Northern Ireland Running

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Dublin Marathon 2012:  Paul Pollock is National Marathon Champion!

Thousands of Northern Ireland runners travel to Dublin:
On Monday 29th October 2012, a sea of nearly 15,000 runners from all over the world took to the streets of Dublin for the 33rd running of the Dublin Marathon.  Despite the cold and at times breezy conditions, many ran personal bests.

The race was won by Geofrey Ndungu (Kenya) in 2:11:09, with Northern Ireland runner Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) finishing  in an outstanding 9th place.  Paul crossed the line in 2:16:30, securing 1st place in the Athletics Ireland Marathon Championships, in his first ever attempt at the distance.

After the race Paul described the 26.2 mile race as “tough, but enjoyable”.  The 26 year old Doctor from Belfast was joined on the course by thousands of  Northern Ireland based runners, with nearly every club represented.

Paul Mc Caffery (City of Derry) finished in 2:39:22, with North Belfast Harriers’ Andrew Considine (2:39:32) and Newry City Runners’ Don Travers (2:39:56) close behind.  James Crampsey (City of Derry) was the next local across the line in 2:41:56 before Larne AC’s Justin Maxwell, running his second marathon in three days recorded 2:42:21.

Unattached Richard Coey from Lisburn produced a fantastic performance, running a personal best of 2:47:04.  Gary Slevin (City of Derry) followed in 2:47:18, before Omagh Harriers' Damien Cox finished in 2:48:17.  Another City of Derry AC athlete, Kieran Hurley celebrated his 2:49:56 as Sperrin Harriers’ Aaron Meharg (2:50:17) and another City of Derry member, Gerry Duddy (2:50:53) completed the course in fantastic times.  Newry City Runners athlete David Griffin ran 2:52:15, while Paul Thompson (2:55:29) and Vet 60 runner Hugh Boyle (2:59:04) led the large group of Springwell Running Club entrants home.

Beechmount Harriers' Robbie Mc Cormick (2:55:35) steered a train of sub three hour finishers home, they included;  Omagh Harriers' Patrick Mc Crory (2:55:44), Larne AC’s Paul Gaskell (2:56:49), Omagh Harriers’ Martin Mc Laughlin (2:57:16), Willowfield Harriers’ David Proctor (2:57:18), Sperrin Harriers’ Aidan O’Hagan (2:57:45), Orangegrove AC’s Thomas Leitch (2:58:09), Up & Runners' John Mc Connell (2:58:35), North Belfast Harriers' Niall Farquharson (2:58:58) and Newry City Runners duo Paddy Haveron (2:58:49) and Damien Mulholland (2:59:20).

North Belfast Harriers’ Martin Rea, pacing on this occasion recorded 2:59:16 before Seapark AC’s David Gamble (2:59:17) and North Down AC’s Julie Balmer (2:59:18) also dipped under the three hour mark, just ahead of Larne AC’s Phelim Mc Allister (2:59:33) and Omagh Harriers' Derek Sommerville (2:59:39).

Terry Canning (Omagh Harriers) norrowly missed the sub three hour finish, running 3:00:37.  Just as he was getting his breath back unattached athlete, Ryan Landy crossed the line in 3:03:18, while North Belfast Harriers’ ever consistent Greg Mc Clure crossed the line in 3:04:04, outlasting his ‘garmin’, which gave up half way around.  Another North Belfast Harrier, Roisin Hughes ran 3:06:19, while Adam Harvey (Unattached) clocked 3:06:58 and Adian Mc Creesh (Sperrin Harriers) 3:07:59, Barry Shanks (3:08:19) and East Down AC’s Michael Mc Keown (3:08:24) finished within five seconds of each other.

Noel Loughran (Newry City Runners) ran well, finishing in 3:08:07.  After a short break in Northern Ireland runners, unattached Michael Kelly (3:10:44) led quite a few home, these included; Springwell Running Club's Chris Capper (3:10:55), Sperrin Harriers’ Fergal Mulgrew (3:11:26), Newry City Runners’ Peter Corr (3:12:08), North Belfast Harriers ever improving John Black (3:12:52), Ballymena Runners’ Ben Morrow (3:13:41), North Belfast Harriers' Sean Mc Shane (3:13:50) and Springwell Running Club's Ross Armstrong (3:14:52).

Larne AC’s recent Ironman John Mc Manus clocked 3:15:50, ahead of Dromore AC’s Alwyn Mc Kee (3:17:36), Seapark AC’s Neill Porter (3:18:42) and East Antrim Harriers’ Andy Liddle (3:20:04) before a large contingent from Springwell Running Club, including; William O’Kane (3:22:04), Fran Mc Fadden (3:26:16), Johnny Goldie (3:26:58), Orla Mc Ginnis (3:27:00), Leslie Ashe (3:28:05), Caroline Irwin (3:29:50) finished close together.  Damien Gill's (3:27:04) North Belfast Harrier's vest was also spotted crossing the line within this group. 

Gerreard Mc Namara (North Belfast Harriers) ran 3:28:40 and Enniskillen AC’s Tara Malone achieved her sub three and a half hour target, running 3:29:10, while Gerrie Short (Unattached) finished strongly in 3:32:49.  Karen Mc Laughlin (Springwell Running Club) enjoyed her 3:33:13 finish, as did Up & Runners'  Andy Evans (3:34:36).  Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) was running her second marathon this month, on this ocassion she ran a notable 3:35:09. 

North Belfast Harriers' Helen Weir recorded a massive personal best, running 3:34:03.  A tired but happy David Noble (Larne AC) crossed the line in 3:37:17, then unattached athlete, Helen Kerr and Larne AC’s Ruth Harrison both ran exactly the same time (3:37:59).  Linda Gillen (Springwell Running Club) ran 3:38:43 before ChampionChip Half Marathon Series competitor Tina Davies crossed the line in 3:42:01, while Newry City Runners’ Robbie Marsh finished in  3:42:26. 

Up & Runners' Brian Mc Carter ran 3:44:03 before Springwell’s Katherine Woods (3:44:47) set off another avalanche of purple vests, with Gary Moore (3:44:47), Greame Morrison (3:46:17), Sarah Chestnut (3:46:51), Tommy Bradley (3:49:02), Alan Mc Keeman (3:49:46) and Alan Dowey (3:49:59) all finishing.  Up & Runners' Paul Brannigan (3:46:38), Ballymena Runners' Kelly Courtney (3:47:15) and North Belfast Harriers duo, Patrick Mc Shane (3:48:49) and Jim Clinton (3:49:22) were amongst this group, as was Up & Runners' Johnny Bradshaw (3:52:29).  While another North Belfast Harriers pair, Alan Ritchie (3:56:00) and Paul Willams (3:57:15) also ran under four hours.

Springwell Running Club's Alison Mc Allister (4:00:55), just missed a sub four hour finish, as did club mate Catherine Pinkerton-Moore (4:01:32).  Good friends; Janice White (4:03:41), Adele Murdock (4:03:42) and Peter Grimes (4:03:44), all raising money for a very worthwhile cause, ran strong races, while  Larne AC’s Elaine Hall returned to the marathon distance and finished in 4:06:29, just three seconds ahead of Up & Runners' Gavin Wilson (4:06:32).

NiRunning follower, Brona Whittaker enjoyed the event, running an impressive 4:08:46.  Larne AC duo, John Mc Cann (4:12:21) and Declan Mc Gaughey (4:18:43) completed their first attempt at the marathon.  Up & Runners' Isabel Potter (4:14:33) finished between the aforementioned men while 68 year old Brigid Quinn (Ballymena Runners) ran an excellent 4:19:35.  Killian Woods (North Belfast Harriers) completed the course in 4:23:09 and unattached athlete Mark Ramsey ran 4:25:28, a huge personal best.  Sperrin Harriers' Deirdre Conway (4:28:59) ran well, covering the distance just in front of Up & Runners duo Sean Murray (4:31:12) and Gemma Quinn (4:45:39), 

David Patterson (4:34:24), Rebecca Clarke (4:35:50), Lynda-Jayne Parkhill (4:35:50), Debbie Tutty (4:41:44), Noel Harkin (4:43:19) and Zara Hunter (5:14:08) done themselves and Springwell Running Club proud.

Full Results:  Dublin Marathon 2012 Results

Northern Ireland runners compete in England, Wales and America:

Northern Ireland runners excel elsewhere:

This weekend, several Northern Ireland runners have been in action outside the province, competing in events in England, Wales and America. 

On Friday 26th October 2012, Armagh AC’s Stephen Kerr was in competition for McNeese State, his American college team in the Southland Sports Championships.  Stephen completed the 8km Cross Country Race in 25:09, enough to secure 21st place in a highly competitive field.  The race was won by Stephen’s team mate David Rooney in 23:33.

On Saturday 27th October 2012, Northern Ireland mountain runner, Justin Maxwell (Larne AC) completed the Snowdonia Marathon in Wales.  The notoriously hard race was voted ‘Best UK Marathon’ in 2007 and 2011 and attracts road and mountain running enthusiasts from across the world.  Justin completed the challenging, but scenic course in 2:47:45, securing an excellent 3rd place finish.  The race was won by well-known Welsh International Rob Samuel (Eyri Harriers), who had set out to break the course record, but tired towards the end, crossing the line in 2:35:40.

On Sunday 28th October 2012, St Malachys AC's Joe McAlister and Annadale Striders’ Paddy Hamilton completed the Great South Run in Portsmouth.  Both men ran exceptionally well, achieving Pb's enroute.  Paddy completed the 10 mile course in 49:35 (16th place), while Joe recorded 50:15 (19th place).  The race was won by Stephen Mokoka in 46:40.

Falls and Turley win major races at Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor:

Northern Ireland & Ulster 'Even' Championships and Bobby Rea XC Races:
On Saturday 27th October 2012, thousands of runners and spectators gathered in the beautiful Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor for the Northern Ireland & Ulster Even Cross Country Championships and Bobby Rea Memorial Cross Country Races.

The weather was bright but crisp, perfect conditions for cross country running in such a picturesque setting.  Proceedings began at 11.30am with the Under 10 Girls 1000m race, won by Hayley Clarke (Shercock AC) in 3:58.  Inishowen AC’s Seamus Harley (3:45) won the male equivalent. 

Shercock AC claimed their second successive victory whenAine Corcoran (5:50) won the Under 12 Girls 1500m race.  Ryan Carmichael (Newry AC) took victory in the Under 12 Boys 1500m race, before Shercock AC celebrated a hat-trick of female winners when Leanne Kiernan (9:28) won the Under 14 girls 2500m race.  Christy Conlon (Beechmount Harriers) crossed the line in 8:12, winning the Under 14 Boys race (2500m).

Much was expected of young Clodagh O’Reilly in the Under 16 Girls 3500m race, and the Annalee AC athlete lived up to her reputation as an extremely talented runner, finishing as clear winner in 13:21.  Not to be out done, Letterkenny AC’s Peter Gibbons (11:44) won the Under 16 Boys 3500m race just as impressively.

Next up was the Under 18 Girls 4000m race, in a field packed with potential stars it was Yasmin Wilson (Unattached) who claimed victory in outstanding fashion, crossing the line in 15:50.  The Under 18 Boys race was run over 5000m, and like the Girls event boasted an extremely talented field.  In a close race, Lagan Valley AC’s Ryan Sharkey left it until the last lap before breaking clear to win in 16:53.

The competitive junior races proved an excellent ‘warm up’ for the popular Bobby Rea Memorial Races.  The ladies lined up alongside the Vet60+ men in the 5000m race, while the Senior and Vet35-55 men completed the longer 8000m course.

The ladies and Vet 60+ men were first off, with Julie Turley (Dromore AC) and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) side by side through the opening laps, Jessica Craig (North Down AC) followed close behind.  A group including; Rachel Gibson (North Down AC), Emma Mitchell (Banbridge AC) and Eva Laverty (Lagan Valley AC) chased the front runners, who continued to run strongly.

As they entered the final lap, Julie surged clear of Gladys to take victory in 18:03.  Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (18:25) finished in 2nd place, with Jessica Craig (19:06) in 3rd place.  Francis Boal (Lagan Valley AC) was the first male veteran finisher in 21:36.

