Springwell Running Club - Press Release – 17th February 2019
It was a busy week for Springwell RC with a lot of air miles collected. Club members were as far travelled as Hong Kong and Sevilla to take part in Marathons. A bit closer to home we had representation at the Stockport Trail Half Marathon, along the Middlewood Way and Macclesfield Canal and locally, members were on international duty at the Armagh International 5k Road Races.
Brooks Armagh International 5k Road Race
Already recognised as the premier 5k event in the world for sheer depth of performance, the Brooks Armagh International 5k Road Race on Thursday 14th February once again provided a spectacular night of racing. In the mens 5k race an astonishing 113 finishers ran 15 minutes or less with a mere five seconds separating the top five finishers. The ‘flying Finn’ Topi Raitanen claimed top honours, taking the lead in the final 100 metres to win in 13.43. Adam Craig (Inverclyde AC) and Sam Stabler (Hoka One One) couldn’t be separated on the clock with both recording 13.45, but it was Adam who took second and Sam third. Jonny Mellor (Liverpool Harriers) was fourth in 13.46 and Andrew Heyes (Hallamshire) was fifth with a time of 13.48.
Neil Johnston (Springwell RC) was the first of the NI & Ulster team across the line in 42nd with a time of 14.28. Conor Duffy (Glaslough AC) 56th 14.33, JAMES Edgar (City of Lisburn AC) 90th 14.52 and Christopher Madden (City of Lisburn AC) 92nd 14.52 completed the team.
Springwell RC had another two members at the event with Luke Dinsmore 172nd in 15.32 and Jonathan McKee 185th in 15.40.
The ladies 3k race was equally as competitive with 49 finishers recording a time of less than 10 minutes. Steph Twell (Aldershot & Farnham AC) won in 8.59, Jessica Judd (Adidas Blackburn Harriers) was second in 9.05 and Amy Griffiths completed the podium with a time of 9.10.
The NI & Ulster Team was led home by Fionnula Ross (Armagh AC) 15th 9.26, followed by Breege Connolly (City of Derry Spartans) 38th 9.42 (1st F40), Ciara Toner (Springwell RC) 44th 9.51 (1st F35) and Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) 45th 9.52.
Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon
This week’s furthest travelled ‘Springer’ was Andrew Kincaid who was in Hong Kong for the Marathon on Sunday 17th February. As if 95% humidity and temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius wasn’t difficult enough, competitors also had to deal with the poor air quality from traffic pollution. In preparation for the event the road tunnels, that were to carry the runners across the harbour, were closed for 48 hours to allow heat and exhaust fumes to disperse.
Andrew finished 18288th in a time of 5.50.40 having described the race conditions as ‘having a hot, wet blanket dropped over you’ from 18 miles onwards as the sun rose and the temperature increased.
Ulster Schools Cross Country
The Ulster Schools Cross Country Championships took place on Wednesday 13th February at the City of Belfast playing fields in Mallusk. All of those competing at this event had qualified to do so with their performance at the District Championships and competing for Coleraine Grammar School was Hermione Skuce from Springwell RC’s junior section.
Hermione produced an excellent performance to finish 4th in the Senior Girls category earning her the opportunity to compete at the Irish Schools Cross Country Championships, which will be held in Kildare next month.
Stockport Trail Half Marathon
The Stockport Trail Half Marathon took place on Sunday 17th February in Cheshire. The outward leg of the course was the Middlewood Way, a ‘linear’ park, along the route of the now disused Macclesfield, Bollington and Marple Railway line. The return to the finish was along the Macclesfield canal which runs parallel to the Middlewood Way.
Springwell RC was represented at the event by Maurice Walker who finished 33rd in a time of 1.29.08 and placed second in the M50 age category.
The Sevilla Marathon on 17th February saw Springwell RC’s Simon Stewart and America Aznar join 10,000 runners in one of Europe’s flattest marathons. Official results are not yet available but they both finished in a provisional time of 3.06.05.