East Coast AC athletes produce 'Cracker' performances!

The Christmas period has been a busy time for East Coast Athletic Club; after the successful club championship race on Boxing Day, club members were in action again on Saturday 28th December 2013, with the club being represented at races in  Larne, Castlewellan and Banstead (England). 

Twelve runners made their way to Dixon Hall for the start of the final Larne parkrun of 2013.  Allyson O'Toole, who has had an excellent year on the running circuit, was the first East Coast AC runner home, completing the course for the first time in speedy 22:18.  Allyson finished 4th place overall and 2nd place female.  Cycling enthusiast Colin McCluskey, exchanged two wheels for two feet, finishing in 10th place in 23:51.  Fergal McAllister completed the undulating Carnfunnock course in a new personal best time of 24:35 (12th place), while April Clarke took a massive fifty five seconds off her time from last week’s event, recording a new personal best to take 4th place (26:32) in the female category. Barbara McCluskey, in 5th place, finished only six seconds behind April in 26:38.  The fast improving Stephen Smyth continued his good form to take 19th place in a new personal best time of 26:44.  

Another athlete recording a parkrun personal best was Wendy McKeegan; Wendy's time of 27:21 was enough to take 7th place in this week’s competitive female category.  Larne parkrun first timer, Lynn Magee (28:45) and event regular, Morna Wright (28:57) were next home for the coastal club, taking 10th place and 11th place respectively (in the ladies category).  The ever-consistent Martin Taylor (30:04) followed in 33rd place, a mere five seconds away from his finish time last week.  Young Sam McCluskey, running in the Junior Male U-14 category, completed the challenging route in 32:49, taking 37th place.  Colleen Taylor, another athlete taking on this challenge for the first time crossed the Drains Bay finish line in 41:28 (21st place lady) to complete the clubs representation at the event. 

Further afield, but staying with parkrun, husband and wife pairing Murray and Kelly Dellar participated in the Banstead Wood parkrun, near Coulsdo, just south of London (England). Along with 158 other running enthusiasts, Murray and Kelly performed well on the scenic wooded trail route.  Murray completed the 5k course in 19:47, taking 10th place in a talented field of athletes.  Kelly's time of 29:04 secured 21st place in the female category.

Later in the afternoon, back in Northern Ireland, East Coast AC athletes were out in force at the annual running of the Castlewellan Christmas Cracker.  This event, now in its 30th year is somewhat different from the usual 'every man for themselves' aspect of racing, in that athletes must be paired in teams of two, both starting and finishing the 8.5 mile event together.  A record amount of 369 teams entered the popular race, hosted by Newcastle AC.  East Coast Athletic Club had fourteen teams competing throughout the categories.

It was senior committee members James Brown and Justin Maxwell who led the club home, finishing in 10th place overall with a time of 55:32.  Andy Guy and Davy Clarke, both dressed as super heros were next to cross the line, in 16th place and 1st in the Male 90-99 category with a time of 57:40.  Northern Ireland International Cross Country runners Greg Lavery and Nat Glenn took 21st place in 58:55, before Daniel Girvin and Paul Hutchinson completed the tough multi-terrain course in 1:04:41 (60th place).  

The Male and Female pairing of Naoise McLoughlin and Penny Lindsay were East Coast‘s first ‘mixed team’ home, finishing in 1:06:44, thus securing 85th place overall and 7th place in their MX80-90 category.  Drew Girvin and Danny Hylands completed the route in a brisk 1:10:09 (116th place), while Alex Robertson and Chris Davis (213th place - 1:19:34) led home a list of East Coast AC athletes, with coaches Mark McManus and Jenny Magill (230th place – 1:21:09), sisters Bernadette and Trisha Campbell (241st place – 1:22:23), friends Marty McToal/James Robinson (256th place – 1:24:04) and Stephen Millar/Christopher Dickson (259th place – 1:24:36) all finishing strongly.  

Next to cross the crowded finish line were Alan Glover and Patrick Campbell, taking 287th place in 1:27:45, before newly weds Ryan and Catherine Maxwell (342nd place - 1:39:43) completed the clubs participation.  Unfortunately the talented mixed pairing of Allan McCullough and Andrene Rennie were forced to withdraw from the event close to the half way mark, when Andrene sustained an ankle injury.  All the members at East Coast AC wish Andrene a speedy recovery.

East Coast AC would like to wish their club members, family, friends and everyone who has supported the club since it's formation in June 2013 a Happy New Year!

Christmas Cracker results have been added to our results page (here).  Photo's used above courtesy of Mark Earney and Colm McMullan.

Success for Jacque Craig at Ballyboley Boxing Day race!

Boxing Day, Thursday 26th December 2013, saw the next round of the East Coast Athletic Club Championship Series take place.  On this occasion the participants exchanged the grassy parkland of 'The Cliff' for the trails of Ballyboley Forest. The course itself could be described as a 4.25 mile loop of the undulating, stony forest fire roads.  Despite the bitter cold and a few frosty patches, the course and the weather were perfect for the event.

It was Heather Shaw who led the charge. Between Heather and Justin Maxwell, who was the final athlete to be let loose, there were no less than 41 other enthusiastic runners from local sporting clubs such as Barn Runners, Fit N'Running, Ballymena Runners, East Antrim Harriers, Lagan Valley AC, North Belfast Harriers, Willowfield Harriers, Seapark AC and Team Madigan.

Having set the runners off there wasn't much time for the time-keepers and supporters to gather themselves together, get some tea and more mince pies before reaching the finish line to record the efforts of those on the run.

Jacque Craig was the first athlete into view, taking 1st place in a fantastic time of 42:08. Guests Andrew Goodfellow (35:01) and Carol Annesley (38:39) were next home in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.  It was the ever improving Alex Robertson who was next home for the East Coast Club, taking 4th place in 32:21. In 5th position came cycling guru and former marathoner Stephen Harkens, with a time of 29:32, Stephen obviously hasn't hung up has racing shoes for good! Fergal McAllister, in 7th place (33:16) led home a list of East Coast AC athletes, including 8th placed finisher and fastest runner of the day James Brown (24:38). Mrs (35:44) and Mr (30:26) Urwin, made up the top ten in 8th (Paula) and 10th (Corey) places respectively, with only Colin Hoey of Ballymena Runners splitting the pair (9th place – 30:26).

Madigan cyclist and East Coast AC member Danny Hylands took 11th place in 30:51, followed by Murray Dellar in 12th place (27:35), William Fleck in 13th place (30:23), April Clarke (14th place – 36:14), Carol Clarke (15th place – 38:03), Rona Harkens (16th place – 32:16), Stephen Hoey (17th place– 29:08), Marty McToal (18th place– 36:08), Karl Dines (19th place – 28:03) and Martin Taylor (40:22), rounding up the top 20 finishers.

Ultra running enthusiast John McManus finished in 21st place (25:59), closely pursued an 'Elf'- yes an Elf!!! - that being the fastest female of the day, Penny Lindsay (22nd place – 30:20). Stephen McKenna was next home, taking 23rd place in 27:53. Lee Stirling (24th place – 35:30), James Robinson (25th place – 28:12), Sharon Smith (26th place – 36:43), Naoise McLoughlin (27th place – 28:34), Kelly Dellar (28th place – 40:26) and Morna Wright (29th place - 42:02) all finished well, as did former Couch to 5k participant Stephen Smyth (30th – 38:09) showing that neither the distance or the difficult terrain, not to mention the felled tree, was too much of an obstacle for the athletes.

East Coast AC Chairman Justin Maxwell, in 31st position (25:17) and Team Captain Nat Glenn, in 32nd place (26:43) led home a few of our guests, including North Belfast Harriers' talented Mark McKinstry (33rd – 26:43) and Lagan Valley legends Eric (39:42) and Kate (39:42) Montgomery, taking the 34th and 35th placed spots. Another of East Coast AC athletes, Tracey Shannon, taking 36th place (48:25) showed the determination that has brought her through from the C25K programme to the accomplished runner that she has become. North Belfast Harrier Paul Jenkins was 37th, in 28:24. Drew Girvan, in 38th place with a time of 30:40 finished strongly, followed by guest runner Gary Spence (39th – 39:30), our own Stephen Millar (40th – 32:38), Barn Runner Colin Porter (41st – 33:51) and East Coast pair Alan Glover (42nd – 35:03) and Heather Shaw (43rd – 52:30).

East Coast Athletic Club would like to thank all members who participated in this event, as well as all of our guests who took part.  Special thanks must also go to Head Coach Mark McManus and Committee Member Davy Clarke for setting the individual times, Social Secretary Rosemary Kerr for organising the Prizes along with Marty McToal, providing the refreshments.

Full results are available here and photos will be added to our gallery in the coming days.

A Christmas message from Club Chairman - Justin Maxwell

This year (2013) has been a very successful year for running in the town of Larne. As running enthusiasts, we have witnessed the success of the local AES Larne Half Marathon, the formation of a new athletic club, the progression of Couch to 5k programmes, the introduction of the borough's first junior running group, and the internationally renowned parkrun coming to town.

For East Coast Athletic Club, 2013 was extra special. In June, our club was formed and since then has grown bigger than our expectations; with the help of our members, our committee, our coaches and our social team, East Coast AC has hit the ground running. We have organised a very successful Couch to 5k course, which has saw some great people, many of whom had never considered running before, show incredible determination and desire to get to a level of fitness that would inspire even the best. 

Our Coaches have worked tirelessly on this programme and our club sessions, as well as numerous individual training programmes and the new East Coast Cheetah's group, which has proved very popular with our new junior members. 

Our enthusiastic Social Committee have put together events such as the massively successful 'Night at the Races', the Cheetahs Fun Day and our latest soirée - the first ever East Coast AC Christmas party! 

The Club Committee as a team have overseen all of this. They have also worked together with our sub-sections to organise a trip to the Runher 5k and 10k events at Stormont in Belfast, as well the teams for the successful Athletics NI (Road) Relay Championships at Victoria Park, also in Belfast.

My personal highlights were the occasions when we all came together, at the aforementioned Runher events (where we had 80+ members present), the East Antrim Inter-Club race (where we had over 70 participants), and in particularly, the relay's at Victoria Park. Our club had lots of runners out that day, with support from just as many family and friends, and it didn't matter who was the quickest or the slowest runner in each team, we worked together and encouraged each other. Everyone worked to the best of their ability and we got great results. That day I really felt part of a team and I hope everyone else did, but not only then, now and in the future too. My ultimate goal as chairman is that our club members, at whatever level, have fun, but work hard together when we have too. Not only was this evident at the Athletics NI (Road) Relay Championships, but I see this at every training session that I participate in and it makes me proud. 

