Northern Ireland Running

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McGinley & O'Hagan impress in final race of 2012:

Over 400 runners participate in final race of 2012:
On Monday 31st December 2012, over four hundred runners participated in the final race of the year, the Lough 5 mile road race in County Tyrone.

In blustery conditions, it was two of the country’s top athletes of 2012 that impressed most.  As the whistle sounded, Eddie Mc Ginley (Annadale Striders) surged clear, only pursued by Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and James Speight (Finn Valley AC).

By the second mile, Eddie (09:54) had developed a slender lead, with Keith (10:02) and Gareth (10:02) just behind.  Young James Speight (10:06) was a mere four seconds behind the chasing duo and still in contention.

In the ladies race, St Peters AC’s Patricia O’Hagan was the star of the show.  She went through two miles (11:58) neck and neck with Monaghan Phoenix AC’s Donna Evans (11:58) but upped the pace significantly in the latter stages, with Clones AC’s Helen Stockdale (12:27) and Omagh Harriers’ Sara Moore (12:32) in tow.

As supporters waited at the finish, it was Eddie Mc Ginley who appeared first, crossing the line in an excellent 25:14 to seal victory.  Keith Shiels took 2nd place in 25:50, with Gareth Hill (26:20) in 3rd place.

Patricia O’Hagan took ten seconds per mile out of Donna Evans in the final three miles to finish well clear in 30:47, a 5 mile personal best.  Donna (31:17) settled for a well-deserved 2nd place with Northern Ireland International Cross Country star Helen Stockdale (32:35) in 3rd place.

Top 3 Men:  1st Eddie Mc Ginley (Annadale Striders) – 25:14, 2nd Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 25:50, 3rd Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC) – 26:20

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC) – 30:47, 2nd Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix AC) – 31:17, 3rd Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) – 32:35

Full Results:  Lough 5 Results 2012

Race Preview:  Record numbers expected at Race Over the Glens 2013:

Race Over the Glens:  New Years Day 2013 - Glenariff Forest Park
On Tuesday 1st January 2013, runners will welcome the New Year by turning out for the Ballymena Runners hosted, Race Over the Glens.

Record numbers are expected to take on the altered 5.5 mile (approximate distance) course, with some travelling a long way to be part of the now customary festive tradition.  Due to ongoing work in Glenariff Forest, the race will cover the paths and trails on the Visitors Centre side of the Glen, in some ways this may be a quiet sense of relief; as the horrendous ‘steps’ will not be part of this years route.

Last years winner, former Commonwealth and Olympic Games athlete James McIlroy (Larne AC) is due to return and will be at the fore if he does.  James will face stiff competition from the likes of Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) and David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers).

Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners) and Justin Maxwell (Larne AC), team mates at the recent Castlewellan Christmas Cracker will put allegiances aside for a short time, as both will hope to help their respective clubs win the team title.  They will be joined in the chasing group by Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners), Gregory Walsh (North Belfast Harriers), Glen Donnelly (Sperrin Harriers), Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC), Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Emmett Mc Alister (Ballymena Runners) and Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners).

Strong runners, Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) and Phelim Mc Allister (Larne AC) will be in or around the top ten as will Larne AC's Greg Lavery, Ballymena Runners’ Jason Wilson and North Belfast Harriers trio; Simon Reeve, Alan Ritchie and Paul Jenkins.

In the ladies race, last years winner Sharon Trimble (North Belfast Harriers) will not be there to defend her title.  In which case, it may be left to Sharon’s club mate Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) to take on her mantle should she enter on the day.  Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) and mountain running specialists, Lagan Valley AC trio; Anne Sandford, Shileen O’Kane and Hazel Mc Laughlin could battle it out for a podium finish.  Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) will also be in contention, while Sharon Dickenson (Orangegrove AC) and the host club’s Sharon Harvey and Kelly Courtney will hope for a high placing.

Taryn McCoy (BARF) and Larne AC’s Geraldine Quigley will finish in the top ten if they race, while Geraldine’s club mates Rhonda Brady and Lyndsey Haggan will also produce strong performances.

On New Years Day, ‘parkrun’ events at Waterworks Park, Belfast (10am) and East Strand Beach, Portrush (10.30am) will also take place.

Venney & Teer successfully defend 'Christmas Cracker' title:

Record numbers turn out for festive cracker:
On Saturday 29th December 2012, Newcastle AC hosted the 29th running of the annual Castlewellan Christmas Cracker (previously known as the Comber Christmas Cracker).

In cold, blustery conditions a total of 315 teams started the race, proving just how popular the festive event has become.  This could partly be accredited to the good organising and post-race refreshments, as well as the fun aspect of having to finish the 10 mile (approximate distance) race with your chosen partner.

As expected, last years winners Brendan Teer and Liam Venney, both of East Down AC entered on the day.  This proved to be a good decision as they ran out clear winners, crossing the line in an excellent 59:38, thus retaining the title they won so impressively last year.  Next home was Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) and Brian Mc Cluskey (North East Runners) who recorded 1:00:52, before the host club’s David Mc Neilly and Luke Mc Mullan completed the podium finishers in 1:01:43.

Outstanding winners of the mixed team category were North Belfast Harriers’ Martin Rea and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill, their 1:04:10 finish was enough to secure a 5th place finish overall.  North East Runners’ Shane Jordan and Mary Laverty (1:10:27) took 2nd place, while Lagan Valley AC’s Shileen O’Kane and Jason Radcliffe secured 3rd place in 1:11:22.

In the ladies pairings, pre-race favourites Catriona Mc Corkell (Lagan Valley AC) and club mate Julie Murphy celebrated an excellent victory, clocking 1:16:42.  North Down AC’s Stephanie Hambling and Debbie Matchett  (1:18:53) finished in 2nd place, while Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) crossed the line in 1:22:15 to take 3rd place.

After the race, athletes and supporters were invited back to the Castlewellan GAC club house for greatly appreciated home-made soup and accompanying bread rolls.  

Top 3 Men’s Teams:  1st Liam Venney (East Down AC) & Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 59:38, 2nd Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) & Brian Mc Cluskey (North East Runners) – 1:00:52, 3rd Luke Mc Mullan (Newcastle AC) & David Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC) – 1:01:43

Top 3 Ladies Teams:  1st Catriona Mc Corkell (Lagan Valley AC) & Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:16:42, 2nd Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC) & Debbie Matchett (North Down AC) – 1:18:53, 3rd Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) & Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) – 1:22:15

Top 3 Mixed Teams:  1st Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) & Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:04:10, 2nd Shane Jordan (North East Runners) & Mary Laverty (North East Runners) – 1:10:27, 3rd Jason Radcliffe (Lagan Valley AC) & Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:11:22

Full Results:  Castlewellan Christmas Cracker Results 2012 (with amendments) - Our full event/race review, including photographs will follow on Monday 31st December 2012.

Race Preview:  Castlewellan Christmas Cracker:

A ‘cracking’ day of racing and festive banter expected at Newcastle AC event:
On Saturday 29th December 2012, Northern Ireland runners will ‘grab a partner’… but instead of heading for the dance floor, they’ll make their way towards Castlewellan, County Down for the Newcastle AC hosted Castlewellan Christmas Cracker.

The race, which attracts hundreds of teams every year is quite unique because of the stipulation that both members of the two person team must cross the finish line together.  Some teams may adopt the ‘run the whole race together’ tactic, while others have been known to use the less popular but still effective – ‘You run ahead and I’ll catch up towards the end’ tactic.

