With the weather improving and the bright evenings now well established, the NI running scene welcomes multiple mid – week races and weekends packed with fixtures. In the strong May sunshine the NBH produced some solid performances throughout the province on the mountain, trail and tarmac.
East Antrim Harriers Forest Trail Series – Race 1, Woodburn Forest, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim:
Woodburn Forest near Carrickfergus played host to the first race in the Forest trail Series organised by East Antrim Harriers. The weather on Tuesday evening was dry and warm amongst the forest conifers and the edges of the reservoir, in what was a challenging 3.1 mile course. With downhill, flat, uphill, grass and forest trail the race offered a varied route, which didn’t disappoint the 300 plus competitors.
A large number of NBH athletes made the trip along Belfast Lough to the forest and were rewarded with some impressive results. Paul Horan was in contention from the off, playing a prominent role in the lead group to eventually take 2nd place in the race in a time of 17:46. Paul Curley capitalised on his marathon fitness to take 7th place in a time 18:25, with Piaras McShane also finishing under twenty minutes in a time of 19:53. John Murphy, Ray Cameron and Colin Simpson all finished tight together for 33rd (20:12), 38th (20:18) & 39th (20:20) positions. Paul Williams tackled the forest trail to clinch 67th position (22:09), with Peter Reed close behind in 70th position (22:20). Thelma McCullough finished in a time of 25:29 and Sandy Plumb raced over the line in 28:36, rounding off an impressive evening of results for the club.
(photo from East Antrim Harriers AC facebook page)
Hill & Dale Series (Race 5 – Rocky), Mourne Mountains, Co. Down:
The second fixture of the week was held in the Mourne Mountains on a blissful Thursday evening. The granite of Rocky Mountain in the west of the mountain range played host to the 5th race in this Hill & Dale series, organised by Newcastle Athletics Club. As ever the route was challenging with 4.25 miles and 1,600ft of ascent. No doubt the views made it all worthwhile.
Mountain running veteran Neil Carty made the trip to the Leitrim Lodge starting area and as ever was in contention as a favourite amongst the 200 competitors. Neil was the first to reach the 405 metre summit in a time of 23:54, eventually securing 2nd place in the race with a finishing time of 34:19 and in doing so secured himself another impressive result in the ever competitive race series.
(photo from Newcastle AC flickr page)
Les Jones Memorial 10km race, Mary Peters track, Belfast Co. Antrim:
With the mid-week racing finished the weekends fixtures were kicked off by the annual Les Jones 10km race on Friday evening. This was also the fourth event in the on-going Novosco 10k Grand Prix and attracted a healthy field of 286 runners. The race started on the Mary Peters track under sublime weather conditions and there was a great crowd to support the runners as they left the track and ascended up the hill towards the Malone road. As the first hill separated the field out, the race then made its way on to the Lagan tow path where the runners barrelled along at a fast pace under the trees towards Shaws Bridge. After that fast and flat section each runner was then challenged physically and mentally as they negotiated their ascent of the intimidating hill beneath Malone House.
With 5 runners from NBH in the race, the club was well represented with all 5 athletes finishing amongst the top 60. Phillip Goss was in contention for the lead and arguably controlled the race from the hill at Mary Peters to the hill at Shaws Bridge, finishing in an impressive time of 33:57 and eventually entering the MPT alone and with a comfortable lead to finish in 1st place. Marc Jennings ensured that NBH were well represented on the podium as he secured second place in a time of 34:48. Simon Reeve took 14th position in a time of 37:00. Colin Simpson finished his second race in only four days to secure 54th place in 40:32, very closely followed by Jim Newberry in 59th position in 40:40.
(Photo by Simon Reeve, via North Belfast Harriers Facebook page)
Downpatrick Lions ‘3 lakes challenge’, Downpatrick, Co. Down:
This race offers runners a choice of a 15km or 7km race in and around Downpatrick, on what is regarded an undulating course. Nearly seventy runners participated in the 15km race which was won by Brendan Teer of East Down AC, in a time of 51:59. One NBH athlete made the trip on Saturday, John McConnell was well rewarded for his efforts taking 5th place in a time of 59:47.
