Weekly Report – May 3-8 2016

After a recent busy period for the club (and its reporters) and the club members’ successes in London and Belfast Marathons, the days since Belfast Marathon have been a little quieter.

Orangegrove Athletics Club Juniors

Despite itching to get out there the Juniors had a quiet racing week too but this hasn’t stopped them in their training, which has now moved outside to the running track, and building up for their next event being held at Bangor on Wednesday 11 May.

Yes, the recent endurance training, including throwing medicine balls (yikes!), can only assist those taking part in the Primary School Track Competition at Bangor Sportsplex commencing at 7pm and hosted by North Down AC. Full details can be located at northdownac.co.uk/open-tf-meets

All the best on Wednesday to the future of the club.

NIMRA Annalong Horseshoe Mountain Race

From plenty of energetic sprightly young athletes to our energetic, sprightly and talented seniors….yes, Thomas Leitch and Michael O’Donoghue took part in this Mountain Race and if any Junior, or Senior, wanted to improve or pick up extra tips, then there’s no better than this Horseshoe Two.

Set in the Mournes on Saturday 7 May this is a 13.1 Mile course with an elevation of 1,371m (gulp!) and you have to abide by a strict minimum equipment requirement. Going by the photos in the warmth of my comfy seat in my home the weather looked tough going in parts as I’m sure those steep climbs were.

Thomas and Michael started in Rourke’s Park and didn’t need any horseshoe luck to negotiate and conquer the 5 assigned summits Chimney, Commedagh, Cove, Lamagan and Binnian before finishing in Dunneywater. I need the dunney even thinking about it!

Well done Thomas and Michael for illustrating again what lengths (and heights) you can take your bodies to with the right preparation, training and, no doubt, determination. Their finishing details were:

15th Thomas Leitch 2:42:34
55th Michael O’Donoghue  3:35:26

Killyclogher 10k Race

Also on Saturday Graeme Bennett decided to scale different heights and entered The Killyclogher 10K Road Run. This, together with a 5K Fun Run and Walk, has become one of the most popular in the year’s calendar of Road Runs. An attractive flat course, chipped timing, good stewarding and warm hospitality have ensured that runners keep coming back as well as new runners taking part each year. This was run as a Personal Best (PB) Course with chipped timing and T-shirt for the first 200 entrants.

This was organised by Killyclogher St. Mary’s GAC just outside Omagh in County Tyrone on Saturday 7 May in wet conditions (but plenty of smiling faces) and Graeme scored with a lovely:

Graeme Bennett 42:41  6:50 min/mile

Victoria Parkrun’s 5th Birthday

Now we all know that (Victoria) Parkrun means something different to everybody but what we all share in common is a positive view, some kind of journey, hopefully an improvement in times at some stage, the opening of doors to either new friendships or new types/distances of races and the love of….buns (and chocolate brownies especially)! Yes, there was no doubt even more buns on show on Saturday for an extra special day…the 5th birthday of Victoria Parkrun. Happy Birthday!

The special day was made even more special by the attendance of Pam Browne, the president of Athletics NI, who presented the following prizes:

Parkrunner of the year – Cathy Fraser
Volunteers of the year – Carole Bell, Imelda McConnell, Jim Harris & Darren Moan.
Annual ladies’points – 1st Hannah Macleod, 2nd Ashleigh Collim, 3rd Jenny Black.
Annual men’s points – 1st Chris Moren, 2nd David Proctor, 3rd Thomas Carson.

Well done to all the winners and sincere thanks to everyone who volunteered at any stage, to all those who have contributed in various other ways, to those who helped cater and provide the lovely cakes and buns and, for the photos.


With the focus being at Victoria Parkrun on 7 May then it suited that there was a huge majority and turnout of Orangegrove club members who took part.

Those itchy Juniors legs were let loose and PBs were attained by Jacob McKittrick 19:49 (fantastic!), Jake Dalzell 25:40 and, Andrew Corken 27:31. Well done lads and if you are looking some spare cash I could do with some professional pacing. Not to let the Juniors steal all the limelight both Karen Russell 27:18 and Catherine Lavery 28:56 achieved fabulous PBs aswell. Super stuff girls.

Obviously hearing all the roars and shouts (and scoffing!) all the way over in Cape Town, South Africa, our own Lisa Rodham decided to get stuck into the Greenpoint Parkrun and ran it in 27:29. Happy hols from OG Lisa.

At Stormont Parkrun Andrew Allen 21:53, Ryan Drain (another impressive Junior performance) 22:31 and Gerald Harvey 23:07 all earned Stormont PBs. The Orangegrove Consolidated Parkrun Report can be found here.


The Juniors are in Bangor on Wednesday.

The Seniors have the 7th Club Championship Race of the season on Tuesday 10 May at Woodburn Forest (3 mile) whereas the Les Jones 10k is on Friday night starting and ending at Mary Peters Track.

If you want to give a little back to your local parkrun or are injured but want to remain involved or want to meet some special people (volunteers) or want to experience a different perspective please consider volunteering by contacting Gerry on belfastvictoriahelpers@parkrun.com.