The racing season is now in full swing with a plethora of races to choose from. The club was involved in all the action and secured multiple podium places and personal bests. This week also saw the return of the clubs very own Belfast Hills 10K.
Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast Hills 10k
The club ran its annual Belfast Hills 10k race with support of Chain Reaction Cycles on Saturday. This year the course had to be revised to approximately 8k due to bad weather before the race causing a landslip across the original course The altered course still proved to be a good challenge and took runners to the top of the “hill” showing off the beautiful views to be had of the city from this vantage point.
The race proved to be an exciting affair with a lot of quality runners taking part including Stephen Wylie, Mark McKinstry, Neil Carty and Justin Maxwell. In the end the club was unable to take the top spot as Stephen Wylie from North Down AC put in an excellent performance to take the top spot although Mark McKinstry and Neil Carty from the club both worked hard and secured 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Mark McCallion was the next member from the club across the line in 13th followed by Paul Curly in 19th, Helen Weir 31st, Jim Mawon 38th, Stephen Stewart 42nd, Andrew Harding 52nd, Jack Carberry 53rd, Jason Reid 54th, Emma Sheehy 60th, Stephen Thompson 61st and Nuala Muldoon in 74th. The club would like to thank Chain Reaction Cycles for their support of this event and to all those who took part and volunteered at the event. (Photo sourced from NiRuning)
Edinburgh Half Marathon
Gladys Ganiel O’Neill won the half marathon in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival on Sunday, contending with heavy rain showers, a stiff wind along the 8-mile stretch along the sea front, and even some hail, finishing up in 1.17.26. She was followed home by two top Scottish athletes, Shona McIntosh (1.18.39) and Hayley Haining (1.19.51). Haining has already been named to run the marathon for Scotland in the Commonwealth Games.
Gladys ran the event to demonstrate form in advance of the selection of the athletics team for the Commonwealth Games, which will take place in two weeks’ time.
Newry Half and Full Marathon
The Pure Running half marathon series continued on Sunday with the Newry half marathon. Alongside the half marathon there was the full event also. This year the course was altered to a much flatter course heading out from Newry along the dual carriageway to Warren point and back. The marathon repeated this course twice to bring them up to the full 26.2 mile distance. With the new flat course and favourable weather this resulted in some excellent performances from the club and a bucket full of personal bests.
In the full event Kent Swann and Athanasia Sevastaki represented the club well. Kent Swann who got a PB in the Belfast marathon three weeks prior to todays event secured another personal best over the distance by four minutes, finishing in 19th position overall in 3:09:32. Athanasia also had a great performance finishing in 3:21:03 giving her a massive five minute PB from her outing in London earlier in the year. This time secured Athanasia a place on the podium as the 2nd woman finisher in the event.
In the half marathon Breege Connolly secured the top position in the womens race finishing in 10th position overall in 1:18:37 over five minutes ahead of the next female finisher. Eamon White missed out on a podium position in an extremely exciting finish between himself and Tudor Muldovan with Eamon just being piped on the line finishing 4th in 1:11:30. Following on from Eamon was last years winner Andrew Considine who took fifth position in 1:13:54 (2 min PB). Next across the line was Marc Jennings who finished in 9th position overall in 1:18:22 (2 min PB). Breege Connolly completed the top ten and was then followed closely by John Black in 11th position in 1:18:38 (4min PB). John McConnell returned from his sub three hour Belfast marathon to finish in 26th in 1:25:21. The PBs continued with Rory Kane who finished in 28th position in 1:25:33 (2 min PB) and Martin Cox 31st 1:25:40 (PB). Colin Simpson just dipped under the 90 minute barrier in 1:29:59 for 61st followed by Joe Drain in 1:32:25 83rd (PB), Mark Shields 84th in 1:32:38, Ita McCambridge in 1:39:33 for 141st, Siobhan Drain in 1:40:43 157th (PB), Lynn McCullough in 1:48:16 251st, John Burns in 1:56:49 for 376th.
Sharon Sykes and Johnny Marquess completed the lineup for the club taking part in their first half marathon finishing together in 2:06:11 for 467th and 468th respectively.
On Sunday the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon series continued with an event in Liverpool. The McShane brothers represented the club in the marathon race with Sean achieving a new personal best of 3:07:39 a five minute personal best. Patrick McShane had a solid race finishing in 3:58:44.
Runher Coastal Challenge
The annual Runher 10k event took place on Friday night along the coastline of North down. The race which attracts a large field had some real quality in the top end of the race. Involved in the action was Cathy McCourt and Amanda Perry. Cathy who won the Blackwater 10k last weekend put in a great performance to finish in 2nd position overall in a time of 38:28. Amanda Perry just missed out on sharing the podium with Cathy finishing in 5th position in a time of 39:46. Full results are not available for this race.
On Wednesday Alan Ritchie, John Murphy and Paula Wallace took on the tough Bann 10k. Alan just missed out on the podium finishing in 4th position in 38:12 he was followed by John Murphy 18th overall in 42:00. Paula completed the trio finishing in 95th in 48:11.
Hills & Dale – Rockies
Thursday so the 6th event in the Hills & Dale series. This time the course took in the aptly named Rocky mountain with an overall ascent of 1600ft over the 4.2 mile course. Neil Carty was the sole Harrier from the club and continued his excellent performances in the series with a 6th place finish in a time of 34:07 and first in the M45 category.
Despite all of the races available to runners this weekend Parkrun still attracted large numbers across the province.
27th Paul WILLIAMS 21:33
63rd Colin SIMPSON 23:48
3rd Connor Ashley MCQUILLAN 18:07
27th Jim CLINTON 26:39
14th Ray CAMERON 20:16
19th Mark SHIELDS 20:48
106th Drew CRAWFORD 27:25
156th Aine WILLS 33:24
6th Philip Patrick DONNELLY 19:35
14th Ciaran HUNTER 21:07 – New PB
39th John LAVERY 26:24
4th John MCCONNELL 19:52
1st John MCGUIGAN 17:30
5th Drew KNOX 19:19
7th John Gerard MURPHY 19:51
10th Louise SMITH 20:19
11th Greg MCCLURE 20:28
22nd Luke KELLY 21:44 – New PB
23rd Eamon SHERIDAN 21:49
26th Tony REID 21:59 – New PB
61st John GRIBBIN 24:35
88th Ciara O’RAWE 26:19
104th Thomas MCKINSTRY 27:43