Bank Holiday Monday saw tens of thousands of runners and spectators took to the streets of Belfast for the 32nd running of the Deep RiverRock sponsored Belfast City Marathon.
There was a mixture of excitement, nerves and apprehension around Belfast City Hall prior to the start, as marathoners, fun runners, relay participants and walkers geared up for their respective challenges. After a short silence as a mark of respect to those affected by the Boston Marathon tragedy, the athletes set off on their journey.
The Kenyan’s dominated the men’s race with Joel Kipsang leading the field home in 2:19:28. Nataliya Lehonkova of the Ukraine set a new course record in winning the race in 2:36:49. First home for Springwell was David Jackson in a PB time of 2:59:19. Ciara Toner was next to cross the line setting a new female club record of 3:19:15. Nicola Frizelle also ran a PB 3:34:10 closely followed by Mark Henderson 3:38:04, Karen McLaughlin 3:39:29, Robert Workman 3:52:19 and Janeen McGregor 4:23:09. Chris Denton pacing the sub 4 hour group brought them home in 3:57:29.
Nearly 150 athletes braved wet and at times blustery conditions on Sunday to take part in the 5th running of the Termoneeny 10K Road Race organised Termoneeny Running Club.
Experienced runner, Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) showed no signs of fatigue after his sixth place finish at last Monday’s Belfast City Marathon as he ran out clear winner over the tough, undulating Termoneeny course completing the 6.2 mile distance in 34:22. In the ladies race, Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) put in a strong performance to beat last year’s title winner Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) to top spot. Anne recorded 39:37 to win, while Geraldine took 2nd place in 41:17.
Springwell’s sole representative at the race was Catherine Pinkerton Moore who came home in a PB time of 49:39.
Springwell’s Alison McAlister and Kenny Bacon travelled to Inishowen on Sunday for the Extreme North’s Rocks n Rollin Ultra Challenge (39.2 miles). This is described as Irelands most Northerly, Scenic and Toughest Ultra along the highways and byways of Inishowens Rocky and Rolling coastal routes.
Apart from the wind conditions were near perfect for long distance running with the rain showers easing as the day progressed.
Alison set off at 8.30am from Moville on her 39.2 mile journey. Two hours later the marathon runners joined the challenge at Kinnego. At 12.00pm the Half Marathon Plus (17 miles to accommodate runners training for the Walled City Marathon, Derry) set off from Culdaff. Kenny who was running the Half Marathon set off at 12.30pm from Culdaff with all the races finishing back at Moville.
Kenny completed what he described as his toughest Half Marathon in 2:21:34. While Alison who must have run up and down every hill in Inishowen came home to complete her first Ultra in 7:18:25 and finish fourth lady.
Both runners would like to thank their support crew who got them round what was at times a damp, lonely run.
Conditions were tough for the 36 runners at Saturdays Portrush Parkrun. High tides and persistent winds where this week’s challenge on the out and back course.
Springwell’s Bryan Edgar was the first runner home in 21:13 with Lagan Valley’s Julie Murphy first lady in 23:08.
Springwell Times - Gary Watton 23:10, Mervyn Thompson 25:05, Ellie McBroom 25:20, Grace Postma 25:31, Caroline Irwin 25:42, Hermione Skuce 27:08, Rozzy Skuce 29:27, Margaret Edgar 31:00, Robert Workman 31:01.
Springwell Running Club will be hosting their inaugural Purple Ladies 5K race on Wednesday evening at 7.30pm from the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre. With 122 pre entries it should be a good night. On the night entries will be taken on the night from 6.00pm.