Sonia and Gerry ensure selection for international

Springwell's Christopher McPeake
Springwell's Christopher McPeake

On Saturday, hundreds of athletes turned out for the annual Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Cross Country, which was held at the DUB Road Playing Fields in Belfast.  The event doubled up as the trials for the upcoming British & Irish Masters Cross Country International.

First off was the Ladies and Vet 65+ Men for their 6K event. Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) led the field home in 22:02. North Down AC’s Terry Aiken was the leading Men’s Vet 65+ athlete, clocking 22:56 for the distance.

Springwell’s Sonia Knox ran 23:04 to finish 4th F40 and Jim Platt 28:52, fifth M70. The Men’s 8K race was won by Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) in 25:37. Springwell’s Chris Denton ran 28:34, nineth M40 and Gerry O’Doherty 30:12 for first M60.

Sonia and Gerry performances ensured they are part of the Northern Ireland team for the international meet in Dublin later in the year.

The local community came out in force as upwards on 600 runners and walkers took part in Magherafelt Harriers’ Run for Coach Francis 4 mile event on Saturday.

The event was to raise funds to assist highly respected runner and Coach Francis Stewart in his recovery after a serious road traffic accident back in June. Several Springwell Runners travelled to Magherafelt to support the event which was run in perfect running conditions.