Club Report 7th – 13th MAY 2018


By Martin O’Brien

This active week includes:
Monday 7 May – Belfast City Marathon
Wednesday 9 May – Orangegrove Minis – Bangor
Thursday 10 May – Orangegrove Juniors – District A
Friday 11 May – Termoneeny 10K
Saturday 12 May – Atlas 3 Lakes, Slieve Donard Mountain Race, Parkruns and Orangegrove Juniors – District B
Sunday 13 May – Strabane/Lifford Half Marathon


This year’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon again commenced at Belfast City Hall and finished at Ormeau Park, covering a lot of areas and meeting a lot of support along the way and Mencap Northern Ireland was once again the official charity partner.
There were five events that took place on the day (involving 17,000) which included the full marathon, a team relay, 8 mile walk, the fun run and the wheelchair race but we’ll just cover the big ‘un if you don’t mind (or this marathon report could turn into an Ultra).
The morning bode well with an almost cold pre-race temperature which transformed into ideal conditions before becoming a little too sunny and hot to be ideal for club mates who have been mostly used to training in colder temperatures. Indeed, the soaring temperature was matched by some hot and scintillating PB (Eric, Dave & Heather), 1st time (Kimberley) and little time between last marathon (Pauline), marathon runs!
The attached photos tell their own story with the colours, atmosphere, smiles, frowns, determinations and success.

The race was won by Eric Koech and Caroline Jepchirchir in 2:18:18 and 2:41:22 respectively and our Club was proudly and ably represented by:

Eric Fairfield 3:09:49 PB 99th
David Gribben 3:19:05 PB 159th
David Montgomery 3:39:39 375th
Danny Bradley 3:40:21 388th
Pauline Bayliss 3:42:29 443rd
Heather Flint 3:48:45 PB 532nd
Alison McConnell 3:49:47 558th
Kerris Hamilton 4;07:18 872nd
Sharon Corken 4:10:54 952nd
Kimberley Reynolds 4:22:14 1145th
Jason Lanyon 4:56:44 1651st

A very well done to everybody who completed this extremely challenging distance and also to the fabulous and (in)famous OG support who yet again excelled. From Robin volunteering to the gazebo-erectors, gear-gatherers, food & drink suppliers, cake/bun-makers and very vocal supporters, well done.

Congrats also to the Orangegrove Relay teams who finished 12th and 451st out of 1,415 mixed teams and please note, if you endured this year and remember the pain and heat then read no further but for those of you who are concerned about the reports of the Marathon not being staged next year…Belfast City Marathon said: “…we can report that following a meeting with senior police we are confident we can reach a suitable agreement around future policing of the marathon.” Let’s hope the route/day change happens too!
And BCM-wise, finally, as a club we’d like to express our condolences to the family and friends of Stephen Heaney.

ORANGEGROVE MINIS – BANGOR – Report by Gillian Sykes

Fantastic night at Bangor for the Orangegrove Minis.
Ben Sykes P5 Boys
Silver 🥈 Discus
Gold 🥇 80m Sprints
Sarah Van Der Linde P6 Girls
Gold 🥇 80m Sprints
Silver 🥈 Long Jump
Katie McKittrick P6 Girls
Bronze 🥉 600m
Bronze 🥉 Long Jump

There were also fantastic performances from Isaac and Martha Orr.


Wow wow wow……District A Ulster Schools athletics….1st – 3rd yr…..What a day.

Fantastic performances from all our Juniors.

Rory Carson yr3
Gold medal 🥇 100m Sprints
Gold medal 🥇 200m Sprints
Gold medal 🥇 4x100m relay
Matthew Sykes yr2
Gold medal 🥇 100m Sprints
Silver medal 🥈 4x100m relay
Patrick Willis yr1
Gold medal 🥇 4x100m relay
Molly Elliott yr3
Bronze Medal 🥉 4x100m relay

Also fantastic performances from….
Reegan in sprints
Molly in sprints and Long Jump
Mia in Shot
Ronan in 800m
Jacob in 800m (who was sooo close to a medal position)
Further details on the full results to follow as soon as they are published.
All medalists through to Ulster Schools Finals on Saturday 19th May.

Super proud

Every one of them is a super star in my eyes


An interesting story: 1 year ago Tommy Hughes ran the 9th Termoneeny 10k, but about 10,000 days ago he was lining up with John Treacy to run for Ireland in the men’s marathon at the Barcelona Olympics. Despite winning the 1991 Dublin Marathon, it took a remarkable personal best time of 2:13.59 in the Marrakesh Marathon just months before the games to secure his place on the plane to the Catalan capital.

Hughes’ feats in the Moroccan city stands as the 12th fastest time for the marathon recorded by any Irish man. Little wonder then that he is regarded as a hero of local athletics.
On Friday Hughes’ local club in Termoneeny celebrated their own milestone with the hosting of their 10th annual 10k event.

An idea tossed around between Patrick Farren and Brendan O’Kane gave birth to the 1st annual Termoneeny 10k, held on 10 May 2009, and the inaugural event made £400 profit, which was split in two and used to found a running club and a cycling club.

