Weekend Report – May 31st

Like most previous weekends this one started early for some; on Tuesday to be exact, up in Tardree Forest not too far from Parkgate in Co. Antrim. Orangegrove A.C. was well represented at the East Antrim Harriers trail race. Read the full race report here.

Following the recent Newry City Marathon and Half Marathon the aggregates for the Pure Running-ChampionChip Ireland Half Marathon Series 2015 were published after four races. Participants are expected to complete at least five races out of the ten that qualify. Newry was the fourth half marathon of the series and the penultimate one of the first half. The runner is expected to complete at least two half marathons from each half and an additional one from either half. Times over the qualifying races are aggregated to provide position within age category. After four races of the series the following Orangegrove members are in the hunt:

Category Position Aggregate time
Female 35 Anne Moore 6th 3.32.00
Female 35 Verity Cornford 9th 3.49.18
Male 60 Brian Todd 1st 3.13.08
Male Open Garry Morrow 1st 2.38.23

The next race in the series will be the Lisburn Half Marathon on Wednesday evening, June 17th.

There would, perhaps, have been one or two more members up in Tardree Forest on Tuesday evening had it not been for the final leg of Terry Eakin’s ‘Run to Dublin’ in which a number of Orangegove runners have been involved over the past seven months. This venture began in November 2014. The aim was to run to Dublin, from Belfast City Hall to the Mansion House, in a number of legs, thirteen I believe. The final leg began at Howth railway station and finished, via Trinity College, at the Mansion House in Dublin city centre where the group was hosted to afternoon tea by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Councillor Christy Burke. Members of Orangegrove who took part in the final leg were Liz Leitch, Verity Cornford, Louise Browne, Brian Todd, Hugh Young and Michael O’Donoghue. We are very grateful to Terry Eakin (North Down A.C.) for planning the venture and for inviting us along. For more information on the ‘Run to Dublin’ have a look at Terry’s blog http://www.Belfastdublinrun.blogspot.co.uk. You will be in good company if you do. The blog has a considerable following throughout the world, particularly in Russia and China.

For various reasons there was a slightly smaller than usual turnout on Thursday evening for the seventh race in the Hill and Dale series. Read the full race report here.

Undoubtedly the main event of the weekend for many Orangegrove members will be the Belfast One World 10k run at Ormeau Park, read the full race report here.

And the news is good from Edinburgh where Orangegrove had two members taking part in the marathon and half marathon events. Kerris Hamilton completed the full marathon in 4.23.33 in weather conditions that were apparently very difficult at times. In the half marathon race Mark Williamson, still recovering from injury, recorded a personal best time of 1.38.29 and, in the process, contributed a significant sum of money to the PANDAS charity in support of the young Ballyclare schoolboy Cameron Lindsay who is suffering from a particularly rare brain disorder. Very well done indeed, Kerris and Mark.

Joy McAleer decided against the Belfast One World Run today. But she wasn’t sitting at home with her feet up. Far from it! Instead she was in Tullamore, Co.Offaly, taking part in the Leinster Masters’ Track Championships in far from ideal conditions. It was a successful trip too. In the F50-55 800m event she lead the opposition home in a personal best time of 2.52.11, which also just happened to be a new age group championship record. So, I think we will excuse her absence from Ormeau Park this afternoon. Very well done Joy McAleer! You Club is proud of you!

Very well done too to those associated with Orangegrove who were involved in the recent Cancer Research UK Race for Life 5k and 10k races at Stormont and in the Pretty Muddy (Liiz Leitch and Elaine Mcallister) event at Ormeau Park. A most worthy cause. I have not seen any results yet for the two races. I understand that Orangegrove’s Lyndsey Pronger won the 10k race in around 35mts. Well done, Lyndsey.

It is getting bigger and bigger by the week. A staggering 364 runners turned up on Saturday morning for Victoria Park, Belfast, parkrun. We are now regularly the best attended parkrun event in Northern Ireland, which is testament to the warm welcome we afford, the beautiful location we boast and the hospitality that that we provide. Once again it was not a vintage morning for Orangegrove personal bests, the reason being, perhaps, that most of us were saving ourselves for Sunday’s Belfast One World 10k Run at Ormeau Park. Nevertheless, one or two members did excel themselves. Well done to Aaron McCord (JM 11-14) 21.03 and to Martin Doherty 22.47. Michael O’Donoghue ran a personal best at Ormeau parkrun, apparently with a rucksack on his back (22.46). What’s he up to now? Poppy McGonigle also ran a personal best at Ormeau (24.28). Reg Sanlon recorded a personal best at Queen’s parkrun (24.42). Yes, it is getting bigger at Victoria parkrun and so must the volunteer pool to accompany it. New volunteers are needed to keep it going, both on the track and in the kitchen. See the website and volunteer you service now. Give a little back!