All Ireland XC Championships are the highlight of a busy weekend of running:
This weekend, runners in Northern Ireland have an excellent choice of races, covering a variety of distances and terrain.
The biggest event of the weekend, the All Ireland Masters, Intermediate and Juvenile Cross Country Championships (hosted by Athletics Ireland) will be held in Gransha Park, Derry/Londonderry on Sunday 3rd February 2013, but before that; Saturday 2nd February 2013 brings a busy day of racing with some tempting choices for those who are undecided on whether to race or not.
East Down AC will host their aptly named annual ‘Rollercoaster Races’ at Downpatrick Race course; the family orientated day offers events for all ages, and this year even includes a cycle race. Undoubtedly the highlight of the day will be the ‘adults’ 5k race which will cover just over two laps of the undulating course.
In this, we expect to see St Peters AC’s brilliant Patricia O’Hagan make a welcome return to racing after recovering from illness. After winning last year, Patricia will be hoping to retain her title and will start as favourite to do so. However, previous podium finishers at the event; Jessica Craig and Julie Balmer, both of North Down AC will put up a strong challenge and should join Patricia at the head of the field.
Lagan Valley AC’s Elaine Burch, who came second in last weekends IAAF Junior Women’s race at the NI & Ulster Cross Country Championships could also play a prominent part in proceedings. Elaine’s club mate Ruth Magill will be a category winner, while local lady Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC) will hope for a top ten finish.
In the men’s event, another hero from last weekends Cross Country Championships, newly crowned NI & Ulster Junior XC Champion and local man Brendan Teer (East Down AC) could make an appearance if he manages to shake off a niggling knee injury. Liam Venney (East Down AC) will enjoy the difficult course, and will place well if he decides to race. Other likely contenders for a podium finish will be David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Neil McCartan (East Down AC), Luke McMullan (Newcastle AC) and Danny Skiffington (East Down AC). Gary Keenan (Orangegrove AC), Greg McClure (North Belfast Harriers), PJ McCrickard (Newcastle AC) and Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC) will finish well up the field.
In Gosford Forest Park, Markethill; Born 2 Run events will welcome competitors to their rescheduled ‘Run Forest Run 10k’ trail race. Having been cancelled two weeks ago because of the risk to people travelling to the event in the snowy conditions, it is likely that most of those who had originally pre-entered will take this opportunity to participate.
Despite entries spanning the length and breadth of the UK, North Belfast Harriers’ Adam Boyd will be the man to beat. Having shown true grit to succeed in last Saturday’s Cross Country dual with Gerard Gallagher (Finn Valley AC) he will be high in confidence. Experienced mountain runner, Paul McAnespie (Armagh AC) will be Adam’s mean challenger should he make use of the locality of the race. Colin Pascoe (Newcastle AC), Gerard McNamara (North Belfast Harriers), Gary Connolly (Seapark AC) and Sean Coleman (Newry City Runners) should all place well.
In the ladies race, Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) will dictate the pace. This will leave Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club), Ciara Coffey (Unattached) and Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) to battle it out for second and third place.
Meanwhile, at Stormont Estate in Belfast, the 26extreme Winter Trail Series will recommence. Last time the series visited parliament buildings it was North Belfast Harriers’ Martin Rea who stole the headlines. Should he return to attempt an impressive double, he will prove hard to beat.
Regular followers of the 26extreme brand; Seamus Lynch (Unattached), Billy Reed (East Antrim Harriers), Stuart Paulin (Unattached), Chris Collins (East Antrim Harriers) and Lochlainn Connolly (Armagh AC) all have the pedigree to achieve a high placing.
Kerry Speers (North Down CC), an impressive winner throughout the series so far, will run well. She will more than likely come up against experienced Northern Ireland mountain runner Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and the likes of Joanne Curran (BARF), Teresa Fearon (Unattached) and Kathryn Gracey (Unattached).
Also on Saturday 2nd February 2013, Sperrin Harriers will once again attempt to progress their Winter League Trail Series after having to cancel the previous event because of extreme weather conditions. The fourth race in the increasingly popular and well organised series will be held in Drum Manor, Cookstown and will measure 10k.
Unbeatable Pius McIntyre (Foyle valley AC), who has won all three of the races so far will be out to continue his outstanding record. Once again, Glenn Donnelly (Sperrin Harriers) will lead the chase, with other likely candidates being Aaron Meharg (Sperrin Harriers), Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC) and Larne AC duo Andy Gregg and Andy Guy. Pierce McCullagh (Foyle Valley AC) and Mark Alexander (Ballymena Runners) should also participate.
Another runner who has started the series well is City of Derry AC’s Anne Paul, having tasted victory twice she will be hungry for more. However, should talented Michelle Sturm (Omagh Harriers) decide to enter on the day, she will put up an extremely strong challenge after picking up a silver medal in the Intermediate category of the NI & Ulster XC Championships in Lurgan last week. Omagh Harriers trio; Caroline Miller, Rosaleen McCartan and Patricia Campbell will also hope to add to their overall series points. All three should play a prominent part, as will Cheryl Caldwell (Sperrin Harriers).
On Sunday 3rd February 2013, Athletics Ireland will host the Woodie’s DIY sponsored (AAI) All Ireland Masters/Intermediate and Juvenile Cross Country Championships in Gransha Park, Derry/Londonderry.
Although there are Juvenile and Intermediate races on the day, which could include talent such as Clodagh O’Reilly (Annalee AC), Yasmin Wilson (Unattached), Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers), Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC), Fionnuala Diver (Letterkenny AC), Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC), Noel Logan (City of Derry AC), Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) and Ryan Holt (Willowfield Harriers) the main focus of the event appears to be on the competitive Masters Championships.
In the Male Master’s 7k race, newly crowned NI & Ulster Masters XC Champion David Morwood (Annadale Striders AC) will come up against last years ‘All Ireland’ Champion Ciaran Doherty (Letterkenny AC). Another of the contenders will be the in-form Declan Reed (City of Derry AC), who finished fourth in the Raheny 5 last week and also won the North West XC on the same ground in December 2012.
Ever impressive Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) will also lead the Northern Ireland medal charge, while Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), Donal Gallagher (Sperrin Harriers), Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers), Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders), Francis Marsh (North Down AC) and Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) will provide back up should the aforementioned men falter. Mick Traynor (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Peter Matthews (DSD AC) have also been touted as potential challengers from the south.
In the Female Master’s 4k event; Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC), Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers), Jackie McGinley (City of Derry AC), Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) and Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) will be up against strong southern based runners; Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers), Annette Kealy (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Jean Wilson (Sportsworld AC).
Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) and Bridget Quinn (Ballymena Runners) should also race, and will compete well in their relevant categories while Chritsy McGonagle (City of Derry AC) and North Down AC duo Brian Smith and David Seaton will finish will up in the Male Master’s Vet65+ race.
Also this weekend, the Active Belfast Cross Country series will continue on Saturday 2nd February 2103, with Orangefield (Belfast) being the venue of choice on this occasion. Northern Ireland’s seven ‘parkrun’ events will also take place as usual, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.
*Important Notice* There may be a delay with race summaries and results this weekend, as our internet connection (and signal) will be inconsistent. We apologise in advance but will do our best to upload any information as quickly as possible.
