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Showing posts from 2021

Christmas Cracker

A good squad of Harriers made the journey to Castlewellan for the annual festive pairs race across mixed terrain. This is always an enjoyable day out & big thanks goes to Newcastle Athletic Club for putting on yet another great race. Special shout outs to Brandon McKeown for being first club man over the line with his partner in 18th position, plus Gareth Blair & Billy Reed who comfortably won their Age Category with a strong run for 24th overall. Not pictured were Davy Turtle & Davy Lennon, with conflicting reports about whether they were already halfway home or else still stuck in a muddy bog somewhere in the outskirts of Castlewellan. We’ll let you decide…

McCalmont Cup

While Europe’s best were battling it out on a Dublin cross country course, East Antrim’s best were also racing on the grass & mud this morning. This was the first club handicap of the winter as our runners competed for the McCalmont Cup over a 4 mile distance. Well done to Billy Reed who started well back in the field for coming through to win the race. 2nd place was Gareth Blair & 3rd place went to Nikki Tucker. Thanks to all the runners & time-keepers.

Seeley Cup

Yesterday we had a host of runners competing in the brilliant Seeley Cup 10k race in Ormeau Park, Belfast. There were lots of good performances with notable mentions for Ross Mercer who ran a PB to dip under 35 mins for the first time, Reuben Moore for a promising debut in club colours & Kirstie Annett for her fastest 10k time post-baby! All this was topped off by a night out for our Club Christmas Dinner. Results Ross Mercer 34.48 PB John Neill 36.22 Matt McDowell 37.47 Gareth Blair 37.59 David Turtle 39.00 Steven Beggs 39.24 Pete Fraser 39.55 Tim Khanna 43.14 David Lennon 45.45 Kirstie Annett 49.58

Malcolm Cup

Another good turnout of runners at the annual Malcolm Cup Cross Country meet organised by Annadale Striders. It was great to see Chloe Reed don the club vest again & run well in the Ladies Race. In the Men’s Masters Race, John Neill continued his excellent season by being our first runner over the line once again. The ever-consistent Gareth Blair had another strong run with David Turtle following right behind on his return to racing action. Billy Reed & Jim Finlay also ran well to finish well up their respective age categories. RESULTS 17th John Neill 18.01 22nd Gareth Blair 18.29 23rd David Turtle 18.30 28th Billy Reed 18.36 55th Jim Finlay 20.45 111th Chloe Reed 26.56

86th McConnell Shield

Brilliant day at the 2021 McConnell Shield Cross Country Races. Thanks to all the clubs, coaches & athletes who supported the race and our sponsors for their support. Well done to Annadale Striders who won the McConnell Shield with North Belfast Harriers in 2nd place. Congratulations to Dromore AC for victory in the Ladies Team Race. Eskander Turki was first over the line in the Men’s Race followed by Ben Branagh & Niall McKnight, with Robyn McKee winning the Female Race ahead of Catherine Whoriskey & Rebecca Nixon. Norman Mawhinney picked up the Male Over 60 first prize with young runners from North Down AC & East Coast AC winning the Junior races. FULL RESULTS

North Down XC

A great day of running today for our cross country squad with strong performances in Bangor. John Neill finished on the podium of the Masters Race with a strong run for 3rd place, while Gareth Blair was in the Top 5 until a mis-step at the finishing chute cost him a couple of places. Next up was our team of Brandon McKeown, Gareth Blair, Rick Hill & John Neill who finished in 6th position in the Relay Event. Special mention for Brandon’s strong run in the opening leg to put us in the top 3 early doors. Thanks to North Down Athletic Club for a well organised event

Bobby Rea Race

The Harriers got their Cross Country Season off to a strong start on Sunday with 3 finishers at the Bobby Rea Race organised by Athletics NI. Brandon McKeown was first club man over the line with a strong run for 40th place overall in a time of 28.13. He was followed home by John Neill who ran 29.39 for 67th place with Gareth Blair coming 88th in 30.39. Well done to all 3 lads and we look forward to seeing how they go as a team in the North Down Cross Country Relays this Saturday.

