Runner of the Month – September 2019

As the cold dark training nights begin to set it, September seems like a distance memory already.
September saw many Harriers taking on some of the biggest local (and not so local) races in the running calendar,
Laganside 10k, Belfast Half Marathon, The Great North Run and Berlin Marathon… to name a few!
Ramunas Stanevicius again earned himself a nomination, becoming a bit of a habit now, but to be expected with his consistent progress month after month!
“Outstanding participation in races but particularly his PBs at Laganside, Belfast Half and more recently at Valley Parkrun.”
Club newcomer Bernard McKeaveney earns his first ROTM nomination, some say it is because of his great progress since joining the club, others say it is because he has been bribing people with cake, I’ll let you decide!
“Has only just joined the club but has been out smashing race after race. Always with a smile and is getting lots of PBs. He is a great asset to the team. Plus, if he wins he might make cake”
Alan Erwin – great to see Alan back to full strength following a lengthy period of setback due to injury. This month saw him continue to grow from strength to strength with an amazing PB in Belfast Half marathon.
“For me the standout performance this month has been Alan Erwin. He is looking so strong in training and it paid off with a 1:30 half marathon that I’m not sure he could believe himself.
Fantastic especially considering his setback with injury at the start of the year.”
Lee O’Boyle. Yep, the men’s cappy himself earned a few nominations for his club representation at Berlin marathon, running a PB in the process.
“Lee has had an incredible few months and his performance at the Berlin marathon was outstanding. He’s always encouraging others and gives so much to the club”.
“Outstanding performance at Berlin Marathon. Lee is always so committed to his training and also finds time to give so much back to the club in his role as male captain.”
But there can only be one winner… and what a winner…
This lady has been the ROTM bridesmaid so many times recently, but it’s time to put a stop to that! Consistent training has just seen PB after PB in all distances over the last few months and she has represented the club in race after race all across the country. A fantastic performance at the Great North Run did not go unnoticed and has earned her a long overdue ROTM award. Well done
“Anita from the beginning of her training for the GNR she was determined, and this showed in all her runs leading up to the GNR with numerous PB’s. She did amazing in the GNR and deserves to be ROTM”
“Anita has been deserving of ROTM for the last few months and always seems to get pipped to the post. Another outstanding month for her with PBs and a great run at GNR. Consistent training paying off”
Well done to all of the nominees and thank you for your votes!

Runner of the month – July 2019

After some heroic performances in June many harriers covered a lot of miles in July as well. Admittedly for most, this came in the form of air miles with the destination being a sunny clime with a beach and a cocktail at the end of it. However, there were a few hardy harriers who kept plugging away at training and races that shone through our abject summer weather.

Two harriers that carried on where they left off in June were Lee O’Boyle and Micky McAuley. They were jointly nominated for completing the Denis Rankin round:

“Both these guys are an inspiration and true gents. Despite their gruelling training schedules they always have time to talk and encourage other members over every distance.”

Angela Stevens was nominated for her unwavering pursuit of racing the entire pure running series as well as our own club championship. She’s been simply described this month as “Knocking out half marathons in style”!

The runner up this month is Anita Piatek whose dedication to training paid off with a fantastic 5k personal best

“Anita has gone from strength to strength. Her hard work and determination has seen her get pb after pb.”

“Constantly improving, Anita has been consistent at training and ran a fantastic 5k PB at Derrytresk”

This month’s winner has been in great form too. He notched up a brilliant age category win at the Sea 2 Sky 5k and we finally managed to get him on the other side of the camera for once.

“Dermot has had a great month with a number of PBs and age category prizes at races.”

“Dermot has shown great determination coming back from injury. He ran a personal best 5 mile and had an age category win at Sea 2 Sky and in adverse weather conditions too.”

“His performance at recent events, seems he gets a PB every time and it’s because of his hard work and dedication!”

Congratulations and well deserved; July’s runner of the month is Dermot Boyd!

Runner of the Month – June 2019

June was a jam packed month in the racing calendar and as always the Harriers were out in force. From EAMS 6hr Challenges, Comber 10k, Energia 24, ultras in the Mournes, marathons along the coast and the best challenge in the calendar, Mallusk Harriers 24 in 24.