Whatever is used, it’s sure to be a fun day out but with a competitive edge.  In traditional style, the course will vary from previous years but will equate to approximately 10 miles over a variety of terrains.  

Last years winners, East Down AC duo Brendan Teer and Liam Venney did not make use of the pre-entry system but are expected to run together in an attempt to defend their crown.  Other notable teams who have pre-entered include; Deon Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC) - Eamon Mc Crickard (Newcastle AC), Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) - Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), Justin Maxwell (Larne AC) – Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners), David Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC) – Luke Mc Mullan (Newcastle AC) and Julie Turley (Dromore AC) – Nigel Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC).  

Obvious absentee’s from the list include; Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers), Gareth Grew (North Belfast Harriers), Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners), Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) and Jim Benson (North Belfast Harriers).  All should enter on the day, but as yet we have not heard any confirmed partners! 

Dale could team up with his wife Denise Mathers, while Jonny (Steede) and David (Simpson) did run together last year!  Gareth (Grew) and Jim (Benson) are good friends, and would make a strong pairing.  We could speculate all day!

The aformentioned ‘notable’ teams will feature strongly at the front of the field, and several will win their categories.  The mixed (male and female) MX70-79 category will prove to be one of the toughest of the day, with two of the above; Martin/Gladys and Nigel/Julie being joined by husband and wife Eamonn and Hazel  Mc Laughlin (Lagan Valley AC) as well as Mark Alexander (Ballymena Runners) and Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club).

The Men’s M80-89 (combined team age between 80 and 89 years) category will also be exciting, with Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) and Paul Blayney (North Belfast Harriers) taking on three strong Larne AC teams of James Mc Ilroy – Craig Hutchinson, Nat Glenn – Greg Lavery and Andy Gregg – Andy Guy.

In the Female FU70 category, Lagan Valley AC’s Catriona Mc Corkell and Julie Murphy will prove hard to beat, as will fellow Lagan Valley AC members Eric Montgomery and Ruth Magill who will team up in the MX110-119 category.

The F70-79 category will be close, with North Belfast Harriers’ pair Roisin Hughes and Lisa Sturgeon taking on Sharon Harvey and Kelly Courtney from Ballymena Runners.  While in the F80-89 combined age bracket, Roisin Rocks (Newry City Runners) and Patricia Brown (Newry City Runners) will battle it out with Rhonda Brady and Ruth Wilson, both of Larne AC.

Other interesting pairings and potential category prize-winners include; Karl Dines (Willowfield Harriers) – Laurence Johnstone (North Belfast Harriers) in the M100-109, Adam Boyd (North Belfast Harriers) – Laura Mc Parland (Unattached) in the MXU70, Paul Tilson (Larne AC) – Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) in the MX80-89 and both Conor Mc Mullan (Annadale Striders) – Richard Coey (Unattached) and Bernard Brady (Larne AC) – Phelim Mc Allister (Larne AC) in the M70-79

When the teams finish, all competitors will make their way back to the Castlewellan GAC club house for the notoriously impressive array of refreshments coupled with post-race banter and the all important prize-giving.

NiRunning will be there and will be using the event as December’s ‘Race Review’.  An initial race summary will be produced and uploaded as soon as possible after the race, then category winners and full results will be added on Sunday (30th December 2012) morning if available.  The full race review, including photographs will be online by Monday 31st December 2012.

Remember – You can still enter on the day!!  Registration opens at 11.30am at the Castlewellan GAC Club House.

Course records tumble at annual Burren Townlands races:

Dromore AC celebrate an excellent double at Burren Townlands event:
On Wednesday 26th December 2012, runners from all over the province descended on Burren Heritage Centre for the 5th annual running of the Burren Townlands 6 mile and 12 mile road races.

On an undulating course, it was Dromore AC’s Andrew Hicks who produced the performance of the day; competing in the 6 mile race, Andrew clocked a new course record of 34:43 to win.  Newcastle AC’s international athlete, Mark Kendall (36:14) took 2nd place, while former international triathlete, Barry Monaghan (Club Pulse) crossed the line in 36:19 to take 3rd place.

In the ladies 6 mile race, young Beechmount Harriers’ runner Lorna Fitzpatrick ran out clear winner, breaking the tape in 38:28.  Talented Ciara Coffey (Unattached), who has enjoyed a successful 2012 clocked 41:19 to take 2nd place, while Lagan Valley AC’s Emma Laverty (43:04) finished in 3rd place.

In the two lap 12 mile event, another Dromore AC member, Nigel Grier showed grit to claim an excellent victory.  Like his club mate Andrew Hicks in the 6 mile event, Nigel ran a new course record of 1:15:54.  Piranha Triathlon Club’s Rory O’Sullivan (1:16:26) and Livictus Triathlon Club’s Conor Reilly (1:19:41) finished in 2nd place and 3rd place respectively.

Endurance specialist and pre-race favourite, Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) ran out clear winner in the ladies 12 mile race.  Karen crossed the line in 1:24:40, over fifteen minutes ahead of local lady Deirdre Dunford (Burren AC) who recorded 1:40:10 to finish in 2nd place.  Unattached athlete Kathleen Bradley claimed the final podium place, crossing the line in 1:41:13.

6m Race:
Top 3 Men:  1st Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC) – 34:43, 2nd Mark Kendall (Newcastle AC) – 36:14, 3rd Barry Monaghan (Club Pulse) – 36:19

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Lorna Fitzpatrick (Beechmount Harriers) – 38:28, 2nd Ciara Coffey (Unattached) – 41:19, 3rd Emma Laverty (Lagan Valley AC) – 43:04

12m Race:
Top 3 Men:  1st Nigel Grier (Dromore AC) – 1:15:54, 2nd Rory O’Sullivan (Piranha Tri Club) – 1:16:26, 3rd Conor Reilly (Livictus Tri Club) – 1:19:41

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) – 1:24:40, 2nd Deirdre Dunford (Burren AC) – 1:40:10, 3rd Kathleen Bradley (Unattached) – 1:41:13

Results:  Burren Townlands 6m Race 2012 ResultsBurren Townlands 12m Race 2012 Results

Smith & Wilson win festive 'Trot' around the Mourne Mountains:

Mountain Runners turn out for annual ‘Trot’:
On Wednesday 26th December 2012, mountain running enthusiasts travelled to the Mourne Mountains for the annual running of BARF’s ‘Turkey Trot’.   Aiming to reverse any effects of yesterdays over indulgence, participants took on a scenic 5.7 mile course.

The challenging route guided athletes along the Trassey Track and around Bearnagh, Meelmore, Meelbeg and Happy Valley before returning to the Trassey Track to finish.

Chris Smith (Thames Valley Harriers) ran an excellent race, taking 1st place in an impressive 45:07.  Mourne Runners legend Stephen Cunningham (47:35) took 2nd place, while Newry City Runners’ Dale Mathers (49:00) finished in 3rd place.

In the ladies race, experienced Lagan Valley AC athlete Diane Wilson (1:00:31) showed great strength to secure a well-deserved victory.  Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) secured yet another podium finish, taking 2nd place after record 1:02:12.  Not to be outdone by her husband Dale, Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) claimed the final podium spot in 1:07:31.  After the race, participants made their way to the Tullymore Mountain Centre for refreshments.  After all, it is Christmas!!

