Harriers are off and running

Andrea Williams, Pat Bennett, Chrissie Vincent and Marie Horsell at the Hawkshead 17k
Andrea Williams, Pat Bennett, Chrissie Vincent and Marie Horsell at the Hawkshead 17k

The Galloway Harriers had a busy weekend recently with various runners attending races in different parts of the country.

It was an early start for Sarah Howarth of Gatehouse, who set off at 6am on Saturday morning taking part in the Highland Fling, a 53-mile race along the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Tyndrum. Sarah has put a lot of hard work and training in recently and this paid off for her as she rose to the massive challenge of the Fling and completed it in 14 hours 45 minutes.

Supported by her husband, Jim, himself a fell runner, Sarah’s endurance run was an incredible achievement. Her next long-distance race will be the Lakeland 50 in July.

Saturday also saw four Harriers take part in a 17k trail run in the Lake District. Part of the Lakeland Trail series, this race followed a very hilly (and muddy) circular route from the village of Hawkshead and included the infamous Coffin Trail, which is a mile-long steep climb which even the fittest runners found challenging.

The run was split into two parts: a challenge for those who would take a little more time to complete and a race for faster runners. Galloway Harriers chairperson Chrissie Vincent ran 1 hour 37, while her sister Pat Bennett was close behind in 1 hour 51 and 17 seconds.

Marie Horsell and Andrea Williams took part in the challenge and crossed the finish line together in 2 hours 42 and 9 seconds. Marie slowed down her run to cross the line with her training partner Andrea and enjoy the experience of their first trail race.

Snow, hail, rain and wind of the day before turned into sunshine and warmth making ideal running weather and a chance to admire the views from the top of those hills.

The weekend was finished off in good form with a collection of personal bests in a 5.2-mile run at Culzean. Eight Harriers, including two juniors, took part in this race and, despite rain showers, everyone enjoyed the event very much. First home for the Harriers was Ian Hannah, almost equalling his best at 34.39, followed by David Beattie with a personal best of 39.45.

Next in was Martina Moore, who seems to be getting faster by the minute, with another personal best of 44.39, and she was followed closely by Simon Taggart, who, although in marathon training, managed to run a personal best of 46.26.

Junior runner Ruairi Beattie was next in with an extremely impressive 46.26 and, hot on his heels, was Ailsa Taggart, also in marathon training but also clocking up a personal best of 50.14. Bronagh Beattie, who is only aged nine, managed an incredible run of 52.38 and was accompanied over the line by her mum, Emer Beattie.

A great day’s running for the Harriers and the whole weekend bodes well for the up coming running season.

Andrea Williams