It was a week where Sperrin Harriers remembered and mourned the loss of Irwin Speirs, a former Harrier and founding member of the club. Few people have impacted the running scene in Mid Ulster to the extent he has, and we send our heartfelt condolences to Irwin’s family and friends, and to his club Acorns AC.
Irwin was a very talented runner in his own right, however more recently he was perhaps best known for his pivotal contributions as the Run Director of MUSA Parkrun, earning the well deserved and affectionate title of ‘Mr Parkrun’. The success of the event, week in and week out, was greatly influenced by Irwin’s unwavering commitment, and while hugely missed his legacy and memory will live on.
On Saturday morning around 40 Harriers joined the mass of over 300 who attended the MUSA Parkrun to pay their respects. A minutes silence was held before the start, and afterwards many told stories and reminisced about the warmth and encouragement Irwin had shown them.
This weekend the MUSA Parkrun results were of secondary importance, as many turned out simply to be there and give their support.
On Sunday Sperrin Harriers joined Acorns AC to provide a guard of honour at the church service held in Cookstown to celebrate Irwin and how much he meant to those who knew him.
Andrew Newell continues to build on his series of good performances with a strong run at Enniskillen Parkrun. He finished first in 18.20, a course personal best in what was his 17th outing at the event.
Jane Thom competed at Limavady Parkrun. She performed well, finishing in 25.51.
Eskra Rudolph Run
On Saturday afternoon Harriers raced at the annual Rudolph Run in Eskra, an event which saw a high quality field set both male and female course records.
The challenging 10k route was no match for Connor Martin who stormed home in 7th place with a PB of 35.37, while Peter Mitchell also achieved a personal best on finishing in a fantastic time of 45.31.
Also racing in the 10k were Paul McLaughlin 39.20, Jason O’Neill 44.04, Doc Martin 45.07, Richard Fox 45.15, Steven Dornan 47.48 and Tanya Quinn 48.52.
Louise Kelly put in a strong performance at the 5k, finishing in 26.48.
Sperrin Harriers Winter League
The Sperrin Harriers Winter League continues with the Lough Fea 5k on Saturday 14th December at 12 noon, an event located in the foothills of the Sperrin Mountains which follows a flat and fast course that circles the striking lake.
We would like to thank Kelly’s Pharmacy in Stewartstown for being the main sponsor of the Lough Fea 5k.
The Winter League has grown into one of Northern Ireland’s best loved set of trail races, attracting all types of runners from beginners to top athletes. Its popularity is testament to the picturesque venues, great atmosphere, and warm welcome that make the League so unique.
The 4 remaining League races are.
- Lough Fea 5k, on 14th December 2019
- An Creagan 5M, on 11th January 2020
- Drum Manor 10k, on 1st February 2020
- Parkanaur Forest 10M, on 15th February 2020
All races are chip timed and entry is £7 affiliated, £9 unaffiliated. Tea, coffee and refreshments are served to everyone taking part