As chairman (and as a runner), I am still learning. In my view, I have made a few mistakes. I hope that all our members can appreciate that like me, most of our committee are new to this type of responsibility and are working extremely hard behind the scenes to make sure that everything runs to plan. I would like to offer my sincere thanks to every one of you for believing in East Coast AC and our vision to improve athletics within the borough. I hope that you all have enjoyed the last six months at the club as much as I have, and that you are enjoying being part of the team. Now that the memberships are due for renewal it would be fantastic to see you all stick with us and help drive our club forward in 2014. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Committee, as well as the Coaching Team and Social Committee, but I'd like to add a special thanks to our vice-chairperson Greg. Greg, like our Secretary James and the Club Treasurer Catherine, has helped me along the way. Greg has spoken when I have felt nervous, liaised with other bodies when I've been busy and generally been a pleasure to work with - long may that continue.

I'd like to finish by wishing you all a very happy Christmas and please accept my best wishes for the New Year ahead, not only in terms of sport, but in every part of your life.

Your Chairman, and friend... Justin :o)

Kennedy marks East Coast AC debut with podium place!

As the festive season approaches, members of East Coast AC have enjoyed their first Christmas function as an affiliated club, they have also been in action over various distances and terrain.  

On Saturday 21st December 2013, East Coast Athletic Club athletes took podium spots at the Larne parkrun and the Slemish Challenge Mountain Race.

The action kicked off at the popular Larne parkrun, where at least twelve club members took to the start line of the free weekly 5k time trial.  This week, being the last event before Christmas, many participants accepted the additional challenge of completing the Carnfunnock course dressed in Christmas attire.

Club Vice-Chairman, Greg Lavery, enjoyed his first outing on the course, and was the first club runner home in 19:25, this was enough to secure 2nd place. Two more first timers were next to finish for the coastal club, Murray Deller (20:22) in 4th place and Naoise McLoughlin (21:14) in 5th place.  Danny Hylands (22:25) and Corey Urwin (23:00) made it five athletes in the top ten, finishing 7th place and 9th place respectively.  The ever improving Chris Davis just missed out, finishing in 11th place, with a very credible time of 23:52.

Young Christopher Harkin, competing in the Junior Male 15-19 category, ran a personal best for the forest park course, returning to the Drains Bay finish line in 26:41 (21st place).  Mother and Daughter pairing, April and Carol Clarke worked hard together, with the junior of the two, April crossing the line in 27:27 (5th place lady) and Carol 27:32 (6th place lady).  Carol’s time is the quickest she has run on this route, an excellent reward for her efforts in training.  Another athlete improving quickly, Katrina Vokes was next home in 7th place (in the ladies category), with an impressive time of 29:10.  The ever consistent Martin Taylor recorded 29:59 (29th place), before Patricia Campbell (11th place lady – 36:52) completed East Coast AC's participation.

Later in the afternoon, close to Broughshane, two East Coast AC members took part in the 2nd annual running of the Slemish Challenge Mountain Race.  The event, which was tested in 2012, attracted an enthusiastic crowd of fell runners. 

Predominantly a charity fundraising run, the organiser Tom Mills of Ballymena Runners opened the race to the wider mountain running community this year; with approximately 1,500 feet of climbing over the rough 3 mile course, every runner was tested sufficiently.  Stephen Kennedy, who was representing the club for the first time, and Chairman Justin Maxwell both performed to their usual high standard.  Stephen climbed impressively and pushed 2nd place finisher Jonathon McCloy most of the way, finishing in 3rd place in a time of 31:43.  Justin ran a steady race, taking 4th place in 32:55. The race was won by Ballymena Runners' Jonny Steede in 29:31.

East Coast AC would like to take this opportunity to wish it's members, friends, family and everyone who has supported the club since it's formation in June 2013, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  The festive period is a very busy time for the running community, you can keep up to date on the performances of East Coast AC athletes at www.eastcoastathleticclub.co.uk or by following the club on facebook – www.facebook.com/EastCoastAthleticClub

East Coast AC athletes compete closer to home!

On Saturday 14th December 2013 East Coast Athletic Club members showed a strong presence at the popular Larne parkrun and supported a new local Christmas 5k 'Sands NI' Charity run/walk event. Not only was the latter closer to home by location, but also by its meaningfulness.

Carnfunnock Country Park was the first venue of the day, with our members taking on the challenging, but increasingly popular Larne parkrun.  James Brown was the first of eleven East Coast athletes home, crossing the line in 2nd place (18:12).  This was the club secretary's first outing at parkrun and shows that his return to fitness is going well. Slightly under two minutes had elapsed when James Robinson and David Clarke returned to the Drains Bay finish, taking 4th and 5th place respectively, both in a time of 20:07.   Penny Lindsay was the first of the coastal clubs female members home.  Penny took 1st place in the ladies category with a time of 21:59.  Patrick Campbell led a pack of East Coast athletes home, finishing in 25th place, in a new personal best time for this course (28:13).  Karen McConnell was the next finisher, Karen finished as 4th placed female, with an impressive time of 28:42.  Martin Taylor followed, in 31st  place overall (28:51).  Sharon Kirkpatrick (5th in 29:15), Kelly Deller (6th in 29:20), Christopher Harkin (34th in 30:06) and Karen Monaghan (7th in 30:59) all finished strongly. 

Later in the day, East Coast AC member, Chris Davis and his wife Rowena organised a charity 5k fun run and walking event.  With the support of St John's Masonic Hall,  Chris, Rowena and a large crowd of their friends and family completed the town centre route together.  The event was held in aid of Sands NI, a charity close to their hearts.  Sands is  a stillbirth and neonatal death charity, who operate both here in Northern Ireland as well as throughout the UK, supporting anyone affected by the death of a baby and promoting research to reduce the loss of babies’ lives.  East Coast Athletic Club would like to congratulate Chris and Rowena for their work in organising this event and raising funds to help this very worthwhile charity.

Anyone wishing to find out more information about Sands can visit their website here

Personal bests and a Podium position for East Coast AC athletes!

On Saturday 7th December 2013, 10 East Coast Athletic Club members joined 41 other running enthusiasts on the start line of the popular Larne parkrun.  All members performed well, with the ever consistent Daniel Girvin crossing the line in second place (19:38).  Daniel was followed by William McNeill in 5th (21:14) and Lewis Dix in 10th place (22:35), fantastic running from two men who are relatively new to the sport.  Carol Clarke  was the first of our female members home, in 8th place in the ladies category with a time of 27:49, a new personal best time.  Patrick Campbell also completed the undulating route, finishing in 33rd place (28:97).  Wendy McKeegan was the next finisher, leading a group of six ladies home.  Wendy finished in 9th place with an impressive time of 29.21.  Jacqui McLoughlin, a recent winner in the clubs Championship race was next in 11th place (30:22).  

Tracey Shannon (14th in 32:25), Fionna Swann (16th in 33:27), Linzi Conway (17th in 34:58) and Heather Shaw (18th in 35:58) completed the coastal clubs representation.  Both Tracey and Fiona also recorded personal best times for the Carnfunnock course.  Congratulations must also go to father and son pairing, Colin and Sam McCluskey.  Colin ran a new personal best of 22:59 for 11th place and his son, Sam, was first across the line in the Junior Male under 14 category, with a time of 24:09.

Later, on Saturday afternoon three East Coast athlete's were in action at Sixmilewater Park in Ballyclare, competing for the Horwill Vets Cross Country Cup.  This race was organised by Belfast based club Annadale Striders and included some of the country's top veteran runners.

Greg Lavery, Nat Glenn and James Brown all started well and pushed the pace with a strong pack.  It was Gregg who made it to the finish line first, covering the 3 mile distance in 16:52 for an excellent 3rd  place.  Club mate Nat Glenn finished in 7th place, with a time of 16:57, only 5 seconds splitting 3rd to 7th place. James Brown, in his first race back from injury, was the next runner home for East Coast AC, crossing the line in 17:34 for 15th place.

Weekend of Top Performances by East Coast Athletic Club athletes!

East Coast Athletic Club athletes have enjoyed another excellent weekend of racing, with club members participating in events in Belfast, Larne and the Space Coast USA Marathon in Cocoa, Florida.

On Saturday 30th November 2013, Larne parkrun was again the opening race for club members, with 10 East Coast AC representatives amongst the 48 participants taking part in the cool but calm time trail event at Carnfunnock Country Park.

It was East Coast's David Clarke and Andy Guy who were first back to the finish in Drains Bay, crossing the line in 19:34 and 19:35 respectively. Drew Girvan (4th in 21:05), Danny Hylands (6th in 21:24), Michael Stranney (7th in 21:50) and Stephen Millar (9th in 22:18) followed, all amongst the top 10 finishers.

Morna Wright completed the undulating 5k course in a new personal best time of 28:31 (11th female). Kelly Deller did like wise, crossing the line in 29:44 (14th female). Patricia Campbell, again participating in Larne's new parkrun, was the 19th female finisher in a time of 37:18. Later that afternoon, East Coast AC members were amongst thousands of athletes and spectators at Ormeau Park, Belfast for the annual Seeley Cup 10k, which also incorporated the Athletics NI 10k Championships.

One of the most exciting fields of the year set off on the course, which covers the paths in and around the park.  Murray Deller was the first East Coast Athletic Club member home, crossing the line in 38:55 (176th); a new personal best for Murray. Daniel Girvan, the clubs youngest participating member was close behind in 179th position, in a personal best time of 38:58. James Robinson showed that his competitive edge has returned, finishing just behind the aforementioned pair in 181st place, with a time of 39:05.

The ever improving athlete Allyson O'Toole, was the first of the clubs female members to finish and another on the personal best list. Allyson took 36th place in the female category in a time of 42:11. From this point on, Black and Yellow tops came in thick and fast. Endurance specialist Penny Lindsay was next home in a person best time of 42:25 (41st female), followed by Kerry Fokkens 45:54 (72nd female). Chris Davis ran a strong second half of the race to finish 485th overall in 46:23, taking a massive 15 minutes of his previous best 10k time.  Chris was followed home by Alan Glover (573rd in 48:44), Marty McToal (628th in 50:54) and Father - Daughter pairing April and David Clarke (51:04 and 51:05 respectively). April finished in 144th in the female event, with dad Davy finishing his second event of the day in 633rd. Patrick Campbell (678th in 53:48), Paula Cosgrove (172nd in 54:05) and Martin Taylor (733rd in 57:18) all finished well.

On Sunday 1st December 2013, East Coast AC athlete's again made the journey to Belfast, this time to compete in the Action on Hearing Loss NI inaugural 5 mile race, which was organised to raise funds for the local charity.  Andrene Rennie and Jacque Craig both ran well, finishing well up in another strong field. Andrene finished in 13th, with a time of 42:56 and club mate Jacque finished in 14th, with a credible time of 44:33.

Also on Sunday, Amanda Peoples took part in the scenic Space Coast USA Marathon in Cocoa, Florida.   The event start in the historic and quaint Cocoa Village, and finish with a lap around the Riverfront Park amphitheatre where family and friends can cheer and watch the finish live and on the JumboTron (a large-screen television using technology developed by Sony).  The race is held within the shadow of the Kennedy Space Center and the entire event revolves around a space theme, a delightful and energizing experience for participants and spectators.  Amanda gave another top performance, completing the 26.2 mile waterfront course in slightly over 4 hours (4.03).

