Causeway Chronicle

GES Group Purple Ladies returns to Joey Dunlop Centre

The GES Group Purple Ladies 5k returns to the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney on Wednesday 26th June 2024.

This will be the tenth Purple Ladies 5k and we are pleased to report that entries have been flowing in and we will soon reach our capacity of 300 entrants. We will not be taking entries on the night but if you do wish to take part you can register online at

Entries will close on Monday 24th June.

What a week that was, the penultimate race of the Hill & Dale series, the return of the “Fairhill 5”, astonishing displays of stamina at the 24-Hour Championships, many parkruns, mountain running to Carlingford, a dash around the streets of Torremolinos, a little bit of charity work, and the impending arrival of the GES Group Purple Ladies 5k.

Hill & Dale: Meels – Thursday 13th June

The penultimate race of the 2024 H&D series was run in the toughest conditions yet, and due to the heavy rain throughout the day the race directors decided to revert to the bad weather course.

Still 6km in distance with 1,500ft of elevation the bad weather course eliminated Meelbeg, leaving Spellack and Meelmore. For the second week running Adele Tomb was the sole Springwell RC representative in attendance making Meels her 6th H&D of the year. Adele finished 133rd and 2nd FV50 in 59:52.

Fairhill 5 – Thursday 13th June

It’s been missing from the race calendar since 2019, but Thursday evening saw the return of the Fairhill 5 to great success. A new route greeted a sell – out field at the Fairhill Shopping Centre in Ballymena where, at 7pm our excellent hosts Ballymena Runners even stopped the rain for the start of the race.

The first mile of the race led the field through the streets to the Showgrounds and onto the new St Patrick’s Road, before a right turn into the ECOs park for three meandering miles, before returning to St Patrick’s Road and a final mile to the finish.

The Springwell vests were out en masse and some impressive running saw ten of the purple vests finish in the top thirty places, led home by the Christophers. A strong run from Christopher McNickle saw him claim second place on the podium, and a personal best run from Chris Denton earned him a fourth-place finish and first in his age category. Gordon Mawhinney, Andy Whiteford, Maurice Walker, and Ryan Kennedy all placed in the top three in their respective age categories.

Springwell RC – 2nd Christopher McNickle 27:57, 4th Chris Denton 28:30 (1st M50) PB, 12th Gordon Mawhinney 29:26 (2nd M40), 14th Andy Whiteford 29:42 (3rd M40), 16th Stephen Fillis 30:00, 17th James Weir 30:02, 18th Stephen Mclaughlin 30:19, 24th Rodney McPhee 30:30, 27th Maurice Walker 30:37 (3rd M55), 29th Ryan Kennedy 31:20 (3rd M50), 42nd Rhys Walker 32:18, 48th Aaron Steele 32:55, 51st David Shiels 33:11, 105th Shaun Carton 35:57, 110th David McGaffin 36:12, 128th Deborah McPhee 37:29, 171st Mervyn Thompson 39:23, 178th Dara Watterson 39:37, 208th Andrew Wilmot 42:01, 232nd Cathy McCollum, 255th Roisin Walker 45:19 PB, 273rd Janet Patrick 46:31, 316th Pauline Duke 49:53, 336th Lynn Stewart 52:35

Victoria Park 24 Hour Event – Saturday 15th June

This weekend Victoria Park hosted an epic weekend of endurance running with 50k & 100k races and the iconic 24- & 12-hour events. This year’s Springwell RC representation was the largest that we have ever had with some fantastic distances being recorded. The event format is remarkably simple, starting at 12 noon on Saturday, competitors have 24 hours to run as many laps of Victoria Park in Belfast as they can. It is entirely up to them how they plan their race and can stop as many times as they wish. In the 24-hour event everyone was well outside their comfort zone, but impressive displays of stamina and mental resilience saw them all go well beyond any distance they had previously completed. Will Colvin produced a superlative display of endurance running to reach a three-figure distance, finishing in 11th overall having completed 101.59.

In the 12-hour event Ashley McPhee stepped up the challenge and doubled her previous best to 27.71 miles.

24hour – 11th Will Colvin 101.59, 23rd Gael Butcher 79.01, 25th Deborah McPhee 73.88, 27th Alison Duncan 71.83, 30th Sinead Graham 66.7, 32nd Rodney McPhee 65.67, 33rd Kathryn Campbell 65.67, 37th Ingrid Hamilton 63.62, 43rd Heather Mclaughlin 61.57, 44th Leanne Quigley 61.57, 48th Linda McMichael 51.31, 49th Aidan Mooney 49.25, 50th Amanda Kershaw 47.2, 55th John McMichael 26.68

12 Hour – 10th Helena Dornan 35.92, 15th Ashley McPhee 27.71

Urban Mile – Sunday 16th June

In Sunday’s “Urban Mile” in Torremolinos, Spain a 6:42 from Catherine Jayne Pinkerton saw her finish as 2nd F45, with Gary Moore finishing with an 8:10.

