On Saturday Sperrin Harriers held the third leg of their Winter League at Drum Manor, a day which also remembered the life of club member Sean Hamill. In addition, Harriers attended the MUSA Parkrun and 38th AXA Raheny 5 Mile Road Race at the weekend.
Sperrin Harriers Winter League Drum Manor 10k
The Drum Manor 10k, which represented the penultimate race of the Sperrin Harriers Winter League 2021/22, enjoyed good running conditions on Saturday despite the threat of Storm Malik. A field of 184 took to the testing course, which comprised two laps of the famously picturesque Drum Manor forest outside Cookstown, encompassing the butterfly gardens and striking central lake amongst other landmarks.
The runners set a vigorous pace from the start, with Jarlath McKenna maintaining his advantage to win with a highly impressive time of 34:51, while Tommy Hughes and Johnny Canning finished mere seconds apart in 37:40 and 37:47 respectively.
There was a close contest between Martina McMullan (43:41) and Gemma McDonald (43:51), with only 10 seconds between the female first and second placings. Debbie McConnell joined them as third lady overall on finishing in 45:25.
The Harrier contingent was led by Paul McLaughlin who took second in the Male 50-59 class with his time of 43:14. Brian Bradley joined him in 47:18, closely shadowed by Vincent Hollywood who crossed the line moments later in 47:23. Malcolm McCullough followed in 47:40, pursued by Kevin McCullagh (47:54), with Anne Murphy the first Harrier lady in 50:11. Andy Linton completed in 50:59, followed by Laura Treanor (51:42); Doc Martin (52:22); Colm Gallagher (52:57); Martin Kolbolm (54:18); Patsy Hughes (55:40); Dearbhla Glackin (61:42); and Martin Donaghy (62:38).
Saturday’s event was also of special significance as it was held in memory of our much missed club member Sean Hamill, with almost 50 walkers, including family and close friends, completing a lap of the course in his memory. Sean particularly enjoyed the Drum Manor estate, and spent many special days there with his family. As such it was also particularly fitting that his life be celebrated at a race he had attended numerous times, especially given the approach of the first anniversary since Sean’s tragic passing due to cancer.
Importantly the day was also about raising funds and recognition for ‘Charis Cancer Care’, a locally based registered charity which provided invaluable assistance to Sean and his family during his illness. This highly deserving organisation can be contacted online at email@example.com, or by telephone on 028 8676 9217.
Finally, thank you to everyone who ran in the Drum Manor 10k, to their supporters, and to those who helped in the staging of the event. Thanks also go to our main sponsor for the event, TES Cookstown, at which Sean had worked for many years; to the Forestry Service for the use of Drum Manor and its facilities; and to Cathcart’s Centra, Magherafelt, for their donation of the much appreciated refreshments.
We look forward to seeing you at the final race of the Winter League, the Parkanaur Forest 10M, on Saturday 26th February.
MUSA Parkrun, Cookstown
On Saturday 79 Parkrunners faced the tempestuous elements at Cookstown, with Jason O’Neill the first hardy Harrier home in 21:56, Paula McMenemy taking second lady overall in 22:17, to be joined on the podium by Tanya Quinn who finished as third lady in 23:10. Gavin O’Hagan crossed the line in 23:39, followed by Damien Atkinson in 24:37, Barry O’Neill in 28:03, and Amelia Corey, who braved the tough conditions to finish in a great time of 49:57.
38th AXA Raheny 5 Mile Road Race
On Sunday Harrier Andrew Newell travelled to Dublin to compete in the prestigious 38th AXA Raheny 5 Mile Road Race, hosted by the Raheny Shamrock Athletic Club. Many congratulations to Andrew who distinguished himself amongst the throng of 3,500 runners to finish the course, which it later transpired had measured somewhat over 5 miles, in a tremendous 28:45.
Sperrin Harriers Winter League
The Sperrin Harriers Winter League concludes with the Parkanaur 10M on 26th February, kindly sponsored by Oliver Corey Garages. The course follows an undulating trail route which winds through the scenic Parkanaur woodland four miles west of Dungannon, County Tyrone.