Ballydrain Harriers Run Wild and Glenarm

Harrier Nigel Martin at Glenarm

As the running community continues its tentative steps towards organising races amidst the new ‘normal’ of COVID 19 restrictions and guidelines, this weekend saw two races taking place.

Saturday 8th August saw the 3rd race in the Forestside Shopping Centre sponsored ‘ChampionChip Ireland Running Series’, which took place on the trails around Glenarm Castle. 108 runners took on the 5k race over the mixed terrain of broken concrete and muddy trails and the race was won by Noel McNally of Roadrunners AC in a time of 17:39;  Tommy Hughes from Strive Racing Club was in 2nd place in a time of 18:02, closely followed by Don Travers of Newry City Runners AC in 18:06.

Ballydrain’s sole representative on the day was Nigel Martin who crossed the line in 23:30. The 10k event was won by Mark McKinstry of North Belfast Harriers in 34:01. The final race in the series is scheduled for 22nd August and sees runners return to Down Royal Racecourse.

On Sunday 9th August two Ballydrain members took part in the latest iteration of the ‘We Run Wild’ series starting at Carrickfergus Castle. For the uninitiated, ‘We Run Wild NI’ are a local group specialising in runs off the beaten track. The race involves runners going up lanes, along country roads and through forest parks all with no markings or signage at all.

Deborah Sherlock at We Run Wild

Runners are instead provided with a road book of directions to follow making for a challenging and very interesting run taking in some of the most beautiful landscapes Northern Ireland has to offer. Of the 26 hardy souls who started the half marathon, Kevin McReynolds crossed the line first in a time of 1:35:04. Ballydrain’s Deborah Sherlock finished in a time of 2:31:26 just a few minutes behind her husband Kieran!

The marathon saw 21 runners conquer the course with Steven Todd finishing first in 3:26:36. Ballydrain athlete Colin Campbell crossed the line in a time of 5:22:22. The next event scheduled for ‘We Run Wild’ is the Belfast Castle to Carrickfergus Castle Marathon on 23rd August 2020.