Press Release – 17th September 2017

The past two weeks have been very busy for Springwell Running Club with members taking part in events on road, trail and mountain over a variety of distances in Budapest, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Belfast, Cookstown, Portglenone, Eglinton and Parkrun locations throughout the country.

The Great North Run

On Sunday 10th September nine Springwell RC members were in Newcastle upon Tyne to take part in the biggest half marathon in the world.  With over 53,000 taking part the race starts in Newcastle and after 13.1 miles of cheering crowds, bands, DJ’s and radio station outside broadcasts finishes on the sea front in South Shields.  After a few early morning showers the sky cleared and the sun came out for the start of the race at 10.40am.  The elite athletes were first away and only a few miles from the finish by the time the last of the runners had only just crossed the start line to begin their own challenge.  As the massive stream of runners made their way along the course the support was non-stop with the wall of noise building as you got closer to the finish.  The official water stations were supplemented by a lot of freelance stations with runners being offered water, sweets and bananas on their journey.  The variety of vests and t-shirts worn indicated the huge number of competitors that were there for very personal reasons to raise money for their charity.

Springwell RC’s nine members were supporting five charities; Action Cancer, The Boom Cancer Foundation, Prostate Cancer UK, The Red Cross and Guide Dogs.  Inspired by the crowds and the occasion Roisin Walker took a massive four minutes off her personal best for the half marathon and Mervyn Thompson ran his fastest time for the Great North Run.

Springwell RC Results - 2049th David McGaffin 1.37.02, 4867th Barry McCluskey 1.46.01, 6004th Mervyn Thompson 1.48.43, 10327th David Boorman 1.56.45, 11644th Louise Hanna 1.58.46, 15185th Andrew Kincaid 2.04.43, 20559th Roisin Walker 2.13.05 PB, 31741st Paul Campbell 2.35.09, 39955th Stacey Lyttle 3.07.48.

32nd Wizz Air Budapest Half Marathon

Sunday 10th September saw over 8000 runners take part in the 32nd Wizz Air Budapest Half Marathon which took competitors through the centre of the city, down the Andrassy Boulevard and across the Chain Bridge to give spectacular views of Buda Castle from the banks of the Danube.  Amongst the 8315 runners who finished in the 27C heat was Springwell RC’s Catherine Byers who recorded a time of 2.16.49.

Belfast Telegraph Runher Titanic 5k & 10k

On Sunday 10th September over 1,000 ladies took part in the Belfast Telegraph Runher Titanic 5 & 10k races.  These female-only race are open from age 11, for the 5 km event, and age 15 for the 10 km event.

Both the 5k and 10k challenges started off at the Titanic Slipway in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter.

In the 5k race, Jessica Craig (North Down AC) finished first in 18.07, followed by Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) in second place and Ann Terek (City of Lisburn AC) in third place.

In the 10k race, Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) crossed the line first in 39.08, while Laura Bickerstaff (Dromore AC) and Roslyn Dobson (Club Unknown) finished in second place and third place respectively.

Springwell RC had four members in the 10k event - 139th Emily McLaughlin 58.19, 209th Angela Calderwood 1.00.47, 257th Emma Elder 1.03.39, 320th Brenda McGilligan 1.07.27

East Antrim Marathon Series

On Saturday 9th September the latest in the East Antrim Marathon Series took Place with events over 26.2 and 50 miles.  In the 50 mile event Helena Dornan finished in 9.23.39 finishing 6th overall and 1st lady.  In the marathon event John Butcher had an excellent race recording a personal best of 3.35.40.

Bobby Farren Memorial 5k

On Tuesday 12th September Derry Track Club welcomed athletes from to their Bobby Farren Memorial 5k road race in Eglinton. The rainy weather stopped in time for the race leaving perfect running conditions on a fast course which resulted in a considerable number of personal bests being recorded.

Nearly 150 runners took to the start line for this event which was dominated from the off by Kenyan Gideon Kipsang who crossed the line in 14.51 to secure victory by almost thirty seconds.  Martin Cox (Unattached) crossed the line in 15.20 for second place, before Kevin O’Boyle (Unattached) finished in 16.31 for third place.

