Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Did somebody say Hyde Park Harriers club trip time?

We headed over to Larne in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland for a half marathon along the coast. The route is roughly divided into three sections, with a 7k loop of the down, 7k down the coast to Ballygalley and 7k back. There is a bit of up and down but it is mostly considered a flat course with PB potential. Indeed, the women’s world record was set here in 2021, only for them to discover the course was 54m short.

I don’t think I’ve continuously run for 21k since the Clontarf half marathon last November. I ran around a 2:05:xx at both Lough Cutra and Metalman so I thought I had a good chance of running a sub-2 and lined up with said pacers, alongside Grace who was hoping to run her first sub-2.

The early stages of the race were crowded and it was difficult to find space. It did thin out over time but the coast road also got narrower, which meant there was never much space to drop into my natural stride. The weather was good: cool and cloudy which meant we did not get too cold standing around in the pens for an hour, but also did not sunburn.

There is a reason it is so crowded: the views are spectacular. The town was fine but once we were out onto the coast we had a constant view across the sea and the coastline.

I didn’t get chance for a toilet break before the race so I stopped at around 7k. I caught back up to the two-hour pacers fairly easily only to find Ged reporting that Grace was now way down the road ahead of them. I managed to catch up another few kilometres down the road and we headed into Ballygalley for the turn, as Clare came the other way with a convincing lead over the rest of us.

The way back was even more scenic because we were running on the left side of the road, right next to the coast wall, and could see down to the shoreline. We were both starting to feel it by this point and it was relief to see the remaining kilometres tick down.

My official time was:


Third Harrier across the line and first male. Not that I was counting. A big thank you to Ged for taking it easy on me. And a massive well done to Grace for completing her first sub-2 half marathon. Not just completing it but smashing it with over three minutes to spare. And well done to everyone who made the trip over for the race.



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This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 30th, 2023 at 11:00 am and is filed under Sport. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.