Harrier of the Month – April 2019

Connemara, London and Belfast marathons have been and gone and let’s hope with the weather forecast for this week that the rain and hailstones are done and dusted too. Like the Runner of the month report there was a few nominations for May that will be carried over to next month.

A number of harriers were nominated for Harrier of the Month for the month of April and rightly so for going that extra mile for the club and its members.

Alan Ladd was nominated for all the time he puts in with the training plans and setting aside time to deal with anyone’s queries. Alan’s Monday night clinics at Bothy, gave support with advice, he is so patient and understanding with us all. Thank you Alan.

Ian Simpson aka Social Boy was mentioned for giving so much time and dedication to MH, with his organisation of social events, providing of tea, coffee and cheer, he’s a more than worthy winner of HOTM.

Janet Grew and Mairead O’Hare got a joint nomination as one member could not choose between these two amazing ladies who both ran London Marathon. Both have shown true spirit – Janet’s determination in running for her Meningitis charity while injured and Mairead’s grit and perseverance through her training and the marathon itself. These ladies could rule the world.

Sarah McCafferty was mentioned for showing dedication and commitment to her training and always being supportive to everyone.

As always there can only be one winner, and this Harrier stood out as no matter what the event, he was there using planes, trains and automobiles to support Harriers at events. This harrier will brave all weather elements and was stuck up a hill for hours, in the freezing cold with nothing but a flask of tea for company (in fairness it was probably to get away from the gurning of Ian Brennan and Joanne Milne).

Harrier of the month for April is Owen Fulton. His support to other Harriers while he is unable to run himself shows what a lovely guy Owen is. He will travel some lengths to support his friends and this is much appreciated by the runners and the other cheerleaders. Some of the comments include:

“Owen is a friendly face in the club and despite his own injury always comes along to races or club events to cheer – he supported at Larne, Connemara and London to name a few”.

“Because of his quiet demeanour Owen’s support and dedication to the cheerleading role often gets overlooked and I think he deserves some recognition for the selfless effort he makes to cheer on the Harriers everywhere and anywhere”.

“Always a great supporter of other runners at the club whether it be a message to wish you luck or out on the course cheering on as he was at Connemara and London. He also does this despite his own injury issues”.

“Owen deserves a HOTM for being such an amazing support to his club mates. Despite himself being injured, there’s hardly a race goes by that Owen doesn’t turn up to cheer, support, take photos and lots more. He stood in the cold, wet freezing rain on top of a hill in Connemara for hours on end – he deserves a medal for that alone, and also supported at London, Larne and in Belfast”.

“Owen has not been able to run this last few months due to injury to most this would put them off getting involved in events. He is always at races cheering everyone on, taking pictures and motivating others. He was at Larne and Connemara encouraging all club members. For me him coming to London to support me just shows what true harrier spirit is and I will forever be thankful for him and the others being there to push me when I didn’t think I couldn’t go on any further”.

“Owen is at just about every Harrier race/event and gives up so much of his time to support club members and I know this is greatly appreciated throughout the club. In addition to this he is also a regular volunteer at parkru.n”

A long overdue HOTM!!!!!! We salute you Big O !!!!!!!!”

There are lots of opportunities in the next coming months so get involved and support your fellow harriers and you too could be a worthy winner of the Harrier of the Month Trophy. Be good and keep running, until next next month…….

Club Report – Sunday 12th May 2019

Some Harriers spent the week recovering from last Sunday’s marathon. Others hit the racetrack again. Some wound down with a 55 mile ultra. Takes all sorts I suppose.

Firstly, taking on the parkruns this week were:
Valley parkrun:
Prof Alan Ladd 19:34, Alan Erwin 22:47, Paul Skillen 23:45, Anton Piatek 27:08, Neill McGlinchey 27:19, Stephen Weir 30:44, Sharon ROTM Dunn 33:31, Marie McFarlane 35:17, Lorraine Forsythe 56:42,

Waterworks parkrun:
Ken McAuley 21:20, Ramunas Stanevicius 23:54, Jim Hewitt 26:08, Susan Thompson 26:09, Galina Stanevicius 26:57, Angela Stevens 28:35PB, Dermot Boyd 31:09, Anne Boyd 47:49
And congratulations to Mr McAuley on completing his 100th parkrun. Still claiming he’ll go slow every single time. Still melting them, every single time….