A plethora of talent toed the line for the final event of the day, the Senior and Vet35-55 men’s race.  In the first few laps, the lead was exchanged between front runners; David Morwood (Annadale Striders), Ryan Holt (Willowfield Harriers), Brendan Teer (East Down AC) and Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim) before Jarleth took the reins in the final lap.

The Ballymena & Antrim star raced clear, taking victory in 28:59.  Young Ryan Holt (29:06) held off the strong challenge of David Morwood (3rd place – 29:10) to take 2nd place.

Junior Race Winners:

U-10 1000m Race: Hayley Clarke (Shercock AC) – 3:58 and Seamus Harley (Inishowen AC) – 3:45

U-12 1500m Race: Aine Corcoran (Shercock AC) – 5:50 and Ryan Carmichael (Newry AC) – 5:32

U-14 2500m Race: Leanne Kiernan (Shercock AC) – 9:28 and Christy Conlon (Beechmount) – 8:12

U-16 3500m Race: Clodagh O’Reilly (Annalee AC) – 13:21 and Peter Gibbons (Letterkenny AC) – 11:44

U-18 4000m Girls Race: Yasmin Wilson (Unattached) – 15:50

U-18 5000m Boys Race: Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC) – 16:53

Senior Race Podium Places:

Top 3 Men (8000m):  1st Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim) – 28:59, 2nd Ryan Holt (Willowfield Harriers) – 29:06, 3rd David Morwood (Annadale Striders) - 29:10

Top 3 Ladies (5000m):  1st Julie Turley (Dromore AC) 18:03, 2nd Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) – 18:25, 3rd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 19:06

Full Results: NI & Ulster XC - Bobby Rea Memorial Races 2012 Results

For full race report and pictures please visit

Waterworks 'Parkrun' welcomes world record holder:

Bruce Fordyce visits Belfast:

Just one week prior to celebrating its two year anniversary, the Waterworks 'Parkrun' had a very special visitor on Saturday 27th October 2012. 

World famous South African marathon and ultra-marathon athlete Bruce Fordyce, best known for having won the infamous South African ‘Comrades Marathon’ a record nine times, of which eight wins were consecutive took on the FREE weekly 5km time trial, set up by North Belfast Harriers’ Matt Shields.

Although, still boasting the 50 mile world record Bruce was not able to beat North Belfast Harriers’ Conor Curran around the two lap course, with Conor clocking the fastest time of 16:09.  Bruce followed in 18:55 (11th place).  Joanne Davidson (Unattached) was the fastest lady of the day, recording an excellent 19:33.

Picture:  Martin Rea, Bruce Fordyce and Conor Curran

Sperrin Harriers Winter League Series 2012/13 begins at An Creggan:

Sperrin Harriers Winter League Series, Race 1:  5mile Trail Race:
Saturday 27th October 2012 brought the first race of the 2012/13 Sperrin Harriers Winter League Series, with An Creggan playing host to the 5 mile event.

Organising club, Sperrin Harriers were well represented, but it was Foyle Valley AC’s Pius McIntyre who stole the limelight, taking 1st place in 27:29.  City of Derry’s Allan Bogle (27:37) followed close behind, before Glen Donnelly of Sperrin Harriers brought a smile to the local faces, crossing the line in 28:27.

In the ladies race, pre-race favourite Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) did not disappoint, claiming a well-deserved win in 31:33.  Cheryl Caldwell (Sperrin Harriers) followed in 34:37, before Omagh Harriers’ Rosaleen McCarthin (35:25) completed the top three female finishers.

Top 3 Men:  1st Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) – 27:29, 2nd Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 27:37, 3rd Glenn Donnelly (Sperrin Harriers) – 28:27

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) – 31:33, 2nd Cheryl Caldwell (Sperrin Harriers) – 34:37, 3rd Rosaleen McCarthin (Omagh Harriers) – 35:25

Full Results:  Sperrin Harriers Winter League Race 1 (27/10/2012)

The next race in the series will be a 5km event at Lough Fea, Cookstown on the 10th November 2012 at 12pm.  Please visit for full details.

Hoy and O'Hagan win in 'Spooktactular' style:

Enniskillen 'Spooktactular' 5k Road Race:

On Friday 26th October 2012 nearly three hundred runners took to the streets of Enniskillen, County Fermanagh for this year’s ‘Spooktactular’ 5k Road Race. 

Last year’s winner Mark Hoy (University of Ulster) returned to defend his title as expected.  In a close race with Enniskillen Running Club’s Conan McCaughey, Mark manage to edge victory, breaking the tape in 15:50.  Conan took 2nd place in 15:54, with local Unattached runner Stephen Prentice (16:33) in 3rd place.

In the ladies race, St Peters AC’s Patricia O’Hagan followed her impressive display at the recent QUB Cross Country with a victory here, clocking an excellent 18:06.  Clones AC duo Denise Toner (18:15) and Helen Stockdale (19:46) finished in 2nd place and 3rd place.

Special mention must go to youngsters Ryan Ballentine (U16) and Sasha Funston (U12) who ran 18:52 and 24:55 in their respective categories.  These are two hot prospects for the future.

Top 3 Men:  1st Mark Hoy (University of Ulster) – 15:50, 2nd Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club), 3rd Stephen Prentice (Unattached) – 16:33

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC) – 18:06, 2nd Denise Toner (Clones AC) – 18:15, 3rd Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) – 19:46

Full Results:  Enniskillen 5k Road Race Results 2012

Weekend Preview:  Spooktactular weekend of racing ahead!

Weekend Preview:

This coming Halloween weekend brings with it some excellent events, all of which will undoubtedly be well supported.  Racing kicks off on Friday night (26th October 2012) in County Fermanagh, where hundreds of local runners will take to the streets of Enniskillen for the ‘Spooktactular 5k’ road race.

Last year’s winner, Mark Hoy (Ulster University) will hope to retain his title but may face opposition from Conan McCaughey (St Peter’s AC) and City of Derry’s Allan Bogle.  James Speight (Finn Valley), and Adam Cooke (Unattached) will be amongst the front runners should they enter on the night.

In the ladies race, Finn Valley’s Teresa McGloin should retain her crown, despite strong competition from the likes of Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix), Tara Malone (Enniskillen RC) and Helen Rollins (Lagan Valley AC).  If Angela Speight (Finn Valley) decides to take part, she will be hoping for a podium finish.

On Saturday 27th October 2012, Cross Country enthusiasts will compete in the ‘Bobby Rea Memorial XC’ races, being held in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.  With this being the first race of this season’s Cross Country League it is expected that there will be an excellent turnout.

The men’s race will be close, with a top quality field anticipated.  This will include most, if not all of the Annadale Striders team who won the Gerry Farnan XC team prize in Dublin last weekend; Eddie McGinley, Andrew Agnew, David Morwood and Ryan McDermot should be joined by Owen Carelton, Paul Carroll, Stephen McGrory, and Eion Mullan.

Omagh Harriers’ Stephen Duncan could enter, after an impressive display in Belfast a fortnight ago.  Brendan Teer (East Down AC), Emmett McGinty (City of Derry AC), Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) will all be in the chasing pack, as will North Down AC trio; Francis Marsh, Niall Robinson and Michael Dyer.

Russel White (Dromore AC), James Brown (City of Derry AC), Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC), Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim), Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC), Nat Glenn (Larne AC) and Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) will hope to finish at the top end of the field.

In the ladies event, North Belfast Harriers’ Gladys Ganiel O’Neill makes a welcome return, having been carrying an injury of late.  Although not at full fitness, Gladys will place well.  Dromore AC’s Julie Turley will more than likely take the title after showing her quality in Dublin last weekend, where she finished 9th at the Gerry Farnan XC.  North Down AC will again be in contention, with Jessica Craig, Rachel Gibson, Roberta Doran and Stephanie Hambling all looking for a top ten finish.

Jessica should be in and around the podium places, as will City of Lisburn AC’s Judith Lowry and St Peters AC’s Patricia O’Hagan should they compete.  Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers), Geraldine Branagh (Dromore AC), Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) and Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) will play a prominent part in proceedings.

In the Junior Races, some of Northern Ireland’s up and coming stars will be on show, including;  Tom Magee (Lagan Valley AC), Paddy Robb (St Malachy’s AC), Chris Connelly (St Malacht’s AC), Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC), Patrick Sheridan (Newcastle AC), Jack McKibbin (Dromore AC) and Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers).

Emma Mitchell (Banbridge AC), Eva Lavery (Lagan Valley AC), Emer Magee (Lagan Valley AC), Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) and Dearbhla Magee (Newcastle AC) should all race as well.

The ‘Sperrin Harriers 2012/12 Winter League’ series begins on Saturday 27th October 2012, with the first event, a 5 mile mixed terrain race taking place in An Creggan, situated between Cookstown and Omagh.

Suggestions are that Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) will attend, should this be the case he will prove hard to beat.  Sperrin Harriers’ duo Donal Gallagher and Delfim Pimentel will try though, and should secure the remaining podium places.  Omagh Harriers’ Martin Cox will lead the chasing pack, which may include Aaron Mehorg (Sperrin Harriers), John McCambridge (St Peter’s AC) and Jim Breen (Springwell RC)

Anne Paul (City of Derry) should lead the ladies race, with Alison Rankin (Sperrin Harriers), Cheryl Caldwell (Sperrin Harriers), Shauna Melough (Termoneeny AC) and Nicola Frizelle (Springwell RC) battling it out for 2nd and 3rd place.  Nicola Sergeant (Termoneeny AC) should also run well.

Several Northern Ireland runners are also expected to take on the infamous ‘Snowdonia Marathon’ in Wales on Saturday 27th October 2012.  Larne AC’s leading distance runner Justin Maxwell is a definite entry, he will be hoping to produce a strong performance over the tough 26.2 mile course.  Everyone competing in this years 30th running of the event will be wearing pink numbers in support of missing school girl April Jones, who was abducted from the nearby town of Machynlleth almost a month ago.

Finally, thousands are expected to travel south on Monday 29th October 2012 for the ‘Dublin Marathon’.  After having trained for months for this event, many will be hoping for personal bests, while some will be looking forward to completing their first 26.2 mile challenge.  Nearly all of Northern Ireland's clubs will be represented in the 15,000 strong field, with Springwell Running Club having no less than twenty nine entrants.  Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) is expected to lead the Northern Ireland contingent home.

NiRunning will be at the event, taking photographs and speaking to finishers.  We would like to wish everyone taking part the very best of luck!  Our Dublin Marathon race report will be online on Tuesday/Wednesday.

As usual, all seven of Northern Ireland’s ‘Parkrun’ events will take place on Saturday (27th October 2012), please see our ‘Fixtures’ to find your closest event.

Sperrin Harriers launch 2012/13 Winter League Series:

Sperrin Harriers Winter League 2012/13:

This Saturday (27th October 2012) Sperrin Harriers will launch their 2012/13 Winter League Trail Series, which is now into its fourth year.  Set in three venues, the races are suitable for runners of all abilities.  The series, which began as a small affair, has now grown into one of Northern Ireland’s most popular events and attracts some of the provinces top runners. 

Following on from last year’s success, a total of six events are planned; with one 5km race, one 10 mile race and two 10km and 5 mile races.  However, the points system has been revised and subsequently changed and is now based on the very successful North East Harrier League Cross Country points system.  The athletes will be awarded points following each race and ranked accordingly.  

The rankings are calculated using the following criteria:

1. After each race, the athletes are ranked according to finish position.

2. First home gets 1 point, the next home gets 2 and so on……

3. Any runners who have missed a race get a fixed penalty score of 30 points for the women or 50 points for the men for each missed race.

4. At the end of all six races, the number of points from each runner’s best five races are added together and then divided by the number of races that the individual runner completed.

5. Overall, the athlete with the lowest score wins and is awarded the Sperrin Harriers Winter League Trail Series Prize.

The race dates for the series are
27/10/12 - An Creggan (5 mile)
10/11/12 - Lough Fea (5km)
08/12/12 - Drum Manor (10km)
19/01/13 - An Creggan (5 mile)
02/02/13 - Drum Manor (10km)
02/03/13 - Lough Fea (10 mile)

Entry to each race is £3 for affiliated runners and £4 for un-affiliated runners.  Post-Race refreshments will be served to all athletes taking part. Registration will take place prior to each event from 11am with all races starting at 12pm. Entry forms can be printed off the clubs website:

Outstanding performances by Northern Ireland runners in Dublin:

Annadale Striders secure title at Gerry Farnan XC, Dublin:

On Sunday 21st October 2012, a large group of Northern Ireland runners travelled to Dublin for the Gerry Farnan XC Races, held in Phoenix Park.  There was plenty of talent on show, as the event was also the trials for the Irish Masters Cross Country team, due to participate in the British & Irish Masters Championships , Belfast in November 2012.

