Weekly Report – May 24-29 2016

Reporting duties started early in the week and are being completed from the Singing Pub near Melmore Head with live music in the background and a day of glorious sunshine and some enjoyable fell running behind me.

We have had another busy week with club runners taking part in races from 100m to 26miles 385 yards; from city street to forest trail, and coastal path to mountain top (with one going up 840m and back down over a distance of around 5.5 miles – any guesses?).


Parkrun saw some impressive results from our Juniors with Rory Hall-Thompson crossing the line first for Orangegrove at Victoria. Jacob McKittrick and Sam Rainey were not far behind. Tom Smith, a consistent runner at ParkRun with 120 runs under his belt was the next Junior over the line.

Aaron McCord was first Orangegrove runner across the line at Stormont.


Tuesday 24th

This event took place at the Bangor Sportsplex, Old Belfast Road, Bangor and was the second of five meetings comprising a mix of track and field events.

Orangegrove was represented by: Reegan McKensie in the girls’ u13/u15 100m – 15:68 (3rd in Heat)

The Seniors were represented by Chris Downey in the 3000m who ran a strong 10:44.

Meeting 3 is due to take place on 23 June 2016, open to all male & female athletes 13 and over, although younger athletes may guest in any (age allowed) events. Races are graded on PBs and age with electronic timing. Max spike length 6mm. All abilities welcome.

Entry on the night: £3 per event, £5 for two or more events. For more information see the North Down AC web site or contact: fmarsh.justdoit@hotmail.co.uk

TARDREE – RACE 2, 2016 FOREST TRAIL SERIES hosted by East Antrim Harriers

Tuesday 24th

Following the Orangegrove AC Club Championship outing to Woodburn, Tuesday evening saw race 2 of the series at Tardree Forest between Parkgate and Kells. The race route followed an approximately 3.5mile/5k route dropping into a valley before a large, undulating loop with views of Slemish, the Sperrins and the Antrim Hills before dropping back down into the valley and a sharp climb to the finish.

Race 1 has obviously been a positive experience for the club as of the 190 runners that had made their way into the Antrim hills for the race 20 were club members. The challenging course and warm night made for a tough race but Sharon McFarland’s photos included a number of smiles. An impressive set of results included a list of age category wins:

Robin Montgomery 21:54.3
Michael O’Donoughue 22:23.5
Trudy Brown 22:41.7 1st F45
Martin O’Brien 23:21.4
Greg Calvin 24:24.5
Claire Kelleher 24:47.3
Emma McWilliams 24:59.3
Brian Todd 25:00.3 1st M60
John Neill 26:01.2
Jill Holland 26:35.7
Alan Martin 26:54.7
Ian Wilson 27:27.5
Brian McFarland 28:20.2
Linda Craig 29:02.2 1st F55
David Doey 29:11.4
Melinda Wilkinson 29:47.4
Lisa Fleming 29:48.3
Stephen Craig 30:57.7
Beverley Martin 31:55.9
Ian Reid 37:02.4


On Wednesday 25 May the 10th Bann 10K race, with Meningitis Now as its chosen charity, took place at Havelock Park, Banbridge.

Orangegrove was represented by:

Michael O’Donoghue 42:03 (60th place)
Sile Brennan 43:08  
Hilary Bradshaw 58:21 PB
Kirsty Buchanan 58:21  

The race was won by Stephen Duncan in a time of 00:32:52; the first female over the line was Laura Graham with a time of 00:36:47


Saturday 28th

The race, organised by North Belfast Harriers and supported by Pure Running, offers participants an opportunity to test themselves over the trails of Cave Hill Country Park, taking in the stunning views from Belfast Castle, Bellevue and McArt’s Fort.

Special congratulations go to Liz Leitch (nee Watt) and Reg Sanlon who both earned age category wins.

Stephen Anderson 41:30  
Ian Grant 45:53  
Liz Leitch 46:14 1st F40
Rodney Corrigan 48:56  
Fintan Hurl 51:46  
Sarah Steer 52:46  
Reg Sanlon 53:18 1st M60
Ian Reid 1:14:14  

The race was won by Paul Burns East Down AC in a time of 00:34:44, with Mary Meade, North Belfast Harriers crossing the line in 39:39.

There was also a Juniors 2k Cavehill Challenge Race for under-16’s


Saturday & Sunday

The Edinburgh Marathon Festival includes a marathon, relay, half marathon, 10K, 5K and Junior races. The shorter races are based at Holyrood in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano. The marathon is the second largest in the UK and takes advantage of some of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks as well as offering picturesque views along the East Lothian coastline. The course is considered to be flat and fast.

This year our club is represented by Jacqui Maxwell and Julie McKimm, Catherine Fearon and Andy McIntyre.

The sun was shining, social media has been alive with discussion and the results are in:

Andy McIntyre continued his great form with a time of 3:04:29 (190th place).

