On Sunday, over six hundred runners took part in the annual Marty’s 5K in Derry; an event organised by Foyle Valley AC as a fine tribute to the late Marty Gallagher.
At the front, it was a battle between Foyle Valley AC club mates Scott Rankin and Keith Shiels. On this occasion, Scott pipped his friend to the finish line, clocking 15:00 to win. Keith took second place in 15:21 and Aidan McGowan (15:43) made sure the host club dominated the podium.
The ladies race provided the story of the day, with Springwell’s junior athlete, Molly Brennan beating several of the North West’s household names to secure victory. Molly crossed the line in 20:33 to win; she was followed by City of Derry’s Catherine Whoriskey (21:06) and Inishowen’s Elizabeth McDaid (21:09), who claimed second and third place respectively in a very close finish.
Oisin Brennan also took part clocking 19:18 for the 5K.
Hundreds of athletes gathered at the well-known ‘Navan Centre’ on the outskirts of Armagh on Sunday for the annual Adidas Armagh 10 Mile Road Race.
Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) 51:02 and Gabriella Zelinka (Csepel Dolphins) 1:02:45 took the major prizes.
Springwell’s Jim Breen came home in 1:07:10 followed by Tommy Bradley 1:11:43.
On Saturday Springwell’s Gillian Wasson and Gerry O’Doherty joined hundreds of athletes at Queens University Playing Fields in Belfast for the opening race of the Northern Ireland Cross Country season. The Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association event incorporated the trials for the upcoming British & Irish Masters Cross Country, due to take place in Cardiff on Saturday 16 November. Both athletes ran well to qualify for the Northern Ireland team. Gillian finished second F35 in 23:08 while Gerry finished fourth M55 in 32:15.
Conditions were good for the sixty-seven runners taking part in Saturday’s Portrush Parkrun. The low tide meant there was plenty of firm sand for the runners and this led to 20 PB’s. Visiting athlete Simon Stewart from Edmonton, Canada was first runner home in 17:40 just 2 seconds outside the course record. Springwell’s Karen McLaughlin made it three PB’s in a row as she crossed the line in 20:39 and first lady. Simon’s partner America Aznar was second female home in 21:47.
Springwell Times: Chris Denton 18:29, David Irwin 20:32 (PB), Graeme Morrison 21:21, Robert Workman 22:17, Mervyn Thompson 22:19, Aoife Carr 22:52, Niamh Carr 24:00, Sarah Chestnutt 24:55, Kay Hack 25:23, Johnny Goldie 25:25.
Springwell’s Jim Breen travelled across to Italy to be part of the 1500 runners taking part in the 12th running of the Verona marathon on Sunday 6 October. The race started in the town of Sant’Amdrogio some 25 K outside Verona itself. It then wound itself through the local vineyards and small Italian villages towards Verona. As is usual for an Italian marathon, it was largely a flat course with just a few short climbs going through village centres. The last 15K transversed the city of Verona, avoiding the worst of the city’s cobbles, before finishing in the grand splendour of the Verona Arena. Opera having to give way on this occasion, to the resonance of applause for the finishing runners. Magkriotelis Ioannis of Greece was the men’s winner in 2:25:10, with Italian Patelli Eliana winning the woman’s race in 2:47:07. Jim Breen, running his 40th marathon finished just outside the top one hundred in 3.12.37.