Speyside Leisure North District Cross Country League - Race 6

    Moray Road Runners hosted the sixth and final league race of this season.  The destination of a number of titles, had already been secured, however in a few of the races the outcome was less clear.

    Kirstie Rogan was second in the Under 13 Girls race and was runner up in the league for this year.  In the Under 13 Boys race Michael Royan was having a blinder of a race and was leading for quite some time, until he went off course slightly and finally finished in 3rd.  Michael has not competed in enough races to qualify for a finishing place in the league, however I am sure he will use the experience gained this season to good effect in the next league championship.

    Eleanor Duncan once again had to settle for 3rd in the Under 15 Girls race and this was to be her final position in the League.  Grant Cameron maintained his fine unbeaten record in the Under 15 boys to finish the season with a maximum 400 points (600 if you include all six races).

    June Duncan claimed 3rd Lady Veteran in this years Championship and was the only Forres Lady to compete in all six races this season.

    There was a tie for first place in the Senior Men's Championship as Steve Gill and Ross Arbuckle of Keith & District shared the spoils.  Our very own Andy Ross was 3rd Senior Man and Club Secretary Hamish Cameron was 3rd Super Veteran for this year.

    Congratulations to all our individual prize winners and hopefully we will see you all again next season.

    Finally I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the race organisers/helpers for hosting this year's league races and last but by no means least, to Steve Murdoch for attending all the races with stopwatch in hand a big thank you from all of us.

Inter-Services Cross Country

    Ben Livesey finished in 10th place at the Inter Services Cross Country Championships held at Aldershot last Friday.  Willie Duncan, who used to compete for Banff Academy in the North District League, finished in an extremely impressive 2nd place.


Inter-Services Cross Country

    Ben Livesey will be representing the Royal Air Force at the annual Inter Services Cross Country Championships at Aldershot tomorrow.  Former Banff Academy/Aberdeen AAC runner Willie Duncan will also be lining up alongside Ben, in the hope of beating the Army and Navy for the first time in a number of years.

Scottish Schools Indoor Athletics Championships

    Grant Cameron won the Bronze medal in the Under 15 Boys indoor 1500 Metres and Matthew Hester also picked up a Bronze in the 200 Metres.

Highland Secondary Schools Cross Country

    Eleanor Duncan and Kirstie Rogan both won their races at the Highland Secondary Cross Country Championships whilst representing Forres Academy.



Half Marathon PB's

    The first road race of the year at Lossiemouth yesterday certainly produced a few new Personal Best times for the Half Marathon.

    Sam Morrison, Claire Piper, Maureen McCrossan, Carol Murphy, Frances Russell, Kenny Douglas, Lindsay Grant, Anne Docherty, Adrian Hodges and Jackie Nicol all reduced their previous times.  However it appears the greatest improvements were by Jo Rogan who took an impressive 11 minutes off her previous best, but Bev Clark takes pride of place on this occasion with a massive 31 minutes reduction in time.

    A great effort, 13 PB'S in total, let's see some more PB's in the coming months.


Kinloss - Lossiemouth Half Marathon


    A great turn out by the club today, with 27 members completing the first RAF Lossiemouth Half Marathon.  Although the weather conditions were far from ideal I am led to believe that there were one or two PB's achieved today.

    The race was won by our latest club member Simon Pride and also in third place making his debut in a Forres vest was Toby Laver.  Toby was looking for a sub 1:15 but was 38 seconds out, if the weather had been kinder he might well have achieved his aim.

    There was plenty of support out on the course (See the photo) and this must have inspired the men to victory.  There was also plenty smiling faces, or maybe that was just for the benefit of the Camera.

   Congratulations to all the Forres Prize winners and take note Mike Howell, even with a gammie knee, Danny can still pick up the Silver Ware!!!


Grant On His Own


    Forres youngster Grant Cameron was the club's sole representative at this year's National Cross Country Championships, held at Callendar Park, Falkirk.

    Grant was competing in the Under 15 Boys race and had been gearing his training towards peaking for this race.  After a steady start, Grant picked up the pace half way through the race and eventually finished in a very credible 6th position.

    Thanks to Carol Lawrie for providing the Photo of Grant in action.

Kinloss - Lossiemouth Half Marathon

    Due to a series of road works the organisers of this years Kinloss - Lossiemouth Half Marathon have had to make a series of last minute adjustments to the course.  This now means that the whole event will now take place at Lossiemouth and registration will take place at Lossiemouth Community Centre between 09:30 and 10:30.

    The race will start a RAF Lossiemouth Main Gate and finish at Lossiemouth Community Centre.

    With an entry list of 300 runners, this is the largest field in the history of the event thus far. Simon Pride returns once again to defend his title, having won the race on four previous occasions. 

    With 31 Forres Harriers on the sartt list, there should be a sea of red vests out there on the day.  I will be there to cheer you all on, (It's so much easier watching!!!)


Fochabers Trail Runs

    There was an excellent turn out for the Fochabers Trail Runs and all the proceeds from the day's event are going towards purchasing a racing wheelchair for Moray Road Runner Paul Taylor.

    The first person home in the 10 Mile run was Simon Pride, followed by Andy Ross, Alan Reid and Dave Adam.  Here was me thinking that this was a fun run!!! You should see some of the finishing times, they were not hanging about.

