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Weekend Round-Up: Harriers Ring in the New Year With Wins

imageHarriers continued to lead the pack in a second weekend of holiday races, with Sharon Trimble Bird’s dominating win in the Race Over the Glens on Monday 2 January among the top performances. Neil Carty won the Belvoir 5-miler, Gregory Walsh and Cathy McCourt had podium finishes at the Race Over the Glens and the Lough 5 Miler, respectively, and NBH produced the winners at the New Year’s Day Waterworks Park Run in Andrew Considine and Athanasia Sevastaki.

Race Over the Glens

Sharon Trimble Bird once again demonstrated her off-road prowess at the Race Over the Glens, completing the tough course in 36.52 (6.42 per mile pace). Only six men crossed the line before Sharon and she was more than six minutes ahead of the second woman.

Gregory Walsh turned in an excellent 35.38 to take the third slot and finish first in the V40 category. Larne AC’s James McIlroy won in 33.17.

Other Harriers in the fray included Alan Ritchie (38.13), Laurence Johnston (38.15) and Simon Reeve (38.16), who swept the 19th-21st positions. The ever-present Greg McClure had another solid performance in 43.09, while it was great to see regular Waterworks Park runners Mark Shields (43.23) and Athanasia Sevastaki (49.19) turning in good runs over the rough terrain.

Lough 5 Miler

imageAt the Lough 5 in Loughmacrory, Co. Tyrone, on Saturday 31 December, Cathy McCourt finished third in the women’s race, despite having to cope with the stress of the car she was travelling in being run off the road by a tractor on the way to the race. Thankfully no one was hurt and Cathy arrived in the nick of time, clocking 30.46 behind winner Kelly McNeice of City of Lisburn (30.04) and Eilis McKechanie of the Hunters Bog Trotters (30.37). Greg McClure chipped in with another good run, clocking 33.45.

The overall men’s winner was Annadale’s Eddie McGinley in 24.42.

Belvoir 5 Miler

The Belvoir 5 Miler is a brand-new race, held for the first time on Saturday 31 December. The Harriers got its first-ever winner in Neil Carty, who timed 28.22. Runners familiar with training in Belvoir will have some idea of the difficulty of the hilly, off-road course. Simon Reeve was fifth in 30.37, while Mark Shields finished 18th in 34.47. Athanasia Sevastaki was the fourth woman home in 37.29 in a race won by Karen Alexander in 31.48.

New Year’s Eve Park Runs

imageThe New Year’s Eve Waterworks Park Run attracted 104 participants, including two top-class winners in Michael McKillop (16.29) and Aileen Morrison (18.46). Aileen will be representing Ireland in the triathlon at the London Olympics. The Harriers had the fourth and fifth women home in Claire Prenter (21.00) and Jennifer Bill (22.03). First time Park Runner Ita McCambridge finished a creditable 10th among the women in 24.09.

The top Harrier on the day was first-time Park Runner Philip Goss, who finished in 18.35 for 8th. Also in the top ten was Simon Reeve (18.49). Next in were Greg McClure (14th in 19.58), Killian Woods (22.52), Jim Clinton (25.11), junior Darragh McNairney (26.39), Stuart Kennedy (26.51), William Beattie (28.11), junior Brendan McCambridge in a new personal best of 29.12, and junior Aaron McCann in a new personal best of 30.18.

Across town at the Victoria Park Run, Paul Jenkins completed the circuit in 18.02 for sixth overall while Paul Tyro made a welcome return, clocking 19.05 for 13th. Drew Crawford, running in the V70 category, finished in 27.49.

New Year’s Day Races

Harriers Andrew Considine (18.44) and Athanasia Sevastaki (22.21) were the fastest men and women at the Waterworks Park Run on New Year’s Day. Other Harriers out on the day were Mark Shields (7th in 20.11), Greg McClure (8th in 20.16), first time Park Runner Aidan Lavery (10th in 21.48), Kevin Lavery (23.55), junior Darragh McNairney (26.09), Jim Clinton (26.41), and junior Jack O’Dwyer Henry (35.00).

Further afield, Alan Ritchie was fifth in the Emyvale 10k in Co. Monaghan in a time of 35.37.