Gemma continues her run of form to claim win

Gemma McDonald continued her fabulous run of success with a FIRst place at the Stanley Reid Memorial
Gemma McDonald continued her fabulous run of success with a FIRst place at the Stanley Reid Memorial

Another all action scene on the running front this week with races being held on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

This was all in addition to the usual hive of activity at the local parkrun scene on Saturday morning!

On Monday 1st August well over three hundred runners descended on the County Antrim village of Broughshane, close to Ballymena, for the inaugural running of the Broughshane 10k and 5k races; the event was hosted by Ballymena Runners, raising funds in aid of the Mountain Rescue Service.

The course meandered around the village, going off road for sections, making it more technical and therefore slower than a standard road course.

In the 10K event, won by the host clubs Richard Agnew, Springwells honour was maintained by David Jackson, on an all too rare competitive outing these days, who clocked 41:52 to finish an excellent 13th Overall.

Ballymoney newcomer Steven Thompson ran well to finish 34th in 46:23, Brendan McLaughlin had a fine run to finish 101st in 54:21 and Roberta French completed our quota in this race finishing in 1:00:38 to claim 158th position.

Likewise in the 5K, Stephen Fillis, in his first competitive 5K of the year, managed to run close to his PB, despite the uneven nature of the terrain covered, finishing a brilliant 4th Overall in a speedy 18:36.

Lizanne Wilson also had a great run to finish 27th in 24:25 while the ever-enthusiastic and competitive Ursula Harper clocked 28:44 for 48th place.

On Wednesday evening, 3rd August, Springwell had two representatives travel to Clonmany in Donegal to take part in this popular race, part of the annual Clonmany Festival, organised by Inishowen A C.

In a race won by Scott Rankin in 15:26, our interest was in the Ladies race where we saw the very welcome return to competitive racing of the extremely talented Ciara Toner, who was satisfied with her comeback performance which, although well below her best, bodes well for the near future!

Ciara finished a very close third in the Ladies race to winner Karen Gallagher of Finn Valley A.C. who clocked 20:22, Anna McGinley 2nd in 20:41 while Ciara eased round in 20:53.

Great stuff Ciara and fantastic to have you back in competitive action once more!

In another fine performance, other other Lady representative, Catherine Bell-Allen also had a fantastic run to finish 6th in the Ladies race and in the process win the FV45 category in 23:34. Brilliant run Catherine and well done on a great result!

Just two days later, on Friday evening, Springwell enjoyed further success at the annual Stanley Reid Memorial 5 mile race, a highly popular and enjoyable race, noted for its after-race hospitality and generous prize-giving, organised by the Sperrin Harriers.

The race starts and finishes in the grounds of Loughry College and loops around the country roads nearby. A lovely scenic run but also quite a tough one with several drags and short, sharp, steep climbs to test the legs. Not a PB course, in my humble opinion!

The ever-excellent Gemma McDonald continued her superb run of form this season by winning the ladies race, while the evergreen and youthful Jim Breen showed his worth by winning the MV60 prize.

Brilliant running by two of our most respected and consistent athletes and congratulations to both!

Springwell times: Gemma McDonald 32:07, Jim Breen 34:13, Brian Calvert 37:30.

On the same evening, Friday 5th August, at the annual Carlingford 5k road race.

Springwell’s very own star male athlete, Neil Johnston, made the long trip down to this pretty seaside village to compete and as usual did not disappoint with another stellar performance being put down!

Neil ran a blindingly fast 15:18 for a brilliant fifth place.

Springwell had a small group of ardent runners taking part in the Kells and Connor Half Marathon.

First home in 32nd place was Peter Fleming in 1:46:12, followed by Andrew Wilmot 44th, 1:54:10, Stephen Smyth 68th, 2:05:22 and 77th Elaine Montgomery in 2:11:33.