Nineteen year old Peter Cush ran a life time personal best of 16:56 at the Queen’s 5K at Belfast on Wednesday 06 April 2022. Since the start of the year Peter has been working hard both at training and attending race events getting himself into the shape of his life. Peter’s current goal was to break 17 minutes for the 5K road race, and he has been close to that in recent events but will be delighted with this run. Ran in windy conditions at the Annadale Embankment, Belfast, Peter went out running the first mile in 5 minutes 27 seconds and was able to maintain that incredible pace for the rest of the race. The race was eventually won by local superstar Nick Griggs from Mid Ulster AC and Peter finished well up the field in a race filled with incredibly fast athletes. A Galbally spokesperson said “At 19 years of age it is just incredible what Peter is currently doing. His training is incredible and dedicated. Early Saturday’s Peter up early and will be working on the track and on Sunday’s he will be up early again with the Galbally Runners for a road run. We look forward to supporting Peter as he sets new goals for 2022 and put in some more amazing runs.”
Labelled the fourth largest marathon in Europe, the Manchester Marathon is popular for its flat and fast course. Fourteen Galbally Runners made the journey, by boat or plane to take on this event in the most beautiful of conditions. Twelve tough weeks of training preparation went into this event through the winter months and the rewards paid off.
Fergal O’Donnell was the first Galbally Runner over the line. Fergal had been struggling with injury all year and is just getting back into training. Fergal finished the marathon in a time of 3:05, which is incredible considering the lack of proper training going into it. Fergal was quickly followed by Laura Maguire who ran an incredible time of 3:07. This was Laura’s first marathon and loved the event so much that she was quoted afterwards in saying that “she will be back to run more”. Laura had only joined Galbally Runners in October and put in a magnificent training block and truly deserved that time. Denise McCann wasn’t too far behind Laura. Denise was seeking redemption from a disastrous Manchester Marathon in 2021 and ran a massive personal best time of 3:09 and was absolutely delighted after the event.
Edel Corr will be absolutely delighted with her time also. This was Edel Corr’s second marathon and was also hindered with injury heading into it but ran a massive personal best of 3:23. Edel Corr’s running partner Niamh Mc Kenna also smashed her personal best with a sub 3:30 coming in with a time of 3:28. Sinead O’Neill, in her first proper marathon, joined the marathon programme late but had a excellent first proper marathon run and smashed her previous time with a 3:31 marathon.
Richard Bradley took off like a rocket and by the half way point Richard was on target for a 2:45 Marathon however, things took a turn for Richard in the last few miles and it became a struggle with Richard suffering an injury leaving Richard finishing in a time of 3:26.
Declan Girvan had the run of his life. This was Marathon number 2 for Declan, the first being Dublin Virtual. Declan had been working very hard in training and was delighted to cross the line with a time of 3:49 and new personal best for Declan. This run was a full 50 minutes faster than Declan's time in Dublin Virtual. Anna Deery running in her fourth marathon. crossed the line with a great time of 3:54. Jolene Mallaghan had a solid run throughout and finished with a personal best of 4:07. Jolene was quickly followed by Éadaoin McVeigh who was running her second proper marathon and had a great run with a time of 4:08. Lucy Woods, the child of the group, came home with a time of 4:11. This was Marathon number two for Lucy and it was a 20 minute personal best over her last marathon at Belfast. Emer Hand was delighted with her time as she had super Personal Best marathon with also with a time of 4:11. This was a massive personal best for Emer with almost 25 mins quicker than Belfast Marathon last October. Carmel McElvogue also came home with Emer with an excellent time and personal best of 4:11.
Over at Omagh on Sunday morning several of the Galbally Runner crew headed up to Omagh for the very popular Omagh Half Marathon. Eamonn Canavan and John Gillespie ran this together and both finished strong with times of 1:26:47. Francis O’Neill loves his events and ran a solid 1:39:28 and was delighted with his time. So too was Gerard Jones who came home with a personal best of 1:39:55. Caroline Murphy ran a 1:55:56. This is a new personal best for Caroline for the half marathon who was been putting in a huge effort at training. Dermot Moxon was delighted with his run, finishing Omagh half in 1:53:38. Four Galbally Runners ran the half marathon distance for the first time and what incredible runs they all had. Rebecca McCann ran a 1:50:08 with training partner Sarah Duggan finishing with a time of 1:52:45. Nuala Corr was totally delighted with her time of 1:52:07 with Linda Quinn finishing with a time of 2:19 over the half marathon. Donal Salmon, Dubliner and Galbally runner made it a family affair when he ran the Omagh Half with Nuala Corr and came home with a time of 1:52:07. Peter Conlon, training for an Iron Man, cycled up to Omagh and ran the event in 1:39:24. A Galbally Spokeperson said “We are delighted with the performance our runners put in at both Manchester Marathon and Omagh Half. We had 24 runners out this weekend and had 12 Personal Bests, 5 runners running the distance for the first time and a parkrun first place. Week in, week out our runners are on the track, on the roads and in the Gym improving their own abilities and doing what they never thought possible. Each and every one of them do inspire others to jump in and do things people never thought possible. We are proud of all our runners, and we look forward now to a season of road events before the autumn marathons again.”