Wilson Cup

On Sunday morning we held our Annual Club Handicap Race from Parkgate to Ballyclare. It turned out to be one of the closest races in years with Nicole Tucker leading the race until the last 20 metres, only to be pipped at the line by Andy Liddle who won by 4 seconds. Well done to all our runners and thanks to the timekeepers. 1st Andy Liddle 2nd Nicole Tucker 3rd Billy Reed

North Down 10K

Yesterday some of our club members took part in the Bob & Berts 10k in Groomsport. I’m what was a multi-terrain course, Tim Khanna was the first of our runners over the line finishing in the top 20 in a time of 46.02. Davy Lennon continued his solid improvement by coming in close behind in 47.17. Ever-consistent Kirstie Annett continued her comeback in 52.14, while Nicole & Peter Tucker came home just over the hour mark. Karen Graham took on the 5k distance, running a time of 28.55. Well done to all!

London and Belfast Marathon

It was Marathon today in both Belfast & London and we were delighted to hear of so many good times from our club members. Many miles of hard training paid off with several personal bests! In London, Nick Weston crossed the line in a fantastic time of 2.43, Ross Mercer also ran another personal best of 2.50, Peter Fraser finished in 3.21 and Matt McDowell in 3:22.   Closer to home, Colin James was our fastest athlete on the day running a brilliant 2.40, John Neill joined the sub-3 hour marathon club by running a time of 2.58, while Larry McAteer & Mark McElhinney finished close to each other in 3.35 & 3.36 respectively. Jonny Craig also notched up another marathon finish as he helped pace a younger runner in just over 4 hours. Well done to all our Marathon Runners for these fantastic results!

Ards 5 & Washingbay Green 10K

Another busy racing weekend with Harriers in action in two separate events over the past 24 hours. First up was Davy Lennon & Karen Hutchinson in the Ards 5 Mile Road Race. Both runners have joined the club in the last year, seeing significant progress in their running through consistent training. Davy backed this up by finishing in a time of 38.19 while Karen crossed the line in 47.48. This morning saw Ross Mercer continue his recent good form with an excellent time of 35.50 in the Washingbay Green 10k to finish in 6th position. Well done to all!

North Coast 10K

Both Chris Collins & Gareth continued their busy summer of racing with strong performances at the North Coast 10k this weekend. They both secured top 10 finishes on a tough course with Chris coming 6th in a time of 38.04 and Gareth finishing 10th in 39.24. Well done lads!

Antrim Coast Half Marathon

It was a great day out at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon with excellent performances & plenty of PBs from our 7 runners taking part. Nick Weston, Ross Mercer & Colin James all showed that their Autumn Marathon preparation was going well as they each delivered big personal bests. Rick Hill broke 80 minutes for the first time while Pete Fraser dipped well under 90 minutes & Tim Khanna also grabbed a PB.  Times below - well done to all. Nick Weston: 1.15.15 PB Ross Mercer: 1.15.57 PB Colin James: 1.16.18 PB Rick Hill: 1.19:41 PB Peter Fraser: 1.28.16 Jim Finlay: 1.37:26 Tim Khanna: 1.41:56 PB

Slieve Donard Mountain Race

Some great performances from Larne to report about soon, but let’s start our weekend round-up at yesterday’s Slieve Donard Mountain Race. Our two regular mountain runners Billy Reed & Gareth Blair both ran well and finished up the field. Billy placed 28th overall in a time of 1.11 while Gareth finished not far behind him in 38th position in 1.16. For reference, this is the time from the car-park to the top of Donard & back! Well done to both our runners.

Race Over The Glens

Well done to Gareth Blair & Andy Liddle for their performances at Race Over The Glens yesterday. Gareth continued his busy summer of racing with a strong run to finish well up the field in 13th position. Andy returned to competitive racing action at one of his favourite races to finish in 75th position. Well done lads & thanks to Ballymena Runners for organising a great race.

Special Award for Billy Reed

Last week we had the opportunity to present a special award to club member Billy Reed for being the first runner to complete a double Rankin Round in the Mournes. This is extra special because he was also the first runner to complete the original single Rankin Round. Billy followed this achievement up at the weekend with a really impressive performance in the Seven Sisters Skyline Ultra Event to finish 9th in a strong field in the 55km race. Billy is pictured here with club chairman Jim Finlay.

