet available but on unofficial timing Gordon Morrison finished almost a minute faster than last year in 44.59, Pete Gaylor ran just under 46 mins and Liz Mestecky turned in a provisional PB time just under 47 minutes.

Official results are now here. There were 190 finishers, led by Paul Arcari of Kilbarchan in 32.57. Official times and places for Harriers are Gordon 45.00 and 73rd place, Pete 45.52 and 86th, and Liz 47.00 and 98th.

Wednesday, 25 April 2007

Strathearn Harriers Club Championship

Following on from the club survey and discussions in the committee, we have decided to have a go at organizing a club championship. The idea being to try to encourage participation in races as well as providing an objective basis for awarding annual awards for performance. The winners of the men's and women's competition will be awarded their prize at the annual club dinner early in 2008.

The format we have come up with is intended to recognize:

1) Participation

2) Performance

3) Age

The scoring system is slightly complicated so as to be as fair as possible, but I'm sure we'll get the hang of it.

There will be 8 races designated as club championship events. In addition you can take part in any Marathon and any Long Hill Race.

1. Participation
3 points will be awarded for participation in any of these 10 events (so if you run in all 8 races and do a marathon and a long hill race you will score 30 points) .

2. Performance
You must compete in at least 5 of these events to qualify. Your best 5 scores will be counted. Scores will be calculated based on your time relative to the winner of the event. The formula is as follows:

2- (your time/winner's time) x 10

e.g. if we take Adrian's time at Lochaber: 3.43 = 223 minutes

2- (223/155) x 10 = 5.6

Any performance which is over twice the winner's time will unfortunately score zero.

3. Age
Your performance score is then multiplied by your age category based on the following categories:
Men: M30, M40, M50, M60
Women: W25, W35, W45, W55

E.g. 1.
If you are male, 37 years old and scored 8 points based on performance your score would be multiplied by 1.3 to give 10.4 points.
E.g. 2.
If you are a 47 year old woman you would score 8x1.45=11.6 and so on.

The races we have chosen are, for the most part, local and a mixture of road and hill races. They also correspond well with the races mentioned by you all in the survey (See race calendar for details):

1. Dumyat
2. Kinnoull
3. Knock
4. Auchterarder (Lang Toon) 10K
5. Brig Bash 5 mile
6. Comrie Fun Run
7. Pitlochry 10K
8. Glen Clova Half Marathon
9. Any marathon (note: only one marathon to count)
10. Any Long Hill race such as Stuc a Chroin, Jura, Pentlands (note: only one to count)

Just to let you see how this will all work I've had a go at a league table based on recent Marathon results and we have an interesting situation developing!

1. Adrian Wake: 3 participation + (5.6 performance x 1.5 age) = 11.4
2. Ian Beattie: 3 + (5.9 x 1.4) = 11.3
3. Vic Johnstone: 3 + (4.7 x 1.5) = 10.1
4. Eric Sidebottom: 3 + (4.1 x 1.6) = 9.6
5. Simon Wake: 3 + (2.1 x 1.4) = 6.0

I hope you will all be supportive of taking part in the championship. It's really only intended as a bit of fun and a way of focussing our participation at races.

If you have any suggestions or comments then please do add them!
Extra: We've added a "Joker" for remote Harriers to help mitigate the disadvantage of distance. If you are based over 50 miles from Crieff, you can substitute for any one of the named races above a more local race that is 5 miles or longer and run under Scottish Athletics or equivalent rules.

Tuesday, 24 April 2007

Forthcoming races

The race season is upon us and several good races are coming up in the next few weeks. It would be great to see a good representation of Harriers in these (Gordon has put further info about these and other races on the club's calendar):

1. Kinross 10K - Thursday 26th in the evening - (good, flat, fast course around a country park with no traffic)
2. Stuc a Chroin - Saturday 5th May - as tough as they come this is 15 miles and 5000 feet of climb
3. Dumyat Hill Race - Weds May 9th at Stirling Uni - a nice wee hill race - a bit tougher than the Knock and Kinnoull but not a bad one to have a crack at if you want to get a taste of real hill racing.
4. Kinnoull Hill Race - Weds May 16th - A relatively easy hill race, which undulates around Kinnoull Hill on good surfaces and without anything too steep.
5. Knock Hill Race - Weds 23rd May - A good, fast, local hill race which winds around the Knock a couple of times before a headlong dash through town to the finish at the rec.

So brush the cobwebs off your club vest (or if the moths have done their worst you can get a new one from Liz for a tenner) and get out there and race for the club!

Sunday, 22 April 2007

Mixed fortunes in the Marathon

On Sunday 22nd April, while Adrian Wake, Vic Johnstone and Eric Sidebottom were enjoying near ideally cool and calm conditions at the Lochaber Marathon, the brothers Wake (Simon and Adam) were struggling through record temperatures in London.

Adrian (picture here courtesy of Lochaber AC website) and Vic both achieved their objectives of sub-3.45 and 4 hours respectively with Adrian coming home in 3.43 in 158th place out of 402 finishers and Vic just 14 minutes behind in 221st. Eric finished in a time of 4.06 which made him second vet 65 in the race and 255th overall. Particular congratulations to Vic for setting a P.B. by over 4 minutes and getting below the 4 hour mark for the first time.