Reminder:  Castlewellan Christmas Cracker - 28/12/2013!

The annual Newcastle AC organised Christmas Cracker takes place on Saturday 28th December.  The race is based on the road and forest tracks in and around Castlewellan Forest Park. It is an 8 mile (approx.) race taking in almost all types of racing – road, trail and cross country. The event is a pairs only race and thus, generates a real fun and team ethos: you enter as a team of two and you must both cross the line at the same time to finish. 

Entry costs £25 per team and ECAC will be organising a bus to the event for both competitors and spectators. Teams can be men, ladies or mixed. Refreshments and showers are available after the race. 

This race is always a well supported team outing and a great chance to run with a friend or a training partner.


To register please visit the Newcastle AC website here.  Payment is not taken until the day, however all competitors must register in advance.

Please add your name to the Christmas Cracker thread in the races forum (here) if you have entered the event, would like to but need a partner, or would like to take a space on the bus.  We must urge all members to use the forum for this, as the size of bus will be decided upon based on these numbers only.

Another Successful Week for the Ambitious East Coast AC!

On Saturday 23rd November 2013, East Coast Athletic Club was well represented at local races, with club members lacing up their racers for the first ever East Coast AC ‘Graded’ Club Championship race and the Larne parkrun. 

This week also saw the ambitious local club launch their junior section, the only one of its kind in the Borough.  The highly anticipated East Coast Cheetahs first training session proved immensely enjoyable for the children, with the club’s coaching staff introducing them to various aspects of athletics.

Saturday’s action kicked off at Drainsbay, with no less than eight East Coast AC athletes amongst the runners and several more on the volunteer team.  Andy Guy, a recent addition to the Walled City Marathon pacing team for 2014, led the field home in 18:24 (1st place).  The club’s head coach, Mark McManus followed in 2nd place, after covering the course in 18:41; James Robinson then dipped under the 20 minute barrier in 19:53 (4th place), finishing just before William McNeill, who crossed the line in 20:59 (5th place).  Junior star Christopher Harkin produced an excellent performance, completing the tough undulating course in 27:11 (26th place). Ever improving Paula Cosgrove was rewarded for hard work in training; she (Paula) put in a strong performance to claim top spot in the ladies category in 27:26 (1st place).  Martin Taylor continued his comeback with a 28:49 (33rd place) finish time, while Cyndy Hay also ran well to secure a top ten place in the ladies category, after running 32:26 (7th place).

Later on Saturday morning, the club’s new Championship Series kicked off with a 5k Cross Country event, which was held on the grounds surrounding the Cliff Sports Complex in Larne.  Club officials graded athletes based on their previous 5k times, before setting them off in a staggered start; after the race, the runners’ handicap was then subtracted from their finish time (as the timer started when the first athlete set off) to show their actual 5k time. 


Jacqui McLoughlin was the first to start and proved to be one of the day’s star performers, powering her way to victory in 30:22.  Kevin Magill followed in 32:28 (2nd place); Interestingly, Kevin’s actual time of 27:11 was over two minutes quicker than his previous effort on the same course.  Guest runner, Stephen Withers (33:38, actual time – 22:05) took 3rd place, just ahead of Kelly Deller (33:49, actual time – 29:10), Karen McConnell (33:52, actual time – 28:43) and Chris Davis (33:54, actual time 22:29) who claimed 4th place, 5th place and 6th place respectively.

Michelle Shannon ran well and just pipped the fast improving Lesley Robinson to the finish, just one second split the pair, with Michelle finishing in 34:00 (7th place, actual time – 28:08) and Lesley 34:01 (8th place, actual time 28:02).  Carol Clarke recorded a massive personal best for the 5k course, crossing the line in 34:10 (but with an actual time of 28:28, 9th place). 

 Stephen Millar, a man who has shown huge potential since joining the club, finished next in 34:13 (10th place, actual time 22:21), while Alan Glover recorded 34:29 (11th place, actual time 34:29).  Stephen Smyth (12th place) ran 30:33 when he completed the East Coast AC C25K programme, but on this occasion, the hard working athlete smashed that time when he finished in an actual time of 27:20.  Sharon Smith (13th place – 34:34) followed on from her impressive outing at the ‘Run in the Dark’ 5k last week with an actual time of 26:34, before Naoise McLoughlin clocked 34:41 (14th place, actual time – 20:28).

Club Vice-Chairman and International XC runner Greg Lavery finished as the clock read 35:08 (15th place, actual time – 17:54).  Up and coming junior star Katie Glover was the next runner home in 35:14 (16th place, actual time – 28:15), before Tracey Shannon (35:19, actual time – 34:28) and Drew Girvin (35:32, actual time – 21:05) claimed 17th place and 18th place respectively.  Daniel Girvin’s fast finish sealed 19th place (35:34, actual time – 20:13), a mere one second ahead of guest runner Ricky Watt (20th place, 35:35 – actual time 23:02), who had completed the Larne parkrun prior to the club race.  Patrick Campbell (35:40 – actual time 28:27) followed in 21st place, ahead of the impressive duo of Joanna McIlroy (22nd place, actual time – 31:11) and Morna Wright (23rd place, actual time – 30:16) who crossed the line in 35:50 and 35:53.  Penny Lindsay finished in 36:01 (24th place), with her actual time of 22:08 meaning that she was the fastest lady of the day. 

Andy Guy, who ran after having led the field home at the Larne parkrun, clocked 36:04 (25th place, actual time – 19:01).  WPFG medallist Kieran McKeown crossed the line in 36:10, with an actual time of 20:39 (26th place), while Justin Maxwell clocked the fastest time of the day.  Although Justin finished in 36:13 (27th place), his actual 5k time of 17:48 was enough to secure the ‘fastest athlete’ trophy, kindly supplied by The Cliff Sports Complex.  Bernie McAllister and Nikki McNeill both ran well, with Bernie finished in 36:18 (28th place – actual time 25:43) and Nikki 36:21 (29th place – actual time 29:15).


A massive thanks must go to the whole team who made the first ever East Coast AC Club Championship race possible and such a success.  East Coast Athletic Club would also like to thank the Cliff Sports Complex for their continued support.

International Honours for Three East Coast AC Athletes!

Three local athletes represented Northern Ireland in Wales on Saturday 16th November 2013; East Coast AC’s Nat Glenn, Greg Lavery and David Clarke swapped their black and yellow vests for the green and white of their country as they tested themselves against some of the most talented veteran athletes from England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland at the British & Irish Masters International Cross Country in Cardiff, Wales.

All three put in top performances over the 8k course; Nat Glenn clocked a speedy 26:14 to claim 17th place in his Vet45 category, before international debutant Greg Lavery crossed the line in 27:30, taking 29th place in his Vet40 category.  In the Vet50 race, David Clarke finished in 28:31, this was enough to secure 27th place in his category.  

In the prestigious and fiercely contested team competition, both Nat and David collected medals when their respective Vet45 and Vet50 teams were awarded bronze after finishing in 3rd place.  This is an excellent achievement, especially considering the level of competition the Northern Ireland teams were up against. 

This is an excellent achievement, especially considering the level of competition the Northern Ireland teams were up against.  Individual results were unavailable at time of going to press, but these will be added to www.eastcoastathleticclub.co.uk as soon as they are released.

Also this week; Sharon Smith, Gary McKeegan and Wendy McKeegan were in action at the ‘Run in the Dark’ 5k and 10k races in Belfast (Wednesay 13th November 2013).  The tough courses, set within the grounds of Stormont Estate, were no conducive to personal bests, but all three ran well.  Sharon claimed a top ten finish in the 5k, recording an excellent 25:59 (8th place lady) for the distance.  Husband and wife duo, Gary and Wendy McKeegan, lined up in the 10k.  Gary crossed the line in 47:14 (89th place), while Wendy finished strongly in 57:03 (77th place lady).  East Coast AC friends Ricky Watt (71st place – 46:25) and Nichola Swann (22nd place lady – 51:39) also put in notable performances.

Nine club members also completed parkrun (5k) time-trials on Saturday; in Larne, Penny Lindsay led the East Coast AC contingent home in 21:43, this was enough to secure top spot in the ladies category.  Lee Stirling and Conor Sheridan finished close together, with Lee running 25:02 (24th place) and Conor 25:27 (26th place).  Interestingly, Lee slashed his time from last week’s inaugural event by nearly two minutes.  Another man who showed significant improvement was Stephen Smyth, who took over a minute off his parkrun personal best when he crossed the line in 27:17 (40th place).  

Catherine Boyd (13th place lady – 28:26) and Michelle Shannon (14th place lady – 28:37) finished just eleven seconds apart, before Kelly Deller clocked 29:48 (17th place lady).  Fast improving, Paul Cunningham battled well to finish in 32:27.  At the Ecos parkrun in Ballymena, the ever consistent Drew Girvin just missed a sub 20 minute finish time when he crossed the line in 20:07 (11th place).

East Coast AC enjoy inaugural Larne parkrun!

Most weekends see East Coast AC athletes travel the length and breadth of the province to compete; this week was a little different, with 23 club members taking part in the first ever Larne parkrun, a number of others were also part of the team of volunteers who operate the free weekly event.  The local club were also represented at the McConnell Shield Cross Country in Ballyclare.

The weekend action kicked off at the aforementioned Larne parkrun on Saturday morning (9th November 2013).  The 5k course takes competitors from Dixon Hall at Drains Bay into Carnfunnock Country Park, where they complete one large loop and one small loop of the scenic park, before returning to the finish at Dixon Hall. 

Up and coming star Daniel Girvin was the first East Coast AC athlete to finish in 19:53 (5th place) and he was followed by his father, Drew Girvin (13th place – 21:27).  New recruit, Stephen Millar ran well to finish in 22:41 (21st place), while just four seconds split the fast improving pair of Chris Davis (27th place - 23:08) and William McNeill (28th place - 23:12).


Corey Urwin, who was pushing his young son and daughter in a buggy, completed the course in a speedy 24:48 (37th place), before Sharon Smith led the East Coast AC ladies home in 26:07 (12th place lady).  Lee Stirling (57th place -  26:57) and a smiling Gillian Leetch-Armstrong (17th place lady – 27:09) crossed the line just ahead of recent Dublin Marathon finisher Ruth Kelly (20th place lady – 27:47), who in-turn, pipped the impressive Helen Stranney and Paula Urwin to the line, with Helen running 27:59 and Paula 28:01.

Stephen Smyth and Carol Clarke both produced excellent performances, recording 28:25 (71st place) and 28:41 (28th place lady) respectively; interestingly both Stephen and Carol knocked approximately two minutes off their previous 5k personal best.  Martin Taylor (76th place – 29:12) and Andrene Rennie (30th place lady – 29:28) then followed in quick succession, before Karen McConnell crossed the line in 30:03 (31st place lady). 


