Weekend Report – February 28th

Another busy weekend for our club with athletes competing in Belfast, Castlewellan, Desertmartin, London, Broughshane and Dubai.

ABO Wind Raceview 10k

On Saturday, Kirsty Buchanan raced in the ABO Wind Raceview 10k in Broughshane, the event was organised in association with 26 Extreme, so this was never going to be a fast course. Kirsty tells me that it was a challenging , scenic course and that there was a mare of a hill at 4 k which went on for about a mile. Despite this , Kirsty finished in a time of 54 minutes. Tea , coffee and shortbread afterwards were highly commended!


On a crisp but bright Saturday morning, eleven Orangegrovers took part in Victoria parkrun with some individuals also bravely putting themselves forward for the afternoon mud-fest at Stormont. Congratulations to Mark Williamson who successfully completed his 100th parkrun (his 37th at Victoria). Verity Cornford took part in her first Queens parkrun and gained a new PB of 24.01 as well as a post run bacon sandwich supplied for their 4th Birthday celebrations. Lynsey Tyro ran Ormeau parkrun at the front of the pack to make first lady with a fantastic time of 20.44.

Run Forest Run, Castlewellan

Saturday also saw the finale of the Run Forest Run 10k series taking place at Castlewellan Forest Park. Although many Orangegrovers had taken part previously in various races during this series, only three determined individuals travelled down to pick up their hard-earned Forest Finisher t-shirt that had required 6 of the 8 races to be completed. The race was won by William McKee in 33.29 with Laura Graham was first female in 37.37.

Michael O’Donoghue (58/678) led the pack home for Orangegrove with a fantastic time of 43.51 before hot footing it back to Belfast to take place in the last of the Stormont XC races. Mairead Napier arrived in next in a very respectable 1.07.36 with Shona Pryde shortly afterwards at 1.11.28.

Dubai Aquathlon

Meanwhile in Dubai, Helen Charlton and her friend Laura (a Ballymena lass) were ‘Team Norn Iron’ in the Aquathlon at Fairmount the Palm.

Helen completed the 1500m swim in 25 mins and Laura the 10k in 46 mins , which gave them 2nd place.

Well done!

NICSAC XC – Stormont Estate

This was always going to be the biggest event of the weekend for OAC. The final race in the ANI XC league, the penultimate race in the NI Masters Athletics Association league and the 3rd race in the OAC club championship.

Read the full race report here

Desertmartin 10k (St Martin’s GAC Slieve Gallion Challenge)

Fintan Hurl took part in this race on Sunday morning, this was advertised as a scenic mountain challenge in the foothills of the Sperrins. Fintan ran a negative split, finishing in a very respectable time of 53.21.

Not bad at all considering he had to tend to 2 runaway donkeys on the route, he had run the XC on Saturday and baby Shay has him rather sleep deprived. Race pack included a very nice day glo technical tee and the spread afterwards did not disappoint.

One for the diaries for next year!


Inter area vets athletics championships, Lee Valley

Coach Alan Martin and athletes Emma Smith, Beverley Martin and Joy McAleer travelled to London to represent Northern Ireland.

The news is that Emma ran a PB in the 60m hurdles and was 3rd. Beverley ran a PB of 10.40 in the 60m flat and was 3rd in her 200m heat. Joy ran 2.50.75 in her 800m. Well done all!

Ben Dearg 10K

Soon to be newbie Eric Fairfield ran in the Ben Dearg 10k on Sunday. He finished in an excellent time of 39.44. Well done Eric!

As always I will finish by mentioning our invaluable parkrun volunteers. Week In, week out they are there.

If you would like to help out contact Gerry (or opt in on your parkrun profile). If you fancy a role in the tea room, then contact the lovely Anne Moore.