Firstly, a massive congratulations to all the 24 in 24 runners. What an achievement and a big thank you to all the support crew and volunteers. 24 in 24 was a huge success and the money is still coming in for the Children’s Hospice.

Now onto the nominees and some of the reasons for their nomination by their club mates….

Gillian Bainbridge was nominated for Energia 24. This girl has been out from injury for the good part of a year, has turned up to every circuits class because she can’t run but recently started back to Tuesday night sessions. During Energia her foot started to hurt pretty painfully to the point were she couldn’t run. Instead of dropping where the team would have just fallen down the leaderboard, she walked and ran when she could and the team finished with 123.3 miles between them. Outstanding Gillian showing amazing determination and team spirit.

Joanne Milne has struggled with injury but was nominated for her outstanding run at EAMS 6 hour challenge and then at Energia. Great spirit and game for anything!

Laura Campbell was nominated for her excellent running at Energia. Laura showed great determination and strength of character on the day and ran amazingly well always remaining upbeat with a smile on her face. So proud of her

Joe Mathers for 24 in 24, The quiet man! Like the other crazies Joe just got on with this mammoth task.

Laura Rose, for 24 in 24, very impressed with her performance and attitude during 24in24. She clocked up an impressive amount of mileage and led most if it from the front, maintaining a great pace.

Lee O’Boyle, where do you start? So dedicated to his training and supporting others. Lee’s achievements this month were outstanding, completing all 24 parkruns and success at the Mourne way ultra. The determination you have Lee is in another league! Amazing performance in the Mourne ultra and 24. Lee is constantly training to the highest level he works hard in everything he does. Winning the ultra was great to see. It was a long time coming. He smashed 24in24.

Neil Campbell was nominated for his leadership in the 24 in 24 event on the day.

Paddy Brooks, with great runs at Lisburn Half Marathon and Comber 10k shows the training he’s putting in is really paying off. He also managed a few 24 in 24 parkruns to support the team which was greatly appreciated.

Peter McGarry was nominated for another marathon record, enough said 😉💪

The winner of Runner of the Month was difficult to track down. Some say he was off in another country hatching another plan with his minions and others say they see him wondering aimlessly around Victoria park counting laps…… Runner of the month for June is Mr EAMS, Craig Mills aka Gru. Craig has recently joined the headers corner of the club with his 101.3miles in just over 22hrs as Energia 24. What an unbelievable achievement and outstanding running. These words speak for themselves “Craig ran over 100 miles”. This outstanding performance at Energia 24 gets my runner of the month vote. What a fantastic effort, there literally are no words……… other than Congratulations. Craig, you absolutely smashed it!

Runner of the Month – May 2019

May was Belfast Marathon month and no surprise that the nominations for ROTM are dominated by those who were taking part.
We now know that those marathoners were actually ultra-marathoners by 500m or so, however our first nomination for May goes to a duo who took on an Ultra of all other proportions.
Tiffany and Danny Donaldson
“This is a joint nomination for these two amazing crazies who take on distances and terrains that would make a hardy sailor cry. Their adventure at the Cateran 55 mile ultra was an incredible achievement. An absolutely inspiring pair.”
Clare Teer, Louise Ladd, Lisa Kerr, Karen McKee, Pamela McCafferty and Dave Gibson all received nominees for their efforts in Belfast Marathon.
Clare, “for her preparation leading up to the Belfast City Marathon, her first Marathon, she managed to overcome lots of challenges along her journey.”
Louise and Lisa, “often go under the radar because they had to do a lot of their long runs on their own but they both followed their plans and ran a great first marathon in Belfast.”
Pamela, “showing dedication and commitment along with her daughter when training for her first marathon.”
As runners, we are all too aware that injury can be looming just around the corner.
Angela Stevens was out for a long time due to injury, but through patience, persistence and determination she has shown us this month that injury makes the comeback all the sweeter
“Angela has made a fantastic return after her horrendous injury at Sea to Sky last Summer with PBs at Valley and Waterworks parkruns and at the Newry Half Marathon. She’s ever supportive and aces all her races. Great to have you back Angela.”
“Great to see Angela back to her best after a long spell on the sideline – some great recent performances at parkrun and the Pure Running Half Marathon series”
However, there was a clear winner this month and fully deserved considering how he blasted around his first marathon in an incredible time, hardly breaking in to a sweat, lots of potential to come in the future and a great discipline in sticking religiously to his training plan….
ROTM for May is: Stephen Gallagher
“Smashing his first marathon with an unbelievable time”
“Stephen worked very hard and executed his marathon plan to perfection. A superb time for a first marathon, some great things to come!”
“Absolutely smashed Belfast. His training and progress has been great to watch. He has gone from strength to strength. Well done Stephen!”
Congratulations to all the nominees and thank you to everyone who voted!

