The QUB 5km “Round the River” took place in Stranmillis last night in perfect racing conditions.
Almost 700 runners took to the line for this event which is organised by students in the Queen’s Athletics Club and in association with Powerade. The race also served as an official warm up event for the Deep River Rock Belfast City Marathon.
The race which was a 3 x 1.8km circuit, finished at the PEC and was perfect for racing providing runners with a line of sight ahead and across the river.
It’s fair to say that the first few hundred metres of the race were a bit chaotic.
At least two people were tripped in the first 200m, which led to some runners leaping over fallen bodies. Gareth Grew was an unlikely victim of the faller as he “leapt” over to avoid collision and in the process, damaged his hamstring. Gareth had to stop shortly after. Hopefully it’s nothing a (Tesco) ice pack won’t sort out.
For those nimble enough to avoid the fallers, the race soon settled down.
Up top, Alan O’Hara and Conor Curran started at a steady pace and made their way through the packs. Darryl and Alan Ritchie also settled into the races early on, although Darryl may have gone a little too fast on the first lap. Further back, the Harriers were packing well with Paul Jenkins, Matt Shields, Eddie Burns and 16 year old Malachy McKenna running a cracking race.
Fast forward 15 or so minutes and things hadn’t changed too much.
Alan O’Hara and Conor Curran ran well and managed to finish 13th and 27th respectively, both posting personal best times, finishing with 2nd and 4th in the M35 categories.
Darryl was next home in a PB (16.51), with Alan Ritchie (17.17) not too far behind. Next home was Eddie Burns (17.36) who ran strongly to get 4th in the M45 category and hold off young Malachy McKenna (17.38), who posted a huge personal best and took the scalps of some older, more experienced club mates.
A whisker behind Malachy were Paul Jenkins and Matt Shields who shared the same time 17.39. Matt recorded a WAVA of 86.49 and won the M60 category from Jim Newberry in 17.57 (WAVA 86.6). Laurence Johnston took second in the M50 category. There were also good runs from Greg, Robert, Fra, Jenny and Eammon Donaghy.
Full results and Harrier times below.
13 Alan O’Hara in 15.43
27 Conor Curran 16.10
47 Darryl Blair 16.51
55 Alan Ritchie 17.17
61 Eddie Burns 17.36
63 Malachy McKenna 17.38
65 Paul Jenkins 17.39
67 Matt Shields 17.39
75 Laurence Johnston 17.52
80 Jim Newberry 17.57
89 Stephen Walker 18.11
98 Greg McClure 18.20
152 Robert Irvine 19.32
155 Fra McAffrey 19.36
233 Jenny Bill 20/49
375 Eammon Donaghy 23.30