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Weekend Roundup: Sharon Bird Wins Scottish Ultra Trail Championship & Darragh McNairney Completes 50th Park Run

imageIn a week when many North Belfast athletes were concentrating on shorter distances on the road and track, Sharon Trimble Bird scored a victory at the 53-mile Scottish Ultra Trail Championship, a multi-terrain run along the West Highland Way from Milngavie to Tyndrum.

Sharon Wins Scottish Ultra Championships

Sharon, competing in just her second ultra, was the second female overall in the race with a time of 8 hours, 33 minutes and 12 seconds. She was behind only experienced Spanish international Emma Roca (8.23.14). Sharon, who recently won Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast ultra outright (beating all the men), qualified for the Scottish championship due to her current residence in Scotland. The report from the Scottish Athletics website is here. Sharon was more than 5 minutes ahead of the next woman.

Youth Track and Field

Our junior athletes got their outdoor track season truly underway with two meets: in Antrim on Saturday and at the Mary Peters Track on Thursday evening.

The Thursday evening meet, one of the Edwards Series, was the last to be held on the Mary Peters Track before it was closed for refurbishment. Three girls competed in various ages categories in the 100m: Raoisle Hoy (Under 13, time of 17.62), Rioghnach Catney (Under 15, 16.43), and Sarah Sharkey (Under 17, 14.92). Regan Hughes ran 6.21.86 for 1500m, competing in the Under 15 category.

Among the boys, Damian Marquess did double duty in the 1500m (5.41.74) and the shot (3.95) in the Under-13 category. Brendan McCambridge clocked 4.14.13 for 1000m in the Under-11 competition, while Odhran Catney timed 17.18 for 100m in the Under-13 competition.

Saturday’s meet was a Northern Ireland Young Athletes Competition. Conal McCambridge picked up where he left off from his winter cross country season, running well to take third in the Under-17 3,000m. Damiam Marquess tripled up, competing in the 100m, 800m and shot, while Connell Brown ran the 100m and 800m. Amie Bradley claimed third in the 800m in her category, Rebecca Marquess sprinted through the 100m, and club newcomer Jake Harbinson also competed.

Queen’s 5k

Many of the Harriers posted fast times in Thursday evening’s Queen’s 5km, an always competitive event that was won by some of Northern Ireland’s top athletes: St Malachy’s Joe McAllister (15.04) and Dromore’s Julie Turley (16.54). Our own Matt Shields helped out with the organising, which was run by Queen’s Sport, and it was good to see other Harriers out supporting the race, even if they were not competing.

The Harriers’ Andrew Considine did well to crack the top ten in this race, timing 16.09 for tenth, while Travis Todd was next in 16.53 for 21st. Claire Connor was the sixth woman in 18.45.

Other good results were Paul Elliott (17.17 in the over-55 category), Paul Jenkins (17.36), Peter Morrison (17.36), John Patience (17.58), Lance Breen (18.01), Jim Newberry (18.08), John Murphy (18.51), Fra McCaffrey (19.24) and Athanasia Sevastaki (23.26).

Darragh McNairney Completes 50th Park Run

One of our most faithful junior athletes, Darragh McNairney, completed his 50th Park Run on Saturday in the Waterworks, completing the course in 25.49. This is a wonderful testament to his enthusiasm and consistency.

Also at the Waterworks, Jim Benson – despite running the London Marathon the weekend before – was out to claim second in the race in 17.45 behind an ‘unknown’, unregistered runner. Next in were Davy Brady (fourth in 17.49), Matt Shields (sixth in 18.37), John Murphy (tenth in 19.37), and Greg McClure – another who was coming off the London Marathon (13th in 19.50).

They were supported by Kilian Woods, who scored a new personal best in 21.33, Jim Clinton (25.05), Gerry Gribbon (19.03), Tina Haggan (33.39) and juniors Aaron McCann (33.46) and Morgan McCann (34.45).

Over at the Dub playing fields, Claire Prenter continued her winning ways in the women’s division, clocking 21.58. She was followed by Damien Gill (22.18), John Lavery (23.25) and first-timer Stuart Kennedy.

At the Victoria Park Run, Conor Curran turned in a good performance in his first outing there, clocking 16.45 for second overall. Lance Breen was fourth in 18.41.

Annalong Horseshoe Classic

Neil Carty and Simon Reeve continued their Mourne mountain running exploits with Neil Carty finishing 5th and Simon 8th. The course was a challenging 13 miles including 5,100 feet of ascent.