Springwell goes international

If you thought all the marathon running was done and dusted after last Sunday’s flurry of activity, you were mistaken.

Elizabeth Deighan at Groomsport
Elizabeth Deighan at Groomsport

There were still a few to be done and, while there may not have been the quantity, there was certainly the quality.

Sunday, October 10, saw Springwell RC members in action in marathons in Manchester and Chicago as well as in a Half Marathon in Pisa that did not finish as expected.

Manchester Marathon

Lorraine Abernethy volunteering at Portrush Parkrun

The Manchester Marathon is the fourth largest marathon in Europe with its fast, flat course attracting athletes who are targeting a personal best. This year’s event saw almost 30,000 runners taking to the streets of Manchester to celebrate the return of this very popular race.

An unseasonally warm day along with some strong headwinds added just that extra element of challenge to the race but that did little to deter Stephen McLaughlin and Gordon Mawhinney as they both produced excellent performances. Stephen has spent a considerable amount of time and clocked many training miles as he focussed on this race in his attempt to run a sub 3 hour marathon for the first time.

All the effort paid dividends on the day as he produced an excellent performance to finish 487th in a time of 2:58:56. It wasn’t long before Gordon crossed the line in 764 th in a great time of 3:05:27.

Chicago Marathon

Leanne Quigley at Limavady Parkrun

The Chicago Marathon is one of the world’s Six Major Events and a “must do” on any marathon runner’s bucket list. First held in 1977 the Chicago Marathon has seenover 900,000 runners cross the finish line in its 44 years.

With the course so close to Lake Michigan runners often have to contend with cold winds that sweep off the lake, but 2021 was to be an exception as the wind dropped and the temperature soared to 27C.

Springwell RC was represented at the event by America Aznar who produced a great run to finish 1404 th (215th lady) with a time of 3:13:20

Pisa Half Marathon

America Aznar at Chicago

The Half Marathon in Pisa, Northern Italy, highlighted the importance of good race organisation and marshalling, and how much lead runners rely on it. At the event James Thompson was comfortably in second place but, in the absence of marshals and adequate course signage he had to rely on the public for directions and was mistakenly pointed onto the 10k course.

It was an unfortunate set of circumstances that resulted in James being unable to finish the race.

Bob & Bert’s Groomsport 10k

Saturday, October 9 saw two Springwell members make the trip to North Down for the Bob & Bert’s Groomsport 10k. Elizabeth Deighan ran 54:59 to finish 74 th and, after her exploits at last week’s Belfast Marathon, Gemma Craig finished 176th in 1:14:59.

Stephen McLaughlin & Gordon Mawhinney at Manchester


This weekend we had 35 Springers out Parkrunning at six venues. Garvagh Forest is still the most popular place for personal bests with the only two recorded this weekend coming from that venue.

As always, thanks to all the volunteers who give so freely of their time to ensure that these events go ahead.

If you can spare an hour on a Saturday morning your help will always be appreciated.

Belfast Victoria - Ali Shaw 19:07

Portrush – Jonathan Huddlestone 24:06, Mervyn Thompson 25:07, Paul Moore 25:20, Cathy Adams 26:24, Mervyn Adams 26:25, George Brien 26:27, Alanna Millar 27:33, Barry McBride 27:51, Pamela Howe 28:48, Fergal Mackle 29:14, Patricia Craig 29:41, Pauline Duke 36:59, Catherine Byers 37:18, Caitriona Makle 39:28, Emer Thompson 52:23, Lorraine Abernethy 53:45

Castlewellan - Gary Kendall 22:29

Comber - Carolyn Crawford 31:38

Limavady - Chris Denton18:15, John Butcher 23:45, Janet Patrick 25:52, Leanne Quigley 26:17, Alison C Duncan 27:18, Alan White 27:34, Heather McLaughlin 34:24, Nicola White 34:25, Karen Robinson 44:35

Garvagh Forest – Ross Devine 19:37, Judith Buchanan 22:02 PB, Roy Buchanan 23:51, Paul Logue 25:31 PB, Michael McKeown 25:32, Seamus McAteer 25:43, Andrew Wilmot 27:29