The Harriers enjoyed another successful weekend with athletes turning out in big numbers for events near and far. On Sunday at the British Master’s XC, the men’s over-55 team won gold and Cathy McCourt placed fourth in the women’s race (second in the over-35 category). Closer to home, Connor Magill continued his good patch of racing, placing second at the ever-popular Larne Half Marathon on Saturday in 1.12.50.
British Master’s XC
Paul Elliott (30.33) and Matt Shields (30.36) placed third and fourth in the M55 category to lead the Stags to victory at the British Master’s cross country meeting in Bath. They were supported by Jim Newberry (31.59) and Derek Donaghy (36.00). Competing in the M35 category, Paul Jenkins clocked 33.02.
Cathy McCourt also demonstrated excellent cross country form, her time of 20.23 and overall 4th place a good achievement in a quality field.
The overall winners were Dave Morwood of Annadale in Belfast and Lucy Elliott of Winchester & District AC.
Larne Half Marathon
Connor Magill equalled his personal best for the half marathon, clocking 1.12.50 on a fairly challenging course in Larne. He was second to perennial favourite Joe McAllister of St Malachy’s who finished in 10.10.38. The women’s winner was Sarah Cumber of Halifax Harriers in 1.24.00.
Twenty more Harriers completed the course on an absolutely gorgeous sunny day – many of whom used it as a test leading into their spring marathons. Next across the line were David Brady (18th in 1.18.16) and the improving Andrew Considine (20th in 1.18.31).
They were followed home by Simon Reeve (1.21.14), Gerard McNamara (1.24.36), Stephen Walker (1.25.09), Gerry Gribbon (1.29.28), Lance Breen (1.29.39), Jim Benson (1.30.15 – an official pacemaker for 1.30), John Murphy (1.30.18), Greg McClure (1.30.35), Gareth Grew (1.30.37 – an official pacemaker for 1.30), Joseph Norney (1.40.27), Paul Williams (1.41.15), David Woodhouse (1.53.29), John Burns (1.54.26), John Carberry (1.55.53), Kilian Woods (1.56.29) and Sam Sharpe (1.56.58).
The Harriers’ top women on the day were Nuala Muldoon in 1.52.30 and Frankey McGivern in 1.58.50.
Despite the mass participation at the Larne Half, plenty of Harriers still took part in the Waterworks and Queen’s Park Runs on Saturday. In the Waterworks, an unknown, unnamed runner finished first, with second place going to Odhran Copeland, a junior from Beechmount Harriers, in 18.21. North Down’s Rachel Gibson was the first woman across the line, timing 19.48.
For North Belfast, Fra McCaffrey (20.12) and Matt Shields (20.13) were 9th and 10th. Next in were Aodhan O’Reilly (21.22), Damien Gill (21.23), Jennifer Bill (22.15), Tony Forde (22.21), junior Darragh McNairney (26.33), John Patience (29.25), and juniors Aaron McCann (30.11) and Rebecca Jenkins (40.54).
Over at the Dub Playing Fields, Gerard McNamara placed third in the Queen’s Park Run in 19.08 and Claire Prenter was the second woman in 21.33. Other Harriers taking part were Vincent Bradley (21.37) and Kevin Lavery (22.16).
The men’s and women’s winners were Eoin Lennon of Olympian Triathlon (18.28) and first-timer Jennifer McCooey (19.47).