Forest run for locals

Competitors who took part in the Winter League Trail Series event.
Competitors who took part in the Winter League Trail Series event.

Saturday 10th December saw the start of the very popular Sperrin Harriers Winter League trail series with the first event at Davagh Forest, close to Cookstown in County Tyrone.

This trail series is now into its eighth year and as always attracted athletes from all across the province.

The cool, calm weather of Saturday made for perfect running conditions and it was Johnny Steede (Glens Runners) who made the most of them, leading from the start on this testing course to win in a time of 35.01.

Eoin Hughes (Acorns AC) tracked Johnny all of the way but was unable to close the gap finishing second in 35.52.

Michael Crawley (City of Derry AC) completed the podium places finishing in 36.16.

In the ladies race Karen Alexander (Acorns AC) was the convincing winner in 39.58 with Ciara Toner (Springwell RC) second in 44.11.

The third place was closely contested with Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) 45.02, claiming it by only one second from Karen McLaughlin (Springwell RC) 45.03.

Springwell RC – Chris Millar 20th 40.49, Thomas Moore 44th 43.41, Ciara Toner 47th (2nd lady) 44.11, Karen McLaughlin 52nd (4th lady) 45.03, Andrew Wilmot 100th 50.40, Michael Johnson 102nd 50.57, Peter Jack 103rd 51.00, Monica McCarthy 118th 53.09, Paul Dornan 136th 54.49, Pamela Howe 138th 54.57, Majella McAteer 148th 56.42, Julie Ann Miller 151st 57.04, Margaret Kearney 165th 63.08, Fergal Mackle 168th 64.43, Kathleen McNicholl 170th 66.38. Emma Jamison unfortunately had to retire injured from the race.

On Sunday 11th December, the popular RunHer Series staged their first ever event at Parkanaur Forest Park near Dungannon.

Hundreds of athletes and spectators made the journey for this ladies only event, which covered a scenic route on the trails through the park.

Three of Springwells ladies made the trip to Dungannon for the 10k event with Sarah Dickinson finishing 5th in 50.05 closely followed by Rosie Crennell 8th in 51.51 and Amy Dobson 65th in 1.04.11.

Apart from the slight headwind on the return leg of the course, conditions were as near to perfect as you can get for this time of year for the Portrush parkrun.

First finisher was  Jason Wilson of Ballymena Runners AC, in 18.28 - second time in 4 appearances and first lady was Sonia Knox  of Riada TC, (6th overall)  in 20.22 - 50th time in 85 appearances.

This week there were 128 runners, of whom 26 were first timers and 18 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of eight different athletics clubs took part.

Results: Portrush - Glenn Millar19.03, James Stewart 19.51, Mervyn Thompson 22.26, Robert Workman 22.53, Gary Kendall 23.27, Toni Donnelly 24.11 PB, Jean-Claude Bourgeois 24.26, Patricia Craig 24.32, Jack Blee 25.29, Kay Hack 25.55, Bob McLaughlin 27.57, Melanie Millar 28.08, Rachel Blee 28.21, Catherine Byers 29.10, Liadhan McAnena 30.03, Emma Birrell 30.04, Donna Costello 30.53, Sharon Bingham 30.54, Elaine Montgomery 33.54, Kenneth Bacon 34.51, Fiona Walls 36.44, Emer Thompson 48.51.

Queens - Stephen Smyth 22.46 PB

Limavady- David Shiels 19.43, Patrick Gallagher 19.57, Catherine Shiels 23.50