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Holiday Race Round-up

PlumbLindsayThe Harriers took to the trails and roads with plenty of holiday cheer, turning out in force for some of the most popular fixtures on the holiday race calendar. The Harriers’ biggest turnout was at the Castlewellan Christmas Cracker,  but the club was also represented at the Greencastle Boxing Day 5-miler and various Parkruns.

Castlewellan Christmas Cracker – Janice Plumb and Penny Lindsay Win Women’s Race

The Castlewellan Christmas Cracker is a perennial favourite on the club’s fixture list, with its unique format, fine organisation, and challenging route which varies from year-to-year. Athletes compete as pairs (all male, all female or mixed female-male), and must cross the finish line together. This year’s course took in 8.4 miles on the trails in Castlewellan Forest Park, as well as some roads in the town. More than 350 pairs completed the race on Saturday 27 December, with 26 of those teams having at least one North Belfast member.

The Harriers’ Janice Plumb and Penny Lindsay topped the podium in the all female category, finishing in 1.08.01 just as the snow started to fall. Cathy McCourt and Beechmount Harriers’ Stuart Kennedy claimed second in the mixed category (11th overall) with a fine time of 59.04.

Other strong performances came from Eddie Cooke and North Down’s Stephen Wylie (7th in 57.38), Martin Cox and Drew Knox (33rd in 63.41), Matt Shields and Ryan Preston (34th in 64.05), Naoise McLoughlin and Davy Clarke (53rd in 66.31) and Thomas Simmons and Kent Swann (57th in 67.24).

crackerThey were followed home by Colin Simpson and Robin Montgomery of Orangegrove (68.46), Greg McClure and Eric Montgomery of Lagan Valley (69.36), Sean McShane and Patrick McShane (71.38), Greg Forkens and Greg Lavery (73.26), Stephen McKenna and John Steele of East Coast AC (74.55), Ita McCambridge and Paddy McCambridge (75.39), Paul Williams and Stephen Walker (75.46), Trisha Campbell and Bernadette Campbell (76.20), Michael Henry and Conor Preshaw of Olympian Tri (76.44), Joe Drain and Siobhan Drain (77.39), Thelma McCullough and Emma Sheehy (80.55), Carol Clarke and Lesley Robinson of East Coast AC (83.25), John Burns and Mark McKeown (86.24), Sandy Carr and Gill McLoughlin (91.59), Lynn McCullough and Marian Hayes (93.28), Conal McCambridge and Orla McCambridge (94.57), Kerry McShane and Philomena Donaldson (1.08.11), Gail Mallaghan and Frankey McGivern (1.10.07) and Thomas McKinstry and Lorna McKinstry (1.15.46).

Greencastle Boxing Day 5-Miler

The Greencastle 5-Miler is another race with a venerable tradition. There were 813 finishers in this year’s edition of the Co. Tyrone classic. There were fourHarriers among the throng, led home by Andrew Annett’s 7th place finish in a strong elite men’s field (26.45). Irish international Paul Pollock of Annadale Striders led the competitors over the hilly five-mile route, clocking a course record of 24.07 despite wind and some snow.

The next Harrier home was Simon Reeve in 31.50, finishing 53rd. Martin Cox followed in 32.05, good for 56th overall and second in the V50 category. Veteran Greg McClure clocked 34.26.

Christmas Day Parkrun

waterworksxmasThe Waterworks hosted the annual Christmas Day parkrun, attracting more than 300 people between runners and volunteers. Because most other parkruns do not take place on Christmas Day, the Waterworks community was glad to host visitors from near and far.

mccambridge kidsThe Harriers’ own Under-20 athlete Conal McCambridge led everyone home, clocking a personal best of 16.32. The first female, Cathy McCourt, also came from NBH, clocking 18.29. Other results included:

Gareth Grew: 18.06

Paul Elliott: 18.10

John McGuigan: 18.13

Niall Geehan: 18.13

Andrew Milligan: 18.53

John Murphy: 19.18

Stephen Walker: 19.25

Michael Fitzpatrick: 19.42

Sean McShane: 19.52

Greg McClure: 21.23

Michael McCormick: 21.29

Paul Williams: 22.01

Piaras McShane: 22.21

Tony Reid: 22.24

Paul Brennan: 22.50

Damien Gill: 23.04

Ita McCambridge: 23.12

Paddy McCambridge: 23.12

Lauren Cox: 23.25

Siobhan Drain: 23.39

Niall Armstrong: 24.39

Mannix McAllister: 24.51

Steven Thompson: 25.25

Lynn McCullough: 26.45

Matt Shields: 26.51

Brendan McCambridge: 28.25

Robert Irvine: 28.56

Orla McCambridge: 29.14

Martin Cox: 29.14

Margaret Stephens: 30.14

Philomena Donaldson: 30.15

Mary Ringland: 30.16

Joe Drain: 31.28

Sandy Carr: 32.46

John Burns: 32.46

Kerry McShane: 32.52

Jim Clinton: 33.16

Gabrielle Mallaghan: 33.17

Jansje Le Mahieu-Lamb: 33.53

Maeve McCambridge: 41.03

Frankey McGivern: 41.05

Nuala Muldoon: 43.40

Saturday Parkruns

Many of the Saturday parkruns were cancelled due to icy conditions, but some still went ahead. In Enniskillen Simon Reeve was the first finisher in 19.43, on a one-lap course around the trails at Castle Coole. At Ormeau, Athanasia Sevastaki was the first woman in 24.26, while Mark Shields was 10th in 20.53. Tony Reid also ran 32.27. At Queen’s, Jim Clinton ran 22.42, while at Victoria Drew Crawford completed the route in 29.57.

Photo of Janice Plumb and Penny Lindsay from nirunning.co.uk.