Can you help out at the C25K ‘graduation’?
North Belfast Harriers are asking for people to come to the Waterworks parkrun tomorrow morning, Saturday 27th April 2103 at 9.30am to help support the 'graduates' of their recent 'Jog Belfast Couch to 5km' programme. The North Belfast club have been delivering a twice weekly training session for people to get fit over the last 10 weeks.
Aimed at people who are, or were "non-active", this popular twice weekly running programme has taken place on Monday and Wednesday nights at Girls and Boys Model Athletics Track in Belfast, under the helpful eye of Matt Shields alongside coaches and volunteers from the North Belfast Harriers club.
The programme has been a massive success with over 200 runners taking part in the structured introduction to running. Some of the comments posted by participants on the Waterworks parkrun Facebook page are testament to the programme's success so far, with one recent convert commenting:
"It has been brilliant, even though I missed a few weeks due to illness. The coaches have been so encouraging. They gave up their spare time to come along and keep us motivated, massive thanks. I am still a while from running a full 5k but am now a convert. This is from someone who has never been even slightly sporty. I am trying to get my husband and kids up to the next C25K group"
Another C25K convert added: "I'm so excited for Saturday. The C25K programme has been fantastic and has been a massive help to me. I'm now telling all my non-running friends about it and encouraging them to get involved. Huge thanks to all the coaches for all their time, help, advice and motivation. We couldn't have done it without you."
The culmination of all the hard work is tomorrow morning's Waterworks parkrun (Saturday 27th April 2013) and Matt Shields has politely asked that running enthusiasts turn out to support the C25k group, through marshalling, assisting with other race duties and spectating.
Scullion impresses as Curley retains her title:
On Sunday 21st April 2013, thousands of athletes and spectators gathered at the Titanic Quarter, Belfast for the Athletics NI organised Titanic 10k.
In blustery conditions, which were made worse by the arrival of rain showers, it was the man of the moment, Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers) who once again stole the headlines. However, the National 10k Champion was made to work for his win, with Annadale Striders’ star Eddie McGinley matching him stride for stride as they went through the 4km mark.
Behind, Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) and Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) were in a tussle for third place, with a group headed by Brendan Teer (East Down AC) and Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) a little further back
In the ladies race, Irish Olympian Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) looked strong as she led Julie Turley (Dromore AC), Judith Lowry (City of Lisburn AC), Julie Balmer (North Down AC) and Jessica Craig (North Down AC) through half-way. As the showers began, Eddie McGinley's challenge at the front of the men's race dwindled. Stephen battled the wind in the final few kilometres to claim another impressive victory, breaking the tape in 30:41. Eddie followed in 31:15 (2nd place), with Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) taking 3rd place in 32:27.
Pauline Curley held her lead in the ladies race, winning the title in fine fashion. The Tullamore Harriers lady crossed the line in 36:27. Hard working Julie Turley was the second lady home in 36:37, an excellent run considering her recent return from injury. Julie Balmer ran well in second half to catch and pass Judith Lowry, to claim the final podium place in 38:29.
Top 3 Men: 1st Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers) – 30:41, 2nd Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) – 31:15, 3rd Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) – 32:27
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) – 36:27, 2nd Julie Turley (Dromore AC) – 36:37, 3rd Julie Balmer (North Down AC) – 38:29
Results: Titanic 10k 2013 Results. Results are PROVISIONAL only. Race photographs have been added to our ‘Photo Gallery’.
NI student runs well at college Track & Field event:
Last weekend (Saturday 13th April 2013), City of Derry AC athlete JP Williamson, a student at Lindsay Wilson College in America, took part in the Cumberland College Invitational Track & Field meeting in Williamsburg, Kentucky, USA.
Competing over 5,000m; JP crossed the line in 15:08.65 to take 3rd place, the race was won by Austin Houchens (Berea) in 15:06.47. JP will return home to Northern Ireland next month, and is looking participating in several high profile track races over the summer, including the NI & Ulster Championships.
