Causeway Chronicle

Weather clears for fantastic day’s competition at University of Ulster

Colin Loughery (Chair Springwell RC), Neil Johnston (Annadale Striders) & Enda McKaigue (Mallon & Co Solicitors)

It’s been an exciting week for Springwell RC as we welcomed fellow runners to the University of Ulster for the Coleraine Campus 5k on the 23rd March.

The weather on Saturday morning wasn’t promising, and the club gazebo had to be retrieved from its travels on more than one occasion, but thankfully the rain stopped, the dark skies moved on, and the wind dropped sufficiently to allow for an excellent evening of running at the Ulster University Campus in Coleraine.

The evening offered runners three 5k races to choose from, the first for those running over 22 minutes, the second for those aiming for a time between 17 and 22 minutes, and the third the fastest of the night for those targeting a super-fast sub 17 minutes time. With our in-house master of ceremonies, Mr Peter Jack providing a running commentary on proceedings the first race started at 5pm for what was to be an exciting evening, culminating in a final race that saw the first six all run under 15 minutes with Neil Johnston leading the field home in a phenomenal 14:14.

The four-lap course of the University Campus has very little gradient and with just a slight headwind on the back straight there was the opportunity for personal bests in all the races. The first race of the night saw the first nine of the sixty entrants run under the 22 minutes with a host of personal bests recorded.

The second race of the night saw a toe-to-toe competition between Sean Hasson (Ballymena Runners), Gordon Mawhinney (Springwell RC), and Aaron McCauley (City of Derry Spartans) with the lead changing several times throughout this keenly contested race. In the final straight it was a sprint finish between Sean and Gordon with Sean breaking away in the final stretch to win in an impressive 17:04. Gordon was second in 17:08 with Aaron third in 17:14. In the ladies’ race Ciara Toner (City of Derry Spartans) topped the podium in 17:32, Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) was second in 17:43, and Jennifer Martin (Tafelta AC) was third in 18:18.

The final race of the night set off at a blistering pace with Brhane Gebrebrhan (Annadale Striders), the current Northern Ireland & Ulster 5k Champion, leading the field, closely followed by Neil Johnston (Annadale Striders), who placed second behind Brhane in the recent 5k Championship. By the start of he second lap Neil had moved into the lead with Brhane on his heels, who in turn had clubmates Cameron Stewart (Annadale Striders) and Luke Dinsmore (Annadale Striders) in pursuit. By the start of the third lap Neil increased the pace and opened a gap that he would maintain to cross the line first in a time of 14:14, Brhane was second in 14:38, pushed all the way by Cameron who place third with an identical time. Luke was fourth in 14:43. Also running below the fifteen-minute mark were Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) 14:52 and Stephen McAuley (Ballycastle Runners) 14:55. Robyn McKee (Annadale Striders) won the ladies race in a time of 16:48.

Springwell RC would like to thank everyone who came and supported the event. We hope that all the runners had a great evening of sport, and that the spectators enjoyed the spectacle. Thanks to all the marshals who ensured that the event passed of safely and without incident.

Thanks to our sponsors, Mallon & Co Solicitors and Bensons Estate Agents for their support in organising this event, without their assistance we wouldn’t be able to do so. Thanks also to Anne Paul and all her staff at the Ulster University for their assistance and advice.

Final thanks go to Barry McCluskey from Northern Ceramics for his generous help with transport and storage, and to Kevin McLean from Northern Road Markings, who generously provided all the signage and cones that allowed the event to take place.

We are indebted to Ryan Galway who envisaged and created this event in 2022, before he moved on from this parish and asked us to take on its management.

Springwell RC

Race 1 – 3rd Jenny Chartres 20:19, 5th Cathy Adams 21:22, 11th Deborah McPhee 22:07, 14th Patrick Magee 22:14, 23rd Ashley McPhee22:47, 28th Pauline Mullan 23:42, 30th David Hughes 23:57, 33rd Gary Moore 24:28, 34th Jonathan Beck 24:39, 36th Alan White 24:54, 39th Sinead Graham 25:26, 40th Janet Patrick 25:41, 43rd Christine Bonham 26:12, 47th Ingrid Hamilton 27:21, 48th Colin Connolly 27:54, 53rd Linda McMichael 29:55, 54th John McMichael 29:55, 56th Ann Marie McKenna 30:35, 60th Aimee Miller 32:04, Alwyn Miller 32:04.