Galbally Runner Laura Maguire had a super run and took third place female at last weekend’s Clogher Valley 5K with a time of 19:03. This was another new personal best for Laura Maguire over the 5K distance. Laura has been relatively new to the running but has been smashing it recently in training and events and was well pleased to receive her first event podium finish. Denise McCann followed closely behind Laura with a great time of 19:09 and was fourth female overall. The calibre of the opposition these ladies faced on this perfect morning at Clogher was high as the event was won by Irish athlete Denise Toner of Clones AC who smashed the course record with a time of 17:43
Peter Cush and Martin Early ran side by side for the entire 5K race with Peter finishing just in front of Martin with a time of 17:50 and Martin Early again smashing a personal best with a time of 17:51. This was a 35 second personal best for Martin Early who has loads more to come in 2022. Both Galbally Runners finished well up the field in the top 10. Fergal O’Donnell is coming back to form and glad to get some events in ran a steady 19:02 on the day.
Saturday morning also seen the famous Derry 10 miler. Four Galbally Runners headed off for this event on what was a nice morning for running. It was great to see Galbally Runner Aileen Hurson back out at the events after struggling with injury over the past year. Aileen ran a super personal best of 1:14:45. Hopefully we will see Aileen out at more events in the coming year. Francis O’Neill, running his third 10 mile event in three weeks ran a superb 1:18 and is delighted with his form. Michelle McCrory also had the most amazing of runs at the Derry 10 Miler running alongside her brother Martin Early, she recorded a personal best of 1:33:34. We don’t often see Michelle out at too many events but hopefully we will see Michelle out at lots more. A massive well done to you from all at Galbally Runners.
On Sunday morning over in Co. Monaghan some of our runners took on the Glaslough Harriers AC annual 5K event. The event is a hugely popular event supported by lots of running groups across Ireland with lots of prizes on offer. Denise McCann, deep into her Marathon training, decided to take the weekend with a difference and up the pace a bit to see how she would get on at the 5K event. That was a great decision for Denise, who was doubting herself slightly over the shorter, quicker runs. Ran in atrocious windy conditions Denise ran a 5K personal best time of 19:07 and took home the prize money and trophy for being first female. It’s only a matter of weeks before Denise smashes through the 19 minute barrier and hits those 5Ks in the 18s. Denise’s running buddy Niamh McKenna also took on the 5K event and had a super-fast run, finishing the 5K with a personal best and time of 21:26 averaging 6:54 minutes per mile. Peter Cush has been putting himself out there every week at these events and again had a great run completing the event in 17:43 with Fergal O’Donnell just back after a lengthy injury and running a 19:06.
Last Wednesday Galbally Runners participated in another 5K Track Meet at Meadowbank Arena, Magherafelt. The brilliantly organised event is hosted by running coach Francis Purvis of Purvis running and participation was from runners from Galbally Runners, North Belfast Harriers, Tafelta Runners, Purvis Running and Keep Er Lit running. The purpose of the evening is to get runners use to participating at 5K Track events and making them more comfortable with attending such events. There were five races in total. In race one Rebecca McCann took the lead from Sarah Duggan at about the halfway point and maintained it to win with a personal best time of 23:13. Sarah Duggan and Oliver Brannigan had a great sprint tussle to the finish with both runners coming home joint second with a time of 23:55 and personal bests for both runners. Caroline McElduff too was involved in the sprint finished and came home in fourth with a personal best time of 24:00. Galbally Runner Clare McElduff also ran a personal best of 28:14. In race two the group went out very sharp and hit the first 200 meters in 34 seconds, the quickest start of the night, before settling into a rhythm. Galbally Runner Sinead O’Neill took the lead early on before losing it to a few Keep Er Lit Runners but with 800 meters to go Sinead kicked to go back into the lead and pipped Dermott Coy of North Belfast Harriers to take first place with a personal best time of 20:31. Gerard Jones came home in a time of 21:05 with Calum McCullough slightly behind running a personal best of 21:15. Niamh McKenna was right behind Calum with a personal best time of 21:18 followed by Lucy Woods who also had a personal best run on the night with a time of 21:21. Declan Gervin chased Lucy to the line and also had a personal best of 21:44., Race three saw Peter McAtasney being the only Galbally Runner in the race and for most of the race stayed in amongst a group of Tafelta and Keep Er Lit Runners. Peter, who was targeting his second sub 20 of the week, kicked with 400 meters to go to win the race and record a new personal best time of 19:41. This last 400 meters of Peter’s run was also the second quickest 400-meter segment of the evening with a 1:11. Race four had the biggest field of the night with several Galbally Runners up against a great contingent from Tafelta, Keep Her Lit and North Belfast Harriers. Ruairi Johnston from Tafelta kicked early on with four laps to go to open up about a 70-meter lead. With two laps to go the field started to close him down with Cahir McGuiness of Keep Er Lit and Martin Early chasing him down. It was Cahir McGuiness of Keep Er Lit who was able to catch Ruari Johnston to take first place with Martin Early just missing out by one second to take third place with a 17 second personal best time of 18:26. Eugene Hackett, who is working hard both at the gym and track, had a super run and came home with a personal best time of 18:32. Fergal O’Donnell will be delighted with his time running a 18:35. Fergal is just back out training after receiving a nasty injury earlier in the year. The only two females in the race where Galbally Runners Denise McCann and Laura Maguire. Both runners ran side by side supporting each other for most of the race. Denise kicked with 800 meters to go looking for that sub 19 and came home in a time of 19:02 and personal best. There were only 8 seconds between both ladies as Laura chased Denise down to run a massive personal best of 19:10. Laura was trying to break the 20-minute 5K and she smashed it on the night. The last race of the night, and the quickest, had seen Peter Cush and Eamon Canavan up against a field of highly talented runners across all clubs. Two groups forms early on with three runners breaking away from the main group. Peter Cush, who had been showing some great form recently and sat comfortably behind the second group and had a great kick with 200 meters to go win that group and take fourth place overall. Peter’s time of 17:37 was the fastest Galbally Runner time of the night. Eamon Canavan, participating in this event for the first time, also had a great run and came home in a time of 18:43. A Galbally Runner’s spokesperson said “The learning experience for our runners here is incredible. Some of our runners felt they had more in the tank and should have went a bit earlier, some went a bit too sharp at the start and paid for it later on, but the main thing is that we all learned from the event. At the event we had 16 of our runners who recorded personal bests. We at Galbally Runners think that is just incredible and well done to those runners. We also enjoyed the event immensely and Galbally Runners would like to thank Francis Purvis of Purvis running for hosting the event and to all the participating running groups who made the event such an enjoyable evening.”
