Saturday saw thousands of athletes and spectators from across N. Ireland (and beyond) descend upon the North Coast village of Portballintrae for the 26extreme Causeway Coast Marathon and associated events.
The extensive race programme included a 40 mile Ultra Marathon, Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K, all of which covered incredibly scenic courses along the world famous Causeway Coast Way.
The action will kick off at 7.30am when nearly one hundred hardy ultra-runners began their 40 mile journey from Portstewart to Ballintoy and back to the finish line in Portballintrae
ULTRA MARATHON RESULTS
Men: 1st Stanley Topalian (Westerlands AC) 5:41:32, 2nd Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) 5:44:17, 3rd Tim Brownlee (Unattached) 5:50:17.
Ladies: 1st Joanne Curran (BARF) 6:34:59, 2nd Fran McFadden (Springwell Running Club) 6:38:29, 3rd Amy Masner (Unattached) 6:41:05.
First home for Springwell in fifth place was Mark Hudson 6:13:41 followed by Fran McFadden 06:38:29 (2nd Lady) and Andy Deal 7:08:54.
Nicki McPeake was in the leading pack but withdrew at 21 miles with cramp.
The Marathon event started in Portballintrae and took competitors along the coast to Ballintoy, where they turned and made their way back towards the atmospheric finish in Portballintrae, where they had began their journey.
Men: 1st Chris Denton (Springwell Running Club) 3:29:29, 2nd Pat O’Hare (Unattached) 3:35:01, 3rd Phelim McAllister (Larne AC) 3:40:48
Ladies: 1st Claire McBride (Unattached) 4:23:47, 2nd Janice White (Ballymena Runners) 4:36:04, 3rd Nuala McLoughlin (Ballymena Runners) 4:46:59
Springwell’s Chris Denton led the field home to win in 3:29:29 followed by Ross Armstrong seventh in 3:56:56, Dale Corbett eleventh in his marathon debut in a time of 4:06:23, Stephen Fillis 4:19:13, Nigel McNeill 4:34:07 and Betty Deighan 5:03:43.
Nearly four hundred athletes took part in the Half Marathon, during which, athletes completed a section of the Causeway Coast Way between Ballintoy and Portballintrae.
HALF MARATHON RESULTS
Men: 1st Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) 1.26:51, 2nd Wayne Morrow (Larne AC) 1:29:44, 3rd Peter Cromie (Springwell Running Club) 1.29.54.
Ladies: 1st Karen Alexander (Acorns AC) 1:34:56, 2nd Nicola Frizelle (Springwell Running Club) 1:48:35, 3rd Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) 1:49:29.
Springwell’s Peter Cromie finished third in 1:29:54 followed by David Jackson 1:35:44, Stephen Rainey 1:46:50 Nicola Frizelle 1:48:35 (2nd Lady), Paul Campbell 1:49:03 Scott Bell 1:50:15, Glenda Whiteside 1:52:12 Pamela McGlade 1:53:15, Nigel Armstrong 1:54:26, Kevin McLean 1:54:26, Richard Baker 1:58:18, Linda Gillen 1:58:25, Roger Poland 2:08:42 Paul Irwin 2:19:08 Valerie Hunt 2:25:20 (PB), Amanda Simpson 2:48:25 and Claire Shields 2:48:27.
The final race of the day was the 10K; the short and sharp event started at Dunseverick and finished at the atmospheric Portballintrae (the finishing place for all the races), passing through the Giants Causeway en-route.
Men: 1st Andrew MacLaine (Unattached) 40:33, 2nd Adam Wilson (Unattached) 40:48, 3rd Andrew McMurray (Unattached) 40:53.
Ladies: 1st Sonia Knox (Springwell Running Club) 43:41, 2nd Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) 45:00, 3rd Jade Hegarty (Unattached) 50:08.
Springwell’s Sonia Knox led the ladies home in 43:41 followed by David McAfee 44:43, Gemma Turley second lady in 45:00, Bob McLaughlin 54:40, Lesley Irwin 1:01:27, Judith McLaughlin 1:07:27 and Alison Boreland 1:13:01.
Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto broke world record at the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, winning the race in a time of 2:02:57. Springwell’s Alistair Shaw was also in fine form setting a new PB time of 3:06:23.
Springwell’s Karen Smith ran the Ikano Robin Hood Half Marathon on Sunday. This was Karen’s first half and she crossed the line in 2:00:30.
Springwell’s Amanda Connell ran 46:10 (PB) at the Paddy Friel Memorial 10K in Derry on Sunday.
The autumn high tide at 8.59am left the sand as soft as has been experienced for some time at Portrush parkrun on Saturday. On some parts of the course the waves were threatening the sand dunes, so most runners went home with wet feet, as well as tired legs. The high tide meant a return to the traditional promenade start and finish.
That being said, the conditions didn’t prevent 100 runners from taking part.
Before the run Colin McDowell was presented with his 50 T-shirt and Mark Simpson, a junior parkrunner, was welcomed to the “10” club.
There were 15 first timers, 6 different athletics clubs represented and, not surprisingly, only 1 PB.
First finisher was Richard Stringer in 22:14 and first lady was Springwell’s Karen McLaughlin in 23:36
Springwell Times - Robert Simpson 22:50, Karen McLaughlin 23:36, Johnny Goldie 24:27, Robert Workman 25:07, Peter Fleming 25:20, Mervyn Thompson 25:25, Ellen Knox 26:37, Jean-Claude Bourgeois 27:53, David Hughes 28:01, Kay Hack 30:09, Bob McLaughlin 31:44, Judith McLaughlin 32:46, Melanie and Lila Millar 46:51
This Saturday 4 October, is International parkrun day, which will mark parkrun’s 10th anniversary, so wherever you are, why not try a parkrun?
Springwell’s Noelle Watterson Ran a PB 28:17at the ECOS parkrun.