Springwell’s running army breathed a collective sigh of relief this weekend, as the thunderstorms that racked the province finally cleared the air, making for much better racing conditions.
Although the mid-week racing/training conditions remained on the uncomfortable side.
Once more the fantastic, enthusiastic and gymnastic running fanatics showed off their prowess on the road, trail and track with the action starting at Shanes Castle in Antrim and the Lifford-Strabane 5k on Wednesday night rolling on through to the weekend!
ST Benedicts Shanes Castle 10k - In what appears to be yet another new event on the already, very crowded calender, around 150 runners assembled in the grounds of Shanes Castle in Antrim to take part in the 10k road race, won by Acorns Eoin Hughes in a time of 36:37, with the evening temperatures still hovering around 22 degrees! Springwell’s sole representative was Gemma McDonald, making a welcome return to racing just recently after injury, claiming an excellent victory in the Ladies race in 40:47 and 6th spot overall! Great run Gemma!
Lifford-Strabane Carrigans 5k, Donegal - Amanda Connell and Warren McIlmoyle headed to this local race with Warren also on the come-back trail after injury running 20:10, while Amanda, having a fantastic run, took 2nd lady in a PB time, also of 20:10, just 3 seconds behind first lady finisher, Gemma McGinty.
Hill & Dale Series 2016: Race 9 – Hen & Cock Mountains - On Thursday 9th June, nearly 200 athletes took on Race 9 of this year’s Hill & Dale Series, which covered Hen & Cock Mountains. The race, which started and finished at the bottom of Hen Mountain, saw competitors negotiate 3.5 miles in distance and 1,600ft of ascent, won by local man William McKee in 28:15.
Oisin Brennan, one of Junior stars, once more showed what a talent he is by finishing a superb 8th Overall in 32:08 and winning the MJ Age Group! Also running was Peter Fleming who finished 145th in 51:27, in this extremely tough format of racing, so a big well done to both!
26extreme Mourne Way Marathon Events - On Saturday 11th June, local events management company 26extreme welcomed athletes to the stunning Mourne Mountains for their well-organised Mourne Way Marathon Events. The race programme included a 52.4 mile Ultra, Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k, all of which take competitors along some of Northern Ireland’s finest trails.
Chris and Julie Millar took on the marathon route, on what Chris described as a tough course, even more so than the Causeway Marathon course, not helped by the weather conditions being warm and muggy, especially in the second half of the run.
Chris, who has been running very well in the Hill & Dale series this year, put in a superb performance, finishing 36th overall in a time of 04:27:22, while wife Julie also had a great run to finish 120th in 05:24:17.
Sperrin Harriers Stunnerz N’ Runnerz 5 mile Road Race - In County Derry/Londonderry on Saturday 11th June, Sperrin Harriers hosted the 5th annual running of their ‘ladies only’ Stunnerz N’ Runnerz 5 mile road race in Magherafelt. The race started close to the Meadowbank Sports and finished within the confines of the Complex, on its impressive running track. A new, slightly hillier course was used this year but at least the running conditions improved considerably for the 250 or so, participants. Lady Chair, Karen McLaughlin, sadly being laid low, regretfully had to leave it to Ladies Captain Ali McAllister to round up a great crew of 12 ladies, who headed off to this ever popular event, with fabulous results! First home for the club was Gemma McDonald, showing no ill-effects from her race on the previous Wednesday night, by finishing a strong 2nd Overall and chasing winner Cathy McCourt all the way to the line in an impressive time of 31:28, showing that Gemma is certainly returning to form and barring accident or injury will be in great shape in another month or so. Backing up this super result and finishing a great 15th Overall was Catherine Pinkerton in 36:45, while Ali McAllister, despite having two marathons in her legs this year already, finished a fantastic 33rd overall and 3rd in her Age-Group, in 38:57!
Full story and results online!
Clinging onto Alis’ coat-tails, nabbing an impressive 34th and running a new 5m PB of 39:19 in the process was the redoubtable Emma Jamison, being one of the fabulous funky five Pbers’ on the day!
