In what has been a frenetic week of racing it was the North Belfast Harriers’ men and women who notched up a number of notable wins and podium places on the province’s roads and trails.
That said, it is a prize giving event, rather than a race that starts off our Weekly Round Up.
Belfast City Marathon 2013 –Official Prize Giving, Ulster Hall
On Wednesday evening, a number of Harriers attended the official Belfast City Marathon prize giving event at the Ulster Hall in Belfast City Centre.
The annual event is an opportunity for the Belfast City Marathon race organisers to present individual and team prizes as well as to thank sponsors, volunteers and pacemakers.
Unfortunately, our outstanding performer and Beijing Olympic Marathoner Tommy Hughes could not attend to collect his prize for his fantastic 6th place (2.32.31) as he has returned “home” to England.
However, local lad Mick Fitzpatrick collected his reward for top M40 finisher in 2.49.02 – a particularly good performance seeing as he battled with a painful stitch in the latter part of the race.
Simon Reeve and Greg McClure were also in attendance to collect their awards. Simon for 13th position in the Male Open race and Greg for winning his age category.
In the ladies race, Roisin Hughes was rewarded for her consistent winter of training and racing. In what has been a fantastic year for the club’s women marathon runners, Roisin was second placed Northern Ireland runner (female) recording a personal best of 3.01.04.
Our relay runners also collected some prizes on Wednesday evening.
The winning mixed relay team of Eddie Cooke, Philip Goss, Clare Prenter, Eoin McQuillan and Conor Curran performed particularly well on Marathon Day covering the course in 2.30.31 and were beaten only by the top two all male relay teams.
Gerry Gribbon and Marc Jennings were on hand to collect the team prize for the Harriers taking fourth place in the Marathon (Men’s) Relay Event while official pacemakers Marty Rea, Gareth Grew, Stevie Walker, Jim McCormick and Jim Benson were recognised for helping many fellow competitors achieve their time targets on the day.
Bann 10k (Banbridge)
The Bann 10k took place on Wednesday night on a difficult and undulating course through Banbridge town. The race was won by Paddy Hamilton of Annadale Striders.
Harrier Alan Ritchie made a welcome return to shorter distances by finishing 5th in 36.14, Arran Rutledge finished in 24th place narrowly missing out on a “sub 40” with 40.40 while Mark Shields ran well to finish 38th in 42.09
North Belfast Harriers provided the leading lady in Claire Connor who continued her good form by winning in 39.30 from Gillian Burns of Dromore AC.
Hill and Dale Series (Millstone)
Neil Carty notched up a solid mid week performance in the Hill and Dale Race (Millstone) on Thursday evening finishing in 4th position in 38.05. The race covered 4 miles in distance with approximately 1,500ft of ascending.
Simon Reeve has taken little break from his personal best run at the Belfast City Marathon recording some decent post marathon performances recently.
A supporter of the local fell running scene, Simon was 11th in the Hill and Dale (Millstone) event on Thursday night.
Top 3 Men: 1st Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) – 36:48, 2nd Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 37:17, 3rd Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 37:29
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Patricia McKibbin (Unattached) – 49:42, 2nd Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) – 50:17, 3rd Sinead Murtagh (Castlewellan AC) – 51:49
RunHer 10km (Holywood Coastal Path)
Friday night hosted the extremely popular female only RunHer Belfast Telegraph 10km event along the Seapark/Holywood Coast.
Commonwealth Games qualifier Breege Connolly made a welcome return to the local racing scene and notched up an easy win over the bumpy coastal and trail path in an excellent 36.12 – some three minutes ahead of her nearest rival.
Breege was supported by club mates Cathy McCourt (7th in 41:34) and Amanda Perry who finished a very respectable 11th in 42:44.
The various Parkruns around the province were quite busy at the weekend with a good turn out of Harriers.
At the Falls Parkrun Gladys Ganiel O’Neill was second overall (18.03) closely followed by Kent Swann in 18.04. Jim Clinton ran 26:46 and Thomas McKinstry 32.28.
There was the usual high turnout at the Waterworks Parkrun this weekend with 137 finishers. Top Harriers included winner Brendan Grew in 17:16 followed by Simon Reeve in 4th place (18.43), Greg McClure 19:53; Gerry Gribbon 20:24; Tony McCambridge 20:32; John Murphy in 22:45; John Johnston 24:21; Mary Ringland 26:04; Rioghnach Catney 28:35; Tina Haggan 31:28 and John Black in 36:53.
At Queens Parkrun Philip Donnelly kicked off preparation for his nuptials later that day with a 20:00 clocking for 5th place. Kevin Lavery was 11th in 22:20 while Ciaran Hunter was 39th in 31:48.
Active Hills/Chain Reaction 10km Trail Race (Cavehill Mountain)
On Saturday morning 75 runners took to the trail paths around the Cavehill for our club’s annual Active Hills/Chain Reaction 10km race.
