Snow joke

Snow joke being snowed under without a flake in sight…Well it has been a few weeks, totally slaughtered with work and on all other fronts and indeed getting ready for good old St Nick…

Starting back a few weeks, a race that we can revisit, is the Born2Run 10k forest trail event at Loughgall, although the course was a little short we did have some cracking results from Patsy, Lorraine and David at the Harriers. First home was Patsy Hamill in overall 15th place with a time of 35:05. David returned in a time of 48:21 and Lorraine in 75:37.

Saturday 5th December saw 4 parkrun events visited by the Harriers, results as follows:
Waterworks: Danny Donaldson 19:04 with a new 5K PB, smashing Danny…!!! Patrick J Hamill 25:54, Tiffany McAllister 30:13.
Victoria: Robert Gould 21:25
Antrim: Alan Ladd 26:53, Martin McCready 29:40.
Valley: Alex Davidson 22:57, Patrick McGuckin 24:36, Siobhan Dempsey 26:51, Elaine Kennedy 28:57, Clare Teer 29:32, Fidelma McCoppin 31:38, Robert Jackson 32:36, Jennifer McCoppin 34:55.

It was with great honour and privilege that Mallusk Harriers had been asked to help with the Action on Hearing Loss 5 mile run on the 6th December at Hazelbank, for an extremely worthy charity. A lot of our members helped out in a host of volunteering roles, with several other members to take on the challenge to earn a bit of bling for the run.
A total of 26 Mallusk Harriers took on the course on what was described, a perfect day for running. Unlike the previous 24 hours at Loughgall with storm Desy doing the rounds. It would be unfair to pinpoint any of our runners for exceptional performances, for my own personal view on any run for any charity is exceptional regardless of time or position, although Susan Thompson recording her first podium with female third place finish rewrites that, great running Susan…

Danny Donaldson 33:13, Alan Ladd 33:21, Susan Thompson 36:44, Gowain McKenna 37:39, Deborah Ewing 39:01, Micky McAuley 39:24, Dave Gibson 40:21, Siobhan Dempsey 42:16, Jolene O’Donnell 42:48, Tina Steele 43:38, Gillian Bainbridge 43:51, Jennifer Butler 44:11, Steven Boyd 45:40, Clare Teer 45:41, Ian Simpson 45:45, Jim Hewitt 46:09, Anna-Marie Barrington 48:06, Alex Davidson 48:07, Patrick Hamill 51:27, Louise Ladd 52:20, Tiffany McAllister 53:42, Jennifer McCoppin 55:44, Rosalind Stitt 64:37, Marion Harrison 64:39, Joanne Haddock 64:44 and our very own tail runner Martin ‘The Bear’ McCready.

Saturday 12th December parkruns:
Waterworks: Danny Donaldson 19:35, Patrick McGuckin 21:06, Noel Bloomfield 24:35, Patrick J Hamill 24:59, Tiffany McAllister 30:04.
Victoria: Robert Gould 20:45 with a new 5K PB, well done Rab…!!!
Queens: Martin McCready 29:28.
Antrim: Deborah Ewing 24:39, Elaine Kennedy 26:13, Tina Steele 27:14.
Valley: Alan Ladd 21:29, Brendan McGeown 26:38, Ben Davidson 27:29, Alex Davidson 27:29, Fidelma McCoppin 30:59, Robert Jackson 33:08.
Stormont: Duncan Baxter 30:13.

Saturday the 19th December allowed for a split of allegiances for our runners between the regular parkrun events, the Born2Run 10K at Tollymore forest and Campbell College 5K in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society.
Waterworks: Brendan McGeown 22:50, Alan Ladd 24:37, Patrick J Hamill 25:28, Jolene O’Donnell 25:45,
Antrim: Deborah Ewing 24:55, Elaine Kennedy 26:50, Tina Steele 26:59.
Valley: Alex Davidson 23:16, Chloe Davidson 30:04, Ben Davidson 32:17, Noel Bloomfield 32:23, Robert Jackson 35:23.
Tollymore 10K results: Patsy Hamill 42:56, Danny Donaldson 43:25, David Mullan 57:42, Catherine Boyd 60:08, Duncan Baxter 63:18, Ian Simpson 65:22, Kelly Nelson 77:28, Tiffany McAllister 77:53, Joanne Haddock 86:46, Lorraine Forsythe 91:31

Campbell College 5K results: Tom Wylie 25:57, Dave Gibson 26:47, Paul Skillen 28:08, Gillian Bainbridge 29:57, Hannah McCoppin 32:14, Fidelma McCoppin 33:02, Karen Marsden 42:24.

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’

We’re all superheroes…

We’re all super heroes…

There is something magical about running in the rain and blustery conditions of the good old Irish weather. It always seems to take me back 10 or 15 years playing football around Mallusk playing fields (what…? alright, maybe 25+ years previously), 22 under 11 kids chasing a ball in the wind and the howling rain, after 60 minutes the chilblains setting into the hands and feet. Although this weather didn’t stop twenty six hardy souls braving the elements of our ‘fine’ winter weather, to take on the 2015 Seeley Cup hosted by Willowfield Harriers. Before I go straight into the report and results, we at Mallusk Harriers would like to thank Willowfield, for what was a perfectly great event, from the registration, pack pick-ups to the very strong, brave marshalls who encouraged and guided every runner on the day and not forgetting the after race refreshments. This just goes to show that some of the best races are those hosted by fellow clubs, to which we would like to remind all our club members to consider these races initially. Notably, a huge special thank you goes to Martin McCourt who captured the joy and excitement on all our little faces as we gently strolled around the park… that last point may not be completely truthful, well apart from Martin taking the snaps… Also in attendance offering amazing support and encouragement was the steadfast and honorary member of the Mallusk Harriers, Mags Mathieson. Also from the Mallusk Harriers out supporting, was Patrick McGuckin and his partner from North Belfast, Lynn McCullough. Other folk who braved the weather in supporting all the runners around the course (and also manages to pop up at nearly every event) was David O’Brien. The final thank you for the support of the club goes out to Colin Porter from Monkstown Spartans, apologies Colin, I almost didn’t recognise you in that sleeping bag…

