14 Oldpark Terrace, Belfast BT14 6NN

Weekly Report 31st January 2016. Thing’s overheard on the bus back from Coleraine!

“Can we run XC every week?”

 NI & Ulster Intermediate & Masters Cross Country Championships

On Saturday, North Belfast Harriers had one of their biggest turnouts for a cross country event in recent years. A bus up to Coleraine and everyone’s entry had been organised and so all that the runners had to do was turn up and run. For several this was their first time lacing up their cross-country spikes and with strength in depth as well as numbers there was also hope for individual and club success.

In cold and wintry conditions, the Masters Men 8k race was the first of the main events and with a record of success in previous championships North Belfast Harriers had a strong club presence in this race. Strong front running from Eamon White secured individual 3rd place overall and he was soon followed by Alan O’Hara and then Neil Carty. The next Harrier, Thomas Simmons then placed within the top 25 to make the fourth scorer in the team standings. With the scores calculated it was confirmed that the club had claimed its first team trophy of the day, a 2nd place, just one point behind first.

The Intermediate and Masters Women 4k race was next and set off at a fast pace. North Belfast Harriers were represented by five athletes in the Intermediate race and fifteen in the Masters. In the Intermediate, Martsje Hell was the first from the club to finish, taking 5th place. Anne Fitzpatrick just missed out on a top ten place but again with Helen Weir and Trisha Campbell finishing inside the top 20, it looked good for the overall team position. With a score of 55, the ladies had secured another 2nd place team trophy for the club.


In the Masters race, Louise Smith was running in the podium places and was rewarded with a 3rd place overall, just missing out on 2nd. Janice Plumb took tenth place and next from the club was Roisin Hughes in 15th. With a large group of runners heading down the finishing straight as the clock ticked through …18:28, …18:29, …18:30, Geraldine Branagh crossed the line in 18:31 claiming 18th. As the scores were being added up, the excitement was building. With scores of 51 and 55 securing the Men’s Masters and Women’s Intermediate Silver Team trophies, was this collective effort enough to secure Gold for the Harriers in the Women’s Masters? Forty-six points had been scored; City of Derry AC Spartans had three finishers in the top 11; their fourth and fifth runners had finished behind Jennifer Bill, the Harriers fifth finisher. By nine clear points, the North Belfast Harriers Masters Women were declared NI and Ulster 2016 Champions.

In the Intermediate Mens 10k race, it would be six runners to score in the team competition. On the starting line, the current champions, North Belfast Harriers were represented by seven. In the seven lap race on a now well churned up course, Conal McCambridge put in a tough shift leading the pack on several occasions. Over the course of the race, the front five, then three, split from the main pack. Conal was in contention for an individual medal, meanwhile in the chasing pack, Philip Goss and Lindsay Gordon were well placed in the top ten. Marc Jennings was keeping his club mates in sight, whilst Greg Lavery, Paul Curley and Joe Norney were all battling hard -surrounded by other club vests, to gain some positional advantage.

Conal’s efforts were rewarded with an individual bronze medal, finishing in a clear 3rd place with 35:12. Philip Goss, 7th and Lindsay Gordon 8th, meant that the Harriers were looking to be in a good position to defend their 2015 title. This was strengthened by Marc Jennings crossing the line in 13th place. Other clubs had fielded strong teams and it was developing into a close competition for the team event. Greg Lavery’s 39:03 placed him 30th and Paul Curley took 40th in 40:09 whilst Joe Norney completed the set home in 41:11 for 47th.


Several clubs appeared to have six or more runners in the top 40 to 50 places overall and again it was looking close in the team competition. With a one point advantage, North Belfast Harriers were declared 2016 NI & Ulster Intermediate Champions. Taking the trophy back to the clubhouse for a consecutive year is a rare event. Some would’ve said not so long ago that lacing up cross-country spikes had an even rarer chance of happening. Success was measured in many different ways on Saturday.


