Johnston wins the Milk Run 5 Mile

Female Podium at the Milk Run sponsored by Ballyrashane Creamery, Gemma Turley (Springwell RC) second, Cathy McCourt (North Belfast) first and Alexandra Kirk (Springwell RC) third.
Female Podium at the Milk Run sponsored by Ballyrashane Creamery, Gemma Turley (Springwell RC) second, Cathy McCourt (North Belfast) first and Alexandra Kirk (Springwell RC) third.

Nearly two hundred runners turned out for the Milk Run 5 Mile (and associated children’s races) sponsored by Ballyrashane Creamery on Friday evening,

The 5 mile road race, starts and finishes at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre was hosted by Springwell Running Club and Ballymoney Sports Development Unit.

The main race was preceded by the Primary School 1K and the Secondary School 1.5K races which were held. Danny Liken led the runners home in the 1K race with Brooke Walls the first girl home. There was a close finish in the 1.5K, which was won by Callum Stevenson, with 3 seconds separating the first three. The girls race was won by Ellle Kirgan. Over 30 children took part in both races; all finishing received a medal and a bottle of water.

In warm conditions the Deputy Mayor of Ballymoney Alderman Harry Connolly set the runners on their way. City of Derry’s Richard Johnston took up a position at the front as the athletes set off down the Garryduff Road.  Richard, who had built up a notable lead by mile two, was being pursued by Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) and Neil Johnston (Springwell RC). Justin Maxwell (East Coast AC), James Brown (Larne AC), Stephen Joyce (Springwell RC), Luke Dinsmore (Springwell RC) and John Black (North Belfast Harriers) were just off the chasing duo. 

In the ladies race, Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers), Gemma Turley (Springwell RC), Alexandra Kirk (Springwell RC) looked like the main contenders at the front, whilst Janice White (Forge Harriers), Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) and Karen McLaughlin (Springwell RC) also started well.

Shortly after the half way, Andrew Considine and Neil Johnston caught the tiring Richard Johnston and began to battle it out for top honours.  The exciting dual saw Neil lead, then Andrew, before Neil finally took control in the final stages to break the tape in 26:46. Andrew followed in 26:51, while Justin Maxwell was rewarded for a strong performance with the final podium place in 27:20.

Cathy McCourt continued her excellent recent form to claim another impressive victory in 31:30.  Last years Champion Gemma Turley (32:18) once again climbed the podium, taking second place on this occasion; this a mere eight seconds ahead of up and coming star Alexandra Kirk, who completed the ladies top three in 32:26.

Results: Male Open - 1st Neil Johnston (Springwell RC) 26:46, 2nd Andrew Considine (North Belfast) 26:51, 3rd Justin Maxwell (East Coast) 27:20. M35 James Brown (Larne AC) 27:35; M40 Richard Agnew (Ballymena Runners) 27:49; M45 Andy Gregg (Larne AC) 30:51; M50 Gerard Mullan (Springwell RC) 33:06; M55 Noel Adair 36:22; M60 Peter Mullin (H-Town Runners)30:42; M65 Irwin Speirs (Acorn AC) 36:33; Male Junior Luke Dinsmore (Springwell RC) 28:11.

Female Open -1st Cathy McCourt (North Belfast) 31:30, 2nd Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) 32:18, 3rd Alexandra Kirk (Springwell RC) 32:26. F35 Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) 34:02; F40 Janice White (Forge Harriers) 33:51; F45 Alison McAllister (Springwell RC) 38:00; F50 Irene Downey (Co Antrim Harriers) 40:55; F55 Roberta French (Springwell RC) 46:22; F65 Sally McClean 1:11:16.

Kids Races: 8-11 1K. Boy’s 1st Danny Liken 4:10; 2nd Cathain Donnelly 4:12; 3rd Zak Taggart 4:38. Girls 1st Brooke Walls 4:23; 2nd, Grace Arnold 4:33; 3rd Megan Kirgan 4:39.

12-14 1.5K. Boy’s 1st Callum Stevenson 5:03; 2nd Daniel Clarke 5:04.

Girls 1st Elle Kirgan 5:05; 2nd Emma Quigg 5:09; 3rd Katie Ferriby 6:15.