First home in the Harriers vest was Patsy Hamill 39:51, Patsy was closely followed by Alex Davidson 41:23. Third home and with a new 10km PB was club junior Robbie Gould 41:47, a smashing run from the wee man… The next three home where Alan Ladd 43:07, Robert Gould with a new 10k PB in 43:34 also with a new 10k PB was Ciaran Skillen in a great time of 44:26.
The first of the Harriers’ ladies to cross the line was Naomi Lusty in a great time of 45:05, Naomi was tailed home by Gowain McKenna 47:41 and Dave Gibson 50:07. Next to cross the line was Catherine Boyd, although she was brought back down to earth with a bump, from the glorious weather that was left behind her from the Land of Oz (could have brought some sunshine back Cat…), Catherine crossed in 52:13. The next three members, Tom Wylie, Jennifer Butler and Jolene O’Donnell went stride for stride around the course in a great time of 52:13 and 52:14 for Jolene, the trio was closely followed by Louise Bond in 52:59, James Hewitt 53:08 and Laura Maguire in 53:13, with all the ladies recording new 10k PB’s… Hard work in training gives you PB’s, Simples… Next on the PB trail was Duncan Baxter, again the hard work Duncan has put into training starting to show, although no reason to take the foot off the gas over the winter, Duncan came home in 53:42. Also with a highly impressive run and almost two and half minutes off her previous 10k PB was Gillian Bainbridge, Gillian crossed in a great time of 53:48.
Yet again Mr Consistent, aka Ian Simpson notched up another 10k PB, absolutely smashing as Ian had been working late on a Friday evening into the early hours and again on an early start on a Saturday morning before making a quick start to Ormeau Park to record a great time of 56:44, Ian well chuffed for you matey…!! Ian had been chased home by the trio of Clare Teer, Noel Bloomfield and Gary Stitt all recording a time of 56:58. Just missing out on under an hour was the couple Mr & Mrs Skillen in time of 60:55, Leeanne chased Paul around the course like he had just purchased a new pair of trainers and the wages were short, but truth be told I secretly believe she was grateful of the company to get back on track with her running. The next two ladies returning home as the weather began to take hold and strengthen its grip, Anna Marie Barrington in a time of 63:40 and Natasha White who recorded a PB in 69:35, fantastic Natasha we all at the club are only too pleased to see the improvement shine through.

Not forgetting that Saturday is parkrun day, we did manage to get a few to get out and run and also volunteer around several events.
The travelling couple of Martin McCready and his partner Anne Smith from Magherafelt Harriers, continued to tour and found themselves at the St. Annes parkrun in east Dublin. Martin and Anne strolled home in time of 27:56.

At the Waterworks we had three happy Harriers completing, Danny Donaldson 19:16, Patrick McGuckin 27:07 and Tiffany McAllister with a new 5K PB in a time 29:58.

Over at Wallace Park Lisburn, Elaine Kennedy finished in a time of 26:50.

As it seems to be the norm on a Saturday, Antrim parkrun is favourable to some of our lady runners. First home was Deborah Ewing 24:41. Next to return was Tina Steele 26:05, Yvonne Thompson 27:35, Jennifer McCoppin 33:31 and Rosalind Stitt 36:39, smashing running ladies.

On home tuff at the Valley, Nuala Muldoon was the first of the five club members to return home in a time of 24:25. Next was Brendan McGeown, fresh from his gentle 26.2 miles around New York, Brendan completed in 24:32. Siobhan Dempsey tackled the tough course and the horrible conditions to capture herself a 5k PB in a time of 27:44, great running Siobhan… The final pair strolling around the course was that of Tom Wylie 29:18 and Noel Bloomfield 29:20.

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’

Champagne Supernova

You got to roll with it…

This week’s running activities for the Mallusk Harriers took place at Stormont with the annual Run in the Dark 5k and 10k runs. The club had 6 folk up the hill to lay down the law, even Mick’s headband was traded in for a happy Harriers hat to help brave the elements. Michael McFarlane 51:31, Deborah Ewing 52:44, Jim Hewitt 53:51, Tina Steele 59:11, Darren Taggart 58:37, and finally, but not without a huge mention Ian Simpson. Ian began running back in April of this year through the couch to 5k program and was always first to admit the challenge that lay ahead. Even at the very beginning Ian mentioned how difficult it was just to run for 30 seconds. With every challenge thrown out each week, not once did Ian give up and began to find solace in running. This has made him become more pro-active and pushing himself on that bit harder ever week. Ian returned from the folks on the big hill with a cracking new PB for the 10k in a time 60:26.

At the Waterworks, young Danny Donaldson came in fourth with a new PB for the course for himself at 19:09. Patrick J Hamill followed with a time of 25:37 and Tiffany McAllister returned in 30:15 and more notable a new PB also for the course.

Over at Victoria, Robert Gould is still hot on the heels of his youngster Robbie, Robert recording a PB for the 5km for the second week running with a 21:01 and young Robbie with a time of 19:43. Also in attendance were the two ladies, Gillian Bainbridge and Julie Tully. With Both ladies recording a PB, Julie with a time 29:04 and Gillian with an impressive 25:52, very well done ladies…

On home turf at the Valley, the following Harriers were led home by leading lady on the day Nuala Muldoon with a time of 23:44, closely followed by the aerodynamic duo Martin Keenan and Alex Davidson in 24:51. The gents were closely followed by Louise Keenan, 25:51 and Duncan Baxter 26:46, with Duncan notching up a new PB. Anther PB handed out on the day was to Anna Marie Barrington, Tuesday night speed work paying off and it showed as, AMB came in at 27:59. The final PB on the day for the Harriers went to Lauren Whitehouse in a time of 34:56, pretty impressive as Lauren had been laid up with injury for the last 6+ weeks. The remaining of the Harrier folk returned home as follows: Chloe Davidson 28:01, Jennifer Butler 28:22, Robert Jackson 30:10, Alan Ladd 30:13, Louise Ladd 30:19 and Ben Davidson 31:41.