Springwell Running Club’s Ciara Toner continued her good recent form with another podium spot, the talented athlete claimed the ladies title in 18.14. Paula Worthington (Ballymena Runners) finished second in 18.30, before Glenda Whiteside (Springwell RC) narrowly missed an 18 minute finish time when she took third place in 19.01.

Springwell RC’s Jason Scott, Glenda Whiteside and Darren Madden at the Bobby Farren Memorial 5k

Springwell RC’s Jason Scott, Glenda Whiteside and Darren Madden at the Bobby Farren Memorial 5k

Springwell RC Results - 5th Jason Scott 17:03.26 PB, 7th Stephen Fillis 17:24.65 PB, 15th Ciara Toner 18:14.59 (1st lady), 17th Aaron Craig 18:26.85 PB, 20th David Shiels 18:39.30 PB, 22nd Glenda Whiteside 19:01.84 (3rd lady), 31st David Jackson 19:28.90, 35th Darren Madden 19:51.03, 38th Gary Moore 19:54.50 PB, 41st Will Colvin 20:03.39 PB, 45th Gregory O Brien 20:34.25 PB, 47th Martin Smith 20:37.00, 56th Peter Jack 21:18.26, 60th Alwyn Hunt 21:47.05, 62nd David McCool 21:55.40 PB, 67th Owen Anderson 22:17.16 PB, 99th Ingrid Hamilton 25:52.81 PB, 132nd Lynn Graham 31:20.52, 143rd Catherine McGowan 32:41.30.

Gig’n the Bann 5k

This event, which is part of the cross cultural music, song and dance festival took place on Thursday 14th September, starting in Main Street, Portglenone and finishing at the Community Hall on the Gortgole Road. Karen McLaughlin (Springwell RC) continued this season’s excellent form, winning the ladies race in 19.43

Springwell RC Results - 9th Ross Armstrong 18.05 PB, 11th David McAfee 18.20, 25th Alister Jamison 19.30, 30th Karen McLaughlin 19.43 (1st lady), 35th Maurice Walker 19.52, 39th Nigel Armstrong 20.09, 78th Mark Nelly 22.59, 84th Pamela Howe 23.19, 118th Mary Brogan 24.58, 134th Elaine Montgomery 26.02, 144th Roisin McCurry 27.00, 154th Andrew Wilmot 27.28, 170th Noelle Watterson 29.28, 189th Paula Chartres 30.08, 192nd Emer Thompson 30.15, 217th Kenneth Bacon 33.56.

O’Brien Davagh Forest Challenge

Known as the Kilomarathon, this 26k race is hosted by Sperrin Harriers in Davagh Forest between Cookstown and Omagh.  The O’Brien Challenge incorporates the infamous ‘Widow Maker’ hill within the 26K route, which is something to test even the strongest runner, requiring all the strength and determination of those brave enough to climb their way to the summit of Beleevnamore Mountain, 360 metres (1200 feet) above sea level.

Tanya Quinn with Springwell RC’s Karen McLaughlin (photo Richard McLaughlin)

Tanya Quinn with Springwell RC’s Karen McLaughlin (photo Richard McLaughlin)

Karen McLaughlin (Springwell RC), taking part in her second race in three days finished two minutes faster than last year to retain her title, winning the ladies race in 2.08.00.

Belfast Half Marathon

The Belfast Half Marathon took place on Sunday 17th September with over 3000 runners taking to the streets for this increasingly popular event.  Starting and finishing in Ormeau Park the route covered all parts of the city.

Local man Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers) led during the early stages, but Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club) came through strongly and dominated during the latter part of the race, winning in 1.04.36. Stephen finished second in 1.06.11 and last year’s winner Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) finished third in 1.10.05.

