14 Oldpark Terrace, Belfast BT14 6NN

North Belfast Junior Report November 13th – 20th

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For this week’s Parkrun and cross country updates read on…

All Ireland Even Age Group Cross Country Championships

Renowned for it’s natural beauty and warm welcome, Downings, Donegal played host this weekend to athletes and spectators from all over the country for the prestigious All Ireland Even age group cross country finals.

This meet attracts the best up and coming talent from all 4 provinces and with 17 of our own runners participating, there was plenty of home interest in races from U12 up to U18 & Junior.

North Belfast Harriers coaches and chief roadies, Seamus and Davey, got the day off to a good start by arriving early and securing an advantageous pitch for the travelling support and athletes.  Cross country runners are a tough breed, but just to reaffirm, the North Atlantic breeze arrived bringing it’s cold and windy vibe to proceedings on the exposed Rosapena Golf Course.  Some wore hats and under-vests but the vast majority took to the course in club singlets and shorts  whilst spectators danced on the spot to maintain circulation.

The well designed course profile brought the runners over grass and through sand, with technical turns and a long uphill drag providing multiple opportunities for runners to launch attacks ahead of the fast downhill lead-in to the finishing straight.

And they were off…Cassie Curran was first up in the U12 Girls race placing 31st out of 166 runners after a trademark blistering finish.  U12 Boys Cormac, Ruarcc, Senan, Tom and Dualta placed well out of 161 runners with Cormac in the top 20.  Isla, with another year to go at U14 placed ahead of many good runners in 81st out of 172 runners.  Thomas worked his way well through the field to come home 111th out of 162 with another year at this level.  Our team entry in the U16 boys race was Max, Oscar, Eoin, Lorcan, Ryan and Charlie.  They came home 7th overall and were the 2nd placed team in Ulster just behind Finn Valley.  Excellent running from the boys, most of whom were running at the top level for the first time and led home by Max in 21st place, reflecting his consistency in this company over the years.  In the U18 boys, Hugo mixed it with some of the stars of Irish athletics completing the course in an excellent 50th position out of 105 runners.

And finally, a massive shout out to 2 former junior Harriers, Roise Roberts and Matthew Lavery.  Both have progressed to be leading contenders in their age groups (U20) and our now competing for national vests.  On Sunday, Roise gained automatic qualification to represent Ireland in the Euro Cross Country by finishing an excellent 3rd place in the Women’s Junior race.  Matthew also had a great race in a top class field finishing 10th in the men’s U20 category.  Well done to both.

All excellent performances.  This was a challenging course in tough conditions against a top class field in every race.  Anyone taking part had to earn their place so massive credit to all of our athletes.

If you couldn’t make the meet today, I highly recommend catching up on the action on You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cQkmg_q7gMU).  Worth it for the scenery alone.

Super well done and thanks to everyone involved from runners and supporters to coaches and roadies!  Days like these are special and live long in the memory because you have made them happen.

Full list of results available here: https://www.athleticsireland.ie/downloads/results/U12-U16s_XC_Results_22.pdf

Race Runner Position
U12 Girls 2000m Cassie Curran 34
U12 Boys 2000m Cormac Leheny 19
Ruarcc Sheridan 119
Senan McConnell 128
Tom McLoughlin 131
Dualta McGleenan 144
U14 Girls 3000m Isla Wiltshire 85
U14 Boys 3000m Thomas Coy 111
U16 Boys 4000m Max Reid 21
Oscar Purvis 47
Eoin McConnell 55
Lorcan McCann 115
Ryan Donaldson 124
Charlie McLarnon 126
U18 Boys 6000m Hugo Reilly Stewart 50

And so the weekend Parkruns.  11 runners across 3 events this weekend and 2 new PB’s!  Congratulations to Aodhan and Grace on their fastest times to date.  Well done to everyone else who took part.  The runs at the weekend will really complement your mid-week sessions and the great thing about the parkruns is that you don’t need to race them if you don’t want to.

Parkrun Distance Runner Position Time PB!
Waterworks 5km Oran Steele 108 26.59
Declan McGinley 25 21.29
Waterworks 2km Aodhan O LOINGSIGH 1 8.21 New PB!
Niall MCAULEY 2 8.43
Finley MCCLOY 4 9.04
Isaac MOONEY 5 9.07
Senan STEELE 7 9.29
Eimear O’REGAN 9 9.51
Grace MCKENNA 10 10.02 New PB!
Dara MCLAUGHLIN 59 22.45
Musgrave 2km Ronan O’Neill 11 11.21

Training continues as normal this week.  Thanks to everyone who provided insights and photos into the races this weekend.