Full Results: Cumberland Invitational T&F Meet 2013 Results
Young athletes take centre stage at Mary Peters Track:
On Saturday 13th April 2013, Athletics NI welcomed future stars to the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track, Belfast for the ‘Rising Stars’ Track & Field meet. NiRunning Track & Field contributor John Glover was on hand to take in an exciting day of competition. His review of the action is below:
After a winter of training under the guidance of some of Athletics NI’s leading coaches the Rising Stars were looking forward to showing off their talent in their ‘summer competition’. Sadly although the Rising Stars and their coaches turned up, summer declined the invitation.
Despite the conditions, the first competition on the new Mary Peters’ Track proved to be a great success and some impressive early season performances were posted. With individual medals for each event on offer and trophies for the overall Best Boy and Best Girl the competition was intense. In the sprints Emma Jane Smyth surprised the former Ulster Schools Minor Champion Mollie Newell by the narrowest of margins winning in 14.02secs in very unfavourable windy conditions. For the boys Charlie Wright used all his rugby strength to good effect with a clear in 13.14secs. Not surprisingly, Charlie also came out top in the Long Jump and the Shot Putt just missing 5 metres in the former and producing the only throw over 10 metres.
Honours in the girls events was more widespread with four different winners. Natasha Morton was nearly a metre clear in the Shot Putt and Indoor overall champion Kate Farrelly took the Long Jump with a 4.26 metre jump. Of the four events the 800 metres provided the greatest challenge for many of the youngsters who lacked any real middle distance background. However there were quite significant improvements on the times posted during the time trials early in the winter training sessions. The average improvement was a remarkable 12.5 seconds with Jack Lewis taking over 30 seconds from his best. Laura Gardiner and Emma Hutchinson battled it out for individual honours with Laura clocking a very respectable 2:33.57 ahead of Emma’s 2:35.45. Charlie Wright looked to be on course for a clean sweep as he led in the final stages but Jonny Brattle times his finish to perfection to win in 2:24.77.
It was clear that Charlie was going to take the overall Boy’s title to add to that he achieved indoors at Antrim but he was pushed closely by runner up Jack Lewis with Josh McFarland in third. The girls title also went to the Antrim winner but Kate Farrelly’s margin of victory was only three points from Emma Hutchinson with Aoife Magee taking bronze. The meeting also saw the Primary Schools Cross Country Squad take to the track for 1000 metres races with Iveagh Primary schoolgirl Elizabeth Little, a member of Banbridge AC winning the girls event and David Faulkner from Pond Park Primary in Lisburn taking the boys.
There was a very poor turn-out for the Open Senior events on offer with Richard Johnston, Adam Hill, Anna McIlmoyle and Jonny Colhoun all winning what amounted to individual trials.
Full Results: Rising Stars Track & Field Competition (13/4/13) 2013 Results - Photograph used above was taken from Athletics Northern Ireland website.
Northern Ireland ultra-running star competes in England:
On Saturday 13th April 2103, North Belfast Harriers’ long distance specialist, Martin Rea travelled to England for the South Downs Way Ultra. The 50 mile race, takes competitors along the South Downs National Trail from Worthing to Eastbourne and boasts excellent cross channel views in places.
Up against quality competition and horrendous weather conditions Martin put in an excellent performance, completing the course in a brilliant 7:39:50, enough to secure joint 3rd place after officials were unable to separate him and Reece Ingram (Dorset Doddlers AC). The race was won by Brighton based ultra-runner Mark Perkins (Club Unknown) in 6:55:49.
Full results will be added as soon as they are available.
Irish Universities Athletic Association Track & Field Championships 2013:
This weekend, from Friday 12th April to Saturday 13th April 2013, young athletes from Northern Ireland travelled to the Mardyke Arena in Cork, Ireland to represent their Universities at the Irish Universities (and College) Athletic Association Track & Field Championships.
In the 100m, Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Jonathan Browning picked up a bronze medal. The Queens University of Belfast student clocked 10.55secs (3rd place) for the distance, he was followed by another QUB man, Ben Maze (11.21secs) who finished in 5th place. The race was won by David Hynes (WIT) in 10.66secs.