The remainder of the Saturday park-running kids took themselves off to Antrim for a gentle stroll, we did have a nice mixture of gents and ‘The Harriets’ (as now known by our very own Fidelma). The happy Harriers was dragged home by Deborah Ewing 24:20, Tina Steele 25:59, Brothers Grimm Paul & Ciaran Skillen 26:59, Fidelma McCoppin 29:07, Tom Wylie 30:00, Martin McCourt 30:01, Martin McCready 30:03, Jennifer McCoppin 33:06 with a new PB, Joanne Haddock 33:49, Rosalind Stitt 36:13 and Karen Marsden 36:38 also obtaining a new PB for the 5km run, well done ladies again the Tuesday evenings helping with the times.

One photo to the next – from Right Said Fred to Matt & Luke Goss… the brothers Ciaran and Paul Skillen inherited a lead guitar, a bass guitarist and a drummer (but not McDuck) and in a click of the camera the lads suddenly obtained their ‘Oasis’ and hotfooted off to the Sperrin Harriers’ race at Lough Fea. From a personal perspective, an extremely well organised event in a smashing location, with a great spread at the finish, all for a cracking price. Just to be able to help support other running clubs’ race events was an absolute joy for all of us at Mallusk who attended. #Hard2Wack

Our sole representee at the Tollymore 26 extreme outing went to our runner of the month, Elaine Kennedy. Elaine took part in the Half Marathon and braved what was described as horrendous weather, or in runners terms ‘rough, but not that bad for a wee run…’ Elaine excelled and returned in a smashing time of 2:01:23, extremely well done on what is a nice tough trail run.

Sunday allowed for some of ‘The Harriets’ to volunteer at the Decathlon 10k and half Marathon, to which from all accounts they did a fantastic job, although I am unsure if Nuala Muldoon appreciated the noise around the sore head. Nuala weighed into the 10k run a bit like our very own Brian ‘McDuck’ McDonald had previously approached races… “am I still half cut or is that the hangover kicking in…?” Not deterred, Nuala recorded a fantastic time of 47:12 very well done Nuala… Darren Taggart rolled up his sleeves and braved the horrible conditions and took on the half marathon and returned in a respectable time of 1:58:08, certainly a bit shy of his PB for the half but never so glad to just get the run completed. Also running in the Harriers vest was Michael McAuley. Michael came home in 35th place and a new PB for the 10k in 42:47, smashing running Michael.

Last but not least the headline is held for Mr Simpson… Not content in notching up one 10k PB in a week he just had to go one better and catch a new 10k PB, but more importantly dip under the hour mark, a goal Ian set himself to achieve in a year or so, although what a difference 7 months running can make. Ian recorded an impressive time of 56:58… (Take it the wind was at your back all the way!!!). Ian, what can I say, but absolutely fantastic running, good sir…!!!

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’

Hair of the dog

The morning after the night before…

Easy does it for this week’s running, with many of our runners attending the Waterworks 5th birthday bash; however we did have representation at Wallace Park Lisburn, the Valley and Antrim.
The evening before we held our first Alternative Awards night at the Academy Sports club, hosted by very own compere Alex Davidson, and by all accounts, well those who could remember, what a night it turned out to be. All proceeds from the event went to NI Hospice, an extremely worthy beneficiary for work that is carried out by the staff at both the Children’s Hospice on O’Neill’s Road and Adult’s Hospice on the Somerton Road. This leads on to our clubs next fundraiser next month also in aid for NI Hospice, please, please, please, can we obtain as many members and their family as possible to offer their kind assistance and very valuable time to make this another huge success for the Hospice.

Oops there was running wasn’t there…

The Waterworks celebrated their 5th Birthday; the oldest parkrun on the island had a very special guest. As most of us who lace up each Saturday morning, come rain, hail or shine at 9:30am, we can all be thankful for that run which took place at Bushy Park, Teddington back in October 2004, when a certain Mr Paul Sinton-Hewitt decided to push forward an idea that all abilities alike could take part in and enjoy. Out of the huge turnout of 302 runners, the club had 25 members, first of the Harriers to complete the 5km run was Danny Donaldson. Danny came home in an impressive 11th place overall in a time of 19:20, a smashing time but was just outside Danny’s PB for the Waterworks, however a big well done from all at the club on completing your 50th parkrun on a fantastic day. Other notable PB’s recorded at the waterworks was that of Kelly Nelson 34:04, Duncan Baxter 25:38 and a cracking run from Robert Gould in 21:30. First junior runner home was Chloe Davidson in a time of 26:03, Chloe was running her first Waterworks parkrun, but this saw her complete her 10th parkrun and can now lay claim to the coveted T-Shirt. Next was Chloe’s younger brother Ben in 30:39 and the final junior was Maili Skillen 37:53 this after an unscheduled first lap pitstop, but this did allow me the chance to cheer home the first past the post Kent Swan. The remaining of the field was made up of the following:
Robbie Gould 20:15, Alan Ladd 20:35, Laura Maguire 25:56, Alex Davidson 26:04, Patrick Hamill 26:30, Ian Simpson 28:25, Jennifer Butler 28:46, Tom Wylie 28:47, Julie Tully 29:21, Martin McCready 29:21, Tiffany McAllister 31:56, Louise Ladd 33:59, James Hewitt 34:07, Joanne Haddock 34:07, Jennifer McCoppin 35:10, Paul Skillen 37:54, Rosalind Stitt 38:16, Marion Harrison 38:18.

The lonely soul of Martin Keenan completed the parkrun at Wallace Park, Lisburn and returned in a time of 23:53. Whilst at Antrim Martin’s better half, Louise ran the 5km alongside Deborah Ewing in 24:54 and Tina Steele in 26:42.

