On Monday 29th October the long awaited National Lottery Dublin Marathon had arrived. For an eager group of Sperrin harriers, the time had come to test their seasons training and to push their endurance levels to the absolute limits.
At 8.45 on Monday morning the harriers had already taken their start positions with the other 14,500 runners in a very cold, foggy, but dry Fitzwilliam Upper Street. The race started at 9am and lead through many of the cities famous sights including O’Connell Street, Phoenix Park, Grand Canal and Elm Park Golf Resort, before finishing at Merrion Square North. The 1.2 million cheering spectators did a fantastic job of providing a euphoric carnival atmosphere along the entire race route.
First Harrier to complete the 26.2 mile marathon was Aaron Meharg as he smashed his personal best with 2.50. Second was Aidan O’Hagan who also set a new PB of 2.57, while third home with another PB was Mel Hughes as he joined the sub 3 hour lads with 2.59.
Darren Church was giving Naill Higgins a run for his money but Naill took next place with 3.04 and Darren right behind with 3.05.
Adrian McCreesh managed to beat his London marathon time by 7 minutes as he sailed home with a new PB of 3.07.
Paul Conway made Dublin his debut marathon and raised many eyebrows as he completed in an outstanding 3.09 PB.
Fergal Mulgrew had a steady 3.11 finish, followed by Paul McLaughlin who has been trying to shake of an injury with 3.12. Francis Stewart with a another PB of 3.13 was next.
Connor Martin predicted a 3.30 finish, but instead ran the race of his life with a PB of 3.18.
Darren Crozier set a new PB of 3.16 just ahead of Sean O’Gara’s new PB of 3.18 and also Gareth Cardwell at 3.19.
Brian McGarrity also showed a strong run with a PB 3.25 as did Martin Lougharn with another PB 3.26. Connor Henry also ran a great first full marathon with a PB 3.26.
Kevin Devlin finished in 3.27. Raymond Thom had a very strong finish as he overtook a few harriers in the last half mile and crossed at 3.28. Michael Monaghan was up next with 3.29.
Darren Warnock was very pleased to beat his Belfast marathon time by 27minutes and set a new PB of 3.29. Paul McErlain also managed to join the sub 3.30 club as he hit a PB of 3.29. Gary Ward managed a 3.31
Next up was Gregory Cahoon who has managed to break his marathon record for the second time this year with a new PB 3.34. Ryan Treanor was well on track for a sub 3h finish for his first marathon. Ryan crossed the halfway point at 1.27 but then things went wrong for him at mile 19 when he picked up an ankle injury and slowed him down for the remainder of the race. Ryan still finished with a respectable PB of 3.35.
Tanya Black’s hundreds of miles of training really paid off as she took the title of First Lady Harrier home while also setting her new PB 3.39.
Next harrier, Oliver Murphy needed no introduction to endurance running when he set yet another PB 3.40. Paul Martin, AKA The Doc and Tony O’Neill were right behind Oliver and also finished in 3.40.
Martin Donaghy had made a speedy recovery as he was just 3m shy of his Berlin marathon time last month. Martin finished with 3.43.
John O’Hagan was up next with 3.48.
Jason O’Neill was running a steady pace all the way with a PB of 3.49. Barry O’Neill managed to settle score from last years Dublin marathon with a new PB of 3.53.
Joanne Bell was making impressive return to marathon racing and was in great form as she claimed second lady home with 3.57.
Jeremy Dobson just missed the 4h barrier as he came in with 4.04 but still managed a course record. Stephen Quinn also ran his first marathon with a great PB 4.16 while not far behind was Frances CW with 4.22.
Nicola Gillespie also had her first taste of marathon running and did a great job with a PB of 3.26. Deirdre Conway who was tea totalled for the six months previous to the race was in the best shape of her life. Deirdre ran a fantastic, well deserved PB of 4.28 taking 20minutes off her previous best. Newest Sperrin Harrier Shauna Young proved her strength with 4.36 and Tom McDonald who will soon be entering the 100 marathon club finished with 4.50
Forty one sperrin harriers took part in the Dublin Marathon. A grand total of twenty three PB’s were brought back home making this the most successful race of the year. It certainly was a day to be proud of being a Sperrin Harrier.
SPEIRS TAKES SECOND AT BALLYCLARE
Five Sperrin Harriers were at Six Mile Water Park in Ballyclare on Saturday for another Cross Country Event. Irwin Speirs was warming up for next week as he took 2nd in the O/60’s of the very muddy 5k, while Maggie Devlin made her first XC race. In the seniors 5 mile Gavin Wylie and Adrian Devlin were both running their first XC and Rodney Young was making a return after being injured for some twelve weeks.
Husband and Wife team Gerard and Adel McNally attended the Ecos Parkrun in Ballymena on Saturday. Gerard took second place in a sprint finish with a time of 20.05 while Adel finished with 26.05 and secured her 4th lady.
Donal Gallagher was back at the Citypark Parkrun in Craigavon last week. It was operation clean-sweep for Donal as he took 1st place with 17.05. Then Donal returned on Saturday last and claimed 3rd place with 17.11. These result come at a great time as Donal and The Legend, Irwin Speirs will be representing Northern Ireland in The British & Irish Masters Cross Country Races which will be held this Saturday 10th November at Queens Playing Fields, DUB Lane, Belfast. Everyone in The Sperrin Harriers Club wish Irwin and Donal every success on Saturday.
HALF MARATHON SERIES
Darren Warnock was invited to the Mary Peters Track in Belfast to collect an award for running all eight races in the Up & Running Half Marathon Series. Darren was one of only twenty seven athletes from all across Northern Ireland who ran all eight half marathons of the series.
For those who have not already purchased their tickets for the Sperrin Harriers Annual Awards Night, please do so quickly as there are only a few left. On Saturday the 24th November, the night will kick off at 8pm sharp at The Greenvale Hotel Cookstown and music will be provided by Hype.
WINTER LEAGUE NEXT RACE
The Sperrin Harriers will also host the second race of the 2012/13 winter league on Saturday 10th November at Lough Fea. Registration for the new 5k race will open at 11am, and the race will commence at 12 noon. £3 affiliated and £4 no affiliated. Large numbers are expected.
Training continues at Meadow Bank Sports Arena on Monday at 6.45pm and Wednesday at 7.30pm and also in Cookstown at Loughry College Campus at 6.30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Beginners and new members are always welcome as we cater for all abilities.