In a very busy week for the local running fraternity, Springwell athletes were once again to the fore of the action.
On Saturday 19th March, a record breaking field of 1,900 athletes took on the 24th annual running of the AES Larne Half Marathon.
Springwell had a magnificent 49 members take part in this high profile event which, apart from the 24PBs’, also saw an number of superb individual runs, from not just the experienced athletes, but also from our newer novice members.
First home for the club was a fit and lean looking Paul Thompson who finished a fantastic 11th overall in a superb 01:17:32, closely followed, in a brilliant 17th place and 1st MV40, by the stylish Stephen Joyce in 01:19:10. It was great to see Stephen returning closer to the form we know he is capable of, after suffering an enforced absence from running last year. Long may it continue!
Next in were two PB men with Jason Scott capturing a strong 30th overall in an excellent 01:21:56 and Stephen Fillis in 58th, using this as part of his London Marathon training, in a great 01:24:43. Great running by both these young men!
Ballymoney Newcomer of the Year, Jimmy Stewart was disappointed not to run a PB but still recorded a terrific 01:25:03 finishing 60th overall, closely followed by Anthony Higginbottom in 78th in 01:26:02. Dave Sexton had an outstanding run to finish 93rd overall in a brilliant 01:27:29. Rounding out the top ten for the club were Brian Geddis, Gerard Mullan, Ross Armstrong and Andy Dowey, who all finished under the magical 1hr 30’, so coveted by runners for this tough race distance, with Ross also capturing a fine PB.
Scott Bell, now training for a Half Iron-Man Triathlon finished an impressive 167th in 01:31:22, while one of the runs of the day was by our first lady home, Alison Rankiin who had a superb run to finish in 01:33:27, in 200th position. Alison was ecstatic after the race, not because of the time but because it was the first race she had finished in almost 2 years without suffering from the very painful achilles tendonitis. It was great to see Alsion racing in purple once more and lets hope she remains injury free!
Amongst others to record PBs were Ladies Club Captain, the marvellous Ali McAllister, who is quite simply an amazing running machine, as well as being a great motivator and iconic example to many of our newer lady runners! Mr and Mrs McIlmoyle continue to amaze as they extended their seemingly endless run of PBs over every distance.
Catherine Moore also continued her fine run of form over all distances with another great PB, as did Davy MacNicol, Robert Nethery in his first race for the club, Bob and Judith McLaughlin, Mandy McGerty, Dee Boorman, Lynda-Jane Parkhill, Julie Millican, Emma Halcrow, Louise McDonnell and Lorraine Abernethy.
Some great runs also by the first timers at this distance with, in particular, Andrew Surgenor and Anne-Marie McClements showing some great potential finishing in impressive times of 01:36:34 (261st) and 01:44:59 (510th) respectively.
Congratulations must also go to our other first-timers who also all ran very well, being Mary Brogan, Andrew Wilmot, Elaine Montgomery and Noelle Watterson. Indeed Andrew suffered an injury to his hip on the tough climb at miles 6-7 but manfully ran on to complete the distance. Lets hope Andrew recovers quickly and well done.
Apologies to Eddie Clyde, Peter Jack and Kevin McLean, who all definitely ran the race but were not yet accredited with any official time, that I could see.
A fantastic day out and a superb set of results! Well done to each and everyone that represented the club so well.