Home birds at the Valley were Michael McAuley coming home in second place in a time of 21:05, in seventh place and leading lady was our very own Susan Thompson 22:50. Next home was Elaine Kennedy with a new PB of 26:39 and final home for the Harriers was Noel Bloomfield 26:48.

A special mention to all those who also gave up their Saturday morning to volunteer at all parkruns…

Later on Saturday we had our first (that we hope of many) junior runners partaking in the cross-country at the McConnell Shield, with little 12 year old Jay Holden taking on other lads in the under 14 category and indeed doing extremely well to which we all at the club are overwhelmed for him and wish him all the very best for the forthcoming season. Also competing at the McConnell Shield was Tom Wylie, Tom completed the run in a great time of 41:28 and as he says, no better way to build fitness and stamina for the long season ahead… (and no that’s not a pic of E.C.T. working on his next circuits class…HIC)

The final running event of the weekend saw Patsy Hamill travel to Forkhill for the 10k road race, sorry Patsy I couldn’t find the results, however I would put you down for 30 mins as I am led to believe it was a nice flat course… ‘Forkhill, heard it was more like a Forkin mountain of a run’, well done on completing regardless of the time.

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’

Just playing ‘Dunk the apple’…

Just playing ‘Dunk The Apple’…

The fireworks began at the Valley parkrun, as we had 14 runners, some dressed up for the fun and frolics of the Halloween party. We had witches, clowns, 118 callers and more notably ‘Bros’ (Right Said Fred pfffff)… first across the line was our own Gavin Knipe in a time of 19:52, next for the Harriers was Robbie Gould 21:49 in overall fourth place, in fifth spot was Alex Davidson 22:00 and in eighth place was Robert Gould 23:00. Some of the following crew got in to the spirit of dressing up frolics, namely the sister act of Laura Maguire 27:18, and Jennifer Butler 28:44. Both dressed in nice white outfits as 118 callers, and how well they both looked, although as myself and little Maili got mucked up to the eyeballs I cannot for the life of me understand how both of them managed to stay absolutely spotless, not even a mark on their trainers, perhaps they are just ghosts and levitated around the course…? 118 callers, more like the DAZ doorstep challenge… The remaining finishers home were Jolene O’Donnell 28:43, Chloe Davidson 29:29, Gillian Bainbridge 29:30, Robert Jackson 29:43 New PB, Ben Davidson 32:18, Maili Skillen 36:45, Paul Skillen 36:46, Louise Ladd 37:09.

Easy pacing over at the Waterworks was Patrick McGuckin 23:57, and Patrick J Hamill 25:31.

Whilst up at Antrim we had Deborah Ewing 24:32, Tina Steele 26:23, although special mention to our other two ladies making great progress and both hitting new PBs was Jennifer McCoppin 34:16 and Rosalind Stitt 34:51, great running girls, keep working hard…

Down at the Carrick parkrun Martin and Louise Keenan took to the field, with Martin nipping home in 24:22 and Louise 25 mins.

Further afield Martin McCready and his better half, Magherafelt Harrier Anne Smith, took to their travels of the parkruns around Ireland as they both completed the Derry parkrun (give me a shout when you are hitting Westport, beautiful part of the world). Martin and Anne crossed the finishing line at 28:44, well done folks…

Up at the Queens event were Elaine Kennedy and Susan Thompson, both ladies recording fantastic times. Elaine returned in 25:55 and Susan became first lady home in overall 12th place and with a new PB of 20:57… but seriously a gentle warm up before the Minnowburn 10k…

The first of the Born 2 Run forest 10km events kicked off at the Minnowburn 10k, in attendance Mallusk Harriers flying the flag for the club. Results as follows:
Susan Thompson was the first home for the Harriers with a great time of 46:52, this after a smashing parkrun. Next was Darren Taggart 54:27, followed by Elaine Kennedy 58:37. Duncan Baxter 60:18, David Mullan 60:42, Ian Simpson and Clare Teer in a great time of 61:27, with Clare dragging Ian in for a new PB, I think another bottle of wine is on the cards, just saying like… Kelly Nelson 75:29, Lorraine Forsythe 93:09 and Joanne Haddock supporting Lorraine home in 93:10… very well done to all and to Patsy Hamill for very wisely resting up and capturing some nice snaps and videos…

Also on Saturday opened the winter league trail runs hosted by the Sperrin Harriers, with the opening run, a 10k race at Davagh Forest. Our lonely representative was Tom Wylie, Tom indeed had a great run in what was described as ‘not for the faint hearted’ and managed to record a time of 50:22, excellent run Tom, very well done…
So good they named him twice…

Brendan ‘Benny’ McGeown and his better half took the transatlantic flight to NYC for the 45th New York Marathon. Brendan was running under the colours of Action Cancer, an extremely worthwhile charity. From a club perspective we are all delighted for Brendan to have raised over £3,200, what was more impressive was that you managed to outdo Martin McCready on the crap jokes on the long runs together, although I have only Martin’s word on that Benny… Armed and ready at the starting line, Benny began his 26.2miles around the five New York boroughs, while at the same time his good lady and better half, Roseann had deliberated upon what to do for the next 4 hours… Stay and cheer Brendan on around the course… So after a coffee or two and several shopping malls later, Roseann managed to howl Benny ‘Right to the Line’. If Brendan believed he was in a little pain and suffering for completing one of the world’s major marathons in a highly impressive time of 4 hours 15 mins, just wait till you get next month’s credit card bill… In all seriousness Benny, smashing achievement and extremely well done on both counts – running the marathon and your fundraising for Action Cancer, enjoy the rest of your stay and the beers…!!!

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’

In the Zone….