This year, there were just over two thousand finishers (2,070); Joe Sweeney (DSD AC) won the men’s race in 23:53, while Mary Cullen (Sligo AC) was the outstanding winner of the ladies event, in a new course record of 25:55.
City of Derry AC’s Declan Reed just missed out on a podium finish, he crossed the line in 25:09 to claim 4th place. His club mate Emmett McGinty also ran well, he finished in 25:46 (9th place). Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers), one of Northern Ireland’s top female competitors clocked 28:24 to finish in 60th place overall (5th place lady). Sperrin Harriers trio Niall Brown (68th place – 28:47), Paul O’Callaghan (75th place – 28:51) and Dairmuaid O’Kane (90th place – 29:10) all finished in the top one hundred.
John Knocker (929th place – 39:48) broke the infamous forty minute barrier, before Carol Annesley (East Antrim Harriers) crossed the line as the clock showed 40:14 (925th place). Kate Montgomery (Lagan Valley AC) ran 41:24 (1029th place), and despite finishing ten places behind Kate; Sperrin Harriers’ Hannah Su’s official chip time read 40:28 (1039th place). Hannah’s friend and club mate, Ciara Coyle finished two places behind her in 1041st place, but had the same chip time of 40:28.
Rosemary Devine (Sperrin Harriers) was the next Northern Ireland based runner home in 41:18 (1129th place), just over a minute quicker than her club mate Adele McNally (1247th place – 42:20). Marian Hayes (East Antrim Harriers) crossed the line in 45:08 (1422nd place) ahead of Up & Runners’ Gavin Wilson (1480th place – 44:52) who’s chip time was slightly quicker, while Deirdre Bradley (Sperrin Harriers) just missed her forty five minute target as she finished in 45:08 (1492nd place). Sperrin Harriers duo Mayble Kerr (1769th place – 49:02) and Maureen Mallon (1772nd place – 49:05) crossed the line just three seconds apart.
Full Results: Raheny 5 Results 2013. Picture used above courtesy of Eoin Fegan (Raheny Shamrock AC).
Competing over 1500m, Kerry ran out clear winner, crossing the line in 4:20.69. This was three seconds ahead of Dutch athlete Helen Hofstede (4:23.64) who finished in 2nd place.
At the same event, Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Gareth Hill ran 3:56.93 to finish in 3rd place in his 1500m race. Although, a few seconds off his personal best for the distance, this performance suggests that Gareth will have an excellent season. In the Women’s 200m, City of Lisburn AC’s Roseanna McGuckian (25.31secs) and City of Derry AC’s Megan Devine (26.62secs) finished in 2nd place and 3rd place in their respective races. Erin Mc Ilveen (City of Lisburn AC) finished in 3rd place in her Women’s 800m race after recording 2:12.95.
On Saturday 26th January 2013, record numbers turned out for this years Northern Ireland & Ulster Junior and Masters Cross Country Championships in Lurgan Park, Lurgan.
The event, organised by Athletics Northern Ireland attracted well over five hundred competitors. In cool conditions, athletes came up against a damp and heavy 2km looped course, which worsened as the racing programme progressed.
The day began with the Male Masters (Vet 35+) 8km race, and it was pre-race favourite Dave Morwood (Annadale Striders) who impressed most. Running strongly, he was a prominent figure at the front before breaking clear in the closing stages to claim a well-deserved victory in 28:18, making him the new NI & Ulster Masters XC Champion. Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty (28:37) took 2nd place, while North Belfast Harriers’ Alan O’Hara (28:50) held off a strong challenge from Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners) to finish in 3rd place. In the team competition, North Belfast Harriers were crowned NI & Ulster Masters XC Champions.
Next up were the Junior/Intermediate and Masters Women for their 4km race, despite being a commentator’s nightmare it was an exciting race. Clones AC’s Denise Toner (16:47), Monaghan Phoenix AC’s Donna Evans (16:51) and Omagh Harriers’ Michelle Sturm (16:54) were the first three ladies across the line; In-turn, Denise Toner was the winner of the Intermediate Women’s category, with Omagh Harriers duo Michelle Sturm (16:54) and Sara Moore (17:04) taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Springwell Running Club won the Intermediate team race.
In the competitive IAAF Junior Women’s Race, last years winner Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) retained her title. The Northern Ireland International ran a gutsy race, staying close to the front throughout and finishing in 17:04. Lagan Valley AC’s Elaine Burch (17:22) finished in 2nd place, with Springwell Running Club’s Alex Kirk (17:57) in 3rd place.
In the Male Masters Vet65+ Category, ran within the Women’s 4km race; North Down AC’s Brian Smith (19:14) and David Seaton (19:29) claimed 1st place and 2nd place respectively, with Dromore AC’s Willie Weir (20:05) in 3rd place.
As the rain began to fall, and the course became even more slippy, the Junior/Intermediate Men set off on their five lap 10km race. Brendan Teer (East Down AC) made his intentions clear from the off, surging to the front of the field. He was joined by Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders), Ryan Holt (Willowfield Harriers) and Foyle Valley AC duo Scott Rankin and Keith Shiels, with Adam Boyd (North Belfast Harriers), Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club), Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) and Finn Valley AC’s Gerard Gallagher making up the chasing pack.
In truth, that was probably the most the front runners saw of Brendan, as he continued to push the pace in the remaining laps to finish well clear in 36:17, thus he was crowned as NI & Ulster Junior XC Champion. Behind Brendan, the race for second place was hotting up. Adam Boyd and Gerard Gallagher had caught and overtaken the original lead group and were battling amongst themselves for the silver medal. In the end, it was Adam who put in a late surge to edge clear and take 2nd place in 36:58. Finn Valley AC’s Gerard Gallagher (37:02) settled for an excellent 3rd place. Despite Foyle Valley AC and Finn Valley AC having numerous finishers in high places it was City of Derry AC who claimed an excellent victory in the Junior/Intermediate team competition.
Masters Men (Vet35+): 1st Dave Morwood (Annadale Striders) – 28:18, 2nd Ciaran Doherty (Letterkenny AC) – 28:37, 3rd Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) – 28:50
Team Winners: North Belfast Harriers
Masters Women: 1st Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix AC) – 16:51, 2nd Catriona Devine (Finn Valley AC) – 17:17, 3rd Evelyn McGinley (Inishowen AC) – 17:31.
Team Winners: Finn Valley AC
Intermediate Women: 1st Denise Toner (Clones AC) – 16:47, 2nd Michelle Sturm (Omagh Harriers) – 16:54, 3rd Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) – 17:04
Team Winners: Springwell Running Club
Junior Women: 1st Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) – 17:04, 2nd Elaine Burch (Lagan Valley AC) – 17:22, 3rd Alex Kirk (Springwell Running Club) – 17:57
Junior/Intermediate Men: 1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 36:17, 2nd Adam Boyd (North Belfast Harriers) – 36:58, 3rd Gerard Gallagher (Finn Valley AC) – 37:02
Team Winners: City of Derry AC
Full Results: NI & Ulster Junior and Masters Championships 2013
Race photographs and a full ‘Race/Event Review’ will follow on Monday 28th January 2013.