Showing that Coach Kennys weekly diet of intervals/tempo run/long hilly Sunday run pays dividends when adhered to regularly and faithfully, not only did Emma run a PB but, also Elaine Montgomery 80th in 43:07, Lorraine Abernethy 127th in 47:06, Caroline Taylor 138th in 47:46 and Amanda Scott, 152nd in 48:52! Congratulations to all and keep up the good work!
Good to see Rebecca Clarke and Caroline Taylor out in competitive action again after bouts of injury with Rebecca 122nd in 46:59 and Caroline as mentioned, while Monica McClenaghan ran 49:22, Bernie Drain 50:53 and Emer Thompson 51:00 to complete our compliment of runners on the day.
Excellent results ladies , really well done everybody!
South Downs Way 100 mile trail race - Also on Saturday, the incredible Fran McFadden completed the famous South Downs Way 100 mile Ultra trail race, which also incorporates in excess of 4,000m of ascent, in a time of 25:56:20 to finish 127th from 260 starters and 16th female.
This is the furthest Fran has ever ran in a race or in training and is an absolutely outstanding achievement both physically and mentally, thus also achieving one of Frans own life-time goals!
Sincere congratulations, Fran on an amazing achievement!
NI & Ulster Age Group Track & Field Championships - Last but by no means least, on Saturday 11th June 2016, hundreds of Northern Ireland’s up and coming athletes turned out for the NI & Ulster Age Group Track & Field Championships, hosted by Athletics NI at the brilliant Mary Peters Track in Belfast.
The event incorporated age groups for Under 14, Under 15, Under 16 and Under 17, with the race programme kicking off at 10am. Springwell took a strong squad of Junior stars to this event and as usual they did not let us down, all running well against very high-class opposition!
Laura Brolly finished a super 4th, in her U15 100m run in 14:40, while Emily Irwin finished a strong 5th in 14:19 in her U16 100M race.
Springwell had two representatives in the Girls U14 800M races with Tuloupe Jide-Ojo finishing an excellent 3rd in 02:28:24 and Cara McLaughlin a great 5th in 02:34:63, while in the U16 800M, Hermione Skuce had another terrific run to finish 5th in 02:27:63.
Meanwhile our sole male athlete at the event, Andrew Gordon, competed in the U16 800M, finishing a fantastic 3rd in 02:09:84.
It was a warm, calm morning for the Portrush Parkrun and the tide was out, leaving the sand quite firm underfoot, though there was quite a camber on the running surface and long stretches of that horrible, hard, rippley sand, that jars the foot on each stride. That being said, the rain did not stay away and as the watersports centre was being used for the triathlon registration, all the runners were very wet, even before they started.
So as not to interfere with the triathlon, the Parkrun started beyond the estuary and proceeded to the very end of the beach, the low tide enabling the event to use the stretch of beach past the Whiterocks, a part of the beach that had never been used in its 200 week history.
Cloda Finch was congratulated on completing her 50th parkrun. First registered finisher was David O’Neill in 19.06 and first lady was Julie Murphy of Lagan Valley AC in 20.43. First home for Springwell were Caroline Irwin and Portrush Supremo Mervyn Thompson.
This week there were 129 runners, of whom 14 were first timers and 17 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 12 different athletics clubs took part.
Portrush - Caroline IRWIN 00:21:59 Mervyn THOMPSON 00:22:04 Andrew WILMOT 00:22:48 PB
Callum KNOX 00:24:23 Rosanna JACK 00:24:23 PB Bob MCLAUGHLIN 00:25:24 David PATTERSON 00:26:30 Judith MCLAUGHLIN 00:28:06 Rachel BLEE 00:28:35 Emma BIRRELL 00:28:40 Amy DOBSON 00:29:28 Jack BLEE 00:31:13 Jennifer PATTERSON 00:34:55 Fiona WALLS 00:36:18 Kenneth BACON 00:36:20
Limavady - Neil McIvor 21.10 PB
Ecos - Christopher Capper 27.57