The sun shone on the village of Dervock on Saturday as over 500 runners took part in the Kennedy Kane McArthur Festival of Running.
Runners from South Africa, USA, United Kingdom and all over Ireland descended on the village to celebrate the centenary of Big Ken winning gold in the marathon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.
Spectators lined the streets as Dame Mary Peters and the Mayor of Ballymoney Councillor Evelyene Robinson got proceedings under way at 10.45am, setting the 10K runners on their way. Next to go was the Half Marathon.
Wheelchair athlete Jerry Forde, competing in the Marathon, a first for the event, got a minute start on the rest of the field as they set off from Carncullagh Presbyterian Church downhill through the village on their 26.2-mile journey.
Geoff Smyth from Belfast was the first marathon runner to return to the finish in the Recreation grounds winning the centenary marathon in 2:56:24. Second home was Springwell’s Chris Denton in 2:57:29 followed by Kenny Holdsworth from Coalisland in 2:59:48. The biggest cheer of the day was reserved for local man Paul Thompson, Springwell, as he crossed the line in 4th position in 3:04:43.
Sperrin Harriers Karen Alexander took the honours in the ladies race coming home in 3:14:56 followed by Mary Jennings in 3:31:58 and City of Derry’s Hannah Shields in 3:37:28. Springwell’s Caroline Irwin finished 6th picking up the first local lady prize 3:44:58.
Marathon Prize Winners
Male - 1st Geoff Smyth, 2nd Chris Denton, 3rd Kenny Holdsworth, 4th Paul Thompson, 5th Phelim McAllister, Lawrence O’Hara. 1st MO35 Richard Crown, 1st MO40 Colin Hoey, 1st MO45 Michael Ferguson, 1st MO50 Leonard McConaghie, 1st MO55 Leslie Crawford, 1st MO60 David Brady, 1st MO65 Sam Hogg, Wheelchair Jerry Forde.
Female - 1st Karen Alexander, 2nd Mary Jennings, 3rd Hanna Shields, 4th Helena Dornan, 5th Linda Gillen, 6th Caroline Irwin. 1st FO35 Janeen McGregor, 1st FO40 Letita Meenan, 1st FO45 Fionnuala O’Mara, 1st FO50 Eimear Hurley, 1st FO55 ,1st FO60 Frances Brown, Brigid Quinn.
Springwell Results - Chris Denton 2:57:29 (2nd Male), Paul Thompson 3:04:43 (4th Male & 1st Local Male), Alistair Shaw 3:15:45, James McMullan 3:25:25, Richard Crown 3:31:38 (1st MO35), Nickie McPeake 3:32:50, Dave Sexton 3:35:50, Linda Gillen 3:44:46 (5th Female), Caroline Irwin 3:44:58 (6th Female, 1st Local Female), Janeen McGregor (1st FO35), Leslie Ashe 3:56:52, Kenny Coulter 3:56:54, Karen McLaughlin 4:00:17, Robert Workman 4:20:31, Davy Patterson 4:22:11, Sarah Chestnutt 4:30:55, Johnny Goldie 4:31:00, Alan McKeeman 4:37:15.
Chris Hattingh a founder member and chairman of the McArthur Marathon Club in Potchefstroom, Jeffrey Newton, Dave Sexton and Leslie Ashe all ran the first McArthur Memorial Marathon in Dervock back in 1984 and returned 28 years later to complete the 2012 Centenary Marathon.
The Half Marathon was the fourth race in the 2012 Up & Running Half Marathon Series. North Belfast’s Alan McCullough recorded his fifth victory over the Dervock course coming home to win in 1:11:57 followed by Annadale Strider’s Stephen McCrory in 1:15:31 and Ballymena Runners Iain Taggart in 1:15:56.
The ladies race was won by North Down’s Julie Balmer in 1:24:16 with Heather Foley 2nd in 1:30:16 and Roisin Hughes 3rd in 1:32:22.
Half Marathon Prize Winners
Male - 1st Alan McCullough, 2nd Stephen McCrory, 3rd Iain Taggart. 1st MO35 Stephen Joyce, 1st MO40 Michael Fitzpatrick, 1st MO45 William Thompson, 1st MO50 Alvin Taylor, 1st MO55 Jim Breen, 1st MO60 Hugh Boyle, 1st MO65 Fred Murdock.
Female - 1st Julie Balmer, 2nd Heather Foley, 3rd Roisin Hughes. 1st FO35 Geraldine Quigley, 1st FO40 Shileen O’Kane, 1st FO45 Patricia Campbell, 1st FO50 Claire Forth, 1st FO55 Mary Mackin.
Springwell Results - Stephen Joyce 1:18:00, Kieran O’Neill 1:22:19, Jim Breen 1:26:42 (1st MO55), Jason McLeister 1:26:47, Hugh Boyle 1:27:32 (1st MO60), Christopher Millar 1:29:05, Thomas Moore 1:34:05, Alison Rankin 1:34:44, Graeme Montgomery 1:42:40, Cathal McFeely 1:43:00, David Irwin 1:47:04, Barry McCluskey, 1:50:43, Mervyn Thompson 1:54:50, Lynn Montgomery 1:57:34, Rebecca Clarke 2:02:33 (PB), Caroline Taylor 2:11:27, Brendan McLaughlin 2:14:46, Zara Hunter 2:20:38, Angela Calderwood 2:51:41, Amanda Simpson 2:20:42, Joe McEvoy 2:26:06, Janice McNeill 2:39:43, Heather McConaghie 2:39:45, Hugh Wright 4:41:03.
Ballymena Runners Mathew McCooke (35:49) and James Turtle (36:27) finished first and second in the 10K with North Belfast’s Travis Todd third in 36:53.
Lagan Valleys Julie Murphy led the ladies home in 42:40 closely followed by Helena Quinn in 42:45 and Fiona Johnston third in 44:24.
10K Prize Winners
Male - 1st Mathew McCooke, 2nd James Turtle, 3rd Travis Todd. 1st MO35 Johnny Wilson, 1st MO40 Ivan Prue, 1st MO45 Peter Coulter, 1st MO50 Noel Connor, 1st MO55 Ray Curran, 1st MO65 Jim Platt.
Female 1st Julie Murphy, 2nd Helana Quinn, 3rd Fiona Johnston. 1st FO35 Lynsey Grant, 1st GO40 Judith Dallas, 1st FO45 Joanne Donnelly, 1st FO55 Jacqueline Maxwell, 1st FO60 Ina Hattingh, 1st FO65 Jean Dolan.
Springwell Results - Neil Johnston 37:08 (4th Male), Johnny Wilson 41:44 (1st MO35), Jim Platt 50:50 (1st MO65), Michael Rankin 51:40, Dale Corbett 53:08, Janet McGaughey 62:09, Marlene King 71:03.
The Festival of Running was grateful for the investment from the North East Region Joint Council Committee under the Rural Development Programme.
The organisers Springwell RC and Dervock & District Community Association would like to thank all who took part and the spectators who turned out in Dervock and Stranocum to welcome and create a carnival atmosphere for the competitors.
Thanks to sponsors (Maine Soft Drinks, Jamison Land Rover Specialist, Centra Dervock, Chestnutt Animal Feeds) Ballymoney Borough Council and all the water stop and mile marker sponsors without whose support the event would not have been possible. Thanks also to the course builders and dismantlers, marshals, water stop attendants, St John Ambulance, Raynet and PSNI who helped get all the runners home safely. Finally, thanks to all who provided the entertainment in Dervock and Stranocum which helped make the event a great day out for the whole family.