Meanwhile, down in London, times were generally down as a result of 23C temperatures and bright sunshine. While the blue skies were good for the thousands lining the streets, it made life very tough for the runners. Both brothers finished in times that were well below their potential with Adam finishing in 3.28 and Simon in 3.47 after running with cramp from 16 miles onwards.

Saturday, 21 April 2007

Want to improve your Mountain Navigation?

Will Manners is running some training in Mountain Navigation in Glen Clova on June 9th, and is offering other Harriers the opportunity to take part, free of charge.

He'll even throw in transport from Crieff to Glen Clova - what a nice man!

If you are interested, contact Will at

Allan Mooney at Grangemouth 10K

Well done to Allan Mooney at the Grangemouth 10k. Allan, running for the club for the first time, posted an encouraging time of 41.41 finishing in 127th place out of a big field of over 675 runners suggesting that his target of sub-40 looks very do-able later in the season.

Monday, 2 April 2007

The Harriers effect at the Edinburgh Half

Well done to new member Graham Martin who, on Sunday, sliced more than 10 minutes off his half marathon time posted at Forfar just 6 weeks ago in recording an excellent 1.51.31 (vs 2.02.32 at Forfar). This despite some truly awful and gruesome pre-race preparation including various pieces of surgery resulting in sleep deprivation, enforced starvation and hardly any training.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Ian Beattie breaks 3 hours at Zurich Marathon

It would appear from the results (and subject to confirmation from someone whose German is better than mine) that Ian just nipped in under the three hours at this years Zurich Marathon held on Sunday 1st April. His finishing time of 2:59.40 saw him home in 359th place out over more than 4000 finishers. From his split times it looks as if he ran extremely consistently with each of the 4 10k splits in 45 mins give or take a few seconds.

A more accurate and detailed report can be found on his own blog: WHW Runner: Zurich Marathon.

Watch out for other Harriers marathoning this Spring:

London: Simon Wake
Lochaber: Adrian Wake
Edinburgh: Phil & Karen Pass and Vic Johnstone

Let me know if I've forgotten anyone...

Saturday, 24 March 2007

Trials in the Trossachs!

4 Harriers made the trip to Loch Katrine for the inaugural running of the Trossachs Duathlon. The event attracted 88 individuals and 30 teams of 2 or 3 who enjoyed superb weather and an interesting and testing course.

Digby Sym, competing as an individual, completed the 7 mile 2200' run up and down Ben Venue in 1.17.18, the 16 mile slog of a bike ride in 1.20.40* and the final "sprint" around a 4km loop in 25.14* - finishing in 20th place overall in a time of 3.03.12. (*includes transition times).

The Mestecky family were out in force with Phil taking on the hill run (1.14.11), handing over to Daniel who was competing in his first ever bike race (1.24.15), and finally Liz on the 2nd of the runs (25.11). They managed a creditable 12th place in the team event and finishing just 25 seconds behind Digby in 3.03.37.

Photos are of: Digby in transition from run to bike; Phil setting out on his hill run (not really in the lead!); Liz finishing in style at the end of the 2nd run and Daniel muddy and buzzing after an excellent debut ride.

Sunday, 18 March 2007

Karen passes the blizzard test

On Sunday 18th March, Karen Pass and just under nine hundred other hardy souls braved strong winds and blizzard conditions to make the trip to the Alloa Half Marathon.

Despite the conditions, which were particularly tough between Tillicoutry and Alva (approx miles 9-11) along the long, straight, exposed roads, Karen finished in an excellent official time of 1.46.03 (watch time of 1.45.38) which augurs well for a sub 3.45 attempt at the Edinburgh Marathon at the end of May.

The race was won by Scottish International Hill Runner, Jethro Lennox of Shettleston Harriers, in a time of 1.11.45. Full results are now available on the Clacksweb website.

Fort William in the rain

Ian Beattie reports a wet, windy but satisfying run of the Lairig Mhor race on Saturday March 17th.

The race route is 14 miles along the last section of the West Highland Way from Mamore Lodge (just above Kinlochleven) to Fort William Leisure Centre. Ian was pleased with a finishing time of 1 hour 49 minutes and 42 seconds, somewhat faster than when doing the same stretch as part of the whole WHW!

More details on Ian's blog at

Sunday, 11 March 2007

Ian and Vic at Inverness

Well done to Ian Beattie and Victor Johnstone who both took part in the Inverness half marathon today. Ian finished in an excellent 1.24.45, in 68th place out of over 1000 runners (his blog records his personal view of his performance). The Vicster also had a good run coming in under 1.48 (1.47.51 to be precise) and 534th overall.

Like to run for Orangutans in Edinburgh?

If you're interested in doing the Great Edinburgh Run (10k, Sunday 6th May 2007) for a good cause, you might like to check out the attached.
(Despite being a Glaswegian, I have resisted any jokes about apes and Edinburgh)