In the ladies event (including Vet65+ men), Irish Olympian Finnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) secured victory in 15:36, before an exciting trail of Northern Ireland based runners crossed the line.  Julie Turley (Dromore AC) looked to have shaken off the virus that led to her withdrawal from the Armagh 10 last week as she finished in an impressive 9th place, running 17:13. This was enough to secure 2nd place in the Vet35 category, in what was her first outing in the category.

North Down AC’s Jessica Craig, the star of last week’s Cross Country in Belfast continued her good start to the XC season, running 17:52 (19th place).  Fellow North Down AC runner, Rachel Gibson recorded 18:43 (38th place) before young Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) finished in 18:59 (46th place).  Dromore AC’s Geraldine Branagh secured 3rd place in the Vet45 category and 51st place overall in 19:07, before talented Emma Mitchell (Banbridge AC) clocked 19:31, just two seconds ahead of Lagan Valley AC’s Elaine Burch (19:33 – 62nd place). 

Christy McMonagle (City of Derry AC), competing in the Men’s Vet65, completed the course in 21:26 while club mate Roisin Lynch finished 3rd in the Vet60 category, after running 23:33 (94th place).

In the Men’s race, David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) romped to victory, finishing well clear in 24:20.  Annadale Striders’ Eddie McGinley (24:53) ran an excellent race, leading the Northern Ireland runners home in 3rd place, after  fending off club mate Andrew Agnew (25:00) who took 4th place.  North Belfast Harriers’ Stephen Scullion, wearing the colours of Clonliffe Harriers AC ran 25:17 (8th place), before Ryan McDermot (Annadale Striders) secured 21st place in 25:59.

Annadale Striders celebrated a notable victory in the team event as David Morwood crossed the line in 26:14 (29th place), in doing so he achieved a personal victory, winning the Vet40 category.  Owen Carelton (Annadale Striders) finished as the clock struck 26:35 (35th place), while Niall Robinson (37th place) led the North Down AC contingent home.

Mountain runner, James Speight, running for Finn Valley AC recorded 27:03 (41st place) before a string of Northern Ireland runners including; North Down AC’s Michael Dyer (49th place – 27:26), City of Derry AC’s Cahal Logue (58th place – 27:39), St Malachy’s Ben Branagh (59th place – 27:42) and Newcastle AC’s Deon McNeilly (61st place) finished, with the latter securing 1st place in the competitive Vet45 category.

Dromore AC’s Andrew Hicks (28:05) was next home in 88th place, ahead of North Belfast Harriers trio; Tommy Hughes (80th place – 28:22), Paul Blaney (88th place – 28:41) and Eddie Cooke (108th place – 29:21).  Legend, Tommy Hughes took 3rd place in the Vet50 category.  City of Derry AC’s Damian McGinty followed in 29:53 (117th place) before North Belfast Harriers’ Paul Elliot completed the course in 30:34 (112th place), securing 3rd place in the Vet55 category.

In conclusion, it was an excellent day for the Northern Ireland based athletes, made all the better with Annadale Striders bringing the team trophy back to Northern Ireland.  NiRunning would like to wish all of those hoping for International selection the very best of luck.

Top 3 Men:  1st David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) – 24:20, 2nd Michael Mulhare (Portlaoise AC) – 24:50, 3rd Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) – 24:53

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Finnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) – 15:36, 2nd Sarah McCormack (Clonliffe Harriers AC), 3rd Siobhan O’Doherty (Barrisakane AC) – 16:57

Full Results:  Gerry Farnan XC Races 2012 Results

North Belfast Harriers 'New Boy' wins in Camlough:

Boyd & Coffey WIN in Camlough:
On Sunday 21st October 2012, over 150 runners took part in the annual ‘race around the lake’ in Camlough, just outside Newry.  Starting and finishing at Keggal Road picnic area, the tough course led competitors on a 7.5 mile journey around Camlough Lake.

As expected, Newry City Runners athlete Don Travers and North Belfast Harriers new boy Adam Boyd battled it out, with Adam celebrating victory on this occasion.  After setting off at an impressive pace, he gradually built an uncatchable and completed the course in an outstanding 42:03.  Don Travers took 2nd place, crossing the line in 45:15, with Unattached athlete Seamus Lynch (45:28) in 3rd place.

Another Unattached athlete, Ciara Coffey (50:51) continued her excellent season, producing an impressive performance in the ladies race to finish nearly two minutes clear of her closest competitor, taking 1st place.  Triathlete, Eva Mc Nelis (Queen’s Tri Club) finished in 2nd place, running 52:42 before Sperrin Harriers’ Mairead Hughes clocked 56:15 (3rd place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Adam Boyd (North Belfast Harriers) – 42:03, 2nd Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 45:15, Seamus Lynch (Unattached) – 45:28

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Ciara Coffey (Unattached) – 50:51, 2nd Eva Mc Nelis (Queen’s Tri Club) – 52:42, 3rd Mairead Hughes (Sperrin Harriers) – 56:15

Results:  Camlough Lake 2012 Results

McGinley battles for podium place in Dublin:

Annadale Striders star takes bronze in Dublin:
David McCarthy (24:30) was the impressive winner of today’s (Sunday 21st October 2012) 'Gerry Farnan Cross Country' race in Phoenix Park, Dublin. The Waterford man, who completed his preparations for the race in Derry, won by 30 seconds from Michael Mulhare (2nd place - 25:00). National senior cross country champion Eddie McGinley (25:04) finished strongly to take 3rd place ahead of Annadale Striders club mate Andrew Agnew. 

North Belfast Harriers’ Stephen Scullion also made the top ten.  “I felt strong the whole way but picked it up in the second half of the race,” said McCarthy. “That’ll set me up nicely for my next race in Burgos (Spain) next month.”

In the ladies race, reigning European champion and pre-race favourite, Fionnuala Britton was the comfortable winner.  Teresa McGloin (Finn Valley) was the first Northern Ireland based lady to cross the line.  With this event acting as trails for the Irish XC team, City of Derry AC's Christy McMonagle looks to have done enough to gain selection at the upcoming British & Irish International in Belfast.  Damian McGinty may have to sweat it out a couple of days until his selection is confirmed.

Information/Report courtesy of Malcom McCausland (Irish News).  NiRunning will provide a full report on the results of Northern Ireland runners as soon as official results are available.

Northern Ireland runners perform well across Europe:

Northern Ireland runners participate in prestigious events across Europe:

On Sunday 21st October 2012, Northern Ireland runners travelled the world to participate in various events, with the majority taking part in the ‘TDC Amsterdam Marathon’ in Holland.  Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners), a man who has smashed personal best after personal best in the run up to the event, led the Northern Ireland contingent home in 2:40:01. 

Northern Ireland international mountain runner, Mark Kendall (Newcastle AC) was next across the line, running an excellent 2:44:20.  Ballymena Runners’ Tom Mills (2:55:17) and Larne AC's Wayne Morrow (2:59:55) broke the infamous three hour barrier, while Tom's Ballymena club mate, Rodney Agnew (3:10:21) just beat North Belfast Harriers’ Gerry Gribbon (3:11:02) to the finish.  Colin Simpson (Up & Runners) crossed the line in 3:22:36, before Jim Moore (Ballymena Runners) clocked 3:24:02.

Paul Cordner (Orangegrove AC) ran 3:24:46, while Norman Smyth (Banbridge AC) finished in 3:25:52.  DUB Runners' Damian Cranney (3:28:54) and North Belfast Harriers' Mark Shields (3:29:15) achieved excellent sub 3:30 times, with another DUB Runner, Dermot Drain (3:30:10) just missing out on this occasion.  After a short break in Northern Ireland runners, Paul Woodman (Orangegrove AC) finished well to record a time of 3:39:54, before club mate Sharon Dickenson led the Northern Ireland ladies home in 4:10:34, just ahead of her friend Rachel Farrell (4:11:13) and Sperrin Harriers’ Hannah Su (4:18:07).

Meanwhile, in the 8km race associated with the Amsterdam Marathon, Orangegrove AC’s Chris Woods and Tania Rothwell performed well, running 36:23 and 52:04 respectively.

In Majorca, a group of East Antrim Harriers completed the ‘TUI Palma Marathon’.  Sam Crawford, a well-known and popular runner within the local scene, led the group home in 2:57:19.  Martin McMillan completed the 26.2 mile course in 3:49:48, before Marian Hayes, running her first ever marathon finished in 4:54:53.  Jeanette Burton ran well in the associated Half Marathon, crossing the line in 2:34:02.

In England, two Larne AC members joined thousands of competitors who took to the streets of Birmingham for the annual ‘Great Birmingham Run’.  Evan Taylor led the County Antrim men to the finish, covering the 13.1 mile course in 1:36:12, just over a minute ahead of club mate Ian Brennan, who ran 1:37:30.

NiRunning would like to congratulate each and every runner on their performance; it is very encouraging to see so many people willing to travel such a distance to wear their club vests in such prestigious events.  As always, we have worked tirelessly to find Northern Ireland runners who participated in the events mentioned above, but I am sure we have missed many!  So, please feel free to let us know if you, or one of your club mates have taken part.  All times are based on provisional results, produced by organisers.

Teer & Alexander smash course records in Dundrum:

Gr8 Dundrum Run 2012:
On Saturday 20th October 2012, nearly eight hundred runners gathered in the County Down village of Dundrum for the third annual running of the Murlough AC organised, Gr8 Dundrum Run.  The stunning 8 mile course, took competitors through the Murlough Nature Reserve and across a section of Murlough Beach before returning to the village and the awaiting crowds.

East Down AC’s Brendan Teer was expected to retain the crown he won last year, and did not disappoint, leading from the off.  He was joined briefly at the head of the field by Phil Wood (Unattached), David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC), Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) and Paul Carlin (St Johns AC), but he had raced clear before the group reached the two mile marker.  Brendan then gradually increased his lead, while the chasing group battled amongst each other for the remaining podium places.

It was a similar story in the ladies race, with pre-race favourite Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) setting the early pace.  Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and Sinead Murtagh (Castlewellan AC) followed, with Lagan Valley duo Anne Sanford and Hazel Mc Laughlin close behind.

As the crowds, entertained by birthday girl Pamela Ballentine, eagerly awaited the return of the athletes, it was indeed the impressive Brendan Teer who came into the long finishing straight first.  As the crowds cheered, he quickly covered the remaining yards, crossing the line in a new course record of 44:47.  Phil Wood was next into view, taking 2nd place in 46:48, with North Belfast Harriers’ Martin Rea (47:00) in 3rd place, just ahead of Newcastle AC’s David O’Flaherty (47:05).

In the ladies race, Karen Alexander continued her early pace, stretching the gap between herself and the closest competitors, before finishing well clear, breaking the female course record in 52:03.  Shileen O’Kane took 2nd place in 56:26, with Lagan Valley club mate Hazel Mc Laughlin (57:41) in 3rd place.

Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 44:47, 2nd Phil Wood (Unattached) – 46:48, 3rd Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) – 47:00

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) – 52:03, 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 56:26, 3rd Hazel Mc Laughlin (Lagan Valley AC) – 57:41.

Full Results will be added as soon as they are available.  We will also be adding a ‘Race Review’ and ‘Photos’ later tonight (Saturday) or early tomorrow (Sunday).

Venue change for British & Irish Masters Championships:

Saturday 20th October 2012:

Following several days of torrential rain, the Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association (NIMAA) have had to change the venue for the upcoming British & Irish Masters Championships on Saturday 10th November 2012.  With the original venue, Stormont Estate, Belfast being extensively waterlogged the new location for the event will be the QUB Playing Fields, DUB Lane, Upper Malone, Belfast.  This is the same venue in which the recent trials were held.  There will also be a change to the proposed start times, but these have not been announced.  Please keep up to date by visiting the NIMAA website:

Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association

Weekend Preview:  Gr8 turnout expected for annual Dundrum Run:

Weekend Preview:  Challenging courses welcome the country's finest runners!

