Weekly Report Monday 3rd June – Sunday 9th June 2019

A relatively quiet week of racing for the start of June, the main race of the week being the Fairhill 5 miler, the 6th race in the club championship.

Fairhill 5 Mile
Wednesday 5th June
The fact that 31 Orangegrovers made the trip to Ballymena for this midweek fixture shows both the popularity and competitiveness of the club championship in its current format. Organised by Ballymena Runners, the race started and finished in the town centre, taking in two loops of the town on an undulating course with a fast finish.

With many club members coming off the back of spring marathon PBs, there were plenty of strong performances. Keith Weir and Gemma Blake showed why they are top of the club championship tables, finishing as top male and female out of the OAC runners with 30.28 and 33.17 respectively. Gavin McGucken continues to improve with yet another strong run, he finished just a few seconds behind Keith in 30.34. David Montgomery showed he was getting back to form after his return from injury, securing the Montgomery bragging rights by outrunning his brother by almost a minute to finish in 31.17. Maybe Robin was saving himself for Loughshannagh…

There were many high placings across lots of age categories, but a special mention for Reg Sanlon who took top spot in his age category, M70, with a time of 38.44.
Full list of club results as follows:

Keith Weir 00:30:28
Gavin McGucken 00:30:34
David Montgomery 00:31:17
Ryan Kerr 00:31:47
Robin Montgomery 00:32:12
Desmond Fahy 00:33:07
Gemma Blake 00:33:17
Chris Woods 00:33:37
Michael O’Donoghue 00:33:43
Julie McKimm 00:34:07
Edwina Ternan 00:34:04
David Roberts 00:34:51
Brian Todd 00:34:47
Martin O’Brien 00:35:16
Heather Flint 00:35:28
Alison McConnell 00:37:27
Verity Cornford 00:37:58
Alison Canning 00:38:09
Reg Sanlon 00:39:44
Anna Rankin 00:39:49
Jacqueline Maxwell 00:39:49
Jill Holland 00:40:24
Judith McCann 00:41:18
Gerald Harvey 00:41:41
Adrienne Savage 00:41:49
Catherine McIntyre 00:42:09
Selina Myles 00:43:09
George Gribben 00:45:07
Martin Walker 00:45:51
Marcia Sharkey 00:46:20
David Doey 00:46:32

Hill and Dale Series: Loughshannagh
Thursday 6th June
Taking in the most serious mountain terrain of any race in the series, the Loughshannagh course is also longer and tougher than the rest. A field of 177 took on the 4-peak circuit, being run in an anti-clockwise direction again in 2019. The course first takes in the summit of Carn mountain, before the infamously steep drop down to the lake after which the race is named. After the respite of a flat run along the lakeshore, two steep climbs lead to the tops of Doan and Slieve Loughshannagh and finally a much gentler climb over Ott and downhill to the finish across the bog. The decision by the race directors to insist on full body cover and a kit check were fully vindicated when the clouds rolled in and the rain started to fall just as the race got under way.
In the end Newcastle AC’s Mark Stephens took 1st place (43.53) for his first H&D win and Esther Dickson of Newry AC continued to dominate with another win in the ladies race (49.25).
For Orangegrove, Andrew Tees finished in 5th place (46.43), Robin Montgomery in 67th (59.58) and Judith Dalzell in 1:29.44
Elsewhere last week, Elaine Weston competed in the Taking the Tower race in Ards on Friday night, finishing in 1:16.15.

On Saturday, Selina Myles took on the 26 gruelling miles of the Mourne Way Marathon, from Newcastle to Rostrevor, in 6:17.22. Congratulations Selina on completing such a tough course!
In the Mourne Way Half Marathon race, Steven Gilliland crossed the line in Kilbroney Park for a very creditable 2:14.20.

Consolidated club report for Parkrun: