Sperrin Harriers conquer Walled City Marathon

The Derry Walled Marathon saw 1500 from Ireland and across the world compete on a stunning course taking in sights and sounds of the city.

Members of Sperrin Harriers who have enjoyed a hectic racing schedule in recent weeks. INMU24 500con
Members of Sperrin Harriers who have enjoyed a hectic racing schedule in recent weeks. INMU24 500con
Members of Sperrin Harriers who have enjoyed a hectic racing schedule in recent weeks. INMU24 500con

The challenging route followed through the neighbourhoods of the city, the rural villages, the banks of the River Foyle and the city’s three bridges before returning to the Walled City for a finish in the historic Guildhall Square.

It was an early start as the bus headed for Derry, everyone in top form, after months of hard training and preparations.

As the 25 Sperrin Harriers headed to the start line conditions were perfect for running, with a few disguising themselves as jockeys the others were placing their bets.

The atmosphere was electric with a fantastic support from the crowd and the sperrin harriers supporters team who were out in force with banners and cheers. Everyone crossed the line happy and smiling to collect olympic size medals with fantastic results and PBs.

First Harrier was Paul McLaughlin having a fantastic run in a time of 3.18 (PB), next home was Gregory Cahoon (The Grinder) after all his hard work got his PB of 3.29, Gary McGuckin celebrating his 40th birthday and a PB to go with it 3.30, Martin McGirr 3.40, Tanya Black (1st female) running strong as ever had a brilliant 3.40, Martin Donaghy 3.48, Barry O’Neill 3.53.

Next female was Joanne Bell running happy and getting her PB of 3.53 in tow with her legendary pacer Doc Martin also in a time of 3.53, following close by was Olly Murphy in a great time of 3.56, next was a photo finish with money on the nose the two famous jockeys Aaron Meharg and Colly Gallagher in a time of 3.55 each, their horses knackered.

Fergal McElroy running his first ever marathon and getting a fantastic result after all his hard work3.56, Joe Curry 3.57, also running strong was Grainne Heaney in a time of-3.58, Darren Warnock on his 4th of the year ran a great time of 4.08, John McElroy 4.09, Joe Loughran 4.21, Bridget McCann 4.25, Michael McCrory and Stephen Morrison on a first ever marathon done brillant in a time of4.31, Niall Gallgher 4.35, Sean Coyle 5.11. Thomas McDonald completed his 100th Marathon in of4.50, an amazing achievement.

Sperrin took a very strong squad to the Ballymena 5 mile. Foyle Valley athlete Keith Sheilds led the way from the start and no less than 5 Harriers in the chasing group off around 10 athletes.

Paul O’Callaghan was leading the harriers with Dairmud O’Kane running strong closely followed by Aidan O’Hagan and Glenn Donnelly with Fergal Mulgrew in tow.

Paul O’Callaghan (1st Harrier) 27.58, Diarmud O’Kane - 28.50, Aidan O’Hagan 29.22, Glenn Donnelly 29.27, Fergal Mulgrew 30.31, Alan Shaw 31.30, Jordan Boyd 31.48, Richard Smyth 33.27, Toirleach Gourley 34.44, Charlie O’Hara 36.52, Patrick O’Mahoney 38.58, Ciara Coyle (1st Female) 38.58, Ursula Kelly 42.44, Roisin McErlean 43.34, Fiona Devlin 43.44, Samantha Convery 43.44,Deirdre Bradley 43.53, Elaine Hargan 45.24, Maureen Mallon 46.43, Christian McErlean 42.56,Susan Dougan 50.55,Mabel Kerr, Mary Duffin, Rosemary Hargan.

Karen Alexander does it again as she claims a record victory of 1st lady in3.36 at the Mourne Way Marathon on Saturday.

Also well done to Ciara Mullin who completed the half marathon in 2.25 and Natasha Henry completed the 10k in 54 minutes.

Saturday also saw 13 Harrier s take part in t Larne Half Marathon, sun shinning and temperatures rising at 11am start, this was a tough 13.1 mile run. Alan Shaw 1st harrier 1.28, Mark Reid 1.29, Gregory Cahoon 1.38, Jermey Dobson 1.39, Jason (Chippy)O’Neill 1.43, Martin Donaghy 1.45, Karen McElroy (1st lady) 1.55(PB), Stephen Morrison 2.01, Deirdre Conway 2.07, Frances CW 2.12, Shauna Young2.13, Maureen Mallon (PB) 2.14, Lynn Shiels 2.18.

The Park run had members 1st,2nd and 3rd: Pierce McCullagh 17.07, Glenn Donnelly 17.55, Fergal Mulgrew 18.52, Turloch Gourley 21.25, Colm McGuckin 21.36 PB, Russell Bell 21.57 pb, Hanna Su - 25.29PB.

Don’t forget very successful Stunnerz in Runnerz on Saturday at Meadowbank Sports Arena Magherafelt at 12pm. This event covers a distance of 5 miles and gives all Ladies a choice to Walk, Jog or Race. This is certain once again to be a fun filled ‘ girly day out’, the day will include a D.J. playing all your favourite tunes and also a dance warm-up to get you motivated at the start line, first 200 entrants will receive a ‘Stunnerz in Runnerz’ t.shirt and a girly goody bag.

On-line registration is now open, £11 for affiliated and £13 for non-affiliated. Please visit our website to register www.sperrinharriers.co.uk this will close 8pm on Thursday night before the race. You can also register on the day from 10am until 11.45am. Hope to see all you lovely ladies there.