Morna Wright covered the distance in 31:18 (35th place lady), leading the strong trio of Hazel Ritchie (39th place lady – 33:03), Tracey Shannon (42nd place lady – 33:28) and Fiona Swann (45th place lady – 33:53) along the coastal finishing straight and back to Dixon Hall.  A happy looking Lisa Parker followed in 35:58 (48th place lady), before Elizabeth McManus completed her first ever parkrun in 39:51 (52nd place lady).

In Ballyclare, recent Pure Running Half Marathon Series category prize-winner Penny Lindsay was in action at the 79th annual running of the McConnell Shield XC, which was held in a sun soaked Six Mile Water Park.  Penny continued her fantastic run of form showing no signs of fatigue from the recent Dublin Marathon as she covered the tough 3 mile course in 20:40, claiming an excellent 43rd place in what was a quality field.

parkrun comes to Larne!

parkrun comes to Larne on Saturday 9th November 2013. 


What is parkrun?

parkrun organise free, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. These events take place in pleasant parkland surroundings and we encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience; parkrun welcomes you all.


Larne parkrun

Larne parkrun will be held every Saturday at 9:30am from Dixon Hall at Drainsbay.  The course incorporates two laps of trail, tarmac and gravel paths within Carnfunnock Country Park.  A detailed map of the course can be found here.


How to sign up

In order to take part in any parkrun, all runners must have their own personal barcode.  To register for this, please visit www.parkrun.org.uk and enter your details.  Print off your barcode once issued and bring this with you to the race.  Remember, all parkrun's are absolutely free.



parkrun is entirely organised by volunteers.  Larne parkrun is constantly needing new volunteers for duties such as marshalling, time keeping, barcode scanning, or operating the finish tunnel.  To add your name to the volunteer list or enquire more, please email the team at larnehelpers@parkrun.com.


For more information on the Larne parkrun you can visit their official webpage at www.parkrun.org.uk/larne or the facebook page at www.facebook.com/larneparkrun.


We look forward to seeing you all there on Saturday!

East Coast AC Athletes Continue to Impress!

This week, East Coast AC has been represented at various distances and disciplines with several club members claiming podium places and category prizes.


On Friday 1st November 2013, Penny Lindsay attended the official prize-giving for the Pure Running Half Marathon Series, which was held at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.  The ten race Series, which included the AES Larne Half Marathon attracted close to 9,000 competitors; athletes had to complete at least six of the ten races to qualify.  


After performing well throughout the Series, Penny topped the overall standings in the Vet45 category and was therefore presented with the top prize after finishing over fifteen minutes ahead of her closest rival.

On Saturday 2nd November 2013, Greg Lavery travelled to Belfast for the Waterworks parkrun.  As it was the third anniversary of parkrun coming to Northern Ireland, a crowd of nearly two hundred runners turned out despite the wet and windy conditions.  Seemingly unfazed by the aforementioned weather, Greg put in an notable performance to lead the field home in 17:19, a new parkrun personal best for the ever consistent athlete.


On Sunday , it was the turn of the East Coast AC duathletes to take centre stage.  A total of eight members completed the inaugural Ballymoney Duathlon (hosted by Ballymoney Cycling Club), which consisted of a 2 mile run, 10 mile cycle, before finishing with a final 2 mile run. 

Mark McManus narrowly missed a podium finish when he recorded a brilliant 48:05 for the distance (4th place); Danny Hylands (11th place – 50:09) and James Robinson (18th place - 51:47) followed in close proximity to each other, while the ever impressive pairing of Murray Deller and Drew Girvin crossed the line in 52:53 (24th place) and 54:10 (27th place) respectively. 


Kelly Deller continued her good run of form, the Glentathlon prize-winner finished in 1:09:32 (12th place lady), just ahead of two ladies competing in their first ever duathlon; established runners, Sharon Kirkpatrick and Rosie Kerr both put in top performances, with Sharon covering the course in 1:11:02 (15th place lady) and Rosie 1:27:06 (29th place lady). 


Special thanks must also go to club members, family and friends who travelled to Ballymoney to support the competitors.

Guy, Clarke, Lindsay and Kelly do ECAC proud in Dublin!

On Monday 28th October 2013, four East Coast AC athletes joined a record breaking field of 14,500 participants at the 34th annual running of the Dublin Marathon, which was sponsored by Airtricity this year.  The event also incorporated the Woodies DIY AAI National Marathon Championships.


Thankfully, Andy Guy, David Clarke, Penny Lindsay, Ruth Kelly and the thousands of other runners did not have to deal with the forecasted severe weather conditions; however, they did have to battle a headwind during certain sections of the course.  The East Coast AC members started off well, putting their well thought out race-plans into practice. 


Running side by side, Andy and David went through 10k and 13.1 miles (half way) in 40:59 and 1:26:07 respectively.  Penny looked comfortable as she cruised past the 10k and half way markers; the talented and versatile athlete passed 10k in 51:22 and 13.1m in 1:48:42. 

An inspirational Ruth, who started running to prepare for this event, during which time she has raised a significant amount of money for charity (the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children), looked strong as she passed through 10k in 1:04:36 and half way (13.1m) in 2:16:02. 


As the race progressed, Andy and David continued to work together and passed the 20 mile marker in 2:10:28, before Andy began to open a slight gap on friend and club mate David.  Penny went through 20 miles in 2:45:50, while the ever improving Ruth passed the same point in 3:39:36.


In the latter stages, Andy continued his relentless pace, defying the much talked about ‘wall’; aiming for a new personal best and a sub 2:55:00 finish time, Andy swiftly covered the remaining miles to cross the line in a new personal best of 2:51:56; this was just rewards for his hard work in training and disciplined performance.  David, who was recently named in the Northern Ireland Masters XC team, completed his first ever 26.2 mile race in a fantastic time of 2:53:13.  Penny Lindsay, a category prize-winner in this year’s Pure Running Half Marathon Series, covered the distance in 3:38:00, smashing her previous personal best by approximately five minutes; a testament to her hard work in training.  Marathon debutant, Ruth, also impressed, battling through the pain barrier to cross the line in a brilliant 4:54:20.

Everyone at East Coast AC would like to congratulate Andy, David, Penny and Ruth on their excellent performances, and also our other athletes who raced not only last weekend, but every weekend.  A special mention must also go to the club members, friends and family who travel and support the club every weekend.  You ALL continue to do our club proud!



Ruth was running to raise money for NICFC, a charity that do amazing work. She was also running the marathon for Caiden, a brave little boy who is receiving intense treatment. He's a determined wee soldier, and such an inspiration. Thinking what he and many others have to go through each day makes me determined to run this for them.  If you would like to sponsor Ruth, the link to her Just Giving page can be found here.

Top performances from East Coast AC in NI and Wales!

This weekend, East Coast AC were once again well represented at local, national and international races, with athletes racing in Belfast, Ballymena, Antrim, and Snowdonia (Wales).


On Saturday 26th October, no less than seven club members completed parkrun events across the province.  In Ballymena, Murray Deller, Kelly Deller, Drew Girvin, Glenda Girvin and Paula Cosgrove all completed the weekly Ecos 5k time-trial.  Murray Deller was rewarded for his impressive run with a sub twenty minute finish, clocking 19:22 to take 2nd place.  Ever consistent performer, Drew Girvin followed closely, crossing the line in a new personal best of 20:33 (7th place), while Paula Cosgrove continued her notable rise through the ranks with another personal best of 26:01 (10th place lady).  Glenda Girvin and Kelly Deller also ran well, with Glenda completing the course in 27:43 (15th place lady) and recent Glentathlon prize-winner Kelly in 28:45 (26th place lady).


Meanwhile, at the Waterworks parkrun in Belfast; Catherine Boyd enjoyed her first outing on the course with a 26:39 (16th place lady) finish.  Catherine was cheered on by a number of Larne based runners/volunteers who were assisting organisers with the event in preparation for the beginning of the Larne parkrun on Saturday 9th November 2013.  Nat Glenn, Maria Glenn, Davy Clarke, James Brown and Ryan Maxwell joined several other Larne parkrun volunteers in the ‘control room’.  Amanda Peoples completed an excellent day of ‘parkrunning’ for the club, notching up a new personal best of 23:49 to claim 5th place (in the ladies category) at the Antrim parkrun.


In Wales, Justin Maxwell joined hundreds of hardy competitors at the Snowdonia Marathon.  The 26.2 mile race, which includes 1,800ft of ascending, was voted as the UK’s toughest marathon by Runners World magazine; Justin performed to his usual high standard to seal 13th place in 2:54:38.

Hylands and Deller pick up Duathlon prizes!

East Coast AC athletes have enjoyed another successful weekend, with club members picking up category prizes and personal bests at events in Northern Ireland and England.

On Saturday 19th October 2013, no less than seven club members took part in the Glentathlon Duathlon in Martinstown.  The challenging event sees competitors complete a 7k run, a 20k cycle, before finishing with a final 2k run.  James Robinson performed well, leading the East Coast AC contingent home in 1:29:16 (5th place).  Danny Hylands followed just fourteen seconds later in 1:29:30, this was enough to take 6th place overall and 1st place in his age category.  Drew Girvin recorded 1:34:44 (17th place), before Phil Smyth crossed the line in 1:56:09 (58th place).

Kelly Deller continued the club prize haul, winning the Ladies Open category in 2:05:30 (8th place lady).  Jenny Magill (11th place lady – 2:18:02) finished well despite a navigational error during the cycle.  Unfortunately, Mark McManus had to withdraw from the event after suffering a fall.  Everyone at East Coast AC wishes Mark a speedy recovery.

On Sunday 20th October 2013, Allan McCullough joined tens of thousands of runners on the start line of the Bupa Great Birmingham (13.1m) Run in England.  Allan was rewarded for his efforts with a new Half Marathon personal best of 1:35:26.

Thank you once again to everyone who came out and supported our athletes at the weekend's events.

Three East Coast AC Athletes Selected for Northern Ireland!

This week, East Coast Athletic Club have once again proved themselves as one of the provinces strongest clubs, with club members claiming personal bests, podium places and international selection at events in Ballymena, Belfast and Dundrum.  As well as this, the club launched their junior section, the East Coast Cheetahs, during an extremely successful Fun Day in the Town Park (Larne) on Sunday 13th October 2013.

The action kicked off in Ballymena on Saturday morning (12th October 2013), where eight East Coast AC athletes participated in the Ecos parkrun.  Up and coming star, Daniel Girvin completed the 5k time-trial in a personal best time of 19:20, securing an impressive 3rd place.  Drew Girvin followed in 20:59 (9th place), before Paula Cosgrove and Andrene Rennie claimed top ten places in the ladies race; both ladies ran new personal bests, with Paula recording 26:09 (8th place lady) and Andrene 26:22 (9th place lady).  

Glenda Girvin continued the personal best haul with a 27:27 (17th place lady) finish time; not to be outdone, Jacque Craig (21st place lady – 28:13), Amanda Clements  (30th place lady – 30:38) and Heather Shaw (39th place lady – 34:46) also ran well to produce new personal bests.

