Press Release – 24th September 2017
26 extreme Causeway Marathon
Now in its tenth year the 26 extreme Causeway Marathon event has established itself as one of the most popular running events in the running calendar, attracting 1300 runners from all around the world to the Causeway Coast with another 800 on a reserve list hoping to get an entry.
The event provides entrants with a choice of four distances; a 40 mile ultra marathon, a marathon, a half marathon and a 10k event. The ultra marathon starts on Portstewart Strand and competitors follow the coast path through Ballyreagh onto the West Strand promenade in Portrush, around Ramore Head and along the East Strand to the White Rocks and then along the coast road to Portballintrae from where the marathon event also starts. The course continues past Bushfoot golf club and along the sand dunes, past Runkerry house and onto the cliff path to the Causeway itself, where runners have the opportunity to run through the Unesco World Heritage site, before climbing the shepherds steps and following the cliff path to Whitepark Bay, Ballintoy and eventually Larrybane Quarry which is also the starting point for the half marathon. Then all they have to do is turn and retrace their steps back to the finish at Portballintrae, this time without the need to descend the shepherd’s steps. The 10k event starts just above Dunseverick Castle and follows the same route to Portballintrae.
Saturday 24th September provided competitors with dry, overcast and windy weather which became progressively windier as the day progressed. The already challenging course was made just a touch more challenging by the heavy rain of the previous two days, making the cliff top paths very muddy and slippery underfoot.
In the Ultra Marathon it was a tie for first place with David Jones and Christopher Leitch completing the course in 5.45.14 with Jonathan Gibson third in 5.49.42. In the ladies race Susan McCartney (11th) won in a time of 6.30.17, Louise Smart (22nd) was second in 7.04.51, and last year’s winner, Springwell RC’s Fran McFadden (29th) took third place with a time of 7.22.22.
The Marathon saw Springwell RC’s Chris Denton dominate the race, completing most of the course on his own to win with a time of 3.29.31, finishing the race 20 minutes faster than he did in 2016, when he finished third. Brian Wynne took second in 3.33.54 and Rasmus Pedersen third with 3.34.53. The ladies race was won by Ballymena Runners Gillian Wasson (12th) in a time of 3.55.29. Jill Hamill was second (23rd) in 4.05.32 and Andrea Wright third (24th) with 4.05.46.
Timothy Jonston won the Half Marathon in 1.32.10 with Christopher Murray second, 1.37.38 and Springwell RC’s Ross Armstrong third with a time of 1.40.19. Marstje Hell (6th) from North Belfast Harriers won the ladies race in 1.43.21 with Laura O’Driscoll (8th) second, 1.45.09 and Sonia Knox (18th) third in 1.49.48.
The 10k event was won by Connor Reid in 42.06, Brendan Havern second with 44.09 and Sean McAllister third with a time of 46.31. Sarah Steer (14th) won the ladies race with a time of 56.35, Roberta Barham (13th) ran 58.15 for second and Leah McQueen (14th) was third with 58.29.
Speaking after the race 26 extreme’s Ian Cumming thanked the Causeway Coast and Glens Council and the National Trust for the necessary permissions and the access that allowed them to stage this event as well as expressing his thanks to the Portballintrae community for their continuing support. 26 extreme describe the Causeway Marathon as the most scenic run they manage and their promotion of the event has seen a considerable increase in the number of visitors travelling from all around the world to run on the Causeway Coast.
Springwell RC Results
Ultra Marathon - 29th Fran McFadden 7.22.22 (3rd lady), 38th Helena Dornan 7.39.06 (4th lady), 54th Gregory O'Brien 8.16.57
Marathon - 1st Chris Denton 3.29.31, 20th Eddie Clyde 4.03.31, 54th David McGaffin 4.43.53, 87th Davy MacNicol 5.03.50, 100th Jean - Claude Bourgeois 5.09.41, 194th Aidan Mooney 7.13.47
Half Marathon - 3rd Ross Armstrong 1.40.19, 143rd Rebecca Elwood 2.20.07, 184th Pamela Howe 2.27.52, 344th Catherine Byers2.56.29, 398th Elaine Montgomery 3.11.25, 399th Lorraine Abernethy 3.11.26
10k - Michelle Sweeney 1.16.51
Dublin Half Marathon
Saturday 23rd September saw Springwell RC’s Andrew Kincaid completing his third half marathon in as many weeks. Having already completed the Great North Run on the 10th September and last weekend’s Belfast Half Marathon Andrew took on the Dublin Half Marathon finishing 3745th in a time of 2.04.39.
Robin Hood Marathon
The Robin Hood Marathon and Half Marathon took place in Nottingham on 24th September almost 7,500 runners taking to the streets. Springwell RC had three members travel to Nottingham for the event. In the Marathon Alison McAllister finished 843rd with a time of 4.57.42 and Caroline Taylor 927th in 5.14.37. In the Half Marathon Rebecca Clarke was 5249th in 2.36.36.
Toome School Run 5k
The Toome School Run 5k took place on Saturday 23rd September with three of Springwell RC’s members taking part in the event. David McAfee continued his recent good form finishing 2nd in a time of 18.32. Alister Jamison was 6th in 19.23 and Maurice Walker 14th with a time of 20.41.
Springwell RC – The Garvagh Section
Since its foundation Springwell RC has had three training groups, those being Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady, that is until September 2016 when one of Springwell RC’s founding members, Paul Dornan started our newest training group in Garvagh. Starting with only 10 members Paul’s enthusiasm and encouragement the group has rapidly grown to over 50. The past two weeks have seen the group celebrating their ‘first birthday’ with some whom, a year ago thought 5k was their limit, taking part in the Belfast Half Marathon, while others who have joined with no running experience whatsoever were graduating from their Couch to 5k programme at the Ballerin 5k event.
The celebrations culminated on the 18th September when a Deaf Awareness Training evening was held in Garvagh. Two of the Garvagh group are deaf, so to help reduce the communication barriers that hinder their participation in club training the event, hosted by the Garvagh Development Trust raised the issues faced and how these can be addressed.
Saturday’s Parkruns saw 46 Springwell RC members running in seven different venues with one personal best being recorded.
Portrush - Deborah Gilliland 21.58, Ronan Close 22.03, Karen McLaughlin 22.21, Meabh Close 24.15, Mervyn Thompson 24.33, Jude Moore 25.36, Noel McAllister 25.52, Jim Blee 26.47, Roy Buchanan 27.52, Donna Costello 29.12, Bob McLaughlin 29.27, Jack Blee 29.29, Judith McLaughlin 31.39, Rachel Blee 32.56, Liadhan McAnena 33.13, Mariette Mulvenna 33.30, Pauline Duke 36.03, Grainne Moore 37.40, Fergal Mackle 37.41, Emer Thompson 49.02
Limavady - Will Colvin 21.24, Martin Smith 22.14, John Butcher 22.38, Kevin McLean 22.43, Jonno Johnson 22.47, David Gault 23.48, Adam Campbell 23.50, Janet Patrick 24.51, James McMullan 25.02, Debbie Tutty 26.11, Andrew Wilmot 26.38, Jonathan Lynch 26.41, Paul Campbell 26.54, David McCool 27.20, Julie Corbett 28.06, Lorraine Mullan 30.54, Kenneth Bacon 32.16, Fiona Walls 33.58, Zara Hunter 36.38
Bushy - Gary Kendall 21.49, Kay Hack 27.14
Chester - Roisin Walker 31.22
Wallace - Alistair Shaw 18.32 PB
Antrim - Elizabeth Deighan 24.04, Andrew Wilson 24.27
Bangor - Kathy Donaghey 30.24