    It was great to see so many local runners out there supporting a deserving cause and thanks to Willie and Jean Johnston for all their hard work along with the members of Moray Road Runners.

AAA Indoor Athletics Championships

    Mark Mitchell has done the club proud once again, he finished 2nd in his heat in a time of 1:52:38. in the 1st round of the Senior Men's 800 Metres.

Carnethy 5

    Mike Milmoe finished in 305th (33rd Male 50) place in a time of 1:20:21  and June Duncan finished 387th (29th Female 40) in a time of 1:28:35.

    By all accounts the weather conditions were far from ideal and the strong winds encountered were really challenging both on the ascents and descents.



Nairn 10K

    The organisers of the Nairn 10K have already received in excess of 100 pre-entries for this year's race, which is unprecedented and there is a race limit of 250.  It looks as though entries on the day could be limited and there might not be any accepted at all.  So if you wish to run in this year's event,  please enter now and that way you will not be disappointed come race day.

RAF Kinloss - RAF Lossiemouth Half Marathon

    Entries for this year's Half Marathon are nearly at their limit once again.  The Race Organiser informs me that he is still currently accepting postal entries, however there will be no entries accepted on the day of the race.  So if you have not already entered do it now before you are too late.


Scottish  Indoor Championships

    Eleanor Duncan finished in 6th place in the Under 15 Girls Indoor 1500 Metres in a time of 5:26:72.

    Mark Mitchell won the Under 20 Men's 800 Metres in a time of 1:55:65.

    Matthew Hester made it through to the Semi Finals of the Under 17 Boys 60 Metres, where he recorded a time of 7:76.  A great performance, as Matthew at 14 years of age, was one of the youngest competitors in the field.  I am sure that he will have gained valuable experience from the whole event.

Speyside Leisure North District Cross Country League - Race 5


    The 5th race in the Speyside Leisure Cross Country League at Inverness decided where a few of the League Titles will reside this year.  However one thing is for sure, the Men's League Title is going right to the wire, with Keith & District AAC holding pole position by 25 points ahead of Forres, who in turn are 4 points ahead of Moray Road Runners.

    The hilly course, along with large helpings of sticky mud was not to everyone's liking, and a number of athletes found the underfoot conditions really hard to contend with.

    Regular competitors Lisa McCrossan and Hannah Rogan finished 23rd and 28th respectively in the Under 11 Girls race.

    Lewis Lyall, Andrew Duncan and Andrew Rodgers were the Harriers team in the Under 11 Boys, with Lewis finishing just outside the top 10 in 13th place with the two Andrew's further back in 26th and 28th.

    Kirstie Rogan led the Forres Under 13 Girls to second place in the team competition when finishing in 3rd.  The other scoring members of the team were twins Lauren and Amy Westley in 13th and 14th.

    Michael Royan, competing in the Under 13 Boys had an exciting sprint finish for the line with Moray Road Runner Moray Goodfellow, but on this occasion just lost out and finished in 5th.

    Grant Cameron maintained his 100% record in the Under 15 Boys race when finishing 300 Metres clear of his nearest rivals.

    The Senior Ladies team of Carrie-Ann Ward, Jackie Nicol and June Duncan went one better in this race, securing second place in the team competition behind the dominant Inverness Ladies.

    Ben Livesey won his second race on the trot, and with Andy Ross (8th), Dave Adam (11th) and Davie Armour (13th), this was enough to secure second place behind  Keith & District AAC.  This could be a Championship winning performance today for the Keith lads, as they packed their first four runners in the top nine places, claiming another 15 points, to add to their previous 10 point advantage over the Harriers.


Speyside Way Race

    It is with great regret that Don Ritchie has had to announce the cancellation of this year's Speyside Way Race.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, regarding the use of facilities at the Spey Bay Hotel, Don has had no option but to cancel the event this year.


Former Harrier Lee Just Fails To Make Olympics

    Former Forres Harrier Lee Jackson, just failed to make this years' British Winter Olympic team for Biathlon. Lee trained with us regularly throughout the Summer months of 2004 and I was really sorry to see that he just failed at the final selection race.  Any way I would just like to wish him all the best in the future and If he is back up in the area again I hope he comes along for a training run with us.

Mark Goes Stateside

    Mark Mitchell finished 10th in the Boston Indoor Games Junior Mile, in a time of 4:13:42, his training partner Kris Gauson finished 5th in 4:11:41. 


Speyside Leisure North District Cross Country League - Race 4

    Saturday saw the return to competitive action, many of the North's finest, in the 4th race of this years North District Cross Country League.  The last League race was held at Thurso in the middle of November and it has been around seven weeks since many of the runners last competed over the country.

    The Nairn course certainly tested the current fitness levels of all the athletes, as they headed along the soft energy sapping sand of the East Beach before heading off into the Dunes and beyond.

    The under 11 Girls race saw the current league leaders, Caithness AAC twins Emma and Oonagh Dunnett once again dominate the race, finishing in first and second respectively, to secure the top two spots in this years individual placings in the league. Lisa McCrossan was first Harrier home in 8th place  and the other finishers were Hannah Rogan, Bethany Beattie and Hayley Nicol.

    Lewis Lyall finished in 7th place in the Under 11 Boys with Michael Williams, Andrew Duncan and Andrew Rodgers the other Forres finishers.

