Weekend of Races and PBs for Sperrin Harriers

Sperrin Harriers attended a wide variety of events at the weekend, turning out in force for the Omagh Half Marathon, also taking on the Therme Manchester Marathon, London Landmarks Half Marathon, Old Agoura 10k in California, and a number of Parkruns.

Old Agoura 10k

The Old Agoura 10k took place on Saturday, close to Cheeseboro Canyon at the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and made its way through the horse community of Old Agoura. One of the most scenic road races in California, the event is highly regarded countrywide.

Brian O’Donnell added a further 10k distance to his globe trotting in a tremendous time of 41:19, placing a highly impressive 16th amongst 1276 runners.

Spar Omagh Half Marathon and 5k

The Spar Omagh Half Marathon and 5k took place on Sunday in clement conditions suited to running. The Half Marathon was started in 1989 by a small group of Omagh Harriers, and the much anticipated race has grown to be one of the largest events of its kind in Northern Ireland, this year welcoming a field of 1429, with an additional 466 taking to the 5k. The roads of Omagh were reasonably flat, with some testing hills, and both the Half Marathon and 5k started at the Omagh Leisure Complex, to finish on the complex’s running track.

A huge turnout of 35 Harriers took to both distances, Andrew Newell leading the way in the Half Marathon with a fabulous personal best of 1:15:06, placing a highly impressive 12th out of the large and competitive field. Brendan Gildernew distinguished himself on crossing the line in 1:25:34, as did Paul McLaughlin with his time of 1:26:24, Joanne Taggart taking a tremendous second place in the F40 category with her formidable 1:31:49 performance. Jarleth Loughran pursued in 1:32:24, as did Vincent Hollywood (1:32:57); with a trio of tremendous personal bests achieved by Kevin McCullagh (1:36:09), Damien Coey (1:36:53), and Steven Dornan (1:39:02).

Richard Fox completed in 1:39:37, followed by Mark Reid (1:40:06), with both Paula McMenemy and Karen McGuigan registering great new PBs of 1:40:07 and 1:41:26 respectively. Gavin O’Hagan joined them in 1:43:23, as did Annie Murphy (1:44:44); Joanne Fingleton, with her own fine personal best of 1:46:10; Catherine Farley (1:47:01); Raymond Thom (1:47:21); Patricia Boyle with a terrific new PB of 1:47:22; Paul O’Gara (1:47:34); Martin Kolbohm, with an excellent personal best of 1:47:40; Tanya Quinn (1:48:37); Damien Atkinson with a terrific PB of 1:48:51; Ruairi Scullin (1:49:05); Nicola Gillespie (1:54:05); Dearbhla Glackin (1:57:20); Joanne Corey (2:02:49) and Emma Duffy (2:09:31). Stacey Cheevers celebrated her first Half Marathon in 2:14:37, followed by Maureen Mallon (2:23:47), and Gabrielle McKeever, who triumphed in her own first Half Marathon with a time of 2:44:25.

The 5k saw Rachel Hughes bring the Harriers home in fine style with her time of 21:04, followed by Jane Thom in 24:17, Terry Hughes in 24:25, and Louise Kelly in 24:57.

Very well done to all who took part, with special congratulations to those who achieved PBs and their first Half Marathon races. Many thanks also go to the Sperrin Harrier supporters who played their valuable role in a tremendous day for the club.

Therme Manchester Marathon

One of the UK’s premier running events, the Manchester Marathon took place on Sunday, an occasion also notable for being the flattest marathon course in the United Kingdom with only 54m of elevation. The route started and ended in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, and took in the towns of Stretford, Sale and Altrincham. More than 20,000 took part, with the race designated as an official selection event for this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Sperrin Harriers were ably represented by both Mark Gibson, who achieved a tremendous sub three hour 2:59:03, and Gordon Linton, with his highly impressive result of 3:08:43.

London Landmarks Half Marathon

On Sunday over 11,500 took to England’s capital, with an audience of thousands cheering runners around the city. The route took in St Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London, and the London Eye, to finish at Whitehall outside Downing Street. As before, this year’s official charity was Tommy’s, the UK’s leading pregnancy charity.

Andrea Linton was amongst the throng in London, covering the city’s historic streets in 1:58:04.

Antrim Parkrun

Joining the 249 Parkrunners at Antrim on Saturday, Jacinta Morgan scored a new course PB of 29:59, followed by Joyce McMullan (30:57), Melissa Glasgow (32:42), and Maureen Mallon (32:43).

Derrynoid Parkrun

In the field of 41 Parkrunners at the weekend, Michael McCrory and Barry O’Neill both celebrated their first runs at Derrynoid with times of 26:39 and 29:08 respectively.

Dungannon Park Parkrun

The Dungannon Parkrun was attended by 49 participants on Saturday, with Malcolm McCullough finishing second overall in 21:33, Annarose Farley enjoying a great result on taking second lady in 23:16, followed by Patsy Hughes in 24:21, with Martin Donaghy and Catherine Farley completing the course together in 29:23.

MUSA Parkrun, Cookstown

At the weekend Junior Harriers Eabha-Rose Fingleton and Amelia Corey both did extremely well, Eabha-Rose setting a new 5k personal best of 49:56 in her first outing at MUSA, with Amelia reaching the milestone of her 10th Parkrun in 49:57. Many congratulations to you both! Preparing themselves for Sunday’s Omagh Half Marathon, Joanne Fingleton (63:37) finished alongside volunteer Tailwalker Tanya Quinn (63.39).

Stunnerz in Runnerz

After a Covid enforced break Sperrin Harriers is excited to announce that our ladies only Stunnerz in Runnerz is back.

The event takes place on Saturday 11th June at 12noon, and covers a chip timed 5k at the scenic Drum Manor Forest Park, outside Cookstown. The day will include a dance warm up at the beginning, with an ice cream van on site for essential refreshment afterwards.

Walk, Jog, Race, You Set the Pace.

We would like to thank our main sponsor Steelweld Cookstown.

Our chosen charity this year is the locally based Superstars Cafe Cookstown, which provides life enhancing opportunities for people with learning difficulties.

Registration is online only, with no on the day entries, and is £13 affiliated or £15 un-affiliated.

The first 200 entries will receive a specially designed running vest top.

The link for entry can be found at www.sperrinharriers.co.uk/road-races/stunnerz/