In another busy week for Sperrin Harriers, a large turnout from the club ran at the highly popular Newell 5k and 10k on Friday. Members also took part in the challenging Reach Backyard Ultra Marathon on Saturday, along with the Ecos and MUSA Parkruns.
Newell 5k and 10k
On Friday a high quality field descended on Coalisland, Co. Tyrone, to test their mettle at the highly regarded Newell 5k and 10k. Along with the 5k and 10k distances, a 1k and 1 Mile race were also available for junior runners. The flat and fast courses wound through and around town, presided over by pleasant weather, on an evening which saw many outstanding performances from those in attendance. A non-profit event, proceeds supported Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, Marie Curie, Lilac Centre and Cystic Fibrosis NI.
A large turnout of 33 Harriers took part on the day, with fine running and Personal Bests aplenty. It was also an occasion which marked the first set of races in the club’s own Summer Series, a competition held between members spanning a number of selected events.
In the 10k Andrew Newell led the way, ably contending with the highly talented field of 385, finishing 11th in a tremendous time of 35:21. Adrian Devlin soon joined him, taking 15th overall with a fantastic Personal Best of 35:42. Paul McLaughlin completed well under the 40 minute mark on crossing the line in 39:14, with Brian O’Donnell’s concerns about a recent injury not preventing him from registering a notable time of 42:08. Malcolm McCullough followed in 42:50, with Richard Fox and Damien Coey coming home in 43:32 and 43:51 respectively. A slew of Personal Bests followed, with many congratulations going to Steven Dornan (44:19); Damian Kelly (45:39); Karen McGuigan (46:22); and Paula McMenemy (46:30). Shane Curtis crossed the line in 47:22, followed by Niall Devlin in 48:10, and Rachel Hughes, who bravely battled injury to finish in 48:12. Joanne Fingleton and Patsy Hughes both finished the day in 48:29, with Patricia Boyle mere seconds behind in 48:35. Martin Kolbohm completed in 49:21; followed by Catherine Farley in 51:38; Dearbhla Glackin, who distinguished herself with a tremendous Personal Best of 53:04; Louise Kelly in 54:04 and Gabrielle McBrien in 73:38.
The 5k also saw fine Harrier performances amongst formidable competition, Brian Taggart crossing the line in a terrific 16:48 to take 11th out of 259, with Declan Morrison continuing to impress on claiming a new PB with his 20:11 run. Joanne Taggart was 5th lady overall in 20:37, with Leigh Stirrup and Jane Thom both scoring great Personal Bests in 23:03 and 23:21 respectively. Tanya Quinn crossed the line in 24:35; followed by Michael McCrory in 24:39; Wendy McLean, who marked the day with a fine Personal Best of 28:49; Terry Hughes in 32:34 and Bernie Sonner in 36:17.
AlannaRose Farley shone on Friday to take an outstanding 2nd in the Junior 1 Mile race, a course which followed the canal path to conclude at the main finish line.
Very well done to all the runners and their supporters, and many thanks go to the Keep Er Lit athletics club and Newell Stores, along with all others involved in the event’s organisation and funding, for providing such a successful and enjoyable evening of running.
Reach Backyard Ultra Marathon
On Saturday club members Sam Cuddy and Paula McMenemy, as a part of Team RSD (Royal School Dungannon), completed the Reach Backyard Ultra Marathon, both running a 4.2 mile loop of Lurgan Park every hour for 8 consecutive hours, totalling a formidable 34 miles. A fantastic achievement in itself, it also came after Paula had achieved a Personal Best at the Newell 10k the previous day. Very well done to Sam, Paula, and their team mates, on such a great achievement.
A highly worthwhile cause, Reach Mentoring is an organisation that seeks to support young people at risk of educational exclusion, who are struggling with behavioural and emotional difficulties.
Donations can still be provided at:
Ecos Parkrun, Ballymena
Gordon Linton enjoyed another impressive run on Saturday, taking 2nd overall amongst the 125 at Ecos Park in 18:33.
MUSA Parkrun, Cookstown
In a field of 44 at Cookstown, Brian Taggart took 4th overall even after his efforts at the Newell 5k on Friday, finishing in 17:59. Barry O’Neill completed in 27:00; with Odhran Mitchell achieving a great Personal Best of 46:12; Amelia Corey following seconds later in 46:17; with Tanya Quinn and Gillian Robinson sheepherding the field across the line as volunteer Tailwalkers.
Stanley Reid Memorial 5 Mile Classic
After a Covid enforced break in 2020, and a virtual option in 2021, Sperrin Harriers are delighted to announce that the 2022 Stanley Reid Memorial 5 Mile Classic is open for registration. Now in its 19th year this award winning event is to take place on Saturday 6th August at 12noon from Loughry campus, Cookstown. It is dedicated to the memory of Stanley Reid, a fine runner in his own right who organised the first 5 mile classic in 2002. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Cookstown Harriers, later to become the Sperrin Harriers.
The course starts and finishes within the grounds of Loughry Campus, and covers the scenic country roads around Cookstown. It is an undulating but fast route, suitable for runners of all abilities, and also ideal for those with ambitions of a quick time. In addition, the course is measured and certified by Athletics NI, and the event will be chip timed.
Race entry is £15 for affiliated runners and £17 for those unaffiliated. The minimum age for participants is 15 years.
The first 250 entrants will receive a technical running top.
For a more relaxed evening there is the ‘Family Mile Fun Run/Walk’. This takes place at 11.15am within the confines of Loughry Campus, away from any traffic. It is suitable for all the family, both young and old, and all fun run finishers will receive a medal. Entry is £5.
The event supports local charity Superstars Cafe Cookstown, with a donation going towards their vital services which provide life enhancing opportunities for people with learning difficulties.
Many thanks to our main sponsor, Henry Brothers (Magherafelt) Ltd, for helping to make the day possible.
Registration is available online at the Sperrin Harriers website:
We hope to see you there!