Ballydrain Harriers News, 1st October 2020

Shane’s Castle was the ideal venue for the sixth in the Championchip Ireland’s Forestside Running Series on Saturday 26th September. The courses for the full and half marathons, 10km and 5km races were over mixed terrain, the weather was beautiful and it was the busiest event to date .

Three Ballydrain Harriers ran the full marathon in a field of 66 runners, Craig Bradley, Donna Cleary and Deborah Sherlock. The overall winner was Rowan Griffin from Magherafelt Harriers in an incredible 2 hours, 43 minutes and 40 seconds. The first Ballydrain Harrier home was Craig Bradley in a super 3:27:39 . Donna Cleary ran a confident 4:24:45 and Deborah Sherlock finished in a strong 4:48:03. Special mention goes to Deborah for completing her first marathon.

Four Ballydrain Harriers ran the half marathon in a field of 193 runners, Alison Stocks, Simon Moffett and husband and wife team Richard and Patrycja McAlpine. The overall winner was Iain Taggart in 1:16:48. The first Ballydrain Harrier was Alison Stocks who continued her outstanding recent performances by achieving a personal best and being placed as second female overall in 1:25:58. The second harrier home was Richard McAlpine in an impressive 1:36:53 followed closely by his wife Patrycja McAlpine in a speedy personal best of 1:44:54. Simon Moffett finished in a very respectable 1:48:49.

The 75th Slieve Donard Race also took place on Saturday 26th September, organised by Newcastle Athletes Club. The race started at Donard Park, instead of the town centre and the competitors set off in waves because of Covid restrictions. Runners had 3 checkpoints – The Saddle, the Summit and the Quarry. Runners could chose their own routes in between.

Conditions were sunny but with a cold wind and Friday’s rain made the initial descent from the summit boggy underfoot. Four Ballydrain Harriers took part in a field of 84 runners, Jared Martin, Mark Dugan, Christina McConnell and Debbie Mingout. Overall winner was Mourne runner Timothy Johnston in 50 minutes and 31 seconds.

First Ballydrain harrier across the finish line, in overall 6th place and first Male junior was Jared Martin in a sure footed time of 57:23. Next was Mark Dugan in a great time of 1:13:54. The Ballydrain ladies Followed closely behind, Christina McConnell in 1:21:52 and Debbie Mingout 1:33:07.
Well done to all Ballydrain Harriers who ran in these events.

Half Marathon runners, Simon Moffett and Alison Stocks

Patrycja McAlpine in a well earned PB time at Shane’s Castle

Mark Dugan starting his descent from the summit of Slieve Donard

Jared Martin, placed 6th in Slieve Donard race

Debbie Mingout climbing to the summit of Slieve Donard

Christina McConnell, Slieve Donard race