Race 2 – 2nd Gordon Mawhinney 17:08, 7th Stephen Fillis 17:30, 13th David O’Neill 17:42, 32nd John Butcher 18:46, 33rd Ryan Gray 18:46, 4th Brian Moore 19:25, 56th Shaun carton 20:01, 57th David Shiels 20:02, 63rd Nicola Frizelle 20:27, 66th Catherine Pinkerton 20:51, 68th Jonny Rowntree 20:58, 78th Dara Watterson 22:12.

Race 3 – 23rd Paul Thompson 17:26

Portadown Festival of Running

At Saturday’s event Chris Denton continued his preparation for the London Marathon, finishing eighth in the half marathon with a personal best of 1:14:25. Also putting in the 13.1 miles was Aoife O’Farrell, finishing 606th in 2:09:09, while in the 10k event Christine Bonham ran 54:44 to finish 105th.

Parkrun

For your 100th parkrun you may have images of the sun kissed sands of Portrush’s East Strand, as gentle sea breezes waft around you on your celebratory run to the White Rocks and back. Well, we can all dream and then make do with reality.

Aisling Hynes took on the rain, gale force winds and inevitable sand blasting that the weather brought on Saturday morning to complete her 100th parkrun at Saturday’s event in Portrush and celebrated with a well-deserved bottle of fizz. Another forty – one hardy Springers made it to eight different venues to notch another parkrun onto their own tally. Springwell RC took over the volunteering duties at Garvagh Forest parkrun where Robert Bigger, Colin Connolly, Carolyn Crawford, Bernie Hannigan, James Hughes, Margaret Kearney, Rodney Livingstone, Phyllis McGraw, Canice McIntyre, Anne Marie McKenna, Michael McKeown and Bernadette Quinn took over the management of Saturdays proceedings.

Saturday was not a morning for personal bests, just a huge “WELL DONE” for battling the weather. Thanks to all the volunteers for standing out in those conditions, your efforts are really appreciated.

Falls – Gary KENDALL 24:42, Kay HACK 39:34

Portrush – Andy WHITEFORD 20:49, Stephen BEGGS 23:50, David O’NEILL 27:00, Mervyn THOMPSON 27:01, George BRIEN 27:42, Reid JACK 28:52, Barry McBRIDE 29:16, Gillian RUDDEN 29:26, Andrew WILMOT 30:35, Alanna MILLAR 32:08, Jonathan HUDDLESTON 32:34, Pamela HOWE 32:37, Aisling HYNES 33:59, Liz DOWEY 34:20, Fergal MACKLE 37:17, Emer THOMPSON 40:32, Caitriona MACKLE 40:35, Iris WILSON 40:37, Catherine BYERS 43:50, Andrew WILSON 47:03, Karen SMITH 48:17

Limavady – Ryan KENNEDY 19:37, Janet PATRICK 26:19, Heather McLAUGHLIN 27:02, Alan STEEN 27:24, John MCMICHAEL 31:45, Linda MC MICHAEL 31:45, Alan WHITE 32:50, Nicola WHITE 32:50

Clapham Common – Holly NEILL 34:03

Orangefield – Ali SHAW 22:18

Queen’s, Glasgow – Elaine MONTGOMERY 40:19

Agnew – Paul LAVERTY 23:02, Rhona LAVERTY 33:34

Garvagh Forest – Peter TEES 19:05, Enda YOUNG 25:34, Laurence BLAIR 27:41, Shaun CARTON 29:19, Kenneth BACON 44:22, Bernie HANNIGAN 50:23

Andrew Wilmot – windswept & interesting at Portrush Parkrun

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Maurice Bradley