North Belfast runners were to the fore in a range of venues across Ireland and Britain this weekend, collecting wins, a medal, personal bests and quality performances.
Breege Connolly shines at the GNR
Breege Connolly’s 77.29 for 15th place in the ultra-competitive Great North Run in Newcastle, England on Sunday – a personal best by just over two minutes – headlined the list of accomplishments by the Harriers.
Breege’s previous best of 79.18 was set in Omagh in April of this year, and her race in Newcastle indicates she is on track for next month’s Dublin Marathon.
Youth Cross Country
The youth cross country season got under way on Saturday with a meet in Musgrave Park in Belfast.
The Harriers had several athletes competing for the very first time and they all did themselves proud.
Conal McCambridge impressed in winning the U17 race.
Amie Bradley was second in the Primary 7, Connell Brown placed fourth in the Primary 7, while Aaron McCann, Jack O’Dwyer Henry, Daire Brown, Cian McGrath and Raoisle Hoy all took part.
Silver for Conor
There were veteran medals up for grabs on Saturday afternoon in Belfast’s Ormeau Park at the Embankment 5k Road Race.
Conor Curran captured a silver medal behind perennial favourite Paul Rowan. Conor, Paul and Ben Branagh ran in a pack through the first 4k, but Paul made a decisive break at that point.
Conor finished the course in 16.23.
Fellow Harrier John Patience also had a solid performance, clocking 18.23 for 24th.
John is coming off a year in which he has struggled with injury and illness.
Connor Magill wins Felix 10k
Connor Magill was a comfortable winner in the Felix McCullough 10k in Dungannon on Saturday, clocking 33.30 to cross the line 35 seconds ahead of Orchard County’s Adam Magowan.
It was Connor’s second straight victory, following his recent win at the Brackaville Owen Roe’s 10k.
Paul Blaney was fifth in the race, timing 35.32 and finishing third in the V35 category.
PB for Walker at Dublin Half Marathon
Three Harriers travelled to the Phoenix Park on Saturday for the Dublin Half Marathon.
Battling strong winds, Jim Benson posted a time of 76.38 to finish 28th overall and fourth in the V40 category.
Gareth Grew clocked 77.39 and was sixth in the V40 category.
Stevie Walker smashed his personal best in the race, turning in a strong 82.32. His previous best was 85.10 in Omagh in April.
The first Harrier home in Saturday’s Waterworks parkrun was first-time runner Tony McNulty, who crossed the line sixth in 19.21.
He was followed by Damien Gill (19.49), Tony Forde (20.29), Greg McClure (20.49), John Lavery (22.00), Darragh McNairney (26.56) and Jim Clinton (27.38).
Greg continues on the comeback trail after an IT band injury, which he suffered in the aftermath of his 24-hour race.
He says he still plans to participate in the Berlin Marathon this coming weekend, although he may have to employ a run-walk strategy rather than try for his usual sub three hour time.