Torrential rain makes for muddiest cross-country race of season for Springwell runners

The week’s torrential rain made for the muddiest cross-country race so far this season and added some slipping and sliding to the forest trails for Springwell Running Club.
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It wasn’t just wet, it was WET! with mud so thick it would have challenged a hippopotamus, but that didn’t stop some hardy ‘Springers’ taking on the challenge presented by the Mighty Acorns AC at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena on Saturday (December 9), and the Irwin Spiers Memorial Cross Country.

Days of torrential rain had saturated the course to the point where there were large pools of water in areas, and the ground was so soft that the five races prior to the ladies’ race easily churned the course into a sea of mud, but that’s cross country – nothing if not a challenge, and without challenge, there is no achievement.

Ladies - 65th Deborah McPhee 31:16, 70th Sinead Graham 32:08, 71st Helena Dornan 32:08, 82nd Alison Duncan 33:25, 90th Heather McLaughlin 35:24, 105th Ingrid Hamilton 40:10, 109th Linda McMichael 41:39. Men’s - 33rd Christophe McNickle 31:11, 50th James Weir 32:57, 112th James Hughes 40:42, 134th Andrew Wilmot 54:18.

Heather McLaughlin, Ingrid Hamilton, Helena Dornan, Deborah McPhee, Linda McMichael, Sinead Graham and Alison Duncan (in front). Credit David McGaffinHeather McLaughlin, Ingrid Hamilton, Helena Dornan, Deborah McPhee, Linda McMichael, Sinead Graham and Alison Duncan (in front). Credit David McGaffin
Heather McLaughlin, Ingrid Hamilton, Helena Dornan, Deborah McPhee, Linda McMichael, Sinead Graham and Alison Duncan (in front). Credit David McGaffin

Saturday also saw the finale to the NIMRA championship with the Run for Rescue in Tollymore Forest in support of the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team, followed by the presentation of prizes to the winners in this year’s championship. Three Springers made the trip to County Down for Saturday’s race with Peter Tees 29th in 52:38, Bernadette Quinn 41st (1st FV35) in 54:14 and Carolyn Crawford 117th in 1:10:31.

Missing the worst of the weather Pauline Mullan and Michael Johnson headed to the more temperate climate of Southern Spain for the Malaga Half Marathon. Pauline finished 1083rd in a time of 1:43:26 with Michael just a few steps behind in 1085th with a time of 1:43:28.

Parkrun

After days of torrential rain and the approaching menace of Storm Elin, with the threat of biblical downpours and howling winds, some of the 36 Springers out parkrunning this weekend decided it was time to take appropriate measures and put on a hat, well, there was no rain between the showers. Springwell appeared at five local venues this weekend with just the one personal best recorded as Catherine Byers tail-walked every home safely at the Limepark Playing Fields parkrun.

James Hughes paddling. Credit David McGaffinJames Hughes paddling. Credit David McGaffin
James Hughes paddling. Credit David McGaffin

A clubs spokespersons said: “Thanks to all the volunteers out on Saturday making parkrun happen. Your efforts in that weather are truly appreciated.”

Portrush - Fiona MARTIN 23:01, Paul LAVERTY 23:36, Cathy ADAMS 23:59, Reid JACK 25:25, Heather SPENCE 25:48, Mervyn THOMPSON 26:01, Mervyn ADAMS 26:08, Patrick MAGEE 26:59, Patricia CRAIG 27:34, Barry MCBRIDE 28:50, Pamela HOWE 29:32, Karen GARVIN 30:11, Bernie HANNIGAN 30:48, Anne JACK 30:50, Gemma WRAY 31:26, Aisling HYNES 31:50, Roisin WALKER 32:37, Amanda SCOTT 34:39, Lorraine ABERNETHY 36:37, Emer THOMPSON 42:47, Elaine MONTGOMERY 43:33, Julie CORBETT 51:45.

Citypark - David O’NEILL 18:42; Ormeau - Ali SHAW 19:13, Conor SHIELDS 23:45; Limavady - Chris DENTON 17:37, Stephen FILLIS 18:38, Darren WALSH 20:36, Fergus THOMPSON 23:54, Janet PATRICK 26:01, Catherine PINKERTON 26:02, John MCMICHAEL 30:45, Fergal MACKLE 38:36, Leanne QUIGLEY 41:54; Limepark Playing Fields - Alan PLATT 27:10, Catherine BYERS 51:33 PB.