It was a busy week of running for the Harriers with a range of top quality performances on the road and cross country.
At the Seville Marathon in Spain on Sunday, Gladys Ganiel became the second Harrier to run the women’s qualifying standard for the Rio Olympic marathon, clocking 2.38.47. Breege Connolly previously ran under the standard in London in April, clocking 2.37.24. Currently five Irish women have the Olympic standard, and three can be selected for the Games. Breege and Gladys are third and fourth on the list according to time, with the other athletes having run in different marathons: Lizzie Lee (Berlin, 2.32.51), Fionnuala Britton McCormack (Chicago, 2.33.15) and Barbara Sanchez (Seville, 2.39.49). The standard is 2.45.
Gladys and Barbara Sanchez ran near each other or together through 33km on Sunday and were close to 2.37 pace as the sun began to climb higher. In her first competitive race after giving birth to a son less than nine months ago, Gladys pulled away from Barbara and ran a personal best, even though she slowed over the final few kilometres.
(Photo by John Glover)
Northern Ireland and Ulster Senior XC
The Northern Ireland and Ulster Senior XC Championships were held on Saturday in Lurgan Park, with the men’s team clinching a silver medal and Mark McKinstry claiming the individual silver. Newcastle AC outpaced the Harriers 56-71 for the title.
Mark was just four seconds behind City of Derry’s Aaron Doherty, as he clocked 40.28 over the 12km route. Next home was Andrew Annett with a solid 8th place (41.30), followed by Alan O’Hara (12th, 42.08) and Eamon White (14th, 42.22).
Others inside the top 20 were Philip Goss (17th, 42.44), Conal McCambridge (18th, 43.14), and Lindsay Gordon (19th, 43.18). They were supported by Neil Carty (25th, 43.57), Marc Jennings (29th, 44.31), and John Black (31st, 44.40).
Also contributing solid performances were Ed Cooke (45.49), Vernon Shields (47.27), David Clarke (47.51), Conor Shiels (48.37), Ray Cameron (52.07), and Greg McClure (55.30).
In the women’s race, the top performer was Helen Weir, who was 35th in 27.23. Next home was Paula Wallace (28.38), followed by Elaine Holmes (31.44), Eadaoin Donaldson (36.42), and Jackie Lawlor (37.47).
Photo by Nirunning.co.uk
On February 14th Breege Connolly produced a time of 77.12 to take second in the San Francisco Half Marathon.
Armagh International Road Races – PBs for Andrew and Lindsay
The ever-popular Armagh International Road Races were staged on Thursday evening 18 February with high level elite fields in the men’s 5k and women’s 3k.
Andrew Annett and Lindsay Gordon both produced personal bests in the looped 5km course around the mall, with Andrew timing 15.08 and Lindsay clocking 15.34.
In the women’s race, the first Harrier home was Geraldine Branagh in 11.44. Junior athlete Dominique McAllister timed 13.14.
There also was a men’s 3km race, in which junior athlete Andrew Milligan was the first Harrier across the line in 9.46.59. Next to finish was Paul McAllister (10.01), followed by Laurence Johnston (10.27), junior athlete Conor O’Rawe (10.36), Paul Elliott (10.40), Sean McShane (10.51), and junior athletes Piaras McShane (11.09), Eamon Sheridan (11.32) and Niall Armstrong (13.33).
(Junior races will be reported separately)
Last One Standing
Sandy Carr took part in the innovative Last One Standing endurance race in Castle Ward, Co. Down on Saturday and Sunday. Runners were tasked to complete one 4.2 mile lap every hour (within a one hour time limit), with a new loop beginning on the hour every hour, i.e. at 1 pm, then 2 pm, and so on. The last runner standing would be declared the winner.
Runners raved about the atmosphere and organisation of the new event.
Sandy completed 8 loops for a total of 33.6 miles. The overall winner was Bobby Irvine from Seapark AC, who ran 126 miles.
Saturday morning saw the usual Parkruns, highlighted by junior athlete Niall Armstrong completing his 100th at Waterworks.
9th Colin SIMPSON 20:06
22nd Paul WILLIAMS 21:40
Helen Weir 22.01
35th Philip MCILWRATH 26:44 – New PB
3rd Nat GLENN 19:22
24th Ciaran HUNTER 22:34
2nd Colin WILLETTS 19:46
7th Gerry GRIBBON 21:54
2nd James WALLACE 18:43
4th John MCCONNELL 19:16
1st Paul MCALLISTER 18:31
2nd Laurence JOHNSTON 18:39
6th Conor O’RAWE 19:54
15th Drew KNOX 20:57
17th Eamon SHERIDAN 21:05
18th Piaras MCSHANE 21:07
27th Greg MCCLURE 21:58
28th Jack CARBERRY 22:06
33rd Luke KELLY 22:40
35th Paul BRENNAN 23:00
36th Tony REID 23:02
69th John GRIBBIN 25:49
72nd Niall ARMSTRONG 25:53 – 100th Parkun
77th Lyle CARLETON 26:09
80th John O’HARE 26:14
101st Martine MCANOY 27:36
103rd Thomas MCKINSTRY 27:47
131st Clare HOLMES 29:58
136th Claire BRADY 30:24
143rd Margaret STEPHENS 31:10
144th Trisha MURRAY 31:11
149th Bernadette DUFFY 32:13
150th Philomena DONALDSON 32:14
153rd Jansje LE MAHIEU – LAMB 32:48
154th Kerry MCSHANE 32:49
155th Orla YOUNG 33:00
156th Catherine CARLETON 33:07 – New PB
Father Collins, Dublin
6th Matt SHIELDS 21:19