On Wednesday 14 November almost 2,000 runners with flashing LED armbands descended on Stormont Estate for the Run in the Dark. The event is hosted by The Mark Pollock Trust to support ongoing research to find a cure for spinal cord injury. There was both 5k and 10k races on a route which started and finished on The Mile and took in the grounds of Stormont Estate and surrounding roads. The 10k race was won by Mark Smith (Mallusk Harriers) in 36:32. The Harriers were out in force in the 10k; Baz Campbell was first to cross the line in 47:17, followed by William Alexander in 47:25 and Paul Cochrane in 47:51. Holly Lane was the first lady home in 53:38 followed very closely by Suzi Hughes in 53:55. A number of Harriers took on the 5k which was won by John Ewing (North Down AC) in 18:01. Jonathan Lilly was first home for the Harriers in 25:47 and Kathryn Cochrane was first lady in 33:17.
Saturday 17 November saw the second race in the Born2Run Run Forest Run winter race series at Drum Manor Forest Park near Cookstown. Members Debbie Mingout and Violet Davidson were amongst the 293 runners who took on the beautiful but challenging 10k trail run. The race was won by Gavin McCaffrey (Ballymena & Antrim AC) in 37:14 with Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley) taking the top spot in the ladies race in 42:30. Debbie finished 13th female and third in her age category in a time of 50:30. Violet Davidson finished in 1:13:01 which saw her place first in her F70 age category.
Drew Fowler was in County Louth on Saturday for the Annagassan 10km Viking Run. Said to be the most scenic 10k in the North East the course is run in the picturesque countryside of Annagassan with the beautiful backdrops of the Dundalk Bay and the Cooley and Mourne mountains. The race was won by Catherine McKiernan (Ireland’s fastest ever female marathoner) in 35:47. Drew placed 43rd out of the field of 519 runners in a time of 43.01.
Evan Boyce travelled to Downpatrick to take part in the 2nd annual County Down 5k Road Race. There were three 5k races, Evan was running in the Elite race and ran a time of 19:46.
Members Heather Kelly, Debbie Matchett, Francis Boal and Denise Logue travelled to Wales to represent Northern Ireland in the 31st British & Irish Masters International Cross Country in Swansea. Conditions could not have been better, but the gruelling course at Singleton Park was a real challenge for the athletes. Heather, Debbie, Francis and Denise all competed together in the Women & M65+ 6k race. Ireland’s Teresa Doherty (W40) was overall winner in 21:19. Although the Northern Ireland Team did not finish in medal positions all four Harriers had good individual performances. Denise Logue (W40) finished in 25.04, Debbie Matchett (W50) 25.12, Heather Kelly (W50) 25.43 and Francis Boal (M65) finished in 31.28.