There was some impressive performances by Springwell runners at last weekend’s Strabane-Lifford Half Marathon.
There was also a brilliant run mid-week by one of the highly-talented Juniors, Oisin Brennan, in the latest round of the tough Hill & Dales series of mountain races.
Over two hundred athletes descended on the Leitrim Lodge area of the stunning Mourne Mountains for Race 5 of the ongoing Hill & Dale Series, hosted by Newcastle AC.
On this occasion, athletes were faced with a 4.25 mile route, which incorporated 1,600ft of ascent and saw them negotiate ‘Rocky’ Mountain.
Overall winner of the race was Barry McConville (Newcastle AC) in 33:22, while one of our own young rising Junior stars, Oisin Brennan finished a fantastic 4th Overall in superb time of 35:38, also winning the MJ age group.
These races are well supported by all the top runners in the local mountain running community, so this indeed was an outstanding effort by Oisin and a big well done to him!
On Sunday 15th May 2016, hundreds of athletes took on the annual Strabane to Lifford Half Marathon, organised by Strabane District Council and the relatively newly amalgamated Lifford-Strabane AC.
Andrew Wilmot described the course as, “Very good with some short hills, nothing major, the road surface was a bit dodgy in places and the weather a bit hotter than forecast but nothing like last Sunday (Termoneeny 10K)! Overall a good course for a PB and a great event!”
First home for the club in a fantastic PB run was 007 himself, the excellent Eddie Clyde, who on reaching the finishing line immediately ordered a Dry Martini, shaken, not stirred. Pure class that man.
This run also saw the return to action of Warren McIlmoyle, as he had gathered sufficient brownie points from doing the housework, so Kerrie gave him a day off. Nice one Kerrie!
Meanwhile the incredibly over-raced and under-tapered miracle-man, Andrew Wilmot, knocked a whopping 4’ off his Half PB, the day after running a PB at Portrush parkrun! God help us all, if Andrew ever decides to prepare properly for a race!
Others to record PBs included the talented Ciara McSherry, winner of the Limavady Sports Council Female Sports Person of the Year 2016 award and Mandy Stewart, so well done to both ladies!
48th Eddie Clyde 01:27:32 PB, 78th Gerard Mullan 01:29:55, 114th Aiden Devine 01:34:11, 142nd Warren McIlmoyle 01:35:47, 145th Kevin McLean 01:35:57, Ciara McSherry 01:36:05 PB, 165th Ryan Kennedy 01:36:53, 206th Gregory O’Brien 01:39:33 PB, 356th Mandy Stewart 01:46:26 PB, 361st Peter Butcher 01:46:50, 466th Andrew Wilmot 01:52:55, 833rd Althea Clarkson 02:11:42
It was a beautiful morning for the Portrush parkrun and although the NW 200 can sometimes deter runners from turning out, that was not the case this year. However, the same cannot be said for volunteer helpers, without whom these brilliant free events would not take place! As a result the event very nearly had to be cancelled, which is pretty poor showing by the regular participants, by any standards.
I have to hold my hand up here and confess that I very rarely volunteer but just run and enjoy but, this is not really acceptable, to be fair. I have therefore volunteered my services for next week and would encourage all regular runners to do so as well, as it is quite unfair and I suppose, somewhat selfish, to just run each week and not do your part by helping out from time to time.
Meanwhile back at the beach, Faye McLernon and Pam Howe were congratulated on reaching 50 parkruns, well done ladies!
Although conditions seemed very good, there were several stretches of softish sand and a noticeable headwind for the full length of the return stretch, which makes it physcologically hard, yet still a potential PB day! Oh for a tailwind finish!!
First finisher was Stephen Nicholson of Pace Running Club in a PB time of 17.42 and first lady was Springwell runner the ever speedy Sonia Knox in 19.53.
First male finisher for the club saw an outstanding run from one of our most promising Junior Stars, the boy, Jack Culbertson, a mere 13-years-old, or so, who showed a complete disrespect for age and ability by blasting up and down the beach in a blistering time of 18:29!
The young whipper-snapper had the sheer audacity to beat the likes of Jimmy Stewart and Himself, aka Sergei!
This week there were 147 runners, of whom 14 were first timers and 52 recorded new Personal Bests.
Representatives of 15 different athletics clubs took part.