Antrim parkrun:
Tina Steele 28:23

Armagh parkrun:
Elaine Kennedy 30:16

Portrush parkrun:
Suzanne Brennan 25:45PB
No result for Lord Brennan? He’s all talk and no trousers that one!

Waterworks junior parkrun:
Eloise McAuley 9:43PB, Joseph Eager 10:23, Leo McAuley 19:47

Jordanstown junior parkrun:
Matthew Hawkins 11:17, Rhys Kerr 13:59, Riley Kerr 13:59

Our vest in the west was buzzin’ after his marathon relay run on Sunday and managed two more races in the week. Aidy Hughes, for it is he, ran the Dungannon CHS 5k mid-week in 24:27 and then the Termoneeney 5k on Friday night in 22:55PB.

Friday night also saw the latest Scrabo Striders Run the Runway events at Newtownards Airfield. Making it look like “plane” sailing were:
Ramunas Stanevicius 38:39 (and 6th place overall), Louise Ladd 56:40, Hannah “I’m back” Hope 59:06
Angela Stevens 27:30

On the same night, Neil McCready was running a mile with Mary Peters finishing in 5:43. I believe Neil beat her. Bit harsh given the track is named after her. Ruthless.

Yesterday saw our very own King and Queen of different, Danny and Tiffany Donaldson, decide that last week’s Belfast ultra was not tough enough and so headed to Scotland for the Cateran Ultra. This is just a 55 mile trail race over the Scottish Highlands. Sort of like the hill at the Valley parkrun, just longer….
They made the journey together (aahhh) and finished in 14hrs 49 mins.

So, this week’s tune is for our very own vegan promoting, tattoo sporting, Adam Ant liking, street performing, lamb saving, ultra running headers. Donaldsons, we salute you.


Until next week, behave.


Runner of the Month – April 2019

After a long winter it is always great to get into April with the better weather and extended nights. So it was rather disappointing to get pelted with hail stones in our first training session back at the playing fields in a scene that took me back to our XC race in 2018 (nicknamed ‘In the bleak Mallusk winter’).

If the weather didn’t hot up then at least the performances from our runners did. As always there were plenty of different races to choose from with club members taking on new distances and notching up PBs all over the place.

Belfast marathon was held on a new day with a new route but not as some of the club thought on a new month with a few nominations coming through for performances in May. We’ve ‘adjusted’ the results accordingly and you may have to wait slightly ‘longer’ to see your comments come through… Rest assured we’ll save these nominations for May’s ROTM.

April started with Manchester marathon where Kevin Donnelly had a fantastic run smashing his marathon PB by 17 minutes. He backed that up with two 5k PBs and a 5 mile PB:

“Kevin amazed us all with his performance at Manchester marathon. He is flying these days with a big marathon PB in Manchester! Go Kevin!”

Another Harrier setting new PBs left right and centre in April was Anita Piatek. A half marathon PB at Subway was sandwiched (get it…?) by bests for 5 mile and 5k at Ballymena Belles and Springwell’s Purple ladies race:

“Anita has been absolutely smashing out PBs this month from Ballymena Belles to Purple Ladies. She has been very committed to her training + it is more than reflecting in these great results!”

Mairead O’Hare was nominated for a brilliant performance in her first marathon at London this month which followed a 7 minute half marathon PB at Subway:

“What a fantastic performance in the London Marathon. A very determined Mairead embraced the training and did herself and the club proud getting right to the line. Well done Mairead.”

Running a marathon isn’t easy. Running a marathon a few days after being on crutches is definitely not easy. However, Janet Grew did just that and her achievement of finishing was rightly picked out as an inspiration to other club members:

“Janet showed great determination getting through London Marathon despite adversity and extreme injury”

For some at the club, a marathon isn’t long enough anymore. Congratulations to everyone who completed the Connemarathon (39.3 miles); for many it was their first ultra distance.

Lee O’Boyle has obviously been reading too much Scott Jurek. The legendary ultra runner finished second in his first ever ultra… and that’s exactly what Jurek did 25 years ago . Lee’s tireless work ethic is an inspiration to others at the club:

“His dedication to sport and training is inspiring and his achievement at Connemara ultra was incredible. Couple all that with his unassuming attitude and his willingness to help and encourage others embodies what I love about running. Congratulations Lee.”

