East Antrim Harriers have had a busy Autumn schedule competing in races at local and international level, and they have come up with some sparkling performances.
In the Causeway Coast Series Billy Reed finished second in 6.06.03 in the Ultra Marathon. Ken Beggs also competed in this race doing very well crossing the line with a time of 8.51.57. In The Half Marathon Chris Collins ran well in 1.57.32 securing 40th place, with Jim Davison taking an excellent 61st place in the Marathon in 5.05.31.
Seven East Antrim Harriers took part in the Loch Ness Marathon and 10K race at the end of September with Eddie Blaney coming in first for the Harriers with a personal best of 3.34 (360th overall). Jennifer Ashby claimed 60th position in the women’s race (3.40.08). Three other Harriers managed to finish in under four hours, with Drew Knox next home in 3.52.47, Penny Lindsay (3.53.43) and Amanda Peoples (3.57.22) all performing well. Also running the marathon was Wesley Wallace who came home in 4.34.41 and Bobby O’Toole who finished in 4.52.36. In the 10km race event, Darren Gault ran a steady race to finish with a time of 47.47.
Meanwhile, Norman Caughey took the opportunity to take part in the Chester Marathon and was very unlucky not to break the four-hour mark, coming home with a good time of 4.00.51 to finish ninth in his age group.
The club was well represented in the third Dundrum GR8 race and the athletes again performed very well. In a field of over 650 runners, Jennifer Ashby put in a stirring performance to win the Female Vets 35+ category in a time of 58.11 (106th overall). Jim Davison was next home in 59.54 with Penny Lindsay next in 1 hour flat. Amanda Peoples was home in 1.06, Nichola Kennedy in 1.07, Colm Johnson in 1.13 and Bobby O’Toole in 1.16.
Three Harriers took part in the Armagh 10-Mile Road Race in mid-October. Club stalwart, and 25-year member, Sam Crawford ran a great race to finish 22nd overall and was very unlucky not to win his veterans’ group, coming a close second. Sam got over the line in 0.59.53. Carol Annesley posted a great time of 1.22.04 to take fifth place in the Female Vets 45+ group. Christine Shields came 47th in the Womens race overall with a solid time of 1.27.22.
Late in October, Chris Collins took part in the BUPA Great Birmingham Run, recording a great time of 1.29.30.
Several club members jetted off to sunnier climbs to run the Palma Marathon in Majorca and, once again, Sam Crawford ran a superb race in the to claim 20th overall in 2.57. Marty McMillan was next home in 3.50, while Marion Hayes completed her first marathon in an excellent time of 4.55 not only finishing 185th overall but a very credible 15th in her age group.
In the half-marathon, long-serving members Andy Martin and Jeanette Burton both ran very well. Andy crossed the line in 1.34, with Jeanette completing the course in 2.34 to take 19th place in her age category. Christine Shields also ran very well, coming home in a good time of 1.55.
Four Harriers put their best foot forward in the Dublin Marathon with Andy Liddle first home for the club with a terrific time of 3:20:04. He was followed by Jim Finlay who achieved a personal best 3.28. Jim Davison ran a brave race and despite suffering some serious blisters, still managed to get in under the four hours with a time of 3.49. Ken Beggs came in under the four-hour barrier in 3.55.
East Antrim Harriers meets at its Harrier Way clubhouse in Ballyclare each Tuesday and Thursday from 7pm. More information on the club and contact details can also be found at www.eastantrimharriers.org.uk.