Masters Men 8k results

3 Eamon   White 00:24:42
7 Alan O’Hara 00:25:14
17 Neil Carty 00:25:44
24 Thomas Simmons 00:26:11
35 Lawrence Johnston 00:27:21
50 Sean McShane 00:28:40
63 Ray Cameron 00:30:21
66 Patrick McCambridge 00:30:33
69 Joseph Smith 00:30:53
71 Peter McClelland 00:30:55
80 Colin Simpson 00:31:49
87 Robert Irvine 00:32:47
91 Andrew Harding 00:33:58
92 Greg McClure 00:33:59
94 John Burns 00:34:07
96 Gary Blythe 00:34:33
103 Philip McIlwrath 00:38:34
105 Mick Lawlor 00:41:17


Intermediate Women 4k results

5 Martsje Hell 00:17:44
11 Ann Fitzpatrick 00:18:29
18 Helen Weir 00:19:16
20 Trisha Campbell 00:19:23
53 Eadaoin Donaldson 00:28:45


Masters Women 4k results

3 Louise Smith 00:17:11
10 Janice Plumb 00:18:04
15 Roisin Hughes 00:18:19
18 Geraldine Branagh 00:18:31
28 Jennifer Bill 00:19:14
47 Sandy Carr 00:21:19
51 Elaine Holmes 00:21:50
53 Geraldine Murphy 00:22:06
55 Thelma McCullough 00:22:16
63 Carol Clarke 00:23:22
64 Ita McCambridge 00:24:06
66 Lynn McCullough 00:24:18
72 Jackie Lawlor 00:27:42
73 Deirdre Murphy 00:31:29
74 Rosy Ryan 00:33:00

Intermediate Men 10k results

3 Conal McCambridge 00:35:12
7 Philip Goss 00:36:36
8 Lindsay Gordon 00:36:44
13 Marc Jennings 00:37:29
30 Greg Lavery 00:39:03
40 Paul Curley 00:40:09
47 Joe Norney 00:41:11


Dungiven 10k

At the St. Patricks College 10 & 5k road races on Saturday, Paul Horan placed 4th in the 10k in 37:31.


Cultra Challenge

On Sunday over five hundred athletes took on the inaugural Cultra Challenge 10k and 5k races, held in the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum -on the main road from Belfast to Bangor. An undulating course with some additional metres run added to the 10k made for a unique challenge. Several Harriers took part in both events.

10k results

46 Mark Shields 00:48:25
214 Lyle Carleton 01:07:09
229 Cailein Curley 01:09:28
245 Joanne McGurk 01:11:26
253 Claire Brady 01:12:08
234 Megan Beggs 01:10:01
255 Joe Wilson 01:12:31

5k results

63 Nisha Sharma 00:36:54
157 John Beggs 01:11:23
154 Orla Young 01:10:10


Axa Raheny 5 Mile Road Race

Also on Sunday, in the suburbs of Dublin, there was the 32nd annual Raheny 5 mile road which has been popular with NBH athletes over the years. With a new ‘flatter and faster’ course Mark Mckinstry broke 26 minutes with 25:56 for 11th place.

parkrun Results


Belfast Victoria

22nd Paul Williams 21:56


26th Jim CLINTON 26:29


3rd Simon REEVE 18:28

68th Eva KISSENPFENNIG 24:02

198th Drew CRAWFORD 34:45


1st Brendan Grew 17:11

10th Damien Gill 20:56

19th Ciaran Hunter 22:55


6th Gerry GRIBBON 22:40

11th Eimear MCBRIEN 23:52


9th Mark SHIELDS 22:14


1st John BLACK 16:58

7th John Gerard MURPHY 19:28

8th Drew KNOX 19:49

12th Joe DRAIN 21:02

18th Luke KELLY 21:39

27th Conor O’RAWE 22:09

29th Greg MCCLURE 22:16

33rd Piaras MCSHANE 22:28

36th Eamon SHERIDAN 22:51

38th Cian MCGRATH 23:06

41st Tony REID 23:10

46th Helen F WEIR 23:50

62nd Kevin MCCANN 25:24

70th Paul BRENNAN 26:16

99th John O’HARE 27:58

111st Gillian RUSSELL 29:45

115th Margaret STEPHENS 30:42

143rd Catherine Carleton 35:30

Tooting Common

120th Matt SHIELDS 26:30