The final race of the Athletics NI Cross Country league took place in the grounds of Stormont on Saturday.
The event was hosted by Northern Ireland Civil Service AC and a fine day they got for the various races.
A course change was in place for this year, covering distances of three miles for the ladies and approximately 4.5 miles for the men and now incorporated a mixture of trail running, which meant it was more difficult to choose the correct footwear!
Going into the event Acorns ladies were in second place in the league and the men were in third, so it was all to run for!
The junior races got underway first and there were a few spillages at the start when some runners collided, leaving our own Cathaoir Purvis to make up a lot of ground. Nonetheless Cathaoir didn’t give up and battled his way through the race.
There was also some fine running by Andrew Shaw and Daire Hinfey as they tackled the mixture of grass and trail.
Next up was the ladies, who fielded a strong team of 28 runners – a sea of blue clearly visible on the start line for the two lap race.
Karen Alexander made a fine start and was racing hard against members of the North Down and Foyle Valley teams. Karen pulled ahead in the second lap of the race to take the victory in 19:35 and a clear 30 seconds cushion above her nearest competitor.
Natalie Hall had a fine run to 12th place overall in 21:04 and just behind her was Siobhan Brown in 22:18. Annemarie McKernan, Leanne Sands and Lisa Simpson were tightly bunched and finished in 23 minutes approximately Rosemary Hargan, Stacey Hinfey and Donna Patterson had a great run together and crossed the line in 24 minutes.
Paula Kelly was bang on the 25 minute mark with Olivia Moore and Joanne Irwin just behind in 25:21 and 25:30. Rhonda Darragh, Judith Newell and Erika Kudrenko all raced well together and they completed the three mile distance in 26 minutes.
Claire Donnelly and Jacqueline Cahoon sprinted to the line for a near photo finish, their times 27:05 and 27:06 respectively. Diane Carey, Francis Bell, Caoimhe Purvis and Teeny Woods had a super race together and they all finished in 27 minutes.
Teresa Mulligan hit the line in 28:02 with Sandra Smyth just behind her in 28:30. Bridie Young, Sharon Crooks and Elaine Hargan pushed hard to the line to complete the course in 29 minutes. Rounding off the team results were Denise Wright in 30:35 and Bronagh Stockman in 31:48. Superb running by everyone involved and the Silver Medals were in the bag.
Overall a superb XC season for the ladies and it’s important to recognise all the members who took part in the various races and earned points for the team.
In the men’s races John Knocker took part in the Veteran’s section to finish in a fine 9th place overall (24:15).
The men’s three lap (4.5m) race got underway at 1.15pm with 18 Acorns members taking part.
Quickest out of the blocks were Darrell McKee, Bliadhan Glass, Marty McVey and Eoin Hughes and they running inside the top 20. Darrell pushed hard to secure 4th place overall (26:17) and also took 1st place in the M35 class.
Bliadhan had another strong race and he hit the line in 27:13, with Marty just on his heels in 27:35. Eoin Hughes continued on his fine run of form to finish in 27:41.
Fergal Mulgrew had a fine run to 30th overall in 28:22 and on his heels was Diarmuid O’Kane in 28:38. Pat Groogan and Alan Shaw had a great battle with Pat just nipping it in 30:31 and Alan 30:48.
Roger McLean continued on his return to form to finish in 32:11 and not far behind was Gary McGuckin in 32:39. Stephen Kerr had a strong race in 33:01 and just behind him was Niall Hassan (33:24).
Richard Smith completed the distance in 33:41 and Barry Loughran was 34:12. Oli Murphy was back racing after his marathon last man standing event the previous weekend, the club captain kept it steady to finish in 35:56. Brian Thom raced to the line in 37:21 and Karl Murphy worked hard to finish in 39:25. Steve Dallas rounded off the team results when he crossed the finishing post in 40:33. The team had managed to hold on to 3rd place and bronze for the overall league campaign, which was an excellent result. Well done to all the lads who took part in the various league races throughout the season.
A cross country awards night will be held in the Greenvale Hotel on Sat 19th March. Full details will be issued via the club text alerts.
The Mid Ulster 5k and 10k event took place on Sunday afternoon from the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Magherafelt.
Unfortunately full results were not available at the time of going to press, however Acorns were on the podium in both 5k and 10k races.
Eoin Hughes took victory in the 10k race in 35:46, with Diarmuid O’Kane second and Stephen Mulholland third. In the 5k race Cathaoir Purvis took the win and Diarmuid Logan picked up second place. Well done to everyone who took part.
On Sunday the Desertmartin 10k also took place from the local football grounds. Shane Donnelly finished second overall and Sam Linton was placed third.
Siobhan Brown was first place in the ladies race. Congratulations to everyone who took part.
On Saturday a large number of members were in Parkrun action at various different locations. Well done to all those who took part and especially those who achieved personal best times along the way.
5 Sean K BOYLE 19:10
23 Don BROWNLEE 23:21
24 Marsha ABBOTT 23:30
27 Damien KELLY 23:58
42 Cormac LOGAN 27:53
45 Judith BLACK 28:16
58 Caroline KELLY 32:06
61 Brenda BUCHANAN 34:49
71 Andra MCKEOWN 42:20
72 Marina ABBOTT 42:20
Mary Martin 31:34
Sandra Mayne 22:23
If you wish your results to be reported in our weekly press coverage, then please ensure you send the details to Gary McGuckin (PRO) email@example.com
Training takes place at Meadow Bank Sports Arena (Magherafelt): Monday - Senior Training @ 6.30pm and Wednesday - Senior Training @ 7.30pm.
Training also takes palce at Mid Ulster Sports Arena (Cookstown) on Tuesday and Thurday - Senior Training at 6.30pm.
All newcomers wishing to take part in our regular training schedules are welcome!
Stock of club kit is available from Trevor Dallas and Francis Purvis, please place you order with them by text or at the club training sessions.
We have T-Shirts, Vests, Shorts and Hoody’s available to order.
Saturday 5th March
Saturday 12th March
St Paddy’s 5k
Sunday 13th March