Judith Lowry (City of Lisburn AC), Catriona Jennings (Lettekenny AC) and Ciara Toner (SpringwellRC)

Judith Lowry (City of Lisburn AC), Catriona Jennings (Lettekenny AC) and Ciara Toner (SpringwellRC)

Catriona Jennings (Letterkenny AC) dominated the ladies race, winning comfortably in 1.15.37.  Judith Lowry (City of Lisburn AC) claimed second place in 1:23:25,  just eight seconds ahead of Springwell Running Club’s Ciara Toner who set a new club record, finishing third in 1:23:33.

Springwell RC’s Ciara Toner at the Belfast City Half Marathon

Springwell RC’s Ciara Toner at the Belfast City Half Marathon

Mourne Mountain Marathon

The Mourne Mountain Marathon is Ireland’s only two day endurance and navigation event held each year in the Mountains of Mourne. This is a competitive event for teams of two. At the start of each day teams are presented with a course of varying numbers of control markers which are identified by 6-figure map references. They must visit each control in the prescribed order but may choose their own route between each marker. A feature of the event is the overnight camp at which all teams must be self-sufficient with everything being carried throughout the two days of competition.

In the C Category Springwell RC’s husband and wife team of Chris and Julie-Ann Millar took on this challenge.  Saturday’s wet and windy weather made for an uncomfortable overnight camp in the mountains as temperatures fell but the calm, sunny weather of Sunday made for better trekking conditions.  After day one Chris and Julie-Ann found themselves in 28th place overall and 6th in the mixed category having taken 6.22.04 to navigate all the control markers.  On Sunday they complete the course in 14th overall in a time of 4.14.36 which meant that they finished 19th over the two days and 6th in their category.

Springwell RC’s ‘Team Millar’ – Chris and Julie-Ann in the Mourne Mountain Marathon

Springwell RC’s ‘Team Millar’ – Chris and Julie-Ann in the Mourne Mountain Marathon

British and Irish Junior Home International Championships

The British and Irish Junior Home International Mountain Running Championships took place on Saturday 16th September in Peebles, just south of Edinburgh.  Springwell RC had two members representing Northern Ireland with brother and sister Oisin and Molly Brennan travelling to Scotland for the competition.  Oisin finished 20th in 40.06 with Molly also 20th in her race with a time of 36.14.

Oisin Brennan, Tom Magee and Ethan Dunn (Northern Ireland)

Oisin Brennan, Tom Magee and Ethan Dunn (Northern Ireland)

Molly Brennan and Leila Ponziani (Northern Ireland)

Molly Brennan and Leila Ponziani (Northern Ireland)


This weekend 48 Springwell RC members took part in Parkruns in six different venues with five personal bests being recorded.


David Jackson 20.27, Mervyn Thompson 22.30, Jonno Johnson 22.48, Jude Moore 23.05, Paul Moore 23.45, Pamela Howe 24.12, Noel McAllister 24.19, Elizabeth Deighan 24.38 PB, Patricia Craig 24.49, Jim Platt 25.13, Jack Blee 26.10, Donna Costello 27.10, Andrew Wilmot 27.18, Carolyn Crawford 27.33, Lynn Montgomery 28.07, Ali McAllister 28.08, Deborah Archibald 28.42, Emma Birrell 29.44, Elaine Montgomery 29.53, Judith McLaughlin 29.53, Caoimhe Armstrong 31.20, Deborah Purdy 31.51, Caitriona Mackle 32.27, Grainne Moore 32.29, Fergal Mackle 32.31, Kenneth Bacon 33.32, Jean-Claude Bourgeois 33.55, Emer Thompson 49.34


Richard Wilson 20.23, Paul Campbell 20.33, Fergus Thompson 20.58, Jeff Young 21.16, Jim O'Hara 21.24 PB, Will Colvin 21.40, Martin Smith 22.03, Alwyn Hunt 22.09, Owen Anderson 22.12 PB, David McCool 23.21, David Shiels 23.37, Janet Patrick 24.54, Lynne Young 25.53, Andrew Kincaid 27.02, Julie Corbett 28.35, Lorraine Mullan 35.13

Ashton Court

Sylvia Pollock 29.38


Deborah Gilliland 20.16


Raymond McCann 19.35 PB


Roisin Walker 29.08 PB


newsletterPaul Irwin