For everything else there’s a Mallusk Harriers Card…

Folk passing the week’s parkrun at the Valley could have been forgiven for thinking December had arrived, as they came across 20+ crazy runners in Santa suits; a little early perhaps… Indeed the Mallusk Harriers’ runners, along with our newest Harrier Nuala Muldoon, were helping promote the Action on Hearing Loss 5 mile run at Hazelbank Park on the 6th December 2015. This run is an extremely worthy cause, that we at the Mallusk Harriers are extremely delighted to throw our weight behind in promoting the race, therefore please sign up to earn that extra bit of bling before the Christmas festive onslaught of food and fine wines…

Not forgetting the parkrun itself, first home and in 2nd place overall was Patsy Hamill a gentle breeze of a time before the big event 48 hours later, Patsy returned in 19:50. Next up was Michael McAuley in 6th place in 20:57, but the 8th placed finisher may have regretted missing the starting whistle by a few minutes, although Gavin Knipe did manage to cut his way through the field and record a time of 21:59. Ninth and tenth placed finishers also went to our folk, with Susan Thompson coming home as first lady alongside Alex Davidson, both recording a time of 22:08, a gentle stroll for Susan but great to see she did put Alex through his paces…

The remaining Harriers at the Valley run as follows:
Michael McFarlane 24:39, Ciaran Skillen 25:02, Deborah Ewing 25:07, Darren Taggart 25:17,
Laura Maguire 26:57 with a new PB for the Valley, Tom Wylie 26:59, Duncan Baxter 27:05,
James Hewitt 27:07, Noel Bloomfield 27:10, Catherine Boyd 27:12, Brendan McGeown 27:12,
Tina Steele 27:12, Elaine Kennedy 27:15, Gillian Bainbridge 27:27, Chloe Davidson 27:33,
Jolene O’Donnell 28:16, Clare Teer 28:36 New PB, Ian Simpson 28:47 New PB, Robert Jackson 30:34,
Ben Davidson 30:49, Jennifer Butler 32:05, Maili Skillen 35:21 New PB, Paul Skillen 35:34,
Kelly Nelson 35:35 New PB, Nuala Muldoon 35:45… Also a special mention for club member Ben Needham capturing all those ‘smiling’ faces as we strolled around.

Over at the Waterworks parkrun were Joanne Haddock and Patrick J Hamill, with Patrick notching up a time of 26:12, whilst Joanne had a more leisurely stroll following her night on the tiles with a time of 36:02.

Whilst the lonely souls of Jennifer McCoppin up at the Antrim parkrun returned in 35:13 and Robert Gould at Victoria parkrun saw him record a New PB in a time of 21:34. Our other traveller, Mr McCready took in a new parkrun as he and his partner Anne Smith continued to try all parkruns in Ireland, this time at Limavady, Martin completed the run in 28:16…

Meanwhile it was great to see Mr Keenan remembering to allow the honour of finishing ahead to his wife, Louise in a time of 25:20 and Martin in a time of 25:21 at the Ecos Centre Ballymena. Great to see that you are recalling the 3 rules of married life… 1. When she is right, she is right. 2. When she’s wrong, she is also right. 3. The most important rule of all, don’t spent time explaining the offside rule, the likelihood is she will have no interest anyway…

214 miles later…
Diesel 40 euros… Parking 26 euros… Martin McCready blanking you at the 25mile marker in the Dublin city Marathon, priceless…
Monday saw the 36th Dublin Marathon and we did have two gents test the legs of the 26.2 mile course, Patsy Hamill and Martin McCready. Also we would like to give a special mention to Jim Grew also competing in the run, Jim although not a Harrier has been doing his training, mainly his long runs on a Sunday morning with the group, Jim completed the marathon (his first marathon, I believe) in 4:12:36, smashing running Jim. Martin running his 4th marathon in as many months after completing in Dublin, Newry and the Mary Anderson colour marathon. Credit where it is due, many would deem one marathon to be an amazing achievement, whereas Martin pushed his boundaries this year obtaining PB after PB in each marathon, a little outside his personal best time, Martin was certainly not disappointed with his time, as Dublin was a last minute decision and he did complete the course in 3:48:04. Absolutely fantastic achievement Martin, however I will forgive you for blanking me, as you were in the zone.

A few weeks earlier Patsy Hamill had a good bash at Berlin recording a time of 3:17:11, rest up I hear… not a chance, Patsy got the guns out and had a good dig at Dublin. Not holding anything back, Patsy again took the first half steady and rattled the second half home with yet another consistent time of 3:20:19… again Patsy fantastic running and extremely well done…!!!

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’

It’s cold outside…

Lazy winter mornings…

So the only excuse I can offer for the late report this week is, as the winter mornings begin to get colder and darker by the hour and I seem to be leaving for work later each day, it just seems I have lost a day somewhere on the way… On a brighter note it is great to see all of our runners taking heed of the ‘Hi-Viz, reflective clothing’, better seen than sorry policy, well done folks…!!!

The week’s running events began at the parkrun at the Waterworks, Valley, Antrim and Stormont venues.

At the Waterworks, first over the line for the Harriers was James Hewitt in 25:27. Jim was followed by the sister act of Laura Maguire 25:41 with a new PB and Jennifer Butler who came home in 26:03 also with a new PB, next home was Joanne Haddock in 33:45. Smashing running ladies and of course Jim.

Over at Stormont the parkrun was tackled by the terrible trio of Kelly Nelson 34:03, Jennifer McCoppin 36:01 and Karen Marsden 38:00, great running ladies and more importantly getting the blue jersey represented…

Whilst up at Antrim PBs seemed to be the order of the day as five of our six runners hit their goals, and the sixth just missing out by a three seconds, darn the distressed squirrel says Deborah…
Deborah Ewing 24:06, Tina Steele 25:35 new PB, Yvonne Thompson 26:46 new PB, Marion Harrison and Rosalind Stitt 37:10 both new PB’s. Absolutely fantastic running ladies…

Up the local parkrun at the Valley, a smaller contingent of runners took to the course with Gavin Knipe returning in second place overall in 19:28, followed by next Harrier at a gentle pace Alan Ladd in 23:29. Next home and leading lady was Nuala Muldoon in 24 mins. The remaining Harriers were made up of, Brian McDonald 25:11, Noel Bloomfield 26:47, Ian Simpson and Clare Teer 29:22, Louise Ladd 32:20, Ann-Marie Barrington 32:23 and Julie Tully 32:28.