Jonathan Browning collected his second bronze medal of the day, after finishing in 3rd place in the 200m final. The talented NI man crossed the line in 22:24secs in a race won by Dublin City University’s Steven Colvert (21.58secs). University of Ulster’s John Houston (49.65secs), usually of Ballymena & Antrim AC, just missed out on a podium place, finishing in 4th place in the 400m. The race was won by UCD’s Mark English in 47.56secs.
Northern Ireland runners placed well in the 1500m final, University of Ulster’s Mark Hoy (3:56.95) and QUB’s Evan Whetsell (3:58.66) finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively, while QUB captain, James O’Hare (also of Annadale Striders) recorded 4:01.83 to finish in 5th place, in a race won by Dublin City University student Darren McBrearty in 3:55.91. Paralympic hero Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) was a guest runner in the 5,000m event. The gold medallist missed out on a medal on this occasion, finishing in 5th place after crossing the line in 15:23.01. The race was won by talented Irish International John Coughlan (DCU) in 14:29.61. In the 10,000m final, QUB pair Stephen Prentice (34:01.81) and Michael Fryar (35:14.82) achieved top ten finishes, taking 8th place and 10th place respectively. Well known John Travers (AIT) won the event in 30:36.46.
Chloe Boomer (University of Ulster) finished in 5th place in the 100m final, after crossing the line in 12.44secs. Irish lady Stephanie Creamer (DCU) won the race in 11.92secs. In the 400m, Armagh AC’s Aisling Fegan (University of Ulster) covered the distance in 67.70secs, finishing in 6th place behind race winner Sinead Denny (DIT) who recorded 56.40secs. In the packed 1500m final, which had no less than fifteen starters, North Down AC lady Jessica Craig (University of Ulster) claimed 5th place in 4:55.73. Becky Woods (TCD) won the event in 4:43.07. QUB student and North Down AC member, Rachel Gibson (10:23.67) narrowly missed out on a bronze medal after finishing in 4th place in the 3,000m final. Aubree Peipmeier (QUB) finished just a third of a second behind Rachel in 5th place, running 10:24.00. Trinity College Dublin athlete Maria O’Sullivan (10:11.65) was the race winner.
Full Results: IUAA Track & Field Championships 2013 Results
Nearly 300 runners take on Castle Ward Challenge:
On Saturday 13th April 2013, athletes from all over Ireland gathered at the scenic National Trust operated Castle Ward Estate, County Down for the second annual running of the Born 2 Run Events organised Castle Ward 10k and Half Marathon Challenge.
Newry City Runners’ Dermot Mathers enjoyed a comfortable victory in the 10k event, crossing the line in 32:27, over two minutes ahead of Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) who recorded 34:45 (2nd place). Willowfield Harriers’ Matthew Wilson completed the men’s top three after he covered the distance in 35:19 to take 3rd place.
Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC), a lady who has been running well recently, won the ladies race in 41:01. Mary Meehan (Glaslough Harriers) took 2nd place in 50:36, finishing nineteen seconds ahead of Unattached athlete Helen Murray (50:55) who claimed 3rd place.
In the Half Marathon, Don Travers made it a double for Newry City Runners in the men’s categories. The Northern Ireland international runner broke the tape in 1:21:01 to win, bettering his runner up position from last year. Richard Coey (Unattached) followed in 1:26:29 (2nd place), while versatile athlete Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) took 3rd place in 1:27:34.
Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) ran out clear winner in the ladies Half Marathon, the experienced trail runner completed the course in 1:29:57 to take the win, this was enough to secure an excellent fifth place overall. Lagan Valley AC’s consistent performer, Julie Murphy was the next lady home in 1:38:12 (2nd place), with Seapark AC’s Gillian Cordner (1:41:01) in 3rd place.