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!

Runner of the Month – March 2019

With marathon and half marathon training plans in full swing we have had so many improvements from all members of the club throughout the month of March.

Thank you to everyone who voted. 😁

There were a number of individuals nominated this month👏

Kevin Donnelly

“Kevin has trained so quietly towards Manchester Marathon achieving a fantastic time at Carlingford Half Marathon. Kevin always offers support and encouragement to so many, his dedication to training is admired by so many. ”

Leo McAuley

“Brilliant result for Craic 10k wee superstar”

Louise Ladd

“Super performance at Larne half with an 8 min PB. Consistent training, going from strength to strength, always has a smile and an encouraging word! ”

Maeve Dunseath

“Maeve’s focus and determination. Maeve returned to running from injury with Larne Half Marathon as a goal. Not only did she succeed but she hit so many PBs along the way, entering race and after race – each time getting stronger and stronger. ”

Mairead O’Hare

” For yet another great PB SHE JUGGLES SO MUCH TO GET OUT RUNNING. ”

Sharon Dunn

“Sharon has shown true dedication to her current training plan and you can see the hard work paying of as she glides through the miles. She is getting faster and stronger every week, keep it up!! ”

Suzanne Brennan

“I’ve seen first hand her dedication to the Connemara training plan and as much as it hurts to say I really do admire her..”

Stephen Gallagher

“Consistently achieving great results and dedication to the marathon program ”

“Stephen’s dedicated training is paying off in spades, with consistently impressive times culminating in a fantastic PB at Larne.”

Micky McAuley

“For completing the EAMS 6 hour challenge and also for completing the Denis Rankin Round. Mickey is an inspiration to us all whilst being so humble! Absolute legend!”

“For finishing the Rankin round”

“Micky achieves the unbelievable! Completing the Denis Rankin Round was yet another fantastic performance. Micky is a true gent, he’s always encouraging others, no matter their capability or goals.”

“What Micky achieved this month with his epic mountain run is just amazing – that would make him a worthy ROTM alone, but when combined with his great attitude, completely humble and unassuming, makes his achievement even more special. ”

But there can only one winner… 🏆

Peter McGarry

“Peter has delivered a couple of amazing back to back performances, at Larne and then at Titanic, and has trained really hard to make this possible with more to come. Can’t wait to see what he achieves in the months ahead.”

“Fantastic results in both the Larne half marathon and Titanic 10k ”

“Dedication to his training has produced an outstanding 15th place at Larne Half, and PB in Titanic 10K, to name a few. Amazing results Peter!”

“For his outstanding run in Larne half marathon and club record time at Titanic 10k”

“Outstanding runs at Larne Half Marathon and Titanic 10k”

” Really stepped it up this month, impressive PBs, finishing positions and club records. Exciting future ahead”

