On Sunday 4th October the virtual 2020 Virgin London Marathon took place on the roads and lanes around County Down. Runners had 24 hours to run or walk the 26.2 miles using a special app to track their time.
A total of 9 Ballydrain Harriers braved the end of Storm Alex on Sunday morning, all running their own race in various locations. Some ran with club supporters and some ran alone. All provided a much welcomed focus for club support in an uncertain summer of cancellations. Reflecting the diversity and the love of running in our club each ran with their own goal: to chase PBs, raise money for charity, run their first ever marathon or solely to enter into the spirit of the event.
First home was William Brown finishing just under the 3 hour mark with a fantastic 2.59.59. Strong finishes by all runners followed: Brian Bogle (3.26.17), Lisa Whitcroft (3.44.07), Claire Harrison (4.23.16) and Karen McWilliams (4.28.09) who ran to raise money for Click Sargent children’s cancer charity. Shirley McCloskey finished in 5.14.47 followed by Val Gibson (5.24.27), Heather Stanex (6.09.25) and Michael Gibson who walked the event in 9.13.53. Special mention to Val Gibson who ran her first ever marathon distance. Congratulations to all our marathoners!
Our other major event this week was the Les Jones Memorial Race on Saturday 3rd October. Held in memory of the late athlete and Athletics NI and Chairman, this popular race was held as a 5K event this year as a limited, socially distanced event sent off in waves. The race started and finished at the Mary Peters Track taking runners around a scenic loop of the Lagan Towpath. Congratulations to Matthew Carville who, in a field of 196 was the second junior home and finished 6th overall in 0.16.51. Luke Wallace finished in 37th place with a strong in 0.18.43.
Matthew Carville at Les Jones 5k