Top 3 Men:  1st Chris Smith (Thames Valley Harriers) – 45:07, 2nd Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 47:35, 3rd Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) – 49:00

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Diane Wilson (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:00:31, 2nd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:02:12, 3rd Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) – 1:07:31

Full Results:  BARF Turkey Trot 2012 Results

Scullion & McCambridge win 27th 'Greencastle 5':

Nearly 800 runners participate in County Tyrone classic:
On Wednesday 26th December 2012, nearly eight hundred runners took part in the 27th running of the ‘Greencastle 5’ road race.  The annual event started in 1986 and in it’s first year attracted only 80 runners, to increase participation by such a large number goes to show just how much of a festive tradition the race has become.

In wintery conditions, Stephen Scullion (officially attached to North Belfast Harriers) completed the 5 mile course in 24:57, just under a minute ahead of Letterkenny AC’s Gary O’Hanlon (25:56) who took 2nd place.  Foyle Valley AC’s Keith Shiels continued his amazing season with a 3rd place finish, clocking 26:21.

In the ladies race, Maria Mc Cambridge (Letterkenny AC) successfully defended her title, shredding almost a minute off her winning time from last year.  On this occasion, she clocked a new female course record of 28:18.  Armagh AC’s young prospect Danielle Fagan (31:39) and City of Derry AC’s Anne Paul (32:46) finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Scullion (North Belfast Harriers) – 24:57, 2nd Gary O’Hanlon (Letterkenny AC) – 25:57, 3rd Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 26:21

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Maria Mc Cambridge (Letterkenny AC) – 28:18, 2nd Danielle Fagan (Armagh AC) - 31:39, 3rd Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) – 32:46

Full Results:  Greencastle 5 Mile Road Race 2012 ResultsNiRunning friend Malcom McCausland will be producing a full race report, which will be published in Thursday's (27th December 2012) Irish News. 

Festive Preview:  Christmas is coming....... Where are you racing?

NiRunning:  Christmas is coming… ‘parkrun’ anyone??
In the run up to Christmas there is relative tranquillity within the Northern Ireland running world, with no high profile fixtures this weekend aside from Northern Ireland’s seven ‘parkrun’ events.  

The events at Waterworks Park (Belfast), Victoria Park (Belfast), Falls Park (Belfast), Queens Playing Fields (Belfast), ECOS Park (Ballymena), City Park (Craigavon) and the East Strand beach (Portrush) have fast become the cornerstone of Northern Ireland running. 

On a weekly basis, all of the FREE 5km time trial events are well supported and a massive thank you should be offered to those organisers and volunteers who give up their time each week, in all weather conditions to make the events possible.  On Christmas Day, all of the Belfast ‘parkrun’ events will come together, meeting at the Waterworks Park, Belfast at 9.30am.  This will be a once yearly special and will rotate venue each year.

On Boxing Day, normal service resumes with three races taking place; BARF will cater for the mountain running enthusiasts when they host their annual ‘Turkey Trot’, while in Greencastle over one thousand runners are expected to compete in the popular Greencastle 5 mile road race.  Burren AC will also host their ‘Burren Townlands Run’, with the option of a 6 mile or a 12 mile course on offer.

BARF’s ‘Turkey Trot’ starts at the bottom of the well-known Trassey Track and takes competitors on a 5.7 mile journey around Bearnagh, Meelmore, Meelbeg and the Happy Valley before returning to the Trassey Track.  Afterwards, well-deserved refreshments will be provided in the Tollymore Mountain Centre.  Even with the likelihood of guest runners participating whilst in the country for the holidays, Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) should head the field.  On the local front, he will face stiff opposition from the likes of Deon Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC), David Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC) and Gary Bailey (Mourne Runners) while Emmett Mc Alister (Ballymena Runners), who showed good form last week when winning the Slemish Charity Run, should perform well.  Newry City Runners’ Dale Mathers will also finish well up if he runs.

In the ladies event, Lagan Valley AC trio; Shileen O’Kane, Hazel Mc Laughlin and Anne Sandford will hope for podium finishes, while Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Violet Linton (LVO) could also be in contention.

Meanwhile, in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains, some of the provinces best road runners will turn out for the traditional ‘Greencastle 5’.   Previous winners include; St Malachys AC’s Gareth Turnbull and Joe Mc Allister, City of Derry AC’s Conor Bradley and Willowfields Paul Rowan.

All four may participate again this year, and will be at the front if they do.  Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) is another regular at the event, and he will be in contention, as will Gregg Roberts (City of Derry AC), Richard Turkington (Armagh AC) and Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers).  Conan Mc Caughey (St Peter’s AC), Connor Magill (North Belfast Harriers), JP Williamson (City of Derry AC) and North Down trio Francis Marsh, Niall Robinson and Michael Dyer could also run, while recent Irish Cross Country hero Stephen Kerr (Armagh AC) may also make an appearance.  

In the ladies race, last years winner; Maria Mc Cambridge (Letterkenny AC) will return to defend her title.  She could be joined on the start line by Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC).  Based on recent form and after showing good strength to win last weekend’s ERP Christmas Cracker in Dublin, Kerry will be hard to beat.
Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers), Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) and Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) are likely to be amongst the leading ladies, while Enniskillen Running Clubs Karen Dolan will be there or there abouts.

In Burren, the ‘Burren Townlands Run’ is likely to include many local runners.  Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC), winner of last years six mile race should return. He could be joined by Seamus Lynch (Unattached), Brian Young (Unattached) and Newry City Runners duo Dermot Mathers and Gavin Crilley.  Their club mate, Don Travers could also me a surprise entry, having not raced recently while local men Michael Dunford and Stephen O’Hare (Burren AC) will hope to impress.  Ever consistent Peter Mc Conville (Unattached) and Maurice Harte (Unattached) should start, and both will perform well.

Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) will be at the front of the field, and should lead the ladies home comfortably.  Although, Ciara Coffey (Unattached), Deirdre Dunford (Burren AC), Jenny Lavery (Newry City Runners), Anne Turley (Newry City Runners) and Clare Hearty (Newry City Runners) may say otherwise.

Happy Christmas and Thank you!
NiRunning would like to take this opportunity to wish all our followers and regular readers a very Happy Christmas!!  The overwhelming support that you have given us in the first four months has been amazing, and very much appreciated!

The website will operate as normal over the holidays (except Christmas Day), as long as we receive results as quickly as we usually do.  In the later part of next week, we will publish a preview for the much anticipated Castlewellan Christmas Cracker, hosted by Newcastle AC on Saturday 29th December 2012.

Energia 24 hour Race returns to Mary Peters Track, Belfast for 2013:

Energia 24 hour Race dates confirmed:
Ireland’s only round-the-clock race will return for it’s 4th edition on the 19th/20th July 2013 (18:45) at the new look, eight-lane Mary Peters’ Track in Belfast.

Athletics Ireland have also awarded the event 'Irish Championship' status and current champion, John O’Regan from Kildare will be back to try and make it three titles in a row.

With the Mary Peters’ Track closed in 2012, the race moved to the Bangor Sportsplex, but the expected battle between O’Regan and Irish 24-hour record holder Eoin Keith never materialised as in appalling weather conditions, Eoin Keith pulled out with stomach trouble. For him the race is unfinished business!

O’Regan holds the track record set in 2011 at 132 miles, while the women’s record rests with Deidre Finn from Ballina (112 miles).  In 2012, Finn opted to run the relay with Donadea Runners and set another record of 181 miles for the 4 person team, each running 6 hours.  There is also a 12 hour option. Individual entry is £50 and it’s £80 for a team of four, which must include at least one woman.

Race Director Ed Smith says: “The Mary Peters’ Track is looking great and we are really looking forward to getting back there.  We’re also hoping for some decent weather to give the runners a chance to rack up the miles.  Any thought of records went out the window in Bangor with the wind and rain!  They were all heroes for keeping going against that onslaught.  We print on the t-shirts ‘beyond limits’ and believe me, that’s where they go” he added.

