Athletics: Sperrin Harrier Hall tops podium

First 3 ladies at Magherafelt 4 Mile Cheryl Cardwell, Natalie Hall and Hannah Su
First 3 ladies at Magherafelt 4 Mile Cheryl Cardwell, Natalie Hall and Hannah Su

Magherafelt Harriers added a new race, at a novel distance of 4 miles, to the local road-racing calendar this year, staging their inaugural Festive 4 Miler in aid of SAM88 a local suicide prevention charity.

Judging by the support from and performances by our Sperrin Harriers on Saturday, this race should go on to establish itself as a welcome permanent fixture in years to come.

The female podium was packed out by Sperrin Harriers. Natalie Hall, a regular top ten finisher on the local scene, covered the distance in 27 minutes and 17 seconds. Cheryl Cardwell and Hannah Su took 2nd and 3rd places in 28.11 and 32.03.

Meanwhile, John Mulhern finished in 3rd place (25:47) behind Oliver Cook of Ballymena and Antrim AC (24:11) and Thomas Leitch of Orangegrove AC (25:08).

Other Sperrin Harriers to finish included Tommy Harraghy in a fine 4th place overall (26.16) with Colly Gallagher coming 6th (26.45), Kevin Devlin 8th (27.14) and Fergal McElroy 9th (27.16).

Barry O’Neill 28.52; Patsy Hughes 28.57; Damian Kerr 29.04; Roddy McIvor 29.17; Gary Ward 30.02; Anthony O’Neill 30.09; Jason O’Neill 31.01; Michael McCrory 32.23; Karen McElroy 32.52; Stephen McWilliams 38.35; Andy Linton 39.24; Bernie Sonner and Linda Donnelly 45.06.

Adrian and Amy Ferson would like to thank all the Magherafelt/ Sperrin Harriers who took part in Thursday’s Santa Run in aid of Antrim Neonatal Unit in memory of Charlie Ferson.

Parkrun- It was a welcome return to 5K action for regular Parkrunners on Saturday morning including new member and long-time friend of the club, Shay McKeown, whose fine form continued with a great time of 25:03 at MUSA Cookstown.

Colm McGuckian, put down a good first time marker at Ecos Ballymena (21.31) while Stephen McWilliams got in his customary weekend warm-up run (28.13) before heading to the Magherafelt 4 Miler.

Parkrun addicts should be aware that Citypark, Craigavon, will host special editions of the event on Christmas Day (starting promptly at 9:30am) and on New Year’s Day (at the later time of 10am). These races will count towards the annual points competitions and Parkrun t-shirts.

All Sperrin Harriers are asked to check that they have recorded their club affiliation on their Parkrun profiles.

The week ahead: Greencastle 5M Road Race– Greencastle Community Centre – 1pm, 26th December. Online registration is now open at www.greencastle5.com. Castlewellan Christmas Cracker, Castlewellan Football Club– 1pm, 27th December. Online registration is now open at www.newcastleac.org.