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

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.