For more information, or a race entry please e-mail: Ed Smith at [email protected]  You can also follow Ed (Energia24) on Twitter: @energia24 and Facebook: Energia 24

Harty wins ERP Christmas Cracker, while McGinley enjoys podium finish:

Harty and Mc Ginley celebrate podium places in Christmas Cracker:

On Sunday 16th December 2012, at least four Northern Ireland runners were amongst three hundred participants in the annual running of the ERP Christmas Cracker 5km Road Race, organised by Clonliffe Harriers.

It turned out to be a worthwhile trip for all four, with Annadale Striders’ Eddie Mc Ginley finishing in 2nd place after clocking an excellent 15:06.  He was only beaten by Tallaght AC’s Tom Fitzpatrick who crossed the line in 14:42.  St Malachy’s AC star John Frazer (15:39) finished in 7th place, while Eddie’s Annadale Striders club mate Ryan Mc Dermott recorded 15:51 to finish in 9th place. 

In the ladies race, Newcastle AC’s leading lady Kerry Harty (16:47) was an impressive winner, finishing well clear of her nearest challenger; Elish Kelly (Raheny Shamrock AC) who ran 17:12.

Top 3 Men:  1st Tom Fitzpatrick (Tallaght AC) – 14:42, 2nd Eddie Mc Ginley (Annadale Striders) – 15:06, 3rd Emmet Dunleavy (Sligo AC) – 15:24

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) – 16:47, 2nd Elish Kelly (Raheny Shamrock AC) – 17:12, 3rd Theresa Mc Gloin (Finn Valley AC) – 17:23

Results:  ERP Christmas Cracker 2012 Results

McAlister & O'Kane win inaugral Slemish Mountain Charity Race:

Mc Alister and O’Kane win first edition of Ballymena Runners ‘Slemish Charity Race’:

On Saturday 15th December 2012, thirty five running enthusiasts made their way to Slemish Mountain, just outside Broughshane for the first running of the Slemish Mountain Charity Race.   In cold and misty conditions, the runners set off on the 3 mile course, which saw them climb and descend the well-known mountain in County Antrim.

The "one-off" event was organised by Ballymena Runners duo Mark Alexander and Tom Mills, with a view to making it an annual fixture.  The race started close to Tom's house, conveniently situated at the foot of the mountain and the course covered good running laneways, grassland, bog, heather, and of course some Slemish rock! 

Runners from the Ballymena area participated, with good representation from Sperrin Harriers, Mourne Runners, Larne AC, Lagan Valley AC, East Antrim Harriers and Orangegrove AC.  In limited visibility, it was Ballymena Runners’ Emmet Mc Alister who led the field home in 27:01.  He was closely followed by East Antrim Harriers’ Billy Reid (27:10) in 2nd place, with Gary Bailey (Mourne Runners) taking 3rd place in 27:42.

In the ladies race, Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) crossed the line in 31:53 to secure victory ahead of her club mates Anne Sandford (32:38) and Hazel Mc Laughlin (TBC), who finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Every runner had the added incentive to reach the top of the mountain, as they received a festive treat in the form of a Tunnock's Snowball, kindly provided by Santa Claus who doubled as one the race marshals!  After finishing, the competitors were invited back to Tom's house and treated to a fantastic array of Swedish baking and Glogg kindly provided by Tom's wife Jeanette who hails from Stockholm.  

The main purpose of the event was to raise money for worthwhile charities; a total of £440 was collected on the day for Myeloma UK and the MDS UK Patient Support Group.  These are two charities that Tom has continually supported in their fantastic efforts towards patients and families who have been affected by bone marrow cancers.  Due the success of the “one-off” event Tom and Mark are looking at the possibility of this becoming an annual fixture. Watch this space!

Top 3 Men:  1st Emmet McAlister (Ballymena Runners) – 27:01, 2nd Billy Reid  (East Antrim Harriers) – 27:10, 3rd Gary Bailey (Mourne Runners) – 27:42

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 31:53, 2nd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 32:38, 3rd Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) - TBC

Reed & O'Neill scoop top prizes at North West XC:

City of Derry AC host a day of competitive XC racing:

On Saturday 15th December 2012, City of Derry AC hosted the fourth round of the Athletics Northern Ireland Winter Cross Country League (also incorporated in the NIMMA Winter League). 

In perfect running conditions, Gransha Park was an ideal setting for the days racing.  The programme commenced with the boys and girls U-13 race (unconfirmed distance), where the host club celebrated their first victory of the day after Clodagh Laverty (5:41) won impressively.  Inishowen AC’s Michael Doherty won the boys equivalent in 5:13. 

Next up was the boys and girls U-15 1400m race, which was dominated by Enniskillen based athletes, with the towns St Michael’s College fielding almost twenty runners while Enniskillen Running Club added several more.  The race was won by Ryan Lynan (St Michael’s College) after he crossed the line in 5:56, while Enniskillen Running Club’s Adele Monaghan (6:23) won the girls race.

In the U-17 4km race, athletes covered two laps of the flat, fast course.  In a competitive affair it was the host club who went home celebrating, after Shane McGowan (13:50) and Aoife Laverty (15:49) completed a fantastic double.

The main race of the day, including the Male/Female - Open/Veteran/U-20 categories covered 6km and attracted a high quality field.  After a blistering start, Declan Reed (City of Derry AC), Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC), Dave Morwood (Annadale Striders) and Noel Logan (City of Derry AC) settled at the front with Ryan Holt (Willowfield Harriers), Connor Magill (North Belfast Harriers), Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) and Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) close behind.  

In the ladies race, outstanding North Belfast Harriers’ Gladys Ganiel O’Neill stamped her authority early on, establishing what was quite obviously a race winning lead within the opening lap.  Fionnuala Diver (Letterkenney AC) followed with Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC), Jessica Craig (North Down AC), Katherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC), Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers), and Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) all in close proximity.

Numerous battles were played out at the head of the field before Declan Reed moved clear in the final lap; holding on to secure a notable victory, crossing the line in 18:59. Dave Morwood (19:07) ran well to finish in 2nd place, while Scott Rankin (19:24) continued his excellent form to take 3rd place.  Willowfield Harriers’ young Ryan Holt added another title to his list, after leading the U-20’s home in 19:51.

In the closing stages of the ladies event, Gladys Ganiel O’Neill continued her impressive run to increase her lead over the chasing pack.  Well clear of any possible challenger she broke the tape in 21:38 to take 1st place.  Fionnuala Diver managed to forge ahead of Patricia and Jessica, taking 2nd place in 22:37.  In a close finish, Patricia O’Hagan (22:54) just beat Jessica Craig (4th place - 22:59) to 3rd place.

Top 3 Men:  1st Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) – 18:59, 2nd Dave Morwood (Annadale Striders) - 19:07, 3rd Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 19:24

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) – 21:38, 2nd Fionnuala Diver (Letterkenny AC) – 22:38, 3rd Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC) – 22:54

Full Results:  North West Cross Country Results 2012 - We have been made aware of possible errors within the attached results.  Should these be confirmed and changed, we will add the revised link.

Weekend Preview:  City of Derry (Spartans) AC host North West XC:

Northern Ireland XC League moves to Gransha, Derry/Londonderry:

On Saturday 15th December 2012, attention turns to the last major Cross Country event of the year; the North West Cross Country, in Gransha Grounds, Derry/Londonderry.

