‘Hilly’ weekend for Springwell RC

A usual week for Springwell Running Club covers most of the distances and terrains on offer, but this week there were more hills than usual with two races in the Mournes and another in the Hills of Donegal.

Barry Mullan at the H&D series
Barry Mullan at the H&D series

There was also a trip to Manchester, a race in Italy, the customary selection of Parkruns and the Mayor held a reception for Springwell members Jim Bradley.

Hill and Dale Series - Race 5 Rocky

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Thursday, May 19 saw three ‘Springers’ make the journey to Leitrim Lodge above Rostrevor for race number 5 of the Hill and Dale Series hosted by Newcastle Athletic Club. Taking in 500m of elevation this 7km race was all the more challenging after recent heavy rain left the trail very soft and muddy for competitors as they navigated their way through the four checkpoints.

Bernadette O'Kane at the Annalong Horseshoe

Barry Mullan produced another strong performance as he finished third in the M45 age category and 38th overall with a time of 39:12. Fergus Thompson was 101 st in 48:01 and Shirhaan Hameed 135th in 52:05.

Annalong Horseshoe (NIMRA)

The second race of the week in the Mournes took place on Saturday, May 21, with the Annalong Horseshoe Mountain Race. This race is categorised as a long distance fell race and covers 2000m of elevation over the 20km course across open mountainside.

Springwell RC had one representative at the event as Bernadette O’Kane put in an excellent performance to finish as fourth lady in a time of 3:19:58

Fergus Thompson at the H&D Series

Seven Sisters Skyline

Saturday was certainly a popular day for mountain running as it also saw the Seven Sisters Skyline Race take place in Donegal with runners taking on the challenge of Mount Errigal and the surrounding peaks. Adele Tomb obviously enjoyed the event so much last year that she couldn’t wait to get and produced another great run to finish 16th lady in a time of 6:10:30.

Manchester Half Marathon & 10k

The Manchester Half Marathon & 10k on Sunday, May 22 attracted thousands of runners to the city as the event returned to its usual spring date. Springwell had four members in the Half Marathon with Amanda Scott running a personal best of 2:08:54 to finish 3397th. Elaine Montgomery was 3897th in 2:15:05, Lorraine Abernethy 4690th in 2:29:33 and Bernie Drain 4972 in 2:38:37. In the 10k race Deborah Archibald finished 5054th in 1:01:18.

Jim Bradley with Mayor Richard Holmes at the Cloonavin Council Offices

Porto Ercole 7.1km

Springwell aren’t exactly sure how race distances are measured in Italy. A club spokesperson said: “There is a strong suggestion that they decide on a start and a finish and then measure the distance between the two. However they do it James Thompson rises to the challenge every time.”

Sunday saw him take on the hilly Porto Ercole 7.1km race in very hot conditions and claim yet another podium as he finished third.


Lorraine Abernethy, Amanda Scott, Deborah Archibald, Bernie Drain, Catherine Byers and Elaine Montgomery at Peel Parkrun

This weekend saw 43 Springers doing their parkrun thing at nine different venues with six personal bests recorded.

Ecos - Deborah MC PHEE 24:13, Ashley MC PHEE 26:16 PB

Portrush - Maurice WALKER 18:47 PB, Alan NEVIN 19:0, Rhys WALKER 19:31 PB, Gary KENDALL 21:41, Mervyn THOMPSON 23:58, George BRIEN 24:04, Alanna MILLAR 24:28 PB, Sylvia POLLOCK 25:28, Andrew WILMOT 28:10, Pauline DUKE 29:24, Caitriona MACKLE 39:15, Fergal MACKLE 39:15, Kenneth BACON 41:55, Emer THOMPSON 51:35

Omagh - Majella MCATEER 23:17, Mariette MULVENNA 25:22

Antrim - Patricia CRAIG 25:31

Limavady - Chris DENTON 17:22, David SHIELS 20:23, Aaron STEELE 23:07, Alan STEEN 23:40 PB, Peter TEES 23:46, Pauline MULLAN 24:10, Janet PATRICK 25:39, Alan WHITE 25:49, John BUTCHER 28:13, Alison C DUNCAN 29:50, Nicola WHITE 29:51, Adrian FINLAY 34:02, Heather MCLAUGHLIN 34:47, Ingrid HAMILTON 35:48

Lower Drummans - Alan PLATT 23:52

River Valley - America AZNAR 19:15 PB

Peel - Amanda SCOTT 29:10, Deborah ARCHIBALD 29:44, Catherine BYERS 31:00, Elaine MONTGOMERY 31:12, Bernie DRAIN 31:14, Lorraine ABERNETHY 31:20

Garvagh Forest - Michael MCKEOWN 23:49, Phyllis MCGRAW 54:14

The Running Adventures of Jim Bradley

Inspired by the relationship between Iain Matthews and his guide dog Mac, Jim Bradley decided to run the Belfast City Marathon on May 1 to raise much needed funds for Guide Dogs Northern Ireland.

He did that but, in typical Jim Bradley style, he kept on running, completing a marathon each week through May and so far has raised over £5,000.

On Thursday, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Richard Holmes, invited Jim, his family as well as Iain, his wife Yvonne and, of course, Mac to the Cloonavin Council Offices to congratulate him on his efforts.

Jim will be running marathon on May 29 so all support is welcomed.