This week saw a welcome return of the massed ranks of the Purple Army to the roads, tracks and beaches with several notable victories and performances being recorded, including a very impressive turnout at the annual Kennedy Kane McArthur Festival of Running at Dervock!
A number of club members made their debut over these famous courses as did some new members, so congratulations to all who competed and finished this renowned event!
Also, congratulations to Gemma McDonald who recorded two fine victories in the space of five days and Neil Johnston who recorded a new track mile PB while competing at the prestigious Morton Games International Athletics Meeting.
On Saturday, over 300 athletes descended on Dervock for the annual KK McArthur Festival of Running which which offered runners the opportunity of racing over 10k and Half Marathon distances, with the latter also being part of the Pure Running Half Marathon Series.
On this occasion Springwell Running Club members dominated the podium places in both the Half 13.1 mile and 6.2 mile events. Local man Springwell member, Paul Thompson recorded a fantastic time of 1:19:11 for 1st place in the Half Marathon. Sam Crawford (East Antrim Harriers), a regular at the event, took 2nd place in 1:21:04, before Sperrin Harriers’ Brian Taggart crossed the line in 1:21:31 (3rd place).
Other notable Springwell performances on the day included Stephen Joyce 9th (1st MV40, 1:25:15), Steven Magill 9th (2nd MV40 1:26:22), Hugh Boyle 21st (1st MV60 1:30:24) and David McGaffin 22nd (1:30:42) who all ran at or below the 1:30 mark which is excellent running on this very tough course. Well done chaps!
In the ladies Half Marathon, Acorns AC athlete Karen Alexander sealed victory. The Northern Ireland international clocked 1:23:34 (1st place) for top spot, while the ever impressive Judith Lonnen (City of Lisburn AC) followed just over a minute later in 1:24:59. Unattached athlete Ann Fitzpatrick completed the top three in 1:31:20.
First home for Springwell Ladies was our Lady Chair, the effervescent Karen McLaughlin who finished 32nd Overall, 5th Lady and 1st FV45 in a fabulous 1:32:54! Well done Karen, terrific run! Springwell runners also filled 2nd and 3rd positions with strong running Nicky Frizelle 72nd (1:42:18) and the versatile Amanda Connell 84th (1:45:12). Congratulations to both on excellent runs on a very tough course!
In the 10k race, North Down AC’s in-form Ben Caughers followed up his win at the Greyabbey 10k with another race winning performance, leading the field home in 35:47. The next two placings were then taken by Springwell runners with Jimmy Stewart, on his 1st competitive run since taking a complete two week summer break from running, showing no signs of any loss of form or fitness, cruising round in a lonely 2nd place while the talented David McAfee (40:59) claimed 3rd place in the Mens race and 4th Overall after just losing a great race long battle with his training partner, Gemma McDonald!.
Gemma produced another excellent run to win the ladies race; finishing in 3rd place overall, in-between the aforementioned James and David, recording a time of 40:47. Fellow Springwell Running Club athletes Alison Rankin and Caroline Irwin followed, with Alison claiming 2nd place in 42:56 and Caroline in 3rd place in 47:05 to give Springwell an outstanding 1-2-3! Congratulations to Kenny Bacon and Bryan Edgar and their team of helpers who both put in an enormous amount of work to make this enjoyable event the great success it is. A special mention too for Mags Mathieson and Max McRoberts who also provided a great deal of very much appreciated assistance on the day.
It was a warm morning for Saturdays Portrush parkrun, but the high tide meant conditions underfoot were very soft which impacted on the times. First finisher was David Proctor of Willowfield Harriers in a pb time of 19.43 and first lady was Julie Murphy of Lagan Valley AC (for the 16th time) in 21.33 First home for Springwell were Robert Simpson and Pam Howe. This week there were 182 runners, of whom 37 were first timers and 12 recorded new Personal Bests. Representatives of 24 different athletics clubs took part.