The junior race will feature a wealth of the country’s talent, with the likes of Emma Hutchinson (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Rachel Brown (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Luke Dinsmore (Springwell Running Club), Cloadgh Laverty (City of Derry AC), Christy Conlon (Beechmount Harriers), Toni Moore (Omagh Harriers), Sean Corry (Omagh Harriers) and Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) all likely to race. 

The 6km ‘Open Race’ will include; Male/Female - Senior/Vets and U-20 athletes and will therefore be highly competitive.  Host club, City of Derry AC will be very well represented, with Conor Bradley, Declan Reed, Greg Roberts, Emmett Mc Ginty and Noel Logan all likely to head the field.  Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers), Niall Robinson (North Down AC) and Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) will be amongst the group as well.

Keith’s Foyle Valley AC club mates Scott Rankin and ius Mc Intyre should race, and both will hope to bring their recent good form on other terrains into Cross Country.  Scott ran the race of his life at the Seeley 10k last month, while Pius has enjoyed consecutive wins in the Sperrin Harriers Trail Series.  Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) should place well if he travels, as will North Down AC’s Francis Marsh.

North Belfast Harriers men Gareth Grew, Jim Benson, Andrew Considine and Eddie Cooke will all be in the mix for a high finish, while outstanding veteran Tommy Hughes should contest the Vet50 category.  Mark Wright (Annadale Striders), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), Gary Keenan (Orangegrove AC), Declan Mc Carthy (City of Derry AC) and Irwin Spiers (Sperrin Harriers) will also be in the hunt for category prizes and Shane Mc Gowan (City of Derry AC) will have his eyes on the U-20 title, but he could face opposition from Willowfield Harriers’ Ryan Holt.

Meanwhile, in the ladies event; Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) will race, and should lead the charge.  However, Patricia O’Hagan (St Peters AC), Jessica Craig (North Down AC) and local lady Katherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) will be in hot pursuit and with all three in great form, it will be interesting to see who takes the remaining podium places.

The aforementioned ladies should be joined up front by Rachel Gibson (North Down AC), Judi Graham (North Belfast Harriers), Catherine Lilburn (City of Derry AC), Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers), Trish Mc Clintock (Foyle Valley AC) and Marina Campbell (City of Derry AC).  All have been performing well of late, so they will be ready to move should the opportunity present itself.

Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Julie Balmer (North Down AC), Helen Stockdale (Clones AC), Michelle Strum (Omagh Harriers), Jackie Mc Ginley (City of Derry AC) and Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) will be in or around the top ten if they decide to compete.

As always, Northern Ireland’s seven ‘parkrun’ events will take place as normal on Saturday morning, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within the fixtures area to locate your nearest event.

NI runners enjoy success at All Ireland Novice & Junior XC event:

Robb secures ‘All Ireland’ title amid NI success at XC event:

On Sunday 9th December 2012, a large contingent of Northern Ireland runners travelled to Adamstown, County Wexford for the ‘All Ireland Novice and Junior (Uneven Age Group) Cross Country Championships’.

In the U-11 1500m boys race, Mid Ulster AC’s Aidan Mc Cluskey (5:38) was the top northern finisher in 21st place, while Ella Quinn (22nd place) lead the girls across the line (No time available).  Omagh Harriers’ Sean Corry just missed a podium finish in the U-13 2500m race, taking 4th place in 8:53.  Results for the U-13 girls are still unavailable.

Another of the Omagh Harrier’s representatives, Toni Moore finished in 7th place in the U-15 girls 3500m race.  While in the boys equivalent, Beechmount Harriers’ Christy Conlon (12:01) finished in 3rd place, helping the Northern Ireland club to 3rd place in the team standings.  The other scoring members were; Conor Magee (9th place – 12:14), Niall Mc Ilhatton (32nd place – 12:46) and Pearse Mc Cormick (72nd place – 13:32).  Christy, Conor and Niall along with City of Lisburn AC’s Tom Baird (11th place – 12:19), St Malachys AC’s Eoin Mc Cann (16th place – 12:25) and *Club Unknown* James Edgar (22nd place – 12:33) secured a 2nd place finish for Antrim in the County standings.        


Arguably the highlight of the day came when St Malachys AC’s Paddy Robb (16:44) won the extremely competitive U-17 5km men’s race.  He, along with club mates James Smyth (23rd place – 17:56), Ronan O’Fril (43rd place – 18:25) and Daryll Mc Nicholl (53rd place – 18:31), Lagan Valley AC’s Ryan Sharkey (6th place – 17:08) and Beechmount Harriers’ Odhran Copeland (34th place – 18:11) helped Antrim to 3rd place in the County competition.

Not to be outdone, the following U-17 ladies secured 2nd place for Antrim on the County podium after performing well in their 4km race; City of Lisburn AC’s Zoe Carruthers (10th place – 15:58), Beechmount Harriers’ Caitriona Mc Gloin (25th place – 16:36) and Lagan Valley AC quartet Emma Laverty (12th place – 16:09), Harriet Gilmore (22nd place – 16:36), Bronagh Maguire (32nd plac – 17:03) and Ella Davis (38th place – 17:14).

In the U-19 ladies 4km race, Omagh Harriers’ Sara Moore produced an outstanding display of running to finish in 3rd place, crossing the line in 15:48.  Lagan Valley AC’s Elaine Burch also ran well, recording 16:45 (14th place).  Meanwhile, in the U-19 men’s 6km event, St Malachy’s AC celebrated another medal winning performance when Ben Branagh (20:22) sealed a well-deserved 3rd place.

In the Novice men’s 6km race, Aidan Mc Cormack (St Malachy’s AC) led the Northern Ireland contingent home in 21:05 (36th place).  The Novice ladies results are still unavailable.

For full results please visit:  *Note* Due to a major systems failure, some results (and or times) are still unavailable.  These will be added to the Athletics Ireland website when they are produced.  We will in-turn add any further notable performances to the above summary.

City of Derry AC celebrate double victory in NWTC 5km Road Race:

Doherty & Bridge win North West Triathlon Club’s 5km Road Race:

On Sunday 9th December 2012, North West Triathlon Club held the second of their Winter 5km Road (Running) Races, along the banks of the River Foyle, Derry/Londonderry.

With over 150 participants involved, it was local man Conor Doherty (City of Derry AC) who impressed most, he led the field from start to finish, breaking the tape in 16:41 to seal a well-deserved victory. 

Behind him, the battle was much closer, with Stephen Connor (Foyle Valley AC), Gary Mc Dermott (Unattached) and Mark Mullen (City of Derry AC) all involved in a tussle for the final two podium places.  Stephen Connor managed to take 2nd place in 17:18, before Gary Mc Dermott (17:23) just edged out mark Mullen (4th place - 17:24) for 3rd place.

The ladies race was a close affair also, upfront; City of Derry AC club mates Miriam Bridge and Hannah Shields both ran well, but it was Miriam who secured a narrow victory after crossing the line in 19:25.  Hannah Shields took 2nd place in 19:34, before unattached athlete Martina Hegarty (20:49) finished in 3rd place, claiming her second podium finish of the series and taking nearly thirty seconds off her Race 1 time.  

