ATHLETICS: Hardy Harriers start 2016 as they mean to go on!

County Antrim Harriers at Born 2 Run Kilbroney 10k. INLT 01-906-CON
County Antrim Harriers at Born 2 Run Kilbroney 10k. INLT 01-906-CON

County Antrim Harriers started 2016 as they mean to go on - with lots of racing whatever the weather!

On New Year’s Day, despite the damp and mist, eight hardy Harriers took part in the infamous Race Over The Glens.

The demanding six-mile trail race at Glenariff Forest Park has some serious ascents and descents but everyone gave strong performances.

Finishing times: Glenn Smart (53:09), Christine Murray (55:00), Louise Smart (55:09), Claire Oliphant (58:49), Aaron Anderson (1:01:10), Natasha Henderson (1:01:57), Irene Downey (1:03:13), Marian Hayes (1:12:55). Special mention to Marian for achieving 3rd FV55.

Louise Smart (above) competed again on Saturday - this time at the North Coast Marathon Series event. The tough, but scenic, course took competitor from Portstewart, past the Causeway towards Dunseverick, and back again. Louise, running strongly, secured fourth female.

Saturday also saw six members of the club out at the fifth race of the popular Born 2 Run ‘Run Forest Run’ series at Kilbroney Park.

The challenging looped 10k took runners around the muddy trails and paths of the forest park.

Graeme O’Hara ran strongly and was first home for the club in a great time of 48:36, with Gillian Orr (58:20) following closely behind. Next home were Talitha Collins (1:04:39), Shelley Boyle (1:06:34), Marion Morrow (1:08:11) and Eileen Stewart (1:10:14).

Sunday saw five Harriers ladies taking part in the Lagan Valley 5k Charity Handicap at Mary Peters Track, to raise funds for the Mary Peters Trust. Despite being very wet, all the ladies - Marian Hayes, Lisa Montgomery, Ellen Montgomery, Grace Startin, Eileen Stewart - ran well and enjoyed the race.

On the parkrun scene, 15 Harriers ran a total of 19 events over the weekend with some parkruns also held on New Year’s Day.