Athletics NI host Northern Ireland & Ulster Junior and Masters XC:
On Saturday 26th January 2012, cross country enthusiasts from all over Northern Ireland and Ulster will descend on Lurgan Park, Lurgan for the prestigious Northern Ireland & Ulster Junior and Masters Cross Country Championships.
The entry criteria means that any athlete who has won the NI Junior XC Championships, UAC Intermediate XC Championships, AAI Intermediate XC Championships as an individual or part of the winning team; or has been placed 1st or 2nd as an individual or part of a team in the NI Senior XC Championships, UAC Senior XC Championships or the AAI Senior XC Championships cannot participate in the ‘Intermediate’ Women’s or ‘Junior/Intermediate’ Men’s races.
The exciting race programme will kick off with the Male Masters (Vet35+) 8km race; Dave Morwood (Annadale Striders) will more than likely head the field. However, he will be willingly chased by his club mate Paul Carroll along with; Iain Taggart (Ballymena Runners), Deon Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), Francis Marsh (North Down AC) and Pauric McKinney (Inishowen AC).
Dromore AC’s Nigel McKibbin will run with confidence after his excellent performance in Antrim a few weeks ago, but he’ll need to show the same strength to stave off competition from Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC), Kieran Carlin (Finn Valley AC) and Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners). Meanwhile, John McCambridge (St Peter’s AC) will run well on ‘home turf’.
The IAAF Junior Women/Intermediate Women/Master Women and Male Masters Vet60+ will all race together over a 4km course. The shorter distance will assure a speedy race, which will suit Rachel Gibson (North Down AC), Michelle Sturm (Omagh Harriers) and last week’s Ulster XC team members; Yasmin Wilson (Unattached), Eva Laverty (Lagan Valley AC) and Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers).
Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Emma Laverty (Lagan Valley AC), Catriona McGloin (Unattached) and Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC) will also feature strongly, while Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers), Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC), Geraldine Branagh (Dromore AC) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) will finish well up in their categories.
In the Junior and Intermediate Men’s 10km event, Foyle Valley duo Scott Rankin and Keith Shiels will be joined at the front by the likes of Liam Venney (East Down AC), Ryan Holt (Willowfield Harriers), James Speight (Finn Valley AC), Brendan Teer (East Down AC), Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders), and Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC).
In truth, recent form suggests that any of the above could win. However, nothing can be taken for granted with talented runners such as Michael Dyer (North Down AC), Adam Boyd (North Belfast Harriers), Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club) and Luke McMullan (Newcastle AC) all set to compete. Impressive young Springwell Running Club athlete Neil Johnston will perform well, while Newcastle AC’s strong running David O’Flaherty will make a welcome return from injury.
Despite the huge amount of individual talent in each of the races, team ‘packing’ will be vital for any club hoping to achieve a podium finish. Lagan Valley AC look particularly strong in all three of the Ladies races (Junior Women, Intermediate Women and Masters Women), although Omagh Harriers and Finn Valley AC could throw up a few surprises.
Foyle Valley AC look incredibly strong in the Men’s Junior/Intermediate race, but the strength in depth of North Belfast Harriers can never be under estimated. Newcastle AC and Larne AC will also field strong teams. In the Men’s Masters category, Ballymena Runners look good; as do North Belfast Harriers and North Down AC.
Athletics Ireland Indoor Open Games:
On Sunday 27th January 2013, Newcastle AC’s Kerry Harty will be in action once again. Following her outstanding 4:19.00 1500m season opener in Glasgow last weekend, Kerry will be competing over 1500m at the Athletics Ireland Open Indoor Games at the newly opened Indoor Stadium in Athlone, Ireland.
Also on Sunday 27th January 2013, a large contingent from Northern Ireland are expected to travel south for the popular ‘Raheny 5’. The event, organised by Raheny Shamrock AC boasts a flat, fast course and has always attracted Northern Ireland’s top runners with Annadale Striders, City of Derry AC and East Antrim Harriers always well represented. A large crowd from Sperrin Harriers are also set to participate this year.
Also this weekend: Northern Ireland’s seven ‘parkun’ events will take place as normal. Please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within the fixtures page to locate your nearest event.
Dale Mathers, Fred Hammond, Cathal McGreevy, Billy Reed, Brian Linton, Denise Mathers, Donal O’Kane, Jacqueline Toal, Jolene Mellon, Hannah Shields and Ivan Sadlier were all successful in the strict registration process.
To be eligible for entry into one of the three races, held during an action packed weekend at the end of August (2013), each participant had to finish other endurance events at varying distances, within the last year.
From the UTMB website – Doing the Tour du Mont Blanc, allows the runner to discover an incomparable universe, the impressive and magical high mountains; it is sharing the eternal dream of the pioneers, crossing the magical gardens of Gaston Rebuffat and the stories of Roger Frison Roche and discovering the intimate geography of the summits: the roundness of the Mont-Blanc, the ridge of Bionnassay, the Noire de Peuterey, the Dent du Géant, the wall of the Grandes-Jorasses, the northern and southern peaks of the Aiguille du Tour, the Aiguille Verte, the vertical of the Drus.
The North Face® Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® invites runners to live an adventure out of the ordinary by participating to one of the 3 individual races (plus one team event):
UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, the original and Queen of the races!):
A complete tour of the Mont Blanc, passing through 3 countries: France, Switzerland and Italy, the race that every runner should finish at least once in their life. Le tour of Mont-Blanc, starting from Chamonix, with 168km and 9,600 metres of positive height gain. Starting, in the centre of Chamonix, on Friday, August 30th 2013 at 16:30 will be: Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), Fred Hammond (BARF), Cathal McGreevy (Team Purple), Billy Reed (East Antrim Harriers) and Brian Linton (BARF).
Created in 2006, it has become as popular as its big sister (45 nationalities represented in 2010). The CCC® is considered by many runners to be “the little one” nevertheless it too, constitutes one of the most difficult challenges in ultra – trail. Do not take the CCC® lightly; more than one runner has “burned” their thighs there. A semi-tour of Mont-Blanc, starting from Courmayeur with 100km and 5,950 metres of positive height gain and in semi-autonomy. Starting in the centre of Courmayeur Friday August 30th 2013 at 9:00 will be: Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), Donal O’Kane (Club Unknown), Jacqueline Toal (BARF) and
Jolene Mellon (Setanta).
TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie):
Considered to be wilder and more technical than the UTMB® and the CCC®, in the heart of the Aosta valley and the two Savoie, this demanding race offers a new vision of the tour of Mont Blanc. The route will allow the discovery of the col de la Youlaz (2,661m) above Courmayeur, the “passage du Curé” or the sublime view of Mont Blanc from the col de la Gitte in the heart of Beaufortain. TDS starts from Courmayeur with 119km and 7,250 metres of positive height gain. Starting this event on Wednesday August 28th 2013 at 07:00 will be: Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) and Ivan Sadlier (Unattached).
NiRunning would like to congratulate all of the above, and wish them all the very best during their training for the events.
First to the line were the U-17 ladies for their 4.2km race, Annalee AC’s All Ireland Champion Clodagh O’Reilly (18:09) was the first of the team home in 6th place. Zoe Carruthers (City of Lisburn AC) followed in 18:32 (10th place), just ahead of Omagh Harriers’ Toni Moore (14th place – 18:52) and City of Derry AC’s Aoife Laverty (17th place – 19:26). The race was won by Siofra O’Flaherty (Ireland) in 16:55.
