Busy weekend on the local running scene for Springwell

Brian Geddis (1st MV55) enjoying the scenic trails at Parkanaur trail race
Brian Geddis (1st MV55) enjoying the scenic trails at Parkanaur trail race

It was a busier week on the running scene this week, with the Flahavans’ Primary School XC Championships on Wednesday, followed by the All-Ireland University Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday then a number of weekend races, plus parkruns, with Springwell athletes once again excelling, winning awards, prizes and medals, thus further cementing our standing as one of Northern Ireland’s leading forces in local athletics.

We also had overseas representation this week with Gerry O’Doherty racing in a very wintry Scotland, plus Kenny and Heather Coulter, running at the eDreams Barcelona Half Marathon on Sunday 14th.

Gerry O'Doherty, 3rd left, who travelled to Scotland to race on Saturday

Gerry O'Doherty, 3rd left, who travelled to Scotland to race on Saturday

Flahavans NI & Ulster Primary School XC Championships

Firstly, once again, our Juniors turned out in large numbers at the Flahavans NI & Ulster Primary School XC Championships, on Wednesday past, with the outstanding result being Niamh McGarrys’ gold medal win, in which Niamh led from the gun fighting off a strong finish from the 2nd placed girl in the last 100m, to take the win. Fantastic running Niamh!

Other top club finishers were Aife McSheffrey, with silver in the Senior girls, Niamh Carr 4th Inter girls, Jack Culbertson 11th Minor Boys, Hermoine Skuce 6th Minor girls and Cara McLaughlin 6th Mini girls.

Brilliant running by all and a proud day indeed for the club junior section again!

Kerrie McIlmoyle receives her award from Thomas Moore for finishing 2nd Lady at the O'Cahans Trail Race

Kerrie McIlmoyle receives her award from Thomas Moore for finishing 2nd Lady at the O'Cahans Trail Race

IUAA Indoor Track & Field Championships 2016 Results

On Friday 12th February 2016, a large number of runners from Northern Ireland represented their Universities at the prestigious Irish Universities Athletics Association (IUAA) Indoor Track & Field Championships at the AIT Arena in Athlone, Ireland.

Springwell Running Club and QUB athlete Neil Johnston impressed in the 3,000 metres, crossing the line in 8:38.50 (2nd place) for the Silver Medal, again showing that he truly is a top class athlete. Extremely well done Neil!

Sperrin Harriers Winter League Trail Series – Parkanaur 10 mile Trail Race:

Also on Saturday 13th February 2016, Sperrin Harriers welcomed athletes from across the province to the final race of their very successful Winter League Trail Series.

Parkanaur Forest, Castlecaulfield was the venue of choice where participants faced a 10 mile route, covering three laps of the scenic forest on this fast but testing course, on what was a lovely day for running.

The three laps of the course took the runners from the court yard of Parkanaur Manor House, out into the forest trails, along the Torrent River, past Saint Patrick’s Well and back past the Manor House through the ornamental gardens.

It was Gary Slevin (City of Derry) who set down the standard taking the lead ahead of David Simpson (Newcastle AC) and host club Sperrin Harrier’s Pierce McCullagh. After three testing laps, it was Gary Slevin who maintained his lead to win in 56.27, while David Simpson crossed the line second in 57.39, hotly pursued by Pierce McCullagh who finished in 58.09.

First home for Springwell in 17th overall, winning his age group in the process was speedster Bryan Edgar in 1:04:43 (1stMV50), followed in 20th by the highly consistant Jimmy Stewart in 1:06:16 , then Himself aka Sergei in 1:07:30 (1st MV55), also securing the Age Group Overall win for the series, followed by Jim Breen 37th in 1:11:31, Bob McLaughlin 78th in 01:21:02, Paul Dornan 104th in 01:27:33 and Tenderfoot Award winner Judith McLaughlin 124th in 01:32:44.

It has been a great series for the club with Bryan and Jim also capturing the Overall 2nd place awards in their age groups and well done to all who completed the full 5 rounds of the series!

Future News

Next weekend we have 9 runners from Limavady doing the ‘last one standing’ 48 hour race over Saturday/Sunday. Basically you have to run a 4.2m loop every hour until you can no longer do it within an hour. They are doing it for a charity called Shelterbox and donations can be made via their Facebook/Just Giving pages. They are hoping to break the 100mile mark each. The runners involved are: John Butcher, Archie McNeil, Peter Jack, Fran McFadden, Stephen Rainey, Aidan Devine, Jason Scott, Glenda Whiteside, Peter Cromie, so good luck to them, on a pretty onorous challenge!