Ballydrain Harriers were well represented throughout Ireland over the weekend. On Saturday 7th March The National Schools Cross County Championships were hosted by the Clonliffe Harriers at Santry Demesne, North Dublin. Two Ballydrain Harriers represented their schools. Jared Martin from Regent House and Matthew McCarville from Our Lady and St. Patrick’s College. Both boys ran in the 6k Senior Boys in a field of 96 runners. First across the line was Michael Morgan from Summerhill College. Jared finished in a very respectable 34th and Matthew was closely behind and finished 38th. Our Lady and St Patrick’s team came 4th overall.
Shanes Castle Antrim was the venue for an Ultra /Marathon/Half/10k organised by Atlas Running. Two female Ballydrain Harriers ran the half Marathon. The overall race winner was Don Travers in 1:22:15. Ballydrain runner Valerie Gibson crossed the line in 2:10:04 and Valerie Martin finished in 2:22:52. Both of these runners are training for full marathons in the near future and should be congratulated on their performance.
Ballydrain Runner Catherine Miskelly completed the Ultra Marathon. This challenge involves running three of the Half Marathon laps, a total of 39.3 miles. The overall Ultra winner out of a field of 23 runners was Mark Walker in 4:50:52. Catherine finished 3rd lady with a remarkable run of 6:52:43. Catherine has been selected to represent Ulster in the forthcoming Anglo-Celtic Plate 100k on 16th May 2020 in Boddington, England.
On Saturday three Ballydrain harriers ran the Carlingford Half Marathon, which started in the picturesque village and then takes in the beautiful surrounds of the Cooley Peninsula, Ballagan Point, Mournes Mountains and, of course Carlingford Lough. The overall winner of the race was Newcastle & Districts AC Aiden Brown in 1:17:28 and second across the finish line was Comber man David McNeilly (also Newcastle AC) in 1:17:43. First across the line for Ballydrain was Paul Flynn in 4th place with a superb time of 1:20:59. Robert Beattie achieved an incredible personal best in 1:37:19 and Nigel Martin finished in an excellent 1:51:48.
The Walled City 10 Mile Race was also held on Saturday .Ballydrain Harriers Brian and Kirsty Bogle took part in this challenging race which started in St. Columbs Park Track and followed a riverside course along the banks of the Foyle taking in the Peace Bridge and then the cityside cycle path back to the finish. The overall winner out of a field of 1300 runners was Craig Simpson in 52 minutes. Brian crossed the line for the Ballydrain Harriers in 1:04:16 and was closely followed by his wife Kirsty in 1:19:20.
On Sunday 8th March Ballydrain Harrier Christina McConnell competed in the 8th Race to Recovery held at Ormeau Park Belfast. This 10k race focuses on positive outcomes for thousands of people embarking on the road to recovery and who have used running as a vital tool. Christina finished the race in 45:27 and was the 4th female across the line.
Also on Sunday, Ballydrain Harrier Richard Coey competed in the ‘We Run Wild NI’ 50k. This race starts in Glenarm and follows the open terrain of the Antrim Hills Way. The course was 60% off road and includes a climb up Shane’s Hill of 1025 Feet. The race eventually finishes at Carrickfergus Castle. Richard finished 7th out of 42 runners in a time of 5:10:42.
Ballydrain Harriers welcome all new members, the club meets at North Down Cricket Club, Comber on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7.15pm.