Top 3 Men:  1st Conor Doherty (City of Derry AC) – 16:41, 2nd Stephen Connor (Foyle Valley AC) – 17:18, 3rd Gary Mc Dermott (Unattached) – 17:23

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC) – 19:25, 2nd Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) – 19:34, 3rd Martina Hegarty (Unattached) – 20:49

Results:  North West Triathlon Club 5km Road Race (2) Results 2012 (Above picture taken from City of Derry AC website)

Kerr & Totten lead Irish team home at Euro XC Championships:

Kerr and Totten produced the goods in freezing Budapest:

On Sunday 9th December 2012, Northern Ireland men Stephen Kerr (Armagh AC) and Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC) represented Ireland at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

In freezing conditions, a record number of 128 junior men registered for the 6.1km race, in what could only be described as an absolutely stunning setting.  As the field set off at a blistering pace they passed various windmills and even went through an old barn!  Stephen or Eoghan didn’t get much of a chance to enjoy the scenery as both set about establishing their position within the quality field, Stephen went through the first lap in 18th place, just behind the lead group while Eoghan was in 92nd place. 

As the race progressed, Eoghan began to work his way through the field in impressive fashion and Stephen held his own up front.  When the competitors went through half way, Stephen was in 23rd place and just six seconds off the pace, while Eoghan had moved up thirty places to 69th place. 

In the second half of the race, the field began to split as Poland’s Syzmon Kulka surged ahead at the front.  His push encouraged the remainder of the lead group to up the pace.  At this point, Stephen appeared to tire and dropped a few places.  Meanwhile Eoghan was still working hard further down the field.

Both Stephen and Eoghan dug deep in the final stages and entered the final straight looking strong, Stephen crossed the line in 19:38 (37th place) and had the honour of being the first Irish team member to finish.  Eoghan (19:55) was only seventeen seconds behind, taking an excellent 61st place.  He was the second Irish finisher.

Their team mates, DSD AC’s Killian Mooney (20:29) and Clonliffe Harriers’ Ian Guiden (21:38) finished in 89th place and 107th place respectively.  The race was won by Polish athlete Syzmon Kulka in 18:43, while France picked up the team prize.  Ireland finished in 18th place out of the 21 entered teams.

The Great Britian & Northern Ireland squad, although not including any Northern Ireland runners collected 10 medals, while the highlight of the Irish teams day was the historic double achieved by Fionnuala Britton and the Irish ladies team.  Fionnuala successfully defended her European Cross Country title while her team mates; Linda Byrne (DSD AC), Ava Hutchinson (DSD AC), Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC), Sarah Mc Cormack (Clonliffe Harriers) and Sara Treacy (Moynalvy AC) backed her up in outstanding fashion, leading to an amazing 1st place finish in the team standings.

For full details on the success of Fionnuala Britton and her Ireland team mates, please click the attached link:  'Ireland celebrate historic double'

Duncan & Doran win competitive 'Eskra 10k Rudolph Run':

Duncan and Dolan win festive 10k:

On Saturday 8th December 2012 over 150 runners descended on the County Tyrone village of Eskragh for the annual ‘Eskra 10k Rudolph Run’.

Last years winner and pre-race favourite Stephen Duncan showed his intent from the off, heading the field, with Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), James Brown (City of Derry AC), Pete Barbour (Omagh Harriers) and Kris Muldoon (Armagh AC) following.

The ladies race started tactically, with Grainne Kelly (Knockmany Runners), Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club), Jennifer Algar (Carmen Runners) and Trish Mc Clintock (Foyle Valley AC) all in the mix.

As the race progressed over the undulating course, Stephen Duncan and Keith Shiels broke clear of the following men, with Stephen clearly out in front.  Meanwhile, the ladies race remained as close as ever.  When the athletes appeared in sight of the finish, it was defending champion Stephen Duncan who had an uncatchable lead, he continued and crossed the line in 32:08 to successfully defend his title.  Recent Cross Country star Keith Shiels took 2nd place in 32:52 before James Brown secured 3rd place in a new personal best of 33:25.

In the ladies race, Karen Dolan finished strongly to finish in 1st place, recording 43:06.  Grainne Kelly (43:16) finished in 2nd place, with Jennifer Algar (44:19) in 3rd place.  In the associated 5k event, unattached runners Eddie Molloy (19:12) and Emma Rice (20:14) won their respective categories.  

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) – 32:08, 2nd Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 32:52, 3rd James Brown (City of Derry AC) – 33:25

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club) – 43:06, 2nd Grainne Kelly (Knockmany Runners) – 43:16, 3rd Jennifer Algar (Carmen Runners) – 44:19

Results:  Eskra 10k (and 5k) Rudolph Run Results 2012

McIntyre completes hat-trick of wins in Sperrin Harriers Winter series:

Mc Intyre and Sturm win Drum Manor Trail Race:

On Saturday 8th December 2012 Sperrin Harriers took their Winter League Trail Series to Drum Manor Forest Park, just outside Cookstown. 

Nearly one hundred competitors covered 10k of undulating forest trails within the confines of the beautiful forest park, and it was series leader Pius Mc Intyre (Foyle Valley AC) who once again impressed.  After a tactical start, which saw a group containing Mc Intyre, Glenn Donnelly (Sperrin Harriers), Justin Maxwell (Larne AC), Chris Mc Peake (City of Derry AC) and Aaron Meharg (Sperrin Harriers) run together in the early stages, the Foyle Valley athlete took control.

He surged clear of the group, leaving the other four to decide whether to follow or work together.  After a short time, local man Glenn Donnelly took on the challenge and followed Mc  Intyre.  In-turn, Justin Maxwell and Chris Mc Peake dropped the tiring Aaron Meharg and battled between each other through half-way, before Chris pushed ahead.

Meanwhile, in the ladies race, Omagh Harriers Michelle Sturm was running well, leading previous series winner and regular podium finisher Anne Paul (City of Derry).  Another Omagh Harriers’ athlete, Caroline Miller, a series regular was holding her own around the podium places.

As the race entered the closing stages, there was another twist in the men’s event.  Larne AC’s Justin Maxwell caught and passed Chris Mc Peake and was now in 3rd place.  At the head of the field, the outstanding Pius Mc Intyre increased his lead and crossed the line in 35:49 to complete a hat-trick of wins in this years series.  Glenn Donnelly (36:06) held on for a well-deserved 2nd place, with Justin Maxwell (36:24) in 3rd place.  Chris Mc Peake and Paul Mc Anespie (Armagh AC) took 4th and 5th place respectively.

Michelle Sturm (40:41) completed an excellent performance, taking 1st place just ahead of Anne Paul (40:52) in 2nd place and Caroline Miller (46:00) in 3rd place.

Top 3 Men:  1st Pius Mc Intyre (Foyle Valley AC) – 35:49, 2nd Glenn Donnelly (Sperrin Harriers) – 36:06, 3rd Justin Maxwell (Larne AC) – 36:24

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Michelle Sturm (Omagh Harriers) – 40:41, 2nd Anne Paul (City of Derry ) – 40:52, 3rd Caroline Miller (Omagh Harriers) – 46:00

Full Results:  Sperrin Harriers Winter League Race 3 (8/12/12)

Northern Ireland based runners impress in Cork:

Northern Ireland athletes run well in Clonakilty Marathon:

On Saturday 8th December 2012, at least seven Northern Ireland runners made the long journey to West Cork, Ireland for the Clonakilty Marathon.

Starting and finishing at the Inchydoney Island Lodge, the rural 26.2 mile course is well known for it’s particularly difficult second half.  However, that didn’t stop some of our well known competitors from producing notable performances, probably the best of the bunch was North Belfast Harriers’ Martin Rea who crossed the line in 2:49:35, enough to take 7th place.