10k Podium Finishers:
Top 3 Men: 1st Dermot Mathers (Newry City Runners) – 32:27, 2nd Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) – 34:45, 3rd Matthew Wilson (Willowfield Harriers) – 35:19
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) – 41:01, 2nd Mary Meehan (Glaslough Harriers) – 50:36, 3rd Helen Murray (Unattached) – 50:55
Half Marathon Podium Finishers:
Top 3 Men: 1st Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 1:21:01, 2nd Richard Coey (Unattached) – 1:26:29, 3rd Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:27:34
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) – 1:29:57, 2nd Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:38:12, 3rd Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) – 1:41:01
*Note* It has been brought to our attention that some of competitors in the 10k race may have accidentally taken a wrong turn, which took approximately 500m off their distance. This means that some of the final times may not relate to 10k (6.21m). Organisers rectified the issue immediately and have also managed to identify the affected people, they are now making them aware of the situation.
Sperrin Harriers host annual 5 mile Road Race:
On Saturday 13th April 2013, over one hundred and fifty competitors took part in the well organised Sperrin Harriers 5 mile classic road race in Magherfelt, County Londonderry.
In dry, but windy conditions spectators were indeed treated to a classic, with the men’s race resembling a game of musical chairs. Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) took control from the start, opening a fifteen second gap on the chasing bunch, which included Paul O’Callaghan (Sperrin Harriers), Delfim Pemintel (Unattached), James Brown (Larne AC) and Matthew McCooke (Ballymena Runners).
As the leaders went through half-way, Paul O’Callaghan and James Brown had moved clear of Delfim Pemintel and Matthew McCooke and looked to be catching the tiring Eddie Cooke. It was Paul O’Callaghan who made the first move to catch Eddie, and he did so, before taking the lead. James Brown followed and moved side by side with Paul.
As the athletes turned onto the home stretch, in view of the finish area, James Brown made a strong surge to take the lead. Unable to match this, Paul O’Callaghan appeared to be settling for second place. However, a revived Eddie Cooke showed great determination to catch Paul and regained second spot.
In the ladies race, pre-race favourite Gemma Turley continued her excellent form, achieving her second race win in six days, and her third podium spot in succession, after a win in last week’s Decathlon 10k and a second place finish in Wednesday’s Bay Road 5k. The talented Springwell Running Club lady clocked 30:43 to win, finishing just ahead of Denise Toner (Clones AC) who crossed the line in 30:49 to take 2nd place. North Belfast Harriers’ Cathy McCourt continued her comeback with a solid performance, showing good strength to take 3rd place in 31:19.
Top 3 Men: 1st James Brown (Larne AC) – 27:14, 2nd Paul O’Callaghan (Sperrin Harriers) – 27:29, 3rd Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) – 27:36
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 30:43, 2nd Denise Toner (Clones AC) – 30:49, 3rd Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) – 31:19.
Full Results: Sperrin Harriers 5m Classic 2013 Results
NiRunning T&F guru John T Glover reports on North Down AC's 'Open' Meet:
On Tuesday 9th April 2013, North Down AC hosted the first outdoor Track & Field event of the season, at Bangor Sportsplex, Bangor. Well over one hundred athletes turned out for the event and NiRunning T&F contributor John T Glover was there to see the action unfold. His review of proceedings is below:
'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For a journey, and such a journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
Perhaps TS Eliot did not have a trip to Bangor’s Ballykillaire track in mind when he wrote these words but they are none the less appropriate. It was absolutely Baltic with a wind from that very region whipping in up Belfast Lough so conditions were far from conducive for good performances. However that did not deter what must have been a record turn-out for this season’s opener.
The host club let their Fundamentals group get the season underway and Rebecca Webb and Jonny Moore showed good promise for the future. The locals also provided action from those of a somewhat older vintage with stalwarts like Michael McConkey, Commonweatlh Decathlete Brendan McConville, Kenny Elliott and Peter Glass being joined by a real blast from the past, former sprint ace Roger Sexton.
Elleana Hamilford-Hull was the fastest female on the track clocking 20.98secs in the 150 metres. Of the 20 other female short sprinters Lagan Valley’s Olivia Bowes and North Down’s Olivia Cumming impressed. When the distance was doubled Willowfield’s Lois Hagan was a class apart winning in 42.81secs, a time bettered by only four girls last season. The 600m also saw Willowfield take the honours through Claire Francis while in the distance event of the night Banbridge’s Emma Mitchell just failed to break 11 minutes.
