Gemma’s a class act at Ballymoney

Gray Keenan (President of Athletics NI) presents Spriingwell's Gemma Turley with her prize for winning the Purple Ladies 5K along with Kenny Bacon (Race Director).
Gray Keenan (President of Athletics NI) presents Spriingwell's Gemma Turley with her prize for winning the Purple Ladies 5K along with Kenny Bacon (Race Director).

Springwell Running Club hosted the third annual running of their Purple Ladies 5K road race in Ballymoney on Wednesday evening.

The ladies only event attracted a record entry of well over two hundred athletes, all of whom enjoyed the excellent atmosphere on what was a dull evening weather-wise. This year the runners were joined by Fit Mums Causeway Coast who walked jogged the course with their babies.

Springwell's Ciara Toner and Gemma Turley set the early pace at the Purple Ladies 5K.

Springwell's Ciara Toner and Gemma Turley set the early pace at the Purple Ladies 5K.

There were a number of impressive performances which went a long way in brightening up the night; with the host club’s athletes in dominated form at the head of the pack.  

Gemma Turley produced another outstanding display seeing off the challenge of team mates Ciara Toner and Glenda Whiteside to secure victory in 19:13. Ciara continued her return to competition with a classy 19:31 finish, taking second place ahead of Glenda who recorded a PB 19:51.

In a close finish between Sarah-Jane Guiney (Albertville Harriers), Claire McAvoy (Unattached) and Katherine Woods (Springwell RC), it was the fast improving Sarah-Jane and Claire who completed the top five in 20:07 (4th  place) and 20:09 (5th place) respectively.

Age Category Prizes - Female Junior Amy Watt (Ballymena Runners) 33:04, F35 Tracey Atkinson (Albertville Harriers) 21:49, F40 Clare McAvoy (Unattached) 20:09, F45 Sarah Chestnutt (Springwell RC) 23:19, F50 Linda Pettigrew (Ballymena Runners) 21:46, F55 Rosemary Hargan (Acorns AC) 23:45, F60 Patricia McNally (Unattached) 26:01, F65 Bridgit Quinn (Ballymena Runners) 25:20.

Springwell's Ciara Toner receives second prize from Gray Keenan (President of Athletics NI).

Springwell's Ciara Toner receives second prize from Gray Keenan (President of Athletics NI).

Springwell Times - Gemma Turley 19:13 (1st), Ciara Toner 19:31 (2nd), Glenda Whiteside 19:51(3rd & PB), Catherine Woods 20:10, Catherine Jamison 20:40, Amanda Connell 21:30, Brenda Boyle 22:34, Roslind Overend 22:50, Gillian Jones 23:01, Rozzy Skuce 23:10 (PB), Rosie Crennell 23:15 (PB), Sarah Chestnutt 23:19 (1st F45), Valerie Hunt 23:46 (PB), Louise McDonnell 23:48, Ally Kelly 23:58, Lisa Young 24:39, Michelle Keown 25:01, Lesley Irwin 25:09 (PB), Melanie Millar 25:13 (PB), Karen Smith 25:27, Margaret Edgar 25:29, Emily McLaughlin 25:31 (PB), Sharon Bingham 26:02 (PB), Vanda McClure 26:04, Noelle Watterson 26:07 (PB), Elaine Montgomery 26:43 (PB), Heather Coulter 26:57, Collette Poland 27:01 (PB), Angela Calderwood 27:07, Christina Shields 27:51 (PB), Roberta French 28:19, Catherine Byers 28:20, Rachel Blee 28:35, Denise Walker 29:01, Shirley Jackson 29:01, Judith Smyth 29:06 (PB), Donna Mullighan 29:09, Emma Thorpe 29:23, Tracy Mitchel 29:52, Amanda Scott 29:53 (PB), Bernie Drain 29:55 (PB), Nichelle Atkinson 29:56 (PB), Monica McClenaghan 30:02, Alison Boreland 31:09, Emma Birrell 30:12, Lorraine Abernethy 30:32, Jackie McNeill 31:12, Joanne McClenaghan 32:07, Nikki Higgins 32:12, Laura Gray 44:14, Tracy Hanna 47:15, Julie Virtue 47:26.

Springwell Running Club would like to thank the race sponsors GES Group for their support.

Thanks to the PSNI, Coastal Core, volunteers for getting all the runners round the course safely and the staff of the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre for their assistance on the night.

* On Saturday, Springwell’s Aife McSheffrey and Luke Dinsmore travelled south to Greystones in County Wicklow for the Irish Milers Club (IMC) Greystones Track & Field Meeting, hosted by Greystones AC. The competitors had to brave the wet and blustery conditions.

In the 800m, Luke Dinsmore (Springwell Running Club) clocked 2:06.72 for 5th place; Aife McSheffrey ran in the ladies 800m in 2:20.45 (9th place).

* On Friday evening, NiRunning hosted their increasingly popular ‘NiRunning Mile’ event, which this year, was sponsored by Active Financial and organised once again in conjunction with the British Milers Club.

In perfect running conditions, a record number of over one hundred and fifty participants turned out at the home of athletics in Northern Ireland, the Mary Peters Track (Belfast) for the 4th annual running of the event.  

Although the sub four minute barrier was not broken on this occasion, the gathered spectators were treated to an exciting night of racing, which ended with Ballymena Runners’ fast improving James Hamilton recording the fastest time of the night 4:33.61

Springwell’s sole representative at the event was David McAfee who ran 5:21.10 for the mile.

* A Bank Holiday weekend usually attracts larger numbers to Portrush parkrun and Saturday was no exception. The early morning sunshine disappeared, leaving conditions breezy and overcast, the outward 2.5K was made more difficult by having to run into the headwind.

Before the run Noah Bourgeois was congratulated on completing his 10th parkrun. There were 170 runners, 34 first timers, 20 PB’s and 12 athletics clubs represented.

First to finish was Mark Palser of Milton Keynes AC in a time of 18:54 and first lady was Elizabeth Dawson in a PB time of 21:30.

Springwell: Ross Armstrong 20:20 (PB), Dave Holden 20:40 (PB), Richard Baker 21:45, Mervyn Thompson 22:40, Graeme Montgomery 22:52, Sarah Chestnutt 24:13, Kay Hack 25:28, Gary Kendall 25:29, Peter Fleming 25:58, Davy Patterson 26:53, Emily McLaughlin 27:41Sharon Bingham 28:10, Callum Knox 28:59 (PB), Sonia Knox 29:04, Catherine Byers 30:43, Jean-Claude & Noah Bourgeois 42:05, Chris & Luke Denton 42:17.

Limavady parkrun - Aaron Craig 20:15, Aidan Devine 21:32, Kevin McLean 21:32 (PB), Conor McGowan 21:59 (PB), Brian O’Kane 22:01, Alwyn Hunt 22:25, Catherine Butcher 22:38, Jake Macnicol 25:36, Davy Macnicol 25:37, Collette Poland 27:12 (PB), Roger Poland 27:13, Kenny Bacon 29:38.

ECOS parkrun - Elaine Montgomery 26:35 (PB), Ashton Court parkrun (Bristol) - Alistair Shaw 19:15.