East Down AC's Michael Mc Keown (3:29:53) followed before several of Martin’s North Belfast club mates, birthday boy Alan Ritchie clocked 3:40:42 (90th place) and the ever improving Gerard Mc Namara finishing in 3:47:27 (124th place).  Another impressive performance came from Seapark AC's member Gillian Cordner (3:53:21) who just missed out on a top ten finish in the ladies race, but settled for an excellent 11th place.  Gary Connolly, also of Seapark AC crossed the line in 3:53:22 (144th place), but his chip time was clocked at 3:53:06, meaning he will have the bragging rights between the Carrickfergus based pair.

Gerard Rowe (Unattached) followed in 4:05:33 (203rd place), before another of the North Belfast Harriers contingent Jim Clinton crossed the line in 4:26:22 (272nd place).  In the Half Marathon, unattached runners Richard Greene and Patrick Nugent ran 1:58:37 and 2:02:48 respectively.

There were nearly 400 participants in the Marathon and close to 1,000 in the associated Half Marathon.  Clonliffe Harriers celebrated a fantastic double, with Sergiu Ciobanu (1:18:55) winning the Half Marathon and Gary O’Hanlon (2:30:42) winning the Marathon.

Full Results:  Clonakilty Marathon 2012 Results

Carroll, O'Hagan and Carty all retain Dromore XC titles:

Carroll, Carty and O'Hagan share victory at Dromore XC:

On Saturday 8th December 2012, Northern Ireland’s Cross Country season continued, this time in Dromore, County Down.  Hosted by local athletic club Dromore AC the event attracted XC runners from right across the age spectrum, starting from U-11 right through to Veterans. 

In the first race of the day; Newry City Runners' Cathal Brennan (2:12) and City of Lisburn AC's Rebecca Wallace (2:26) celebrated victory in the U-11 800m event.  City of Lisburn AC and Newry City Runners enjoyed two wins from two when Sean Terek (7:56) and Gemma Doyle (9:04) won their respective 1800m races.

In the U-15 3000m race, Oisin O'Callaghan made it a hat-trick of wins for Newry City Runners when he crossed the line in 12:35, while Dromore AC's exciting prospect Rebekah Nixon (13:41) took 1st place in the girls race.

In the Ladies event, it was pre-race favourite and winner of the senior ladies race at last weeks Malcolm Cup XC in Ballyclare; Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC) who once again stole the show.  Patricia ran clear early on, increasing her lead through the newly altered looped course, claiming victory in 22:57 and thus retaining the title she won last year. 

Lagan Valley AC duo Shileen O’Kane (24:23) and Anne Sandford (24:58) ran well, both produced strong performances to finish in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

The Men’s Vet +40 3 mile race proved a similar story, with title retention in his sights Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) continued his fine form, running a notably ‘steely’ race to break the tape in 20:17, securing 1st place and like his female counterpart O’Hagan, retaining his title.  Newry City Runners’ Dale Mathers took 2nd place in 20:42, while the host club’s Nigel Mc Kibbin returned to racing with an excellent 3rd place finish, clocking 20:52.  Another Mc Kibbin from Dromore AC, this time Jack Mc Kibbin (22:16) took 4th place, this was enough to secure the U-17 title.

In the Senior Men’s 5 mile race, Annadale Striders’ Paul Carroll made it two wins in as many weeks after performing well to cross the line in 33:07, just ahead of Newcastle AC’s David Mc Neilly (33:19) who took 2nd place.  North Belfast Harriers’ Andrew Considine (34:08) proved that he is returning to form after his recent marathon personal best in Dublin, taking the final place on the podium after recording 34:08.  Paul's win in this race ensured that all three of the day's adult race winners retained their Dromore XC titles from last year.

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC) – 22:57, 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 24:23, 3rd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 24:58

Top 3 Men (Veterans 3 mile Race):  1st Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 20:17, 2nd Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) – 20:42, 3rd Nigel Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC) – 20:52

Top 3 Men (Seniors 5 mile Race):  1st Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) – 33:07, 2nd David Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC) – 33:19, 3rd Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) – 34:08

Full Results:  Dromore XC 2012 Results

Weekend Preview:  Road, Trail and XC events to suit everyone!

Weekend Preview:  Road, Trail and Cross Country running on offer this weekend!

On Saturday 8th December 2012, Northern Ireland running enthusiasts will be tempted by an excellent selection of races covering a variety of distances and terrains.

In Dromore, the Cross Country season continues with an afternoon of Junior, Senior and Veteran racing.  In the competitive Junior Races; Edie Carroll (East Down AC), Aidan Mc Cluskey (Mid Ulster AC), Peter Carty (Unattached), Emma Hutchinson (Ballyclare HS), Desire Bamisile (Willowfield Harriers), Jack Quinn (East Down AC), Lois Hagen (Willowfield Harriers), Naomh Beattie (St Peter’s AC) and Ben Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC) will all be hoping to impress in their respective categories.

On completion of the Junior races, the Ladies, Men’s Vet40+ and Junior Men (U-17) will toe the line for their 3 mile race.  Last years champion and impressive winner at last weekend’s Malcom Cup event, Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC) will return to defend her title, and with Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) and Jessica Craig (North Down AC) unlikely to race, it will be left to the likes of Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers), Hazel Mc Laughlin (Lagan Valley AC) and local ladies Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) and Geraldine Branagh (Dromore AC) to lead the chase.  Lagan Valley AC trio; Fionnula Mc Court,

Anne Sandford and Ruth Magill will all finish high up should they enter on the day, as will Mary Mackin (Dromore AC).

The Men’s Vet40+ race will include last years top two of Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) and Nigel Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC).  Neil has been extremely consistent in the mud thus far, while Nigel is returning to competition after recovering from a virus.   Annadale Striders’ Paul Carroll and Mark Wright will be in contention if they choose to compete, while Larne AC’s Craig Hutchinson may also make an appearance.  John Mc Cambridge (St Peter’s AC) and David Wright (Lagan Valley AC) have shown consistency over the past few months and should place well here.  Meanwhile, in the U-17 race; Jack Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC) and Henry Aiken (St Coleman’s AC) should challenge for top spot.  

East Down AC’s Brendan Teer will hope to continue his winning ways in the Senior Men’s 5 mile race, although he is likely to be challenged by Annadale Striders' Ryan Mc Dermott and local man Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC).  Connor Magill (North Belfast Harriers) could make a surprise return to competition after excellent outings at recent parkrun events.  Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Ryan Quigley (Newcastle AC) should all be in or around the top ten. 

Also on Saturday, festive spirit will descend on Eskragh, County Tyrone for the annual ‘Eskra 10k Santa Run’.  Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) should return to defend the title he won so impressively last year, while fellow Omagh Harriers; Paul Barbour and Martin Cox will be joined in the chase group by Foyle Valley AC’s Keith Shiels.  Having shown his class in recent Cross Country races, Keith will be hoping for a podium finish.  Patrick Mc Crory (Omagh Harriers), Martin Mc Laughlin (Omagh Harriers) and Niall Byrne (Unattached) will all challenge for a high finish.

In the Ladies race, Omagh Harriers will again be well represented.  Young Sara Moore will prove hard to beat, but she will be joined at the head of the field by her club mates Julie Butler, Caroline Miller, Rosaleen Mc Carthin and Patricia Campbell.  Sinead Maguire (Clones AC) could be an outside bet for a podium finish, while Knockmany Runners’ Tracey Bradley and Tresaine Mc Anenly will both run well.

Meanwhile, deep in the Sperrin Mountains, Sperrin Harriers take their Winter League Trail Series to Drum Manor Forest Park for Race 3 of the popular and well attended series.  On this occasion, participants will cover 10k of trails, in and around the scenic forest.

