Causeway Chronicle

Busy end to November for Springwell runners

It’s been a busy week for Springwell with members in action on the frozen Cheviot Hills, the much warmer island of Lanzarote, and a few more places in between, with the purple vests appearing at the Cheviot Goat Ultra Marathon, the Lanzarote Marathon, the Seeley Cup 10k, and the Waterford Half Marathon.

Seeley Cup 10k

The early morning frost on Saturday 2nd December quickly cleared from Ormeau Park in Belfast, and the dry calm weather made for perfect running conditions as over 800 competitors took on this very popular 10k challenge. Among this extensive field were six Springwell members whose efforts produced some excellent performances. Andy Whiteford was the first to finish in an impressive 36:40 for 172nd. Rodney McPhee wasn’t far behind in 249th in a time of 38:15. Fiona Prue continues to go from strength to strength and ran a 41:47 for 427th. Shaun Carton was 595th in 45:58, with Deborah Mc Phee 604th in 46:20 and Peter Jack 659th in 48:10.

Cheviot Goat Ultra

The Cheviot Hills in Northumberland, on the border with Scotland is one of the remotest, least populated areas of the country. So on the coldest weekend of the winter so far, as the temperatures plummeted towards minus double figures and the first heavy fall of snow hit the hills everyone’s first thought is to take on a 55 mile ultra with 12139 feet of climbing just for good measure. Well that’s what Shirhaan Hameed did this weekend.

The course is not way marked and competitors have to navigate their way from checkpoint to checkpoint using their own navigation skills, with any errors resulting in additional mileage and elevation or even potentially not finishing.

Shirhaan took all of his experience and training throughout the year and produced an exceptional run to complete the course in 19:37:50 to finish 46th.

Lanzarote Marathon

The Lanzarote Marathon course is an out and back route that starts in Teguise and takes the competitors on a scenic run along the coast, through Arrecife to the turning point in Porto del Carmen. This year the outward run was ably assisted by a following tail wind that changed from friend to foe once the turn had been made and it began to sap the stamina on the run to the finish. That being said, the encouragement of the supporters and the enthusiasm of the volunteers at the feed and water stations along the route provided a fantastic atmosphere for the thousands of runners in all event distances. Springwell RC had two members taking on the marathon distance with David McGaffin 207th in 3:56:30 and Helena Dornan 300th in 4:18:33.


With the weather forcing many parkruns to cancel and the remainder turning into a landscape so bleak that Game of Thrones turned it down for the “North of the Wall” scenes, a few hardy Springers still set forth in search of their parkrun fix with thirty-two souls achieving their goal at seven different venues. Personal bests were thin on the ground but Leisa McKenna at MUSA, and Ali Shaw at Crawfordsburn were still able to push their personal limits.

Big “THANK YOU” to all the volunteers this weekend, it was a cold morning to be standing out.

Portrush – Chris DENTON 19:29, David O’NEILL 20:32, Fiona MARTIN 24:17, Conor SHIELDS 25:32, Reid JACK 26:37, Mervyn THOMPSON 27:14, Jonno JOHNSON 27:26, Patrick MAGEE 27:49, Patricia CRAIG  27:55, Barry McBRIDE 29:08, Andrew WILMOT 29:11, Alan PLATT 29:16, Janet PATRICK 29:43, Gemma WRAY  32:47, Anne JACK 33:09, Aisling HYNES 33:11, Colin CONNOLLY 33:20, Emer THOMPSON  37:11, Iris WILSON 38:42, Julie CORBETT 49:02

Burgess – Roisin WALKER 29:32

MUSA – Leisa McKENNA 21:23 PB, Jim BRADLEY 21:50

Cotsford Fields – Amanda SCOTT 36:47, Catherine BYERS 40:01, Lorraine ABERNETHY 40:12, Elaine MONTGOMERY 45:35

Crawfordsburn Country – Ali SHAW 21:09 PB

Garvagh Forest – Gary KENDALL 23:05, Kay HACK 33:39, Kate McNICHOLL 34:01

Limepark Playing Fields – Paul LAVERTY 23:07

NIMRA 2023 Results

This years Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association Championship has been another closely contested affair so it’s great to see the Springwell Goats featuring in the final results. A year of consistently strong performances saw Bernadette Quinn finish 2nd overall in the ladies category, while in the MV60 category it was fantastic to see a return to form for Colin Brennan and a much deserved first place. Carolyn Crawford placed second in the FV40’s and Shirhaan Hameed is on the “Roll of Honour” as one of the few runners to have completed all of this years events, though after his efforts this weekend that should surprise nobody.

Waterford Half Marathon

His ongoing quest to complete a half marathon in each of the thirty two counties saw Aidan Mooney in a cold and frosty County Waterford on Saturday 2nd December for the latest episode of his challenge.

A great run from Aidan saw him finish in 1556th in a personal best time of 2:12:07 as he successfully ticked off Waterford on his todo list. Where he will next appear, who knows, stay tuned for more details.

David McGaffin is the only warm looking one at the Lanzarote Marathon
Aidan Mooney is standing in a snowy field at the Waterford HM
Shaun Carton, Andy Whiteford and Deborah & Rodney McPhee are at the Seeley Cup 10k
Cotsord Fields Parkrun – Catherine Byers, Amanda Scott, Lorraine Abernethy and Elaine Montgomery/

Maurice Bradley