May day Monday saw the Belfast Marathon take place in the city once again and many Harriers got involved to support the local event via the full race and the relay event. The conditions from the start seemed to suggest it would be a difficult day for all with dark rain clouds looming above and with winds picking up around the start line. Thankfully we did not see a repeat of the washout of 2012 which left many afraid to retake the challenge. Those brave enough to tackle course were treated with the rewards for their hard work over the winter .
A tight group of Harriers (above) led the charge at the front glued to the three hour pacers this included John McConnell, John McGuigan and Kent Swann. John McConnell was first home finishing in 36th position overall with a time of 2:58:13 and his second sub three hour marathon. Next was John McGuigan who fought hard over the last miles to finish in 2:59:45 for 43rd position, first sub three, and a massive fifteen minute PB. Kent Swann completed the trio securing another personal best of four minutes in a time of 3:11:18. Jim Benson who was on pacing duty for the 3:15 bracket did not let down his fellow racers completing the course in 3:12:54 for 115th. Mark shields improved on his time in London three weeks prior completing the course in 3:19:18 for 168th followed closely by another member who completed London in Greg McClure who finished in 3:20:47 for 178th position. Joe Norney hung in over a tough the last three 3:23:20 managing to set a new PB in the process. Amanda Perry led the girls home in 3:24:13 improving her time PB by over 12 minutes from her last Belfast marathon and finishing as 12th female overall.
Andrew Harding also secured a PB with a great performance in 3:36:54 for 388th position. Paul Williams worked hard to secure a new PB of 3:39:17 and a finishing position of 428th. Stephen Stewart was the next across the line for the line in 3:51:15 in 775th. Jack Carberry on his 3rd marathon arguably had the best performance of the entire field breaking the four hour barrier for the first time in 3:57:00 supported by Hannah Funnell in 3:57:32 for 879th and Stephen Walker who was pacing the four hour bracket finishing in 3:58:13 for 911th position. Frankey McGivern who has returned after a long term injury was the third women from the club to finish in 1124th in a time of 4:12:10. John Johnston was the penultimate club member to complete the 26.2 mile course in a time of 4:16:32 in 1250th and secured a new PB in the process, he was followed by Jason Reid who set two marathon PBs in as many weeks after competing in London to finish in 4:17:48 for 1278th position.
In the relay event the club won two of the top prizes securing the mixed and female prizes. The mixed team finished in 3rd position overall only being piped by two of the male teams in a time of 2:29:46 enough to top the podium in their category. The female team completed the course in 2:51:58 to finish overall in 20th position and top of their category. The male team clocked a time of 2:42:13 to finished 12th just outside of the prizes. The 2nd female and final team in the relay the “North Belfast Chicks” completed the course in 4:30:25 for 1296th position.