ATHLETICS: East Antrim round-up

County Antrim Harriers runners at the Giants Trail race . INLT 31-903-CON

County Antrim Harriers runners at the Giants Trail race . INLT 31-903-CON

East Antrim Harriers’ Billy Reed took part in the Lakeland 100 Ultra Tour of the Lake District on Friday (July 29). After an arduous 100-mile race he secured 52nd position (22:32:58) out of a field of 345.

On Sunday (July 31) three Harriers took part in the Cookstown Half Marathon, the eighth race in the 2016 Pure Half Marathon Series. At the time of writing, official results were unavailable but the Harriers finished at the sharp end of the field with Ross Mercer continuing his good form being first home in a time of 1:24:42, followed by Michael Allen in 1:26:13 and Andy Liddle in 1:35:50.

Larne AC's David Noble and Ricky Mann at the Cookstown Hlaf-Marathon. INLT 31-910-CON

Larne AC's David Noble and Ricky Mann at the Cookstown Hlaf-Marathon. INLT 31-910-CON

Larne Athletic Club’s David Noble and Ricky Mann travelled to Cookstown on Sunday (July 31) to take part in the annual half marathon.

The undulating course took in a 13.1-mile circuit of the town and Mid-Ulster countryside. First home for the club was Noble who is chasing top three places in the Pure Running Half Marathon series.

He produced a slower time than last year but improved on his at Dervock display, clocking 1:28:27.

Mann, also taking part in the Pure Running Half Marathon series, was taking part in his second half-marathon in two weeks and had a strong race with a time of 1:50:36.

County Antrim Harriers: On Friday night (29th July) saw five Harriers joining almost 300 others for Dub Runners’ Giant’s Trail Race.

The picturesque but challenging six-mile course, had a little of everything - forest trails, towpath, the Giant’s Ring, and inclines! Suzanne Kennedy was delighted to be the first Harrier home in 55:26, followed quickly by Carol Annesley in 53:48, Michael Ogilby in 1:04:40, and Marion Morrow and Kim Gleave who crossed the line together in 1:04:49.

On Sunday morning, Tanya Smith was the club’s sole representative at the inaugural Run Belfast 5k, organised in conjunction with the Belfast Titanic Triathlon. Starting at Donegall Quay, the fast, flat course took runners on two laps around the city centre. Ever-improving Smith delivered a gutsy performance.

Later in the day, five members of the club - Stephen Sweet, Aaron Anderson, Deborah Gibson, Christine Neeson and Tony Barclay - travelled to County Tyrone for the popular Cookstown Half Marathon.

The race, which starts and finishes at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena, has more than a few hills, but rewards racers with a super-sized medal! Despite the tough course, all the Harriers ran strongly. Special mention to Aaron Anderson on achieving a well-deserved personal best and Tony Barclay on his return to racing after illness.