STORMING STUFF at Renfrewshire RR Champs


Giffnock North pelt through rainswept Renfrewshire Road Championships Sunday 6 February

“Scotland has just two seasons: winter and June.” – Billy Connolly. Well, it wasn’t June on Saturday at Battery Park Greenock where the Renfrewshire Road Race Championships were played out amid bitterly cold squalls of rain, sleet and stinging hail. 


As is their way, our weatherproof juniors went about their business in good style regardless of the conditions, starting with Logan McNulty’s victory in the U11 Boys Mile, won in an eye-catching six minutes 17 seconds. Logan was joined on the individuals’ podium by Cory McConville and Evan Tyler, the trio also lifting the county crown. Adam Tortelano, Noah Sluman and Christopher Snowden weren’t far behind.

Orla Yeates and Eva McGrory went one-two in the U11 Girls Mile, with Eilidh Brown fifth to seal the team title. Mia McCamon, Eve Cameron and Erin Lough were also in the top ten to break the eight-minute barrier.


Two miles was the distance faced by U13s, and Aaron Reid – edged only by three seconds behind Kilbarchan’s Alistair Street after a great duel – led team-mates Myles Macauley (third) and Ethan Scobie (fourth) to the team gold. Patrick Fraser, Cameron Mitchell and Finlay Laskey were all under the twelve-minute mark and in the top eight.

Freya Scobie’s smile lit up the grey weather as she won the U13 Girls two-miler in eleven minutes 44 seconds. Millie Boothman and Eilidh Caldow piled in next, followed by no less than nine more Giffnock athletes in the top 14. County team gold was well and truly Giffnock North’s.



In tough windy conditions it can be high risk strategy to go out alone at the front, but it paid off for Alasdair Nugent, who ran his own race to victory in the U15 Boys two-mile event. Jack Wallace – no mean front runner himself – and Oliver Macdonald came home to clinch silver, bronze and the team title. James Mowat, Thomas Reay, Zac Meiklejohn, Lewis Davidson and Cormac Shiels put in big shifts to give us eight in twelve. 


Inverclyde’s Millie McClelland-Brooks ran away with the U15 Girl’s individual gold, but Scarlett Wilson ran strongly for third to lead Lauren McPherson and Ella McWilliams to the team crown, ably supported by Scarlett Cunningham, Isla Munro and O’Donoghue sisters Hazel and Lucy, all in the top 13. Thanks, Scarlett W, for wearing the neon green socks, it made easy work of identification at a distance in the gloom.


The older the age group, the more tactical the running, and the U17 lads cannily stayed in a bunch early in their three-miler, to better combat the buffeting wind. A marshalling error saw the leaders briefly stray off course but it made little difference: it was still our Cameron Green and Kilbarchan’s Luke Lindsay who returned first from the exposed miles out on the Esplanade. Luke forced a gap as the duo swung back into the park. Try as he might all the way to the finish, Cameron couldn’t quite claw him back, ultimately settling for individual silver and team gold alongside Matthew Cox and Josh Adam (fourth and fifth). Josh Kenny and James Leaf delivered further backbone for the squad in seventh and eighth. If they hadn’t been there, Giffnock and Kilbarchan would have been just one point apart in the team contest. Everyone’s important.

There was only one team in it – literally – for the U17 Women’s crown, but you still have to defeat both course and weather, and Hannah Ryding (first), Megan Smith (third) and Kiara Meiklejohn (fourth) did all that was asked of them over their three miles. Glenpark’s Ruby McGill was the sole non-Giffnock interloper in the race, in second. This category is almost always under-attended, for various reasons, so all the more credit to our trio for turning up and doing the bizzo. Medals well earned, girls, you honoured the occasion.


The Senior Men were led home Ross Good in a fine eighth place (26 minutes 37 seconds). Jordan Orr deftly weaved through the field for 27th. Alasdair Stables, Andrew Holloway, Rob Crusher (third V50), Michael Shields and Ian Millar were the hard-working support crew. We had no Under 20 men racing. Quick mention for Bellahouston RR’s Tony Connolly in fourth – Tony gives Giffnock North much of his time as a volunteer helper with the juniors, so well done, TC.

Kirstin O’Donoghue was our sole U20 Woman and she delivered with a hard-earned individual silver behind Inverclyde’s Meredith Reid. The Seniors gave Giffnock another silver in the team event behind only Bella RR– applaud bigly please for Rhona Mowat (fourth overall, third Senior), Emily Crusher (continuing her lifelong habit of doing well at these championships with sixth overall, fourth Senior) and Sheila Lewis (tenth overall, second V50). Claire Culley was fifth V40.

Well done, one and all. There were too many athletes to list here, which is of course a tribute to the team spirit, the coaches and parents, having so many turn out in challenging weather. All names, times and places:

Thanks must go to hosts Inverclyde AC, the intrepid volunteers, home-baking providers (world-class fruit loaf by the way), timekeepers, officials, results ninjas and everyone who stood in the elements to encourage the athletes. 


In case you’re wondering about the race distances being in miles, metric measures are seldom acceptable in Greenock: all the roads there were originally built to imperial lengths and it’s too much trouble and expense to rip them up and rebuild them in kilometres. Another local tradition is that male and female runners compete together, which does have the benefit of the racing finishing more quickly and we all get to recover sooner from hypothermia. Cheers, everyone! Onwards!

Thanks Croy and well done to all our athletes battered but not beaten in the Battery Park !!

Photos by parents and coaches.