On Saturday 20th October 2012, Murlough AC will host the third annual running of their popular ‘Gr8 Dundrum Run’.  The challenging 8 mile course takes participants through the beautiful Murlough Nature Reserve and Murlough Beach, and is expected to attract many of the provinces top competitors.

The pre-race favourite in the men’s race will be last year’s winner, Brendan Teer of East Down AC.  Although, strongly tipped to retain his title, Brendan will be challenged by the talented North Belfast Harriers trio; Martin Rea, Gareth Grew and Jim Benson.  Local man, David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) will also be in contention. 

Ever impressive, unattached athlete Phil Wood will also play a prominent part in proceedings, as will Seapark AC’s David Gamble.  Adam Clansey (St Malachy’s AC), Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC) and Phelim Mc Allister (Larne AC) should complete the top ten, but will face strong opposition from local mountain running experts, Brendan Quail (Newcastle AC), PJ Mc Crickard (Newcastle AC) and Jerome Mc Crickard (Newcastle AC).

Last year’s winner of the female event, North Belfast Harriers’ Cathy Mc Court will not be able to defend her title due to injury.  In Cathy’s absence we expect Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) to take the crown, but she will have to perform well to fend off challenges from the likes of Roberta Dornan (North Down AC) and mountain runners, Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), both of whom will enjoy the mixed terrain.  Seapark AC’s Gillian Cordner will place well, and could be an outside bet for a podium finish, if recent performances are anything to go by.

On Sunday 21st October 2012, approximately 150-200 runners are expected to take part in the annual ‘race around the lake’ in Camlough, just outside Newry.  Starting and finishing at Keggal Road picnic area, the tough course takes competitors on a 7.5 mile journey around Camlough Lake.

Don Travers (Newry City Runners) should lead the field, but will have to see off North Belfast Harriers' new boy Adam Boyd if he wants to take top spot. This pairing will occupy first and second place, while Don's Newry City Runners’ club mates; Malachy Mc Ateer, Dale Mathers, Martin O’Hagan and David Griffin will battle it out for the final podium place, as will Steven Williamson (Armagh AC), should he race.

Newry City Runners will dominate the ladies race, with Liosa Mc Keown, Cheryl Linden, Caroline Wade, Lillian O’Hanlon and Patricia Brown all expected to run well.

Previous entrants; Jenny Lavery (Newry City Runners), Tracey Grant (Unattached) and Joan Haughey will also hope to be at the forefront of any challenge.

Dublin, Birmingham, Amsterdam and Palma:

Quite a few Northern Ireland runners will travel outside the province this weekend, with major events taking place in Dublin, Birmingham, Amsterdam and Palma.

On Sunday 21st October 2012, a large crowd is expected in Phoenix Park, Dublin for the ‘Gerry Farnan Cross Country Races’, which incorporate the Irish trials for the upcoming British & Irish Masters Cross Country Championships at Stormont on Saturday 10th November 2012.  The event will also act as part of the selection process for the European Cross Country Championships, due to take place in Budapest in December 2012.

A strong contingent from Annadale Striders, including Eddie Mc Ginley, Owen Carelton, David Morwood and Andrew Agnew will attempt to better their excellent second place in last year’s team standings.  While a strong North Belfast Harriers trio of Stephen Scullion, Eddie Cooke and Paul Blaney will hope to place well, individually, Stephen Scullion should challenge for a podium place.

Armagh City AC’s Dermot Kerr will use last week’s excellent performance in the Armagh 10 as inspiration, as he attempts to successfully retain the Vet50 category he won so impressively last year.  Armagh AC club mate Richard Turkington may also feature, while Newcastle AC's Deon Mc Neilly will provide another consistent display.

Further entrants from the North may include Niall Robinson (North Down AC), Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim) and Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC), all of whom should challenge for a high placing.

In the ladies race, which should include Irish Olympian Finnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC), Dromore AC’s leading lady Julie Turley will challenge for European selection and a place in the Vet35 team for the upcoming Championships.

Another Dromore AC athlete, Geraldine Branagh is expected to hold on to her Vet45 vest from last year, while starlets Emma Mitchell (Banbridge AC) and Eva Laverty (Lagan Valley AC) will perform well.

City of Derry AC duo; Jackie Mc Ginley and Roisin Lynch should enter on the day, especially the latter, who’ll be hoping to retain the Vet60 prize she collected at last year’s event.

At least four Northern Ireland based runners will toe the line at this year’s Bupa sponsored, 'Great Birmingham Run’ on Sunday 21st October 2012.  Larne AC trio; Evan Taylor, David Henderson and Ian Brennan will be hoping to achieve personal bests on the 13.1 mile (Half Marathon) course, as will Chris Collins (East Antrim Harriers).

The ‘TCS Amsterdam Marathon’ also takes place on Sunday 21st October 2012, and Northern Ireland will be well represented amongst the thousands of competitors.  Ballymena Runners; Iain Taggart, Rodney Agnew, Jim Moore and Tom Mills will attempt to cover the notoriously flat 26.2 mile course in personal best times, as will Orangegrove AC's Sharon Dickson, Rachel Farrell, Paul Cordner and Paul Woodman.  Newcastle AC's Mark Kendall and Banbridge AC's Norman Smyth will also sample the beautiful sorroundings of the host city.  

Although all will dig deep, big things are expected of Iain Taggart, who is in the shape of his life and currently celebrating International selection for Northern Ireland after last week’s trials.  Orangegrove AC’s Chris Woods and Tania Rothwell will also participate in Amsterdam, racing in the 8km event.

A group of East Antrim Harriers will take on the 'TUI Palma Marathon' on Sunday 21st October 2012.  The party includes long serving member and well known runner Sam Crawford, as well as Marian Hayes, Andy Martin and Martin Mc Millan.  Jeanette Burton (East Antrim Harriers) will participate in the Half Marathon.

As always, NiRunning will bring you summaries (and results) from the above races, as well as any other notable events or performances throughout the weekend.

Note: Northern Ireland also has seven 'Parkrun' events, all taking place EVERY Saturday morning. Please see our dedicated Parkrun section within our 'Fixtures' page to find your nearest event!

NI Masters teams announced for British & Irish Championships:

Northern Ireland teams announced for upcoming Stormont fixture:

After Saturday’s successful ‘Open Masters XC Races’ at the QUB Playing Fields, Belfast the Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association have announced the athletes who will represent Northern Ireland at the upcoming British & Irish Masters Championships at Stormont Estate, Belfast on Saturday 10th November 2012.

The teams are as follow:


Vet 35 Category:

Men:  Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners), Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers), Declan Reed (City of Derry), Chris Bryan (North Down AC), George Mc Court (Willowfield Harriers) – Reserves:  Greg Lavery (Larne AC), Andrew Guy (Larne AC)

Ladies:  Roberta Dornan (North Down AC), Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), Lisa Finlay (Dumfries AC), Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) – Reserves:  Ange Perrott (North Down AC), Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC)

Vet 40 Category:

Men:  Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers), David Morwood (Annadale Striders), James Brown (City of Dery), Stephen Mc Grory (Annadale Striders), Donal Gallagher (Sperrin Harriers), Jonny Park (Orangegrove AC) – Reserves:  Gregory Walsh (North Belfast Harriers), Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders)

Ladies:  Gillian Burns (Dromore AC), Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC), Sian Finlay (Dumfries AC), Jackie Mc Ginlay (City of Derry) – Reserves:  Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), Valerie Mc Donagh (North Down AC)

Vet 45 Category:

Men:  Cathal Mc Laughlin (Foyle Valley AC), Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim AC), James Turtle (Ballymena Runners), Bernard Brady (Larne AC), Steve Cairns (Huntersbog Trotters/Annadale Striders), Nat Glenn (Larne AC) – Reserves:  Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), James Wallace (North Belfast Harriers)

Ladies:  Helen Stockdale (Clunes AC), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Debbie Matchett (North Down AC), Bridgeen Byrne (City of Derry) – Reserves:  Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), Paula Mc Gilloway (City of Derry)

Vet 50 Category:

Men:  Frank Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC), Deon Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC), Damien Mc Ginty (City of Derry), Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC), Noel Connor (Ballymena Runners), David Clarke (Larne AC) – Reserves:  Declan Mc Carthy (City of Derry), Nigel Greer (Dromore AC)

Ladies:  Ruth Magill (Lagan Valley AC), Una Gavin (City of Derry), Mabel Mc Fall (Ballymena Runners), Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) – Reserves:  None Selected

Vet 55 Category:

Men:  Paul Elliot (North Belfast Harriers), Ray Curran (Ballymena Runners), Greg Mc Clure (North Belfast Harriers), Frances Boal (Lagan Valley AC) – Reserves:  Michael Roberts (North Down AC)

Ladies:  Maureen Oliver (DUB Runners), Hazel Imeson (Tadworth AC) – Reserves:  None Selected

Vet 60 Category:

Men:  Jim Newberry (North Belfast Harriers), Terry Eakin (North Down AC), Gerry Bell (Bingley Harriers), Irwin Spiers (Sperrin Harriers) – Reserve:  Michael Roberts (North Down AC)

Ladies:  No Team Selected

Vet 65 Category:

Men:  David Seaton (North Down AC), Brian Smith (North Down AC), Willie Weir (Dromore AC), Norman Lellyett (North Down AC) – Reserve:  Gerry Lynch (Cirty of Derry)

Ladies:  Brigid Quinn (Ballymena Runners) – Reserves:  None Selected

Vet 70 Category:

Men:  Fred Murdoch (North Down AC), Gary Nicholl (Lagan Valley AC), Jim Platt (Springwell RC), Drew Crawford (North Belfast Harriers) – Reserve:  John Mc Keague (Springwell RC)

Ladies:  No Team Selected

Burren AC host second event in McGrady Financial Junior XC series:

McGrady Financial Junior Cross Country Series - Race Day 2 (Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor):
A record field of 134 junior athletes participated in the second of five races in the McGrady Financial Services sponsored Junior Cross Country Series.  Burren AC organised this event, held in the quaint setting of Kilbroney Forest Park, Rostrevor and did a splendid job from start to finish. The overnight rain had subsided leaving the course damp on the surface but firm underfoot.

After the customary warm-up to ensure that the athletes were race-ready, the P4 and under athletes were off (600m race).  Series debutant, Newcastle AC’s Jamie Williamson (2:50) was the first winner of the day, closely followed by Burren AC’s Lara McCarthy (2:58) who recorded back to back wins.

The 600m course was a little longer than Castlewellan and proved to be a good test for the youngest athletes on parade.  In both races, all of the athletes were separated by around thirty seconds, a tribute to the hard work and efforts of all the runners. 

The P5 athletes competed over an 800m course, with Thomas McKeaveney (Burren AC) repeating his success at Castlewellan, with another victory, crossing the line in 3:13.  In the girls race, Burren AC’s Eva Sloan (3:29) made it a double for the host club in her first outing of the series.

Newcastle scored a double in the P6 (1000m races), with Conor Murray (3:48) and Eve Kenneally (4:19) storming to victory, the latter for the second time in the series.  The Primary School races were rounded off with a win for East Down AC, courtesy of Caoilin Quinn (3:29) and one for Burren AC supplied by Naimh Scullion (3:57).

The post-primary races began with wins apiece for Burren AC and Newcastle AC by virtue of great runs by Jack O’Farrell (5:31) and Sarah Dougherty (6:15) in their respective 1500m races, both won last time out in Castlewellan.

East Down AC enjoyed their best results of the day in the Year 9 event, with Matthew Carrick (9:10) winning the Boys 2500m and Laura Green (6:28) showing considerable class, claiming an excellent victory in the Girls 1500m, both overcoming fierce challenges from a talented field. 

The final race of a highly successful afternoon saw the Year 10 and the Year 11+ run together over the challenging 3km course. There were wins in Year 10 for Burren AC’s Pariac Delahunt (12:11) and East Down AC’s Ellen Erskine (12:46), with both having a bit to spare over their nearest rivals.  The final victors of the day were Newcastle AC duo Adian Doyle (13:39) and Dearbhla Magee (12:15).