What a weekend Galbally Runners had last Saturday as they all put several weeks of tough training to the test as they headed to both the Carlingford Half and Bundororan 10 Mile events. Both these events are very popular with hundreds of runners across Ireland participating. Ran in the most perfect at conditions 15 of our runners completed in the Bundoran 10 Miler. Richard Bradley was the first Galbally Runner home finishing the 10 mile with a time of one hour exactly. Richard was soon followed home by John Gillespie who ran a 1:04:08 over the ten mile. John ran most of the race with Peter Cush who came home slightly behind with a time of 1:04:57. This was Peter’s second big run over the weekend as he PBed his 5K on the Friday with a time of 17:07. Peter is showing some great form of late and is, as we would say, flying. Denise McCann had the run of her life coming home with a massive personal best and time of 1:05:56 maintaining a 6:35 minute mile for the 10 mile. Denise had been doing some incredible training of late and the hard work, big mileage and gym all paid off as Denise came as forth female overall. This was some achievement in a massive event, where only a few years back for a Galbally runner would have been unheard of. A big congratulation to Denise from all of Galbally Runners. 33 seconds behind Denise came Laura Maguire. This too was an amazing result as Laura PBed with a time of 1:06:35 and was sixth female home. Laura had been training hard with Denise and this was only her third ever event, second as a Galbally Runners. Laura was delighted with her time as she starts her running journey. Hot on the heels of Laura was Sinead O’Neill, another new runner and she absolutely smashed her time with a massive personal best of 1:13:42. This is a super result for Sinead who also has only started her running journey. Sinead ran most of the run with Niamh McKenna. One of the younger members of the team, Niamh has been working extremely hard at training and knocking in the big miles and was very well deserved of her new personal best and time of 1:13:56. Galbally stalwart Francis O’Neill had a super run and was delighted with his performance of 1:16. Francis was soon followed home by Aisling Gillespie who ran a 1:16:29. This was the most amazing of runs from Aisling who is not long back out training after having baby Luke only a few months ago. What an amazing achievement from Aisling and a massive credit to her. Popular man and local GAA referee Dermot Moxon ran a 1:25:21. This wasn’t a personal best by any means from Dermot but was delighted with his time as he had been easing back on training lately. Caroline McElduff came home with a massive personal best of 1:28:26. Caroline too has been putting the work in at training and will be delighted with this result. Paul Cassidy running one of his favourite events ran a great run coming home with a time of 1:28:41. The two McGlinchey sisters have been complementing the football recently with a bit of cardio at the running with both girls loving the training and Parkruns. This is the first big event for both girls with Maeve running a 1:29:02 and Claire 1:37:30. New to the group is both Jacqueline Gillespie and Linda Quinn. Both ladies had only joined Galbally Runners recently and decided to give this event a go running the distance for the first time and what great runs they both had with Jacqueline running a 1:40:47 and Linda running a 1:47:34. Well done ladies and to all who had one of the best days at sunny Bundororan.
Over at Carlingford half marathon four of our runners headed over in search of personal bests after weeks and weeks of training. Peter McAtasney running his first half and aiming for a sub 1:40 absolutely smashed it in Carlingford with a time of 1:35 holding an average pace of 7:15. Declan Girvan too has been working extremely hard in training and was hoping to hold a pace in the 7’s did so and smashed his half marathon personal best with a time of 1:44. Éadaoin McVeigh running on home turf also ran a personal best of 1:57:26. Éadaoin was quickly followed home by Emer Hand who knocked a full 20 minutes off her time since her last half marathon in Carlingford and ran a 1:57:53. We know Ned will be proud when he picks up the paper during the week. That was a clean sweep of personal bests over at Carlingford and all runners were delighted with their deserved performance. A massive well done to you all at Carlingford from all at Galbally Runners.
Saturday seen the final race in the Sperrin Harriers Winter League Series. This was the longest of the four events with the first being way back in early December with the Lough Fea 5K. This one was a 10 miler, a trail run around Parkanaur. Richard Bradley was the highest placed Galbally Runner who finished in 5th place overall. The terrane obviously suits Richard has he carries out much of his training in trail or mountain type conditions. Richard’s time over the 10 mile was 1 hour 6 minutes. Richard was followed by Peter Cush who ran a 1.19.57. Francis O’Neill, running all the Sperrin Harriers events, came home with a time of 1:21:56. Another runner who never missed these events is Gerard Jones. Gerard came home just behind Francis in a time of 1.22.57. Well done to all our runners who participated in this popular event and thank you to the Sperrin Harriers for organising. Over at MUSA John McElroy made it Parkrun 22 with a consistent time of 22:21.
Where else would you find Galbally Runners any New Years Eve morning but at Loughmacrory for the popular Lough 5. This 5 mile event that had over 700 participants including recent Olympian and Irish middle distance runner, Ciara Mageean. Seventeen Galbally Runners took on the event, which includes the challenging ‘Joe’s Hill’ and nice finish around the lake at Loughmacory and all did the blue and white proud. The results are as follows:
Richard Bradley 29:46
Fergal O’Donnell 30:57
John Gillespie 31:09
Denise McCann 34:06, Personal Best and took the prize for first in her age category.
