Athletics: Busy countrywide action period for Sperrin runners

Harrier Deirdre Conway with Gregory Cahoon at the Carrickfergus Marathon
Harrier Deirdre Conway with Gregory Cahoon at the Carrickfergus Marathon
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Last week Sperrin Harriers attended the Scenic Carn, Killylane Klassic and Carrickfergus Marathon. The club also turned out in numbers to a variety of Parkruns.

Easter Monday saw the first 10K for the Slaughtneil area which started and finished at Slaughtneil GAC. Stephen McWilliams completed the difficult hilly course in 65:22.

Close to 50 athletes attended the 3rd annual NiRunning 5 mile Trail Race on Saturday. This well organised event started and finished at the scenic Killylane Reservoir located within Ballyboley Forest, Co. Antrim. On a course which consisted of both trails and forest roads Harrier Toirleach Gourley finished in 35:54.

East Antrim Marathon Series continued at Carrickfergus. After starting at the historic castle the course followed the coastal route to Loughshore Park and back again, a route repeated three times to reach the full marathon distance.

Congratulations to Harrier Deirdre Conway who contended with wet and unpleasant conditions to complete her 23rd marathon in 4:40:00.

On Saturday there was a large turnout of Harriers at Cookstown Parkrun. Brian Taggart put in a stand-out performance, finishing at the head of the field with a personal best of 16:46. The next Sperrin to finish was Paul McLaughlin in 19:18, followed by Mark Thom who dipped under the 20 minute threshold with a personal best of 19:51.

Tanya Quinn also scored a new personal best, beating her time by a massive 26 seconds, coming home as second female in 20:34. Malcolm McCullough was next Harrier to finish in 21:26, followed by Eamonn Cushnahan who achieved a PB of 21:36.

Ruairi Scullin completed in 21:42, pursued by Patsy Hughes (21:44); Roddy McIvor (22:43); Catherine Farley with a personal best of 24:54 and Maeve Conway (29:01) in her first ever Parkrun.

Four lady Harriers ran for the first time at Craigavon on Saturday, Dearbhla Glackin led the ladies with a Parkrun personal best of 27:31, Maureen Mallon next in 28:06, followed by Briege McCann (30:51) and Jacinta Morgan (31:13) both with Parkrun PBs.

Harrier Hannah SU O’Callaghan took on the tough course at Armagh on Saturday, finishing in 26:31.

Those who haven’t yet done should contact Registration Secretary Tanya Quinn to renew membership, as Athletics NI year started on 1st April. Adult membership is £30 and Junior membership is £15.

Upcoming; Saturday Beragh 5 Mile Road Race, 5K Fun Run St. Mary’s Park, Beragh, noon.Sunday Titanic Quarter 10k, Fun Run, Titanic Quarter, Belfast 2:15 pm; Tuesday 12th Ballymena Belles 5 Mile Race, Galgorm Community Centre, Ballymena, 7pm; Wednesday 13th Bay Road 5K, Magee Sports Centre, Rock Road, Derry, 7:30pm; Friday 15th Dentals Solutions 5K Classic, Foyle Arena, Londonderry, 7:30pm; Stunnerz ‘N’ Runnerz Saturday 11th June.