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.)