Much to the delight of the travelling athletes, coaches and parents the ovens in Burren had been flat out in producing a fine array of freshly baked delights.  There were home baked buns and a plethora of other goodies served with tea, coffee and hot chocolate. 

On reflection it was agreed that a great afternoon of competition had been enjoyed by all. The challenging courses will stand by the athletes when they return to the same venue for Northern Ireland & Ulster Even XC Championships on 27th October 2012.

The third race of the series will be on Sunday 18th November at Castleward Park (starting at 1.30pm), hosted by East Down AC.

Age Category Winners:

P4 (and Under) 600m Race:  Jamie Williamson (Newcastle AC) – 2:50 and Laura Mc Carthy (Burren AC) – 2:58.

P5 800m Race:  Thomas Mc Keaveney (Burren AC) – 3:13 and Eva Sloan (Burren AC) – 3:29

P6 1000m Race:  Conor Murray (Newcastle AC) – 3:48 and Eve Kenneally (Newcastle AC) – 4:19

P7 1000m Race:  Caoilin Quinn (East Down AC) – 3:29 and Niamh Scullion (Burren AC) – 3:57

Year 8 1500m Race: Jack Mc Farrell (Burren AC) – 5:31 and Sarah Dougherty (Newcastle AC) – 6:15

Year 9 Boys 2500m Race:  Matthew Carrick (East Down AC) – 9:10

Year 9 Girls 1500m Race:  Laura Green (East Down AC) – 6:28

Year 10 3km Race: Paraic Delahunt (Burren AC) – 12:11 and Ellen Erskine (East Down AC) – 12:46

Year 11+ 3km Race: Aidan Doyle (Newcastle AC) – 13:39 and Dearbhla Magee (Newcastle AC) – 12:15

Full Results:  Mc Grady’s Financial Junior Cross Country 2012 (Kilbroney Park)

Report compiled with the assistance of Joe McCann (Newcastle AC).  Race Day Pictures by Graham McCauley.

McAlister and Connolly excel in Armagh:

Adidas Armagh 10 Mile Road Race:

On Sunday 14th October 2012, well over three hundred runners descended on the Navan Centre, Armagh in preparation for the annual ‘Adidas Armagh 10’. 

In a quality field, pre-race favourite Joe Mc Alister (St Malachy’s AC) started quickly, showing his intent as he led the field from the off.  Annadale Striders’ James O’Hare joined Joe as the race progressed, with both going through 3 miles in approximately 14:48, followed by John Travers (Donore Harriers) and Owen Carelton (Annadale Striders).

As the leaders reached the half-way mark, Joe had opened up a fifty yard gap on James, with John Travers and Owen Carelton a further fifty yards behind.  A group including; Richard Turkington (Armagh City AC), Dermot Kerr (Armagh City AC), Eamon White (North Belfast Harriers) and Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) followed.

In the ladies race, Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) was well clear of the chasing Anne Paul (City of Derry AC), as they passed half-way and entered the closing stages.

Over the next few miles, positions changed in the men’s race, with John Travers catching and overtaking James O’Hare.  Up front, Joe Mc Alister was having an impressive run, going through 8 miles in 40:48.

As race commentator David Mc Kibbin kept the crowd updated, it was Joe Mc Alister who came into sight first, making use of the fast downhill finish to win impressively, crossing the line in 51:01.  John Travers continued his strong run, finishing in 52:00, ensuring an excellent 2nd place.  James O’Hare held on to take a well-deserved 3rd place, clocking 53:10.

The outstanding Breege Connolly eased to victory in the ladies race, unchallenged she secured her fourth successive victory in Armagh, crossing the line in 1:00:34.  Anne Paul claimed 2nd place in 1:04:45, closely followed by ‘one to watch’ Ruth Hill (1:04:57).

Top 3 Men:  1st Joe Mc Alister (St Malachy’s AC) – 51:01, 2nd John Travers (Donore Harriers) – 52:00, 3rd James O’Hare (Annadale Striders) – 53:10

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:00:34, 2nd Anne Paul (City of Derry) – 1:04:45, 3rd Ruth Hill (Unattached) – 1:04:57

Full Results:  Armagh 10 Mile Road Race 2012

Duncan and Craig lead the way at 'Open Masters Cross Country' event:

Stephen Duncan and Jessica Craig win in Belfast:

A bright, yet bitter morning greeted Cross Country enthusiasts as they gathered at DUB Lane Playing Fields, Upper Malone, Belfast for the ‘Open Masters XC Races’ on Saturday 13th October 2012.

The event doubled up as the trials for this year’s British & Irish Masters International XC Championships, scheduled to take place on 10th November 2012, within the confines of Stormont Estate, Belfast.

In the ‘Ladies Open’, Jessica Craig (North Down AC), Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) and Patricia O’Hagan (St Peters AC) tussled for two laps before Jessica broke clear in the third and final lap to claim an impressive 1st place, crossing the line in 22:49.  Karen Alexander was next home in 22:57, with the talented Patricia O’Hagan (23:20) in 3rd place.

Roberta Dornan (North Down AC) finished just behind the leading ladies, claiming 1st in the Vet35 race after clocking 23:20.  North Down AC club mate Angie Perrott (24:50) took 2nd place, with Larne AC’s Geraldine Quigley (25:28) in 3rd place.

The Ladies Vet40 proved a close encounter, with Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) in 1st place, running 23:43, followed by Dromore AC’s Gillian Burns (24:13) in 2nd place and North Down AC’s Stephanie Hambling (24:15) in 3rd place.

Helen Stockdale (Clunes AC) took 1st place in the Vet45 category, clocking 24:40.  Lagan Valley AC’s Anne Sandford (25:15) finished in 2nd place, with Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) in 3rd place, crossing the line as the clock struck 25:50.

Lagan Valley AC’s Ruth Magill was clear winner of the Vet50 category, crossing the line in 25:59.  City of Derry’s Una Gavin (29:07) finished in 2nd place, while Ballymena Runners’ Mabel Mc Fall claimed 3rd place in 32:45.

As expected, Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) won the Vet55 category, running 26:52 while Roisin Lynch (Sparta NW) celebrated victory in the Vet60 race, after crossing the line in 30:15.  Brigid Quinn (Ballymena Runners) ran an excellent 30:54, enough to win the Vet65 category.

The Men’s race was run in similar fashion to the ladies event, expect over four laps.  A top three of Stephen Duncan - Vet40 (Omagh Harriers), David Morwood – Vet40 (Annadale Striders) and Brendan Teer – MO (East Down AC) battled for the first two laps before Stephen and David broke clear, with Stephen Duncan putting in a timely surge to claim victory in 26:00, just one second ahead of David Morwood (26:01) who finished second.

Brendan Teer took 3rd place in 26:27, and with that he claimed victory in the ‘Male Open’ race.  Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) finished 2nd in the ‘open’ category after running 27:49, with Annadale Striders’ Eoin Mullan (28:29) in 3rd place.

In the Vet 35 category Foyle Valley AC’s Keith Shiels (27:28) showed strength to take 1st place, with Ballymena Runners’ Iain Taggart (27:35) proving he is in the shape of his life ahead of next week’s Amsterdam Marathon, finishing in 2nd place.  North Belfast Harriers’ Conor Curran ran an excellent race to finish in 3rd place, crossing the line in 28:02.

With Stephen Duncan (26:00) and David Morwood (26:01) finishing 1st and 2nd overall, thus taking 1st and 2nd in the Vet40 category, it was a race to see who would take 3rd place behind the talented duo.  That honour went to James Brown from City of Derry AC, when he finished the 8km course in 27:30.

North Belfast Harriers mountain running supremo Neil Carty (27:50) won the Vet45 category, just four seconds ahead of Foyle Valley AC’s Cathal Mc Laughlin (27:54) who took 2nd place.  Long serving Ballymena & Antrim athlete Matt Wray completed the top three Vet45 places when he crossed the line in 28:31.

The Vet 50 category proved to be another close race, with Lagan Valley AC’s Frank Sharkey winning in 28:34, just ahead of North Belfast’s ‘legend’ Tommy Hughes (28:39) and City of Derry’s Damian Mc Ginty (29:04).

North Belfast Harriers’ Paul Elliot beat his fellow Vet55 competitors to the finish, clocking 30:41.  Ray Curran (Ballymena Runners) finished 2nd, despite running with a heavy cold he crossed the line in 32:38.  Eric Montgomery (Lagan Valley AC) ran 34:55, taking 3rd place in the category.

Jim Newberry (31:42) continued North Belfast Harriers’ success, finishing in 1st place in the Vet60 category.  North Down AC’S Terry Eakin (32:16) was 2nd, with Sperrin Harriers’ Irwin Spiers (32:54) in 3rd place.

As we expected, David Seaton (North Down AC) and John Glover (Lagan Valley AC), old friends and prominent figures within the Northern Ireland running community dusted off their spikes to take part in the Vets65, 6km race.  Neither were strong enough to contend with the impressive Christy Mc Monagle (City of Derry) who took victory in 25:11.  David did run well, finishing in 2nd place after running 25:51, just four seconds ahead of North Down AC club mate Brian Smith (25:55).  John Glover finished the race despite picking up a nasty cut en-route.

North Down AC celebrated victory in the Vet70 category (6km), with Fred Murdoch finishing in 1st place after running 27:52.  Lagan Valley AC’s Gary Nicholl (29:33), and Springwell RC’s Jim Platt (29:41 finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Top 3 in each category (where applicable):

Open Races:

Men (8k):  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) - 26:27, 2nd Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) – 27:49, 3rd Eoin Mullan (Annadale Striders)

Ladies (6k):  1st Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 22:49, 2nd Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) – 22:57, 3rd Patricia O’Hagan (St Peters AC) – 23:18

Vet35 Races:

Men (8k):  1st Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 27:28, 2nd Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners) – 27:35, 3rd Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers) – 28:02

Ladies (6k):  1st Roberta Dornan (North Down AC) – 23:20, 2nd Angie Perrott (North Down AC) – 24:50, 3rd Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) – 25:28

Vet40 Races:

Men (8k):  1st Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) – 26:00, 2nd David Morwood (Annadale Striders) – 26:01, 3rd James Brown (City of Derry AC) – 27:30

Ladies (6k):  1st Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) – 23:43, 2nd Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) – 24:13, 3rd Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC) – 24:15

Vet50 Races:

Men (8k):  1st Frank Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC) – 28:34, 2nd Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) – 28:39, 3rd Damian Mc Ginty (City of Derry AC)

Ladies (6k):  1st Ruth Magill (Lagan Valley AC) – 25:59, 2nd Una Gavin (City of Derry AC) – 29:07, 3rd Mabel Mc Fall (Ballymena Runners) – 32:45

Vet55 Races:

Men (8k):  1st Paul Elliot (North Belfast Harriers) – 30:41, 2nd Ray Curran (Ballymena Runners) – 32:38, 3rd Eric Montgomery (Lagan Valley AC) – 34:55

Ladies (6k):  1st Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) – 26:52 *Three did not finish*

Vet60 Races: 

Men (8k):  1st Jim Newberry (North Belfast Harriers) – 31:42, 2nd Terry Eakin (North Down AC) – 32:16, Irwin Speirs (Sperrin Harriers) – 32:54

Ladies (6k):  1st Roisin Lynch (Sparta NW) – 30:15 *Three did not finish*

Vet65 Races:

Men (6k):  1st Christy Mc Monagle (City of Derry AC) – 25:11, 2nd David Seaton (North Down AC) – 25:51, 3rd Brian Smith (North Down AC) – 25:55

Ladies (6k):  1st Brigid Quinn (Ballymena Runners) – 30:54 *Three did not finish*

Vet70 Races:

Men (6k):  1st Fred Murdoch (North Down AC) – 27:52, 2nd Gary Nicholl (Lagan Valley AC) – 29:23, Jim Platt (Springwell RC) - 29:41

Ladies (6k):  *No Entrants*

Full Results will be added to our 'Results' page when available.  Race pictures will also be added to our 'Photo Gallery' as soon as possible.

Northern Ireland men compete in England and America:

McGinley and Scullion run in England, while Kerr competes in USA:

Three talented Northern Ireland runners have been in action in England and America this weekend.  Eddie Mc Ginley (Annadale Striders) wore the vest of Liverpool Harriers AC while Stephen Scullion, usually of North Belfast Harriers, competed for his second team, Aldershot Farnham & District AC as both men participated in the National Men’s 6 Stage Road Relay Championships in Clumber Park, close to Worksop, England.