Competing at the Olympic Games is a truly remarkable pinnacle in any athlete’s life but for Tommy Hughes, the story doesn’t stop there. His sheer desire, willing and enjoyment of running has given his involvement in the sport a longevity that perhaps even eclipses all of his other achievements. Leaving full time athletics following the 1992 Olympics, Hughes has run over 50 marathons, at times up to 5 in a year, and in 2013 hit the headlines when, aged 53, he triumphed at the Walled City event in Derry with a time of 2:30.32 – a full 29 years after his first victory on the course. In a tribute befitting the man and the occasion, the club unveiled a new trophy for the tenth Termoneeny 10k.

Now, where were we, oh yes…our own very heroes, Michael and Verity, who are arguably more famous than Tommy for their experience in such a wide variation of running events. In a race won by Keith Shiels of Foyle Valley in 32:07 and Gemma McDonald of Ballycastle AC in 39:11 (by the way Tommy’s son finished 2nd Male), the OG duo performed fabulously as such:

Michael O’Donoghue 42:52 60th
Verity Cornford 47:39 47:39

ATLAS 3 LAKES CHALLENGE 7K & 15K – Report by Gerald Harvey

Brian Todd and Gerald Harvey ran the 15K route, through some stunning lakeland scenery. The waters of the three lakes (Ballydugan, Magheralagan and Loughlinisland) sparkled in the strong spring sunshine. It might have been a tad warm, but there was a cooling southerly breeze and adequate water stations.

It was all in aid of charity (Down’s Syndrome Association and Parkinson’s NI) and organised by Downpatrick Lions Club, with the help of Joe Quinn (East Down AC) and Phoenix Gas sponsored the event.

Before the race, a minute of silence was held for the runner, Stephen Heaney, who died at the Belfast Marathon.

OAC Results: Brian Todd, 1:09:10 (19th overall); Gerald Harvey, 1:25:19 (52nd overall).
Winner: Brendan Guiney (Beechmount Harriers), 53:48.

First lady: Karen Wilton (Jog Lisburn Running Club), 57:38 (3rd overall).

In the 7K race, Thomas Carson (Willowfield) came first in 25:32 and first lady was Amy Bulman (Willowfield) in 26:16 (2nd overall).


This classic mountain race was part of the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championship and also part of the Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA) Championship and over 200 took part in the 73rd annual Slieve Donard Mountain Race on Saturday.

Our sole representative, Sarah Steer, started the annual Slieve Donard race at 2 pm on the main street in front of the Newcastle Centre, as per the usual start but this year the race finished on a football field in Donard Park making (about 5.8 miles later) for a more relaxed environment for both competitors and spectators. The route also changes out on the mountain, with a checkpoint at the Saddle on the way the way to the 852-meter summit. On the descent, checkpoints must be visited at the Quarry and the first bridge on the Glen River.

Interestingly, whilst the Slieve Donard race route has changed over the years this is the first time the route will not be “out-and-back” for 20 years, earlier being via the Bloody Bridge. Of course, for a number of years there was free route choice on the open mountain; however, the majority of runners opted for the shortest and most direct route via the Black Stairs. This means that this year runners will not be able to gauge their race position against their peers coming off the summit and navigation skills may be required if the cloud is low.
Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC), in 55:14, and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), in 1:12:20 won this race and well done to Sarah who defeated the mountain in:
Sarah Steer 2:06:54

2 more Ulster Schools Medals for our Juniors in District B this time.
Sean Silver Medal 🥈 in Long Jump
Erin Bronze Medal 🥉 in 100m Hurdles

The 5th Strabane Lifford Half Marathon returned on Sunday with an exciting new route.
The cross border event, organised by Derry City and Strabane District Council in conjunction with Lifford Strabane AC started in Melvin Sports Complex, Strabane and appeared to be a fabulous event with 942 runners taking to the start line in a sell-out event.
Runners were greeted by a wall of music and great commentary by Gary Stitt and the atmosphere was alleged to be electric at the start. Indeed, our own lightning spark and, sole representative, or leading light, was David Doey who amped up the power, provided the voltage and conducted the following fine performance:

David Doey 2:10:06 762nd

The race was won by Gerard Gallagher of Finn Valley AC in 1:13:41 and Claire McGuigan in 1:22:08.

David Montgomery pulled off an Ormeau Parkrun PB in 18:55 and Lyndsey Tyro was 1st female home at Stormont and with a Stormont Parkrun PB of 19:21 whilst Catherine Fearon was very close to a PB at Gladstone Parkrun on her 3rd visit there. The remaining results can be located here:…

Also, it was lovely to see Cruse Bereavement Care receive the cheque from the Neil Killen Shield winner Adrienne Savage at Victoria Parkrun and with Deborah in attendance.
Thanks to Gerald Harvey, Brian Todd, Alan Montgomery, U105, Lisa Nevin, Chris Woods, Darren Houston, Judith McCann and Jason Lanyon for the photographs and please consider volunteering at Parkrun.