Athletics: Sperrin success at Lifford-Strabane

Some Sperrin Harriers at the Strabane Half Marathon
Some Sperrin Harriers at the Strabane Half Marathon

The Harriers attended a variety of events last week, namely the Les Jones Memorial 10k, the Loughgall 10k, the Lifford-Strabane Half Marathon and 5k, as well as a number of Parkruns on Saturday.

The Les Jones Memorial 10k on Friday 13th May started and finished on the Mary Peters Track in Belfast with nearly three hundred runners taking part.

Strabane Half Marathon awards - Cheryl Cardwell, Paul McLaughlin and Tanya Quinn

Strabane Half Marathon awards - Cheryl Cardwell, Paul McLaughlin and Tanya Quinn

Hosted by Athletics NI and representing the fourth event in the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix, the course included the Minnowburn, Shaws Bridge and Lagan Towpath areas.

Harrier Tommy Harraghy was second in the male 60 category with his time of 42:44.

On Saturday 14th May nearly one hundred runners travelled to County Armagh for the Loughgall 10k.

It was a well organised event that took place in sunny conditions, and Malcolm McCullough was the first Harrier to cross the line, taking third place overall in 43:35.

He was followed by Patsy Hughes and Barry O’Neill who finished in 45:10 and 47:47 respectively.

Strabane District Council, in partnership with Lifford Athletic Club, played host to the region’s third cross border half marathon and 5k fun run/walk on Sunday 15th May.

Over 1,000 runners turned out for what proved to be a very successful day for the Harriers in the half marathon.

Pierce McCullagh showed his quality once again, crossing the line in 1:15:16 to take 8th place overall in a closely contested finish.

Connor Martin joined him in 1:24:15 and was followed by Paul McLaughlin who won the male over 40 category in 1:25:44 with Steven Fearon next in 1:30:53.

The Sperrin ladies distinguished themselves when Cheryl Cardwell took first place in the female over 40 category with her time of 1:34:23. She was followed by Tanya Quinn when she came home as second in the same category in 1:35:08.

Raymond Thom completed in 1:36:05 and next home were Laura Mitchell (1:38:13), Stephanie Henry (1:53:04), Joanne Bell (1:53:05), Catherine Farley (1:57:04), Kellie Anne Quinn (1:58:49), Jane Thom (1:59:58) and Fiona Devlin (2:02:56).

Congratulations to Noreen Donnelly on running her first half marathon which she completed in 2:10:12. Carla Fowley accompanied her around the course and both ladies crossed the line together.

Impressive as their individual efforts were, the Harriers also ranked very highly in the various team categories. They achieved the positions of fifth team overall, fifth male team overall, third male team in the open category, and third female team in the open category.

Crowning this tremendous showing were the ladies who placed as the second female team overall - namely Cheryl Cardwell, Tanya Quinn and Laura Mitchell.

In the 5k event - which saw over 250 attend - Teresa Owens completed the course in 29:18 and was followed by Bernie Sonner in 33:11.

These results, both individual and as a team, spoke volumes as to the ability and determination of both the male and female Harriers who took part on the day.

Well done to Sperrin Harrier Jane Thom, who was awarded with her prize for placing first in the female over 40 category at the previous week’s Termoneeny 10K.


In a close finish at Cookstown on Saturday Brian Taggart seized first place with his time of 16:59.

The next Harrier to finish was Paul Conway in 17:53, then Mark Reid in 19:21, and Mark Thom in 21:16.

Congratulations to Kevin Heenan who achieved a personal best of 24:28 with Linda Heenan coming home in 28:46.

Stephen McWilliams finished the course at Ballymena in 30:11.

For those who haven’t yet done so please contact Registration Secretary Tanya Quinn to renew your membership, as the new Athletics NI year started on the 1st April. Adult membership is £30 and Junior membership is £15.

Please assist the compilation of the weekly press report by e mailing your results to You can also enter your race results at Any member intending to participate in any upcoming race is asked to send details in advance to to ensure inclusion in the weekly report.


Thursday 19th May at 7.30pm

Wilkies Classic 5 mile - Brandywell Cycle Path

Friday 20th May

Albertville 4 Mile Road Race, Duncrue at 7.30pm

Runher Coastal 5K & 10K, Seapark/Rockport at 6:30pm

Saturday 21st May

Jengana 10K, Station House Cafe at 2pm

Sunday 22nd May

Belfast One World Run, Ormeau Park at 3pm

Stunnerz ‘N’ Runnerz returns for its fifth year on Saturday 11th June, Meadowbank Sports Arena, Magherafelt, at 12 noon.

Open to women of all ages and abilities the day will give female runners the opportunity to test themselves in an officially timed yet friendly environment, while also supporting the Pretty ‘n’ Pink breast cancer charity.

Train in a fun and friendly atmosphere. Weekly training takes place every Tuesday at 6:30pm in Loughry College and every Thursday night from Turkington’s car park at 6:30pm. Long run training for marathon, half marathon and 5-10 miles takes place every Sunday at 9am leaving from ASDA car park. Track training is also available to members every Thursday at Gortgonis Track, Coalisland at 6.30pm.

Sperrin Harriers FREE junior running camp continues on Tuesdays (6.30pm) at MUSA football courts which include flood lights and a 70m sprint track. A great way for boys and girls aged 12-18 years old to be introduced to the world of running. All abilities welcome.