Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Well Flung Harriers

On Saturday 3 Harriers, Phil M, Ian and Duncan took part in The Highland Fling, a 53 mile "warm-up" for the West Highland Way Race in 8 weeks time. The race follows the WHW from Milngavie to Tyndrum including the awkward section along Loch Lomond.

In total 137 runners had registered for the race and, in the end, something like 130 hardy souls turned up for the 6am start including the awesome pair of Jezz Bragg and Lucy Culquhoun, both previous winners and course record holders for both the Fling and the WHW race. As the race got under way, weather conditions were good, 8 or 9 degrees and no wind or rain but after half an hour or so this deteriorated into a steady drizzle then full-on rain which stayed with us for the next 2-3 hours until the sun came out for the second half of the race. Underfoot was very wet and, especially in the Loch Lomond section and descending Conic Hill, quite slippy but overall preferable to the heat of the previous two runnings of the race.

As expected, Jez Bragg came home first in a new course record of 7hrs 24 50s, followed by Don Naylor of HBT in 8.03 and then first woman, Lucy Culquhoun in 8.10.03; another course record. All 3 Harriers had excellent performances with Phil M finishing 12th overall in 9.37.28, Ian in 28th and a PB of 10.28.26 and Duncan in 41st and also a PB time of 11.16.31.

This is a great race and strongly recommended to anyone wanting to find out if they fancy having a go at the WHW Race. It's extremely well organized with your own food supplies being transported to the various checkpoints, a bus back to Milngavie if you need it and even a holiday cottage rented in Tyndrum if you need to recover overnight. It's amazing value too costing only a tenner and a medal and a customized Highland Fling bottle of sparkling wine to take home!

Finally, a huge vote of thanks to the support teams: Liz M, Ali B, Kerry and Maddy who kept the Harriers' bodies and souls together throughout and special thanks to Liz M for getting up at 3am on a Saturday morning to transport the runners to the start.

Monday, 28 April 2008

April Races

Just a quick catch-up on some good performances by Harriers in recent races.

James Bussey enjoyed his run at the Clachnaben hill race on April 19th. He finished in a creditable 40th place out of 63 runners, but his official time remains a mystery - for some reason there are still only a few assorted official finishing times available, and James' is not one of them. Well done anyway!

Kinross 10k
On a pleasant evening on Thursday April 24th a surprisingly high turnout of Harriers - Beth Fotheringham, Cathy Tilbrook, Phil Tipping, Matt Mclay, Gordon Morrison, Graham Johnston and George Carson (plus Kirsty McKay as a Wee County Harrier) - ran the Kinross 10k.

In his first ever 10k, Graham was first Harrier home in 40.53 and 31st place. Phil T was close behind in 41.41, not bad for a return to racing after a layoff with injury since October last year. Full results are on the Scottish Athletics site at http://www.scottishathletics.org.uk/index.php?p=80&itemType=fixtures&itemId=6748

Highland Fling
Finally, as reported extensively on the club forum, Ian Beattie and Duncan King ran well in the 85k Highland Fling race on Saturday 27th, and Phil Mestecky ran a stormer!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008


On Saturday April 12th, Will and Gordon made the trek north to Strathpeffer - charming spa town north of Inverness - to compete in the second SHR Championship race of the season.

The Knockfarrell course is just under 5 miles with a bit of everything including mud, gorse, short sharp climbs, very runnable sections on grass and rock and some crazy downhills. Excellent!

The normal field of 50 runners shot up to nearly 150 because of the SHR Championship status this year, and the race was won by Jethro Lennox in 37.42. Will delivered another excellent performance to finish 13th in a time of 42.47 which last year would have put him in 3rd place!

Gordon ran a solid 53.05 to finish 75th out of 149 and pleased to be ahead of some runners who have previously beaten him in other races.

A long drive but a good day out!

Results are here http://www.shr.uk.com/RaceResults.aspx?RaceID=RA-0025&RaceYear=2008, and hopefully some pictures will also follow.