It was a major weekend in the road running calendar with several harriers making the journey to London for the olympic year marathon and large numbers participating in Northern Ireland’s biggest 10k in Titanic Quarter.
In London Tommy Hughes had a great run to break 2:30 in 2:29:55 and finish 1st M50. Jim Benson showed a return to form for 2:43 while Stevie Walker had a new PB in 2:55:24 just ahead of Gareth Grew who ran 2:58:25. Gerry Gribbon had a great run to smash his PB in 3:08:54. Marathon man Greg McClure finished in 3:12:34.
Martin Rea did his annual role of 3 hour pace setter helping “celebrity” and former olympic gold medalist James Cracknell over the line in 2:59.
Closer to home a large contingent of harriers made up the sixteen hundred people plus to take part in the Titanic Quarter 10k. Up front last year’s winner Stephen Scullion had his first outing after injury for 4th place in 32:08 closely followed by Eamon White who had a great run for 5th in a new PB of 32:16.
Alan McCullough and Darryl Blair had a good battle to complete the top ten with Alan running 33:11 for 9th just ahead of Darryl in 10th running a new PB of 33:22. Eddie Cooke and Andrew Considine also had a good battle with Eddie finishing 15th in 34:23 and Andew smashing his PB for 17th in 34:29.
The men’s team was 4 to score giving the team 28 just behind Annadale who finished with 25.
Michael Fitzpatrick, in his first run in a while, finished 21st in 34:59 with Davy Brady having his last pre marathon run-out for 35:27.
Recent recruit Peter Morrison ran a new PB in 38:28 with Tony McNulty also running a new PB in 38:43.
Next up several Harriers were pushing to break 40 minutes with several doing so convincingly. Lance Breen ran 39:11 for 68th just ahead of Alan Ritchie with the same time. Next was Claire Connor having a great race to finish third girl in 39:17. John Murphy and Joe Norney also broke the 40 minute barrier for the first time in 39: 42 and 39:43 respectively.
Judi Graham finished just over the 40 minute mark in 40:11 making her 6th girl.
Francie McCaffrey was next up in 40:51, Mark Shields ran 43:02, Killian Woods 47:51, John Burns 47:56 and Frankey McGivern 51:15.
The club also did well in the age-group prizes with Andrew Considine 1st O35, Michael Fitzpatrick 2nd O40, Alan McCullough 1st O45 ahead of David Brady and Francie McCaffrey winning the O55 category.
Despite such a busy weekend plenty of harriers still managed to make the weekly parkrun events. At the waterworks Matt Shields finished 3rd in 18:16, Gerard McNamara next up in 19:18 closely followed by Lance Breen who finished 6th in 18:33. Ita McCambridge finished 24th in 22:50 with young Darragh McNairney finishing 46th in 25:47. Juniors Brendan McCambridge and Kelvin Kearney were 67th and 68th respectively.Regular Jim Clinton finished 110th.
Over at Queen’s Claire Prenter had another victory in the womens event finishing in 21:38 finishing ahead of the Lavery brothers who finished in 22:21 with Kevin just pipping John. Damien Gill finished just inside the top 20 in 23:17.
Cathy wins NI 5k road championship
Cathy McCourt continued her good form of late to win the Bay Road 5k which also took over the status of NI 5K road championships this year. Cathy ran a solid 18:12 – over twenty seconds ahead of her nearest rival. Several other Harriers took part with Paul Jenkins finishing just outside his PB in 17:49, John Patience making a comeback for 18:08 and Jim Newberry showing improved form for 18:24.
Hill and Dales
In race 2 of the hill and dales series at Tollymore Simon Reeve had his second outing for 18th position.