SIXTEEN Sperrin Harriers made the short trip to Ballinderry for the first running of the Ballinderry Bridge 10k road race which was run in conjunction with Ballinderry Shamrocks family fun day. On a very sunny warm day over sixty athletes gathered on the Shamrocks grounds waiting for the start, after a few words of encouragement from Patsy McGlone then it was over to the post office for the start of the race.
At 11.45 Patsy blew the whistle and the athletes charged down the road. It was top Sperrin runner Christopher McPeake who hit the front straight away and was being followed by a group consisting of Jonathan McCloy, Ballymena runners Aidan O’Hagan, Darren Crozier, David O’Brien, the Harriers and Darren McKee who was also being closing followed by two more Sperrin athletes, Paul McLaughlin & Karen Alexander.
When the athletes reached two mile Christopher had opened a lead of 30secs with Jonathan now in 2nd place with Aidan just in front of the two Darrens.
As the race started to run off road, down a lane-way, there was no change in the top positions, but Paul & Karen had now got by a very tired looking David with Marty McGirr & Raymond Ferguson making good ground on O’Brien on the lane.
Also making good progress at this point, second lady Gemma Turley and third lady Sinead McCann with Sperrin’s Fiona Crozier & Natasha Henry not far behind.
As the athletes approached the final bridge it was Christopher who crossed it first & headed up the hill towards the football pitch & was heading up the final straight before the next athlete Aidan came across with Jonathan close on his heels.
As Christopher crossed the line in a great time of 35.25, but Aidan who had made an error of coming in the gate, let Jonathan through to second in 36.43, with Aidan taking a minute and a half of his time to set a new PB of 36.50.
Next across the line was Darren McKee 37.49, with Darren Crozier right behind him in 37.57, next to finish, was the leading lady, and top mountain runner, Karen Alexander in a time of 38.05.
Next was the winner of the O/40s ,Paul McLaughlin whose time was 38.44. The winner of the O/50s David O’Brien finished in a time of 39.01, while in the Ladies race Gemma Turley of Springwell ran a great race to take the runners up position in a time of 41-50 with Sinead McCann of Drumquin taking 3rd place in a time of 47-03, with Fiona just behind her in 4th, 47-10
Here are the rest of the Harriers times: Marty McGirr 39-38, Raymond Ferguson 39-57, 2nd O/50, Gary McGuckin 42-08,Conor Henry 42-23,Patrick Quinn 45-39,Natasha Henry 5th lady 47-50, Karen McElroy 53-36, Keiron O’Hagan 55-36, Andrea McGuckin 56-48.
Great running everyone on a very warm day and on a very tough course. Also well done to Gary McGuckin and friends for putting on a great race.
The club would like to congratulate Mark Reid on his run from Portrush to Cookstown in aid Charis Intergrated Cancer Care.
Mark who is 40 this year decided to do the 40 mile run in Memory of his mother who died of cancer. Mark who only rejoined the Harriers after a long lay off was delighted to be joined at different stages along the route by his many friends within the club well done Mark.
Training every Tue/Thur at 6-30 Loughry College & at Rainey Rugby Club Magherafelt Tue/Thur 6-30 & Sunday morning 9am.
Don’t forget Ladies only training on Wed at 7-30 in Meadowbank Track.