While those at Portrush Parkrun faced strong winds, high tides and a distinct lack of beach, the ones on the trail at An Creagan, high in the Sperrins were well sheltered, enjoying a cold, but calm and dry race at the Sperrin Harriers Winter Trail Series.
The second event of the Sperrin Harriers Winter Trail Series took place on Saturday, January 8 with a 5 mile race around the An Creagan forest and river trail.
Located on the A505 between Cookstown and Omagh, An Creagan is perched high up in the Sperrins but despite the elevation the runners on Saturday enjoyed a dry, calm but cold spell of weather for the race.
The course was two laps of a 2.2 mile route through the forest with a final 0.6 miles to the finish at the visitors centre. The overnight and early morning rain had littered the route with puddles, and the drainage ditches were full and overflowing at a few points along the way but this is trail running, it’s going to get mucky.
After some manoeuvring for positon at the start the field of 154 runners quickly stretched out as evenly matched runners settled into their individual battles with those around them or in pursuit of those illusive personal bests.
The lack of elevation on the course provided the opportunity for some fast times and Springwell had two finishers in the top ten with James Weir 7th in 30:07 and Alan Nevin 8 th in 30:49. Rodney McPhee produced another excellent run to finish 26th in 33:41 followed by a brace of personal bests as Carolyn Gilfillan crossed the line 47th in 35:56 and Judith Buchanan who, on her return from illness, finished 55th in 36:19.
The purple vest were out in numbers with the following results 63rd George Mimnagh 37:13, 68th David McGaffin 37:25, 75th James Hughes 38:08, 76th Carolyn Crawford 38:09, 81st Michael Johnson 38:37, 125th Deborah McPhee 42:43, 132nd Jim Breen 43:44, 143rd Andrew Wilmot 46:19.
Thanks to Sperrin Harriers for a well organised and very enjoyable days racing.
The combination of strong wind and a high tide made a portion of this weekend’s Portrush parkrun unplayable, but it did mean that there was a bit of elevation on the course as parkrunners had to take to the dunes to avoid getting wet feet.
Springwell members appeared at a further six venues to gather their parkrun miles with 40 out on their travels.
Lochore Meadows - Elaine Montgomery 33:31
Portrush - David O’Neill 22:12, Ryan Gray 27:09, Mervyn Thompson 27:16, Cathy Adams 29:09, Patricia Craig 29:42, George Brien 29:58, Barry McBride 30:58, Alanna Millar 31:15, Liz Dowey 32:54, Lynn Montgomery 33:57, Fergal Mackle 36:21, Aisling Hynes 37:22, Lorraine Abernethy 38:58, Bernie Drain 39:05, Rebecca Clarke 40:33, Kenneth Bacon 46:11, Emer Thompson 01:04:13
Castlewellan - Gary Kendall 22:36
Limavady - Chris Denton 17:29, David Shiels 20:48, Peter Tees 21:05, Fergus Thompson 21:49, Kevin McLean 24:29, Catherine Pinkerton 25:53, Gary Moore 25:54, Janet Patrick 26:04, Leanne Quigley 26:08, John Butcher 26:58, Alan White 27:01, Alan Platt 27:46, Alan Steen 32:05, Heather McLaughlin 33:14, David McCool 49:52, Nicola White 49:53
Holy Cross College - Ali ShAw 20:31
Alexandra parkrun, Moss Side - Catherine Byers 33:37
Garvagh - Meabh Close 22:43, Paul Logue 25:52, Majella McAteer 26:16
Born 2 Run “Run Forest Run”
Gosford Park was the setting for race 4 of the “Run Forest Run” series on Saturday with Caroline Owen keeping her 100% attendance record in the 5k series.
Caroline finished 141 st with a time of 34:42. Just two more races for the full house.