It’s Two Golds and a Silver for David Clarke, as the North Belfast Harriers athlete returns home as Double European Champion!
North Belfast Harriers runner David Clarke stunned the crowds at the weekend, at the European Masters Indoor Championships, at Braga in Portugal. Representing Great Britian and Northern Ireland, David first showed his potential by running a superb 800m, in which he was narrowly beaten for first place, lifting the silver in an impressive time of 2min:16.57secs, only 0.6 sec behind Spain’s José Huerga Castro. The following day, running in the Vet 60 category, David became double European champion, lifting gold in the 3,000m in a time of 9min:47.22sec, before going on to also win the 1,500m in a time of 4min:38.57sec.
David won his first European title in the 3,000m in a tense race, with none of the runners wanting to show their hand too early. However, the final kilometre was covered at a very fast pace in 3min:5sec, with David seeing off the challenge from the Spain’s Francisco García López and Italy’s Marco Moracas, to lift gold. Having already showed his potential in two races, the 1,500m turned out to be a different affair. Speaking after the race Clarke reflected, “Being a marked man, I was able to dictate the pace, and this was the race in which I felt most comfortable.”.
Under the guidance of coach Jim McGuinness, the North Belfast Harriers athlete has progressed from Northern Ireland Masters Champion, to British Champion, and now double European Masters Champion. David Clarke will now have his sights set on the World Masters Athletics Championships scheduled for Finland, later this year. With the form that David is in at the moment, who would bet against him? Well done David, on a truly stunning weekend of running!
Photo and details courtesy of April Clarke.
Conan McCaughey Wins the Northern Ireland and Ulster Cross Country at Gransha
Saturday saw the final cross country race for the season in the NI and Ulster series. In a season when both the men and the women of North Belfast Harriers had achieved some notable successes, the participants approached this traditional final race with excitement. Although minor injuries and adverse circumstances prevented some members from running, the outcomes were certainly worth celebrating. Conan McCaughey finished in first place in the men’s race, in 39min:58sec, a commanding distance ahead of his nearest rival, who was some 27sec behind him. Conan’s performance, and that of his teammates, resulted in North Belfast Harriers men’s team lifting silver in the team race. Meanwhile the ladies’ team finished fourth.
The race, which was hosted by City of Derry Spartans, involved the men completing 6 laps of the course, to cover a challenging 12km over the soft ground, on the Gransha Hospital parkland, on the outskirts of the city, whilst the women ran 3 laps for a 6km distance.
Gransha Cross Country, Men’s 12 km Race
Gransha Cross Country, Women’s 6 km Race
Photos courtesy of Spartans Facebook, Paul Sheridan and Joe Gallagher.
As the recent series of storms and inclement weather abated, at least for the weekend, many members of North Belfast Harriers donned their winter running gear and joined the ever ebullient gatherings of runners, of all ages and abilities, at their local ParkRun. Whether meeting up to challenge themselves for a pb, or merely convening for the craic and camaraderie, as ever the members of North Belfast Harriers shared their love for running in general, and ParkRun in particular.
Worthy of a special mention are April Clarke, who was a first female finisher, Piaras McShane, who was a second finisher, and Colin McDowell a third finisher, in their respective ParkRun courses. Also worthy of a mention are Dermot Coy, Oisin Steel, Eva McLoughlin, and Lucinda McAvoy, who achieved new personal best times in their respective ParkRuns. Well done everyone.
|14||Dermot Coy||66.25%||0:21:05||New PB|
|33||John Gerard Murphy||66.74%||0:22:39|
|86||Oisin Steel||53.64%||0:27:02||New PB|
|141||Eva McLoughlin||59.67%||0:31:27||New PB|
Belfast Victoria ParkRun
|11||April Clarke||77.15%||0:19:11||First Female Finisher|
|30||Janice Plumb||82.28%||0:20:53||First Timer|
Queen’s ParkRun, Belfast
Falls ParkRun, Belfast
Wallace ParkRun, Lisburn
|73||Tony Forde||59.90%||0:26:46||First Timer|
|103||David Hurst||46.06%||0:29:25||First Timer|
City ParkRun, Craigavon
|180||Lucinda McAvoy||57.48%||0:28:11||New PB|
Valley ParkRun, Newtownabbey