Springwell athletes in action at International and endurance events

Neil Johnston who set a new 5K Club record at the Armagh International 5K
Neil Johnston who set a new 5K Club record at the Armagh International 5K

In another busy weekend, Springwell athletes once again hit the headlines with a string of outstanding performances.

This commenced with the star-spangled Armagh International series of races on Thursday evening, followed by the ultra-endurance “Last man Standing” 48 hour event over Saturday/Sunday, the second round of the Finn Valley AC 5K Series and finally, showing their great all-round versatility, at the Ballymoney Sprint Duathlon on Sunday plus the normal weekly parkrun scene.

Armagh International Road Races 2016:

Athletes from across the globe descended on the Cathedral City of Armagh for the 26th annual running of the Armagh International Road Races, an exceptionally well organised event hosted by Armagh AC.

After the well supported junior races had warmed things up perfectly, it was the turn of the elite fields to take to the roads.

Perfect conditions and talent laden fields awaited, all that had to be delivered was the performances to match... and they were!

No less than 67 athletes recorded a finishing time of less than 15:00 in the International Men’s 5k and 29 ladies went under 10:00 for 3k.

In the main event, Springwells’ current superstar, Neil Johnston, not only set a new PB, but also broke the existing club record in the process, in another outstanding performance by this exceptional young man, recording a superb 14:51:79.

The final race of the evening brought a mixture of youth, experience and countries to the start line, as a record number of competitors took on the Open Men’s 3k. Springwell had two representatives in this high calibre field with Jonathon McKee finishing a brilliant 15th in 09:07:38 and the always excellent Gerry O’Doherty 114th in 10:54:77.

Atlas Running - Last One Standing 2016:

Over the course of this weekend Atlas Running hosted the inaugural ‘Last One Standing’ endurance race at the scenic Castle Ward Estate in County Down.

As part of the race programme, there were also two associated events, the Castle Ward 4.2 mile and 8.4 mile Trail Races.

The unique endurance spectacle, saw 104 athletes take to the start-line at 12pm on Saturday – the runners had one hour to complete a 4.2 mile lap and then had to be back at the start line ready to go again at 1pm, then again at 2pm and so on.

Any runner not finishing the 4.2 mile lap inside the time limit and back on the line ready to start again on the next hour was disqualified.

This happened every hour until only one runner returned to the start line, at which point that runner had to complete a solo lap inside the time limit to be crowned the winner.

All runners with the exception of the winner were awarded an official DNF (did not finish) medal and any competitor still in the race at 24hrs (100.8 mile) received an Atlas Running 100 mile medal.

Springwells own long distance specialist Fran McFadden finished a strong 3rd in the ladies race with 18 laps and an amazing 75.6 miles completed.!! Superb Fran!!

Results from others who are classed as DNF are: JOHN BUTCHER 13laps 54.6m,

AIDAN DEVINE 7 laps 29.4M, PETER JACK 12 laps 50.4M, NIGEL McNEILL 12 laps 50.4M, STEPHEN RAINEY 14 laps 58.8M, JASON SCOTT 12 laps 50.4M, GLENDA WHITESIDE 12 laps 50.4M

Fantastic running by all, well done guys!!