The U-20 teams performed just as well, in the ladies 4.9km race; Omagh Harriers’ Northern Ireland international star Sara Moore (21:02) was the first Ulster team member to cross the line in 17th place. Young Yasmin Wilson (Lagan Valley AC) was next to finish, recording 21:20 (20th place), while North Down AC’s Katie Moore (22:11) and Lagan Valley AC’s Emer Magee (23:18) finished in 26th and 30th place respectively. The race was won by Bobby Clay (Invicta East Kent AC) in 18:31.
The men’s U-20 event, the entire Ulster team finished within ten places of each other; St Malachys AC’s brilliant Ben Branagh (25:19) led the team home in 12th place, just three seconds and one place ahead of club mate Paddy Robb (13th place – 25:22). Armagh AC’s talented Maxi Walmsley-Pledl (26:31) followed in 21st place before Killian Gargan (St Malachy’s AC) completed the team in 27:04 (23rd place). The race was won by Jonny Davies (Reading AC) in 24:03.
The oldest of the Ulster teams, the U-23 men ran as part of the competitive senior men’s race. Christopher Johnston (Letterkenny AC) produced arguably the Ulster team’s performance of the day, he completed the 10.3km course in 36:01 and in doing so he claimed an excellent 16th place finish. Willowfield Harriers’ Ryan Holt (38:17) was the first Northern Ireland based finisher in 38th place, while Neil Johnston (Springwell Running Club) clocked 39:34 (41st place). Annalee AC’s Cian O’Reilly (40:59) completed Ulster’s team in 46th place. The race was won by Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC) in 34:02.
Well known GB runner Louise Damen (Winchester AC), who finished in 2nd place at last week’s Antrim International Cross Country went one better this weekend, she ran out clear winner in the senior ladies 6.9km race, breaking the tape in 25:01.
Full (Individual) Results: McCain Cross Country (Celtic Challenge) 2013 Results. Team Results (Celtic Challenge): The Ulster U-17 men finished in 4th place, while both the ladies and men’s U-20 teams finished in 3rd place. At present we do not have access to the U-17 ladies or U-23 men’s team results but we will add them if they become available.
City of Lisburn AC’s Amy Foster produced an amazing performance in her 200m race, recording a new Northern Ireland indoor best of 24:08. Amy also ran 7:54 in her 60m event.
Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) also kicked off her 2013 campaign in style, racing over 1500m in a ‘mixed’ event she clocked 4:19.00. This was just short of her indoor personal best (4:18.11) but her best time over 1500m in a season opener to date, which bodes well for the remainder of the year. Understandably, Kerry was really pleased with her first indoors outing this year and was happy to be back on the track again.
Meanwhile, City of Derry AC duo Conor Bradley (3:48.51) and Patrick Hamilton (4:00.38) achieved new personal bests when finishing in 2nd and 4th place respectively in their 1500m ‘A’ race. North Down AC’s Mark Patterson (1:55.53) and City of Lisburn AC’s Rebecca Douglas (2:22.12) also produced notable performances in their 800m races.
Full Results: Scottish ‘National Open Meet’ 2013 Results
The day began with the Primary School 800m race, in which Wallace Primary School’s Rebecca Wallace (3:16) and (Club Unknown) Josh Patterson (3:16) ran out worthy winners. In the Year 8 1500m event, Willowfield Harriers’ Katie Wills (5:32) and Banbridge based Rory Mc Niff (5:40) celebrated victory.
As the crowds warmed themselves, Madison Bowyer (COLAC) and Patrick Mc Niff (Banbridge High School) were deserved winners in the Year 9 3000m race, recording 11:16 and 10:33 respectively. The Under 15 race was a tight affair, with the Girls racing over 3000m and the Boys over 4500m; Unattached athlete Caitriona Mc Gloin (12:04) and Beechmount Harriers’ Odhran Copeland were impressive winners.
Next to the start line were the Ladies (including Masters), in a close race it was Vet40 Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC) who broke clear to win in 17:00 exactly. Catriona Mc Corkell (Lagan Valley AC) followed closely in 2nd place (17:10), while Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) claimed 3rd place in 17:18.
Top 3 Men: 1st Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC) – 19:50, 2nd Aidan MaGowan (St Malachy’s AC) – 20:06, 3rd Paul Blaney (North Belfast Harriers)-20:10
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC) – 17:00, 2nd Catriona Mc Corkell (Lagan Valley AC) – 17:10, 3rd Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) – 17:18
Full Results: Moira XC Results 2013
On Saturday 19th January 2013, the Northern Ireland Cross Country season continues with the City of Lisburn AC organised Moira XC taking place in the beautiful setting of Moira Demense.
With absentee’s likely to include; Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC), Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) and Julie Turley (Dromore AC), it will be down to another of Northern Ireland’s top XC stars; Jessica Craig (North Down AC) to lead the way.
In the men’s race, last years winner Connor Magill (North Belfast Harriers) may return from illness to defend his title. Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC), who was second to Connor last year will also be at the front of the field, as will Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders), Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers), Luke Mc Mullan (Newcastle AC) and Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers). Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers), Bobby Rankin (Lagan Valley AC) and John Mc Cambridge (St Peter’s AC) will all challenge for a top ten finish.
Meanwhile, Sperrin Harriers will host the fourth trail race of their popular Winter League Trail Series; A 5mile event at An Creggan, County Tyrone.
In the men’s race, Pius Mc Intyre (Foyle Valley) will hope to continue his unbeaten run in the series after winning the previous three races. Glenn Donnelly (Sperrin Harriers) will challenge, as will Chris Mc Peake (City of Derry AC), Aaron Meharg (Sperrin Harriers), Delfim Pimentel (Unattached) and Andy Gregg (Larne AC) should they enter on the day. Pierce Mc Cullagh (Foyle Valley AC), Mark Alexander (Ballymena Runners) and Billy Reed (East Antrim Harriers) will all be looking to reproduce the form they have shown in the series so far.
In the ladies event, City of Derry AC’s Anne Paul and Springwell Running Club’s Gillian Wasson will lead the way with Omagh Harriers trio; Caroline Miller, Rosaleen Mc Cartan and Patricia Campbell all likely to be there or there abouts. Local lady, Cheryl Caldwell (Sperrin Harriers) will hope for a podium spot if she races. *Update* As of 6.30pm on Friday 18th January 2013, this race has now been CANCELLED due to adverse weather conditions.
Also on Saturday 19th January 2013, Born 2 Run events will take their growing band of followers to Gosford Forest, Markethill for their latest offering:‘Run Forest Run’ 10km Trail Race.
Despite entrants travelling from England, Scotland and Ireland in an attempt to place well; Adam Boyd (North Belfast Harriers) will be hard to beat. However, the locality of the race could attract Armagh AC athlete Paul Mc Anespie, who will put up a good challenge should he make an appearance. Newcastle AC’s David Mc Neilly may also race, and should achieve a podium finish if he does. Gerard Mc Namara (North Belfast Harriers), Sean Coleman (Newry City Runners) and Seamus Lynch (Unattached) will all run well, as will David Blakely (Unattached), Colin Pascoe (Newcastle AC) and Gary Connolly (Seapark AC).
Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) will be considered as pre-race favourite in the ladies race, while the likes of Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners), Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), Ciara Coffey (Unattached), Keri Fitzpatrick (Unattached) and Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) will all challenge for the remaining podium places. *Update* As of 11pm on Friday 18th January 2013, this race has now been CANCELLED due to adverse weather conditions that may effect driving conditions in the area. Born 2 Run events will reschedule the race and will contact all entrants.
Further afield, local running star Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) will compete over 1500m at the Scottish ‘National Open Meet’ in the newly opened Emirates Indoor Arena, Glasgow on Saturday 19th January 2013. The stunning new Indoor Arena is part of Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games 2014 project.
Another well-known Northern Ireland athlete, distance running specialist Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) will take on the 32 mile CTS (Coastal Trail Series) Ultra Marathon on Saturday 19th January 2013. The event, taking place on the Isle of Anglesey, just off the North West Coast of Wales boasts stunning scenery and sells out nearly every year. *Update* As of 9pm on Friday 18th January 2013, this race has now been CANCELLED due to extreme weather conditions in the area.
The Ulster XC team are due to compete at the McCain XC Challenge in Cardiff, Wales on Sunday 20th January 2013. They will take on teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the Celtic XC Challenge. Due to severe weather conditions in Wales, Cardiff Airport was closed on Friday morning, hopefully this will not affect the teams travel plans. The full Ulster XC team line-up is available within or previous article regarding the selection announcement. (Immediately below this ‘Weekend Preview’).
Six out of Northern Ireland’s seven ‘parkun’ events will take place on Saturday morning. The ECOS parkrun has been CANCELLED due to the present weather warning and subsequent conditions. Please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within the fixtures page to locate your nearest event but if at all possible, please check with local representatives prior to travelling.
The Ulster team will be competing against teams from Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Celtic International is incorporated into the McCain Cardiff Cross Challenge which is the 4th of 5 McCain Challenges taking place through the UK.
Under 17 Girls: Clodagh O’Reilly (Annalee AC), Zoe Carruthers (City of Lisburn AC), Toni Moore (Omagh Harriers), Aoife Laverty (City of Derry AC)
Under 17 Boys: Jonathan Whan (City of Lisburn AC), Patrick Sheridan (Newcastle AC), Ronan O’Fril (St Malachy’s AC), Oisin Gallen (Finn Valley AC)
Under 20 Men: Paddy Robb (St Malachy’s AC), Maxi Walmsley-Pledl (Armagh AC), Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC), Killan Gargan (St Malachy’s AC)
Under 23 Men: Christopher Johnston (Letterkenny AC), Cian O’Reilly (Annalee AC), Ryan Holt (Willowfield AC), Neil Johnston (Springwell Running Club)
Team Managers: Neil Martin, Andrea Hislop, Bernie O’Callaghan and Paula McGinn
The opening event in Castlewellan Country Park on Thursday 11th April 2013, along with the ‘Milestone’ race on Thursday 23rd May 2013 and the ‘Hen & Cock’ race on Thursday 20th June 2013 will also feature open races for Primary School and Post Primary School athletes. This initiative will hopefully encourage Northern Ireland’s young runners to have a go at running over this terrain.
Online Registration for Senior and Junior races will open in March and all races will start at 7.30pm SHARP. Entries will close at 7.15pm and entry fees will be: £7 per Race, Non-Registered / Unattached / Non Affiliated Clubs – £8. Juniors over 16 competing in Senior Race: £3, Juniors : £2
Thursday 11th April – Castlewellan (5.5 miles / 1,080ft)
Thursday 18th April – Tollymore (5miles / 900ft)
Thursday 25th April – Slieve Martin (4.25miles / 1,740ft)
Thursday 2nd May – Slieve Binnian (2miles / 2,000ft)
Thursday 16th May – Moughanmore (3.25miles / 1,560ft)
Thursday 23rd May – Milestone (4miles / 1,500ft)
Thursday 30th May – Loughshannagh (5miles / 1,700ft)
Thursday 6th June – Meels (3.5miles / 1,800ft)
Thursday 13th June – Rocky (4.25m / 1,600ft)
Thursday 20th June – Hen & Cock (3.5miles / 1,600ft
Friday 28th June – Drinhilly (4.75miles / 1,080ft)
Please visit www.newcastleac.org for full details, registration locations and updates.
When the Series began in 2009 there were six races and they attracted just over 5,600 entrants, the following year over 7,000 entered seven races. In 2011 there were six races again but the entrants continued to flock in, with over 1000 competitors (on average) for each race. Last year saw the Series expand to eight races and the 8,000 mark was exceeded comfortably. With ten races in 2013, the target of 10,000 entrants should be achievable especially since the Cookstown race is part of the World Police and Fire Games programme.
The Pure Running Half Marathon Series will be comprised of the following races:
Monday 18th March – DUNE Cross Border Half Marathon (Dundalk to Newry)
Saturday 23rd March – Larne Half Marathon
Saturday 30th March – Omagh Half Marathon
Sunday 26th May – Newry Half Marathon and Marathon
Wednesday 19th June – Lisburn Half Marathon
This completes the first half, runners must record a finishing time in at least three of these races;
Friday 28th June – Ards Half Marathon
Saturday 20th July – Dervock Half Marathon
Sunday 4th August – Cookstown Half Marathon (incorporating the WPFG Half Marathon)
Sunday 18th August – Groomsport Half Marathon
Sunday 8th September – Waterside Half Marathon
Runners must complete at least three races from the second half of the series. The organisers reserve the right to alter the structure of the Series to ensure an equal number of races in each half where possible. The conditions and prize fund will remain the same as in previous years thus runners must complete all the races in the Series to be awarded a special garment at the end.
The cumulative times of each competitor will be taken to calculate the rank in each category. If a competitor finishes in more than six races then their best six times will be used provided they still have completed three races from the first half of races and three from the second set of races. A competitor will stay in the age group they ran in at their first race, which must be one of the races held in March 2013. Where two or more competitors have the same cumulative time at the end then their fastest time will be used as a tie break (Half way times in the Newry Marathon will be admissible if so desired).
Athletics NI will provide a page on its web site with regular updates on the leaders in each category and news of the Series. Competitors are required to register their time through an online form on the Athletics NI site so that their progress can be logged and ranks accurately recorded. A runner who fails to register their times through the ANI site could be overlooked when the final prizes are awarded as it’s difficult to accurately log all the times from 10,000 entrants across the Series.
The prize structure is shown below; Prizes will be in the form of vouchers from Pure Running:
Male Open: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100, 3rd Prize – £50; Female Open: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100, 3rd Prize – £50; Male Vet 35: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100, 3rd Prize – £50; Female Vet 35: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100, 3rd Prize – £50; Male Vet 40: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100, 3rd Prize – £50; Female Vet 40: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100, 3rd Prize – £50; Male Vet 45: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100, 3rd Prize – £50; Female Vet 45: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100; Male Vet 50: 1st Prize – £200, 2nd Prize – £100; Female Vet 50: 1st Prize – £200; Male Vet 55+: 1st Prize – £200; Female Vet 55+: 1st Prize – £200
In the men’s event, Paddy Nicell (Foyle Valley AC) broke the seventeen minute mark to take 1st place in 16:57. Gavin Crawford (24/7) finished in 2nd place after recording 17:05, while local man Mark Mullan (City of Derry AC) claimed 3rd place in 17:46.
Katherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC), a notable absentee from the previous day’s IAAF Antrim International Cross Country event sealed an impressive win here. She crossed the line in 18:22, which not only won the ladies race but gave her a 6th place finish overall. Unattached athlete Dee Mc Guiness (18:50) finished in 2nd place, with Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) who did compete in Antrim showing no real signs of soreness taking 3rd place in 19:18.
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Katherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) – 18:22, 2nd Dee Mc Guiness (Unattached) – 18:50, 3rd Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) – 19:18
Full Results: NWTC 5km Road Race (Race 3) Results 2013
In cold, windy conditions, it was Thomas Ayeko (Uganda) and Fionnuala Britton (Ireland) who stole the headlines, but for the Northern Ireland running fraternity, Stephen Scullion (North Belfast Harriers) and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) were crowned Northern Ireland & Ulster XC Country Champions in their respective categories.
The day started with several competitive junior races, in the U-13 1800m race; Peter Fegan (Burren AC) took 1st place in 6:13, while in the girls event; Herne Hill Harriers’ Katy-Ann McDonald (6:22) celebrated victory.
James McMurray was the impressive winner in the IAAF (U-20) Junior Men’s 5600m race, the St Albans AC (England) athlete crossed the line in 17:24, just ahead of Stroud and District AC’S William Paulson (17:28) and Conliffe Harriers’ Aron Hanlon (17:30) who finished in 2nd and 3rd place respectively. Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley) was the first Northern Ireland Junior Man to cross the line in 18:36 (14th place). Ryan Thomson (Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers) was the winner of the U-17 event, held at the same time, recording 18:07.
After enjoying a Primary School race the crowd turned their attention to one of the day’s main events; the International Ladies, incorporating the Northern Ireland and Ulster Senior Cross Country Championships and the Ladies Masters 40+ 5600m races.
In the end, Kilcoole AC and Ireland’s leading lady Fionnuala Britton (18:17) won easily with England’s Louise Damen (18:29) and Kenya’s Magdalene Masai (18:45) taking 2nd and 3rd place respectively.
Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (19:57), representing North Belfast Harriers and Northern Ireland was the first NI runner to cross the line, meaning she was crowned the Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Women’s Cross Cross Country Champion. Armagh City AC’s Danielle Fegan took 2nd place in 21:18, while Jessica Craig (North Down AC) secured the final podium place and the impending Bronze Medal in 21:34.
The final race of the day, containing an astonishing amount of talent was the International Men, incorporating the Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Men’s Cross Country Championships.
After a close battle between several of the Northern Ireland men, it was English based Stephen Scullion (North Belfast Harriers) who led the NI men home in an impressive 34:52 (6th place). Annadle Stiders’ Eddie McGinley (35:25) continued his run of recent podium finishes with a 2nd place, while it was St Malachys AC’s Joe McAllister (36:07) who secured 3rd place.
IAAF (U-20) Junior Women: 1st Rebecca Straw (England) – 12:43; 2nd Elizabeth Bird (England) – 12:47; 3rd Alice Burgin (England) – 12:54
IAAF (U-20) Junior Men: 1st James McMurray (England) – 17:24; 2nd William Paulson (England) – 17:28; 3rd Aron Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) – 17:30
International Women: 1st Finnoula Britton (Ireland) – 18:17; 2nd Louise Damen ( England) – 18:29; 3rd Magdalene Masai (Kenya) – 18:45
Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Women: 1st Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) – 19:57; 2nd Danielle Fegan (Armagh City AC) – 21:18; 3rd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 21:34
International Men: 1st Thomas Ayeko (Uganda) – 33:08; 2nd David Bett (Kenya) – 33:45; 3rd Andy Vernon (England) – 33:59
Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Men: 1st Stephen Scullion (North Belfast Harriers) – 34:52; 2nd Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) – 35:25; 3rd Joe McAllister (St Malachy’s AC) – 36:07
Masters Men Vet 40+ (first three to finish): 1st Declan Power (Clonliffe Harriers) – 18:55; 2nd Charles Thomson (Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers) – 19:19; 3rd Nigel McKibben (Dromore AC) – 19:47
Masters Men Category Winners:
Vet40 – Declan Power (Clonliffe Harriers – 18:55)
Vet45 – Charles Thomson (Ronhill Cambuslang Harriers – 19:19)
Vet50 – Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC – 20:00)
Vet55 – Paul Elliot (North Belfast Harriers – 20:54)
Vet60 – Jim Newberry (North Belfast Harriers – 21:42)
NI Championships Mens Teams: 1st St Malachy’s AC; 2nd Annadale Striders; 3rd City of Derry AC
NI Championships Ladies Teams: 1st North Belfast Harriers; 2nd North Down AC; 3rd Springwell Running Club
Full Results: IAAF Antrim International Cross Country 2013 Results
Race photograph’s (courtesy of Brian O’Neill, Gareth Heron and Mark Ramsey) have been added to our Photo Gallery. For a more detailed race report please visit www.athleticsni.org
IAAF International Cross Country, Antrim 2013:
On Saturday 12th January 2013, athletes from all over the world will descend on CAFRE Greenmount Campus, Antrim for the 36th IAAF Antrim International Cross Country.
The top quality entrants will include reigning double European Cross Country Champion, Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC/Ireland), decorated GB runner Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC/Great Britain), former Commonwealth bronze medallist Joesph Birech (Kenya) and American Scott Bauhs (USA) who last year clocked 1:01:30 for 13.1 miles.
The exciting timetable of events will kick off at 11am with a host of age category races, during which; Aidan Mc Cluskey (Mid Ulster AC), Caolin Quinn (East Down AC), Emma Hutchinson (Ballyclare HS), Clodagh Laverty (City of Derry AC), Ellie Mc Broom (Springwell Running Club) and Adam Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC) will hope to impress.
As the age categories rise, so will the pace; in the Under 15’s race, Louis Hagan (Willowfield Harriers), Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) and Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC) will feature. While in the Under 17 races, some of Northern Ireland’s top prospects will be on show, with Paddy Robb (St Malachy’s AC), Jack Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC), Patrick Sheridan (Newcastle AC), Conal Mc Cambridge (North Belfast Harriers), Yasmin Wilson (Unattached), Dearbhla Magee (Newcastle AC) and Emma Laverty (Lagan Valley AC) all due to compete.
In the IAAF (Under 20) Junior Men’s event, local lads Christie Conor (Springwell Running Club), Maxi Walmsley Pledl (Armagh City AC) and Conor Doherty (City of Derry AC) will face stiff opposition in the form of English athletes William Poulson (Stroud AC) and U-17 British 1500m record holder Matthew Shirling (Liverpool Harriers).
Donal Gallagher (Sperrin Harriers), Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC), Nigel Mc Kibbin (Dromore AC), Nat Glenn (Larne AC) and James Turtle (Ballymena Runners) will lead the charge in the Male Masters (Vet +40) 5600m race, while Irwin Speirs (Sperrin Harriers), Paul Elliot (North Belfast Harriers) and Noel Connor (Ballymena Runners) should finish well up in their categories. Athletes can still enter this race on the day, this may encourage the likes of Deon Mc Neilly (Newcastle AC) to enter after having had enjoyed a podium place at last years Master Cross Country Championships.
