Ballydrain weekly roundup 23rd February 

On Friday the 21st February the Run the Trails night edition hosted by Scrabo Striders took place in the grounds of Mount Stewart.  This challenging and often quite technical course by day is made even more testing under the cover of darkness. The race was won by Ballydrain’s Jared Martin in a suburb time of 40:39. Claire Quigley of NDAC won the ladies race in 46:45.  Naomi Montgomery and Colin Galloway of Ballydrain also ran in the event and completed the race together in a time of 1hr 3 minutes.  

On Saturday the 22nd February the Born2run Castlewellan races took place.  This was the 8th and final race in the winter trail race series.  4 members from Ballydrain Harriers took on the elements to complete the challenging 10k course.  Jill Burgess was first Harrier home in 55:50 followed closely by her team-mates Anne McClurg and Denise Davidson in 57:54. Violet Davidson completed the race in 1hr12 minutes and received a fantastic first place in the complete series for her age category F70.  Anne, Violet and Denise have successfully completed all 8 races of this year’s winter series. Well done ladies!

On Saturday the 22nd February the NI and Ulster Senior Cross-Country Championship took place.  This race also incorporates the highly anticipated final fixture of the 2019/20 Cross Country League.  Ballydrain Harriers had a hardy bunch of 21 athletes and their support team making the journey to the Coleraine Campus of The University of Ulster for the race.  The women’s race was a 3 lap 6k event and the men had to endure a 6 lap 12k event in harsh conditions with a cold crosswind accompanied by rain and sleet showers.  The course included plenty of twists and turns along with a few hills thrown in for good measure and recent rainfall meant that it wasn’t long in getting heavy underfoot.  

The ladies’ race was won by Emma Mitchell of Clonliffe Harriers in 24:09 and the Men’s race was won in 44:47 by Neil Johnston of Springwell Running Club. First 3 ladies home for Ballydrain were Alison Stocks (27:28), Amanda Perry (28:51) and Claire Ingram (29:27).  First 3 men home for the club were William Brown (56:25), Colin Bell (59:09) and Brian Bogle (1hr18secs). On the day, the NI and Ulster Ladies senior title was awarded to North Down Athletic Club and the Men’s senior title was awarded to Newcastle Athletic Club. The 2019/20 Cross Country league was won by the men of North Belfast Harriers and the women of North Down Athletic Club.  After an exciting and highly competitive season for the Ballydrain ladies, they managed to secure 4th place overall in the league – only 1 point short of their 3rd place rivals North Belfast Harriers!  The Ballydrain men’s team finished in a commendable 8th place overall.  Congratulations must go to all the athletes and many thanks for their team commitment throughout the league.   

The final race of the Cross-Country league also heralds the end of the Ballydrain Club Cross Country championship for the 2019/20 season.  This club championship is based on points scored for individual performances in the league races throughout the season. The winner of the ladies’ event was Alison Stocks and Colin Bell in the men’s.  They have both had a superb season and are very worthy prize winners!  

On Sunday 23rd February the Resolution Run 5/10k races took place.  This is a charity event which raises vital funds for the Stroke Association.  The course begins at the Queen’s playing fields in Belfast down towards the Lagan through Barnett’s Demesne and climbing back to the Dub via the Mary Peter’s track.  The 10k follows the same route for the second lap. The 10k event was won by Paul Flynn of Ballydrain harriers in a great time of 39:40. 

Colin Bell and Alison Stocks presented with the Ballydrain Cross Country Shields for 2019/20 by Jim Hayes

Jared Martin 1st place in Run the Trails

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