Strabane – Lifford half marathon, Strabane, Co. Derry / Londonderry / Donegal:
This half marathon was organised jointly by Strabane District Council and Lifford Athletic Club, aimed at promoting athletics in the region. It has the extra attraction of the route spanning the North / South border, ensuring that athletics in the region has no boundaries. The half marathon race was sold out with a competitive field of over 1,110 runners participating on Sunday. With perfect running conditions Dan Tanui from Project Africa Athletics took first place in 1:06:09. One NBH athlete toed the line at this event, Martin Cox was again rewarded for travelling to race, he took 27th place in a time of 1:22:04.
Terenure 5 mile Road Race, Co. Dublin:
The well regarded Terenure 5 mile road race took place in South Dublin on Sunday. The race is in its 32nd year and was previously known as the Dublin 5 mile classic. With pacers available and a pancake flat course, it attracts a large crowd every year. The race was won by Peter-Brandon Somba who led the massive field of 1,389 runners home in a time of 23:33.
A strong contingent of NBH athletes made the trip south to test their training amongst fresh competition and to find a fast time on the flat course. Mark McKinstry was the first NBH athlete to cross the line and he did so in style with a top ten finish, securing 7th place in a scintillating time of 25:48. Three NBH runners finished within the 29th minute; Andrew Considine continued a strong return to form with a 26th place finish (28:11), James Wallace took 32nd place (28:22) and Nat Glenn finished inside the top forty finishers with 39th place (28:58). Conor Shiels was the next NBH across the line not far behind in 52nd place (29:29). John McGuigan made the journey as well, but unfortunately was faced with a minor injury on the day, no doubt he’ll be back racing soon. A great set of results in the May sun, yet again showing the calibre of the club amongst the wider athletics scene.
(Photo by @bohemians7 via twitter)
Parkrun, Saturday 14th May 2016, @ various events through the province:
This Saturday was an eventful morning at parkruns across the country, with NBH runners sealing 9 new PBs, one 50th parkrun anniversary and even one 100th parkrun anniversary – well done all!
126th Eadaoin DONALDSON 28:04
135th Philomena DONALDSON 28:51
4th Laurence JOHNSTON 17:44 – New PB
16th Claire DONNELLY 19:21
34th Paul WILLIAMS 21:10
1st John BLACK 16:42 – New PB
1st James Alexander BROWN 18:54
6th Matthew MCILROY 20:50
15th Mark SHIELDS 19:45
62nd Eva KISSENPFENNIG 22:32
251st Drew CRAWFORD 29:26
270th Frankey MCGIVERN 30:10
27th John LAVERY 22:19
54th Ciaran HUNTER 24:22
70th Jim CLINTON 25:42
35th Max REID 23:05
93rd John GRIBBIN 26:10 – New PB
2nd Paul CURLEY 17:54
3rd Joe NORNEY 18:35
6th Simon REEVE 18:51
10th John Gerard MURPHY 19:43
16th Tony MCNULTY 20:08
19th John STEELE 20:24
20th Janice PLUMB 20:24
21st Greg MCCLURE 20:29
24th Paddy MCCAMBRIDGE 20:36 – New PB – 50th Parkun
27th Cian MCGRATH 20:46 – New PB
28th Drew KNOX 20:49
30th Ita MCCAMBRIDGE 20:55 – New PB
38th Harry PLUMB 22:06
40th Tony REID 22:09
47th Jack CARBERRY 22:32
57th Ciara O’RAWE 23:03
60th Daniel O’CALLAGHAN 23:12 – New PB
69th Matthew CARLETON 23:38 – New PB
70th Lyle CARLETON 23:41 – New PB
84th Niall ARMSTRONG 24:39
89th Eimear MCBRIEN 24:58
116th John BEGGS 26:24
126th Aaron MCCANN 26:56
133rd Gary BLYTHE 27:21
134th John BURNS 27:22
152nd Thomas MCKINSTRY 28:10
164th Orla MCCAMBRIDGE 28:34
168th Jacqueline LAWLOR 29:08 – 100th Parkun
169th Sandy CARR 29:08
179th Dermot MCGRATH 30:01
181st Clare O’HARA 30:03
182nd Margaret STEPHENS 30:08
185th Lorna MCGRATH 30:23
189th Bernadette DUFFY 30:48
201st Dirdre MURPHY 32:47
205th Catherine CARLETON 33:10
216th Jansje LE MAHIEU – LAMB 33:54
218th Kerry MCSHANE 33:56
1st Joe DRAIN 20:12
13th Siobhan DRAIN 25:38
Fulham Palace Parkrun
214th Philip McIlwrath 26:16
373rd Rosy Ryan 35:42