Weekly Report Monday 2nd December – Sunday 8th December 2019

Club Report, 2nd – 8th December, 2019.

‘Look in the mirror. That is your competition’ (Anonymous).

PARKRUN, 7th December, 2019.

Only a week had passed since last arriving at the Victoria Park tunnel. However, it was not a Groundhog Day: the main car park was closed this time. Though a storm was forecast, there was only a few seconds of drizzle that blew across the course at the Shelter, like the spray from a large wave. Here and elsewhere there was strong running from the OAC participants.

Personal Best times: Gemma Blake, 19:46 (Belfast Victoria Park); Rodney Corrigan, 20:53 (Stormont); Steven Gilliland, 22:28 (Stormont); Alison Canning, 22:44 (Stormont); Verity Cornford, 25:25 (Castlewellan); Elaine Weston, 26:26 (QUB); Adrienne Savage, 28:18 (Stormont).

First Timers: Danny Bradley, 1st place at Stranmillis; Brendan Bannon, 17th place at Orangefield Park.

Thanks to all the volunteers and remember to help out, at least twice a year, by contacting: belfastvictoriahelpers@parkrun.com

JINGLE ALL THE WAY 5K/10K BLITZEN RUN, Stormont Estate, 8th December, 2019.

It was cold, wet and blustery at Stormont Estate on Sunday and the place seemed to be deserted just before the 11:00am start. A solitary table with bottled water on it suggested the run was on, alternatively, the whole thing had been called off due to Storm Atiyah. Actually, the runners had gathered in front of the Maynard Sinclair Pavilion, then crossed the playing fields to the combined (uphill) start at the green gate on the parkrun route. The 5K course was quite tough, taking in the Prince of Wales Avenue and the trails on both sides, like the parkrun, but more hilly and mostly in the reverse direction. It was a mystery how anyone knew where they were going. The marshals were definitely needed here.

Two brave Orangegrove AC ladies took on the challenge of the 5K. Elaine Weston ran well to be inside the top twenty with a time of 25:46, 19th out of 214 runners. Marcia Sharkey finished with a time of 40:32, 193rd place. The race was won by Neil McCready in 19:08. The 10K race was won by Matthew Rice in 37:50.

The event was in aid of the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice and was sponsored by AIB (NI). A well-insulated Glenn Grant (ChampionChip Ireland) was on hand with his equipment to provide the chip timing.

CARRICKFERGUS REINDEER RUN (5K, 10K, Half Marathon) 8th December, 2019.

I am not sure if the weather was any better for the three off-road races at Carrickfergus Mill Ponds on Sunday. Lisa Fleming ran in the 10K (six laps) with former club mates Melinda Wilkinson and John Neill to finish in 1:07:39, 27th out of 39 runners. The race was won by Paddy Hannan in 43:45, closely followed by Karen Wilton in 43:53.