ATHLETICS: County Antrim Harriers tackle Causeway races

County Antrim Harriers competitors Martina, Marion, Grace, Kim at the Causeway 10k. INLT 40-910-CON
County Antrim Harriers competitors Martina, Marion, Grace, Kim at the Causeway 10k. INLT 40-910-CON

A strong contingent of County Antrim Harriers travelled to Portballintrae to take on Saturday’s 26Extreme Causeway Coast events.

The off-road multi-terrain races took runners round the magnificent scenery of the north Antrim coast.

Louise Smart and Irene Downey completed the marathon distance, from Portballintrae and back via the Giant’s Causeway in 4:39:44 and 5:22:38 respectively. Louise’s strong performance secured her fifth female overall.

The half-marathon was the most popular distance and Jane McKeever (2:15:04) was the first Harrier across the line, followed by Ruth Morrison (2:16:02), Claire Oliphant (2:16:14), Andrena Berry (2:22:06), Lyn Hardie (2:22:07), Cathy Hopkins (2:31:22), Colin Gilmore (2:32:03), Rachel Lloyd (2:32:44), Mandy Yau-Wilson (2:41:40), Carol Annesley (2:45:11), Lindsay Kenndy (2:50:35), Lisa Montgomery (2:50:35), Martin Graham (2:51:33), Marian Hayes (2:52:17), Diane McCartney (2:27:02), then Bill Hopkins (3:00:15) and Eileen Stewart (3:12:33).

In the 10k event, Sarah Kinnear (57:43) led the way, followed by her sister Jane Kinnear (1:02:39), then Gillian Orr (1:04:31), Kim Gleave (1:17:54), with Martina Toal, Marion Morrow and Grace Startin crossing the line together (1:20:11).

Bob Carson, Raymond Hilman and Christine Murray took on the Aurora Bangor 10k. Conditions were good and the trio performed well, securing two age category places: Christine Murray (47:12 – 3rd V45), then Bob Carson (48:09), and Raymond Hilman (54:52 – 2nd MV65).

On Sunday, seven County Antrim Harriers competed in the annual Mooathon events in Downings, County Donegal. This cow-themed event requires all participants to wear black and white clothing. Louise Smart and Christine Neeson undertook the semi-skimmed race (21k), and despite having completed the Causeway Marathon just 24 hours earlier, on-form Louise claimed first female overall! Cathy Hopkins, Martina Toal (also Causeway Coast half and 10k finishers), Ally Bennett, Paula McMaster and Talitha Collins took on the Mini Moo (10k) race. The ladies all ran well, with special mention to Martina who took first place in F40, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.