Weekend Report – January 10th

First of all, on behalf of the club, I would like to convey our thanks to our esteemed colleague Brian Todd for his super report-writing in 2015 which kept us up-to-date with the club’s weekly activities and successes but were also fun and interesting. Luckily, Brian remains in the writing rota.


This fast flat parklands course was to take place on Saturday but, due to the ground conditions, it was cancelled. This would no doubt have disappointed some of our XC-ers but nonetheless I think it is appropriate to thank Moira (whoever she is) for promptly communicating the race cancellation thus avoiding any wasted journeys for potential entrants.

AN CREAGAN 5 MILE (Sperrin Harriers Winter League)

The Sperrin Harriers Winter League Trail Series has grown into one of Northern Ireland’s premier trail race series, attracting all types of runners from the beginner to top athletes. Its popularity is testimony to the scenic venues, great atmosphere and warm welcome that makes the league so unique.

The 2014/15 Sperrin Harriers’ Winter League attracted a total of 686 entries, with 355 individual athletes taking part in one or more of the five races. Popularity of the Winter League increased dramatically last year with the numbers participating up 40% on the previous year, and some races even having a 70% increase in runners at the start line. Runners from 42 clubs across N. Ireland and the Republic of Ireland took part. The series drew a significant number of high profile athletes making for strong competition in a league that is now considered to be one of the premier fixtures in the running calendar (…and they always provide post-race refreshments!).

Races include(d): Davagh Forest 10k (31/10/15), Lough Fea 5k (14/11/15), An Creagan 5M (09/01/16), Drum Manor 10k (23/01/16) and, Parkanour Forest 10M (13/02/16).

Our very own high profile athletes who chose to test themselves at An Creagan were Verity Cornford and Michael O’Donoghue and they both represented the club very well indeed:

56/215 Michael O’Donoghue 34:46 5 mile PB
148/215 Verity Cornford 42:01

Well done guys…our only non-PR racers this week!

Michael Crawley 1st Male 27:38
Julie Butler 1st Lady 31:03 Omagh Harriers
Jack McKenna 1st Male Junior 32:26
Lauren Cox 1st Lady Junior 36:14

Sperrin Harriers Winter League @ An CregganSperrin Harriers Winter League @ An Creggan. Click HD for clearer viewing and remember to like page to see new posts…

Posted by E2S Aerial Images on Saturday, 9 January 2016


As there were not too many races held this week, and in case any fellow report-writers on the rota suggest I ‘got an easy week’(!), I thought I’d delve a little further into this week’s Parkrun and throw in some stats for Victoria Parkrun. Firstly, the general results:

Princes Parkrun, Liverpool (226 runners took part)

We had Princess Catherine join the Princes Parkrun and represent the club in Liverpool in a charming time of 32:48

Ormeau Parkrun (285 runners)

We had a fleet-footed Fantastic Four frequenting Ormeau this week with:

15 Lyndsey Tyro 20:40 (2nd Female)
72 Jacqueline Maxwell 24:45 (1st in Age Category/Female)
123 Kirsty Buchanan 26:34 (2 seconds off PB)
125 Michael O’Donoghue 26:40 (1 parkrun off 150 runs!)

(Wait, hold on a minute, did the MOD send a copy MODel…I thought I mentioned him racing at An Creagan on the same day…yes I did and…he did…them both!)

Stormont Parkrun (131 runners)

I’m unsure what the weather was like in the other locations but Stormont began to rain heavily as we started off…and there were already plenty of puddles but the following still managed to create their own perfect storm:

4 Thomas Leitch 19:41 (Stormont PB, Age Cat 1st & 1 of 31 different Parkruns!)
14 Martin O’Brien 22:21 (4 seconds off Stormont PB)
49 Fintan Hurl 25:38 (Stormont PB, 49th PR)
76 Melinda Wilkinson 28:20 (Beat previous 2 times)
85 Karen Russell 29:36 (Good time for 1st Parkrun in a while)
126 Darren Houston 37:24*

* (at last I got ahead of Darren…albeit he had a pram!)

Victoria Parkrun (215 runners – 29 Orangegrove AC)
9 Paul WOODMAN 00:18:13
10 Robin MONTGOMERY 00:18:13
18 Des FAHY 00:19:26
23 Graeme BENNETT 00:20:35
36 Ian MILLGATE 00:21:54 PB
51 Pauline BAYLISS 00:22:59
52 Stephen ANDERSON 00:22:59
53 Ian GRANT 00:23:00
74 Gerald HARVEY 00:24:25
82 Sam RAINEY 00:25:05
83 Tom SMITH 00:25:06
84 Eoghan RAINEY 00:25:08
87 Reg SANLON 00:25:15
91 Sile BRENNAN 00:25:46
94 Paul GRUHN 00:26:06
99 Sarah STEER 00:26:24
103 Anna RANKIN 00:26:42
116 Martin DOHERTY 00:27:45
123 Hannah MACLEOD 00:28:04
135 Selina MYLES 00:28:36
138 Mairead NAPIER 00:29:00
142 Diana PORTER 00:29:25
144 Nicola DOWNEY 00:29:49
145 Neal KILLEN 00:30:01
156 Hilary BRADSHAW 00:30:36
160 Anne DEVLIN 00:31:00
161 Stephen CRAIG 00:31:00
187 Ian REID 00:33:47 PB
197 Deborah KILLEN 00:37:22
201 Lisa RODHAM 00:38:26

I’m not sure if they were holding hands crossing the line but I know that the cameras were in the wrong place this weekend…instead of Mo Farah & Edinburgh, it should have been Paul & Robin, or is it Robin & Paul as they both crossed the line in 18:13!

Well done on a ‘neck & neck finish’ & on Robin with Age Cat & 10 secs off a PB (that presentation obviously didn’t tire him out). Des wasn’t far behind them with another great time.

A few club members are now marathon training which is why Pauline, Stephen & Ian G provided a ‘neck & neck & neck finish’ whereas, Ian M really stuck his neck out by gaining the only Victoria Park PB of the day, well done Ian on 21:54.

A few others were close to PBs such as Graeme and Anne with Eoghan having had 2 PBs in his 2 previous runs.

Its worth noting that Diana is always regularly in the 70% Age Grade and that you shouldn’t let Sam & Tom’s age disguise their experience of 156 runs between them!

Several others who ran today appear to be making comebacks probably of varying sorts having not run for a while but made good strides today and here’s hoping the New Year sees us all keep fit and able to hit our personal targets.



Top 5 clubs who provided the most runners at Victoria Parkrun:
Orangegrove AC – 5,525
Willowfield Temperance Harriers – 1,599
Dub Runners – 1,167
North Down AC – 1,081
JogBelfast – 908

I think this goes to show not only the benefit of and the influence of JogBelfast but also of involvement of the wider community and help from local friends.


The number of runners Victoria Parkrun has had since its inception per year (please bear in mind Tommy Patton was a replacement for VP between October 2013-May 2014 during major works):

2011 – 2,579
2012 – 6,534
2013 – 6,959
2014 – 7,523
2015 – 13,409

Now, let’s be honest who said “oh no…not the statistic part!”? This is pretty amazing…right? The upward trend is obvious despite the work being done on Victoria Park and last year… wow! How many will have ran in VP in 2016?

You should never finish with stats but hey. And this was a quiet week! I promise, if ever asked again(!), to keep it shorter!