Springwell Runners at Great North Run

Four Springwell Runners were among the 40,000 runner competing in the BUPA Great North Run on Sunday.

The Africans once again dominated the race with Wilson Kipsang (59:06) and Tirunesh Dibaba (1:07:35) scoring thrilling half marathon victories in wet conditions.

Alan McKeeman was the first Springwell runner home in 1:38:50 followed by Scott Bell 1:48:47 (PB), Caroline Taylor 2:09:38 and Zara Hunter 2:12:43.

Springwell’s Alistair Shaw ran 4:19:49 at the Sligo City Marathon on Saturday.

On Saturday 15 September, runners from all over the province took part in the O’Brien 26 Kilomathon Challenge. The race was held in the beautiful Sperrin Mountains starting at Lough Fea, the runners make their way over the roads into Davagh Forest, where much of the the mixed terrain event is run.  Coming out of the forest section the runners then make their way back up towards Lough Fea, a steady 3K climb before an enjoyable flat finish.

David Simpson (Corstorphine AAC) was first back to the finish at Lough Fea in 1:38:23, with Allan Bogle (City of Derry) second in 1:42:01 and Donal Gallagher (Sperrin Harriers) third in 1:42:26

Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) led the ladies home in 1:52:38 with Caroline Irwin (Springwell Runners) second in 2:12:15 and Anne Kennan third in 2:14:56

Springwell ladies had a good day out in the Sperrins with Katherine Pinkerton Moore 1st FO35, Karen McLaughlin 1st FO40, Alison McAllister 2nd FO40 and Sarah Chestnutt 1st FO45. They also picked up the ladies team prize (Caroline, Karen and Sarah). The men were also among the prizes with Leslie Aahe 1st MO50 and Jim Breen 1st MO55. Johnny Goldie and Robert Workman also completed the tough 26K race.

After the race, the runners enjoyed the post-race inquest, before making their way to the Charis Cancer Centre, Lough Fea for hard earned refreshments and prize-giving.  All proceeds from the excellent event were donated to the Charis Cancer Centre.

The second Portrush Parkrun took place on Saturday morning on Portrush’s East Strand. Conditions were again favourable for the forty three runners set on their way by race director Andy Deal on the out and back run to the White Rocks. First runner home was Springwell’s Jason McLeister in 18:22 with Julie Murphy first lady in 21:28.

Springwell times – Rhodri Jones 18:42, Ciara Toner 21:53, Jean-Claude Bourgeois 22:36, Darran Alexander 26:46, Shannon Calderwood 29:59, Angela Calderwood 30:00 (PB), Emily McLaughlin 31:13, Margaret Edgar (PB), Abby Tutty 32:04, Fiona Walls 33:21 and Debbie Tutty 33:25.

Portrush Parkrun is a FREE to enter timed run every Saturday at 9.30 organised completely by volunteers. Everyone loves to run but if you volunteer every now and again then this will insure that there is a constant supply of volunteers every week. If you would like to help out email Andy at PortrushHelpers@parkrun.com. If you would like to run and haven’t registered visit the website (www.parkrun.org.uk/portrush/) and register before 6.00pm on the Friday evening, print out your barcode and bring it with you on the Saturday morning.

On Thursday evening Springwell’s Ballymoney group training session took the form of a three mile handicap race. The race was to raise money for Caroline Taylor and Zara Hunter who were running the Great North Run for Meningitis Trust. Thirty four runners set off from the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre and their time recorded when they returned. While they enjoyed refreshments the coach entered the times into the computer to calculate the prize winners.

Prizes – 1st Beverley Gordon, 2nd Stuart Pearson and 3rd Margaret Edgar. Fastest: Male Bryan Edgar, Fastest Female: Caroline Irwin. Spot prizes for runners closest to their handicap time Nicola Farrell and Leslie Ashe. Endeavour Prize: Marlene King.

Zara Hunter thanked everyone who turned up to run for their generosity. PortrushHelpers@parkrun.