Springwell athletes show up well in busy weekend schedule

Gerry O'Doherty, 3rd left, who travelled to Scotland to race on Saturday.
Gerry O'Doherty, 3rd left, who travelled to Scotland to race on Saturday.

It was a busier week on the running scene this week with Springwell athletes once again excelling, winning awards, prizes and medals.

Once again the Juniors turned out in large numbers at the Flahavans NI & Ulster Primary School XC Championships, on Wednesday past, with the outstanding result being Niamh McGarrys’ gold medal win.

Niamh led from the gun fighting off a strong finish from the second placed girl in the last 100m, to take the win.

Other top club finishers were Aife McSheffrey, with silver in the Senior girls, Niamh Carr fourth Inter girls, Jack Culbertson 11th Minor Boys, Hermoine Skuce sixth Minor girls and Cara McLaughlin sixth Mini girls.

Brilliant running by all and a proud day indeed for the club junior section again!

On Friday 12th February, a large number of runners from Northern Ireland represented their Universities at the prestigious Irish Universities Athletics Association (IUAA) Indoor Track & Field Championships at the AIT Arena in Athlone, Ireland.

Springwell Running Club and QUB athlete Neil Johnston impressed in the 3,000 metres, crossing the line in 8:38.50 (second place) for the Silver Medal, again showing that he truly is a top class athlete. Extremely well done Neil!

On Saturday 13th February, events management group Northern Velocity hosted the O’Cahans 5 mile Trail Race in Limavady.

The event took the participants on a tough but scenic route through Roe Valley Country Park, covering the majestic trails and interesting forest paths along the River Roe, in a race eventually won by City of Derry AC athlete Alan Bogle in 27:10.

There was a great turnout by Springwell runners with an excellent fourth place overall for Martin O’Doherty and a brilliant 1-2 in the Ladies race by the very talented Ciara McSherry and the in-form Kerrie McIlmoyle, who both continue to impress.

Full club results: 4th Martin O’Doherty 36:18, 6th Ciara McSherry 37:32 (1st Female), 8th Andy Dowey 38:14, 11th Thomas Moore 38:45, 12th Aaron Craig 39:10, 14th Kerrie McIlmoyle 39:47 (2nd Female), 20th Peter Jack 41:12, 22nd Paul Campbell 41:39, 23rd Graeme Montgomery 41:41, 25th Conor McGowan 42:46, 28th Neil McIvor 43:34, 34th Andrew Wilmot 47:49, 42nd Lynn Montgomery 50:41.

In the associated 5k race there was further Springwell success with Adam Campbell winning in 29:38, Jodie Patterson 5th in 33:10 and Lana Young 10th in 39:10, all aquitting themselves well over this tough terrain!

Also on Saturday, Sperrin Harriers welcomed athletes from across the province to the final race of their very successful Winter League Trail Series. On this occasion, Parkanaur Forest, Castlecaulfield was the venue of choice where participants faced a 10 mile route, covering three laps of the scenic forest, passing the historic and picturesque Parkanaur House en-route, on this fast but testing course, on what was a lovely day for running.

From the off it was Gary Slevin (City of Derry) who set down the standard taking the lead ahead of David Simpson (Newcastle AC) and host club Sperrin Harrier’s Pierce McCullagh.

After three testing laps, it was Gary Slevin who maintained his lead to win in 56.27, while David Simpson crossed the line second in 57.39, hotly pursued by Pierce McCullagh who finished in 58.09.

First home for Springwell in 17th overall, winning his age group in the process was speedster Bryan Edgar in 1:04:43 (1stMV50), followed in 20th by the highly consistant Jimmy Stewart in 1:06:16.

Then ‘Himself’ aka Sergei in 1:07:30 (1st MV55), also securing the Age Group Overall win for the series, followed by Jim Breen 37th in 1:11:31, Bob McLaughlin 78th in 01:21:02, Paul Dornan 104th in 01:27:33 and Tenderfoot Award winner Judith McLaughlin 124th in 01:32:44.

It has been a great series for the club with Bryan and Jim also capturing the Overall second place awards in their age groups and well done to all who completed the full five rounds of the series!

Elsewhere on Saturday, at least seventeen runners from Northern Ireland traveled Scotland for the tough and somewhat iconic Carnethy 5 Mountain Race, close to Edinburgh, an event hosted by highly respected Scottish club Carnethy Hill Running Club.

On a tough and wintry day our own running dynamo, Gerry O’Doherty, covered the six mile course, which includes 2,500ft of ascent in 01:15:22, finishing an impressive 197th out of 499 finishers. More power to your elbow, Gerry!

On this cold and wintry Valentines weekend, Kenny and Heather Coulter escaped to the, hopefully, sunnier and warmer climbs of Barcelona, where they ran the local Half marathon, with both finishing in identical times of 02:11:52.