Peter Conlon 35:57
Stephen Ballantine 36:02
Francis O’Neill 36:02
Denis Donaghy 38:21
Francis McVeigh 40:02 and Personal Best
Eamon Canavan 41:01
Éadaoin McVeigh 42:41
Niall Mc Ginty- 42:46
Dermot Moxon 43:31
Paul Cassidy 43:35
Emer Hand 43:59
Caroline Murphy 46:13
Linda Quinn 54:35
In the 5K- Brocagh event Denise McCann took first female with a time of 20:00. Jonathan Loughran just missed out on a podium in the male race when he come home in fourth place with a time of 17:19. Francis McVeigh had a great run with a time of 23:57. Caroline Murphy ran another nice 5K run with a time of 27:08.The Girvan family were all out in force at the run with Callum running a time of 23:57, Jamie running a 24:58 alongside dad Declan at 25:00 and Caodhla running a 34:13 This was a great run from Caodhla who had a two minute personal best on the day. Mum Mairead also had a great run with the family and hopefully we will see more of them all through 2022. Aileen Hurson ran the event with her daughter Lilly Maye. It was great to see Lilly Maye out running with her mum who has been coaching a youth group in Galbally of late along side Oliver Brannigan and Oliver Murphy. Well done Lilly Maye and good things to come in 2022.
In the 10K event, the Galbally runners were out in force with Richard Bradly just 7 seconds short of picking up a podium place. Richard came home in fourth place with a time of 38:03. Richard was closely followed home by Fergal O’Donnell in fifth place with a time of 38:29. John Gillespie was pushing close behind Fergal and came home in 7th overall with a time of 38.51. A great run by Eamon Canavan recording a time of 40:17. This was a great performance by the leading Galbally Runner crew with the four of them finishing in the top 11 in a great field of runners. Brendan Woods was the next male home and ran a 43:23.
Anna Deery landed herself a podium by running a super time of 48:29. Well done Anna on being third female home. Éadaoin McVeigh soon followed and got herself a massive 10K PB with a time of 52:38. Emer Hand returned home in a time of 54:43 and Julie Deery running a steady 58:34 over a tough course.
At the famous Greencastle 5 Mile run Peter Cush was the first Galbally Runner home. Peter has been running some great times lately and ran a 32:23 over the challenging 5 mile route. Francis O’Neill recorded a nice time of 37:22 and John McElroy coming home with a time of 38:18. Paul Cassidy took on this run on Boxing Day and ran a 46:11. All great times over a challenging course, especially the huge climb at mile 4. Well done to all our runners out on Boxing Day.
In race one Jolene O’Hara came home in third place overall, first female home, with a time of 24:13. This was Jolene’s first time on the track and has been working hard on her training and it showed on the night. Closely behind as second female was Maeve McGlinchey with a time of 24:40. Maeve has swapped her football boots over the winter months for the runners, and it showed on the night her great level of fitness and cruised around the track for the first time getting a superb time. Caroline McElduff, doing this event for the second time ran very comfortably and controlled for all 12.5 laps to get a time of 27:40. Caroline was closely followed home by Cait Cunningham who recorded a time of 28.08. Cait in recent months has been mixing her love for cross fit with a bit of running and knocked in a great performance on the night.
In race two, new Galbally Runner, Peter McAtasney led the field from early on to record his first win with a time of 20:27. This was an excellent result for Peter who has been working hard at training and a huge personal best on the night. Peter now eyes that sub 20 5K as we come into a few events over the Christmas period. Stephen Ballantine, who took on this event for the first time, knocked in a nice time of 21:22. Lucy Woods, who has been knocking in lots of personal bests over the previous two months, done it again on Wednesday night with a massive Personal Best of 22:07. Consistency in training is paying off for Lucy who will look to hit sub 22 in the Broacagh 5K on Boxing Day. Niamh McKenna, who also has been working hard all year and doesn’t get to many events, came home in a time of 22:40. A massive learning experience for Niamh who will have a fantastic 2022 on the roads. Éadaoin McVeigh, our most consistent runner at training, came home with a time of 24:36. That was a full minute off Éadaoin’s personal best but everyone who knows Éadaoin will know she will come back in 2022 and smash her 5K Personal Best.
In race three, Denise McCann took joint second and was first female with a time of 19:55. Denise ran consistent splits throughout and had plenty more in the tank at the end. Denise was followed by Brendan Woods, who ran a 19:56. New Galbally Runner, Laura Maguire, had a super run and came home as second female with a personal best time of 20:00. Laura had the most incredibly comfortable run and also had “more in the tank” at the end. Laura too has been mixing cross fit with her new love for running and we have no doubt will see lots of Laura competing at events in 2022. Peter Conlan worked hard throughout and ran a 20:33 on the night. Peter, who has been in and out of training, will be happy with his performance on the night. So too will Donal Salmon who had a massive Personal Best with a time of 20:34. Donal is a very strong runner and is showing some great consistency in training. No doubt Donal is now eyeing up a sub 20 5K in 2022.
Race 4 went out at a blistering pace with a group of Keep Er Lit runners and a Purvis runner breaking away from the rest of the group from lap one. In the second group, Fergal O’Donnell sat comfortably with two Keep Er Lit runners until the last 200 meters and had a great kick to come home in front of that second group with a great time of 18:00. Fergal was followed home soon after by John Gillespie (18:27), Peter Cush (18:27) and Denis Cush (18:36).