A huge WELL DONE Peter! May the great running continue! 👏

Also well done to everyone nominated and happy training for April.🏃‍♂️🏃🏻‍♀️


Runner of the Month for February 2019

With XC over for another season and the road races starting, a new committee was voted in and Alan Ladd and Laura Rose were the lucky Harriers who became vice male and female captains. I would like to thank Danny and Tiffany Donaldson for all their help last year in writing the runner of the month and Harrier of the month reports.
The nominations for runner of the month were:
Hilary Faith deserved a mention for her outstanding performance in Last One Standing. Some of the comments include:
“Hilary is unassuming about how strong and dedicated she is, a real asset to the club. Her performance and achievement in Last One Standing was incredible and a joy to watch. Well done Hilary, we are all so proud of you”.
“She is such a great person who is always encouraging”.
“She just gets on with things and is so unassuming. I really think she deserves this award. Hilary has tremendous spirit and determination”
“She is always challenging herself but also inspires all of us around her. She never fails to take time to support and share her great wisdom and experience with us all”
Karen McKee was nominated because she has been absolutely acing Marathon Training in January and February, constantly achieving new goals & records in sessions. She’s also always encouraging others & given amazing performances at XC.
Kevin Donnelly for his hard work and determination towards training for his marathon are certainly working with an excellent run and result at Carlingford. He is putting in the miles and results are showing it. Well done Kevin and good luck in Manchester.
Laura Rose has a great attitude and always helpful. Never seems to have a bad day, just always does what is needed to get the miles done.
Ramunas has gone from strength to strength with PBs along the way.
Stephen Gallagher was nominated for his consistency with a fairly demanding marathon training program, always putting the effort in and shown great support at the XC events this season.
Suzanne Brennan was so passionate and encouraging about cross country this year and got out and did them herself also. On top of this she has been doing so well with her ultra training. A big inspiration!
Like every month there can only be one winner, a very big congratulations to one half of Team McCafferty. Well done Sarah McCafferty definitely a worthy winner. Comments include
“Dedication to marathon training, PB at Valley parkrun and success at XC this year. This girl is going from strength to strength”.
Sarah has shown excellent commitment to her marathon training and this is clearly paying off and her pace during training sessions is reflecting this”.
“Sarah has shown what determination and hard training can do”
“Sarah has been working very hard and consistently in training, executing her marathon plan to perfection. This hard work has shown in recent races where she has been finishing well up the field, particularly in XC events, all of this while managing to complete her finals at uni”.
Sarah thoroughly deserves this award and can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote, until next month…….

Runner of the month – December 2018

December ROTM nominations were dominated by two events, Cross Country and the Seeley Cup.

Suzanne Brennan was nominated for rounding up and leading the ladies XC team in to battle in the Athletics NI XC league.

Club newcomer Ramunas Stanevicius received several nominations for some excellent PBs, race performances and team XC participation. Definitely a Harrier to watch out for in the future!

Similarly, Kevin Donnelly and Lee O’Boyle received nominations for superb PBs in the Seeley Cup, strong XC results and a sprinkling of podiums for the club.

But there can only be one winner and in my opinion this one is long overdue!

He is one of the most consistent club attendees throughout the year at training, always puts in a great performance in races and has had some amazing achievements throughout the year.

Sometimes these performances go under the radar due to his modesty, but it has finally caught up with him this month and has not gone unnoticed by many voting Harriers.

December saw him finish off a great year in style with a blistering PB in the Seeley Cup and some brilliant runs in XC events, helping the men’s team to score some valuable league bonus points.

ROTM is… the one… the only… Joe Mathers!

Runner of the month for November 2018

Karen McKee, Maeve Dunseath, Sarah McCafferty and Stephen Gallagher each received nominations this month for their positive attitudes and progress. Without a doubt it has been a great month for all four with regular training paying off across many distances and terrains, with some even braving the madness of the cross country.

As always of course, there can only be one winner and this month’s was a runaway victor. Alan Ladd has gone above and beyond this month, including PB’s and podium finishes in his achievements.

Alan’s first place finish at the Kirkistown half marathon is an example of what can be achieved with the right dedication and work. Congratulations Alan, fantastic running!

Junior Harriers of the month for November 2018

Three of our Juniors received the Junior Harrier of the month award for November and the much sought after subway voucher that coach Skillen has been trying to get his hands on for months!

Congratulations to Rory and Jasper Brooks, these two brothers are part of the XC team and put in excellent performances, even with muddy conditions. They never fail to turn up to training and it’s paying off big time, dudes you are both amazing!!!!

Jamie Campbell also received the Junior Harrier of the Month award, all the seniors can learn a lot from wee Jamie, with his perfect running posture and correct execution of circuit exercises, it’s clear to see he takes after his mum. Keep it up Jamie, this young man is a star in the making.

Congratulations to all our Juniors, 2018 was a fantastic year with some amazing results, hope Santa is good to you all and lets floss our way into 2019.