In the much anticipated Ladies International/NI & Ulster Senior Ladies XC Championship/Ladies Masters (Vet +40) 5600m race, Ireland’s leading lady, Fionnuala Britton will hope to defend her Greenmount title from last year. To do that, Fionnuala will have to see off the challenge of Kenyan duo Magdalene Masai and Eunice Kales and young Great Britain member Jessica Coulson (Stockport AC) who made a strong challenge at last weekend’s ‘Great Edinburgh Cross Country’ only to tire towards the end.
Linda Byrne’s (DSD/Ireland) amazing achievements of late have almost been overshadowed by her brilliant team mates success, but Linda has produced some magical performances. She represented Ireland at London 2012 (Olympic Marathon) and recently at the European XC Championships in Budapest where she helped Ireland’s ladies to a historic European Championship gold medal. Linda’s 6th place finish on the heels of the world famous Ana Dulce Felix (Portugal) in Edinburgh last week shows the athlete she has become. Other top contenders will be Olympian Freya Murray-Ross (Chester Le’ Street/Scotland), Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC) and Louis Damon (Winchester AC/England)
The eligible Northern Ireland ladies in the race will battle it out for the prestigious NI Senior Cross Country title, the brilliant Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers/N. Ireland) will be considered pre-race favourite with Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) also viewed as a worthy candidate.
Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC/N. Ireland) and Jessica Craig (North Down AC/N. Ireland) have both had an exceptional Cross Country season and will be eager to impress while wearing the Northern Ireland vest.
Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers/N. Ireland) will also perform well, as will Rachel Gibson (North Down AC), Judi Graham (North Belfast Harriers), Katherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC), Danielle Fegan (Armagh City AC) and Julie Balmer (North Down AC). Fionnuala Diver (Letterkenny AC) will also feature prominently in the race, while Helen Stockdale (Clones AC), Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC), Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) and Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) will prove hard to beat in their respective categories. The team title will go down to the wire, with North Belfast Harriers and North Down AC certain to battle it out until the finish.
The final race of the programme, the Men’s International/NI & Ulster Senior Men’s Championship 10,800m race will feature practically all of Northern Ireland’s top athletes, alongside American Scott Bauhs, Kenyan’s David Bett, Joesph Birech and Bernard Rotich, as well as Great Britain’s Andy Vernon (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC), Matthew Bowser (Licoln Wellington AC) and Frank Tickner (Kent AC).
This fine mix of athletes makes for an excellent race but creates havoc when trying to identify a potential winner; Bernard Rotich finished in 3rd place last year and should be at the front again, but his fellow countrymen Joesph Birech and David Bett will be hard to shake off. Former Commonwealth Games medallist Birech beat Rotich twice last year while 20 year old Bett has proven quality, with a current 5km personal best of 13:06. On the other hand, American Scott Bauhs is another talented endurance runner, he recorded and amazing 1:01:30 at last years Houston Marathon (USA).
Andy Vernon will be there or there abouts, while former English Cross Country Champion Frank Tickner could raise a few eyebrows. Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) will produce his usual gritty performance and will hope to finish well up the field.
The Northern Ireland men will be chasing the NI Senior Cross Country title, with the likes of Stephen Scullion (North Belfast Harriers/N. Ireland), Eddie Mc Ginley (Annadale Striders/N. Ireland), Joe Mc Alister (St Malachy’s AC/N. Ireland), Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s AC/N. Ireland), Paddy Hamilton (Annadale Striders) and Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) all likely to be in contention.
Annadale Striders’ Andrew Agnew, Owen Carelton, Dave Morwood and Ryan Mc Dermott (also running for N. Ireland) will all place well, as will Declan Reed (City of Derry AC), Emmett Mc Ginty (City of Derry AC), Connor Magill (North Belfast Harriers), Brendan Teer (East Down AC), Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers), Ryan Holt (Willowfield Harriers), Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) and Liam Venney (East Down AC).
Michael Dyer (North Down AC), Steve Cairns (Annadale Striders), Noel Logan (City of Derry AC), Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers) and Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), John Frazer (St Malachy’s AC) will also hope to achieve a decent placing.
Like the ladies title, the men’s team prize will be a hugely competitive, with Annadale Striders likely to edge out the strong St Malachy’s AC, City of Derry AC and North Belfast Harriers teams. This will in-turn leave the aforementioned three to battle for the final podium places.
Also this weekend: Northern Ireland’s seven ‘parkun’ events will take place as normal. Please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within the fixtures page to locate your nearest event.
Northern Ireland Running app now available:
Today, Wednesday 9th January 2013 NiRunning launch their new mobile phone application. Designed by John Black, the app will provisionally be geared towards allowing users quick and easy access to running fixtures in Northern Ireland.
Within this, users will have the option of finding out more about the race as well as getting directions to the event using our inbuilt Google maps function. In time, with your feedback and ideas; NiRunning and John would like to develop the app and increase the content. So, why not download the app from the iTunes store by searching ’NiRunning’ and let us know what you think!
We have set up a special section within our website ‘forum’ were you can provide feedback/ideas and ask John any relevant questions. As always, thank you for your support! (Note – Minimum phone specification is iPhone 3GS)
Entries set to re-open for unique ‘City of Culture’ event:
Great news for any runners out there who thought the gate was firmly shut with regard to entring the ‘Walled City Marathon’. Despite reaching the original entry target last week, the significant ongoing demand has persuaded the event organisers to offer a small number of additional places for the eagerly anticipated City of Culture event.
Limited additional entries will now be accepted on a first come first served basis, from Tuesday 8th January at 10am via the following options online www.athleticsni.org or at Foyle Hospice, 61 Culmore Road, BT48 8JE.
This limited entry window will definitely close at 4pm Friday 11th January. There will be no further opportunities to sign up for the Walled City Marathon. This is the last chance saloon don’t delay get online or call down to Foyle Hospice!
Young athletes brave the cold for Race 4 in the McGrady Financial XC Series:
On Sunday 6th January 2013, race four of the ‘McGrady Financial Junior Cross Country’ series took place at Delamont Country Park, County Down. In cold and windy conditions race officials marked and then re-marked the ‘lapped’ course while the crowds debated as to what way the weather would treat the gutsy crew of young athletes.
With a strong head wind and an undulating course, it would prove to be a stern test for all who took part, especially Jerome Mc Crickard (Newcastle AC)! Even though he is some thirty-something years too old to officially take part, he led the majority of the younger age group races around the course to ensure no one wandered astray!
As the whistle sounded, the P4 (and under) 500m race got under way at a sharp pace. A close battle insued before Michael Murdock (Burren AC) secured the win, crossing the line in 2:29. Things were not as close in the girls race, with Newcastle AC’s Amy McCrickard (2:59) storming clear to seal an impressive victory.
Next up was the P5 800m race, with Burren AC dominating proceedings. Burren AC’s Thomas Mc Keaveney (3:11) beat club mate Calum Mc Donagh by only a few hundredths of a second to claim 1st place. In the girls event, young Burren AC athlete Izzy Farrell (3:32) led from start to finish to complete a fantastic double for the club.