Down at Dundrum four of our folk challenged the GR8 Dundrum mixed road, trail and beach race. All four put in sterling performances. The first home for the Harriers was Patsy Hamill in an absolutely cracking 30th place finish out of a field of 840 runners, with a time of 53:33. Patsy was followed by the youthful Patrick McGuckin in 57th place and a time 55:22. Although the lads had a cracking race, I would have to say the two ladies representing the club were even more impressive. Susan Thompson returned home in 157th place in a time 60:54, fellow lady Elaine Kennedy, who had been returning from injury, completed the course with half the field behind her in an equally great time of 72:11.

The remaining event of the week was ‘Run for Coach Francis’, a run arranged by Magherafelt Harriers. Earlier in the year Coach Francis Stewart was involved in a cycling accident and in true running family spirit throughout Ireland and beyond many runners, walkers and joggers came to show their support for Francis. We are pleased that quite a good handful of our runners travelled to show our support to this very worthy cause, none more than our very own Martin McCready who also doubled up in helping with the registrations… ‘All at the Mallusk Harriers wish to send our gratitude to Magherafelt Harriers and to Francis wishing him a full recovery’…

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’

Marmalade Sandwiches

From deepest, darkest Peru…

With the Runher event taking place on the Sunday, a smaller contingency took to the parkrun events, with many of our runners partaking in the Waterworks event. Armed with a suitcase, an overcoat and a note to take care, 10 happy Harriers took Paddy ’Ton’ McGuckin to the park for a gentle stroll to join in the festivities, as he became the first Mallusk Harrier to complete 100 parkruns. A smashing achievement Patrick, something you can be extremely proud of. We all at the Harriers congratulate you on this milestone.

Results as follows:
Alex Davidson 21:23,Ryan Clarke 22:41, Patrick McGuckin 25:55, Brendan McGeown 26:42, Ben Davidson 27:25 New 5K PB, Ian Simpson 27:28 New 5K PB, Tom Wylie 27:29, Natasha White 32:40 New 5K PB, Joanne Haddock 35:48, Maili Skillen 36:07 New PB, Paul Skillen 36:30.

Our other runners competing in parkruns over the same weekend, saw Robert Gould Snr take on the Victoria event. Unfortunately there was a timing issue, although Robert assures me that he did hit a sub 18… I firmly believe he has thrown down the gauntlet for young Robbie to beat, no pressure wee man…

Just up the road at the Valley event, Anna-Marie Barrington returned in 29:43 with a PB and Robert Jackson 31:56.

Later that Saturday afternoon saw the clubs inaugural representation at the NI & Ulster relay championships, hosted by Orangegrove athletics. We were fortunate enough to have both a ladies and a gents team out, although gauging from the spark that was ignited in other members I am sure there shall be additional teams out in next year’s action. Our ladies team was made up of Elaine Kennedy, Catherine Boyd and team captain Susan Thompson. The ladies had a smashing run and returned in the Masters category in 21st place with Susan recording a great time of 13:29, fantastic girls all at the club are extremely proud of your run. The lads, made up of Tom Wylie, Gavin Knipe, Patsy Hamill and team captain Paddy ’Ton’ McGuckin fresh off the boat from the Waterworks parkrun, had been placed in the senior category. This allowed them to face some fierce competition, but again the lads did great and returned in 22nd place with great notable runs from all, great achievement lads very well done indeed.

Sunday saw several of our ladies who graduated back in June from the couch to 5k compete in their first 5k race in the Belfast Runher event: Rosalind Stitt 39:10, Deborah Finlay 40:19, Theresa Corrigan 40.23. Whilst a few other of our ladies completed the 10K race: Catherine Boyd 51:02, Louise Bond 55:57, Clare Teer 61:35, Kelly Carlisle 78:08, Karen Marsden 78:36, Anna-Marie Barrington 78:37, Joanne Haddock 78:38. Fantastic achievement ladies for a while worth cause…

Week commencing 5th October

Ole Ole when yer mans on the ball…

Poor coach Tom, the man gives and provides so much fun and enjoyment at all our training events throughout the week, indeed encouraging us all right to the line. The only time Tom gets to put in his own training usually occurs in the early hours of the peaceful tranquil surroundings of Mallusk countryside. This allows Tom to gather his thoughts and focus on which Harrier has annoyed him the most, who he can in turn inflict the most pain on… This was made a little easier for Tom, as he was rudely awoken by a follicly challenged Harrier, found lying outside Tom’s home surrounded by bottles of Dom Pérignon and Chardonnay whilst singing ‘We’re all off to sunny France, when yer mans on the ball…’ Not to burst the lads bubble, Uncle Tom ushered him home safe and sound, and it’s safe to say the lad hasn’t stopped celebrating…

Moving on to this Saturday, again allowed for many of our runners to enjoy the parkrun, but this Saturday also opened the cross-country session.

Our first set of runners took to the Valley, with Martin McCourt leading the way home for the Harriers and taking second place overall in a time of 21:16, although run of the week has to go to Susan Thompson. Susan finished 5th overall and first lady home in a new personal best of 21:53, smashing result Susan, that Wednesday Sealstown training starting to pay off in abundance, long may it continue… The remaining field of Harriers was led home by Ciaran Skillen 23:05 new PB, Alex Davidson 23:10, Tom Wylie 23:10 New PB at the Valley, Nuala Muldoon (not officially a fully-fledged harrier just yet) 24:05, Noel Bloomfield 26:05, Elaine Kennedy 26:41, Duncan Baxter 27:23 New PB, Chloe Davidson 27:53, Siobhan Dempsey 28:11, Gillian Bainbridge 28:23, Clare Teer 29:02 New PB, Ian Simpson 29:21 New PB, Ben Davidson 29:53, Alan Ladd (30min Pacer) 30:01, Robert Jackson 30:46, Louise Ladd 33:52, Maili Skillen 38:15, Paul Skillen 38:15.