With each leg measuring 5.2km, Eddie clocked 15:04 to help his Liverpool Harriers team to 2nd place (combined time of 1:31:07), while Stephen finished his leg just one second outside that in 15:05, helping his Aldershot Farnham & District team to 4th place (1:31:18), a mere two seconds behind bronze medallists Belgrave Harriers (1:31:16).

The event was won by Newham & Essex Beagles AC in 1:30:36 and the fastest leg of the day was recorded by Eddie’s Liverpool Harrier’s team mate Johnny Mellor, who ran 14:23.

In America, Stephen Kerr (Armagh City AC) took part in the Pre-National Cross Country Championships at the Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville.  Representing Mc Neese State, Stephen covered the tough 8km course in an impressive 25:31.

Weekend Preview:  Northern Ireland vests up for grabs!

Weekend Preview:  Masters XC (Belfast) - Armagh 10 Mile Road Race - Mc Grady's XC Series:

On Saturday 13th October 2012, the Northern Ireland Cross Country season kicks off in style, with the ‘Masters Open Cross Country Races’ at the QUB, DUB Lane Playing Fields, Upper Malone, Belfast.  This event will also act as the trials for this year’s British & Irish Masters International XC Championships, scheduled to take place on 10th November 2012, within the confines of Stormont Estate, Belfast.

Although race entries are only taken on the day of the event, we suspect that the added incentive of an International vest will attract many of Northern Ireland’s top veterans.   

Without doubt, one of the toughest categories to predict is the Vet35, with a plethora of talent in the women’s field, including: Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers), Gillian Wasson (Springwell RC), Roberta Dornan (North Down AC), Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC), Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) and Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC).  All have competed at Northern Ireland trials in the past, so it will be interesting to see who turns out on this occasion.  A surprise entry may be Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), after recently returning from injury, she may consider the Armagh 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday as ‘too much too soon’ and opt for this as strength work.

The Men’s Vet35 race is likely to be just as exciting, should North Belfast Harriers’ Conor Curran and Alan O’Hara compete, both will finish in or around the podium places.  Their club mates, Simon Reeve and Paul Jenkins will also play a prominent part in proceedings, as will Larne AC’s Andrew Guy, Greg Lavery and Brian Heron.   North Down AC’s Mark Weir and Willowfield Harriers’ George Mc Court may also feature.

In the Vet40, Annadale Striders’ David Morwood, Mark Wright, Paul Carroll and Stephen McGrory will battle it out for the podium places should they opt for Cross Country over Armagh.  North Belfast Harriers’ Neil Carty may take his strength from this year’s mountain season into the race and could play a part at the head of the field, as will club mate Gregory Walsh, should he put pen to paper on the day.  Ever consistent performers, Nigel Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC) and David Wright (Lagan Valley) should also run well.

Another mountain runner who should feature in the (women’s) Vet40 is Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley), who will hopefully be joined by club mate Rona Harkens as well as North Down AC’s Stephanie Hambling who appears to be racing well at the moment, after good performances in Bangor and last week’s NI Relays.  Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) will also be in contention should she race.

The Vet45 throws up more fantastic names, with the likes of Francis Marsh (North Down AC), Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Brian McKee (Dromore AC), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), Nat Glenn (Larne AC),  James Turtle (Ballymena Runners) and Jim Benson all likely to appear, this will no doubt prove to be one of the closest races of the day.

Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) and Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) and will race for the Women’s Vet45 International vests if rumours are correct.  North Down AC’s Debbie Matchett may also enter, and will challenge the aforementioned ladies if she does.

Lagan Valley AC’s Ruth Magill is hot favourite to win the Women’s Vet 50 race after her successful outing at the recent Masters Championships in Birmingham, she should be joined on the podium by club mate Fionnuola McCourt. 

Larne AC’s David Clarke, on form after competing exceptionally well at the World Duathlon Championships in France (September), should place well in the Men’s Vet50 category.  However, his club mate, Craig Hutchinson will put in a very strong challenge, as will Damien Mc Ginty (City of Derry), John Patience (North Belfast Harriers) and Nigel Grier (Dromore AC).  Newcastle’s Eugene Mc Cann will also play a part.

In the Men’s Vet55 race, Matt Shields (North Belfast Harriers) may swap his organisers hat for his running vest this weekend, if so, he should win the category despite strong challenges from ever impressive Ray Curran (Ballymena Runners) and Jim Newberry, also of North Belfast Harriers.  It is unlikely that anyone will challenge Dromore AC’s Mary Mackin in the Women’s Vet55 category.

Lagan Valley AC duo Terry Eakin and Francis Boal will go head to head in the Men’s Vet60 category, with Terry likely to outdo his club mate.  Nothing is certain though, especially with Francis’ old fashioned grit and determination. 

Brigid Quinn (Ballymena Runners) will prove hard to beat in the Women’s Vet65 category, while in the Men’s race it will be interesting to see if old friends John Glover (Lagan Valley AC) and David Seaton (North Down AC) decide to dust off the spikes to take on Willie Weir (Dromore AC), Brian Smith (North Down AC) and Gerry Nicholl (Lagan Valley AC).

Drew Crawford (North Belfast Harriers) and Bertie Grimason (East Antrim Harriers) would be considered pre-race favourites in the Men’s Vet70 and Vet75 categories respectively. 

The race schedule also includes ‘Open’ races, a surprise entry in the ’Male Open’ may be Annadale’s Paul Pollock.   Paul stated last week that he was looking forward to this year’s Cross Country season, albeit looking towards International events, this race could prove a gentle comeback after his fantastic performance in the World Half Marathon Championships last weekend.   Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) will run well if he presents himself, as will Larne AC’s Phelim Mc Allister, who has enjoyed several podium finishes recently.

The ‘Ladies Open’ could include Judi Graham and Claire Connor, who both celebrated victory as part of North Belfast Harriers winning Senior Women’s team at least weekends NI Relay Championships.  North Down AC’s Jessica Craig may also enter, as could club mate Rachel Gibson.

Adidas Armagh 10 Mile Road Race:

Sunday 14th October 2012 brings this year’s Adidas Armagh 10 Mile Road Race, a very popular event for those training for autumn marathons, especially Dublin Marathon.  Every year this event attracts runners from North and South of the border and this year will be no different. 

Last year’s winner Andrew Leadwith (Fr Murphy’s) should return to defend his title, while John Travers (Donore Harriers) will travel north to compete. Northern Ireland’s Joe Mc Alister (St Malachy’s AC) and Owen Carelton (Annadale Striders) will play a prominent part at the head of the field.  Having clocked the fastest time in last weekend’s NI Relay Championships, Owen will be keen to put his good form to the test.  Absentees will more than likely include Greg Roberts (City of Derry) and Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), both of whom will hopefully be enjoying some well-deserved ‘easy running’ after successful outings in previous weeks. 

Greg’s club mate, Diarmuid Grant will be in contention should he make an appearance, while local man Dermot Kerr (Armagh AC) will feature in the top ten, as will Brendan Teer (East Down AC) and Simon Taylor (Annadale Striders).  East Antrim Harriers’ Sam Crawford will be hoping to continue his preparation for the upcoming Palma Marathon, while Richard Turkington (Armagh AC) will continue his return from injury.

Northern Ireland’s in-form lady, Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) is likely to follow last weekend’s victory in the Runher 10k with a podium finish in Armagh.  The exact spot on the podium may depend on entries from the South.  Other contenders from Northern Ireland will include Julie Turley (Dromore AC), who ran the quickest female leg at last weekend’s NI Relay Championships and Julie Balmer (North Down AC), who finished second to Breege at Stormont last weekend may enter on the day.  Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) could decide to compete in Armagh instead of the Cross Country event on Saturday, if she does, we expect her to finish well up the field.

Mc Grady’s Financial Junior Cross Country Series:

Also taking place on Sunday (14th October) is the second race of the ‘Mc Grady Financial Services Junior Cross Country Series’ in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor. The series is based over five races, with competitors having to complete four to count.  It is advised that if you did not compete in the first race at Castlewellan, you must compete on Sunday if you wish to be included in the final standings. 

The courses will be very similar to the upcoming Northern Ireland and Ulster Junior XC Even Age Group Championships on 27th November at the same location, so it’s the perfect opportunity to have a sneak preview.  Team managers will also be selecting athletes to compete at these Championships after the race.  If you wish to compete at the Championships but cannot compete on Sunday please contact race organisers, Newcastle AC.

Northern Ireland runners compete in Galway, Athlone, Chester and Chicago:

Northern Ireland runners perform well in Ireland, England and America:

On Saturday 6th October 2012, a large contingent of Northern Ireland runners made the long journey to Galway (Ireland), for the popular Galway Bay 10k and Half Marathon events.  Entries for the event closed well before the original closing date as all 3,000 places were filled.  Sperrin Harriers used the event as a ‘club outing’, taking a total of forty five runners.

North Belfast Harriers Conor Curran and Gergory Walsh also travelled, and joined Sperrin Harriers duo Dean Corey and David Quinn in the 10k race.  Despite being part of a group who missed a turn due to poor marshalling, Conor and Gregory managed to regain their composure and work their way back through the crowds who had taken advantage of their mishap, finishing in 4th and 8th place respectively, with Conor running 36:20 and Gregory 37:09 (for their 6.8 mile jaunt!).   Dean Corey and David Quinn also ran well, Dean clocked 45:11 while David crossed the line in 53:45.  Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAC) won the men’s race in 30:38, while Mary Gleeson (Mayo AC) won the ladies event in 36:41.

In the Half Marathon, the recently impressive Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) took victory in the men’s race, after breaking the tape in 1:07:16, while Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) won the ladies race in 1:19:10.  Fergal Mulgrew led the Sperrin Harriers home in an excellent 1:22:56, with Alan Shaw just missing out on a sub ninety minute finish, crossing the line in 1:30:35 just ahead of Gregory Cahoon who ran a personal best of 1:32:16.

Darren Warnock completed the 13.1 mile course in 1:35:04, while Trevor Dallas clocked 1:39:13. Jeremy Dobson ran 1:41:47, with Paul Martin (1:43:10) and Oliver Murphy (1:43:22) close behind. Tanya Black (1:45:00) and Stephen Quinn (1:46:00) ran well, before Barry O'Neill (1:48:17) beat club mate Ciara Coyle (1:48:42) home by just twenty five seconds.

The sea of red and white continued as Monica Mullin crossed the line in 1:49:15, followed by Kevin Loughran (1:52:10), Nicola Gillespie (1:54:52), Deirdre Conway (1:54:52), Hannah Sue (1:57:04) and Peter McKenna (1:57:15).

Gerard Loughran narrowly missed a sub two hour finish despite running a strong race, crossing the line as the clock struck 2:00:26. Ursula Kelly (2:01:14) and Louise Kelly (2:02:34) finished just over a minute apart before Deride Bradley returned in 2:16:06. Mairead Hughes clocked 2:23:26, before Des Kelly (2:27:19) and Maureen Mallon (2:34:29) completed the excellent Sperrin Harriers performance.

Note – Times are based on those printed in Monday's (8th October 2012) Irish Independent newspaper.

Athlone ¾ Marathon: 

On Sunday 7th October 2012, Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC) completed the Athlone 3/4 Marathon.   Joined by hundreds of other runners approaching the end of their autumn marathon training Thomas finished in 36th place, running an excellent 2:14:22 for the 19.7 mile event.  The men’s race was won by Rathfarnham WSAC’s Barry Minnock in 1:47:07, while Mary Laverty (2:14:36) from North East Runners won the ladies race.

Chicago Marathon:

On Sunday 7th October 2012, St Malachy’s AC athlete Thomas Frazer produced an outstanding performance at the Chicago Marathon (USA).  He covered the 26.2 mile distance in an outstanding 2:18:37, the quickest marathon time by a Northern Ireland athlete in some time.  He finished in an excellent 24th place.  Ethiopian Tsegaye Kebede won the race in 2:04:38, with Russian Maria Konovalova taking the ladies title in 2:25:30

Chester Marathon:

On Sunday 7th October 2012, despite a strong performance, long serving East Antrim Harriers athlete Norman Caughey just missed out on the infamous sub four hour marathon time when he completed the Chester Marathon, England in 4:00:51. Ray Ward (Hunters Bog Trotters) won the race in 2:28:46, with Melanie Frazier (Gravesend Road Runners) taking the ladies top prize, after running 2:51:46.

