Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a Harrier was stirring, not even Lord Ian on another early morning run;
The twin skin Hillys were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The Harriers were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of PBs danced in their heads;
And Micky in his headband and Ken in his cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the 3G pitches there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
It was pyramid runs, slow and then fast
The snow came in sideways and we prayed for the last.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a clapped out Ulsterbus, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick (or Stephen Semple)
More rapid than McGarry his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
“Now, SKILLEN! now, CAMPBELL! now, CURISTAN and BRENNAN!
On, THOMPSON! on MCCAFFERTY! on, BROOKSes and ERWIN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the Sealstown!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away down!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up Prince Charles Way the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of gels, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard a great din
The pushing of buttons on multiple Garmins.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in lycra, from his toes to his eyes,
And his clothes were all official Harrier merchandise;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like social boy just opening his pack.
His eyes — how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
He laughed quite a lot and had a huge grin;
But it wasn’t from Xmas it was mostly from gin.
The stump of a gel he held tight in his teeth,
And the buff it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
(But he plans to get rid of it with his one to one plan-y!)
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
But the mud on his shoes and his feet so tender,
Soon gave me to know he was an XC header;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
“If you ever want to see a PB again
Then no more beer, just ten at ten”
He sprang to his sleigh, gave a whistle so shrill,
And away they all flew like O’Boyle up a hill.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT!
(Apologies to Major Livingston who’s poem I have just murdered)
Taking on the parkruns this week were:
Tom Fleming 20:26 (and 3rd finisher), Neil McCready 21:27, Owen Fulton 25:17, Noel Bloomfield 25:41, Alan Erwin 26:27, Neill McGlinchey 29:28, David Esler 29:42, Frances Kane 31:25, Odhran Skillen 38:30, Paul Skillen 38:34, Lorraine-Ann Forsythe 1:04:16
Dawn Blaine 22:40, Maeve “150” Kennedy 25:36, Joseph Eager 26:54, Stephen Semple 27:45, Susan Thompson 29:28, Claire McCann 30:46
Alan Kerr 25:15
Stranmillis College parkrun:
Elaine Kennedy 31:04
Tina Steele 26:01PB
This week’s only Xmas tourist is Alastair “dare me to wear it” Houldsworth who completed the Cliffe Castle parkrun in 23:59. This parkrun takes place in Keighley (Keeth-lee) which is near Bradford in West Yorkshire. Not Yorkshire, mind. West Yorkshire. The posh end. Poet, John Cooper Clarke once wrote “I’ll tell you now and I’ll tell you briefly, I don’t ever want to go to Keighley.” Alastair obviously ignored him.
And the lovely ADav was at the Valley 25:18
Waterworks junior parkrun:
Joseph Eager 9:43, Hollie Brennan 16:34
Jordanstown junior parkrun:
Matthew Hawkins 11:23
Elaine Kennedy completed the EAMS Black Eye Friday half marathon (on Friday!) in 2:15:23.
Bernard McKeaveney completed the Back to Basics 5k in 25:36 and Martin O’Neill completed the 10k in 40:12.
The only other running this week was the ever popular Leg-It Xmas 5 miler at Hazelbank with Harriers changing the blue and green for red and white:
Ramunas Stanevicius HOTM 31:25, David Esler 48:36, Victoria McCready 58:25, Riley Kerr 1:00:10PB, Andrew Kerr 1:00:11
(Can’t find full results anywhere so only posting from Team App)
So, this week’s tune is another one to get you in the mood for Xmas.
Have a good one Harriers.
Until next week, behave.
CAVILLATOR, still HOTY