Julie McKimm made a fantastic marathon debut with a 3:45:21

Jacqui Maxwell successfully completed what she considered her hardest run ever with a hard earned and well deserved 4:30:41

Catherine Fearon may need a little encouragement before the next one (as it appears that it may represent her retirement from the marathon distance) but she still managed to do what many have never done and completed the course in 4:40:11; her eyes are now on 4:30. Go Catherine!

Well done all.


Saturday 28th (Liz Leitch reporting)

Slieve Donard Race. This is one of the most famous races in the NI mountain racing calendar. It’s the 7th fixture of the Newcastle AC Hill and Dale Series, a NIMRA championship race and also an IMRA championship event which explains the large field of 208 runners this year. It’s a brutal race of approx 5.2 miles with 2,700 feet of ascent and descent. There are prizes for 1st male ( Newcastle’s Ian Bailey, 4th year in a row, in a course record of 53.40) , 1st lady ( Diane Wilson of Dromore AC, also her 4th victory in a row in 66.53) with the usual age group prizes.

OAC were represented by chairman Thomas Leitch who finished in 20th place in 66.43. There is a tradition that runners who beat their age to the top win a pint, Thomas was one of the few to achieve this (44.29) but unfortunately he was driving so his prize was unclaimed! The race was very well organised and marshalled. The finish area in front of the Newcastle Centre did resemble a Game of Thrones battle field with bloodied, mud splattered runners lying all over the place, having given their all to the mountain! I was witness to a dislocated finger being very coolly snapped back into place by a local GP who had just finished the race behind the injured party. Another runner suffered a fractured arm and had to be taken off the mountain by Mountain Rescue. The runners were treated to delicious soup and baps in the local pub. The next Hill and Dale race is Millstone on Thursday night. See you there!


Saturday 28th

The Ballyclare Mayfair Race, organised by the County Antrim Harriers, includes a 10K and 5K race starting at the Rugby Club.

Being part of Orangegrove has many benefits. As Neal commented on Facebook:
Orangegrove is a great club as typified today by Karen Russell and Hilary Bradshaw .They did the 5k at Ballyclaire (and set PBs). They then waited for Deborah Killen and me to finish the 10k. i was cheered on my them at 9k mark and i just knew they would run in with Deborah and give her that extra bit of encouragement. Thank you. Such encouragement and active support means an awful lot.

I have heard that it was a brilliant event, well organised and with great support. Karen reported an amazing spread afterwards. While running gets us out there, it’s sometimes the experience around the running that helps keep us going back out.

The times:

5K Karen Russell 26:29
5K Hilary Bradshaw 26:40
10K Neal Killen 1:06:26
10K Deborah Killen 1:19:42

Well done everyone.


Saturday 28th

The Juniors saw significant achievements as mentioned above.

Des Fahy was running over in Donegal. This outing saw Des representing Orangegrove in an old country estate in Falcarragh on a beautiful morning, crossing the line in first place with a time of 19:21. Des reported that the venue is well worth a visit – I was almost running there myself on Saturday and will try to make it some time over the summer.

Consolidated results can be found at http://www.parkrun.com/results/consolidatedclub/?clubNum=17953&eventdate=2016-05-28


Sunday 29th

Now in its ninth year, the Newry City Marathon consists of a Marathon, Wheelchair Marathon, Half Marathon, 10 Mile Walk, 10K Run & Fun Run – a substantial event!

The Newry Canal opened in 1742 and ran for 18 miles to Lough Neagh.
to link the Tyrone coalfields (via Lough Neagh and the River Bann) to the Irish Sea at Carlingford Lough. It was the first summit level canal to be built in Ireland or Great Britain, and pre-dated the more famous Bridgewater Canal by nearly thirty years and Sankey Brook by fifteen years.

The traditional route takes the direction of Newry Towpath heading north toward Scarva and returns to the towpath taking in Canal Quay and Merchants Quay, where some surviving 18th and 19th century warehouses still line the canal, before finishing at Newry Credit Union on Hill Street.

I haven’t heard anything about the day but the published results revealed the following:

Eric Fairfield 1:27:57
Robin Montgomery 1:33:36
Darren Houston 1:38:47
Anne Moore 1:40:50
Carolyn Beattie 1:45:56
Johnny Weston 1.45.57
Emma McWilliams 1:59:29
Brian Todd 1.59.29
Trish Magill 2:07:13


Sunday 29th

The Vitality Westminster Mile is held on one of the most iconic miles in the world, starting on The Mall and finishing in front of Buckingham Palace. The event includes a series of races throughout the day and runners will be seeded according to predicted finish time, so entrants will be running with people of a similar standard. There are races for families, adults & vets, juniors, elite athletes, and wheelchair users.

In 2015, the theme of saluting the legends of British middle-distance running celebrated the 30th anniversary of Steve Cram’s world mile record of 3:46.32, which still stands as the European and British record.

In 2016 it’s Chris, Nicola and Alex Downey’s turn, and they were good runs –
Chris ran a great 5:30. Nicola escorted Alex round in about 9:30.

Well, I’m glad of the coffee, but the coffee is finished, it’s late and the music stopped some time ago; I had better get this posted before I get locked in!