    Rosie Pinder and Kirstie Rogan were to the fore in the early stages of the Under 13 Girls event, but were caught and passed by Lochaber athlete Claire Kennedy to eventually finish in 2nd and 3rd places respectively.  With Lauren Westley crossing the finish line just ahead of her sister Amy in 9th place, this was enough to give the Girls first place in the team competition, by one point ahead of Inverness Harriers.


    Michael Royan making his competitive debut for the Harriers in League competition, ran a great race to finish 3rd behind current League leader Scott Miller and Moray Goodfellow of Moray Road Runners in the Under 13 Boys.

    Gemma Cormack (Banff Academy) had to battle all the way to the finish, just narrowly beating Laura Sharp (Moray Road Runners) to claim a valuable 100 points towards the individual championship.  Harrier Eleanor Duncan was once again in 3rd place and it is now between these 3 athletes for the Championship with two races remaining

    Grant Cameron secured individual League victory in the Under 15 Boys category by comfortably winning the race and now has a maximum 400 points after the 4 races.  Congratulations Grant.


    Current League leader in the Ladies race, Kirsty MacLeod of Stornoway Running Club, was challenging for pole position in the early stages of the race, however after negotiating the soft sand section of the course, found the challenge of Inverness Harrier Morag Ross to be too strong in the closing stages.

    The Forres Harriers' Ladies June Duncan, Hayley Lowes and Jackie Nicol managed to secure third place behind Inverness Harriers and Lochaber in the team competition.  There was another excellent performance from Shirley Feaks who started the race strongly, but was unable to maintain her form right to the finish. (It is only a matter of time before she is up there with the rest of her team mates.)  Jackie Thwaites made a welcome return to competitive action after a number of months out due to injury.  We hope that you got around safely and that there is no flare up of the old injury. It was also good to see Shona and Fay getting stuck in.

   Airman Ben Livesey made a welcome return to competitive action in the red of Forres in the Senior Men's race.  After the fast and furious initial start over the sand, Ben was in the leading group of Alan Reid (Peterhead AAC), Kyle Cowie (Moray Road Runners) and Veteran Ross Arbuckle (Keith & District AAC). 

    Once up onto the firmer ground Ben gradually increased the race tempo and slowly worked his way into the lead.  Maintaining form over the undulating forest tracks and flat paths near to the end of the first lap, Ben now had a lead of some 50 Metres going into the second and final lap.

    Meanwhile further back, Keith's Mike Stewart was making a strong challenge and was soon in the chasing group along with Kyle Cowie and team mate Ross.  After a few stumbles and a fall, Andy Ross was having his own private battle with the Veteran duo of George Sim and Brian Foreman of Moray Road Runners.

    By the end of the race Ben had increased his lead to around 100 Metres and the race for second place was eventually won by Mike Stewart who in turn finished just ahead of Kyle Cowie and Ross Arbuckle.

  Forres Harriers  narrowly won the team competition by 1 point ahead of  Keith & District who were in turn  6 points ahead of Moray Road Runners.

    In the Overall League standings it is now game on, with both Keith & District and Forres Harriers clawing back some valuable points to edge closer to leaders Moray Road Runners.


    There was a fantastic turn out today by the Harriers and I hope to see you all competing again at Inverness in 2 weeks time.  Once again a special mention to the guys at the back Stu, Alex and Bernie, I hope this is a sign that you will all be competing in the Masters Cross Country Championships in Forres on March the 4th.


Scottish National Cross Country/Masters Cross Country

    If there are any club members wishing to be entered for the Scottish Cross Country Championships (Calendar Park, Falkirk - 18 Feb 06) or the Masters Cross Country Championships (Grant Park, Forres - 4 Mar 06), could you let me know soonest as we need to get your entries posted.

Fochabers Trail Runs

    Willie Johnstone of Speyside Leisure and Moray Road Runners are organising a trail run in Fochabers on Sunday 12th February to raise funds for a racing wheel chair for Moray Road Runner Paul Taylor.  There are 3 courses to choose from, see the Local Races page for further details.

East District Indoors

    Mark Mitchell made his first competitive outing of 2006 indoors.  Mark won the East District Senior Men's 800M title in a time of 1:51:97, a great way to kick off the year!!  There is a cracking Photograph of Mark in this weeks Forres Gazette.


Inter-District Cross Country

    The Inter District Cross Country Championships were held in glorious weather in Edinburgh.  The North District fielded teams at every level except the Senior Men, however there were a few North Senior Men athletes competing for other districts.

    For some this was a big step up in the level of competition, but all the youngsters gave it their best and deserve a big pat on the back for making the long round trip to compete.

    Forres Harriers competing were Kirstie Rogan, Eleanor Duncan, John Gillespie, Grant Cameron and Ben Livesey ran in the televised 4K race, finishing just over a minute behind the winner.

    I have taken a number of photographs of the day's action and they can be found at the link below.



myRace Magazine

    Just a reminder that the brand new running magazine myRace (cost 3), dedicated to Scottish Running in all it's forms is available as from today.  So have a look for a copy at your local newsagent or subscribe to have it delivered

A Blast  From The Past

    I was trawling the internet and came across the results of Forres Harriers competing in what used to be regarded the Blue Riband event of Scottish Athletics, The Edinburgh-Glasgow Road Relay.  Sadly due to safety issues this race is no longer hosted.