Over at the Waterworks the juniors had their own personal battle with young Robbie Gould pushed all the way home by Ryan Clarke. Robbie returning home in 19:58 and Ryan returning home in a new PB of 20:19. Also at the Waterworks Joanne Haddock returned in 34:29.

Whilst up at the Antrim event it became ladies day with a number of the squad returning with great times. First home saw Deborah Ewing 24:11, again the Wednesday evening Sealstown running paying dividends. Next was Tina Steele 26:01, Yvonne Thompson 27:37, Fidelma McCoppin 29:05, Kelly Nelson 32:31, Jennifer McCoppin 34:41.

Over at Victoria, newlyweds Martin & Louise Keenan went hand in hand around the 5k course, although it was nice to see that chivalry is not dead Martin allowing the lady to cross the line first… oh wait… Martin 24:16, Louise 24:48…

The travelling couple of our very own Martin McCready and his partner Anne Smith, of Magherafelt Harriers, took to the road to Co. Meath at the Ardgillan parkrun, nice wee hill to finish with folks… Martin returned in a time of 29:27, and Anne in 29:26… (apparently Mr McCready needs the brownie points).

Our sole representation at the Comber Cup was taken up by runner of the month for the Harriers, Patsy Hamill. Fresh from his gentle stroll of 26.2 miles around the streets of Berlin in 3 hours 17 minutes, Patsy took on the green (gentle rolling hills) I do recall Patsy saying it was the hardest ever cross country event, indeed it would have been easier doing 3 rounds with Mike Tyson than 3 laps of the hill. Patsy did manage a fantastic time of 32:51, great result Sir…

To finalise the events for this week we also had the club vest represented at Armagh 4mile, a Zombie 5k run and a Doggie 5K cross country, don’t ask… if there’s a run I am sure there will be a Harrier crazy enough. Andrew Denvir took to Armagh to complete the 4 miler, Catherine Boyd was our lady challenging the Zombies, whilst Michael McAuley and his dog ‘Scout’ took to the Montalto Estate. Michael was dragged around in a very impressive 7th place in a field of strong athletes, Scout you Legend…

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’

Safety first…

Every day is a school day…

Even the most experienced of us has something to learn when out on the roads…
As we are fast approaching the winter months a huge emphasis should be placed on runner’s etiquette and our choice of clothing to suit the early evening light.
A few points to note:

  • Please ensure to merge into single file when other users are on the pavement.
  • If you find yourself on an open country road, something you may find around Mallusk, please ensure to run facing the traffic and ‘NO’ headphones …
  • Also remember safety in numbers.
  • During the winter months ensure to dress in high bright ‘reflective’ clothing.
  • Another good investment, which were used by many last year are armband lights or head torches, better to be seen than sorry…

Saturday saw 21 of our runners take to the Parkrun events with 19 remembering their coveted barcode, while 2 members just weighed in for the run.

Valley results saw Gavin Knipe return after a few weeks off to take second spot in a time of 19:23. Gavin was followed home by Alex Davidson in fifth spot in 21:57. In seventh place and first lady home was our very own Susan Thompson with a new personal best for the Valley course of 22:19, smashing time Susan…
Also returning home were; Jim Hewitt 25:44 new PB for the Valley, Chloe Davidson 27:37 new PB, Jessica Wilson 28:14, Ben Davidson 29:40 and Robert Jackson 30:03 new PB.

Whilst up the road a good handful of our runners attended the birthday bash at the Antrim parkrun, who celebrated their 99th event and their second anniversary. ‘A sea of blue’ as described by one of our members…
Results as follows: Paul Skillen 25:46, Martin McCready 26:01, Noel Bloomfield 29:24, Leeanne Skillen 29:27, Tom Wylie 29:28, Rosalind Stitt 37:35, Marion Harrison 37:39. Caught in the midst of those who didn’t remember the most vital item for Parkrun; were Gillian Bainbridge and David Gibson, who just kind of forgot. A special thank you to all up at Antrim parkrun for having us at their special event, and of course Anne Smith who had to endure 5k of tailrunning with our newest junior runner, seven year old Maili Skillen, who completed her first parkrun and is now completely hooked on the running (mainly as she hasn’t stopped bending my ear, ‘THANKS ANNE’ lol).

A nice peaceful run for one lonely soul at the Waterworks parkrun, Catherine Mullan, recorded a time of 31:53. Catherine’s other half David was up in Ballymoney running the ‘run mucker run 10k’. Can’t officially give his time as his Garmin was covered in what can only be described as ‘muck’.

Two other parkrun events were taken on by the Harriers, the first of which saw Robbie junior and senior take on Ormeau for the first time, with Junior taking the top spot between the two in 19:24 and Robert home in 22:11.

Further on up the Lagan at Victoria, Patrick McGuckin accompanied by his better half Lynn and his ‘wee’ nephew Ryan Clarke. Patrick crossed the line with Lynn for his 99th parkrun in 25:44. Young Ryan pushed on and showed a clean pair of heels returning in 21:14… Smashing time Ryan, and great to see you back at the events…

Later that afternoon eight harriers took the blue and green vest over to Bangor for the Aurora 10k, with many of the Harriers completing their second 10k in as many weeks. This leads us, again onto safety and race preparation. Regardless of whether it is your 1st, or your 81st event, we all have something to learn and take on forward to our next event, race hydration being one of the main factors for the race on Saturday for one of our new runners.
Over a relatively hilly course on a hot enough Saturday morning, Alan Ladd was first in for the Harriers in 43:00, Alan was followed home by our new member Ciaran Skillen. Ciaran was wearing the club vest for the first time, albeit his brother Paul’s jinxed vest. Ciaran returned with a 10K PB in 48:28, although Ciaran did pay the penalty of dehydration and had to seek medical attention. The club would like to send a huge thank you to those paramedics in attendance, without these guys, who knows… no event should be without them.
Thankfully all is good with Ciaran and would like to thank the Harriers who stayed behind to ensure his safety. Next home was Darren Taggart 50:03, followed by Catherine Boyd 51:11, Ian Simpson & Clare Teer 61:01 both with PB’s, Kelly Bell 68:06 new PB, and Karen Marsden 77:27. Smashing running folks…