Flagstaff – Sunday 16th June

Sundays Flagstaff Mountain Race in County Louth took place in perfect weather conditions, with no hint of the fog and poor visibility that can occasionally threaten the event, and competitors were able to take in the stunning scenery of the Cooley Mountains and Carlingford Lough as they took on the challenge of 3400 feet of climbing to complete the 10.3-mile course from Flagstaff, on Fatham Hill just outside Newry, to Carlingford Village. Springwell RC had five members at the event with Peter Tees first to Carlingford in a time of 2:12:35 for 24th. Nicola Frizelle was 55th in 2:42:16 and, in his first mountain race Bernard Mullan ran 3:11:53 for 68th. Carolyn Crawford was 74th (2nd F45) as was Adele Tomb (1st F50) with a time of 3:44:41.


This weekend, if you divide the number of Springers parkrunning by the number of venues they appeared at, you’ll get the number of personal bets recorded. It’s a rare mathematical formula that doesn’t happen that often, it’s a bit like the planets aligning but without the apocalyptic prophesies. So, fifty Springers at ten parkruns recorded 5 personal bests. The famous five were Patricia Craig at Princes Parkrun, Dara Watterson at Ecos parkrun, Gillian Rudden & Naomi Gordon a Portrush parkrun, and Peter Jack at Peckham Rye Parkrun.

Thanks, as always, to the volunteers who make parkrun happen.

Princes – Patricia CRAIG 27:00 PB

Ecos – Dara WATTERSON 24:02 PB, Reggie COLVILLE 28:56, Sonya COLVILLE 31:43, Alan WHITE 32:10, Nicola WHITE 32:10, Liz McLAUGHLIN 33:56

Troon – Elaine MONTGOMERY 33:14, Catherine BYERS 33:28

Portrush – Stephen BEGGS 21:19, Maurice WALKER 22:31, Rhys WALKER 22:33, Shaun CARTON 22:50, David McGAFFIN 23:05, David O’NEILL 23:17, Paul LAVERTY 24:30, Reid JACK 24:39, Mervyn THOMPSON 24:55, Gillian RUDDEN 25:40 PB, Jonno JOHNSON 25:44, Andrew WILMOT 26:51, Rachael CAMPBELL 27:04, Naomi GORDON 28:01 PB, Andrew WILSON 28:29, Pamela HOWE 29:24, Bernie HANNIGAN 30:16, Jonathan HUDDLESTON 30:41, Fergal MACKLE 30:54, Roisin WALKER 30:58, Anne JACK 31:41, Patrick MAGEE 32:13, Emer THOMPSON 32:32, Aisling HYNES 33:34, Aimee MILLER 36:03, Shirley McGAFFIN 36:03, Iris WILSON 36:47, Caitriona MACKLE 38:04, Amanda SCOTT 38:04, Deborah PURDY 38:43, Caoimhe QUINN 39:33, Lorraine ABERNETHY 50:24

Castlewellan – Kay HACK 44:29, Gary KENDALL 44:30

Peckham Rye – Peter JACK 24:22 PB

Limavady – Chris DENTON 17:27, Kevin MCLEAN 21:57, Adrian FINLAY 23:02, Pauline MULLAN 23:40, Janet PATRICK 27:46, Alan STEEN 28:04

Stormont – Ali SHAW 19:49

Lower Drummans – Fiona PRUE 21:07, Michael MULVENNA 23:48, Majella MCATEER 24:10, Seamus MCATEER 25:03, Alan PLATT 25:19, Mariette MULVENNA 27:10

Orangefield – Colin CONNOLLY 28:54

Transplant Sport NI

It’s nearly midsummer and with all the fine weather we’ve been having we thought its’ time for a bit of naked running, so off the watches came, as Tuesday nights training provided an opportunity for the club members to have a bit of “craic” and support “Transplant Sport NI”, this years nominated charity, as we abandoned the usual circuits and reps, to check that the Purple Ladies Course was ready for the 26th with a close quarter inspection of the terrain.

For the uninitiated “naked running” is predicting your finish time for a distance and then running the distance without a watch and seeing how close you are to your prediction, sorry for any disappointment.

Any existential crisis experienced by the thought that “if it ain’t on Strava, did it really happen” was quickly dispelled at the finish by Darren’s culinary skills with the beefburgers supplied by McAtamney’s Traditional Butchers and the baps supplied by Supervalu Limavady.

Thanks to our friends at 26 Extreme who generously donated prizes for the evening.

Special mention to Captain Deborah McPhee for all the work she put into organising a highly successful evening.

Finally, a big “THANK YOU” to everyone who took part, assisted with the lifting and carrying, and provided buns and associated tempting treats.

The sum raised on the night was £900.00 – thanks for your generousity.

Adele Tomb at Meels H&D
Will Colvin on his way to 100 miles at the 24 hour event
Catherine Pinkerton at the Torremolinos Urban Dash.
Springwell RC at the Fairhill 5
Christopher McNickle – 2nd at the Fairhill 5
Chris Denton 1st M50 at the Fairhill 5

Peter Tees, Carolyn Crawford, Adele Tomb, Nicola Frizelle and Bernard Mullan at the Flagstaff Mountain Race

Causeway Chronicle

Causeway Chronicle