    I was extremely fortunate to compete in the event, as part of the North District Select team in the early nineties.  Those were the days!  Anyway to see how the Harriers got on in 1978 Click Here.

    If you want to peruse the archive results from 1930  Click Here.


Portobello Promathon

    Andy Ross made his annual appearance at the Portobello Promathon and ran a good race to record his fastest time yet, finishing in 9th place in a time of 21:32.  There was also another weel keint face of the local running scene competing.  .

Sair Heid Run

    Many thanks to Moray Road Runners for their hospitality at their annual Sair Heid Run.  A few of us ventured through for a brisk run at Miltonduff.  The spread of food after the run was first class.


Nairn Turkey Trot

   It was old Father time himself, Ross Arbuckle that showed the youngsters a clean pair of Heels at this years festive gallop up along the banks of the River Nairn.  Numbers were slightly down on previous years, obviously too many people were stuffed with the x-mas Turkey to move.  However they were the ones who missed  out on another excellent Boxing Day Run organised by Nairn Road Runners.

    Once again I managed to drag the trainers out from the depths and pull on the figure hugging (once loose fitting) running kit. As we got underway I realised I was in trouble when after 300 Metres I was running with the two Ross's, Dave Adam and Robert, yes ROBERT!!!  However the glory was short lived as Andy Ross and Paul Rogan edged up onto my shoulder. 



    At the halfway point Dave Adam was still chasing the leading duo, followed by Martin Flynn, Robert and Andy, with myself and Paul Rogan floundering. First home for the Harriers was Dave Adam in 3rd Andy and Robert were working together well and finally finished in 5th and 6th.    

    However at least I  finished above them in the predictor!!!

    Finally on a serious note, I would just like to congratulate Robert Paterson on an exceptional piece of running today.  I just hope that this is a glimpse of some outstanding performances in the near future.

    There was further success at the prize giving with Lindsay Grant, Mark Priestley and Bernie Foran (for the second week running) picking up spot prizes courtesy of Speyside Leisure.

   Many thanks to Gordon, Danny, Mel and all the helpers for a really sociable and enjoyable event.


Scottish Veterans Cross Country Championships

    Once again Forres Harriers will be hosting The Scottish Veterans Cross Country Championships on Saturday 4th March 2006.  The Course will be a variation on a theme, around our traditional Grant Park/Cluny Hill venue. 

    We hope that there will be a large turn out for the race and if you are travelling from afar why not make a weekend of it.  Forres Harriers will be hosting a post race function in the Victoria Hotel with a live band on the Saturday evening, cost of tickets will be 7.50 each.  If you would like to purchase some tickets, please e-mail me and I will pass on your details to the organiser of the bash.

    Also on the Sunday, Nairn Road Runners are hosting their popular annual 10K Road Race, so there you have it 2 races and a possible Sair Heed, what more could you ask for.



Lossiemouth 10

    17 Forres Harriers decided to go running instead of shopping and there were a number of fine performances from them.  Shirley Feaks ran her cotton socks off, to record a great debut time of 1:14:43.  Jackie also informs me that she gained a new PB for the distance, a time of 1:11:38.

    We also had three trophy winners; Andy Ross 3rd Male, Davie Armour 3rd Male Veteran and Danny Bird 2nd Male Super Veteran.  Danny would like me to inform Mike Howell that he will not be getting this trophy by default, unlike the last Lossiemouth 10 Trophy he won.


    If the results fail to load correctly at first, try pressing the refresh button



London Marathon

    We had three club places for this years London Marathon.  A draw out of the hat took place after the X-mas Handicap and the Mike Milmoe, Andy Holder and James Hume were the lucky ones to gain a place in next years event.  The hard training starts now boys, no Christmas Pies for you lot.

Forres Harriers X-Mas Handicap

    After last nights little shindig, a few of the younger members of our club, appear to have no stamina and it was left to the Golden Oldies to fly the flag and push their weary bones around Grant Park and Cluny Hill once again.

    There was a great turn out of 50 runners for our annual X-Mas Relay, this was the most runners we have had competing ever, thanks to all who ran.  We also had a junior run of 1000 Metres and 6 of our youngsters braved the wet weather to compete.

    After Hamish had worked out the Handicaps and put a few of the ringers in their place, it was time for the nitty gritty.  Jo Rogan got the proceedings underway and soon Cluny Hill was a mass of runners making their way around the course.

    It soon became apparent that the teams with a mix of Youth and Experience were the ones who were going to be the front runners.  Congratulations to Gemma Cormack and June Duncan on their clear victory.  The most exciting finish of the day was played out by a couple of Veteran Runners, where John Diffey just got the better of Malcolm Christie in a frantic sprint finish for the line.

    The fastest Single lap of the day was recorded by Dave Adam (11:04).  On the two Laps Stu Davis just got the better of the knurled jogger Paul Matheson by just 1 second (Andy Ross and Paul Rogan take note) in a time of 24:33!!!


    If you fancy another run around Grant Park and Cluny Hill, RAF Kinloss are hosting a race on Wednesday (14th December) at 14:00 and anyone is welcome to come along and have a run.


The Harriers X-MAS Bit Of A Doo!!


    I would just like to thank Bernie, Stu Burn, Bish, Pete and his Wife and last but not least Mr James Graham for the absolutely fantastic bash.  The food and drink was excellent and the entertainment first class.

