Over eighteen thousand runners took to the streets of Belfast for the 33rd running of the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon and the associated Team Relay event.
In dull, breezy conditions, the seemingly endless field made their way from City Hall to the finish line in Ormeau Park, via East, North, West and South Belfast, as well as a section in Newtownabbey.
Freddy Sittuk (Kenya) made a decisive break shortly after the half-way mark to battle his way through windy, wet conditions to record victory in 2:18:28. It was third time lucky for Freddy having finished fifth and third in the previous two years.
Bayush Shiferaw (Ethiopia) showed her class in the ladies race recording the fourth fastest winning time in the 33 year history of the event breaking the tape in 2:41:20 this was particularly impressive given the weather conditions.
Alistair Shaw 3:09:05 was the first Springwell Runner home followed by Dave Sexton 3:13:50, James McMullan 3:14:14, Nicola Frizelle 3:22:55 (PB & 3rd NI Lady), Ryan Kennedy 3.37.28 (PB), Eddie Clyde3:43:51 (Pacer), John Butcher 03:47:27 (PB), Chris Denton 3:58:03 (Pacer), Robert Workman 3:55:35 (2nd MO60), Jean-Claude Bourgeois 4:00:24, Beverly Gordon 4:42:40 (PB), Claire Shields 4:42:44 (PB) and Stephen Smyth 4:51:39 (PB). Well done everyone great effort. Well done also to all Springwell runners who took part in the various relay teams.
The Lost World’s - Causeway Crossing - a unique event which offers competitors three distances; 100K, 50K and 25K - took place on Saturday 3 May.
The routes followed the paths, trails, beaches and coastline of the Moyle Way and Causeway Coast, arguably one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. All three races passed through the spectacular and world famous Giant’s Causeway.
The 100K race started in Waterfoot (Glenariff) and followed the Moyle Way (and route markings) to Ballintoy, where participants joined the Causeway Coast Way (50K) to the turnaround point at Dunluce Castle Car Park. After the turn the athletes followed the Causeway Coast Way back to Larrybane Head Quarry to the much anticipated finish line.
Springwell’s Nicki McPeake led the race home completing the 100K in 10:10:35 with teammate Fran McFadden (12:05:16) winning the Ladies 100K in and finishing fourth overall. Alison McAllister was Springwell’s sole representative in the 50K finishing fourth lady in 6:05:02.
The 25K event, competitors started at Dunluce Castle Car Park and followed the Causeway Coast Way to the finish at Larrybane Head Quarry. Springwell had four athletes in this event. Stephen Fillis was first home in 7th place in a time of 2:12:36 followed by Rebecca Clarke 2:49:13 (4th Female), Debbie Tutty 3:00:07 (6th Female) and Caroline Taylor 3:12:52 (8th Female).
Springwell had two runners at the Strabane - Lifford Half Marathon on Sunday. Gerard Mullan finished 3rd MO50 in 1:30:17 and Sandra Rosborough ran a PB time of 2:14:37.
Termoneeny Running Club welcomed almost two hundred athletes to their annual Termoneeny 10K road race on Sunday. Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Jarlath Falls won the race in a new course record of 33:26 and Heather Foley also broke the course record winning the ladies race in 38:30. Bryan Edgar was first home for Springwell finishing 8th in 37:00 and winning the MO50 age category. Next home was Brian Geddis in a PB time of 41:51. Catherine Pinkerton-Moore 47:17 and Margaret Edgar 54:14 both ran well finishing within 10 seconds of their PB’s.
On Saturday 10 May, Conor Christie and Luke Dinsmore travelled to Greystones to take part in the Irish Milers Club (IMC) Track & Field Meeting, both runners went in the 800m D race with Conor winning in 2.01.32 and Luke 3rd in 2.02.82, great times from both juniors who are now knocking on the door of the sub 2 minute mark.
On Thursday 8 May, nearly two hundred athletes took on the fourth race of this year’s Hill & Dale Series, hosted by Newcastle AC. On this occasion, Slieve Binnian was the venue, with competitors faced with a 2 mile uphill only race, which included 2,000ft of ascending.
The ladies race was a close contested affair, with Diane Wilson (Dromore) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley) both looking in good form. In the end, despite Shileen’s impressive ascending, Diane continued her 100% dominance of the Series to win in 27:42. Shileen took second place in 28:16, while Gillian Wasson (Springwell) marked her return to competition with a notable outing; the Northern Ireland international claimed third place in 29:14. Springwell’s Gerry O’Doherty finished 2nd MO55 in a time of 28:06.
Springwell Juniors had a great day at the Ulster Schools C District Track and Field held at the Antrim Forum Track on Wednesday 7 May. They came away with 6 wins, too many Pb’s to mention and 15 qualifying for the Ulster Track & Field Championships on Sat 17 May.
Conor Christie, Luke Dinsmore and Aife McSheffrey took 1st place in their age group at 1500m and Aine McKinney, Hermione Skuce and Andrew Gordon doing likewise in their 800m races.Aoife Carr and Abigail McBroom qualified 2nd in their 1500m, with Zak Hutchinson and Niamh Tweedie doing the same in their 800m races.
Holly Woodhead and Brian Tweedie had a double delight with both juniors qualifying for the Ulster’s in two events, Holly was 3rd in the 800m and the 100m and Brian was 3rd in both the 800m and 1500m races.
The Clubs only field event qualifier was Ellen Kirk who finished 3rd in the High Jump competition, other finishers were Niamh Carr 5th in the 800m, Rebekah Hunter 5th in the 1500m, Amy Fountain 7th in the 1500m and one of the Clubs newest members Ellie Beveridge 9th in the 800m.
The Club wish all the Qualifiers who are now training hard for the Championships, the best of luck.
With Giro fever sweeping the province, many of the runners turned out in pink for Saturday’s Portrush parkrun, including run director Andy Deal suitably kitted out in a Mr Blobby costume.
The high tide at 05.08 am meant conditions underfoot were excellent and the rain held off long enough for everyone to cross the finish line dry.
There were 61 runners, 14 first timers, 11 PB’s and representatives of 6 different athletics clubs taking part.
Springwell’s Chris Denton was first to finish in 18:17 and Deirdre Johnston was first lady home in 23:03. Springwell Times - Chris Denton 18:17, Nigel Armstrong 20:57, Mervyn Thompson 23:30, Benjamin Logan 25:57, Johnny Strang 26:44 (PB), Margaret Edgar and her dog 42:41. Springwell’s Deborah Gilliland was first lady home at the Queens parkrun in a time of 21:28.