This year’s race was the third event in the 2013 NIMRA grand prix series and was a great success with runners treated to clear, dry and sunny conditions.
The race started at the entrance to the Cavehill Country Park adjacent to the Boys School then headed towards the Belfast Castle before climbing the Cavehill Mountain to McArts Fort.
At this point (6.5km) runners were treated to views from Greater Belfast to the Mournes before catching their breath for the 2 mile descent towards the finish at Boys Model School.
The men’s event was won by North Belfast Harrier Neil Carty from Newcastle AC’s David McNeilly. Simon Reeve, who had run at the Waterworks earlier that morning was third.
Other Harriers who competed included Peter Morison who had one of his strongest races this year finishing 5th in 45.08. Martin Cox was 16th in 52.56 Helen Weir took the runner up F40 prize with her 55.01 while Nuala Muldoon just missed out on the hour mark with 1.01.03 on the exceptionally tough course.
Competitors received a free Chain Reaction buff and goody bag while refreshments, parking and changing facilities were provided to the weary legs courtesy of Boys Model School.
The club would like to thank Chain Reaction, Active Belfast, Harriers, friends and volunteers who turned out to support the event.
Newry Marathon and Half Marathon
The Newry Marathon and Half Marathon on Sunday morning brought a hectic week of racing to a close.
There was cause for celebration as Andrew Considine won the Newry Half Marathon in 1.17.09 from James Browne (Larne AC).
In the women’s race Roisin Hughes had to play second fiddle yet again to Julie Balmer (North Down AC) in the half marathon. Roisin running 1.27.29 to secure another podium place this month.
Other Harriers who competed in the Half Marathon included Sean McShane in 18th place (1.26.21) and John Black who secured a personal best of 1.26.29 despite struggling with the heat and hills. Greg McClure was 30th in 1.29.36; Arran Rutledge 44th in 1.31.32.
Paul Williams ran well to complete in the marathon course in 3.57.44
British Masters Relay Championships (Solihull 18 May 2013)
Something that slipped under our radar last week…a makeshift North Belfast Harriers Team finished 33rd at the British Masters Relay Championships in Solihull on Saturday 18th May.
The club was represented by Paul Blaney, John Ferrin, Jim Newberry, John Patience and Paul Elliot whose ages spanned many of the Masters categories..!
Paul Blaney and John Ferrin enjoyed joint bragging rights to the fastest club leg with both men recording 16.21 for their 5km legs.
Paul was in 19th position at the end of the first leg. John then improved the club’s overall position to 11th by the end of the second leg. Jim Newberry then ran an
excellent 18.50, John Patience ran 18.13 and Paul Elliot turned in 18.30 for the final leg.
Tommy Hughes rounded off a busy week competing for a winning Leicester Corinthian team recording 16.35 for his third leg split.
The standard of the BMAF Masters Relay Championships is exceptional with scoring members of the top three teams generally recording 15-16 minutes for their 5km splits – something a full strength Harriers Masters Team is well capable of.
Results attached: http://joelee.co.uk/2013/vets13race2.pdf
Annual General Meeting – Club Officials (2013/14 season)
Thank you also to everyone who turned out to support the Annual General Meeting last Sunday.
Minutes will be circulated in due course but in the meantime, the following people were elected or re-elected to official club roles:
Club Captain: Philip Goss
Female Captain: Clare Prenter
Masters Captain: Alan O’Hara
Media Officer: Gladys Ganiel O’Neill
Mental Health Officer: John Burns
A full list of all roles will appear on our website in due course.
New Training Cycle
Many of you will have now recovered from your Spring exertions over the Marathon distance so it’s time to start thinking about your next goals and targets.
For many, this will involve focussing on shorter distances and improving times over 5k, 10km this Summer and the Half Marathons (Waterside, Belfast and Dublin) in September/October 2013.
The training for these events is slightly different to the training for the marathon and to that end, the club has been working with new coaching staff on developing a new 12 week training cycle geared towards runners peaking in August/September 2013.
Going forward we will be delivering a structured mix of track training, hill sprints (Downview Avenue, Antrim Road) and road tempos (Antrim Road) on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Anyone – regardless of ability – who wishes to avail of the new training sessions should make an effort to attend the Boys Model Track on Tuesday and Thursday evenings (Clubhouse for 6pm warm up or Boys Model Track for 6.30pm start).
While people will be grouped according to ability and personal targets, everyone’s training sessions will more or less follow the same structure.
Please introduce yourself and speak to Level 3 Coach Simon Taylor for specific advice on individual/group training sessions.
No doubt the running shoes have been sneaked into the honeymoon case.
Photo above courtesy of the Belfast Telegraph.
Apologies to anyone who has been left off results. Please submit any missing information to us via facebook.
Finally we would all like to pass on our best wishes to Harriers Clare Prenter and Philip Donnelly (below) who tied the knot this weekend.