City of Derry's Conor Bradley excels at Marty's 5k Road Race:

Bradley and McGlynn excel in Marty's 5k Road Race:

On Sunday 7th October 2012, crowds gathered at the Templemore Sports Complex, Derry/Londonderry for the annual Foyle Valley AC promoted, Marty’s 5k Road Race, organised as a fitting tribute the late Marty Gallagher.

Conor Bradley (City of Derry) produced an outstanding performance, completing the Glengalliagh Road course in 14:52.  Local Foyle Valley AC runner Scott Rankin took 2nd place in 15:28, with City of Derry’s Pajo Hamilton (16:13) in 3rd place.

The ladies race was won by Lifford AC’s Ann-Marie Mc Glynn in 18:22, with City of Derry’s Catherine Whoriskey (19:13) and Foyle Valley AC’s Martina Mc Mullan (19:43) in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

Top 3 Men:  1st Conor Bradley (City of Derry) – 14:52, 2nd Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 15:28, 3rd Pajo Hamilton (City of Derry) – 16:13.

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Ann-Marie Mc Glynn (Lifford AC) – 18:22, 2nd Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry) – 19:13, 3rd Martina Mc Mullan (Foyle Valley AC) – 19:43

Full Results:  Marty’s 5k Road Race 2012

Lowry and Connolly win Belfast Telegraph "Runher" events:

Lowry and Connolly impress at Stormont:

Thousands of female runners flocked to Stormont Estate, Belfast on Sunday 7th October 2012 for the latest instalment of the Belfast Telegraph sponsored ‘Runher’ 5k and 10k races.  The event is primarily organised to raise money for many worthwhile causes, so it attracts thousands of novice runners as well as some of the country’s finest.

The country's finest runners were most definitely on show, with a strong contingent from North Down AC, including Julie Balmer, Jessica Craig and Rachel Gibson.  The second fastest lady at yesterday’s NI Road Relays, City of Lisburn AC’s Judith Lowry was also in attendance, as well as the outstanding Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers).

After the Cool FM themed ‘Dash for Kids’ races, two 700m races for children of all ages, promoting the local radio stations ‘cash for kids’ charity campaign, it was the turn of the grown-ups to take centre stage.

At 2pm the 5km participants set off, at the front of the pack was the pre-race favourites; Judith Lowry, Jessica Craig, Rachel Gibson and Caira Coffey (Unattached).  Crowds gathered at the finish area awaiting the arrival of the leading ladies, with a loud cheer indicating the first lady had come into sight.  Looking down the hill towards the Carson statue, Judith Lowry was the first lady visible.  She climbed the final 400m relentlessly, coming into the final straight in front of Stormont Buildings and crossing the line in 1st place, clocking an impressive 18:40 considering the challenging course.  Jessica Craig (19:00) took 2nd place, with club mate Rachel Gibson (19:28) in 3rd place.

Slightly later than expected, the 10km race set off, with Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) and Julie Balmer (North Down AC) leading the field as they passed Parliament Buildings, before disappearing into the lower part of Stormont Estate, on the two lap course.  As the ladies returned to the finish area, signalling the half-way mark, it was the ever impressive Breege Connolly (18:27) who led the field, ahead of Julie Balmer (19:25), unattached athlete Ashleigh Kane (20:32), Toni McAllister (20:32), Linda Emery (22:02), Lyndsey Pronger (22:17) and Miss Northern Ireland, Tiffany Birch (22:27).

As hundreds of runners passed, the vocal crowd were full of encouragement.  The Cool FM road show bus, manned by Mairead Campbell also provided support.

As the first lap runners were still coming through, Breege Connolly stormed up the final climb and into the finishing straight, crossing the line in 37:26, taking 1st place on her debut appearance at the event.  ‘Runher’ regular Julie Balmer was next to finish, running 39:21 (2nd place), with unattached Ashleigh Kane claiming 3rd place in 42:41.

At the prize-giving, NiRunning caught up with Athletics Northern Ireland president David Seaton and current Northern Ireland Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin, both of whom paid tribute to the thousands of participating runners and supporters. 

Mr Seaton extended his thanks to Caral and other government officials who not only supported the event, but made it possible.  Sports Minister Caral reiterated her delight that the grounds of parliament buildings could be used for such a worthwhile event, especially in a time when government agencies were promoting physical activity within the community, she added that it was “great to see women of all ages and abilities” taking part.

Top 3 Ladies in 5k race:  1st Judith Lowry (City of Lisburn AC) – 18:40, 2nd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 19:00, 3rd Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) – 19:28

Top 3 Ladies in 10k race:  1st Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) – 37:26, 2nd Julie Balmer (North Down AC) – 39:21, 3rd Ashleigh Kane (Unattached) – 42:41

All times are provisional and may change.  Full results will be added to our ‘Results’ page when available.  Race pictures will also be added to our gallery over the coming days.

Northern Ireland Road Relay Championships prove a huge success:

Large crowds attend NI Road Relay Championships:

On Saturday 6th October 2012, clubs from all over Northern Ireland gathered their top runners, before descending on Victoria Park, Belfast for this year’s Northern Ireland Road Relay Championships. 

The well organised event, hosted by Orangegrove AC attracted a record breaking fifty four relay teams.  All of last year’s winning teams returned to defend their titles, but before the ‘main events’ took place, young runners had their opportunity to take centre stage.

A total of forty primary school children completed the first race of the day, an 800m challenge.  On finishing, each child received a well-deserved medal before having their picture taken by proud parents.

The first competitive race of the day was the U-13 Boys and Girls 1000 metres, Willowfield Harriers’ Desire Bamisile (4:23) and Ballyclare’s Emma Hutchinson (4:22) won their respective categories.

Next up was the U-15 Boys and Girls 1600 metres, again Willowfield Harriers enjoyed victory, this time in both categories, with Amando Bamisile (5:29) winning the boys race and Lois Hegan (6:01) winning the girls event.

In the U-17 3000 metres, spectators had the opportunity to see some of Northern Ireland’s hottest prospects compete.  After a close first lap, St Malachy’s AC athlete Patrick Robb broke clear and claimed 1st place in 9:38.  Lagan Valley’s Emma Laverty ran an excellent race, taking 1st place in 10:52.

After prizes had been distributed, race director Gary Keenan delivered an excellent race briefing to the relay teams, clarifying all change-over rules.  Not long after, the gun sounded and the ladies set off.  City of Lisburn AC’s talented triathlete (and runner) Judith Lowry immediately took her place at the head of the field, pursued by North Down AC’s leading lady Jessica Craig and North Belfast Harriers’ excellent Claire Connor.

As the race progressed, City of Lisburn AC held onto the excellent lead provided by Judith Lowry, with North Down AC 'A' (Senior) and North Belfast Harriers battling it out for 2nd and 3rd place.  Dromore AC’s young starlets, Rebekah Nixon and Rebecca Murtagh ran well, settling just behind the top three but providing their ‘secret weapon’ Julie Turley with the necessary ammunition to begin an assault on the podium places as they went into the third and final leg.

At the head of the field, Gladys Ganiel O’Neill took on the final leg for 2nd placed North Belfast Harriers, she started at an accelerating pace and chased down City of Lisburn AC’s Erin McIlueen, before moving into 1st place just as the finish line came into sight, Gladys finished strongly to secure victory for North Belfast Harriers, in an overall time of 36:44.  Erin held on to claim an excellent 2nd place for City of Lisburn AC (37:00) while Julie Turley rounded off an excellent race for the Dromore AC ladies, after overtaking North Down AC in the final lap, she claimed 3rd place for the County Down based team in 37:26.  

In the ladies masters category North Down AC ‘A’ featured strongly from the off, alongside club mates North Down AC ‘B’ and Dromore AC.

The three teams exchanged blows as the legs progressed, before the North Down AC ‘A’ team of Stephanie Hambling, Roberta Dornan and Debbie Matchett moved ahead and built an uncatchable lead, finishing in 1st place, running 38:04 collectively.  Dromore AC’s Tina Davies crossed the line to secure 2nd place for the team, in a total time of 39:41.  North Down AC ‘B’ team took the bronze medal, completing the race in 40:23.

The exciting finish to the ladies senior race added to the expectation of the men’s event, and with so much talent on show it was clear that it was going to be a good race. 

After a similar briefing to the ladies, the men raced off into the distance with Annadale Striders, North Down AC and Willowfield Harriers vests featuring prominently amongst the front runners.  As the runners approached the first changeover, there wasn’t much between the top three of Annadale Striders ‘A’ (Senior), North Down AC ‘A’  (Senior) and Willowfield Harriers.  The three clubs continued to battle it out before Annadale Striders ‘A’ (Senior) moved clear with Ryan McDermott and Andrew Agnew following on from David Morwood’s superb leg.  North Down AC ‘A’ (Senior) looked strong as well, with Michael Dyer, Niall Robinson and Francis Marsh leaving the team in 2nd place as the race neared the closing stages, ahead of the young but talented Willowfield Harriers who had Ryan Holt, Patrick Linden and Andrew Wright to thank for impressive early legs.

Meanwhile in the Masters category, Annadale Striders, North Belfast Harriers ‘A’ and North Down AC ‘A’ looked as though they had the podium places in sight going into the final leg.  However, the final stages proved to be just as exciting as the ladies seniors, as Larne AC’s Craig Hutchinson took off at notable speed, quickly closing the distance between himself and the North Belfast Harriers ‘A’ and North Down AC ‘A’ athletes ahead.

Back at the head of the field, in the men’s seniors race, Annadale Striders ‘A’ lead runner Owen Carelton had the finish line in sight, his Annadale vest was quickly identified by onlookers as he closed in on the finish area, taking 1st place, in an overall time of 40:22, meaning that Annadale Striders were once again Men’s Senior Champions.  North Down AC’s James Budde ran an excellent final leg, crossing the line as the clock struck 41:18, ensuring the North Down AC ‘A’ team took 2nd place, while Chris Moren completed Willowfield Harriers race in 42:19, enough for 3rd place.

In the closing stages of the men’s masters category, Annadale Striders held their lead and retained their title in fine fashion, with Michael Le Velley completing the teams race in 44:37.  Craig Hutchinson continued his impressive start and caught the North Down AC ‘A’ and North Belfast Harriers ‘A’ runners ahead, moving into 2nd place, where he remained for the final stages of the race, crossing the line in 44:50.

North Down AC ‘A’ completed what was a successful day for the club by taking 3rd place in the men’s masters, clocking 45:06, just six seconds ahead of North Belfast Harriers ‘A’ (4th place - 45:12).

