In contrast to last weeks somewhat quieter week on the racing front, this week saw a huge number of Springwell runners don the vest.
The prestigious Masters Track & Field Championships were held last Saturday at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast, at which Springwell were represented by two of our star, Masters athletes, Philip Tweedie and Gerry O’Doherty, who both competed in the 800m & 1500m events.
As proof of their class Philip won the 1500m outright in a brilliant 4:34:12, while Gerry won his Age Category, finishing 11th in a superb 5:10:14. Both men carried this form through to the 800m with Philip 4th in2:09:17 and Gerry 11th in 2:30:68, again both winning their respective Age Groups.
The East Antrim Marathon Series (EAMS) of marathons and half marathons continued on Tuesday 28th June at Carrickfergus, with runners beginning at the historic Carrickfergus Castle and following the coastal route to Loughshore Park, Jordanstown and back again, this being repeated three times.
Springwells sole representative was the graceful yet dynamic, long distance running-phenomenom, Fran McFadden, who said she had enjoyed the three lap course,running an excellent 3:44:45 to complete the distance. Well done yet again Fran, great run!
On Thursday 30th June 2016 an amazing 500+ athletes turned up for the increasingly popular annual Jude Gallagher 10 miler in Limavady.
The popularity of this event is not just the fast, flat course that encourages Pbs but also, the fantastic organisation and atmosphere that accompanies it, mainly thanks to the hard work and commitment shown by Race Director, Columb Knowles and his enthusiastic team of volunteers.
Add to that the superb after-run catering feast provided by the club members themselves and you have an incredible package.
This year the weather was damp but mild, though competitors did have to endure a torrential down-pour of rain for about 15-20 minutes that had to be experienced to be believed!
There were literally rivers of water running across the roads at stages but at least the air quality was first-class!
The event this year again attracted a high quality field with the two out-standing names being current NI Half-Marathon Champion, Mark McKinstry and Rio Olympics Marathon qualified Gladys Ganiel, both from North Belfast Harriers.
They did not disappoint with Mark finishing first overall in a seriously quick 53:05, despite having “backed off a wee bit over the last two miles” and Gladys winning the Ladies race in an equally impressive 58:46 and finishing 11th Overall.
On the Springwell front there was a large turnout of runners and an avalanche of some 22 PBs, many of them by huge amounts such as Noel Harkin who improved by nearly 6’ and Catherine Byers who clocked a 4’ improvement!
In addition to all the Pbs, Springwell also claimed several individual category awards plus the Ladies Team Award, Ciara McSherry fifth (1st FO), Karen McLaughlin 9th (2ND FV45) and Alison Rankin 11th (3rd FV45) being our first three Ladies home, with Kerrie McIlmoyle second FV35, Jimmy McMullan, who is having a great season claiming first MV55 , leading home a Springwell 1-2 with Brian Geddis second MV55.
This was repeated in the MV60 category, Jim Breen winning that and Hugh Boyle grabbing second place and finally Jim Platt nailing 2nd MV70! Congratulations to all, very well done!
First home for the club in another impressive run was classy speedster Stephen Joyce, finishing an excellent 15th and second MV40, scorching round in 59:20 being our only sub- 60’ finisher, with Anthony Higginbottom 24th and Martin O’Doherty 26th making up our first three males home.
Anthony also recorded a fine PB in the process. Excellent running chaps!
15th Stephen Joyce 59:20 (2nd MV40), 26th Anthony Higginbottom MBE 1:03:31 (PB), 26th Martin O’Doherty 1:03:43, 41st Andy Dowie 1:05:45, 47th James McMullan 1:06:21 (1st MV55), 48th Brian Geddis 1:06:27 (PB - 2nd MV55), 52nd Jim Breen (1st MV60), 53rd Gerard McMullan 1:07:07 (3rd MV50), 56 Ciara McSherry (PB - 1st FO), 59th Hugh Boyle 1:07:49 (2nd MV60), 65th Eddie Clyde 1:08:45, 66th Kevin McLean 1:08:45 (PB), 75th Karen McLaughlin 01:08:59 (2nd FV45), 83rd Gary Moore 1:09:24, 86th David Shiels 1:09:38, 92nd Alison Rankin 1:09:54 (2nd FV45), 93rd Kerrie McIlmoyle 1:10:14 (PB - 2nd FV35), 97th Stephen McCook 1:11:19(PB), Amanda Connell 1:11:28 (PB), 102nd Noel Harkin 1:11:36, 103rd Stephen Rainey 1:11:36, 105th Davy McNicol 1:11:51 (PB), 107th Aaron Craig 1:11:55 (PB - 1st MJ), 109th Ryan Kennedy 1:11:59 (PB), 128 Paul Campbell 1:13:39, 134th Gregory O’Brien 1:14:11 (PB), 136th Catherine Pinkerton 1:14:17 (PB), 137th Kyle Cromie 1:14:24, 159th Peter Butcher 1:16:04 (PB), 172nd Keith Nixon 1:16:56 (PB), 173rd Mervyn Thompson 1:17:06, 207th Peter Fleming 1:18:56, 208th Hugh Deighan 1:19:03, 222nd Catherine Bell-Allen 1:19:25, 236th Andrew Wilmot 1:20:08 (PB), 252nd Noel McAllister 1:20:53, 254th Jim Platt 1:20:59 (2nd MV70), 262 Neil McIvor 1:21:53 (PB), 263rd Bob McLaughlin 1:21:59, 333rd Stephen Smyth 1:27:48, 335th Emily McLaughlin 1:27:49 (PB), r356th Ally Kelly 1:29:19, 357th Elizabeth Deighan 1:29:19, 358th Lynn Montgomery 1:29:20, 359th Ali McAllister 1:29:20, 361st Brendan McLaughlin 1:29:45, 363rd Emma Halcrow 1:30:01 (PB), 366th Lizanne Wilson 1:30:01 (PB), 380th Judith McLaughlin 1:32:51, 381st Elaine Montgomery 1:32:54 (PB), 382nd Fiona Walker 1:33:07, 382th Catherine Byers 1:33:13 (PB), 425th Althea Clarkson 1:38:08, 436th Roberta French 1:38:08, 454th Lorraine Abernethy 1:41:08 (PB)
On Sunday 3rd July a few Springwell runners were in action a bit farther afield with Lorraine Abernethy travelling to Newcastle-Upon-Tyne to run the Great North Run 10k with her cousin, while Becky Coulter travelled to Aberdeen to take part in the Stonehaven Half Marathon, finishing in 2:02.
Meanwhile, on holiday in sunny Spain Catherine Pinkerton took some time off from enhancing her tan on the lounger to take part in a 5k beach race and duly finished third in her Age Group.
It wasn’t completely dry for Saturdays parkrun, but all things considered, it could have been much worse.
Kenny Bacon and Nicola Cooke were congratulated on reaching their 50th parkruns.
First finisher was Christopher Steele in 20.25 and first lady was Karla Borland of Edinburgh AC in 22.08, while first home for Springwell was Stephen McCook, fresh from a fine debut run at the Jude Gallagher 10 miler and Patricia Craig for the Ladies in a new PB!