Springwell’s highlands and islands
The Bank Holiday weekend saw Springwell’s purple vests in action on the highlands, island and the coastlines in between, with races on Slieve Donard, Rathlin Island, the west Strand in Portrush and the coast road in Larne.
Portrush Five Mile Road Race
The holiday weekend started with the Portrush 5 Mile Road Race on the West Strand promenade in Portrush.
Organised by Mervyn Thompson in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, this event has always had a party atmosphere and Friday night was no exception as over 150 runners gathered on the promenade for their race up the Black Rock path and out the Portstewart Road.
The warm summer evening made for a spectacular run and the competitors were well supported along the road as they turned at the NW200 paddock and raced back to the finish.
Springwell RC was well represented at the race and it was good to see so many new members, especially those who have “graduated” from our C25k group, catching the racing bug.
Springwell RC Results - 17th Rhys Walker 32:39, 33rd Meabh Close 35:31 (2nd F50), 41st Fergus Thompson 36:44, 42nd Graeme Elliott 36:58, 65th Michael Mulvenna 39:04, 72nd Mark Neely 39:53, 73rd Peter Stark 40:08, 76th Cathy Adams 40:23, 77th Mervyn Adams 40:24, 85th Elizabeth Deighan 41:41, 86th Paul Moore 41:39, 90th Pam Howe 41:48, 98th Andrew Wilmot 43:03, 99th Andrew Wilson 43.07, 102nd Pauline Duke 43:26 PB, 109th Alanna Millar 44:12, 114th Mariette Mulvenna 45:12, 123rd Grainne Moore 47:00, 124th Fergal Mackle 47:01, 132nd Roisin Walker 50:08, 133rd Ursula Harper 50:38, 140th Gemma Craig 52:51 PB, 148th Aisling Hynes 54:50, 153rd Caroline Owen 58:18, 155th Rachel Scilley 1:14:29
Highland & Islands
Saturday was a day for the mountains or overseas travel as a pair of Springers made their way to the Kingdom of Mourne, for the iconic Slieve Donard Race, and another pair took on the Rathlin Run 10 Mile Challenge.
The Slieve Donard race is as simple as they come.
Starting in Donard Park competitors have to race to a checkpoint on the summit of Slieve Donard and then back to the finish in the park. The weather in County Down was unbroken sunshine in a clear blue sky so it was a challenging climb on the 10k course with its 850 metres of elevation.
Springwell RC’s two representatives acquitted themselves well with Carolyn Crawford 84th in 1.38.03 and Adele Tomb 86th in 1.39.36.
Further North David McGaffin and Kate O’Loan caught the ferry to Rathlin Island for the 10 Mile Challenge. The 10 mile course starts with a short loop of the east of the island from Church Bay before an out and back run to the RSPB nature reserve at the most western point.
The morning was very warm but as the start time of 1pm approached a sea fog began to form which was a mixed blessing. While the fog obscured the stunning scenery of the island and North Antrim coast it certainly made for cooler running conditions. The “Challenge” is well named as the undulating course with its steep climbs and sharp descents allows little time for recovery as it tests competitors’ stamina the entire route.
Both Springwell RC’s representatives produced great runs, winning their respective age group categories with David McGaffin 12th (1st M55) in 1.18.36 and Kate O’Loan 26th (1st F35) in 1.26.18.
Antrim Coast Half Marathon
The return of the Antrim Coast Marathon has been eagerly anticipated with many runners targeting this race for their personal best efforts.
The course has been designed as one of the flattest and fastest in Ireland and takes entrants from Larne, along the Coast Road to Ballygally where they turn to retrace the course to the finish in Larne. With the biggest gathering of Springwell RC members post lockdown there were high hopes for personal bests and many rose to the challenge with Ciaran Ferris producing an excellent performance to break his own club record by over two and a half minutes.
Springwell RC Results: Ciaran Ferris 1.10.20 Club Record, Paul Thompson 1.16.11 PB, Gordon Mawhinney 1.19.33, Alan Nevin 1.23.28 PB, Maurice Walker 1.24.16, Stephen McLaughlin 1.25.30 PB, Chris Holmes 1.26.12 PB, Barry Mullan 1.27.16
PB, Niall Kennedy 1.28.46, Scott Bell 1.29.12, Liam Frizelle 1.34.25, David Shiels 1.36.54, Gareth McLaughlin 1.37.01 PB, Kate Mcnicholl 1.37.08, Nicky Frizelle 1.40.00, Jonathan Huddleston 1.41.48 PB, Judith Buchanan 1.42.16 PB, Carolyn
Gilfillan 1.42.37, Geoff Allen 1.43.19, Roy Buchanan 1.47.38, Fiona Martin 1.47.47, Pauline Mullan 1.51.39, Helena Dornan 1.52.12, Majella McAteer 1.53.24, Pauline Duke 1.56.04 PB, Michael McKeown 1.58.16, Clive Bradberry 1.58.39, Seamus
McAteer 1.59.19, Jim Bradley 1.59.31, Patricia Craig 2.00.13, Ryan Gray 2.03.53, Antoinette Conway 2.06.03, Alan Platt 2.06.36, Deborah McPhee 2.07.56, Barry McBride 2.09.12, Andrew Wilmot 2.10.07, Deborah Archibald 2.14.43, Aisling Hynes 2.17.58 PB, Fergal Mackle 2.20.40, Anne Marie McKenna 2.24.47, Elaine Montgomery 2.25.40, Gemma Craig 2.26.33 PB.