The fastest male and female legs of the day went to Owen Carelton (Annadale Striders) - 9:58 and Julie Turley (Dromore AC) - 11:27 *Previously listed as Judith Lowry (City of Lisburn AC) - 11:33, but changed after alterations to official results*

Summary of results:

U-13 Boys & Girls 1000m:

Top 3 Boys:  1st Desire Bamisilp (Willowfield Harriers) – 4:23, 2nd Tim Scott (Lagan Valley) – 4:25, 3rd Sam Ross (Ballyclare) – 4:29

Top 3 Girls:  1st Emma Hutchinson (Ballyclare) – 4:22, 2nd Erin Camlin (Willowfield Harriers) – 4:52, 3rd Anna Scott (Willowfield Harriers) - 4:56

U-15 Boys & Girls 1600m:

Top 3 Boys:  1st Arillalwo Bamisilp (Willowfield Harriers) – 5:29, 2nd Jack Lewis (Ballyclare) – 5:51, 3rd Ross Agnew (Ballyclare) – 5:55

Top 3 Girls:  1st Lois Magan (Willowfield Harriers) – 6:01, 2nd Claire Francis (Willowfield Harriers) – 6:09, 3rd Bridie Magee (Unknown) – 6:21

U-17 Boys & Girls 3000m:

Top 3 Boys:  1st Patrick Robb (St Malachy’s AC) – 9:38, 2nd Patrick Sheridan (Newcastle AC) – 9:53, 3rd Rowan O’Fril (St Malachy’s AC) – 9:59

Top 3 Girls:  1st Emma Laverty (Lagan Valley AC) – 10:52, 2nd Eimer Magee (Lagan Valley AC), 3rd Katie Moore (North Down AC) – 11:27

Senior Women:

Top 3 Clubs:  1st North Belfast Harriers – 36:44, 2nd City of Lisburn AC – 37:00, 3rd Dromore AC – 37:26

Masters Women:

Top 3 Clubs:  1st North Down ‘A’ – 38:04, 2nd Dromore AC – 39:41, 3rd North Down AC ‘B’ – 40:23

Senior Men:

Top 3 Clubs:  1st Annadale Striders – 40:22, 2nd North Down AC ‘A’ – 41:18, 3rd Willowfield Harriers – 42:19

Masters Men:

Top 3 Clubs:  1st Annadale Striders – 44:37, 2nd Larne AC ‘A’ – 44:50, 3rd North Down AC ‘A’ – 45:06

Full results will be added to our 'Results' section when available.  We have also added photo's to our website gallery and recommend that you click the following links for excellent race pics provided by Alan Montgomery Mens Relay 2012 and Ladies Relay 2012

Steede and O'Kane in control at Slieve Gallion:

Mountain runners take on Slieve Gallion:

On Saturday 6th October 2012, mountain runners from across the country travelled to the Sperrin Mountains for the Slieve Gallion race (starting from Iniscarn Forest).  The course was approximately 4.5 miles (up and down), with 380 metres of climbing.

Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners), in fantastic form at the moment, started well with Armagh AC’s Paul Mc Anespie close behind.  Emmett Mc Allister (Ballymena Runners), just returning to full fitness after a bad fall earlier in the year, followed, as did Matthew Allum (Olympian Triathlon Club), Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) and Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers).

As predicted, the ladies race boasted some of the country’s best; Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) and Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) all started well, making for an exciting race.

As the runners came into sight of the finish it was Jonny Steede who had a clear lead, crossing the line in 40:29 he took 1st place.  Paul Mc Anespie ran well, completing the tough course in 41:35 (2nd place) with Emmett Mc Allister (45:13) taking 3rd place, just ahead of Matthew Allum (45:33)

In the ladies race, Shileen O’Kane rose above the strong challenge from Anne Sandford and Gillian Wasson, taking a well-deserved 1st place in 48:28.  Anne Sandford was next across the line in 2nd place, running 50:52.  Gillian Wasson completed the top three ladies, taking 3rd place in 52:36.

Top 3 Men:  1st Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) – 40:29, 2nd Paul Mc Anespie (Armagh AC) – 41:35, 3rd Emmett Mc Allister (Ballymena Runners) – 45:13

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley) – 48:28, 2nd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 50:52, 3rd Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) – 52:36

Full resultsSlieve Gallion 2012 Results

World class Paul Pollock impresses in Bulgaria:

Pollock impresses at World Half Marathon Championships:

Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) swapped his local vest for the green of Ireland this morning (Saturday 6th October), as he lined up against some of the world’s finest athletes at the World Half Marathon Championships in Bulgaria.

The Belfast man started well, going through 5k (15:09) and 10k (30:59) in 57th place before he began to pick off some of the runners in front.  Paul passed twelve people in the following three miles and went through 15k in 46:36, he continued his impressive second half, going into the final kilometre (20k) in 36th place (1:02:27).

In the final yards Paul overtook Scott Smith (USA) and Naoki Okamoto (Japan) to cross the line in an excellent 34th place, clocking 1:05:38.  This is an outstanding achievement by the local man, and I’m sure we can speak for the entire running community as we congratulate him on his performance.

The mens race was won by Zersenay Tedese (ERI) in 1:00:18, while Meseret Hailu took the ladies World Championship in 1:08:54.

Great Britain's Gemma Steel (7th place - 1:11:09), Caryl Jones (10th place - 1:11:52) and Susan Partridge (22nd place - 1:13:55) finished 4th place in the ladies team standings.

Results:  World Half Marathon Championships

Exciting weekend of racing ahead:  Weekend preview!

Weekend preview:

This weekend sees the return of the Orangegrove AC hosted Northern Ireland Road Relay Championships, as well as one of the final fixtures in the Mountain Running season, the popular Slieve Gallion race.  Alongside these, we also have the vast array of parkruns and Sunday's ‘Runher’ event at Stormont to look forward too.

Starting with arguably the weekends highlight, the NI Road Relay Championships, being held tomorrow (Saturday) at Victoria Park, Belfast.  The event gives runners who compete for their associated clubs over all distances and terrains the opportunity to come together as a team and attempt to secure their place as the fastest club in Northern Ireland.

This year’s event has attracted a record breaking entry of fifty four teams.  In the Senior Men's category, Annadale Striders go into the race as favourites, fielding a very strong ‘A’ team of Eddie McGinley, Paddy Hamilton, Owen Carleton and Andrew Agnew, looking to hold onto the title they won so impressively last year.   The Belfast clubs ‘B’ and ‘C’ teams will also be vying for a podium finish, boasting line ups any club would happily field as their ‘A’ team.

However, they won’t have it their own way, as last year’s runners up Lagan Valley have entered a very young but extremely talented team of; Conall Kirk, Paul O'Neill, Dermot O'Hare and Owain Greaves.

North Down AC have entered a total of eight teams, four competing in the senior men’s race, despite talented line-ups, including the likes of Michael Dyer, Francis Marsh, Niall Robinson and James Budde they will do well to match last year’s 3rd place finish, considering the strong four man teams entered by North Belfast Harriers, Newcastle AC and Willowfield Harriers.

In the Men’s Masters race, Annadale Striders will again feature at the head of the field as they attempt to defend their title.   However, there will be challenges from two impressive North Belfast Harrier’s teams, one of which contains recent Northern Ireland mountain running international Neil Carty, and two strong teams from Larne Athletic Club.  North Down AC will also be in contention.

In the Senior Women's Race, City of Lisburn AC will do very well to hold on to their crown.   Despite fielding another impressive line-up of Judith Lowry, Ruth Little and Erin McIluenn they will have their work cut out holding off the challenge from North Belfast Harriers, who have Gladys Ganiel O'Neill amongst their ranks. 

North Down AC ladies will no doubt be in contention, especially after recent wins in Laganside and Bangor.  Lagan Valley AC also field a very strong team, including Katie Kirk, while Dromore AC may be in contention for a podium place with Julie Turley leading their team, backed up by Rebekah Nixon and Rebecca Murtagh.

The Women's Masters race has fourteen teams entered and will be the most difficult to predict.  Strong line-ups from City of Lisburn AC and last year’s champions North Down, as well as a three strong East Down AC teams makes for very exciting days racing.  Dromore AC, like the Women’s Senior race, may also place well.

Host club, Orangegrove AC have entered a total of eight teams over all categories, a remarkable achievement considering they were only established three years ago.

Race director Gary Keenan recommends car sharing as very high numbers are expected for the earlier junior races which kick off at 12.15pm with the Senior and Masters Women at 13.30pm, followed by the Men's Senior and Masters races at 2.30pm.

Registration packs can be picked up in the bowling pavilion and all team captains are asked to declare any changes to their starting line-up at least 30 min before the start of their race.

Slieve Gallian Mountain Race:

Taking place in the Sperrin Mountains (starting from Iniscarn Forest), approximately four miles west of Magherafelt at 11am, the race is 4.5 miles (up and down), with 380 metres of climbing and is expected to attract most of Northern Ireland’s top mountain runners, especially as the NIMRA Championship and Grand Prix places still have to be confirmed.

Stevie Cunningham (Mourne Runners), despite being well clear in the Championship will more than likely race, hoping to hammer home his winning status.  He will be joined by Ballymena Runners’ Jonny Steede, fresh from his victory at ‘The Fallows’ last weekend and Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners) who will be aiming to secure 2nd place in the NIMRA Championship with North Belfast Harrier’s Neil Carty missing. 

David Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC) will not be attending but Paul Mc Anespie (Armagh AC) will more than likely race, and will feature strongly at the top end of the field, as will ever consistent Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) should he enter.  Newcastle AC trio of Colum Campbell, PJ Mc Crickard and John Kelly, Seamus Lynch (Unattached) and North Belfast Harriers’ Simon Reeve should compete for Top 10 places.

In the ladies race, unbeatable Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) will be joined by Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Diane Wilson (Lagan Valley AC) and Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) as they battle it out for the podium places.  BARF’s Jackie Toal, who has proved herself as a strong competitor will also place well, as will recent podium finisher Violet Linton (LVO).  Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers), Hazel Mc Laughlin (Lagan Valley AC) and Denise Mathers will all put in strong performances should they race.

World Half Marathon Championships:

Northern Ireland’s Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) will compete for Ireland at the World Half Marathon Championships in Kavarna, Bulgaria on Saturday 6th October.  The race kicks off at 9am (local time) and the newly crowned Irish Half Marathon Champion, impressive winner of last week's ‘Aurora’ Bangor 10k will be hoping to improve on his recent personal best of 1:04:16.

Galway 10k and Half Marathon:

On Saturday (6th October) a huge number of Northern Ireland runners are expected to make the long trip to Galway for this year's ‘Galway Bay 10k/Half Marathon’.  The event sold out last week after the 3,000 places were filled.  Entries include an amazing forty seven strong contingent from Sperrin Harriers.  North Belfast Harriers duo Conor Curran and Gregory Walsh are competing in the 10k event and should place well going by recent form.   A quick look at the entry lists would suggest the brilliant Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) and Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers) as possible winners of the Half Marathon, with Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF) strongly tipped for the men’s 10k race.  The women’s 10k race is hard to call, last year’s winner Maura Ginty (Sportsworld) returns to defend her title but may face stronger opposition this time round.

Belfast Telegraph 'Runher':

Thousands of Northern Ireland ladies will turn out at Stormont Estate this weekend (Sunday 7th October) for the Belfast Telegraph ‘Runher’ 5k and 10k events.  The event is focused on critical fundraising for cancer, and often attracts the country’s leading female runners.  In the past, Cathy Mc Court (North Belfast Harriers), Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and North Down AC ladies; Julie Balmer, Jessica Craig, Roberta Dornan, Ali Robinson, Rachel Gibson have all placed well, but with this year’s NI Relay Championships taking place the day before the event, it will be interesting to see who, if any choose to race twice in two days this year.

Full results and a summary of this event, as well as all races mentioned above will be available on as soon as results are available.  Picture used above was taken by Alan Montgomery.

Competition hots up as Mountain Running season draws to a close:

NIMRA Championships:

Steve Cunningham (Mourne Runners) is in control of the NIMRA Championships as the Mountain Running season comes to a close, with a winning lead of 798 points from four races, having dropped just two points at Annalong. Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners) in second place, but hasn't secured his place yet as Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), is only two points behind. David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) is in 4th place, but too far behind to catch Neil.

Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley) has proved unbeatable in the ladies Championship, achieving maximum points. Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley) is in 2nd place, in theory she can still be caught by Jackie Toal (BARF) but that will prove difficult considering Anne’s consistency. Diane Wilson (Lagan Valley) would also have been in a strong position to catch Anne if she had completed one of the required long races.

A total of 75 members have scored points in the Championship, with 39 athletes potentially completing the required six races.

NIMRA Grand Prix:

After 8 races, with Slieve Gallion this coming weekend, the Grand Prix leader is David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) with 1181 points (best six results). Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners) is currently in 2nd place but will find it difficult to catch David at this stage. However, North Belfast Harriers’ Neil Carty (978 points) and Armagh AC’s Paul McAnespie (980 points) could possibly move into 2nd place with good results at Slieve Gallion.

In the ladies section, NIMRA Championship leader Shileen O'Kane is currently lying 7th in the Grand Prix table, ahead of both Anne Sandford& Diane Wilson, both on 1048 points.

A total of 135 athletes are shown for the Grand Prix table, but Non-NIMRA members have still to be removed from results.

*Note* Slieve Gallion Mountain Race takes place in the Sperrin Mountains this coming Saturday, 6th October 2012. It starts from Iniscarn Forest, approximately four miles west of Magherafelt at 11am. The race is 4.5 miles (up and down), with 380 metres of climbing. Why not try it out!?

Information provided by Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA)

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