Springwell runners take to the road as they clock up the miles

Gary Moore who took on the Sea to Sky challenge in Newcastle.
Gary Moore who took on the Sea to Sky challenge in Newcastle.

All was quiet on the western front this weekend as an unusually small number of Springwell runners turned out for competitive action.

All eyes are now turned to next weekend when Springwell assist in the organisation and running of the annual Kennedy Kane McArthur Festival of Running.

The amazing Molly Blee, who completed her 50th parkrun on Saturday.

The amazing Molly Blee, who completed her 50th parkrun on Saturday.

On Wednesday 13th July, nearly three hundred athletes took to the start line of the Lifford 5k road race in County Donegal. The popular event, hosted by Lifford-Strabane AC, has proved a successful hunting ground for Northern Ireland based athletes in the past, and this year was no different.

Foyle Valley AC’s Chris McGuinness followed on from his impressive win at the Rathmullan 5k at the weekend with another quality outing. In what was a close encounter, Chris led the field home in 15:36, followed closely by City of Derry AC’s Gary Slevin in 15:42 and Acorns AC man Darrell McKee in 15:44.

There was further local success in the ladies race, with Strabane based athlete Claire McGuigan (Lifford-Strabane AC) breaking the tape in 18:12, with Foyle Valley AC’s Martina McMullan crossed the line in 18:40 for second place and Letterkenny AC’s Noeleen Scanlan taking third place in 19:02.

Springwell had one representative at this event, with Junior member Emma Alcorn finishing 245th in a time of 29:53. Well done Emma, excellent run!

On Friday 15th July, over 800 athletes descended on the County Down town of Newcastle for Born 2 Run’s Sea 2 Sky 10k multi-terrain race. Athletes started on the picturesque promenade in Newcastle before covering a mixture of road, trail and single track as they headed upwards towards the foothills of the Mourne Mountains.

After climbing gradually to the 5k mark, athletes were rewarded with stunning views over Newcastle and beyond before descending to finish on the award winning promenade.

For Springwell Gary Moore ran strongly to finish well up the field in 78th place, recording a time of 46:26, as did Catherine Pinkerton, having another excellent run, finishing some 3:30 faster than last year in 50:05 and claiming 158th place.

Well done to both on great runs on a tough course!

It was a record attendance for Saturdays Portrush parkrun with 286 runners present, the previous record being 259 ,set on 30 April 2016. It was a pleasant morning with good firmish sand but the return leg proved challenging due to the strong headwind. Unashamed tail-gating was the order of the day!!

First finisher was Ballymena and Antrim AC runner Nigel Carlisle and first lady was Springwell member, Gemma McDonald in 20.51, at only her 2nd Portrush parkrun in 2016, pursued vigorously by the pony-tailed purple wonder, Her Ladyship, Karen McLaughlin. For the men Glenn Miller was first home followed by Bryan Edgar, who is now firmly on the comeback trail.

This week there were 50 first timers and 50 recorded new Personal Bests with 20 different athletics clubs represented. There was a distinct International flavour this week with runners from afar afield as Australia, India and Chicago, USA!!

The big news of the day however, was when Junior parkrunners Luke Denton and Molly Blee were congratulated as they both undertook their 50th parkruns.

An amazing achievement by both these young people and all the more impressive in Mollys case when you consider that this young lady is 11 years old and has also completed 50 Junior parkruns!

Outstanding effort Molly and Luke, so lets hope that you both keep up this fantastic level of commitment and we look forward to seeing them receive your 100 parkrun t-shirts in due course!