In Belfast, history was created for East Coast AC as Greg Lavery, Nat Glenn, David Clarke and James Brown took on the NIMAA Masters Open Cross Country 8k race, which was also used as the trials for the Northern Ireland Masters XC team.  Nat led the trio home in 27:27 (12th place), finishing fifth in his Vet45 category; Greg crossed the line in 27:51 (17th place), claiming sixth place in his Vet40 category and David Clarke clocked 27:59 (20th place) to finish third in his Vet50 category.   Unfortunately, James Brown had to withdraw from the race in the early stages because of a calf injury; East Coast AC wishes James all the best with his recovery.

Greg, Nat and David were rewarded for their excellent performances with international selection, meaning that they will represent Northern Ireland at the British & Irish Masters International XC in Wales (November 2013).  Although, several East Coast AC athletes have represented their country in the past (whilst attached to other clubs); Greg, Nat and David are the first ever East Coast AC members to gain international selection for Northern Ireland, since the clubs formation in June 2013.

Also on Saturday, in County Down, Penny Lindsay and Amanda Peoples lined up with over six hundred runners at the GR8 Dundrum Run.   Penny recorded a massive new personal best, breaking 60mins for 8 miles for the first time; Penny’s finish time of 59:34 was enough to take 11th place in the ladies race and first place in her Vet45 category.  Amanda Peoples made a welcome return from injury to complete the tough, multi-terrain course in an excellent 1:06:44 (41st place lady).

On Sunday 13th October, hundreds of parents and children turned out for the East Coast AC family Fun Day at the Town Park in Larne; at the enjoyable event, which included children’s (and adult) races, a bouncy castle, face painting and refreshments, the ambitious club launched their new junior section, the East Coast Cheetahs, which will start in November 2013.

The cold conditions did not deter the enthusiastic children from participating in the 50m and 100m races, as well as the Duathlon (Run - Cycle – Run).  Junior athletes (12-16years) also had the opportunity to test themselves over 400m and 800m, before the adult’s battled for bragging rights in the invitational 800m and Mile races.  Participants were awarded medals, treats and goody bags for their efforts.

East Coast Athletic Club would like to thank everyone who made the Fun Day such a special and memorable occasion, including the Northern Ireland Fire & Rescue Service, Marty’s Catering Services, Dj Evan Taylor, face painting by Facetastic, Flossy Treats and Larne Bouncy Castle who all provided top quality entertainment and refreshments.  A special mention must also go to Larne Borough Council, who allowed the club the use of the Town Park for the event.

East Coast AC claim Bronze at Northern Ireland Relay Champtonships!

East Coast AC had no less than 70 athletes competing last weekend; the Larne based club, who were formed just four months ago, were well represented at two major events in Belfast, as well as the ECOS parkrun in Ballymena.

The weekend action kicked off on Saturday (5th October 2013) with the Northern Ireland (Road) Relay Championships in Victoria Park, Belfast and saw the unveiling of the first ever East Coast Athletic Club running vest, with it’s popular club badge designed by club member Trisha Campbell.  This was the club’s first venture into ‘Championship’ competition and it proved to be very successful, with the Mixed ‘A’ team (4 x 1,689m) of Justin Maxwell, Trisha Campbell, Penny Lindsay and Mark McManus winning a bronze medal after completing their four legs in 23:21.  Justin Maxwell’s first leg time of 5:03 proved to be the fastest 1,689m leg of the entire event.  In the same race, the East Coast AC ‘B’ team (James Robinson, Jenny Magill, Roisin Lavery and Ryan Maxwell) took 10th place in 26:42, and the ‘C’ team (Alan Glover, Kerry Campbell, Gillian Leetch-Armstrong and Lionel Date) followed in 30:10 (11th place).

In the competitive Masters Men’s 4 x 3,380m race, the East Coast AC ‘A’ team of Nat Glenn, Greg Lavery (pictured on right), David Clarke and James Brown missed a podium finish by a mere four seconds, taking 4th place in 44:55.   Andy Guy, Naoise McLaughlin, Paul Hutchinson and Kieran McKeown all ran well to ensure that the ‘B’ team finished well up the field in 12th place after recording 49:25, before the ‘C’ team (Allan McCullough, Drew Girvin, Phil Smyth and Chris Davis), battled well to finish in 57:10 (26th place).

Special mention must also go to junior athlete, Rhys McManus and his cousin Katie Glover (who competes for Ballymena & Antrim AC) after both performed very well in the junior races which took place prior to the adult events.  On the day, the participating team members were encouraged by a large number of fellow club mates, family and friends.

Also on Saturday, Jenna Montgomery travelled to Ballymena for the Ecos parkrun.  Jenna put in a good performance to complete the 5k time trial in 30:06 (20th place).

On Sunday 6th October 2013, an unprecedented 45 East Coast AC ladies were accompanied by club mates, family and friends as they joined thousands of runners at the Runher 5k and 10k races in Stormont Estate, Belfast.  The day kicked off with a junior race, which saw a number of future East Coast Cheetahs complete a tough 400m loop, finishing in front of Parliament Buildings.

The first adult race of the day was the 5k, which brought further notable performances from local athletes; Allyson O’Toole (21:30) continued to build her good reputation within the local running scene with a 5th place finish, in what was a quality field.  Tammy Joel followed in 26:58, before Paula Urwin completed the course in 27:02.  East Coast AC friend, Katie Glover was the next to cross the line in 27:49, before Lesley Robinson (28:36), Tracy Hutchinson (29:07), Karen McConnell (29:25) and Mandy McToal (29:40) finished in quick succession.

Glenda Girvin nipped under the infamous 30 minute barrier after recording 29:55 for the distance, while Karen Monaghan (30:09) also ran well to finish just ahead of Jacqui Craig (30:24), Michelle Shannon (30:26) and Helen Stranney (30:33).  Sisters, Kelly Deller and Jenny Magill crossed the line together in 31:37, before Maria Glenn clocked 32:09.  Cate Devine was the next familiar face to complete the tough course, running 32:17; Jackie McLoughlin (32:44), Nicola Clarke (34:22), Marie Glover (35:36), Tracey Shannon (36:08) and Amanda Clements (36:19) all followed before Ashley Smyth (36:42) and Gillian Pike (36:42) finished in exactly the same time.  Colleen Taylor was next home in 37:20, while Emma McAllister (38:17), Linzi Conway (38:41), Heather Shaw (38:52) and Rosemary Kerr (38:53) all battled well to finish within thirty seconds of each other.

In the 10k, Nicola Robinson led the strong East Coast AC contingent home in a 55:58 and barely had time to get her breath back before her training partners Lisa Dempsey (56:30), Lynn Magee (57:09), Catherine Boyd (57:35) and Roisin Lavery (57:41) all crossed the line.  Gillian Leetch-Armstrong and Ruth Kelly then finished just under the one hour mark, with Gillian running 59:46 and Ruth 59:48.  Andrene Rennie put in a good performance to record 1:00:50; Nikki McNeill wasn’t far behind in 1:01:23.  Sharon Kirkpatrick ran 1:04:58, before a trio of East Coast AC runners, which included Morna Wright (1:07:31), Fiona McToal (1:07:11) and Tracey Parke (1:07:22) finished in close proximity.  A smiling Doris Kirby crossed the line in 1:11:46, before Cyndy Hay (1:11:50) and Lisa Parker (1:19:55) completed an excellent outing for East Coast AC.

Pictures from Runher have been added to our photo gallery here.

Thank you to all the friends and family who supported our club over the weekend, it really made a difference to all competing.

Next weekend (Sunday 13th October) ECAC are holding a Family Fun Day in the Town Park, Larne.  For further details of this event please visit our events page here.  If you would be able to volunteer at the event please contact us at eastcoastac@gmail.com.

Maxwell excels as East Coast AC athletes impress!

East Coast Athletic Club athletes have enjoyed an excellent week, with club members participating in events in Bangor, Ballymena, Belfast, the North Coast and Wasdale (England).

The action started early on Saturday (28th September 2013) morning in Portstewart, where Justin Maxwell took on the 26extreme Causeway Coast Ultra Marathon.  The 65k (40.3 mile) race led competitors along the scenic causeway coast, past some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, before finishing in Portballintrae.  Justin was amongst the front runners in the early stages, before he took the lead after 17 miles; from here, the Northern Ireland international gradually increased his lead and won in 5:34:21.  John McManus and Sharon Smith were also in competition at the popular event, with both lining up in the Half Marathon.  John completed the 13.1 mile course in 1:39:37, claiming 7th place; Sharon also ran well and crossed the line in 2:20:08 (53rd place).

In Belfast, Nat Glenn and Maria Glenn joined over one hundred runners on the start line of the Waterworks parkrun.  Nat won the 5k time-trial in 17:22, while Maria produced an excellent performance in what was her first ever parkrun, completing the distance in a new personal best of 30:54 (31st place).  Another parkrun first timer, Catherine Boyd, was in action at the Ecos parkrun in Ballymena and notched up an impressive new personal best of 26:16 (13th place). 

The biggest club outing of the weekend was in Bangor, where eleven club members were supported by club mates, family and friends at the annual Bangor 10k, which attracted over one thousand entrants.

James Robinson was the first East Coast AC athlete to cross the line in 40:57 (67th place); however, because of the chip timing system used, Daniel Girvin’s official time of 40:52 (71st place) proved to be quickest of the day.  Trisha Campbell put her hard work in training to the test and was rewarded with a 46:16 (26th place lady) clocking, before Alan Glover bettered his recent Laganside 10k time (51:02) by over thirty seconds when he recorded 50:31 (290th place).  Jenny Magill returned to competition with a notable performance, the international triathlete crossed the line in 52:53 (66th place lady), just ahead of Mark McManus (342nd place – 52:58) who was on pacing duties.

Tammy Joel and Steven Robinson represented East Coast AC for the first time and done themselves and the club proud, Tammy looked strong as she finished in 53:22 (74th place lady) and Steven followed just eight seconds later in 53:30 (370th place).  Paula Cosgrove (85th place lady - 54:36) and Patrick Campbell (456th place - 56:36) both impressed, as did Stephen Smyth; Stephen only started running ten weeks ago and completed his first ever race in 1:00:28 (560th place), an excellent achievement.

On Sunday 29th September 2013, Dan Spencer took on the Wasdale Half Ironman in the Lake District (England).  The event, which is touted as “the world’s toughest Half Ironman” see’s competitors complete a 1.9k swim, a 90k cycle (with 7,217ft of ascending) and a 13.1 mile run (which includes 4,583ft of ascending).  Despite a navigational error during the tough and at times technical run, Dan completed the gruelling race in an outstanding 8:25:00, securing 12th place in what was a top quality field.

Photos from Bangor 10k are now uploaded to our photo gallery (here) courtesy of Drew and Glenda Girvin.