    The whole evening was well supported by club members and it certainly appeared as though everyone was thoroughly enjoying their selves, possibly the cheap drink had a lot to do with it.  Congratulations to all the prize winners on the night and especially to all the Karaoke Kings and Queens, great entertainment.

    Also to the Dancing maestro Danny Bird ( I thought he had a gammy knee!!!) what a mover, those slinky hips were a sight to behold.  Also I nearly forgot, the Club Captain's Speech was short and to the point, there was no chance of getting bored with this one!!!


Sport Moray Coach Of The Year Award

    Sport Moray were making their annual presentations last night and our very own Youth Team Coach Howard Mitchell, scooped the Coach of the Year award.  This is just reward for all the time and effort Howard has given to many young Harriers over the years.  From all of us at Forres Harriers, congratulations Howard!!!

RAF 10 Mile Road Race Championships

    Ben Livesey is back competing on the roads and has just won the RAF 10 Mile Road Race Championships, in the 53rd running of the RAF Henlow 10.  Ben led the race from start to finish, claiming the Gold Medal in a time of 54:38, thirty seconds clear of his nearest challenger.



North District Cross Country Championships

    The Storms on the days leading up to this years North District Cross Country Championships, certainly had a bearing in the results of this years events.  Prior to the event, there was a healthy start list in all the age categories, however on the day only one athlete from the Islands managed to make the journey to Forres.  This had a drastic effect on some of the races, especially the Under 15 Girls where there were only 4 finishers.


   Setting up the course proved to be more interesting than normal, with a number of trees having to be cleared from the paths with the aid of a chain saw, however there were still a few, that were too large to be manoeuvred out of the way.  Ultimately these became part of the challenge in some of the juniors races.

    The first race of the day produced a great team result for the host club, where outstanding runs by Kirstie Rogan and Hannah Duncan in the Under 13 Girls event saw them claim the Silver and Bronze Medals, along with Rosie Pinder in 7th they were crowned North District Champions in the team competition.


    Forres Harriers sole representative in the Under 13 Boys was John Gillespie. John had an extremely competitive race and finished just 6 seconds behind Moray Road Runner Scott Miller to claim an excellent Silver.

    The Under 15 Girls event promised to produce a really competitive race and it did not disappoint, with Gemma Cormack(Banff Academy), Laura Sharp (Moray Road Runners) and our very own Eleanor Duncan all to the fore at the start of the race.  Once the runners got up onto Cluny Hill, Gemma and Eleanor managed to break clear of Laura.  Running side by side all the way into Grant Park there was nothing between the leading 2 runners, however into the final 100 Metres Gemma proved to be the stronger as she sprinted away to win the Gold and Eleanor had to settle for 2nd.


    Grant Cameron led the Under 15 Boys race from start to finish, however Moray Road Runner Robbie Cammack doggedly hung in there, keeping Grant in his sights all the way round, these 2 runners finished well ahead of the rest of the field.

    In the Under 17 Girls race Rachel Pirrie finished just out of the medals in 4th place and team mate Debbie MacIver was 6th.  Andrew Gillespie was the club's sole representative in the Under 17 Boys race finishing in 5th.

    The Senior Ladies race followed the script with pre-race favourite Morag Ross (Inverness Harriers) setting off in the lead, she was challenged in the early stages by a determined Dawn Scott of Lochaber, but as the race progressed into the 2nd lap, Morag proved to be the stronger on the day and went on comfortably to win the Gold, with Dawn Scott in second and Orkney Islands AAC runner Doris Leonard finishing third.  There was further success for the Orkney athlete as she was the leading Lady Veteran and was also awarded the Gold medal in this category.

    First Harrier home was June Duncan in 9th place and she too just missed out on a medal as she was 4th in the Veterans Category.  Inverness Harriers easily won the team award, with Moray Road Runners narrowly beating our ladies team of June, Jackie Nicol and Hayley Lowes by five points for the Silver Medals.

    Prior to the Senior Men's race, it was impossible to predict the winners of both the individual and team awards as this season there has not been one athlete or team proving to be dominant.  The event was eagerly awaited and the race did not disappoint.

    Early pace maker was Keith's Frank Barton, however once the runners got onto the more challenging parts of the course it was Frankie's team mate Mike Stewart who was making the early running with a pack of six runners from various clubs in close attendance.

    In to the second lap Mike began to feel the strain and once again it was a Keith athlete who was willing to lead the race.  Steve Gill had made a conservative start and had gradually made his way up through the field and found his way to the front, however lurking behind were Andrew Clark(Moray Road Runners), the seasoned campaigner Ross Arbuckle (Keith & District AAC) and Brian Foreman of the Road Runners.

    In the team competition things were certainly heating up, it was impossible to separate the leading 3 clubs of defending Champions Forres, Moray Road Runners and Keith & District AAC, it was all going to boil down to the 6th counter.

    In to the final half mile you could still throw a blanket over the leading four runners, down the short incline back into Grant Park, Steve Gill made a break for the finish, the only athlete to respond to the change in pace was Andrew Clark. At the final turn and into a stiff head wind, the older legs of Gill began to tire and the younger Clark could sense his time had come, sprinting for the finish line 200 metres out, Gill finally had to concede defeat with last years runner up Clark winning this years North District Cross Country Championships.  Finishing in an excellent 3rd place after a number of months out with injury was Veteran athlete Ross Arbuckle.