Portrush - Robert SIMPSON 00:21:31 Mervyn THOMPSON 00:23:20 Graeme MONTGOMERY 00:24:44 Pamela HOWE 00:25:23 Gary KENDALL 00:26:22 Conor KENDALL 00:26:25 Jim BLEE 00:28:31 Donna COSTELLO 00:28:39 Lauren HAZLETT 00:29:25 Molly BLEE 00:29:58 Lynn MONTGOMERY 00:30:07 Darran ALEXANDER 00:30:17 Jack BLEE 00:32:41 Rachel BLEE 00:33:11
Bushy - Liadhan McAnena 29.56
Northallerton - Jim Platt 25.46
Limavady- James McMullan 19.52, Emma Alcorn 26.20 PB
Dundalk- Emer Thompson 36.30
KK McArthur Festival of Running Springwell Results
10K - 2nd Jimmy Stewart 39:58, 3rd Gemma McDonald 40:47 (1st Lady), 4th David McAfee (1st MV40 and 1st Local), 6th Brian Geddis 41:32 (1st MV55), 8th Stephen McCook 42:53, 10th Alison Rankin 42:56 (2nd Lady), 12th Andrew Surgenor 43:35, 22nd Caroline Irwin (3rd Lady & 1st Local), 24th Stephen Thompson 47:52, 33rd Philip Crawford 50:43, 36th Lizanne Wilson 51:21, 37th Sarah Dickinson 51:29, 38th Rosanna Jack 51:41, 39th Ian Young 51:42, 55th Vickie Wilson 55:28, 57th Catherine Pinkerton 56:27, 59th Carolyn Crawford 57:00, 63rd Fiona Walker 58:10, 65th Emily McLaughlin 58:49, 72nd Roberta French 1:00:44, 73rd Karen Smith 1:00:58, 75th Kathy Donaghey 1:01:21, 84th Lorraine Abernethy 1:04:19, 95th Sandra Williamson 1:13:16.
KK McArthur Festival of Running Half Marathon - 1st Paul Thompson 1:19:11, 9th Stephen Joyce 1:25:15, 11th Steven Magill 1:26:22,21st Hugh Boyle 1:30:24, 22nd David McGaffin 1:30:42, 31stAndy Dowey 1:32:45, 32nd Karen McLaughlin 1:32:54, 33rd Gary Moore 1:33:19, 34th Glenn Millar 1:33:31, 37th Dave Sexton 1:34:43, 70th Warren McIlmoyle 1:41:51, 72nd Nicky Frizelle 1:42:18, 84th Amanda Connell 1:45:12, 103rd Alan McKeeman 1:50:19, 104th Leslie Ashe 1:50:19, 105th Pamela McGlade 1:50:19, 106th Linda Gillen 1:50:19, 107th Noel McAllister 1:50:27, 113th Paul Quinn 1:52:06, 125th Andrew Wilmot 1:53:46, 126th Paul Humphreys 1:54:23, 129th Louise McDonnell 1:54:48, 132nd Emma Jamison 1:55:15, 133rd Ali McAllister 1:55:16, 136th Mary Brogan 1:56:46, 157th Stephen Smyth 2:03:46, 186th Elaine Montgomery 2:14:11, 187th Brendan McLaughlin 2:16:05
Menahwhile Irish Age Group Track and Field Championships
On Sunday 24th July, two of our most promising Junior athletes, Hermione Skuce and Niamh Carr made the long journey to Tullamore for the Irish age group T&F Championships, with Hermione finishing 7th and Niamh 9th.
Well done both, a great finish to a superb season for both girls!
Strathfoyle Unity in the Community 5k
On a stiflingly hot night, Tuesday 19/07/16, several Springwell Runners lined up for the start of the annual Unity in the Community 5k, organised by the Strathfoyle Community Association, just outside the Maiden City.
Once again the numbers attending were fantastic with circa 300 runners taking part in this popular event. In the mens race Noel Logan from City of Derry AC placed 1st with a time of 16:04, followed by team-mate Mark Mullan who ran 16.51 and in 3rd place Thomas Doherty with a time of 18.20.
Unfortunately due to an error in the marshalling, our male representatives went off course thus rendering their times somewhat irrelevant! Bad luck guys!
However, thankfully, the same cannot be said for our very much in-form Gemma Mc Donald , whose impressive run of victories continued with another storming run, especially in the conditions that prevailed on the night, winning the Ladies race in an excellent time of 18.48 , with Sandra Doherty from Born2Run 2nd in 22:08 and in 3rd Laura Maguire clocking 22.15.
Brilliant stuff Gemma, well done!
Morton Games International Athletics Meeting
Friday, July 22nd produced a high-quality Athletics Meet in the Morton Stadium, Santry, on a perfect night for athletics: warm, dry and still. Once again the athletes at the Morton Games rose to the occasion with some superb performances.
Of special interest was the Morton Mile, which pitted a team of top milers from England against an Irish representative team, plus several invited club athletes, which included our very own Superstar, Neil Johnston in a field of 19 athletes.
Despite a bumpy ride over the first lap, Neil settled well into the top 10 runners and in a frenetic closing lap, which saw several of the English and Irish representative team runners make a determined charge for the front, Neil held his form and position to finish a brilliant 6th Overall in a new PB of 3:49:94! To illustrate the quality of the field, there were 11 of the runners who broke the 4’ mile mark!
Fantastic run Neil, well done!