A True Inspiration

This week’s running began with the annual Queens’s 5K Race around the River, allowing for 19 Mallusk Harriers to test their mettle on the course. A total of 12 out of 19 runners returned with personal bests after pushing right to the line, on a fine spring evening. The ball started rolling with Danny Donaldson hitting top form with a PB in smashing time of 18:04, next to cross the line was Alex Davidson also with a PB in 19:30. Third home, Ciaran Skillen continued his impressive running, he also notched up a PB in 20:34. Third and fourth place was up for debate as Tom Wylie claims he just edged out Benny McGeown, however the results give Benny the result of 22:19 and a new PB, Tom in 22:20, not to split hairs the gents have agreed to arm wrestle for the elusive 1 second, well done gents… Next home, after some differential and integration equations were applied, thankfully his engineering degree came to good use, Paul Skillen was handed a race number that wasn’t his own although completed the race in 24:08, just a pity he can’t read… The Personal bests began to flow for the next three over the line, Elaine Kennedy 25:05, Janet Grew 26:17 and club junior Hannah Mulgrave 29:04, smashing running girls. Next over the line was Tiffany McAllister 29:06, Duncan Baxter worked with the next set of folk to help them obtain a PB; Kelly Nelson 30:24 and Jenny McBride 30:38. The following ladies were not to be out done and also decided to get in on the act with PB’s of their own for Paula Hanvey 31:12, Margaret Mulgrave 31:21 and Darcia Turner 32:15. Our final 3 ladies who completed the course were Jennifer McCoppin 34:28, Kelly Bell 35:40 and Rosalind Stitt 36:17. A smashing evening on a smashing course attended by a smashing turn out of club members, very well done to all…!!!

As Saturday rolls around, over to the parkrun events with 5 courses taken on by the Mallusk Harriers.

Beginning with the Valley, Alex Davidson returned in overall third place in a time of 20:40, next home for the Harriers and first lady was Nuala Muldoon in a time of 23:56, a little under par, perhaps 1 or 2 too many cocktails in the Dead Rabbit whilst visiting her brother, oops sorry I mean she may have been a little jet lagged. Not to be out done by his dad, club junior Ben Davidson has been making great inroads and completed the Valley course with a new PB in a time of 26:05, great running wee man… next to cross the finish line was Jennifer McCoppin in 35:19 Jennifer was followed by tail runner Lorraine Forsythe.

Over at Victoria parkrun it finally happened, Robert Gould Senior got the upper hand on Robbie junior. Robert notched up a new Personal Best over the 5km distance in 17th place with a great time of 20:33, young Robbie completed in 21:12, leaving dad to hold the bragging rights in the Gould household, well for one week at least, great running lads…

Over at Ormeau parkrun Patrick McGuckin strolled around with his better half Lynn McCullough returning home in a time of 25:26.

Down at the Waterworks, Danny Donaldson finished in overall 4th place in a time of 19:31 and his partner in crime Tiffany McAllister 33:06.

Whilst up at Antrim the club had 6 runners take on the castle grounds with Susan Thompson topping the list of Harriers and first lady over the line with a new PB in 21:12, very good running young lady… Deborah Ewing returned in 26:28 followed by Tina Steele 26:59, Elaine Kennedy 27:15, Martin McCready in fine support 27:16 followed by new club member putting in sterling work, Dawn Dubois in a time 38:40.

Amongst the mayhem, the madness, the celebrities and the elite runners pounding the 26.2 miles around the streets of London, were two of Mallusk’s finest…
Michael McFarlane was the luck name to be drawn from the hat back in November for the club’s sole place to take on the 2016 London Marathon. Michael has previously completed the last two Belfast marathons and is certainly not a stranger to the distance, but I am very sure he will not have experienced a marathon with such a huge numbers of runners or fantastic spectator support around the course. 10 miles into the race Michael suffered an injury but determined to see the race through, completed the run in 5:06:11. All at the club are extremely proud of you Michael, very well done. So on to our next runner, Jennifer Butler who was afforded a place through Asthma UK and managed to raise an astounding amount of over £3,000 for the charity. A charity extremely dear to her own heart as 14 months previous, Jennifer suffered not one but two asthma attacks which saw her spend time in the intensive care unit in Belfast on both occasions. Not to be defeated, Jennifer set about changing her lifestyle in a dramatic way. Suggested by life-long friend Martin McCready, a c25k programme at the Harriers in April 2015, little did we know how much this would indeed change her life. Over the next 12 months as her fitness grew she completed many 5k, 10k and half marathon races, but to venture out on her first marathon is a truly great testament for someone who does not accept impossible as an option. A true inspiration to us all at the Harriers with her can do attitude and dedication to training, Jennifer has proven that every dream that lies within your heart can become true if you only just believe in yourself, as she completed the 2016 London Marathon, even after picking up an injury at the 18 mile mark, in an absolutely fantastic time of 4:43:22.

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…’