    The team competition went right to the wire and it was not clear which team had won until the final results were announced.  With only 2 points separating the leading two, Keith & District just finished ahead of the Harriers.

    Stu Davis in his first outing of the season, led the Harriers home in a brilliant 5th position and was followed home by Dave Adam, Kyle Greig, Andy Ross, Doug Cowie and finally Robert Paterson.  Robert's performance was a real eye opener as he had a really strong finish over the last half mile picking up a number of places on the way.

    Finally I would like to thank everyone who assisted on the day to make the event such a success, especially those working behind the refreshments table, that cup of tea from Val was a real lifesaver.  I would have liked to mention everyone who assisted, but there are far too many, which is great, as in the past it had been left to just a few.  I can really say the team spirit within club is first class, I hope this remains for many years to come.   


   Unfortunately the climatic conditions were far from ideal for taking photographs and the photos that are posted on the site are a little ropey, but they are the best I could do in the circumstances.



Meall A'Bhuchaille


    Hayley Lowes and Claire Piper successfully negotiated the Meall A' Buchaille race which had a fantastic 105 finishers see their report below.  A great turn out for a hill race that seems to be going from strength to strength, Highland Hill Runners can take great credit for its popularity.


    The 2005 Meall A'Bhucaille 6 mile hill race attracted the usual collection of mountain goats and hardcore wiry hill runners in typical snowy topped conditions reports our latest correspondent Hayley. Not to be outdone Claire and I gamely lined up in the 110 strong field to see how we fared at the start, Glenmore Lodge (330m). After visiting the summits of Meall a Bhucaille (810m) and Creagan Gorm (732m) we risked life and limb to do our best Little House on the Prairie impressions to descend through icy rock and heather back to the start via a soul and strength sapping forest trail which seems to drag on upwards forever. To our credit whilst not gaining any placings we finished with a smile, in a race which gets my thumbs up in the completion not competition scheme of racing in 1hr 22 (Hayley), a 4 minute improvement on last year, and 1:30 (Claire).


Culbin Trail Experience

    A number of our members took part in the Culbin Trail Experience organised by Mike Rodgers and Moravian Orienteers.  The event was run over a 12Km course and by all accounts was a very enjoyable run.  First home was our very own Andy Ross, warming up for next weeks Championships.


Award For Mark

    Mark Mitchell has once again been picking up an award.  Mark was runner up in the Under 20 Scottish Athlete of the year.  Lets hope that he is on the winning trail once again next year.

Forres Primary Schools Cross Country


    On a cold and frosty morning, a number of Primary School Children from the surrounding area congregated in Grant Park to compete in this year's Forres Primary Schools Cross Country.  As the races got underway, the temperature in the Park soon began to rise, as the children and parents shouted their encouragement to the competing runners.

    Although the numbers participating were significantly down on last year, the races were as competitive as ever.  The winning school overall, was Applegrove, who just beat Dyke Primary by just 3 points.

    The Moray Secondary Schools Cross Country was held immediately after the Primary races.  These races are for Secondary 1 and Secondary 2 pupils and Forres Academy claimed victory in 3 out of the 4 races with Elgin Academy winning the other.

    Many thanks to all those who assisted on the day, also to all the Mum's and Dad's who were there supporting.  I hope to see you all again next November.



   Lost Property

    If you have lost a cream scarf yesterday at Grant Park and would like it back please, get in contact and I will arrange its return.

Meall A'Bhuchaille

    Two of our Lady members will be tackling the Meall A'Bhuchaille race at Aviemore.  Hayley Lowes and Claire Piper will be braving the elements, to put all their hill training of the past few weeks to the test.  So watch out for a report on their exploits here soon.  Good Luck ladies.


Forres Harriers AGM

       The Forres Harriers AGM was held tonight at Forres Academy and listed below are a few items that might be of interest.

    Club Membership:  After some discussion it was agreed that annual Membership fees will be as follows with immediate effect:

Senior 20

Junior 10

Unemployed/Student 10

    London Marathon:  The Club has 3 entries for next years London Marathon.  First priority will be given to those members that have a valid rejection slip and if there are more than 3, they will be placed in a ballot to be drawn at the Christmas Relay Handicap on the 11th of December.  If the places are still not taken, they will be open once again, in the ballot, to all interested Club Members.

    X-Mas Do:  Bernie has kindly agreed to organise a x-mas bash on Saturday 10th December at RAF Kinloss.  Entertainment will be provided by our very own comedian Mr James Graham (he is quite funny, even though he is a Motherwell fan).  If you would like to come along for a bit of a social, could you please let me know soonest, to allow Bernie to arrange the catering.

    Club Captains:  Paul Rogan is now the new Men's Club Captain and June Duncan is the Ladies Club Captain.  Congratulations to them both, I must admit I am really looking forward to Paul's speech at the end of Season bash, in the Victoria Hotel on the 4th of March 2006.

    Thanks:  I would just like to take this opportunity to thank Ian Johnston for all the assistance, he has provided the club over the years.  Ian stood down from the Committee at the meeting and is shortly moving away on an extended holiday, with his work for a couple of years.  We look forward to seeing you back with us in the future Ian.


Veterans Cross Country International

    Danny Bird and Doug Cowie have just returned from Dublin where they represented Scotland at the International Veterans Cross Country.  There were a number of athletes from the North representing Scotland; Frank Barton (Keith & District AAC), George Mitchell (Inverness Harriers), Ewan Paterson (Moray Road Runners) and George Sim (Moray Road Runners).

