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Marathon: London and Belfast events bring out the best in County Antrim Harriers

County Antrim Harriers embraced the long-awaited return of ‘live’ marathons with a total of 13 club members running in Belfast and London on Sunday

All the Harriers produced magnificent performances and the club said their results are a “testament to their fastidious training and hard work”.

In Belfast, in bright but chilled conditions, seven Harriers toed the line at Stormont Estate to start their journey through the city to finish at Ormeau Park.

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There were a few showers but these helped refresh the runners, as did the good crowd support. All gave their best with special mention to Louise Holmes and Johnny Loughead on their excellent marathon debuts.

County Antrim Harrier, Louise Holmes, proudly clutches her medal after running in the Belfast Marathon on Sunday.

Chris Hopkins, in fine form, crossed the line, in a superb PB (personal best) time of 2:35:11, (13th overall), and setting another club record.

Suzanne Kennedy, pacing herself perfectly, crossed the line in 3:47:26 PB; followed by distance debutants Johnny Loughead (4:11:18) and Louise Holmes (4:27:14).

Irene Downey clocked a strong 4:37:48; while Louise Smart and Claire Oliphant completed the distance in fancy dress bringing smiles to other racers and spectators.

Club member Sean Pagel, part of a two-man relay team, covered his sections of the course (16 miles) with ease.

Delighted County Antrim Harrier Chris Dickey celebrates his London Marathon PB

In England, five members took to the streets of capital for the Virgin Money London Marathon. First home for the club, in a superb PB time of 3:24:38, was Aaron Anderson; followed by Alexandra McLaughlin (3:37:27 PB); and Sarah Kinnear (3:46:09). Patrick McLain (4:21:27) and Chris Dickey (4:32:32 PB) also ran well.

Elsewhere, Julie Young and Bailey and Darren Craig and Harriett were in action on the West Strand, Portrush, at the 9th Waggy Races with Darren and Harriett achieving a podium place.

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County Antrim Harrier Chris Hopkins sprints through Belfast Marathon.
County Antrim Harrier Patrick McLain soaks up the atmosphere of his first London Marathon