An Indian Summer of Running, Podiums, Records and PBs. Weekly Round Up
On Saturday, nearly 700 runners took to the streets of Bangor in the annual 10k road race. Three weeks on from the Laganside 10k, several running rivalries were renewed as the participants sped around the seaside town. North Belfast Harriers had several runners involved at the sharp end of the race. Louise Smith and Cathy McCourt were the frontrunners of the ladies race and both continued their strong season on the roads with Louise crossing the line first in 37:56 and Cathy taking second place in 38:56.
In the men’s competition Eamon White and Andrew Annett were part of the leading group at the start of the race. Not too far behind them, both Thomas Simmons and Tommy Hughes were running well and on course for a sub 35 minute finish. David Brady was also competing well for a top 25 place. As the runners along the route returned back towards Bangor from Groomsport, the front end of the pack had stretched out slightly. In the team competition, North Belfast Harriers, Annadale Striders and North Down AC were all well represented in the top 25 places. The first Harrier home, Eamon White crossed the line in 32:48 for 5th place, followed by Andrew Annett in 7th place with 33:34. Thomas Simmons took 12th spot in 34:36 and Tommy Hughes finished in 35:12 with David Brady racing well to complete the top 20 in 36:57.
Causeway Coast Events (To Ballintoy and Beyond!)
With a variety of race distances on offer up along the Causeway Coast, several Harriers took on the off road trails on Saturday. Over 1,000 athletes were attracted from near and far to compete in the range of events along the scenic route. The Ultra Marathon covered 40 miles and started in Portstewart, with the runners heading towards the turning point of Ballintoy and then back to the finish line in Portballintrae. Marty Rea was the sole North Belfast Harrier taking on this distance. Following on from his victory in the Titanic 50k earlier in the month, Marty was again in dominant form and as top local runner held on to 2nd place throughout the race finishing in 05:44:17.
In the Marathon event, Sean McShane was racing from Portballintrae to Ballintoy and back for 26.2 miles of coastal path, beaches, steps, rocks and other runners to negotiate. Having also participated in the Titanic 50k Sean definitely had the endurance training miles in his legs and finished 8th in 3:57:36. (Smashing his 2013 time by almost 15 minutes).
The Half Marathon was the most popular and fiercely contested distance with over 400 runners taking part in the linear route from Ballintoy to Portballintrae. Several Harriers took to the start line and with the race across the sand at Whitepark Bay to begin their 13.1 miles, it was important to find a good place in the field before hitting the technical singletrack climbing the rocks up to the cliff tops. At the head of the leading pack Mark McKinstry put in a great effort to control the race from the front. Not too far behind, Martin Cox, Patrick McShane and Helen Weir were enjoying a bit of space amongst the top end of the field. Whilst making up the top half the runners and within shouting distance of each other were fellow Harriers Emma Sheehy and Thelma McCullough, Hannah Funnell and Thomas McKinstry. In the last three years that this event has been run North Belfast Harriers have topped the men’s podium every year and Mark McKinstry impressively made it four out of four with a new course record of 01:26:51. Martin Cox placed just outside the top ten with 01:39:20. Patrick McShane and Helen Weir both ran sub two hours over the testing course with 01:54:52 and 01:57:45 respectively. Emma Sheehy crossed the line in 02:11:43 and Thelma McCollough was inside the top 150 runners with 2:15:54. Also finishing in the top half of the field with soild times of 02:23:46 and 02:24:02 were Hannah Funnell and Thomas McKinstry.
photos from NIRunning.
Whilst Dennis Kimetto of Kenya took 20 plus seconds off the Marathon World Record on Sunday, North Belfast Harriers own Greg McClure also improved on his own Berlin time from last year. In such a popular and well supported Marathon Greg took over a minute off last year’s finishing time, completing the course in 3:08:51 and in the process finished over 500 places higher up the field than in 2013.
Sunday also saw the 9th annual Mooathon Multi Distance event run in Downings, County Donegal. With distances range from the Udderly Mad Ultra Moo to the 10k Mini Moo. Gerard McNamara took on the one loop of the 13.1 mile Semi Skimmed Half Mooathan. With the race rule of competitors compulsory wearing of black and white kit Gerard made sure he wasn’t Friesian on the course and ran 01:31:00 for first place ahead of the following stampeding herd.
Also in County Donegal, at Ards Forest Park; Joe and Siobhan Drain competed in Orla’s 5K with Joe crossing the line in 21:12 and Siobhan finishing in 24:25.
This week, nearly 40 Harriers ran a local parkrun run. There were 8 PBs and two 50th parkruns. Conor Curran and Jason Reid ran 16:29 and 21:36 over at Belfast Victoria parkrun (scene of next week’s NI Road Relay Champs). Maria Murphy ran a PB at Valley. Whilst at Waterworks Niall Armstrong and Tina Haggan ran their 50th parkrun. There was also some impressive PBs ran with Harry Brewster improving on last weeks PB. Jack Carberry ran his 125th parkrun, PB’d with 21:18 and gained an age grade of 83:80%. Tony Reid celebrated his 170th parkrun with a PB. Eimear McBrien was first female finisher and recorded another PB (50% of Eimear’s parkruns at Waterworks are PBs). Margaret Stephens also took 12 seconds off her previous Waterworks PB.
2nd Matt SHIELDS 18:24
2nd Conor CURRAN 16:29 – New PB
21st Jason REID 21:36 – New PB
43rd John Robert JOHNSTON 23:05
129th Drew CRAWFORD 28:27
3rd Connor Ashley MCQUILLAN 18:46
5th Mark SHIELDS 19:18
6th John LAVERY 20:08
20th Ciaran HUNTER 22:17
29th Philip Patrick DONNELLY 23:15
48th Maria MURPHY 32:53 – New PB
3rd John MCCONNELL 19:17
2nd Tony MC CAMBRIDGE 17:43
5th Harry BREWSTER 18:41 – New PB
6th Drew KNOX 18:46
7th Andrew MILLIGAN 18:52
9th Gerry GRIBBON 19:00
11th John Gerard MURPHY 19:16
22nd Colin SIMPSON 20:58
24th Eamon SHERIDAN 21:06
25th Paul WILLIAMS 21:11
26th Jack CARBERRY 21:18 – New PB
27th Conor O’RAWE 21:21
36th Tony REID 21:56 – New PB
41st Eimear MCBRIEN 22:22 – New PB
42nd Ita MCCAMBRIDGE 22:26
43rd Niall ARMSTRONG 22:28 – 50th Parkun
54th John GRIBBIN 23:31
67th Jim CLINTON 24:30
70th Lynn MCCULLOUGH 24:40
97th John O’HARE 26:43
101st Sandy CARR 27:07
107th Tina HAGGAN 27:28 – 50th Parkun
113rd Nuala MULDOON 27:58
117th Orla MCCAMBRIDGE 28:24
118th Margaret STEPHENS 28:28 – New PB
124th Clare O’HARA 28:39
149th Gabrielle MALLAGHAN 30:33
176th Paul MCALLISTER 37:07