Harriers hit “Home Run”

Sperrin Harriers 5Km race
Sperrin Harriers 5Km race

250 runners attended the annual 5 mile road race, which took place from Loughry College on Friday 2nd August.

With some top names attending the event such as former winner Joe McAlister (St Malachi’s) and Gemma Turley (Springwell), the scene was set for a great evenings racing.

At the start of the race it was Alan O’Hara (North Belfast) who took the lead with Joe McAlister and Connor Magill (North Belfast) not far behind. Sperrin runners Donal Gallagher and Pierce McCullagh were in the chasing pack that made up the top ten.

In the Ladies race Gemma Turley, Pauline McGurren (Sperrin) and Geraldine Quigley (Larne) took the early lead, with Sperrins Tanya Black, Nuala Kelly and Rosemary Hargan following close behind.

In the final stages of the men’s race, Joe McAlister took the lead from Alan O’Hara and looked set for the victory, however Joe appeared to drop his pace slightly, leaving Alan to take the lead back again eventually taking the 1st place position in 25:24.

Joe and Connor battled to the finish line for the 2nd place position, with Joe just holding on with the smallest of margins for 2nd in 25:54, Connor in 3rd in 25:56!

As the first of the ladies approached the finish, it was Gemma Turley who had pulled well clear to take 1st place in 30:46, with Pauline McGurren finishing in 2nd with a time of 32:34 and Geraldine Quigley took 3rd in 32:57.

After a great evenings racing the competitors enjoyed the post-race refreshments at Loughry College, who the club would like to thank for providing the use of their facilities for training and races.

Special Thanks to our Sponsors, the Greenvale Hotel and MRL Fireplaces, for supporting this successful event.

Thanks to the organising Committee and to everyone who helped out on the night and thanks to NI running for taking photo’s of the event.

Proceeds from this event went to the locally based Superstars Club, who provide a wide range of social, training and leisure activities for people with learning disabilities.


7 Pierce McCullagh 27:22; 8 Donal Gallagher 27:41; 10 Michael Crawley 27:54; 18 Aaron Meharg 28:19; 24 Aidan O’Hagan 28:51; 25 Fergal Mulgrew 28:52; 31 Sean O’Gara 29:47; 33 Martin Loughran 29:53; 8 Mel Hughes 30:18; 41 Paul McLaughlin 30:33

On Sunday 4th August 2013, the World Police & Fire Games took place from the Mid Ulster Sports Arena. With the event being staged in NI for the first time, the entries were high with a field of 500 runners.

The Sports Arena complex just outside the town had been transformed for the day into a mini athletes village, and there was a real buzz of excitement as the runners, spectators, staff etc. all mingled together before the race. The course for the race would see the athletes run the length of Cookstown before heading into the countryside to the Lissan area, and then tackle the return loop back through the town to the finish at the Sports Arena.

Spectators were out in their droves and lined the streets as the town basked in the afternoon sunshine. The event was a great success and also a great showcase for the Cookstown and Mid Ulster area, with many International Athletes visiting the area for the first time. At the finish there was a great mix of runners from Spain, Mexico, Russia, Scotland and Ireland who took the top awards.

The Sperrin Harriers had a strong fielding of over 20 runners taking part and full results will be published once they are available.

World Police & Fire Games Race: Top 3 Men: 1st Jonathan Morales (Mexico) – 1:13:31, 2nd Jose Del Campo Gijon (Spain) – 1:15:00, 3rd Paul Moran (Ireland) – 1:16:51. Top 3 Ladies: 1st Svetlana Zaharova (Russia) – 1:22:24, 2nd Shelley Boyd (Team NI) – 1:37:50, 3rd Hazel Smyth (Scotland) – 1:40:02. Open Race: Top 3 Men: 1st Henry O’Neill (Unattached) – 1:12:18, 2nd Keith Young (Unattached) – 1:18:11, 3rd Brendan McDaid (Inishowen Fitness) – 1:21:08. Top 3 Ladies: 1st Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) – 1:28:14, 2nd Linda Meehan (Club Pulse AC) – 1:37:33, 3rd Fiona Johnston (Unattached) – 1:40:30

Kilbroney Newry and Mourne Womens Mini marathon

9 Sperrin Harriers ladies travelled to Kilbroney Park on Sunday 28th July to run the Newry and Mourne Womens Mini Marathon.

The weather conditions were fine and very warm, so the team made sure they took on plenty of fluids before the race. All competitors were taken by Bus to the start line and when the hooter went there were 250 ladies making a dash through the Mourne Mountains.

The route was flat in places with some fast downhill sections, however at the 8k marker a steep hill put a huge challenge on the team, but the “Girl Power” got them to the top and onwards through the remainder of the race.

All the ladies had a fantastic race and the official results are as follows: Rosemary Hargan 48:29 (10th), Hannah Su: 49:58 (15th), Ursula Kelly 54:10 (34th), Louise Kelly 55:47 (54th), Elaine Hargan 59:23 (96th), Andrea McGuckin 1 hour 1 minutes (122nd), Maureen Mallon: 1 hour 2 minutes (140th), Nikki Burns 1 hour 2 minutes (141st), Ciara Coyle 1 hour 8 minutes.

After the event the ladies treated themselves to some pampering at the Canal Court Hotel in Newry, and a well deserved rest after a tough event! – Well done to all who took part.

Results for Parkrun 8 – Saturday 3rd August: Pierce McCullagh 18.07, Eamon Sheehan 21.21, Martin McGirr 21.39, Barry O’Neill 23.39, Irwin Spiers 23.50

The Beginners to Winners programme takes place at Meadowbank Sports Arena Magherafelt on the running track and welcomes all abilities to come along to a ‘relaxed’ ‘no pressure’ environment where they will get advice and tips from experienced coaches and runners.

Running always gives back what ‘YOU’ put in and with the right help and advice and your determination we can guarantee we will help mould you into a runner following the 3 steps to suit each individual need, Walk, Jog, Run.

If you haven’t joined this programme in time for the start, please feel to some along to view the training and one of our coaches or members will be glad to have a chat with you on the night.

Race Results & Upcoming events

As we are now at a peak time in the running season, and events are taking place across the country, it is essential that members send through their results so that they can be included in our weekly press release.

Please send and reports, results, updates etc.to Francis Purvis or Gary McGuckin – contact details are available on the club website.

Some events taking place this week: Scott & Gault 7 Mile race (Ballyclare) on Saturday 10th August and Donaghmore 5.5 on Saturday 10th August.

Harriers continue to train in Magherafelt at Meadow Bank Sports Arena on a Monday at 6.45pm, and a Wednesday at 7.30pm.

Cookstown training takes place at Loughry College on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 6.30pm. Beginners and new members are welcome, as we cater for all abilities.