The field eventers probably suffered most from the freezing conditions with the best performance coming from Alex Catherwood who won the High Jump with a 1.55m clearance.
A total of 26 males contested the 150 metres with one of last season’s young 400 metres stars producing the fastest time of the night in 17.22secs. Later in the evening he continued his winning ways with a 37.21secs clocking in the 300 metres. Lagan Valley’s Jack Hanna also produced a sprint double in the Under 17 age group. Decathlete Peter Glass set up the pace in the 600 metres and club mate Adam McComb took full advantage to win in 1:25.21. Thirteen runners started the 3000m metres but Annadale’s Owen Carleton was not in any mood for company and was soon striding well clear of the field to win by almost the length of the straight.
The high point of the men’s field events was undoubtedly the 1.90 metres High Jump victory by City of Lisburn’s Adam Hill showing that the 2 metre barrier is shortly to be broken. North Down’s ‘wunderkind’ Ollie Wakefield just got the better of Adam’s younger brother Jonathan in the long jump.
A busy opening week of the season continues on Friday night with the Festival of Miles at Antrim Forum while on Saturday the new Mary Peters’ Track get a christening with the Rising Stars annual outdoor competition with accompanying Senior open events.
Full Results: North Down AC 'Open' T&F Meet 2013 Results
Shields and Cordner pick up prizes as NI runners perform well in Connemara:
At the weekend, a number of Northern Ireland runners made the long journey towards Galway, Ireland for the Connemarathon, which included Half Marathon, Marathon and 39.3 mile Ultra Marathon races on Sunday 7th April 2013.
The event is based in the Maam Cross area of Connemara and sells out almost every year, with competitors travelling from all over the world to take on the challenging but incredibly scenic course. The event is renowned for it’s difficult final thirteen miles, twelve of which are uphill, with the closing mile being almost all downhill, which at this stage is just as tough on tired, weary legs. A constant, swirling wind made conditions all the more difficult.
In the Ultra Marathon (39.3m), Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC) led the Northern Ireland contingent home in 5:16:54. He was followed by North Belfast Harriers’ Robert Irvine (5:29:54) and Marathon Club Ireland’s Barry Shanks (5:43:44) who finished in 25th place and 39th place respectively. City of Derry AC’s Hannah Shields, a recent podium finisher at the Wicklow Way Ultra Marathon clocked 5:46:05 to take 3rd place in the ladies race. Ivan Sadlier (Enniskillen Running Club) just missed a sub six hour finish, crossing the line in 6:00:37 (54th place), while Newry Triathlon Club’s Gerard Donnelly recorded 7:07:00 (135th place).
John Findlay (East Down AC) was the next NI finisher in 7:10:42, before Sperrin Harriers’ Eamon Sheehan (172nd place – 7:37:27) and Orangegrove AC’s Darren Houston (178th place – 7:56:20) completed the course. The race was won by Keith Whyte (Ennis Track Club) in 4:25:52, while Amy Masner (Parnell AC) took the ladies top prize in 5:32:19.
Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers), a regular participant in Northern Ireland events won the Marathon in 2:35:15, while Catherine Hogan (Serpentine AC) won the ladies category in 3:27:26. The top Northern Ireland based runner was Bobby Irvine (Seapark AC) who finished in 3:36:10 (67th place), just one second ahead of team mate and friend Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), who picked up a brilliant 2nd place in the ladies race after covering the distance in 3:36:11. Springwell Running Club's Nicola Frizelle ran well to finish in 3:43:20 (110th place), before another Seapark AC member, Gary Connolly crossed the line in 3:48:41 (144th place). John McManus (Larne AC), who is training for the notorious Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa, completed the course in 3:53:51 (171st place), while Carole Bell (Orangegrove AC) finished the Marathon Walk in 7:25:14 (588th place).
In the Half Marathon, Ine McAllister (Glens Runners) nipped under her two hour target, crossing the line in 1:58:04. The race was won by Matthew Biddell (Galway Harriers) in 1:19:29, with Deirdre Byrne (Unattached) collecting the ladies equivalent in 1:30:11
Full Results: Connemarathon 2013 Results