Springwell Running Club - Press Release – 27th January 2019
It was a very successful weekends racing for Springwell Running Club with individual titles and team medals at the NI & Ulster Intermediate Cross Country Championships in Belfast and a clean sweep of the podium at the St Patricks 10k in Dungiven.
NI & Ulster Cross Country Championships
Organised by Athletics NI, the NI & Ulster Cross Country Championships took place on Saturday 26th January in Belfast. The 1.5km course consisted of short climbs and steep descents around the grounds of Barnetts Demense which, after a morning of heavy rain, quickly turned to mud as the programme of races progressed.
The Ladies 4km race was the first event of the day with Springwell RC’s Ciara Toner starting as one of the favourites. It was Helen McCready (Rosses AC) who took the early lead, followed by Sarah Kelly (InishowenAC) and Ciara in third place. At the start of the second lap Helen still led but Ciara had moved into second place as Sarah tried to keep pace with the leaders. Helen maintained her lead until the start of the third lap, where Ciara’s experience and fitness proved the difference as she moved to the front and quickly established a comfortable lead which she extended as the final lap progressed. Despite a slight confusion at the finish line where she stopped momentarily short of the actual finish she finally crossed the line in 13.43, 14 seconds ahead of Helen who was second in 13.57 with Sarah third in 13.59.
The efforts of the rest of Springwell RC’s ladies saw the team place fourth with Nicky Frizelle 19th 15.30, America Aznar 31st 16.19, Lesley Jane Logan 34th 16.33, Kerrie McIlmoyle 37th 16.49 and Pauline Mullan 50th 19.47.
The 8km Masters Race was the second race of the day and as the course became muddier and muddier the number of slips, wobbles and falls increased as the search for grip became more challenging. Springwell RC had six members in the event with Andy Dowey 50th 24.57, Maurice Walker 53rd 25.10, Bryan Edgar 61st 25.33, Gerry O’Doherty 77th 26.44, David McGaffin 83rd 27.16 and James Evans 113th 33.31.
The final race of the day was the Mens race and by this stage the course had been churned up so much that it had the hashtag ‘muckfest’ on social media. From the start the race developed into a stride for stride battle between Zak Hanna and Patrick McNiff from Newcastle AC and it was on during the latter stages of the final lap that Zak pulled away to win in a time of 21.21 with Patrick second in 21.32. Aaron McGrady (East Down AC) completed the podium in a time of 21.43.
Springwell RC had fielded a strong team in the hope of challenging the medal positions and with Luke Dinsmore leading the team home in 9th 22.35, a very determined effort from Simon Stewart 25th 23.39, Jonathan McKee 28th 23.50 and Dale Corbett 37th 24.31, as well as a great debut performance from new member Ryan Galway 41st 24.51, it was left to Paul Thompson to fill the final scoring position, finishing 50th in 25.53 and secure the bronze team medal by just three points. Springwell’s remaining members were Christopher McNickle 56th 27.14, Stephen Joyce, 58th 27.45, Alistair Bratten 64th 30.42 and Paul Dornan 66th in 36.00.
St Patricks Dungiven 5 & 10k
The popular St Patricks Dungiven 5 & 10k road races took place on Saturday 26th January in blustery conditions between the showers. The two races attracted over 130 runners with Springwell RC well represented. In the 10k event the club took the top three places with Ciaran Ferris producing a time of 36.05 to win the event. Jason Scott ran a personal best of 36.31 to finish second and Jimmy Stewart completed the top three with a time of 39.17. Also representing the club was Jeff Young 6th 41.01, Warren McIlmoyle 7th 41.31, Timmy Bacon 24th 46.37 and Catherine Pinkerton 27th 48.02. Catherine’s performance saw her finish third in the lady’s race.
In the 5k event Patrick Gallagher produced a time of 17.44 to finish third while Will Colvin was 9th in 19.55 and Lauren Hazlett 18th in 22.51.