On Saturday morning two great local events had clashed, meaning our runners were split between supporting both local running groups. Sperrin Harriers had the first of their annual winter league series at Lough Fea. Peter Cush, one of our youngest members ran a comfortable 19.14 and was third place in the 18-29 age category. Peter has been back training consistently for the past couple of months and is starting to show some great results. Francis O’Neill, a popular attendee at these Sperrin Harrier events, also ran a comfortable 22.18. In the coming weeks other Galbally Runners will support Sperrin Harriers at their popular winter league series.
At the other end of Cookstown at around the same time some our runners had been attending the annual Irwin Spears Memorial Cross Country event. Ran in very wet conditions all our runners performed well on the day and are loving their first year at cross country. Denise McCann finished in ninth place overall out of a field of 74 experienced cross country runners with a time of 23.17. There is no doubt Denise will be looking to get a team of ladies to complete in these team competitions next year. In the mens event, Fergal O’Donnell and John Gillespie worked together throughout the tough conditions and finished together in a time of 29.35. Oliver Murphy, getting his first taste of cross country this season finished in a time of 38.57 with Brendan Woods finishing in a decent time (but he doesn’t know as he didn’t put on his bib).
This year Jonathon Loughran was our only runner to take on the Seeley Cup event held at Ormeau Park on Saturday past. This famous 10K is the final big racing event of the year and has all the top runners from all over Ireland Participating. Jonny had a tough run but still recorded a personal best time of 36:54. That is great running over 10K.
On Saturday morning six of our runners ventured to Eskra to take on the popular Rudolph Run, a 10K event organised by Knockmanny Runners. It was a cold, wet and very windy morning for our runners as they ran the hilly event with 146 other runners from a range of clubs. Top marks go to the men as they picked up the honours being the first overall male team home. The male team were Fergal O’Donnell who completed the 10K course in a time of 38:10, Peter Cush 42:21, Brendan Woods 42:22, Peter McAtasney who had a personal best time over this course of 45:16 and Francis O’Neill who came home in 45:18. A superb performance by the squad on that tough route and they were all chuffed to hear that they had taken first place. Well done also to Denise McCann who ran a 43.23 over those conditions. The club sends its thanks to Knockmanny runners for its great hospitality and organisation of the event.
For the first time in the club’s short history it had entered runners into a cross country event held at Comber. First up were the ladies for the John McKeag cup. Denise McCann laced up those spikes for the first time to take on the 5.5K route across the fields. Denise was a bit nervous not knowing what lay ahead but had an amazing run finishing in a time of 24.30. Next up, John Gillespie, Fergal O’Donnell and Brendan Woods took on the 8K Comber Cup route. The route, similar to the ladies, involved lots of big climbs and difficult footing in wet ground. The 3 lads held their own at their first cross country event for the club with Fergal O’Donnell coming home in a time of 34:11 and John Gillespie in hot pursuit and came home in a time of 34:42. Brendan Woods came home in a good time of 37:50. It was the most enjoyable afternoon by our runners and lots of lessons learned on the day.
On Sunday morning over 400 runners from all over Ireland took part in the annual Armagh 10 mile road race organised by Armagh Athletics Club. The weather conditions were perfect as six Galbally Runners took to the start line for this event on a course that has a lot of tough climbs out around the country side of County Armagh. Some great times were recorded by our runners on the day. Richard Bradley, who already had competed two marathons in October ran the event in an amazing time of 1 hour and 57 seconds knocking a full minute off his time from last year. Brendan Woods recorded a time of 1:09:53. Frankie Conlan, not long back at the running, recorded a nice time of 1:13:33. Laura Maguire, a new recruit to Galbally Runners and new to running recorded an amazing time of 1:14:40. Francis O’Neill came home in a time of 1:17:48 and Edel Corr finished the tough route in a time of 1:18:40. Well done to all to take on that challenging route.
On Sunday morning past four of the Galbally Runners headed off to Shane’s Castle to complete in the ChampionChip Ireland Marathon event around the grounds of the castle. Denise McCann, who had been working hard all year for a marathon Personal Best went to get that PB at the Manchester Marathon. Things didn’t go Denise’s way that day and Denise pulled up at the half way point. Denise was determined to PB over the 26.2 miles and that very day of the Manchester event entered the next available local marathon, which was on the grounds of Shane’s Castle. Denise ran the perfect run that day and came home with a personal best of 3:17 and was first lady overall on the day. After every event it is time to reflect. The good runs and the bad runs. What went well, what worked and what did not.
What a day the Galbally Runners team had out at Belfast City Marathon on Sunday past. The culmination of months of hard training seen 15 Galbally runners take to the start line to take on the 26.2 mile course from Stormont, around Belfast and to finish back at Ormeau Park. This hard training involved a lot of commitment from these folks especially on a Sunday morning with the “long run”. Each runner had their reasons. That might have been to break a certain time, it might have been to finish this endurance run for the first time, or it might have been in remembrance for a close relative who had passed. Some also run for fun, and Galbally Runners on Sunday had runners on the course with all abilities and all with their own “why”.
Jonathon Loughran 2:48
Richard Bradley 2.57.
Fergal O’Donnell 3:03.
Eugene Hackett 3:16
Brendan Woods 3:16
Martin Donnelly 3:31
Edel Corr 3:31
Niamh Mc Kenna 3:44
Donal Salmon, 3:54
Éadaoin McVeigh 4:06
Lucy Woods 4:28
Roisin McElvogue 5:
Well done to Denise McCann and Richard Bradley who picked up third place podiums a piece at the Donegal East Half Marathon on Sunday 26 September 2021. Ten of our runners took on the course as preparation runs for their upcoming marathons at Belfast and Manchester and their runs will give them all every bit of confidence as they take on the 26.2 miles in the coming weeks. Their times are as follows:
Richard Bradley 1:22 and third male
Denise McCann 1:34 and third female
Aileen Hurson 1:3.