East Coast Athletic Club set to launch East Coast Cheetahs!

East Coast Athletic Club will host a family fun day in Larne Town Park on Sunday 13th October 2013.  The event will take place between 12pm - 2pm and will be open to East Coast Athletic Club members and their family and friends.

The fun day will be the official launch of the much anticipated junior section of East Coast AC, the East Coast Cheetahs; club officials will be on hand to answer any questions regarding the junior section, which will be the only junior athletics club in the Borough.

As part of the event, there will be a variety of activities for children (and adults); this will include a bouncy castle, face painting, children’s duathlon and running races.  There will also be a number of invitational adult races.  In addition to this, there will be refreshments on offer by way of Ice Cream and Popcorn Stands, and a BBQ.  The day will be topped off by the appearance of a very special guest!

Further details regarding the event will be added to the website in the coming days.

Busy and Successful Weekend for East Coast Athletic Club!

On Saturday  21st September 2013, East Coast Athletic Club held a 5k run for all the Couch to 5k participants to mark the end of the nine week programme (see article below for full story).


Also on Saturday, East Coast AC member Morna Wright took on the ECOS parkrun in Ballymena; Morna’s hard work in training showed, as she clocked a new 5k personal best of 28:58, taking one minute off her parkrun time from three weeks ago.


On Sunday, East Coast AC athletes were also in action at Northern Ireland’s newest and biggest Half Marathon, the Belfast City Half Marathon.  In a field of 4,000 participants, the local runners performed well. 


Justin Maxwell has been racing sparingly on the roads this year, but showed great strength to lead the club member’s home in 1:16:47, claiming an excellent 10th place.  James Brown followed closely, taking 12th place in 1:17:03, before David Clarke produced one of the performances of the day, a new 13.1 mile personal best of 1:20:31 (24th place), this secured 2nd place in the Vet50 category.  Greg Lavery recorded 1:21:22 (27th place), while Andy Guy continued his preparation for the Dublin Marathon with a 1:22:42 (33rd place) finish.


Noaise McLoughlin also ran well to cross the line in 1:33:57 (188th place); Noaise was followed by ever impressive Allan McCullough, who ran 1:36:46 (255th place).  Allyson O’Toole notched up another notable achievement, in the form of a 1:43:41 (60th place lady) finish time, before Anthony O’Shea beat his sub two hour target with a 1:58:56 (1,298th place) clocking.  Marty McToal put in the most determined performance of the day, in what was his first attempt at the distance; Marty finished in 2:04:13 (1,469th place).  Patrick Campbell recorded a massive new personal best of 2:06:07 (1,517th place) to finish just ahead of Conor Sheridan (1,679th place - 2:07:05).  Friends and training partners, Nikki McNeill and Fiona McToal covered the distance in 2:10:16 (579th place lady)  and 2:22:33 (871st place lady) respectively, with only a strong performance by Martin Taylor (1,772nd place - 2:17:37) splitting the pair.

The East Coast AC members competing at the Belfast City Marathon were well supported by club mates, friends and family; several club members were on pacing duties while others travelled to different sections of the course, before making their way to the finish line, thus creating a fantastic team atmosphere and making the day all the more special for everyone.


Also on Sunday, East Coast AC members Drew Girvin, Danny Hylands, Barry McKeown, Adele Neill and Gary McKeegan completed the gruelling John Lindsay Memorial Cycle, organised by Team Madigan Cycling.  The tough but scenic route took competitors on a 70 mile return journey from Ballygalley to Torr Head.

Well done to all Couch to 5k runners!

On Saturday 21st September 2013, East Coast Athletic Club’s immensely successful Couch to 5k (C25K) programme reached its climax with a specially organised event at The Cliff Sports Complex, Larne. 


The programme, which has attracted no less than 119 determined participants, began nine weeks ago with intervals of one minute of running and ninety seconds of walking and finished with a final 5k run.


In almost perfect running conditions the athletes were set on their way by Larne Mayor, Maureen Morrow.   The three lap course covered the extensive grass area which surrounds ‘The Cliff’ and proved challenging, but popular with the runners.  Assisted, encouraged and supported by coaches and members of East Coast AC, as well as friends and family, every participant completed the 5k to loud cheers from the assembled crowd; proof of the effort and commitment shown by everyone who took on the challenge.

On finishing, all 5k runners were presented with a specially designed East Coast AC t-shirt as a reminder of their progression and achievement, before everyone enjoyed the well-deserved refreshments provided by Marty’s Catering Services and Glenda Stewart. 


East Coast Athletic Club would like to thank everyone involved in the C25K programme, but most of all, the participants who made it such a memorable and enjoyable nine weeks.

East Coast AC Christmas Dinner Details!

East Coast AC will be holding their first ever annual Christmas Dinner on Saturday 14th December 2013 in The Masonic Club, Larne from 7pm to late.


The Christmas Party is a great opportunity for members and their friends and family to celebrate what a successful 6 months the club and it's members have had so far.  The three course dinner costs £25 which includes an evening of entertainment.


A deposit of £10 is required to book your place, please give all deposits to Rosie Kerr along with your choice from the menu below.  With only 110 spaces please reserve your place early to avoid disappointment.



Fresh homemade sweet potato and parsnip soup


Assorted berries with juicy melon & champagne sorbet


Marty's homemade chicken liver brandy pate (served with cumberland sauce & Guinness wheaten)


Prawn & clementine salad mixed leaves



Roast County Antrim turkey and ham stack (served with cranberry stuffing)


10oz Sirloin steak - £2 supplement

(served with optional pepper & garlic sauce)


Poached salmon fillet

(served with a creamy prawn & mustard sauce)


Roast crispy duck

(served with a plum & brandy sauce)


Vegetarian tartlet topped with goats cheese


All of the above served with chef's choice of seasonal vegetables and potatoes



Selection of sweets

Ladies (Running) Day Out!

East Coast AC are running a Ladies Day Out on Sunday 6th October 2013 to Belfast Telegraph Runher, Stormont.


Runher is a race for ladies only, who can choose to run or walk the 5k, or take on the 10k challenge.  Belfast Telegraph is now in it's 7th year and is all about getting women running (or walking), and attracts more than 3000 runners every year!


Runher is an event for all women: from competitive runners to fun runners, and would be perfect for our recent Couch to 5k graduates!


East Coast AC are offering all ladies discounted entry into the event (£15) and have organised transport to and from Stormont.  All you have to do is fill out one of the application forms at training (Tuesday or Thursday nights) and give this to Ryan Maxwell or Catherine Boyd along with your race registration fee of £15.  All competitors receive very generous goody bags on completion of the event.


For more details please visit our events page here.

East Coast AC star in action at World Triathlon Championships!

On Sunday 15th September 2013, East Coast AC's Adele Neill represented Ireland at the World Triathlon Championships Grand Final in London.  Up against the best athletes from all over the world, Adele produced an excellent performance, completing the Olympic Distance event in 2:13:51.  


Adele completed the 1,500m swim in 13:09, 40km bike ride in 1:10:33 and 10km run in 43:21.  This was enough to secure an amazing 37th place in her category.  Adele, who was supported at the event by club coaches Mark McManus and Jenny Magill was understandably "very happy" by the impressive display.


Closer to home, Greg Lavery and Tony Molloy travelled to Belfast for the popular Waterworks parkrun on Saturday 14th September.  Greg covered the 5k course in a new personal best time of 17:22 (4th place), while Tony, who was competing for the first time, crossed the line in a brilliant 27:08, an excellent achievement. 

This week, East Coast AC’s extremely successful Couch to 5k programme, which has attracted in excess of 120 people, will draw to a close with the grand finale’, a 5k run, taking place on Saturday 21st September 2013.  We would encourage participants' friends and family, as well as ECAC club members to come and support everyone taking part.

Major Upcoming Races!

Athletics NI (Road)

Relay Championships 2013:


The 2013 Athletics NI (Road) Relay Championships take place on Saturday 5th October 2013 and will once again be hosted by Orangegrove AC in Victoria Park, Belfast.


We (East Coast AC) intend to enter several teams, male and female, senior and veteran.  If you are interested please put your name forward via facebook PM, email (eastcoastac@gmail.com) or by speaking to one of our coaches.  This is a fantastic event and one that we, as a club would like to be well represented.  East Coast AC will deal with the entry of athletes, so you don't need to worry about this; the timetable for the event is below.  Entries close on the 27th September 2013, so please get in touch ASAP.


Junior Race timetable

(Medals will be presented in the finish area immediately after each race):

12:00pm - Primary School Boys and Girls race (P4 to P7), 800m. (Register before 11:45am)
12:15pm – U13 Boys and U13 Girls, 1600m.

(Register before 12:00pm)
12:30pm - U15 Boys and U15 Girls, 1600m.

(Register before 12:15pm)
12:45pm - U17 Boys and U17 Girls, 3000m.

(Register before 12:30pm)

Senior and Masters Race timetable
13:30pm - Senior and Masters Women, 3 x 3380m £15
14:30pm - Mixed team (2 men, 2 women), 4 x 1689m £20
15:15pm - Senior and Masters Men, 4 x 3380m £20
16:15pm - Presentations for Senior races and refreshments will take place after the final race in the Bowling Pavilion.


Each competitor can only participate in ONE race only. Substitutions for non-runners can be made ONLY from runners named as reserves on the entry form and must be approved by the event registrations team.

NIMAA Masters Open Cross

Country (including International Trials):

The Masters Open Cross Country Race and trial for the International Cross Country Race will be held on Saturday 12th October 2013 at Queens University Playing Fields in Belfast. 


This event is open to all athletes (as there are also open races).  More importantly, this event will be the trials for the Northern Ireland Masters team for the Masters International XC Championships in Cardiff on Saturday 16th November 2013.


At East Coast AC we have an abundance of talent and would therefore encourage everyone to consider this event, especially the Masters/Veteran athletes (35 years old and above) who have paid their NIMAA subscription as you all have a great opportunity to represent Northern Ireland.

The entry form is available here.

Day and Night Racing for East Coast AC!

East Coast Athletic club members have been in action over various terrains this week, competing in mountain races, road races, triathlon and last but not least, the dancefloor!

On Saturday 7th September 2013, Justin Maxwell took on the prestigious Ben Nevis Mountain Race in Fort William, Scotland.  Alongside 600 hardy mountain runners, Justin made his way from New Town Park to the summit of Britain’s highest mountain, which stands at 4,409ft.  The Northern Ireland international covered the tough course in 2:13:26 (147th place).

On the roads, Penny Lindsay recorded an excellent new personal best at the Waterside Half Marathon on Sunday 8th September 2013; the talented athlete crossed the line in 1:38:20 (23rd place); on doing so, Penny secured the aforementioned PB as well as the Vet45 title in the 2013 Pure Running Half Marathon Series.  The Series has included ten Half Marathon’s, of which, a competitors six best times are added together to calculate an overall time.  Penny’s overall time of 10:10:51 saw her win by over seven minutes.

