14 Oldpark Terrace, Belfast BT14 6NN

London Marathon : Breege Connolly Hits Qualifying Standard for Rio Olympic Marathon

breege london

breege londonBreege Connolly put in a top-class performance in Sunday’s London Marathon, cruising to a time of 2.37.29 en route to a two-minute personal best and a qualifying mark for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Breege was well inside the required standard of 2.42 and is the first Irish woman to achieve the mark since the qualification window opened in January. Breege had set personal bests at ten miles and the half-marathon in the weeks leading up to the marathon.

Breege went through half-way in 1.18.18, running a fairly even split on the course. She was the second woman to finish in the ‘mass start’, behind only world marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe, and was just outside the top 20 among all the women.

Another notable performance came from Jack Carberry, competing in the over-70 category, who ran a personal best of 3.43.33.

Among the women, Penny Lindsay also smashed her personal best by five minutes, clocking 3.25.32. Kerry McShane timed 4.55.17 and Frankey McGivern finished in 5.01.00.

The first man home for the Harriers was Eddie Cooke, who ran his debut marathon in 2.40.43. Next home was Simon Reeve, who sliced more than four minutes off his personal best in 2.50.05. John McConnell also made it under the 3-hour barrier in 2.59.43. Marty Rea was once again employed as a 3-hour pacer, and he got his charges home in 2.59.28.

They were followed by Rory Kane (3.08.12), Gerry Gribbon (3.09.08), Colin Simpson (3.13.31), Jim Benson (3.13.54), and Greg McClure (3.17.27).

NBH LondonNext across the line were Andrew Harding (3.40.34), Jason Reid (4.00.23, a personal best), Patrick McShane (4.06.36), Thomas McKinstry (4.21.26), John Johnston (4.53.49), and Sean McShane (5.01.31).

Strabane/Lifford Half Marathon

In Sunday’s Strabane/Lifford Half Marathon, the Harriers turned in some fine performances, led by Brendan Grew’s 1.14.28, fourth place finish. Matt Shields won the V60 category in 1.20.29, while Martin Cox was second in the V50 division in 1.22.54. Runners battled hail stones at one point along the route.

Next home was Joe Drain in 1.34.49, and then Paddy McCambridge, who bagged a personal best in 1.37.47. Ita McCambridge and Ray Cameron both ran 1.42.57.

North Down Track Meeting

On Tuesday, the Harriers had some success at the first North Down Track & Field meeting of the season. Caitlyn Maguire won the F17 150m sprint in 18.87, while M20 athlete Conal McCambridge was second in the open 3000m, running 9.23.72 to winner Brendan Teer’s 9.02.78. Laurence Johnston clocked 10.36.95, while there were also good performances from V60 runners John Patience (11.01.26) and Jim Newberry (11.15.23). Kent Swann tossed the 7.26 kg shot a distance of 5.41.

Off-Road Action

At the second race in the Hill & Dale series in Tollymore Forest on Thursday, Andrew Annett finished claimed second in 29.44, half a minute behind Newcastle’s Seamus Lynch. Simon Reeve used the race to warm up for the London Marathon, running the course in 33.48.

At Saturday’s Peatlands Park 5.5 miler, Padraigin Bingham was the lone Harrier to compete, clocking 1.13.34.


In the regular Saturday Parkruns, Helen Weir completed her 50th, timing 21.01 in Belfast Victoria. Eight others set personal bests.

20th Paul WILLIAMS 21:28
Belfast Victoria
40th Helen F WEIR 21:01 – 50th Parkun

1st Andrew MILLIGAN 17:51 – New PB
64th Ray CAMERON 25:50
3rd Matthew MCILROY 21:31
4th Callum MCILROY 21:33 – New PB
34th Nat GLENN 42:11
1st John BLACK 16:30 – New PB
6th Mark SHIELDS 18:58 – New PB
15th Athanasia SEVASTAKI 20:19 – New PB
84th Siobhan DRAIN 23:56
220th Drew CRAWFORD 30:27
9th Eoin MCQUILLAN 19:56
42nd Ciaran HUNTER 23:23
2nd Niall GEEHAN 18:31 – New PB
5th Ian ONEILL 19:12 – New PB
54th Maria MURPHY 34:22
2nd Gerard MCNAMARA 19:04
1st Tony MC CAMBRIDGE 18:23

3rd Drew KNOX 19:29
7th John Gerard MURPHY 19:39
9th Thomas REID 20:00
23rd Matt SHIELDS 21:41
38th Paul BRENNAN 22:48
41st Tony REID 23:04
69th Jim CLINTON 25:00
75th Conor O’RAWE 25:13
77th Niall ARMSTRONG 25:16
85th John GRIBBIN 25:39
103rd Steven THOMPSON 26:51
104th Paul MCALLISTER 26:52
115th John O’HARE 27:25
135th Shane WAITE 28:55 – New PB
137th Eadaoin DONALDSON 29:07
139th Margaret STEPHENS 29:14
141st Philomena DONALDSON 29:16
142nd Trisha MURRAY 29:19
155th Clare HOLMES 30:07
156th Gabrielle MALLAGHAN 30:07
171st Bernadette DUFFY 32:17
190th Jansje LE MAHIEU – LAMB 36:13

Fulham Palace

Sean McShane 18.42

Kerry McShane 30.19