    George Sim had an outstanding run in the 55-60 category where he finished in an excellent 2nd place and along with George Mitchell in 10th the team won theBronze Medals on the day.  Congratulations gentlemen on a great team result.

Positions and Times as follows:

18 Frank Barton (4th Scot) 45-49 Age Group 33:39
15 Doug Cowie (2nd Scot) 50-55 Age Group 34.41
23 Ewan Paterson (3rd Scot) 50-55 Age Group 35.10
28 Danny Bird (6th Scot) 50-55 Age Group 36.33
2 George Sim (1st Scot) 55-60 Age Group 33.21
10 George Mitchell (2nd Scot) 55-60 Age Group 35.45


Thurso Cross Country

    The 3rd race in this year's Speyside Leisure North District Cross Country League, was hosted by Caithness AAC up at Thurso.  This year saw the various age group races hosted on a new course.  I am well informed that they were ideal (If Paul Rogan is quoting this fact, it must be rough underfoot! not my idea of fun.)

    Once again, the number of Harriers competing were thin on the ground, I do not have a copy of the results at hand, however I am led to believe that Kirstie Rogan finally managed to win a league race, after many years of trying.  In a very competitive race, Kirstie managed to overhaul her great rival Leanne Tonge of Moray Road Runners in the closing stages of the race to claim victory.

    Grant Cameron maintained his 100% record and again was a convincing winner of the Under 15 Boys race. The under 15 Girls race was one of the most exciting of the day, with Laura Sharp once again finishing ahead of Gemma Cormack, with just 1 second to spare.  Eleanor Duncan once again had to settle for 3rd place 20 seconds adrift of the leading pair.

    June Duncan was once again our sole representative in the Senior Ladies race for the second time this season and finished 6th.

    Dave Adam had a more encouraging run this time out being the first Harrier home in the Senior Men's race, followed by Andy Ross, Paul Rogan and Graeme Jervis.

    Andrew Duncan, Lewis Lyall, Lisa McCrossan and Hannah Rogan once again deserve a special mention, for travelling such a long way and competing in some of the toughest conditions thus far, well done guys.

New Link

    For those of you that have an interest in hill running, the Highland Hill Runners Web Site can be accessed from our Links Page.

The Demise Of A Runner

       I can finally confirm that my days of being called a runner have passed into history, I was running around Cluny Hill earlier today, when I passed a group of pre-school children out for a ramble.  On passing this group of excitable youngsters at a fair pace, their teacher called out "Children stop chasing that JOGGER!!!"

    So there you have it, I am no longer regarded as runner and Paul Rogan can now stop asking me when my next race is!!!!!!

Speyside Leisure North District Cross Country League


Howell On His Way

    Mike Howell is now on his way to Nepal to compete in this years Everest Marathon.  He has certainly been racking up the miles in preparation for this event and once again best wishes from all at the club on this exceedingly arduous challenge

Scottish Veterans

    Doug Cowie and Danny Bird have been selected to represent Scotland at the Veterans Cross Country International, which is being held in Dublin on the 12th of November.  There is a healthy representation of North athletes in all the various age group teams and we wish them all the best.

Dublin Marathon

    Graeme Jervis achieved a new PB time of 2:50:30 in this years Dublin Marathon to finish in 82nd position and 12th V40.  Danny finished in a time of 3:17.

Forres Harriers AGM

    The club's AGM will take place on Tuesday 15 Nov 05 after training, please come along and support your club and let the committee know your feelings.  We will also be voting on a few issues, so come along and make a difference.

Geoff Wightman Visit

    The Chief Executive of Scottish Athletics Geoff Wightman visited the club tonight a big thank you to everyone who turned out and made Geoff feel welcome.  I hope he enjoyed the hill training and that he was not too tired for his long journey back home.

    After the training session Geoff gave a little talk on the future of Scottish Athletics and as the saying goes, we live in interesting times, some of the initiatives that are forthcoming will definitely be for the greater good.

    Finally thanks to those club members that organised the refreshments and lighting, just brilliant.


Keith Cross Country

    The second North District League race took place at Keith, unlike last year, the course was really fast due to the large field  not being ploughed like it was last year.  There was a large number of competitors in both the Senior Men's Race and the Ladies.

    The Under 13 Girls team led home by Kirstie Rogan in 2nd, won the team race on the day.  Well done girls, especially those who were competing for the first time.

    Grant Cameron was the only individual winner for the Harriers on the day.  Grant was looking composed throughout and it is obvious that his new training regime is paying dividends.


    Eleanor Duncan once again battled her way through to claim 3rd place, behind Laura Sharp (MRR) and Banff Academy's Gemma Cormack.

    Then it was the turn of the Ladies and what an excellent team performance from the girls in red, with 3 of our ladies making their debut for the club over the country.  After the first race at Fort William, Inverness Harriers have shown that they will be the team challenging for honours at the end of the Season.  Recent Inverness recruit Morag Ross, was dominant throughout this race and scored a comfortable victory ahead of Lochaber's Dawn Scott.

    With Morag finishing in pole position, it was no surprise that Inverness ladies won the team competition, however just 7 points adrift, finished our marvellous ladies in 2nd.  In my opinion, this was the best performance by our ladies that I have seen over a number of seasons, the team spirit shown by the girls was fantastic, always encouraging each other all the way round.


