In the midst of a perfect storm…

Friday 21st August saw 208 competitors from 32 athletic clubs come together for the 2nd annual Mallusk Harriers 5 mile road race, in what could be said perfect weather conditions for the run. Last year’s winner, Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers), who it must be said has been in sparkling form notching up numerous wins throughout the season, went head to head with Joe McAllister (St Malachys AC). Both gents went toe to toe throughout the first 4.75 mile until Joe began to edge out a small lead over Brian in the final quarter mile and claim the honours by six seconds in a time of 26:37, credit to both lads for beating last years winning time of 27:00. Brian’s team mate from Willowfield, Neill Weir took third place in a time of 27:38, fourth placed finish this year was Andrew Considine (North Belfast) in a time of 28:19, and Andrew was followed home by his team mate and first junior Conal McCambridge 28:31. The ladies race was taken by Geraldine Branagh (Dromore) 33:57, followed in second place by Yvonne MacAuley (Crusaders AC) 34:16. In third place was SarahJane Guiney (Albertville Harriers) 34:44, great to see SarahJane back on the podium, the last year of hard work beginning to pay off, well done to all.

Currently I am finding it hard not be biased in writing this report, on how the race was accepted by the competitors on the evening, although from the comments left on our Facebook pages and twitter account, loans itself to one very overwhelmed and delighted club to hold such an event and to conduct it in the true spirit and enjoyment of competition. Mallusk Harriers, a club in its infancy, held the inaugural 5mile race with a little over 25 members in 2014, over the past year the club has grown immensely to over 86 current senior members. With this we had the luxury of having many run in the event, results as follows to which we are all extremely proud of each runner’s achievement:

Gavin Knipe 32:06
Patrick Hamill 32:11
Alan Ladd 34:44
Michael McAuley 35:20
Martin McCready 36:06
Brian McDonald 37:11
Dean Finlay 38:44
Brendan McGeown 39:21
Lisa Brown 39:22
Dave Gibson 39:59
Catherine Boyd 41:21
Conor Magee 41:47
Deborah Ewing 41:51
Louise Kerr 42:07
Sarah Dinsmore 43:58
James Hewitt 44:44
Tina Steele 45:39
Louise Bond 46:06
Darren Linton 49:56
Marian Binns 57:38

Moving on to Saturday, and for those who did manage to get to the Parkrun events, even with the sore head:
Waterworks: Patrick J Hamill 24:34
Ecos Ballymena: Martin Mc Cready 29:16.
Carrickfergus: Martin Keenan 24:11
Valley: Gavin Knipe 20:00, Noel Bloomfield 26:14, Deborah Ewing 26:20 PB,
Tina Steele 27:01 PB, Duncan Baxter 28:18, Jennifer Butler 28:26 PB,
Robert Jackson 31:12 PB, Gillian Bain‘s’bridge 31:29, Clare Teer 35:47 PB,
Tom Wylie 36:16, Rosalind Stitt 38:11, Marion Harrison 38:46 PB,
Fidelma McCoppin 40:32.

While some of us were nursing the effects of the night before or taking in the parkruns, we did have a gentleman on international duty. Patrick McGuckin travelled to Iceland with his better half and some of the NBH crowd to take on the Reykjavik marathon. Gentleman as he is, Patrick ensured Lynn completed the course in a time of 4:17:16, great running folks enjoy the rest of the break…

For some, the Blue Lagoon and the scenic views of volcanos may please , there were a handful of Harriers who were more content on our very own idyllic landscape and decided to take to the Silent Valley for the Dambusters Born 2 Run 10k and half marathon. Lauren Whitehouse was the first lady to complete the 10k course in a time of 67:38; next home was Joanne Haddock in a time of 72:41. The third lady home was Kelly Nelson 75:35 and fourth to return for the Harriers was Lorraine Forsythe 84:31. Absolutely smashing ladies the extra night’s running is starting to pay off, keep it going…

The half marathon was the final run in the Pure Running & Championchip Ireland half Marathon Series. Fresh to the line from an impressive run in our 5 mile road race the evening before was Brian McDonald. Brian had completed all other 9 events and had been looking forward on the completion of all 10 and did so with a smile returning home in a time of 1:49:19. Next home for the Harriers and had also competed in the Mallusk 5miler was Michael McAuley in a time of 1:54:58. Our final runner in the half marathon was Darren Taggart returning in 1:57:13, smashing running lads…

The final event of the week allowed for the Mallusk Harriers vest to get a showing at the Donegal Half & Full Marathon, with Patsy Hamill taking on the course in what could only be described as a monsoon (or is that just a summers day in Ireland…?). After a tough race on Friday evening at our own 5 mile race to which Patsy managed to take 3 minutes of his last years’ time, Patsy stated his legs didn’t feel 100% and the pints of porter the night before may not have helped, although Patsy did manage to finish in a highly impressive 33rd place in a field of 534 for the half marathon in a time of 1:29:21… Absolutely smashing running Patsy…!!!

Some of the upcoming events next week, commencing 24/08/2015:
28th August – Mighty Oaks 5K – Meadownbank Sports Arena, Magherafelt – 7:30pm
29th August – Strangford Festival 10K – St Joseph’s Primary School, Strangford – 11am
29th August – Gosford Park – 100 marathons in 100 days – 10am
30th August – Storming the Castle 10K – The Amphitheatre, Carrickfergus – 2pm

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