Springwell Running Club - Press Release – 25th March 2018
This weekend’s sunshine and warmer weather made a welcome change to the wintry conditions that have prevailed so far in the running calendar, as thousands of runners took on a variety of terrains and distances in a very busy week.
AES Larne Half Marathon
Hosted by Larne Athletic Club the very popular, AES sponsored, Larne Half Marathon took place on 24th March with a record number of almost 2000 athletes taking on the challenge. Now part of the Pure Running Half Marathon Series this was the 26th running of the event.
In a closely contested race it was Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) who led the field through the town and onto the Antrim Coast Road, closely followed by Mark Long (City of Derry Spartans), Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) and John Black (North Belfast Harriers).
In the ladies race Rio Olympian Breege Connolly (City of Derry Spartans) dominated from the start with second place being contested between Fiona Stack (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Karen Alexander (Acorns AC).
At the halfway point, where the athletes took on the challenge of an uphill section Mark moved to the front of the race with Keith in second and Neill in third. Once on the downhill stretch to the promenade Mark quickly established a lead which he maintained to the finish on the promenade. Mark crossed the line in a personal best time 1.09.22 with Keith second in 1.09.57. Neil completed the podium places in 1.11.49.
In the ladies race Breege produced a magnificent display to comfortably secure her third Larne Half Marathon win in a time of 1.17.52. Fiona ran 1.21.11 for second place while Karen took third place in 1.22.01.
Springwell RC was represented at the event by 46 members with a number of personal bests recorded and Hugh Boyle running 1.28.20 to win the M65 age category.
Springwell RC Results - 27th Chris Denton 1.19.14, 35th Rhodri Jones 1.20.16, 50th Bryan Edgar 1.21.45, 56th Stephen Joyce 1.22.29, 108th Darren Madden 1.26.51 PB, 118th Dale Corbett 1.27.46 PB, 119th David McAfee 1.27.50 PB, 130th Hugh Boyle 1.28.20 (1st M65), 147th Jimmy Stewart 1.29.30, 156th David McGaffin 1.30.06, 178th Alister Jamison 1.31.14, 183rd Karen McLaughlin 1.31.24, 202nd Maurice Walker 1.32.23, 340th Aaron Craig 1.39.05, 371st Jonno Johnson 1.40.01 PB, 380th Martin Smith 1.39.32, 400th Catherine Pinkerton 1.40.44 PB, 464th Darren Walsh 1.42.24, 509th Gary Moore 1.43.15, 557th Stephen Smyth 1.44.51 PB, 595th Paul Quinn 1.46.07 PB, 650th Hugh Deighan 1.48.41, 838th Jim O’Hara 1.53.26, 921st Alanna Millar 1.56.09 PB, 923rd Paul Humphreys 1.56.16, 950th Elizabeth Deighan 1.56.38, 968th Andrew Kincaid 1.56.34 PB, 1026th Liz Dowey 1.58.42 PB, 1134th Janet Patrick 2.01.11, 1149th Mary Brogan 2.02.08, 1152nd Louise McDonnell 2.02.09, 1255th David McCool 2.05.56 PB, 1260th Brian Merron 2.04.43, 1323rd Steven Miles 2.07.49, 1353rd Bob McLaughlin 2.09.58, 1377th Fiona Walker 2.09.20, 1436th Deborah Archibald, 2.12.05 PB, 1474th Kathy Donaghey 2.13.35, 1515th Judith McLaughlin 2.15.06, 1563rd Mark Alexander 2.17.07, 1566th Andrew Wilmot 2.17.09, 1598th Elaine Montgomery 2.18.34, 1635th Jonathan Lynch 2.22.23, 1711th Fergal Mackle 2.27.29, 1722nd Amanda Scott 2.27.13, 1740th Lorraine Abernethy 2.28.46.
Queen’s Sport ‘Race around the River’ 5k Road Race
It was Northern Ireland Internationals Neil Johnston (Springwell RC) and Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) who claimed victory as almost 1,000 athletes took on the Queen’s Sport ‘Race around the River’ 5k Road Race on Wednesday 21st March. This very popular event once again incorporated the Northern Ireland and Ulster 5k (Road) Championships.
Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) went to the front in the men’s race before being caught by a fast moving group which included Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers), Craig McMeechan (North Down AC), Patrick McNiff (Newcastle AC) and the eventual winner Neil Johnston (Springwell RC).
On the final bend in was Neil and Craig who surged clear to contest the lead and it was Neil who crossed the line in 15.01 to narrowly claim victory from Craig, who finished in 15.05. Andrew completed the top three in 15.08.
In the team competition, North Belfast Harriers claimed 1st place with 74 points. Springwell RC secured silver with 90 points and Acorns AC narrowly beat Foyle Valley AC to complete the top three with 124 points.
In the ladies race Rio Olympian Kerry led from start to finish retaining her title in a time of 16.31. Nakita Burke (Letterkenny AC) took second place with a 16.45 with Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) third in 16.48.
In the ladies team event, North Down AC took gold with 68 points, Lagan Valley AC finished on 77 points for silver, while Ballymena Runners claimed bronze medals with 68 points.
Springwell RC had a very successful night with Neil Johnston winning Championship and the team of Neil, Jonathan McKee, Luke Dinsmore and Paul Thompson securing the silver in the team event. Jim Platt ran a 25.35 to win the M75 category and Ciara Toner continued her excellent form, running 17.40 to claim third place in the F35 category and set a new Springwell RC record for the 5k.
Springwell RC Results - 1st Neil Johnston 15.01, 13th Jonathan McKee 15.26, 34th Luke Dinsmore 16.05, 43rd Paul Thompson 16.28 (3rd M40) PB, 106th Ciara Toner 17.40 (3rd F35) PB New Club Record, 164th David Jackson 18.41, 547th Jim Platt 25.35 (1st M75).
NIMRA – Fallows Mountain Race
109 runners made the trip to Rostrevor for the Fallows Mountain Race on Saturday 24th March. Based around Kilbroney Forest, the medium length event used the forest paths and surrounding mountain terrain to provide competitors with a challenging 16 km course.
Springwell RC’s specialist running specialists produced some excellent performance with 7th Alex Brennan 1.21.26 (1st M40), 9th Barry Mullan 1.25.48 (3rd M40) and 43rd Colin Brennan 1.39.58.
On Sunday 25th March almost 1,000 runners took on the re-scheduled Jimmy’s 10k Road Race, hosted by East Down AC. This very popular event is part of the 2018 Novosco 10k Grand Prix.
Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) led the field home in an impressive 31.45 with Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers), having finished third in Saturdays Larne HM ran an equally impressive 32.53 for second place before Gerard Heaney (St Peters AC Lurgan) completed the podium in 32.58.
Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) won the ladies race in 38.16 with Tracey Atkinson (Albertville Harriers) taking second place with 39.40 just ahead of Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) who finished third in 39.44.
Springwell RC’s Steven McAlary continued his return from injury with a 33.50 for 6th place overall and 1st place in the M35 age category.
Other Half Marathons
Springwell RC had a few members away on their travels this weekend taking part in half marathons in London and Liverpool. In London Sarah Dickinson and Pam Howe did a tour of the capital on foot in the London Landmarks Half Marathon. Sarah had an excellent run with a personal best of 1.50.52 for 1709th while Pam finished 2166th in 1.54.15. In Liverpool, Peter Jack produced a time of 1.42.55 to finish 968th.