ATHLETICS: County Antrim Harriers’ weekly update

Runners toe the line at the annual May Fair 10k race in Ballyclare, organised by East Antrim Harriers. INLT 22-919-CON
Runners toe the line at the annual May Fair 10k race in Ballyclare, organised by East Antrim Harriers. INLT 22-919-CON

Saturday saw a record number of athletes taking part in County Antrim Harriers’ second annual May Fair 10k road race and 5k fun run.

The weather was perfect and expectations were high at the race start, at Ballyclare Rugby Club. The 442 competitors streamed up the rugby club’s lane, before proceeding towards The Square, with the 10k runners heading up the challenging Rashee Road, continuing to Doagh and back.

The 5k runners ran down Main Street and into the Sixmile Park, before heading back to the rugby club via Ollardale.

Both races attracted a good mix of experienced and novice runners; with the 5k being the graduation run for the Harriers Couch to 5kers, all of whom enjoyed their first race. In a day of record entrants, and many personal bests, both the 10k male and female course records were broken by Dan Tanui (Project Africa Athletics) in 30:30, and Heather Foley (Unattached) in 36:51.

Christine Murray, the club’s chairperson, presented prizes to the winners. The club is extremely grateful to all the local businesses for their generous support of the event in providing race and spot prizes. A special word of thanks must go to the main sponsors Charles Hurst Renault (Newtownabbey) and to John Platt, the Sales Manager who provided lead and sweeping cars.

Also to TDR Academy and Alive Sports Massage Therapy for providing post race sports massages, Evolution Physio for setting up an injury assessment clinic, as well as Whites Oats, Linwoods, Larne Cryospa and Antrim and Newtowabbey Borough Council.

The race, held in memory of Greg Hopkins, the club’s late chairman, coach and friend, allows the Harriers to make donations to Cancer Lifeline and NI Cancer Fund for Children.