Springwell Results: Neil Johnston 26:46 Luke Dinsmore 28:11 (PB), Stephen Joyce 28:26, Paul Thompson 29:56, Glenn Millar 30:16 (PB), Christopher Millar 30:18 (PB), Mark Hudson 30:53, Andrew Dowey 30:54, David Jackson 30:59, Oisin Brennan 31:27 (PB), Dale Corbett 32:14, Gemma Turley 32:18, Alexandra Kirk 32:26 (PB), Gerard Mullan 33:06, Gary Moore 33:30, Karen McLaughlin 34:27, Ricky Cochrane 34:39 (PB), Colin Apperly 34:49 (PB), Linda Gillen 35:23, Robert Workman 36:59, Mervyn Thompson 37:26, Catherine Pinkerton-Moore 37:44, Alison McAllister 38:00, Catherine Bell-Allen 38:31 (PB), Kieran Cooke 42:39 (PB), Emma Jamison 42:48 (PB), Betty Deighan 42:52, Brendan McLaughlin 43:09, Bronagh Kearns 43:19 (PB), Charlotte Hall 43:21 (PB), Shannon McAllister 43:22, Stephen Smyth 44:21, David Boorman 44:50 (PB), Amanda Simpson 45:05, Lesley Irwin 46:00 (PB), Roberta French 46:22 (PB), Karen Smith 46:24 (PB), Denise Walker 49:53, Donna Mullaghan 50:32, Noelle Watterson 51:39 (PB), Bernie Drain 51:47 (PB), Shirley Jackson 53:22.

Thanks again to Ballyrashane Creamery for sponsoring the event, Deputy Mayor of Ballymoney Alderman Harry Connolly, Peter Sheilds, John and Gareth Fall and Pat Montgomery from the Ballymoney Sports Development Unit, Paul Lynas and the staff of the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre, Knight Walkers Entertainment, all the Springwell RC volunteers, PSNI and last but not least St Johns Ambulance who once again thankfully were not called into action on the night.

Springwell Juniors Hermione Skuce and Holly Woodhead travelled to Tullamore on Saturday for the GloHealth Juvenile Track and Field Championships. Both girls were competing in the 800m. Hermoine ran 2:42.37 in the Girls U14 and Holly 2:41.68 in the Girls U15 races.

On Wednesday evening Springwell’s Connor McStravick ran 21:28 at the Unity in the Community 5K, Strathfoyle.

Jim Breen was Springwell’s sole representative at the Brackaghreilly 5 Mile Road Race, near Maghera on Wednesday evening. Jim completed the 5 mile course in 35:20.

Aaron Meharg (Acorns AC) looked a class above the rest as he cruised to an emphatic victory in 28:22. Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) not only sealed victory in the ladies race, but crossed the line in 32:46 (1st place) to take fourth place.

On Tuesday evening, hundreds of athletes from across the province travelled to the coastal town of Portaferry for the annual Portaferry 10 Mile Road Race, which is held as part of a weeklong gala in the scenic town.

North Down’s Stephen Wylie was the first runner to experience the notoriously atmospheric finish area in ‘the square’ after breaking the tape in 55:55 to win the race. North Belfast’s Breege Connolly clocked 59:44 to not only win the ladies race, but also finish as the third overall.

Springwell’s Jim Breen ran 67:57 to win the M60 age category.

Compared with the previous few days, conditions were relatively cooler on Saturday for the Portrush parkrun, which was no doubt a bit of a relief for the runners, especially those who still hadn’t quite recovered from the Milk Run 5 mile on Friday evening.

High tide was at 07:17 so the firmer sand was starting to reappear in time for the start and the 156 runners enjoyed what is becoming a regular feature, the beach start and finish.

There were 27 first timers, 44 PB’s and representatives of 20 different athletics clubs.

First home was Matthew Willis, a junior runner from Wrexham AC, making his debut at Portrush, in a time of 18:08. First lady was Lagan Valley’s Julie Murphy in 20:54.

Before the run young Graham Kennedy was congratulated on achieving his 10th run, and as a junior, will receive his T-shirt in due course.

Springwell Times - Bryan Edgar 18:28, Dave Holden 20:46, Glenn Millar 21:04, Deborah Gilliland 21:28, Mervyn Thompson 22:07, Graeme Montgomery 23:26, Robert Workman 23:30, Lynn Montgomery 26:02, David Patterson 27:00, Margaret Edgar 27:38, Melanie Millar 27:39 (equalling her PB), Johnny Strang 28:31, Molly Blee 34:50

Alistair Shaw ran 21:36 at the Waterworks parkrun.