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On Saturday, hundreds of runners descended on Stormont Estate, Belfast for the annual Northern Ireland Civil Service Cross Country.

Due to the adverse weather conditions over the past few months, organisers were forced to alter the course, moving it onto trails instead the usual cross country route. 

In perfect running conditions, the junior athletes completed their competitive races. Springwell had four Juniors going in these races. In the Girls Primary School race Tolu Jide-Ojo finished 19th in 5:19 and Erin Bratten 59th in 6:07. Abigail McBroom was 2nd in 8:09 and Niamh Carr 6th in 8:32 in the Girls U13 race. 

It was then the turn of the senior and veteran runners to make their way to the start line, with parliament buildings providing the perfect back drop. Both the men’s and ladies races set off together, with the men completing a four lap 8K course and the ladies completing a two lap 4.5K course.

The ladies race proved to be a close affair, with Patricia O’Hagan (St Peter’s AC) sealing victory in 15:39. 

Springwell Times - Gillian Wasson 16:16, Alexandra Kirk 16:20, Alison Rankin 16:43, Ciara Toner 17:05, Karen McLaughlin 17:54, Bernadette O’Kane 17:56, Caroline Irwin 17:56, Linda Gillen 18:04, Grace Postma 18:07, Shannon McAllister 21:21, Alison McAllister 21:29, Sarah Chestnutt 21:29, Debbie Tutty 23:03, Caroline Taylor 23:19, Margaret Edgar 23:19, Martina Scullion 26:43 and Fiona Walls 27:34.

Gillian Wasson was first F035 and first female in the Civil Service Cross Country Championship. With three runners in the top ten Springwell ladies Gillian Wasson 5th, Alexandra Kirk 6th and Alison Rankin 9th pick up the ladies team prize.
In the men’s race North Belfast Harriers’ Alan O’Hara put on an impressive display of front running to win in 24:57. 

Springwell’s Neil Johnston ran an excellent race just missing a podium place by one second.
Springwell Times - Neil Johnston 25:39, Michael Fryar 26:25, Paul Thompson 27:54, Rhodri Jones 27:56, David Jackson 28:50, Bryan Edgar 29:04, Thomas Moore 29:59, Gerry O’Doherty 30:30, Chris Millar 30:35, Glenn Millar 31:15, Damian McKeown 32:15, Scott Bell 32:17, Johnny Goldie 32:23, Nigel Armstrong 32:38,Alan McKeeman 3:36, Robert Workman 34:20, Jim Platt 37:30, Davy Patterson 39:59 and Erik Ausenhus 43:57.