Edel Corr 1:41
Niamh McKenna 1:48 and personal best
Éadaoin McVeigh 2:05
Emer Hand 2:05
Dena Jones 2:06
Niall McGinty 2:06
Kellie McKenna 2:12 and personal best
28 Galbally Runners headed down to the Meadowbank Sports Area in Magherafelt to join Tafelta AC, Mallusk Harriers, Dub Runners of Belfast and the North Belfast Harriers for a 5K friendly track meet. This was the first time Galbally Runners, who are normally at road events, attended a 5K track meet.
Organisers Francis Purvis, Tafelta AC and his team at Team were incredible providing the runners an amazing welcome, a fabulous atmosphere and some much-needed refreshments afterwards. This welcome made all our runners, a lot of whom had a few pre-run nerves, a lot more relaxed and provided for the most enjoyable evening. Every single runner from Galbally Runners who attended did us proud at the event with plenty of personal bests recorded however this night was a friendly event designed to encourage people of all abilities to try a track event that, perhaps before, they wouldn’t have felt ‘good enough’ to attend.
The team had a ball a ball and hope to be back at Track events like this too. Well done to the following for competing:
Roisin McElvogue (30:45), Ann Marie Morris (30:05), Eimear Donaghy (29:56), Erin McDonald (29:22), Caroline McElduff (27:48), Oliver Branagan (26:40), Emer Hand (26:04), Dena Jones (26:03), Brenda O’Donnell (26:02), Ryan McCabe (25:28), Dorinda McLaughlin (25:08), Barry Morris (24:09), Lucy Woods (23:57), Éadaoin McVeigh (23:46), Oliver Murphy (23:26), Declan Gervin (22:28), Francis O’Neill (21:43), Frankie Conlon (21:21), Denis Donaghy (21:11), Brenda Mullan (21:08), Patrick Donnelly (20:57), Peter Conlon (20:37), Edel Corr (20:36), Denise McCann (19:36),
Peter Cush (19:34), Martin Donnelly (19:28), Brendan Woods (19:11), John Gillespie (18.31)
On Sunday 29 August Galbally Runners headed to Larne to take on the famous Antrim Coast Half Marathon. This popular event attracts runners from all over the world and was won last year by Mo Farah. The course and weather conditions were perfect and meant the runner could take a good crack at racing it. There were great performances from all our athletes there with Jonathon Loughran, Richard Bradley, Fergal O'Donnell & Lucy Woods getting themselves personal bests. Well done to all our runners however little time to rest with training continuing for upcoming events such as the Washingbay half and Belfast, London and Manchester Marathons. Results are as follows:
Jonny Loughran 1:16:47 – Personal Best
Richard Bradley 1:18:44 – Personal Best
Fergal O’Donnell 1:20:36 – Personal Best
Brendan Woods 1:32:11
Francis O’Neill 1:40:50
Lucy Woods 1:58:51 – Personal Best
Nine of our runners headed over to the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown on Saturday morning
to pace themselves with 124 other runners at the Saturday Morning Parkrun. What a morning they
had with every one of them achieving a personal best over the 5K with Jonathan Loughran achieving
second place overall and Denise McCann finishing as second female. The results from MUSA are as
Jonathan Loughran 16:58, personal best and second overall
Denise McCann 19:18, personal best and second female
Brendan Woods 18:52 and personal best
Eugene Hackett 18:55 and personal best
Declan Girvan 23:08 and personal best
Emer Hand 25:52 and personal best
Erin McDonald 29:55 and personal best
Elena Williams 29:56 and personal best
Blaithin Rafferty 30:38 and personal best
On Sunday 04 July four of our runners headed over to Craigavon lakes to participate in the Kernan 10K and 5K events. Éadaoin McVeigh and Emer Hand both had great runs in the 5K event and came home with times of 25:37 and 25:54. The 10K event seen Richard Bradley return home in a time of 36:48 and Francis O’Neill having his first outing in over a year also having a great run coming home in under 47 minutes.
The Paul Murray Grand Prix Series, an event organised by Knockmanny runners started on Friday 04 June 2021. The popular event is a 5K race every Friday evening in June across different and challenging routes around the hills of Eskra. Six of our runners turned out for the event which was ran in almost perfect running conditions and all put in a super shift for the evening. The times for our runners were as follows: Fergal O’Donnell 17:34 and second in the Male Over 40 category, Peter Cush 19:13, Eamon Holland 25:04, Stevie McKenna 21:18, Dermot Moxon 23:23 and Brendan Woods 19:24.
Round 2 - Another warm sunny evening in Eskra seen some great performances from all Galbally Runners with personal best from Niall McGinty and Denise McCann who for the first time smashed that 20 minute 5K barrier. All of our runners also improved on their time from the previous week. The times for our runners were as follows: Peter Cush 18:43, Denise McCann 19:46 and a Personal Best, Stevie McKenna 21:02, Niall McGinty 22:48 and a Personal Best, Dermot Moxon 23:23 and Brendan Woods 19:22.
Rouns 3 of the Paul Murray grand Prix series in Eskra seen another great week of running from the Galbally Runners squad. Fergal O’Donnell recorded a personal best of 17:16 and was in ninth position overall and second in his age category. O’Donnell is going from strength to strength this year and is now eyeing that sub 17 minute 5K. Maybe a Parkrun somewhere during the summer will do it. Peter Cush, at just 18 years of age and just back from injury recording a super time of 18:30. Denise McCann knocked in another PB and her second sub 20 minute 5K in two weeks, this time taking over 10 seconds off her last 5K with an amazing time of 19:33. Brendan Woods ran a time of 19:42 and Niall McGinty chose to take this as a threshold run on his training program and ran a great time of 23:46.
