Queen’s 5K – Club Championship
The perfect weather and the river setting promised a night of magnificent running and so it turned out. Stephen Orr returned to competitive running after a long spell of injury and achieved 23rd place in a very respectable time of 11:03. Trackside support for this race and the 5K was very good, so thanks to the Orangegrove contingent and other friends who cheered us all on. The winner of the race was Tim Scott (Lagan Valley AC) in a time of 09:42. First lady was Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) in a time of 9:49.
Fifty five Orangegrove runners made it to the start line and did indeed fill the lens with orange. The start was timed by digital watch on the sound of the horn, so those starting at the back were at a definite disadvantage. The first mat at the finish displayed the names of the runners for the commentator, but it foxed the race leader who stopped there rather than at the correct second timing mat, losing valuable seconds. The third mat was for backup timing. Therefore, you should always run hard to the final mat.
The junior runners Rory Hall-Thompson, Ben Hall-Thompson and Iseult Fahy all ran very well. Rory was sixth male club member to finish in a time of 19:29, Ben achieved a personal best time of 21:29, Iseult achieved a personal best of 22:35, third place on the junior female podium. Andy McIntyre ran a brilliant personal best time of 17:30 to be first male club member. Congratulations to Trudy Brown first female club member in a time of 20:22. Brian Todd did his club championship chances no harm with a great run to set a new personal best time of 19:38. Michael O’Donoghue managed to pass Brian on the final lap to beat him by 2 seconds and achieve a significant personal best time himself. Reg Sanlon also kept himself well up in the club championship with a very good run, first in his category, despite having travelled from Cork to Belfast on race day. Jacqui Maxwell maintained her recent good form by winning her category. Many others excelled themselves to set new personal best times and a number have battled back from injury or illness to take part. To mention only a few, David Fletcher has been injured since last summer but recorded a personal best time in his come back race and Jill Holland, just recovering from illness after the Cardiff Half Marathon, was two seconds off her personal best time. Thanks to all our trainers who give up their time to lead us at Mary Peters Track and elsewhere.
The race was won by Gary Murray (Conliffe Harriers) in a time of 14:51. Shalene McMurray (Newcastle & District AC) was first female home in a time of 17:32. Paul Pollock, winner of the race for past two years was absent through injury. Thanks to Queens University, the sponsor Deep River Rock and Glenn Grant of ChampionChip Ireland.
This being one of my favourite events, I would want to return next year, regardless of the timing system used, except sundial.