Springwell runners on peak form

SPRINGWELL Runners at the Fairhill 5 mile.INBM24-12 9020F.jpg
SPRINGWELL Runners at the Fairhill 5 mile.INBM24-12 9020F.jpg

The Mourne Way Marathon has established itself as one of Ireland’s premier off road running events. With all the rain during the week conditions were more difficult.

This didn’t stop six Springwell runners making the journey to the Mournes on Saturday competing over three distances.

Nicki McPeak 9:42:59 and Fran McFadden 10:25:36 completed the 52 mile Ultra. Alistair Shaw 4:40:27 and Hugh Deighan 5:06:38 took part in the Marathon.

This was Alistair’s third race in his Summer Challenge, his next outing will be the Marathon at Dervock. Ross Armstrong 1:44:52 and Greame Morrison 1:57:32 went in the Half Marathon. Greame could have picked an easier race for his debut in Springwell colours.

All runners thoroughly enjoyed the event even if it was the hardest thing they have ever attempted.

Poor visibility and torrential rain forced the organisers of Thursday night’s Newcastle AC Hill and Dale race at Millstone to postpone the junior race and make route changes to the main race to avoid the section on Open Mountain.

The decision seemed sensible given the fact that it was impossible to even see Millstone Mountain from the race start in Donard Park and the fact that the paths of the forest had turned into ankle-deep streams!

112 runners braved the conditions with the host club’s David O’Flaherty triumphing in 28:51 over North Belfast Harriers’ Neil Carty (29:14).

In the ladies race, Lagan Valley’s Shileen O’Kane managed to maintain a 10 second advantage over her club mate Diane Wilson to finish first in 35:23.

Springwell’s sole representative in the race, Gillian Wasson, finished third lady in 37:25. This was also Gillian’s sixth age category win in the 11 race series, meaning she now cannot be beaten to the overall FO35 series prize.

Jarlath Falls 26:03 and Cathy McCourt 29:49 were the major prize winners at the inaugural Fairhill 5 Mile Road Race. The race was organised by Ballymena Runners the support of Ballymena Town Centre Development and sponsored by Fairhill Shopping Centre.

Conditions were perfect for the race which started and finished in the town centre. First home for Springwell was Paul Thompson in 29:29, followed by Bryan Edgar 30:26, Hugh Boyle 31:09 (1st MO55), Leslie Ashe 32:18, Caroline Irwin 35:51 (3rd FO), Robert Workman 36:19, Alan McKeeman 36:38, Scott Bell 37:30, Patrick Higgins 38:18 PB (guest runner), Althea Clarkson 40:15, Alison McAllister 42:59, Angela Dickson 42:59, Diane Hutchinson 47:17, Tom Grant 48:15, Janet McClelland 49:32, Valerie Coils 50:56 and Kenny Bacon 51:28.

Well done to all Springwell Runners who took part especially Diane and Janet competing in their first race. Thanks to Ballymena Runners for a well organised and marshaled race.

Holly Clarke and Sally Brown took part in the NI & Ulster Track and Field Championships at the Antrim Forum on Monday 4 June.

Both girls went in the 200m Holly finished 2nd in 26.19 and Sally 4th in 28.17.