Harriers hit the roads

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The past few weeks have seen Galloway Harriers take on a variety of events, both local and far-flung, with some great results to add to the season’s achievements.

A round-up of their efforts, over some really demanding courses, makes for tiring reading.

Chrissie Vincent was the sole Harrier to take on the tough Mabie Forest 10k Trail Race. Organised by the Dumfries Running Club, it is an off-road trail run through the grounds of the Mabie House Hotel and adjacent forest, with some challenging climbs and descents on uneven and loose surfaces.

Chrissie did herself proud in coming home in 33rd place out of the 80 finishers and picked up third female overall and second place F45 Veteran. The event was won by David Parish of Dumfries RC in 37:50, with Gail Little being first female home and 14th overall in 45:17.

Next up was David Beattie’s strong performance in Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast triathlon. Based from Portrush, the event is a scenic but challenging course, with a sea swim, undulating bike and run designed to test the multisporter. Due to extreme weather conditions, the standard distance (1500m swim/40k bike/10k run) was shortened, but even with a lesser distance, the weather made the racing tough. Having done this race a year previously as his first foray into triathlon, David was keen to improve on his performance. This he did with merit, proving that the hours on the turbo trainer in the garage through the winter have paid off, with a 74th place finish (114 finishers) in 1:34:53.

The next event saw 10 of the Harriers take place in the inaugural Dalbeattie Half Marathon and 10k run. Forming part of their civic week celebrations, the run was a well organised event enjoyed by many local athletes. Peter and Marie Horsell took on the 10k race and finished in 44:31 and 1:01:50 respectively. Kerry Wilson of Cambuslang Harriers was first of the 83 finishers in the hilly run in an impressive 1:12:53.

Galloway Harrier Jamie Devine ran an equally inspiring race with a PB time of 1:20:19 and third place. Adrian Leach enjoyed the cool conditions with a fine run of 1:27:34 for seventh place and second male vet. He was followed by first female Harrier Kerry Maxwell, who scooped third female overall and third female vet with her fantastic PB finish of 1:35:40.

Completing his 99th half marathon, John Plumridge performed well with a 1:39:08 run for 24th place, with fellow Harrier Paul Cleer crossing the line just over a minute later in 1:40:28 in 29th. Despite completing the Causeway Coast triathlon the day before, David Beattie couldn’t resist and completed in a very credible 1:44:40 for 35th. His wife Emer followed with a 1:58:18 (54th) and new Harrier Hollie Mitchell from Gatehouse did brilliantly to complete the course in 1:59:08 (56th place).

Finally, three of the club’s multisporters took part in the Corrieyairack Challenge. In its 20th year, the event is organised by the Speyside Trust and helps to raise funds for holidays for the disabled in the Highlands. It involves a 17.8-mile run. 26.4-mile cycle, which follows one of General Wade’s roads, and includes a terrifying climb with the summit of the pass being at 2500ft. A total of 135 athletes finished, with Rob Brookes taking first place in 3:16:14 (2:05 bike/1:11 run). The Harriers’ king of endurance, Rick Williams, proved in his first multisport competition that he has become a seriously competitive endurance athlete, taking 11th place in 3:59:43 (2:34/1:24). David Beattie proved that his commitment to multisport is also paying off with a 41st placing in 4:31:55 (3:01/1:30), with Brian Harrison completing in 4:53:38 (3:19/1:34) for 67th place.