Strong runs by Harriers at first cross country race

Sperrin Harriers Mens Team along with Club Chairman Francis Purvis
Sperrin Harriers Mens Team along with Club Chairman Francis Purvis

SPERRIN Harriers turned in strong performances in their first outing over the country on Saturday.

Springwell Running Club hosted the first race of the Athletics NI Cross Country League, this took place at the University of Ulster Coleraine Campus.

This was the first ever running of this particular event, and it included races for both junior and senior runners. With a lot of rain in the days before the race, the ground was understandably mucky making conditions tricky, but the good thing was the rain stayed away during the majority of the racing.

The Harriers had a strong field of about 30 runners taking part in the races, which included a Junior, Ladies 3 mile and Men’s 5 mile race.

The junior event got under way first and Cathaoir Purvis had a great run and picked up a podium place! – A good start to the day.

In the ladies race Karen Alexander narrowly missed out on the podium, with a near photo finish and a 4th place in 18:52. Nuala Kelly, Jacqueline Mulligan and Kerry Stewart were not far behind and all finishing in under 22 mins.

In the men’s race, Pierce McCullagh was the first of the Harriers to finish in an overall 14th and a time of 28:55.

Michael Crawley and Aaron Meharg had a close battle with little to separate them at the finish line, finishing in 27th and 28th respectively.

Overall a very strong performance by everyone who took part and a good start to the cross country season, which continues next Saturday at Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.