Orangegrove AC Club Report 23rd October – 29th October 2017

Spooktacular 5k – Friday October 27th October

With the advent of parkrun we don’t see that many competitive 5k races in the province but they do tend to have a good deal of popularity when they’re on.

The Spooktacular 5k organised by Enniskillen Running Club was a Halloween themed race set at night through the town of Enniskillen and proved to be a runaway success with over 1100 entrants.

Des Fahy was the only OAC entrant and finished in 41st place with a time of 19:23

Podium mainstay Gideon Kipsang won the race and broke the course record with a time of 14:32. Heather Foley (unattached) was first lady in 18:05.

Saintfield 10K & 5K Saturday 28th October by Sarah Wilson

One of a number of new running clubs which have sprung up in the area over the last couple of years, Saintfield Striders was formed on 31 October 2016 and now boasts over 120 members.
The Saintfield Striders 5k/10k race was held on Saturday 28 October to celebrate the club’s first anniversary. Given that it was taking place on the eve of the Dublin marathon and on the same day as the Bobby Rea XC in Rostrevor, I’m sure the organisers were slightly concerned that the event would not attract the high turnout they might otherwise have expected. However, they needn’t have feared! In the end, a total of over 400 runners, representing 30 running clubs, descended on the pretty County Down village to take part in the inaugural Saintfield Striders 5k and 10k road races. Orangegrove was represented by the super speedy Lyndsey Tyro and me (not quite so speedy!), with both of us opting for the 10k route.

Starting on Comber Street and finishing at the nearby Sports Club, the 10k race involved a loop of the rural roads to the south of the village, part of which was along the boundary wall of Rowallane Gardens. We were treated to a scenic but highly undulating course which, for me at least, proved quite a shock to the system! On reflection, I’m not sure why I was so surprised. It’s not as if I’ve had no prior experience of the low (and not quite so low) rolling hills of County Down! However, the challenging course and blustery conditions on the day itself did not detract from my overall enjoyment of what was a very well organised event. Special mention must be made of the post-race hospitality, which was probably the best I have ever seen at a race of this size.

A total of 258 athletes took part in the 10k race, with Lyndsey Tyro running superbly to take second place in the ladies’ race with a time of 41:45 (13/258). Congratulations Lyndsey on another well-deserved podium place! I crossed the line in 53:24 (95/258).
Chris McGuirk (unattached) and Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) won the 10k race with times of 34:44 and 39:30 respectively. First finishers in the 5k race were Glenn Donnelly from Acorns AC (16:37) and unattached athlete Karen Wilton (19:32).

Bobby Rea Memorial XC – Saturday 28th October

Now into the 2nd race in the league the cross country season is well underway. The Bobby Rea memorial race floats around the province with it being set in the scenic backdrop of Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor this year. The event also included the NI & Ulster Even Age Group Championship for juniors.

Comber wasn’t a targeted race for the club and we didn’t have teams present only individuals, but we got a good turnout for our league debut in Rostrevor with close to 20 athletes making the journey down for the 3 races.

Conditions were pretty much as good as you can hope for in XC with it not being unreasonably cold and the ground was firm meaning very little loss of traction due to the muck and no frozen feet! It was also the first experience of XC for some and no-one said that they would never return to a type of running that people tend to either love or hate!

Hopefully we get a good turnout for the Mighty Oaks XC on 9th December!

Results were as follows:

Senior Men

Andy McIntyre 27:59
Eric Fairfield 29:36
Michael Broadhead 30:10
David Montgomery 30:15
Des Fahy 31:17
Chris Woods 32:08
Michael O’Donoghue 33:01
Tony Liken 33:37
Ian Grant 34:04
Stephen Anderson 34:04
Robin Montgomery 37:59

Senior Ladies

Edwina Ternan 20:46
Pauline Bayliss 21:23
Jacqui Maxwell 23:39
Emma McWilliams 24:36
Jill Holland 25:44
Catherine Fearon 28:06
Victoria Murray 35:39

Masters Men

Brian Todd 21:41 (5th)

In the juniors boys under 14 race Ronan McPeake ran 09:00

The winner of the senior men’s race was Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley) 23.46. In the senior ladies race Dromore took both top spots with Rebekah Nixon and laura Bickerstaff getting times of 17:51 and 18:02 respectively. In the masters men’s race Gerry O’Doherty won with a time of 19:34.

Dublin City Marathon – Sunday 29th October

Always a popular marathon for the club, just behind Belfast and London in numbers, the event has gone from strength to strength with 20000 overall participants this year, the highest ever.

This year it proved to be as excellent event as ever with superb organisation, great conditions and a great level of support from the organisers on the course and from the many supporters and fellow club members who came down to cheer us on.

The route was the same as its been for the last few years taking in Phoenix Park on the north side of the city before travelling through the suburbs of South Dublin and finishing back in the city centre. There were highs and lows as with any big marathon but we achieved several PB’s in the process.

Results as follows:

Paul Woodman 03:05:33
David Gribben 03:24:13 PB
David Roberts 03:41:16 PB
Sharon Corken 04:06:19 PB
Michael O’Donoghue 04:00:26
Heather Shanks-Miller 04:00:29 PB
Ian Wilson 05:27:06 PB

The race was won by Benar Rotich 2:15:53 and first lady was Nataliya Lehonkova. Gary O’Hanlon was crowned AAI Marathon Champion and Laura Graham retained her AAI National Marathon title.


In the world of Halloween parkrun there was OAC representation at Victoria, Stormont, Queens, Portrush, Cairns in Australis, Queens, Castlewellan and Stormont.

Julie McKimm got a PB in Victoria with a time of 21:28. It was Harriet Anderson’s first parkrun with a time of 26.22 in Belfast Victoria.