We also had two ladies running their first ultra at Connemara. Our ladies’ captain Suzanne Brennan was nominated for her ultra training and race:

“Suzanne really dedicated herself to the training and was always positive about the whole experience which paid off with a great run on day”

Well done to everyone nominated and keep doing what you are doing. However, our winner this month pipping the rest on the list was Sharon Dunn. Sharon has been knocking on the door of ROTM for many months and her ability to maintain her levels of excellence has finally got her the biggest share of the vote this month. Here’s what you all had to say:

“Sharon worked and trained so hard for her first ultra and absolutely smashed it! What I love about Sharon is how modest and humble she is about her achievements. Her attitude towards training and her strength and determination is inspiring. Go girl x”

“I’m nominating Sharon Dunn for her total dedication to training and it was brilliant to see that pay off at Connemara ultra. Well done Sharon!”

“EAMS, Connemara and now taking on 24 in 24, this girl is amazing”

“She trained so hard for Connemara and showed great dedication which paid off on race day with a great performance. She continues to go from strength to strength and fully deserves ROTM for April”

Well done Sharon, a very deserved winner. Good luck with your preparation for 24in24!

Club report – Sunday 5th April 2019

Sorry that the report production was longer than expected this week. Seems to be a bit of a theme…..

Firstly, taking on the parkruns this week were:
Valley parkrun:
Ramunas Stanevicius 19:33PB, Tom Fleming 22:45, Paul Skillen 24:26, Brendan McGeown 25:59, Alan Erwin 26:01, Anita Piatek 28:02PB, Lee-Anne Hutchinson 29:35, Karen O’Boyle 31:46, Roseann McGeown 32:02, Loraine Forsythe 1:17:03

Waterworks parkrun:
Neil McCready 21:01, Jim Hewitt 24:31, Ryan McCready 26:55PB, Hollie Brennan 43:42, Lord Ian Brennan 43:44, Suzanne Brennan 43:44

Victoria parkrun:
Eamonn Donaghy 26:57

Antrim parkrun:
Elaine Kennedy 30:11, Susan Thompson 30:11, Ken “ice cream with a flake” McAuley 30:13

But the running week was really focused on the Belfast Marathon.

33 Harriers took on the new (very new in some places) course. However, despite the very public issues with course length and timings, it was still a great day out for the Harriers. Some amazing runs and some very brave runs. Just remember that effort and courage are not always reflected in the times. Every runner has their own story.

The times below are those as per Belfast Live website at 11am Monday morning. They may have changed. I have also marked any PBs and first timers I know about but apologies if yours is not noted.

Laura Campbell 4:58:27PB
Leeanne Skillen 4:58:27
Joanne Milne – 5:05:20
Sharon Dunn 4:04:32
Louise Ladd 5:08:34 first timer
Lisa Kerr 5:09:45 first timer
Gemma Fowler 4:35:03 first timer
Clare Teer 4:35:03 first timer
Pamela McCafferty 4:25:20 first timer
Sarah McCafferty – unfortunately unable to finish due to injury
Tiffany Donaldson 5:19:52
Karen McKee 3:50:09
Susan Thompson 3:44:30
Maeve Kennedy – 4:49:03
Nikki Fleck 4:59:57
Peter McGarry 2:40:30PB
Neil Campbell 3:00:20
Lee O’Boyle 2:43:36PB
Joe Mathers 3:29:52
Micky McAuley 3:32:27
Lord Ian Brennan 4:32:38
Micky McAuley 3:32:27
Stephen Gallagher 3:09:50PB
Martin O’Neill 3:02:39PB
Jim Guinn 4:14:01
Neill McGlinchey 5:42:05PB
Danny Donaldson 4:04:32
Christiaan Spies – 4:04:33
Ken McAuley 3:36:58PB
Stephen Semple 4:23:11
Paddy Brooks 4:05:16
Brian McDonald 4:25:20
Craig Mills 6:08:54
Michael McFarlane 5:05:21

Big congratulations to Peter McGarry who came in 27th position overall and set a new club record in the process.

Also a big shout out to Ian, Suzanne and all those involved in the organisation of yesterday’s events. Putting up the gazebos, stocking the bar, tea, coffee and biccies, organising the bus, carrying the gear, supporting around the course, taking the photos, updating runners progress, shouting and clapping, taking down the gazebos, organising the BBQ, drinking all the beer, etc, etc

Onwards and upwards for the runners and the club. Here’s to next year!
Until then, a tune for sore feet and sore heads. Enjoy. Well deserved.


Until next week, behave.