    June Duncan was doing a sterling job on the first lap, leading a phalanx of red vests around the course with Carrie, Hayley and Jenny in close attendance.  In to the final mile of the race, Jenny's Marathon training came to the fore as she worked her way up through the field to lead the Forres ladies home in 7th with June and Carrie just behind in 8th and 9th.

    The assembled Senior Men's race was packed full of current and "ex" Scottish Internationals and a fast race was anticipated.  After just a few hundred yards, it was obvious that Moray Road Runners were keen to improve their team's standing in the League, with Ross Milne, Alan Reid and Kyle Cowie bursting out from the lead pack at the top of the first field, along with Andrew Clark leading the chasing pack, it was looking good for Moray Road Runners at this early stage in the race.


      As the race progressed and the breeze picked up it was clear Ross and Kyle were not going to be caught and that 3rd place was all that was on offer to the remainder of the athletes.  A really tense race ensued with a number of runners vying for the position (Alan Reid, Frankie Barton, Ross Arbuckle and Steve Gill to name a few).

    At the end of the race MRR were the comfortable winners of the team competition and such was their winning margin, even after just 2 races, it now appears as though the points gap in the league will be just too large for the chasing clubs to overhaul.

    Kyle Greig was first home for the Harriers and the others who counted towards the team total were Andy Ross, Dave Adam and Paul Rogan.


Dublin Marathon

    Danny Bird and Graeme Jervis are making the journey over the Irish Sea to this years Dublin Marathon.  I am hoping to receive a report from them both on their return about their adventure.  Watch this space.

Great Glen Relay

    Once again a huge thank you to Graham Whyte and Nancy for organising another great day out, we had 5 teams competing in the field of 22, a fantastic turn out by the club.

    First team home were Six Pistol ( a composite team led by Andrew Wright of Cambuslang Harriers) in a time of 6:16:45 followed by our A team in second position 4:25 behind in a time of 6:21:10.

    First Ladies team home were Inverness Harriers with the Forres Ladies again in 2nd place. 

    Forres Harriers finishing times as follows:

Forres Harriers A 6:21:10
Forres Harriers B 6:51:12
Forres Harriers C 7:09:43
Forres Ladies 8:12:17
Forres Harriers (Mixed) 9:42:00

National Cross Country Relays

    Mark Mitchell was competing for City Of Edinburgh at the National Cross Country Relays at Cumbernauld.  Mark finished in 12th position on the opening stage and his team eventually went on to claim the Silver Medals.

Training 1 November 2005

    Hamish is busy organising a visit to us by Geoff Wightman the Chief Executive of SAL.  It is hoped he will visit the club on Tuesday 1 November 2005.  Please come along for a run and if you have any views you wish to air, we will be having a meeting with him after training.


Loch Ness Marathon/10K


    A number of our club members were competing in today's Loch Ness Marathon and 10K races.  I do not have the full results or times but it looks as though Jenny finished strongly at the end of the Marathon.

    Carrie, Fran and Anne all ran PB's in the 10K with Anne picking up the 3rd prize in the over 55 category, well done ladies (now you can concentrate on the Cross Country and yes Anne more of those hill reps to look forward to!)   


Loch Ness Marathon Results

243 Jenny Stewart 3.36.10
348 James Hume 3.44.38
458 Andy Johnson 3.53.46
525 Colin Costello 3.59.16

10K Results

156 Jackie Nicol 45.12
170 Carrie-Ann Ward 45.36
319 Alistair MacPherson 49.21
320 James Graham 49.28
322 Frances Russell 49.29
463 Anne Docherty 52.19
646 Carol Jervis 55.48
  Bev Clark 56.33

Speyside Leisure North District Cross Country League - Lochaber

    The first cross country race of the season took place at Lochaber today.  The course was physically demanding and the recent heavy rainfall just added to the challenge.

    Unfortunately we were well under-strength in all the races and only managed to field one complete team, which is a great shame.

     Grant Cameron won the Under 15 Boys, Eleanor Duncan was second in Under 15 Girls, Kirstie Rogan 3rd in the under 13's and Dave Adam had a fantastic run to win the Senior Men's race.

    The Senior Men's team of Dave, Stuart Davis, Andy Ross and Paul Rogan were challenging the Moray lads all the way.  They could have done better though, if the Club Captain had tied his shoe laces tighter,  allegedly he was right up there with the chasing pack, when disaster struck and he lost his shoe in the mud.

    Paul Rogan has offered the services of his five year old daughter Emma, to teach Mike how to double knot his shoe laces in future.   

    A special mention to our Under 11 girls Hannah Rogan and Lisa McCrossan who made the long journey down to Fort William and coping so well with the tough conditions.


Howell On Top Of The World

    After a long hard night shift, I was sitting down to my cornflakes and opened the P&J for a quick read.  I nearly choked on the first spoonful, as I was greeted with a picture of a smiling well keent face wearing a Forres Harriers Vest (no it was not Doug Cowie).  There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that he is after one of Kate Moss's vacant modelling contracts, however it would appear that he has been hard at work getting himself in shape for the Everest Marathon.

    Mike will be competing in this event towards the end of November and we wish him well with his quest. It must have been the thought of the North District Cross Country Champs at Forres that made him take the plunge.