The P6 1000m race turned out to be just as close as the P5 race, but after a hard fought battle it was Danny Williamson (Newcastle AC) who celebrated victory in 4:09. East Down AC’s Libby Maloney (4:19) secured the clubs first win of the day, after running a brilliant race. After watching his club mate provide East Down AC’s first win, Caolin Quinn set a fast pace in the P7 1000m race and held on well, taking 1st place in 4:00. Niamh Scullion (4:29) edged out Burren AC club mate Eve Dunford to claim 1st place in the girls race.
In the Year 8 1700m race, Jack O’Farrell (Burren AC) led from start to finish, securing top spot in 7:14. While in the girls event, in-form Sarah Dougherty (Newcastle AC) showed great speed to notch up another series victory in 8:07. Burren AC’s Peter Fegan surged clear of the field in the Year 9 2300m race, claiming a well-deserved 1st place in 8:37. In the competitive girls race, Olivia Mooney (10:51) took 1st place, edging out friend and club mate Aoife Cochrane by just two seconds.
In the Year 10 3000m race; Paraic Delahunt (Burren AC) ran clear of Newcastle AC’s Daniel Molloy in the final 400m to break the tape in 10:29. In the respective girls race, East Down AC’s Laura Gardiner showed her class. After starting well, Laura built on her lead and went on to seal an outstanding victory, finishing over a minute and a half ahead of her nearest rival.
In the final event of the day, the Year 11+ 3000m girls only race; Newcastle AC’s talented Dearbhla Magee warmed up for next weekend’s Antrim International Cross Country with an excellent performance. She led from the gun to finish in 1st place, clocking 11:04.
Age Category Winners:
P4 (and Under) 500m Race: Michale Murdock (Burren AC) – 2:29 and Amy McCrickard (Newcastle AC) – 2:59.
P5 800m Race: Thomas Mc Keaveney (Burren AC) – 3:11 and Izzy O’Farrell (Burren AC) – 3:32
P6 1000m Race: Danny Williamson (Newcastle AC) – 4:09 and Libby Maloney (East Down AC) – 4:19
P7 1000m Race: Caoilin Quinn (East Down AC) – 4:00 and Niamh Scullion (Burren AC) – 4:29
Year 8 1700m Race: Jack Mc Farrell (Burren AC) – 7:14 and Sarah Dougherty (Newcastle AC) – 8:07
Year 9 2300m Race: Peter Fegan (Burren AC) – 8:37 and Olivia Mooney (East Down AC) – 10:51
Year 10 3000m Race: Paraic Delahunt (Burren AC) – 10:29 and Laura Gardiner (East Down AC) – 10:42
Year 11+ Girls 3000m Race: Dearbhla Magee (Newcastle AC) – 12:15
Report compiled with the assistance of Newcastle AC. For a more deatailed report, please visit the Newcastle AC website. The fifth and final race of the series will take place on Saturday 16th February 2013 at Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle, County Down.
The race, scheduled to take place on Sunday 2nd June 2013 as part of the ‘City of Culture’ festivities has a total prize fund of £9,000. The winning male and female competitors will receive £1,000 each. Although, not confirmed as yet; entries are believed to be made up mostly of locally based athletes with the likes of Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) expected to participate.
Eoin, a popular runner within the local ultra-running scene clocked an outstanding 300.24 miles (483.2km) during the 72hour event, which saw competitors run through midnight on New Years Eve into New Years Day 2013.
This Weekend: After a hectic 10 days of festive racing, this weekend looks relatively quiet, with only a 5 mile trail race (organised by David O’Brien) in Drum Manor, Cookstown listed on the Athletics Northern Ireland calendar (www.athleticsni.org).
However, all seven of Northern Ireland’s ‘parkrun’ events will take place as normal. Please visit or dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures pages to locate your nearest event. The FREE 5km events are a great way to start your 2013 fitness regime!
British Fell Running Championship dates/venues announced:
The British Fell Running Championship 2013 venues have recently been announced and the ‘Silent Valley’ Fell Race has been chosen for the Northern Ireland leg of the well supported Championships. The local race, which was also used as part of the 2010 series will kick start this years Championships on Saturday 13th April 2013.
When the course was last used, Andy Symonds, brother of current British Champion Joe Symonds won the race. Andy now lives in France and runs for well-known sports brand and team ‘Salomon’. Joe Symonds (also attached to Salomon Running), Morgan Donnelly, Rob Hope and Robbie Simpson are all expected to be in contention this time round.
Local hopes will lie on the shoulders of Stevie Cunningham (Mourne Runners) who finished in 8th place last time and Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners). While, in the ladies competition, English International and current British Fell Running Champion Lauron Jeska will prove hard to beat if she travels. Mourne Runners’ former Northern Ireland Fell Running Champion Charlene Haugh was the top Northern Ireland finisher last time but unfortunately she has not featured for some time. So, it will be down to Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) to lead the charge.
British Fell Running Championships:
13th April 2013 – Silent Valley (Northern Ireland)
2nd June 2013 – Yetholm (Scotland)
27th July 2013 – Blisco Dash Fell Race (England)
14th Sept 2013 – Peris Horseshoe (Wales)
On Tuesday 1st January 2013, record numbers participated in the increasingly popular ‘Race Over the Glens’, hosted by Ballymena Runners in the scenic Glenariff Forest Park, just outside Waterfoot, County Antrim.
In blustery and unpredictable conditions, athletes set off on the 5.5 mile (approximate distance)altered course. Straight from the off, pre-race favourites Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) and Jarleth Fall (Ballymena & Antrim) showed their intent by surging clear of the field.
American Penny Mc Phail led the ladies off the first climb, with Claire Mc Aulay (Bellahouston Harriers), Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), Stephanie Hambling (North Down AC), Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) and Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) all close behind.
As heavy hailstones began to fall, supporters gathered at the finish to see if local man Jonny Steede could take the prestigious ‘King of the Glen’ title from seven time winner Jarleth Falls. As the runners came into sight, the loud cheer indicated that Jonny had indeed moved clear of talented Jarleth.
To continuous loud cheers, an ecstatic and proud Jonny Steede crossed the line in 36:25 to seal an excellent victory. Jarleth Falls followed in 36:46 (2nd place), with young Ryan Holt (36:50) in 3rd place.
In the ladies race, the impressive Penny Mc Phail took 1st place, clocking 43:30. Claire Mc Aulay (44:00), another runner visiting for the festive holidays took 2nd place, while local mountain running specialist Shileen O’Kane (45:27) finished in 3rd place.
In the team competition, Larne Athletic Club fought off stiff competition from Ballymena Runners and Orangegrove AC to retain their title. Their six counting runners were; Justin Maxwell (8th place – 39:05), Bernard Brady (11th place – 40:05), Wayne Morrow (12th place – 40:20), Bryan Magee (18th place – 41:18), Andy Gregg (24th place – 42:16) and Bert Shaw (44th place – 45:09)
Top 3 Men: 1st Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) – 36:25, 2nd Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC) – 3rd Ryan Holt (Willowfield Harriers) – 36:50
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Penny Mc Phail (USA) – 43:30, 2nd Clare Mc Aulay (Bellahouston Harriers) – 44:00, 3rd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 45:27.
Full Results: Race Over the Glens 2012 Results