Parkrun is a worldwide phenomenon with thousands of runners gathering at events around the globe on Saturday morning for a 5k run and there are many stories to be told about what Parkrun means to them.
On the eve of her 250th event Emer posted about what Parkrun meant to her: “I think my parkrun journey epitomises what parkrun is all about. 239 of my 249 to date have been completed with at least one of our two boys but most with both of them. A lovely way to spend quality time in the fresh air....they might not always agree,
“We are not fast and usually feature near the bottom of the results each week but 5k is 5k and that’s the great thing about Parkrun.”
Congratulations to Emer, not only on her 250th Parkrun, but also for all the other occasions when she has volunteered, as Parkrun only happens through the work of all the volunteers who set and dismantle the course and do the tail walking, time keeping and reminding of people to bring their barcodes.
Another 32 Springwell members took in a bit of Parkrunning at seven venues with personal bests recorded by Peter Tees and Rozzy Skuce.
Princes Liverpool - Nicola White 32:07, Alan White 32:07
Portrush - David O’Neill 20:13, Mervyn Thompson 24:22, Cathy Adams 24:30, Patricia Craig 26:52, Alanna Millar 27:35, Fergal Mackle 28:28, Elaine Montgomery 31:20, Lorraine Abernethy 33:49, Caitriona Mackle 35:30, Barry McBride 36:06, Kenneth Bacon 42:08, Emer Thompson 48:12, Andrew Wilson 48:45
Ormeau Park - Ali Shaw 20:19
Limavady - Chris Denton 17:27, Peter Tees 21:01(PB), Fergus Thompson 22:28, Adrian Finlay 23:21, Ryan Gray 24:16, Janet Patrick 26:41, John Butcher 33:06, Kerrie Ann McIlmoyle 33:31, Barbara Ferguson 33:50
Achill Greenway - Catherine Byers 33:30
Garvagh Forest - Jonno Johnson 24:27, Alan Platt 24:48, Rozzy Skuce 24:50 (PB), Jim Bradley 25:38, Andrew Wilmot 28:17, Caroline Owen 43:01
Alton Water - Gary Kendall 00:23:02
Sperrin Harrier Winter Trail Series
December saw the much anticipated return of the Sperrin Harriers Winter Trail Series with race one, the Lough Fea 5k.
This very popular race series provides for some intense, but good natured competition with four races on the scenic trails of the Sperrin Mountains during December, January and February.
Organisers still have to aware of the covid regulations but the Sperrin Harriers were up to the challenge, showing that it’s not just coffee that’s sold from horseboxes, they also make a great registration centre. Apparently some people even put horses in them, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves!
The weather is the one thing beyond the organisers control but, for December it actually wasn’t that bad, sure it was so foggy that you couldn’t see the other side of the Lough and the icy drizzle persisted for the entire day creating muddy puddles along the course, but that did nothing to deter 147 enthusiastic athletes from enjoying a great afternoons running.
The 5k lap and a bit of Lough Fea produced some excellent performances with Gavin Corey (Strive RC) winning in an impressive time of 16:05 and Gemma McDonald (Ballycastle Runners) the first lady home, 12th overall in 18:37.
Springwell RC was well represented at the event with Alan Nevin the first member across the line, 15th in a time of 18:50 with Maurice Walker close behind in 18th, finishing in 19:04.
Rhys Walker produced another excellent performance of 20:18 to finish 37th with Rodney McPhee just a second behind in 39th with 20:19.
The other Springwell results were 42nd Gareth McLaughlin 20:39, 54th Darren Walsh 21:32, 62nd Carolyn Gilfillan 21:58, 73rd David McGaffin 22:33, 81st Adele Tomb 23:02, 85th Carolyn Crawford 23:14, 86th Michael Johnson 23:15, 95th James
Hughes 23:37, 98th Kate O’Loan 23:47, 116th Deborah McPhee 25:47, 117th Jim Breen 25:55, 128th Andrew Wilmot 27:25.
Thanks to Sperrin Harriers for such a great afternoons sport and well done to everyone who was able to support them.