Yet again the club vest was taken on its travels; taken to Germany, along with Patsy Hamill for the Berlin marathon. The year previous this marathon hosted a new world record of 2:02:57, Patsy believed if he could get right up there in pen one in a new VW down the autobahn, all geared up with its emissions, then he did stand a great chance to leave the field in a cloud of smoke. Apparently it was frowned upon, therefore Patsy had to settle for a place amongst the 41,223 other runners. Patsy took the first half moderately slow for his standards in 1:42, from then he began to get through the crowd and into his stride with ever decreasing 5k splits falling quickly to complete the second half of the marathon in 1:34. Overall Patsy blitzed the Berlin marathon in a super time of 3:17:11, absolutely smashing running Patsy, to which we all at the club are extremely pleased for you…!!!

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’


‘Say what you see…’

I had the pleasure of listening to a great radio broadcast during the week that involved Dave Moorcroft. There was something said, which made me take a step back and think.
David alluded to something in his interview; how the parkrun events have become a fantastic billboard to any person wishing to get active, to complete a challenge each week or just to get out and enjoy what is around them and how even Mo Farah enjoys and takes part in his local event. None of this could happen however, without the humble volunteer. Even the huge success of the London Olympics or the Manchester & Glasgow Commonwealth games could not take place without what the volunteer brings in abundance to each event.

Therefore, if even the ‘Elite’ partake in these events, if there were no volunteers to help in any events, where would each of us be on any given Saturday…?

This leads on to the magnificent work that Stephen Bartley and others offer each and every week for all who take part in the Valley parkrun, although we must all offer something back. So, if you wish to just take a break for a week or that annoying injury just won’t shift, please offer to volunteer so many others can enjoy.

On to the running, with Valley parkrun numbers ever increasing, as this is seen as more of a challenging course, Stephen found himself possibly wishing he could do with an extra body to help process the results at the end. After a few glitches in the system and a token going astray, the correct times were obtained (although I am still convinced I ran a 16:03, and now hold the course record…if only, lol). Great work Stephen and to all the crew…

Results as follows:
Finishing in 3rd place overall, Robbie Gould 20:35, 4th place saw a return to the course for Patrick McGuckin 20:38, 10th Alan Ladd 21:29,
Mark Hay 23:03, Ciaran Skillen 23:15 new PB, Robert Gould 23:17,
Alex Davidson 24:44 (25min S’pacer’), Laura Maguire 27:45 new PB, Chloe Davidson 27:53 new PB,
Paul Skillen 28:17, Gillian Bainbridge 28:48, Dave Gibson 28:49, Clare Teer 29:24 new PB,
Jennifer Butler 29:25, Louise Smylie 29:26, Robert Jackson 30:38, Fidelma McCoppin 30:54,
Anna-Marie Barrington 30:58, Ben Davidson 32:00, Jennifer McCoppin 37:25
Rosalind Stitt 37:25, Karen Marsden 37:33, Lorraine Ann Forsythe 42:11.

Martin McCready found himself on his parkrun tour along with his partner Anne at Victoria parkrun. Martin came home in 28:05 and let’s just say Anne completed the course a little better.

Two other Harriers had been caught in that freak storm on Saturday morning and found themselves up the coast road at the Carrick parkrun, with both putting in sterling performances.

Martin McCourt returned in a smashing time of 21:23 and finished in 9th place, great to see Martin return to the running after a long layoff. Martin was followed home in 12th place and the first lady home by Lisa Brown in an equally impressive time of 22:44, although it was pointed out the that Lisa had run even faster a week earlier at the Enniskillen parkrun but didn’t remember the barcode, school boy (girl) error…

The 3rd Belfast City Half Marathon took place with a new course from that of the previous two outings, a flatter and faster course to be challenged. A sound piece of advice given to many of us who meet for our marathon outings, which has always stuck with me when running events, is to ensure your race gear is laid out the evening before, take nothing to chance, I must say something that has always stood me in good stead.

Running any organised event there are two essential pieces which are a must:
1. Your race number to be displayed correctly, mainly on the front of your top.
2. If the event is timed, then a racing chip is required to ensure you obtain a place and a time.

A huge mistake if you didn’t tie your race chip to your shoe after pushing through a half marathon, surely none of our runners would forget their little white disc… Still trying to find Michael McFarlane’s time, C’est la vie… I shall just use your Garmin time Michael… ‘SCHOOL BOY ERROR’

The day, as viewed from the side-lines, indeed seemed to be a great success with a much better course and an overall family friendly atmosphere with what appeared to be more folk out supporting all the runners home. Indeed the club had no less than 18 runners taking part and countless other members around the course supporting, solely based on the ethos of the club to create a family, friendly and supporting club for all members. This allowed for many PBs, accompanied by those venturing on their first official Half Marathon.

Results as follows:
Michael McAuley 1:40:57 new PB
Susan Thompson 1:42:43 new PB
Brendan McGeown 1:45:17 new PB
Mark Kelly 1:48:52 new PB
Darren Taggart 1:51:12 new PB
Michael McFarlane 1:52:42
Sarah Dinsmore 1:54:08
Catherine Boyd 1:55:18 new PB
Noel Bloomfield 1:56:30 new PB
Deborah Ewing 1:58:01 new PB
Catherine Mullan 1:58:39
Jim Hewitt 1:58:43
Duncan Baxter 2:05:19 new PB
Jessica Wilson 2:06:15
Tina Steele 2:06:36 new PB
David Mullan 2:13:22
Kelly Nelson 2:43:05 first Half Marathon
Joanne Haddock 2:47:48 first Half Marathon

Again apologies if any of our runners have been missed out in this week’s report, as I am sure someone may have been overlooked…
Safe running to you all, ‘pay it forward…’ and remember ‘Right to the Line…’