Hutchinson takes podium place at IAAF Cross Country event

Larne's Craig Hutchinson takes a podium spot at Greenmount.
Larne's Craig Hutchinson takes a podium spot at Greenmount.

At Saturday’s IAAF Antrim International Cross Country, Larne AC’s Craig Hutchinson was the sole club representative at the Greenmount Campus in Antrim. He took part in the veterans’ race which comprised a three-lap course and he recorded a memorable podium placing to finish third in 19:24.

In midweek, 16 Larne AC runners undertook a daunting start to the New Year by tackling the Ballymena Runners sponsored Race Over the Glens.

Starting and finishing at the Visitor Centre in Glenariff Forest, the race followed trails for over six miles taking in some lung-busting climbs interspersed with fast descents. Conditions were poor as the runners made their way to the start line with driving rain and gales force winds making running conditions difficult at best.

First home for the club was Bernard Brady (16th, 42:44), followed by Bryan Magee (36th, 45:52). Dale Smith (54th, 48:05), Nigel Kane (55th, 48:08) and David Noble (57th, 48:15) hit the finish line within 10 seconds of each other before Ian McCluggage - making only his second appearance for the club - recorded a terrific 70th-place finish in 49:37.

Ian Brennan and Gabriel Rogers were next to finish in 134th (54:08) and 165th (56:32) respectively before the first of the club’s female runners, Rhonda Brady crossed the finish line in 176th (57:42). Rhonda was followed by Laura Hamill (200th, 59:11), Amy Beggs (219th, 60:46) and Clare McGuinness (289th, 68:36).

Next home for the club was Ricky Mann who was making his first-ever appearance in a competitive race. Ricky had a strong run to finish in 293rd (69:17) and was followed home by Geraldine Hastings who completed the course in 316th (73:56). Recent Club Handicap winner Marty McKay was the next runner to finish in 317th (75:49) which again was a super performance given this was Marty’s first official race outing. Norma Johnston completed the club’s representation at the event and recorded a commendable 328th (84:42) in what again was a first time representing the club.

Larne AC’s Scottish exile, Ryan Stewart, continued his recent good form to record a fifth-placed finish at the Aonach Mor Uphill Race in a fantastic time of 25:04.

Eight club members tackled the Larne parkrun on Saturday. Rhonda Brady was first for the club and also was the fastest lady in 23:25. Andrew Beattie finished in 23:34, with Patricia Blair 2placing second female in 24:26.