The final round of the Paul Murray 5K was last Friday evening in Eskra. This route proved to be the fastest of all routes with Personal Best again for Fergal O’Donnell with a cracking time of 17:16. Peter Cush cruised home with a time of 19:16 whilst Brendan Woods and Niall McGinty came home with improved times of 19:19 and 22:44.
Fergal O’Donnell and Brendan Woods made their way to Down Royal for the 10K ChampionChip Ireland event on Sunday 30 May 2021. Both runners had great runs in blistering conditions, though we shall not complain. Fergal smashed his personal best with a time of 37:45. For the first two miles O’Donnell got boxed in amongst a group of runners and couldn’t get a away and ran splits miles at times of 6:20 and 6:13 however got going after this and felt very strong with the rest of the split times coming in at 6:08, 6:02, 5:53, 5:52 and 5:52. Fergal was delighted with his performance and knows his training is paying off. Woods came home with a time of 41:54 and is happy with his performance and is making great progress with his training.
Well done to Galbally Runner Richard Bradley who smashed his marathon personal best on Sunday at the ChampionChip Ireland Event with an amazing time of 2:51:52 over the 26.2 mile course at Down Royal. Bradley set off strong at the start knocking in a consistent sub 6.30 minute mile pace up to the 16 mile mark but facing a strong wind Bradly fought through the last part of the marathon slowing ever so slightly to still finish off the race at an average pace of 6:32 minute miles and was placed 7th overall out of a field of 59. Richard is an ultra-runner and knocks in plenty of miles over the Mourne mountains as part of his training and will be well pleased with his performance.
This weekend the Galbally Runners participated in the Belfast Half Marathon Virtual event. Some over the runners had chosen to run over the 13.1 miles and some elected to run the 5K virtual. As part of a wider running community we hope this is one of the last virtual events we will run as we get somewhat closer to normality. Some of our runners planned to cover the distance whilst some went in the pursuit of personal best. Like all Galbally Runner events all runners completed the event with smiles on their faces, well for most of the way. As a club we are so incredibly proud of everyone who got out and gave it a go. Special mentions to our first timers over the half marathon Paddy Donnelly, Edel Corr and Michelle Early who all had incredible runs for debut participants and what fantastic performances from them. Matthew Sloan this week completed a marathon on Monday, 2 10ks on Tuesday and Wednesday and an incredible 1:29 half marathon on Saturday. What an amazing week he had. A few other well-earned and deserved personal bests to mention from Jonathon Loughran, Pete Conlon, Irene Mc Elduff ,Emer Louise Hand, Caitlin Donaghy, Éadaoin McVeigh, Declan Girvan Denise McCann, Dermot Moxon, Ciara Herron, Niamh Mc Kenna, Matthew Sloan, Martin Donnelly, Claire McElduff, Richard Bradley and Julie Deery.
Galbally Runners participated in the first (Non Virtual) event since Covid restrictions started to relax. How exciting was it for our runner to get out and participate in a non virtual event. This event series is organised by ChampionChip Ireland at the Downroyal Racecourse. Thanks to Glenn Grant of Championchip Ireland for wasting no time and getting the events up and running so soon. It was organised brilliantly & safely with a lot of the buzz, the banter back that was missed by all. The running too was something else. Well done to all Galbally Runners who attended with a special mention to Richard Bradley, Caitlin Donaghy and Edel Corr on working hard to secure PBS for themselves this week for their 5K. Another special mention to Éadaoin McVeigh who secured a PB over the 10K earlier in the week in the Dundalk Virtual 10K.
Well Done to all our runners who took part in the 10K or a 10 mile virtual challenge . Some runners ran as part of the Cara Bundoran 10 mile challenge and some of us - just for the craic! Well done to you all!. We had plenty of strong runs & PBs... but more importantly - plenty of smiles through those miles!
The Greencastle 5 Mile Road Run went ahead today a few days earlier than planned due to Covid restrictions coming into effect on December 26th.
Huge thanks and congratulations to the event organisers who planned a very successful, enjoyable and extremely safe running event!!
As always, the course was tough! And that hill - we enjoyed it immensely!!
It was great to get one final organised event in 2020. Well done to everyone out powering around Greencastle! Super running by all GRs
After a couple of “Tapering” weeks, Galbally runners took to the local roads last weekend to complete the Dublin Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K events. This was a culmination of a long period of training through the summer months by a lot of our runners and they were delighted to have the opportunity to run this on our local roads following all Covid guidelines and restrictions.
A special mention to our 1st time Marathoners Dena Jones, Kellie McKenna, Éadaoin McVeigh, Emer Hand, Brenda Mullan & Declan Girvan. Some of these runners had started our beginner programme only last year and now have completed an amazing 26.2 mile event. It was also the first time for Roisin McElvogue, Sarah Quinn and Francis McVeigh to complete the half marathon distance and for Maria Quinn to complete her first 10K. It was very a special and emotional event as each runner had their own motivation to do these challenging events but all can be very proud of their achievements. Well done to all our runners who had been out at some point over the weekend participating in these events.
Last Sunday had seen some of our runners took part in their toughest challenge in over a year when they participated in a marathon time Trial in Coalisland. The running conditions were atrocious with constant rain as well as the runners having to deal with a strong headwind for much of the second half of the run. This meant a tough finish to what is one of the gruelling of sporting events.
