Downhill Demesne 5 Mile Trail Race

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A great day’s racing was in store for those 53 runners who toed the line at the inaugural 5mile trail race at Downhill Demesne on Saturday.

Summer asserted itself for a few hours to ensure that the course was hot work, making for tough going in some of the humid woodland parts. The course was a mix of technical trails, moorland, and woodland which took the competitors across estate landmarks such as the Mussenden Temple and ensured that careful footwork was required.

Runners from across the country made the journey to try this new event, run in conjunction with the National Trust at Downhill. The first runner to cross the line with the new course record was Ballymena Runners’ Jonny Steede in 32:09, tailed by North Belfast’s Gregory Walsh in 32:44. Third place was hotly contested between two Ballymena Runners, but was taken in the end by Jack Neeson in 33:15. Springwell’s Gemma Turley( 41:30) led the ladies home followed by team mate Betty Deighan (48:19) and Lorraine McMullan 49:24.  Age Category Prizes - MO40 Mark Alexander, Ballymena Runners 35:16; MO50 David Allen, Albertville 37:41; MO60 Irwin Spiers, Sperrin Harriers 41:20; FO40 Sarah Chestnutt, Springwell RC 50:19; FO50 Patricia Craig, Springwell RC 53:24.

Springwell Results - Seamus MacFloinn 35:36, Thomas Moore 37:56, Jim Breen 38:17, Gary Kendall 40:23, Gemma Turley 41:30, Ailbhe Kendall 45:19, Betty Deighan 48:19, Sarah Chestnutt 50:19, Mervyn Thompson 52:52, Patricia Craig 53:24, Jack Kendal 62:39, Valerie Coils 63:06 and Tom Grant 63:08.

Full results and photos are available on

Alistair Shaw found it tough going in the heat at Loughshore 10K in Maghery on Saturday. Alistair whose season’s goal is a sub 40 minute 10K came close once again finishing in 40:42.

Springwell’s Gemma Turley (41:50) finished second behind Sperrin Harriers Karen Alexander (38:05) at the Ballinderry Bridge 10K on Saturday 20 August.

Christopher McPeak of Sperrin Harriers won the race which was part of the Ballinderry Shamrocks GAC Family fun day in 35:25.

Three Springwell Juniors travelled to Antrim for the Athletics Northern Ireland Open Meet on Saturday 20 August.

Neil Johnston finished first in the 800m in 2.02.32. Holly Clarke finished third in the 200m in 28.12 and Conor Christie also finished third in the 1500m in 4.28.04.