Impressive series leader Puis Mc Intyre (Foyle Valley AC) should be in attendance and will aim to carry on his 100% winning record, this time around he will be chased by Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC), Glenn Donnelly (Sperrin Harriers) and Justin Maxwell (Larne AC).  Ballymena Runners’ trio; Mark Alexander, Alex Brennan and Emmett Mc Allister should race, and will finish well up if they do.  Pierce Mc Cullagh (Unattached) and Delfim Pimentel (Unattached) could be in the mix if they enter, while Billy Reed (East Antrim Harriers), Bryan Edgar (Springwell Running Club) and Irwin Speirs (Sperrin Harriers) will hope to continue their recent form.

The Ladies event should include Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) and Anne Paul (City of Derry AC), which will make for an exciting race.  Karen may edge it on recent form but Anne will be confident following successive wins in the series.

Local lady Cheryl Caldwell (Sperrin Harriers) will be there or there abouts, as will Springwell Running Club’s Gillian Wasson and Caroline Irwin should they decide to participate.  Monica Mullin (Sperrin Harriers), Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) and Margaret Conway (Sperrin Harriers) will also place highly if they race.

Elsewhere, Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), Gerard Rowe (Unattached) and North Belfast Harriers' Martin Rea, Alan Ritchie, Martin Gerard and Jim Clinton will be amongst the Northern Ireland contingent travelling to West Cork for the Clonakilty Marathon on Saturday 8th December 2012, while Stephen Kerr and Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC) will represent Ireland at the European Cross Country Championships in Budapest on Sunday 9th December 2012.

As always, Northern Ireland’s seven ‘parkrun’ events will take place as normal on Saturday morning, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within the fixtures area to locate your nearest event.

Marathon running returns to the 'Walled City' after 28 years:

Entries for the 'Walled City Marathon' 2013 open on Monday 3rd December 2012:

On Sunday 2nd June 2013 athletes from all over the world will take to the streets of Derry/Londonderry for the much anticipated ‘Walled City Marathon’.

The race returns after twenty eight years to coincide with the 2013 ‘City of Culture’ events and celebrations.  Although different to the course back then, the 2013 route will take competitors on an exciting 26.2 mile journey through the city’s neighbourhoods, rural villages, along the banks of the River Foyle and the across city’s two bridges before returning to the walled city for an atmospheric finish in the historic Guildhall Square.

In addition to the Marathon, organisers will invite entries to the one mile Mini-Marathon.  This will involve children from the local boroughs, allowing them to be part of this momentous occasion.


Entries for the marathon are restricted to 1,000 participants, so early booking is advised.  Entries will open at 10am on Monday 3rd December 2012, you can enter online at or in person (and on paper) at the offices of Fureys Insurance Ltd (info at:  or via Foyle Hospice Offices (028 71 359888).  Entry fee is £35 plus booking fee.

There will be a generous prize fund of £9,000, with £1,000 going to the winners of both the men's and the women's races. The runner-up in each race will take home £600 with £400 for third place.

Please follow this link to see the confirmed 26.2 mile Marathon route:  The 'Walled City Marathon' 2012 – Race Route

Race website:

Harty secures excellent second place finish in Dublin 5k Road Race:

Harty secures an impressive second place in Phoenix Park:

On Saturday 1st December 2012, Newcastle AC’s Kerry Harty travelled to Phoenix Park, Dublin for the Jingle Bells 5km Race organised by Donore Harriers. 

In a field of nearly 1,200 runners Kerry produced an excellent performance, finishing in 2nd place behind DSD’s Olympic marathon runner Linda Byrne (15:48).  Despite still feeling the effects of last weekends heavy Cross Country race in County Meath, Kerry clocked a superb 15:57, a new personal best for the distance.  The Men’s race was won by Paul Robinson (St Cocas AC) in 14:15.

Top 3 Men:  1st Paul Robinson (St Cocas AC) – 14:15, 2nd Thomas Fitzpatrick (Tallaght AC) – 14:18, 3rd John Coghlan (M.S.B) – 14:32

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Linda Byrne (DSD AC) – 15:48, 2nd Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) – 15:57, 3rd Orla Drumm (Crusaders AC) – 16:32

Full Results:  Donore Harriers Jingle Bells 5km Road Race Results 2012

Carroll, O'Hagan & Teer share glory at Malcolm Cup XC:

Carroll, O’Hagan and Teer share glory in Ballyclare:

On Saturday 1st December 2012 runners were greeted with perfect winter running conditions as they arrived in Ballyclare for the Annadale Striders organised Malcolm Cup Cross Country races.

The Junior Races kicked off proceedings;  Mid Ulster AC’s Aiden Mc Cluskey (3:19) and East Down AC’s Edie Carroll (3:58) won their categories in the U-11 800m Race while in the U-13 1600m Race, Desire Bamisile (Willowfield Harriers) and Emma Hutchinson (Ballyclare HS/Ballymena & Antrim AC) won impressively, recording 5:29 and 5:57 respectively.

In the U-15 2 mile Conor Magee (Beechmount Harriers) won the boys category in 11:16, while Dromore AC’s rising star Rebekah Nixon was first girl home in 12:40.  Odhran Copeland (Beechmount Harriers) won the U-17 boys 3 mile race in 17:30, while St Peters AC's Sarah Lambert (14:24) won the U-17 girls 2 mile race.

After the competitive Junior Races had been completed, the Ladies and +35 Veteran Men toed the start line.  In a field boasting a wealth of talent, it was the host clubs Paul Carroll who celebrated victory in the 3 mile ‘Horwill Cup’ race, breaking the tape in 16:36, just ahead of one of this season’s most impressive runners; Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners) who clocked 16:38.  North Belfast Harriers Neil Carty completed the top three finishers when he crossed the line in 16:43.

In the ladies race, St Peters AC’s Patricia O’Hagan (18:29) produced an excellent, but not surprising performance to beat North Down AC’s brilliant Jessica Craig (18:31) to the finish, they crossed the line in 1st and 2nd place respectively.  Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) took 3rd place after running 18:54.

The much anticipated ‘Malcolm Cup’ race finished off the day in style, with excitement right up until the finish.  East Down AC’s Brendan Teer (21:40) continued his fine form in the muck to secure an impressive victory, beating City of Derry AC’s Noel Logan (2nd place - 21:45) by just three seconds.  In-turn, Noel crossed the line a mere second ahead of Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Gareth Hill (21:46) as he took 3rd place.  

Willowfield Harriers' young Ryan Holt (22:21) was awarded the U-20 title after finishing 5th place overall, while North Belfast Harriers won the prestigious Malcolm Cup; Alan O'Hara (4th place - 21:51), Tommy Hughes (10h place - 22:39), Andrew Considine (15th place - 23:21) and Eddie Cooke (17th place - 23:33) were the scoring team members.

Top 3 Ladies (3 miles):  1st Patricia O’Hagan (St Peters AC) – 18:29, 2nd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 18:31, 3rd Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) – 18:54

Top 3 Men (Veterans 3 mile Race):   1st Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) – 16:36, 2nd Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners) – 16:38, 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 16:43

Top 3 Men (Open Race):  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 21:40, 2nd Noel Logan (City of Derry AC) – 21:45, 3rd Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC) – 21:46

Full Results:  Malcolm Cup XC Results 2012.  Please visit our ‘Photo Gallery’ for excellent race photo’s provided by Gareth Heron.  There are even more photograph's available on Gareth's Flickr page:  Gareth Heron Photography

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