The Galbally Runners all put in some magnificent performances and was very well deserved everyone after such a hard year. A massive congratulations to Aileen Hurson who was first lady at the event and Denise McCann who was second lady. Both work consistently at their training program and are delighted with their results and made huge progress over the marathon miles. The Galbally Runners times are as follows Jonathan Loughran (3.06.13), Aileen Hurson (3.10.51 & Personal Best), Denise McCann (3.27.58 & Personal Best), Pete Conlon (3.28.46 Personal Best), Frankie Conlon (3.43.50) & Niall McGinty (4.16.18 & Personal Best). Well done also to Ita McVeigh who also completed a 20 mile training running with us today in prep for Dublin Marathon Virtual in 2 weeks time. The club extents its congratulations and thanks to Brian Taggart who came second over all on the day with a time of 2:46:27. Brian guided a lot of the Galbally runners to personal best times at the event. Thank you!
Congratulations for another marathon this weekend for Richard Bradley who knocked in a 3.09.55 running the London Virtual Marathon.
In preparation for some marathon running in October, some of our runners took to Coalisland for a half marathon time trial. This event was to be the biggest test some of our runners have had in several months which seen the run through “The Low Side” of Derrytresk, Derrylaughan, along the Lough Shore and back to Coalisland. The route, mainly flat and right bang in the middle of a tough training schedule, did allow for some good pacing on the day and all our runners came away happy with their performance. The runners and times are as follows :
Ita Mcveigh- 1.40.19, Denise McCann - 1.37.45, Aileen Hurson - 1.31.19 and first female, Jonathan Loughran 1.26.47, Brendan Woods - 1.37.30, Francis O’Neill - 1.40.16
On Saturday morning one of our youth runners, Peter Cush, took part in a 3000 meter time trial at the running track in Magherafelt. This was to be a good test of Peter’s speed over this distance and he came home at a time of 9.37. This was almost a full minute faster than Peter’s time at the Armagh International Road Race back in February.
Some of the Galbally runners team took another trip down to Down Royal on Saturday morning to have another crack at the 5K organised by ChampionChip Ireland. A few of our newer runners had joined us for this event, which can be a daunting experience for many. However, they showed a lot of courage to put those runners on and participate in this event. Their determination paid off with a lot of them knocking out huge personal bests on the day and everyone loving the experience. All of them are now excited for the next Championchip Ireland event and even some of them have signed up since for the Dublin Virtual Marathon in October. The Galbally Runners results/times are as follows :
Dena Jones (26:20), Emer Hand (26.19 – PB), Éadaoin Rennick-McVeigh (25:41 - PB), Denise McCann (20:27), Declan Girvan (24:30 – PB), Francis McVeigh (24:21 - PB), Brendan Woods (19:54), Peter Cush (18:44), Jonathan Loughran (18:12)
Well done to our Ultra Runner Richard Bradley who completed the Strangford lough Ultra marathon last weekend. Richard completed the 53 mile double marathon course in 9 hours and 12 minutes finishing in ninth place overall.
It had been almost 6 months since Galbally Runners participated in a proper race day. Over the course of lockdown we have dabbled in virtual runs & taken part in various challenges but there really is no substitute for race day. Five of our runners headed off to DownRoyal Racecourse for a 5K event organised by ChampionChip Ireland. This event was supported by Athletics NI and managed well by ChampionChip Ireland with all Covid restrictions in place and risks well managed. There was a definite buzz at the start, the nervous excitement in the stomach, pinning the race numbers on and the adrenaline rush as the participants ran the start line!
There were no PBs however the team were glad to get out racing today. The results were as follows :
Denise McCann : 20:37
Peter Cush : 18:48
Jonathan Loughran : 18.28
Fergal O’Donnell : 18:45
Brendan Woods : 19:53
2nd place overall finish for Richard Bradley at the 26 extreme 10K nights event! Such a cool event taking place at night on both road & trail!
Carmen 5K & 10K was fantastic! Testing but enjoyable routes and the most incredible hospitality & spread afterwards!! 2nd place overall for Denise McCann in the 5K & 1st in age category for Ita McVeigh in the 10K! Well done girls!!
Brackaville Running Club held their first 5K event today. An incredible turnout, great route & another incredible spread after! All sorts of sweet treats!! Another very friendly welcome from our friends in this club!! PBS for Dena, Pete Conlon, Lucy woods & Francis McVeigh. 2nd place female Denise McCann & 1st in her age category Ita McVeigh
What an evening we had at the Armagh International Event!
Runners from 15 different countries taking part recording phenomenal times over the 5K & 3K distances.
This was a first for our club. The athletes who take part can only be described as elites. Which, as you can imagine means self doubt and worry set in! Should I be here? Am I good enough? Well - it was fantastic! A great atmosphere & we like to think we did ourselves proud. Well done Jonathon Loughran, Fergal O'Donnell, Peter Cush, Brendan Woods & Denise McCann. Great to see other local athletes out taking on the Mall! Thanks to everyone for the shout outs!
Sperrin Harriers put on another fantastic event in Drum Manor Forest Park. Francis O'Neill, John McElroy and Ita McVeigh worked hard over a very tough course! Wet mucky hilly - trail runners, they’re something else!
Martin Ferguson, Fergal O'Donnell and Richard Bradley headed for Gosford Forest & took part in the Born 2 Run 10K. A tough mixture of trail & roads didn’t slow the boys down! Well done to Richard who had a top 10 finish!
Well done to Stevie Mckenna on taking 1st overall at the Castlewellan 5K night run! Trail Runs in the dark!! Unreal!! Well done Stevie, Jonathon Loughran & Richard Bradley!
Sperrin Harriers organised a brilliant 5 miler around An Creagán yesterday. Very very wet & very very mucky conditions! Fergal O'Donnell Francis O'Neill & John Mc Elroy ploughed on through and had great runs!! Thanks to Sperrin!