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VIDEO | Winners crowned in ‘Race Through The Glens’ 2022 event

Runners snaking their way through the course, with its’ many steep trails.

The King and Queen of the Glens has been crowned once again after the annual rugged and challenging Race Over The Glens 2022 event took place on New Years Day, raising £900 for Air Ambulance NI.

The much anticipated race is hosted by Ballymena Runners, and the six mile invigorating course eases its way through the beautiful Glens of Antrim, at Glenariff Forest Park. A new course this year, runners made their way through steep tree-laden trails, alongside streams and by the parks’ famous waterfalls.

Race winner Zak Hanna

The reigning ‘King of the Glens’, Zak Hanna (Newcastle AC), retained his title, leading from the start and finishing the course in 34:35. Zak Hanna was in an league of his own on the steps and finished 90 seconds ahead.

Stephen Connolly (Annadale Striders) finished second in a time of 36:09. In third place was ten times race winner Jarlath Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC) in a time of 36:38, closely followed by Jonny Steede (Glens Runners) finishing in 37:54.

The first finisher from the host club, Ballymena Runners, was Ben Morrow finishing in 40:43.

Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners)

In the women’s race, Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) finished first in a time of 45:06 to reclaim the title of ‘Queen of the Glens’ which she last won in 2017.

Martsje was followed by Ballymena Runners’ Kerry Bamber who finished second in 45:56. In third place was Paula McCarthy (Glens Runners) who finished in 47:04.

Women’s Race Winners | 1st Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers), 2nd Kerry Bamber (Ballymena Runners), and 3rd place Paula McCarthy (Glens Runners).

Men’s Race Winners | 1st Zac Hanna (Newcastle AC), 2nd Stephen Connolly (Annadale Striders), and in 3rd place Jarlath Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC).

There was a tight competition in the team events with East Antrim Harriers narrowly defeating Newcastle AC in the men’s team event with Glens Runners winning the women’s team event.

There was a great buzz in the finish area, thanks to the work of the Marshalls there who also did so much to keep the event socially distanced without being unpleasant.

The team who invented and implemented a process to give out the awards (and get great photos) in real time, were superb. It was an ambitious objective, but worthwhile, and the winners felt appreciated and recognised so much more than with a ‘cheque in the post’.

Ali Donaghy with the East Antrim Harriers team.

A spokesperson for race hosts’, Ballymena Runners, commented:

“Ballymena Runners worked hard to ensure that the event was both enjoyable for runners and spectators, and safe (in compliance with appropriate covid regulations).

“We are grateful for the hard work done by Mat Allen as Race Director, and Aidy Dodds as Course Director, and their support team.

“We have had great feedback about the course, the work of the set up team yesterday was first class, and special thanks to Robin for his early morning ‘burn off the booze’ check this morning after a windy night. The marshalling out on the course was great, encouragement and direction, was much appreciated.

“We want to thank all our club members who stepped up to help set up the course (in particular Robin Alexander), helped managing the car park, registration, marshalling the course and clearing up afterwards – as well as Paddy Millar our tail runner.”

“Aidy Dodds with our brilliant volunteer marshalls.”

The spokesperson continued:

“In particular we want to thank our hard working registration team – Bernie Duffin, Sarah Dempster, Bronagh Dempster, Nikki Hassan and Laura McMullan.

“Thanks also to Ewan ‘the piper’, Ambutran, Raynet, Pat McGerity (elite timing), David McKibben for race commentary, and Connolly’s Spar for providing the water.

“Thanks to Kathleen and her team at the Glenariff tea rooms for post-race refreshments – the unused food was donated to local groups and families in the wider Ballymena area through our club partnership with Ballymena Foodbank.”


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