Also on Sunday, Gary McKeegan was in action at the annual Stena Triathlon in Newtownabbey.  The event, which consists of a 750m swim, 20k cycle and 5k run attracts some of the provinces top triathletes.  Gary showed impressive form, completing the swim in 15:49, before clocking the third fastest cycle time of the day (35:21); he then covered the 5k run in 20:25 to finish in an overall time of 1:13:33 (12th place).  A special mention must also go to Larne man, Brian Campbell, who won the event in 1:01:11.

Away from competition, East Coast Athletic Club held their first social evening on Saturday 7th September 2013 - an extremely successful ‘Night at the Races’ in Cairndhu Golf Club.  The committee would like to thank everyone who supported the event; members, family, friends, horse and race sponsors, and also local businesses Stena Line, P&O Ferries, Boots, World of Flowers, Marty’s Catering, Scratch Nails, Wear it Out and Omniplex Cinema who were all amongst those who donated generous gifts.

Couch to 5k '5k Run' Details Announced!

On Saturday 21st September 2013, East Coast AC will be organising a 5k run for all C25K participants as part of the graduation event.  The nine week training programme is aimed towards this event and to recognise everyone's hard work we will be holding a special graduation morning.  The morning will start with the 5k run, after which all participants will be presented with commemorative t-shirts.


The event will take place at the Cliff Sports Complex, just off Old Glenarm Road, Larne at 10am.  We would encourage all participants to come along and bring family and friends for support.  Refreshments will be provided afterwards so please hang around and share your experiences with us.


In order to ensure we have adequate numbers of t-shirts for all participants, please email us at eastcoastac@gmail.com with confirmation of attendance and preferred t-shirt size.


We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday 21st!

Kieran McKeown Claims Silver at Northern Ireland Championships!

East Coast Athletic Club athletes have enjoyed further success this weekend; after celebrating an outstanding double team victory at last week’s East Antrim Inter-Club Race, members of the newly formed club have picked up medals, personal bests and category wins at several local events.

On Saturday 31st August 2013, Kieran McKeown won a silver medal at the Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association Track & Field Championships in Belfast; the talented track star lined up in the 400m, which he covered in 60.12secs, finishing in 2nd place. 


On the same day, triathlete Drew Girvin joined nearly four hundred competitors at the tough Mourne Triathlon in Castlewellan.  The event included a 1500m swim, 40k cycle and a 10k run.  Drew has been continually getting stronger in all three disciplines and was rewarded for his efforts in training, crossing the line in an impressive 2:45:45 (168th place).  Also on Saturday, Morna Wright travelled to Ballymena for the Ecos parkrun.  Morna completed her first ever 5k time trial in 29:58.

On Sunday 1st September 2013, in excess of twenty club members joined nearly eight hundred runners at one of the provinces top road races, the Laganside 10k in Belfast.  James Brown continued his excellent run of form with another personal best, leading the East Coast AC contingent home in 33:47 (8th place).  Justin Maxwell followed close behind in 33:58 (10th place), while David Clarke won his Vet50 category in 36:16 (25th place); John McManus crossed the line just two seconds later in a new personal best of 36:18 (28th place).

Mark McManus (38:29) and Murray Deller (40:21) took 52nd place and 92nd place respectively, before one of the clubs hottest prospects, Daniel Girvin clocked 40:25 (97th place) to win the Junior category, an outstanding achievement given this was his first 10k and only his third ever race.  Allyson O’Toole took over five minutes off her Laganside 2012 time to claim a speedy new personal best of 42:51 (20th place lady); Lionel Date was the next familiar face to finish, running a personal best of 47:24 (273rd place).  April Clarke produced another notable performance, covering the course in a personal best of 49:28 (62nd place).  Alan Glover followed on from his impressive display at the Lurig Challenge with another good outing; Alan ran 51:02 (386th place).


Paula Cosgrove (106th place lady – 53:30), Andrene Rennie (163rd place lady – 56:46), Catherine Boyd (182nd place lady – 57:43) and Sharon Kirkpatrick (192nd place lady - 58:27) then continued the incredible run of lifetime best finish times, with all running very well.  Jenny Magill (220th place lady - 1:01:37) and Karen Monaghan (221st place lady 1:01:38) crossed the line side by side, in what was Karen’s first ever race.  Heather Shaw (1:09:40) and Rosemary Kerr (1:12:53) completed the strong East Coast AC showing, taking 258th place and 269th place respectively, with both recording new 10k personal bests.

Special mention must also go to club friends, Graham Rennie (468th place - 54:30) and Kerri-Anne Kearney (164th place lady - 56:46) who also completed the Laganside 10k on Sunday, and Katie Glover (Ballymena & Antrim AC) who took part in the 1mile junior race and achieved a fantastic top ten finish in the girls race (8th placed girl - 6:55)!

Photos of the Laganside 10k have been added to our photo gallery here.

Discounted Entry for East Coast AC at 26 Extreme Events!

26 extreme organise some of the best adventure running, cycling and multi-sport events in Northern Ireland. 


The team at 26 extreme have very kindly offered £5 discount to all club members for their two upcoming events: Titanic Quarter 101k, 50k & 25k and the Causeway Coast events.

Titanic Quarter 101k – 50k – 25k

Belfast’s first urban ultra! The most exciting urban ultra in Northern Ireland is taking place on 8 September 2013!

The TQ101k, starting in the Titanic Quarter and continuing 50.5k towards Donaghadee before turning back and heading back to Belfast.  You won't be running alone, as you will be joined on the home straight by the TQ50k and the TQ25k.  This is an annual event, which will increase by 1km each year to commemorate the maiden voyage of the Titanic!

101k  -  out and back, starting in Titanic Quarter.
50k    -  linear route - competitors will be transported to start line by bus.
25k    -  linear route - competitors will be transported to start line by bus.

Causeway Coast Events

There are five events taking place on Saturday 28th September:
Causeway Coast Ultra Marathon (65km)
Causeway Coast Marathon
Causeway Coast Half Marathon
Causeway Coast 10k
Causeway Coast 26mile Challenge Walk

Having established itself as one of the most scenic marathons in the world the 2013 event is set to attract participants from across the globe that will come to compete alongside fellow runners on this fantastic route.

With the addition of the Ultra Marathon distance in 2010 there is now an event for everyone from the serious Ultra Runner to the 10k specialists on the day of the event. In addition to the Ultra and 10km distances there are also Marathon and Half Marathon options. There is also a Challenge Walk along the 26 mile route of the Causeway Coast Marathon for those avid walkers out there.

All Causeway Coast events will be fully waymarked and will follow the paths, tracks, beaches and coastline of the Causeway Coast Way - probably one of the most spectacular coastlines in the whole world. The entire route passes through magnificent coastline scenery with fine views of wide bays, sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs and offshore rocks, all of which characterise the Causeway Coast, making its beauty and uniqueness world famous. All events will run through the world famous Giants Causeway with the Ultra and Marathon events passing close to the actual Giants Causeway stones.

As with all 26 Extreme events, there will be a high level of support and feed stations en route. Participants in all events will be chipped timed by our timing partner ChampionChip Ireland and we will provide split times and finish times for all participants after the event.

To avail of the discount please email us at eastcoastac@gmail.com including which event (or both) you would like the discount code for.
For more information on both events please visit www.26extreme.com

A Colourful Weekend of Running for East Coast AC!

After the success at last weeks East Antrim Inter-Club Race,East Coast AC athletes have enjoyed a busy weekend.  On Saturday 24th August 2013, Justin Maxwell took on the gruelling Matterhorn Ultraks 46k Ultra Marathon in Switzerland.  Up against the world’s best ultra-runners, Justin produced an excellent performance, crossing the line in 6:13:15, securing 42nd place; an outstanding achievement. 

Also on Saturday, Gary McKeegan travelled to the North Coast for the Downhill Demense 5 mile Trail Race, an event that takes place in Downhill estate in Castlerock and takes competitors on a scenic journey through the grounds, during which they run through the ruins of the Estate’s old house. Gary completed the tough and at times technical course in 46:08 (35th place).

In Belfast, John McManus, Mark McManus and Daniel Girvin joined 176 participants at the Victoria Park parkrun. John led the trio home in 17:48 (5th place), while Mark completed the weekly 5k time trial 18:11 (6th place).  Daniel Girvin covered the distance in a new personal best of 19:54. 

A number of East Coast AC ladies also completed the ‘Colour Run’ on Sunday, a 5k charity event in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast; during the run, participants are doused in paint.  Angela Magill, Catherine Beggs, Nicky McToal, Fiona McToal, Tracey Parke, Gail Date and Jacque Craig all thoroughly enjoyed the event. 


On Sunday, club members Chris Davis and Penny Lindsay completed the 86 mile 'Lap of the Lough' charity cycle, an annual event that see's participants complete an entire lap of Lough Neagh.

Justin Maxwell Impresses in Switzerland!

On Saturday 24th August 2013, East Coast AC chairman and endurance athlete Justin Maxwell was in competition at the World Skyrunning Series in Zermatt, Switzerland, where he took on the gruelling Matterhorn Ultraks 46k Ultra, a race that includes a total ascent of 3,600m (3,100m of altitude at highest point).

The tough, technical but stunning course is said to be "one of the world’s most breath taking locations", with the infamous Matterhorn dominating the skyline as competitors completed the four peak course.   Interestingly, the Matterhorn is the world's most photographed mountain and organisers offer spectators the opportunity to watch the race in several ways, including helicopter trips.


Up against the world’s top ultra-runners Justin produced an excellent performance, completing the distance in 6:13:15 (42nd place); an excellent achievement.


This was Justin's fourth event in the World Skyrunning Series.  The series has taken Justin to Zegama, Spain where he took on the tough, and at times dangerous XI Zegama-Aizkorri Mendi Marathon (126th place - 5:09:56), La Palma, Canary Islands for the Transvulcania 83.3km ultra-marathon (65th place - 9:54:16) and Chamonix, France for the Mont Blanc Marathon with 2,511 vertical gain (38th place - 4:27:31).

The race was won by Kilian Jornet (Salomon Running Team) in 4:43:05, while Emelie Forsberg (Salomon Running Team) took the ladies title in 5:41:16.


Report taken from NiRunning (www.nirunning.co.uk)

East Coast AC Claim Prestigious East Antrim Inter-Club Titles!

On Tuesday 20th August 2013, East Coast Athletic Club members, supporters, family and friends turned out for the annual East Antrim Inter-Club Race.  The prestigious annual event, hosted by Larne AC, takes place on the outskirts of the coastal town, in the vicinity of Cairncastle.

Athletes from Larne AC, Ballymena Runners, Seapark AC, East Antrim Harriers, County Antrim Harriers, Glens Runners and newly founded East Coast Athletic Club toed the line of the tough ‘out and back’ course, which measured 4 miles for the ladies and 5 miles for the men; the team prizes were based on the first 4 ladies from each club to finish and the first 6 men from each club to finish.

