It was a week of victories and personal bests with Harriers excelling on the road and track.
Alan O’Hara Wins Sperrin Harriers 5 Mile Classic
At the ever-popular Sperrin Harriers 5 Mile Classic on Friday, Alan O’Hara continued his run of good form to record the victory in 25.24 and set a personal best over the distance. Alan has also set personal bests at 5k, 10k and the half marathon this year.
Connor Magill captured third in 25.56, closing quickly on St Malachy’s Joe McAlister (25.54). Just outside the top ten were Mark McKinstry (28.00) and Eddie Cooke (28.03).
Next home was Laurence Johnston, who timed 29.05 to finish first in the V50 category, followed by John Patience in 30.15. Junior athlete Connor McQuillan, coming off a break and running in his first 5-miler, clocked 30.44 to finish second in his age group. Jason Reid completed the course in 37.28, improving his time from last year.
Gladys Ganiel O’Neill Second at National Half Marathon
Gladys Ganiel O’Neill finished second at the Irish National Half Marathon on Monday, running a personal best time of 75.09 (unofficial) in an event won by Leevale’s Lizzie Lee in 74.49 (unofficial). The two women ran together past half way before Lizzie surged on a downhill section heading out of the Phoenix Park, opening up a gap that Gladys was not able to close despite running the second half of the race at a faster pace than the first half.
Sean McShane also set a personal best of 1.24 in the race, which was held in conjunction with the Dublin Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. Joe Norney made a welcome return from injury, timing 1.32.30.
Personal Bests and Age Group Win in Carlingford
There were fast times for Conor Curran (16.04) and Adam Boyd (16.07) at the Carlingford 5k on Friday, with both setting personal bests for the distance on the road as they finished in 10th and 11th, respectively.
Paul Elliott dominated the V60 category, clocking 18.03.
Track Personal Bests for Conor Curran and Andrew Considine
At the North Down Open Graded Track & Field Meeting in Bangor on Tuesday, Conor Curran (9.19.24) and Andrew Considine (9.20.49) led the field home, racking up their fastest times ever for the distance.
Conal McCambridge Second at Carrigart 5k
Junior athlete Conal McCambridge produced another impressive performance to finish second overall at the Carrigart 5k in Donegal, timing 17.02. His mother Ita McCambridge was the first woman in the V50 category, completing the race in 22.44.
Age Group Win for Greg McClure in Cookstown
At the Cookstown Half Marathon on Sunday, staged in conjunction with the World Police and Fire Games Event, Greg McClure picked up yet another win in the V55 category, timing 1.31.55.
There were some solid runs by other Harriers, paced by John McGuigan (1.27.33), Arran Rutledge (1.28.44), Kilian Woods (1.38.40), Mark Shields (1.41.55) and Patrick McShane (1.53.53).
There was another strong contingent out for the Waterworks Parkrun, which drew a record field of 211 runners. Brendan Grew led the way home in 16.57, followed by his brother Gareth Grew, who was fourth in 18.06. Next in were Simon Reeve (6th in 18.51), Paul Jenkins (7th in 19.16) and Laurence Johnston (9th in 19.38).
Junior athlete Rioghnach Catney was the second woman across the line in 23.59, while Nuala Muldoon was third in 24.07.
There were the usual solid runs from Greg McClure (19.50), Martin Cox (20.12), John Gerard Murphy (20.15) and Paul Williams (21.40), who were all inside the top 30. They were followed by Jack Carberry (21.55), Piaras McShane (22.20), Matt Shields (22.21), Damian Marquess (22.46) and Sean McShane Jr (22.58).
Next in were John O’Hare (25.19), Lauren Cox (26.28), Odhran Catney (27.02), Jason Reid (27.56), John Marquess (28.22), Sean McShane (29.07), Tina Haggan (29.46), Mary Ringland (29.48), John Robert Johnston (30.03), Patrick McShane (30.53), Bryanna Catney (31.32) and Christine Douglas (32.58).
At the Falls Parkrun, Philip Goss made a welcome return to action and led the field around the hilly route in 16.53, the second-fastest ever time at the event. Jim Clinton was 25th in 27.16.
Philip Donnelly was the first Harrier at the Queen’s Parkrun, timing 20.18 for fifth, while John Lavery clocked 27.08. At Ormeau, John Black was sixth in 18.40 while Mark Shields rounded out the top ten in 19.56. Ray Cameron (20.13) and Drew Crawford (32.21) represented the Harriers at Victoria.
(Image of Alan O’Hara and Connor Magill at the front of the Sperrin 5 Miler, used with thanks from http://www.nirunning.co.uk/news; Other photos from National Half. Women (l to r) Fiona Roche of Raheny, third; Lizzie Lee of Leevale, first; Gladys Ganiel of North Belfast, second – with thanks to Mark Ramsey; Men – Joe Norney and Sean McShane)