The Summer Season Starts: Following on from the Spring Marathons, this week there’s plenty of running for North Belfast Harriers, including International representation and medals, podiums, trails, roads and mountains.
East Antrim Harriers Forest Trail Series 2015: Race 1 – Woodburn Forest
On Tuesday evening, the opening race of the 2015 Series took place over a 3 mile course within the confines of Woodburn Forest, just outside Carrickfergus. A number of Harriers took to the trails with some notable performances to start the series. Nat Glenn just missed out on a podium spot with 17:39 for 4th and 1st M45. Greg Lavery was 1st M40 and 5th overall with 17:46 whilst David Murray ran 19:24 for 18th. John Murphy made the top 25 with 19:50 for 24th, Colin Simpson ran 20:20 for 28th. Trisha Campbell took 30th place overall with 20:27 which secured 2nd place on the Ladies podium. Sarah-Jane Mcfadden and Janice Plumb also finished well within the top 50 with Sarah-Jane running 21:02 for 5th and Janice 21:23 for 6th in the Ladies standings. Carol Clarke ran 24:33 to also finish well within the top half of the field.
Ulster Schools Senior 5k
Conal McCambridge finished third in the Ulster Schools senior 5,000m at Antrim Forum on Friday night qualifying for the All-Ireland Schools championships in Tullamore in two weeks time. He ran a time of 16:08 and was closing on the lead runners with every stride down the finishing straight.
ChampionChip Ireland Les Jones Memorial 10k 2015
Friday evening saw the running of the annual Les Jones Memorial 10k. The 6.2 mile course started and finished on the Mary Peters Track and took in the roads, towpath and trails in the local area. Always popular with North Belfast Harriers, several athletes took on the course in cool and damp conditions. Marc Jennings had a good return to racing with 36:56 for 5th place. Mark Shields 30th ran 40:03 and Colin Simpson 48th in 41:40, Athanasia Sevastaki ran 42:54 for 7th place in the Ladies race and Peter McClelland placed 75th in 44:03. All four Harriers returning to the shorter and faster distances following their Spring Marathons.
Paul Elliot claims European Masters Athletics 10k silver in Italy
Early on Friday 15th North Belfast Harrier Paul Elliot added another prestigious accolade to his CV when he secured a European Masters silver medal at the European Masters Athletics (Road) Championships in Italy. Competing in the 10k road race, Paul, a record breaking veteran athlete, secured 2nd place in his Vet60 category in a time of 36:50. Italian athlete Antonio Di Noia claimed gold in 36:43 (1st place).
In the Irish Masters Euro relay: Kennedy and Elliott also take 4th in team xc event.
Downpatrick Lions Club 3 Lakes 14km Road Race
On Saturday North Belfast Harrier Gerard McNamara ran the Three Lakes 14km Road Race. In a fast paced race, the field were quickly spread out and Gerard ran a steady 56:21 to take 6th place.
Born 2 Run Surf N’ Turf North Half Marathon & 10k
On Saturday 16th the latest Born 2 Run event was held at Benone Beach near Limavady and offered competitors the choice of Half Marathon or 10k races. With both races starting and finishing with sections of sandy beach and with a tough road route sandwiched between these definitely weren’t PB courses. Pádraigín Bingeam took on the 10k distance completing the route in 01:08:34. Whilst Ray Cameron ran 01:55:48 for the Half Marathon.
Inter-Counties Fell Running Championships 2015
Across the Irish Sea, in North Wales; North Belfast Harrier Andrew Annett was part of a strong group of local Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) athletes representing Northern Ireland at the Inter Counties Fell Running Championships in North Wales. The men’s race measured 10.4k, with 488m of ascent. Andrew clocked 52:19 (34th place); this secured 4th place in the Under 23 race for Andrew. In the team standings, Northern Ireland took 6th place, while Yorkshire finished in 1st place.
Davagh Forest 10 Mile Trail Race
Saturday also saw the inaugural running of the Davagh Forest 10 mile trail race. In perfect conditions, close to seventy athletes enjoyed the scenic route, but it was North Belfast Harriers man Mark McKinstry who claimed a comprehensive victory, breaking the tape in 1:03:49 for 1st place.
Hill & Dale Series (Race 5) – Slieve Donard
Usually held on a Thursday evening, the Hill & Dale Series moved to the more spectator friendly Saturday lunchtime this week for the iconic Slieve Donard race. The ‘Slieve Donard Classic’ measures approximately 5.5 miles in distance and took competitors from Newcastle Main Street to the top of Northern Ireland’s highest mountain (Slieve Donard), which stands at 850 metres. Aside from the start and finish along the Main Street (via Donard Park), competitors are free to choose their own way to the summit and back. Both Neil Carty and Simon Reeve represented North Belfast Harriers with Neil running 01:01:18 for 10th place. Simon took 45th with 01:14:18.