Harriers take part in two half marathons
Dumfries Half Marathon
Nine Harriers took part in Dumfries Running Club’s annual half marathon on Sunday.
The 13.1 mile road race started and finished in the Crichton grounds near the college, taking a circular route along Bankend Road and up past the kennels to Glencaple Road before returning. It was a wet and windy day, making running conditions challenging along parts of the hilly course.
Steve Head used this race as steady premarathon training run ahead of Berlin Marathon in just two weeks time. He paced fellow Harrier Nicky Wood around the course in Nicky’s sub two-hour target time with the pair finishing the race in one hour 59 minutes 56 seconds and one hour 59 minutes 58 seconds respectively, with Nicky earning herself a PB over this distance by over 13 minutes.
Looking ahead, in addition to Berlin Marathon, Steve is also racing Buenos Aires Marathon and Florence Marathon before the season ends. Nicky now has to work hard if she to achieve another PB at Glasgow Half Marathon next month after a fantastic result at home last weekend.
Nicky’s husband Chris was also amongst the Harriers taking part last weekend and he was seeking race experience and a PB as he tackled the challenging course ahead of Glasgow Half Marathon in a few weeks. He did just this, finishing in 50th position with a time of one hour 40 minutes 18 seconds, knocking over four minutes from his previous PB.
Gavin Collingwood took on his first half marathon on Sunday with the aim of completing the distance in under two hours. He found the hills challenging but was pleased with his performance and achieved his target when he crossed the line in one hour 53 minutes 29 seconds.
Achieving the same finishing time was Gerry Hughes who is only recently back to running after a prolonged injury and using the race as a training run at marathon pace for the upcoming Nice Marathon and to pace club mates Gavin and Jason around the course. Despite his extensive marathon experience, Gerry hasn’t raced a half marathon since the 1980s and enjoyed the event, feeling good afterwards.
Jason Little ran with the pair until 9.5 miles when he felt good and decided to push on, finishing in a time of one hour 48 minutes 51 seconds achieving his target of completing the race in a PB and under one hour 50.
Marc Scott was tackling his second half marathon to date and achieved a PB with a finishing time of one hour 33 minutes and nine seconds. He too looks forward to Glasgow Half in the near future.
Finishing just ahead of Marc was Willie Martin, who has raced well this season and put in a fantastic performance on Sunday to win first in his age category with a finishing time of one hour 32 minutes 22 seconds.
Chester Marathon is his next target over the coming weeks. Marc and Willie were just ahead of Keith Ainslie, who had a finishing time of one hour 35 minutes 37 seconds.
Dumfries Harriers’ Fiona Wilson (left) and Joanne Gordon took part in The Great North Run
Great North Run
Tackling a half marathon on a larger scale the same day were Harriers Fiona Wilson, Joanne Gordon and Martin Gordon. Fiona Wilson was tackling her first 13.1 mile race and found the undulating course challenging.
The weather was somewhat kinder than in Dumfries with some sunshine and only a light shower towards the end of the race. Fiona was simply aiming to complete the distance, having only taken up running a couple of years ago she never dreamed this was possible. She also ran the event for charity, raising £700 for the National Autistic Society who have helped her family since her youngest son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome.
The Great North Run is very much an experience with thousands of competitors (57,000 to be accurate) taking part and Fiona found that she was ducking in and out of those who were walking but was elated when she crossed that finish line in two hours 55 minutes 28 seconds.
Even more exciting for her was when, with one mile to go, she saw her husband, two sons and in-laws standing at the side-line cheering her on – this came as a lovely surprise as she had no idea they were coming to watch.
Husband and wife Martin and Joanne Gordon ran the race together, with Joanne tackling her first half marathon again with aim of simply crossing that finish line 13.1 miles from the start. She found the crowd support amazing and was absolutely delighted to achieve her goal, crossing the line alongside Martin in two hours 57 minutes.
On the run