Millstone Mountain Race

More good running this week from Gareth Blair at the Millstone Mountain Race. Gareth has shown a real appetite for racing in the hills and trails since joining us in the last year and continues to improve and race well. This time he finished 14th in a string field and 2nd in his age category. Well done Gareth!

Weekend Report

After the ultra & mountain exploits of Billy & Gareth, it was the turn of some of runners to take on some shorter distances in various parts of the UK this weekend. Firstly Brandon McKeown participated in the NI Club League over 1500m and finished in an excellent time of 4.22 for 9th place. Well done also to Chris Collins who ran a PB time of 36.38 over the 10k in a race in Bedford, also for 9th position. And we better mention Ross Mercer who smashed the 17 minute Parkrun barrier to run 16.44 at Belfast Victoria Parkrun. But we all know that’s not a race & positions don’t matter…! Well done lads. Great to see some fast times.

Spelga Skyline

On what was the hottest day on record in Northern Ireland, most people were putting their feet up and relaxing. But not Gareth Blair who took on the heat & terrain of the Mournes to finish well up the field in the Spelga Skyline race. Gareth underlined his impressive endurance capabilities that we’ve seen since he joined the club by finishing 26th overall and 3rd in his age category, completing the 21km hilly course in just over 4 hours. Well done Gareth!

Co Down 5K

Brandon McKeown backed up a great year of training last night with an excellent time of 16.28 in the Co Down 5k. This doubled up as the NI Championships & Brandon finished in 54th place. We’ve seen great progress from Brandon & this is a clear sign of hard training paying dividends.

The First Double Denis Rankin Round

We kind of have run out of superlatives for Billy Reed but last weekend he became the first ever person to complete a Double Rankin Round in the Mournes. For reference that’s almost 110 miles and 42,000 feet of climbing! What a performance. Here’s a video documenting this incredible achievement. Well done Billy - and we loved the fact you finished it in your club vest!

Coast Road 10K

Before we get on to an incredible personal achievement from one of our club members this weekend, we also had several runners race in the Coast Road 10k yesterday organised by Larne Athletic Club . Great to see PBs, returns to racing & first outings in club colours. Ross Mercer was our first runner over the line in a new PB of 35.04. Colin James returned to racing action in the club vest less than a minute later & new recruit Matt McDowell also ran a PB. Results: 39th: Ross Mercer 35.04 47th: Colin James 35.40 86th: Matt McDowell 37.18 166th: Michael McDonald 40.24 202nd: Mark McElhinney 41.53 253rd: Phil McNeill 43.44 265th: Peter Fraser 44.14 335th: Davy Lennon 47.04 PB 454th: Andy Moore 51.55

Running in Antrim and Newtownabbey Plate

Our club have been delighted to win 2 bits of silverware this week! Not only did we already pick up the Team Prize at the Woodburn Forest Series, but we were also presented with this award from The Antrim & Newtownabbey Sports Forum. This award recognizes significant contribution to the development of the sport of running in the Borough. This was awarded to us on Tuesday night by council representatives and Sponsors, Greys of Ballyclare. Pictured are our Secretary Jeanette Burton & Treasurer Norman Caughey.

Woodburn Forest Series

Congratulations to Nick Weston who finished 3rd Overall, Brandon McKeown who received the Male Open prize, Chris Collins for winning the M40 Category & Gareth Blair for his victory in the M45 Category. Really consistent performances from all four lads - well done! We are delighted that our Club took the Team Prize in the brilliantly organised Woodburn Forest Series. Well done to all our runners who turned out & contributed so well to the winning team’s effort and thanks to the organizers of the Series for their hard work & effort.

Jimmy's 10K

Yesterday Ross Mercer competed in the ‘Jimmy’s 10k’ event at Bishopscourt. Ross ran a controlled race to finish 36th in an impressive time of 36.16. Yet another strong performance from Ross, with more to come in the weeks ahead.

Cairncastle Fell Race

More strong performances from Nick Weston, Chris Collins & Gareth Blair in the Cairncastle Fell Race today organised by East Coast Athletic Club . All 3 finished well up a strong field, posting good times over the challenging & undulating 10 mile route. Nick finished 6th in 1.20.36 Chris finished 22nd in 1.26.26 Gareth finished 30th in 1.28.48 Well done lads. Thanks to Keiran Scullion for photos & East Coast for organizing a great race.