Weekend round up – 7th March

There was a busy round of activities this weekend and Orangegrove runners were to the forefront in Belfast, in Co. Louth at Carlingford and even across the North Channel in Ayrshire.

The first race on Saturday was the Albertville 5 (5 miles), run by Albertville Harriers, a fine old North Belfast running club with a pedigree going back to 1919. This race, in the heart of Belfast’s harbour estate, is always well supported by Orangegrove. If your preference is for the smell of pine, the babbling brook or the grassy track this is probably not the place for you. However, if it is a super fast precisely measured and timed burn-out over a flat track with some of Ulster’s best runners that attracts you, then the Albertville 5 should be on your list. The results indicate some very fine running by both Orangegrove males and females. Leann Gibson was, as usual, to the forefront and finished seventh lady on 32.50. Jacqui Maxwell (37.10) and Julie McKimm (37.16) finished more or less together. Des Fahy was moving very quickly on 31.37 and Joe Craney, of whom we have not seen enough this season, was not far behind on 32.50. Very well done to all who made the trip to Dargan Road.

There was also considerable Orangegrove support for the worthy Addiction NI charity at their annual 10k race in Ormeau Park on Sunday. This race is run over the Seeley Cup route, starting on the Ormeau Embankment before cutting through Ormeau Park a couple of times using both the south and north gates. The ladies were in sparkling form. Lyndsey Pronger tore through the field to finish ‘first lady’ on 43.34, closely followed by the high flying (as always) Pauline Bayliss (44.49) (second lady). Trish Magill ran well and crossed the line on 51.25. Very well done indeed to Anne Devlin who got round in 1:06:55 in what was her first event under the OAC banner. In the men’s race Robin Montgomery continued his fine recent run of form by finishing on 38.46 (11th place overall out of a field of 160). Paul Woodman crossed the line on 39.27, Chris Downey (41.09), Darren Houston (42.58), Chris Woods (43.02), P. Brennan (43.06), Stephen Anderson (43.14) and the tapering Michael O’Donoghue (44.43). We are all very grateful for the efforts of club members Dr. Paul Woodman and Kathryn Morrow to assist a distressed runner at the end of the race.

The ‘adventurous pair’, Andy McIntyre and Catherine Fearon, took the high road, or rather the ferry, to Stranraer for the Stranraer Half Marathon on Saturday. Andy ran extremely well to finish 16th overall in a field of 125 on 1:27:17. Catherine also enjoyed her race, wisely at a more sedate pace, and finished on 2:05:56. Very well done indeed to both Andy and Catherine for sporting the orange vest in Scotland over the weekend.

I understand there may have been one or two Orangegrove athletes at the very picturesque Carlingford Half Marathon and 10k race on Sunday in Co. Louth, although not much information has come my way. Well done to Mairead Napier who ran in the 10k race and finished on 1:01:39.

Next week brings Jimmy’s 10k and the cross-border Half Marathon – DUNE. In addition, two of the Club’s speediest ladies, Emma Smith and Joy McAleer, will be in action at the Athlone International Arena in the National Masters’ Indoor Championships.

Grateful thanks as always to the NiRunning & Addiction NI photographers for any images.