Athletes from Larne AC, Ballymena Runners, Seapark AC, East Antrim Harriers, County Antrim Harriers, Glens Runners and newly founded East Coast Athletic Club toed the line of the tough ‘out and back’ course, which measured 4 miles for the ladies and 5 miles for the men; the team prizes were based on the first 4 ladies from each club to finish and the first 6 men from each club to finish.

The record breaking field of well over 200 athletes set off on the downhill start as the rain began to fall; however, this did not dampen the spirits of the large crowd gathered at the atmospheric finish area, as they discussed the possible outcome of the race. 


Before long, the first ladies were in sight, and it was hometown girl Paula McAllister, representing Ballymena Runners who led.  Paula powered up the final stretch, just edging out East Coast AC’s Allyson O’Toole, who had the race of her life.  Paula won in 26:28 (1st place), with Allyson following just four seconds later in 26:32 (2nd place).  Larne AC’s Geraldine Quigley secured 3rd place in 27:19.

East Coast AC ladies Adele Neill (4th place – 28:05), Trisha Campbell (5th place – 28:28) and Penny Lindsay (8th place – 28:37) followed in close proximity to secure the ladies title for the club. 


Ballymena Runners’ team of Paula McAllister (1st place – 26:28), Linda Petticrew (9th place – 28:47), Sharon Harvey (10th place – 28:52), Sandra Clements (11th place – 29:04) and Shelley Tomlins (14th place – 30:13) took 2nd place.  East Coast AC’s April Clarke recorded 31:14 (18th place), before Ruth Wilson completed the Larne AC top four in 31:17 (19th place), securing 3rd place for the host club.  Larne AC’s other scoring team members were Geraldine Quigley (3rd place – 27:19), Rhonda Brady (7th place - 28:30) and Kerry Fokkens (13th place – 30:05).

Bernadette Campbell was the next ECAC member home in 31:28 (20th place), while Ruth Kelly continued her excellent build up to the Dublin Marathon, with an excellent 34:45 (46th place) clocking.  Nicola Robinson followed in 35:16 (48th place), before Lisa Dempsey (54th place – 35:46) and Sharon Hunter (55th place – 35:47) crossed the line just one second apart.  Catherine Boyd (59th place – 36:15), Roisin Lavery (62nd place – 36:25), Paula Cosgrove (64th place – 36:35), Lynn Magee (65th place – 36:36), Robyn Crawford (67th place – 36:45), Andrene Rennie (68th place – 36:59) and Nicky Marcus (70th place – 37:12) finished within a minute of each other, showing that their strong training group is providing excellent results.  Gillian Leitch-Armstrong was the next black and yellow t-shirt across the line in 37:29 (73rd place).

Jackie Craig (38:10) and Jenny Magowan (38:11) ran well to secure 77th place and 78th place respectively; Mandy McToal (82nd place – 38:59) then led a train of familiar faces to the finish, this included birthday girl Nicki McToal (83rd place – 39:10), Karen Monaghan (84th place – 39:14) and Jenny Magill (85th place – 39:15).  Tracey Parke recorded 39:56 (87th place) before Doris Kirby just pipped Joanne Knox to the post; Doris ran 41:59 (92nd place) and Joanne 42:00.  Morna Wright claimed a top 100 spot in 43:02 (98th place) before Mary Carmichael finished well, completing the course in 45:45 (106th place).  As the East Coast AC members and supporters continued  to cheer each and every one of their club mates over the line, Heather Shaw (109th place - 46:44), Lisa Parker (111th place – 47:48), Carly McNeill (112th place – 47:52) and Rosie Kerr (114th place – 48:36) all completed the distance impressively.

In the men’s race, Ballymena Runners man Ben Morrow claimed the individual title in 27:27, while East Coast AC duo James Brown (27:35) and Justin Maxwell (28:17) secured 2nd place and 3rd place respectively; Ballymena Runners’ Jack Neeson (4th place – 28:31) and Kevin O’Boyle (7th place – 28:56) followed, ensuring that the men’s race was going to the wire.  Nat Glenn (8th place – 29:00) and Greg Lavery (12th place – 29:14) eased the tension slightly with excellent placings, but this was counteracted By Ballymena Runners once again, with Noel Connor (29:27) and Michael Bennett (29:30) finishing almost side by side in 13th place and 14th place; the excitement grew as East Coast AC’s long-distance specialist John McManus impressed with a speedy 29:37 (15th place); John was followed across the line by club mate Davy Clarke (17th place – 30:02), meaning that East Coast AC’s counting now had six men finished.  Paul Wallace (Ballymena Runners) crossed the line fourteen seconds behind Davy in 30:16 (18th place) ensuring a nail biting wait, as the eventual winners would be decided based on points (ie 1st place = 1 point etc), with the team scoring the lowest points being awarded the prestigious top prize and associated ‘bragging rights’. 

Amazingly, both East Coast AC and Ballymena Runners finished on 57 points; however, because East Coast AC were the first team to have six men across the line, they were awarded the title; this meant that the ambitious new club had secured an excellent double, winning both the male and female team prizes.  Mark McManus (East Coast AC) recorded 30:30 (21st place), prior to Larne AC’s Paul Gaskell completing the host club’s six scoring members in 30:52 (22nd place).  Paul’s run secured 3rd place for the Larne AC team of Phelim McAllister (5th place – 28:41), Bernard Brady (6th place – 28:54), Craig Hutchinson (9th place – 29:05), Sammy Drummond (19th place – 30:19) and of course, the aforementioned Paul Gaskell (22nd place – 30:52).

Accomplished triathlete Dan Spencer was the next East Coast AC athlete to cover the distance, clocking 31:40.  Murray Deller (32:38) and Allan McCullough (32:49) took 38th place and 41st place, while strong running pair Daniel Girvin and James Robinson crossed the line in 33:47 (47th place) and 33:58 (48th place) respectively.  Naoise McLoughlin ran well, finishing in 34:01 (50th place), before Danny Hylands followed up his excellent win at the Lough Neagh Triathlon last week with a 34:51 (53rd place) clocking.  Drew Girvin (59th place - 35:23) then led William McNeill (64th place – 36:28), Colin McKee (73rd place – 37:44) and Gary McKeegan (76th place – 38:22) into the finish, triggering an avalanche of black and yellow t-shirts, with Lewis Dix (39:23), Alan Glover (39:43), Anthony O’Shea (39:53) and Lionel Date (40:29) taking 78th place, 79th place, 80th place and 81st place.

Five men aiming for Belfast City Half Marathon - Chris Davis, Conor Sheridan, Marty McToal, Martin Taylor and Patrick Campbell showed that their hard work and efforts are paying off (as is that of the other members); Chris ran 40:40 (83rd place), Conor 42:42 (87th place), Marty 42:45 (88th place), Martin 43:54 (89th place) and Patrick 49:11 (98th place).

The committee and members of East Coast Athletic Club would like to thank Larne AC for the invitation to the well-organised race and their hospitality before, during and after the hugely successful event, which raised approximately £1,000 for charity after Larne AC generously donated the entire entry fees to Cancer Lifeline (Belfast).

Club officials further extended their thanks to all East Coast AC members, supporters, family and friends who turned out on the night.  Many club members were participating in their first ever competitive event and nearly all were representing the club for the first time.  The talent, commitment and enthusiasm shown by all involved bodes exceptionally well for the future of East Coast AC.


Pictures from the race have been included in our photo gallery and results are attached in the fixtures and results page.

East Coast AC Represented Across The Province!

East Coast Athletic Club members have been in action in Crawfordsburn, Groomsport and Ballyronan this week; competing in road and trail races as well as triathlon.


Last Wednesday evening (14th August 2013), long distance specialist, John McManus, who recently completed the notorious Comrades Ultra Marathon (89k) in South Africa, took on the much shorter, but still intense Crawfordsburn 5k Trail Race just outside Bangor.  John completed the undulating course in 19:42, taking 5th place.


On Friday evening (16th August), Penny Lindsay was in competition at the Groomsport Half Marathon, an event which is part of the Pure Running Half Marathon Series.  Penny, who was representing East Coast AC for the first time, crossed the line in 1:41:54, claiming 12th place and 2nd place in her category.

On Saturday 17th August, East Coast AC friend Danny Hylands enjoyed a successful outing at the Lough Neagh Triathlon in Ballyronan.  The ‘Super Sprint’ event consisted of a 300m swim, 10k cycle and a 2.5k run, which Danny completed in an impressive 42:17 (1st place), sealing a well-deserved victory. 


East Coast AC would also like to congratulate Larne man Brian Campbell (Hi Elbow Triathlon Club) who won the ‘Sprint’ event (750m swim – 20k cycle – 5k run) in 1:07:08; Brian is clearly getting back to his best after a long period out of competition through injury.


This week, East Coast Athletic Club will enjoy their first official team outing, when the newly founded club take on Larne AC, East Antrim Harriers, Ballymena Runners, County Antrim Harriers, Seapark AC, Barn Runners and Glens Runners at the prestigious East Antrim Inter-Club Race.

Club T-Shirts Available

As it is the inter-club race on Tuesday 20th August, East Coast AC have ordered club t-shirts for all members.  This will be our first outing as team and we would encourage all members to race in club colours. 


The technical t-shirts will be available for collection from the Knockdhu Car Park prior to the inter-club race (between 6:30pm and 6:50pm) from a number of our committee members for a price of £5.


Actual t-shirts will be similar to the image used below, the only difference being the East Coast AC badge will be larger on the front. 


There will also be an option of collection from the Vice Chairman on Monday evening (19th), if this is preferable please contact us at eastcoastac@gmail.com and we can provide further details.

East Antrim Inter-Club Race

The East Antrim Inter-Club Race hosted by Larne AC will take place on Tuesday 20th August at 7:30pm.  Please note there will be NO TRAINING from our club house that evening. 


The race begins close to the Knockdhu car park (Feystown Road) and is an out and back course, measuring five miles for men and four miles for ladies.  Seven local clubs will be competing in this years race (East Coast AC, Ballymena Runners, Glens Runners, Larne AC, Seapark AC, Barn Runners and County Antrim Harriers) with the team prize being awarded for the top six males and top four ladies.


Post race refreshments will be available for all runners in Matties Meeting House, Cairncastle.


Club t-shirts will be available for collection from Knockdhu car park between 6:45pm and 6:50pm.


Members are encouraged to take part in the event however for anyone not wishing to toe the start line, there will be the option of a steady run from the Knockdhu car park at 7:30pm.  A group photograph is arranged for all members prior to the race commencing (approx. 7:20pm).

Personal Bests and Podium Places for East Coast AC Athletes!

On Saturday 10th August 2013, East Coast Athletic Club members were in action at local mountain and road running events in Cushendall, Belfast and Ballymena.


In Cushendall, Alan Glover took on the infamous Lurig Challenge, which takes competitors from the heart of the coastal village to the summit of Lurig, before they return to the atmospheric finish area, just off the Main Street in Cushendall.  The course is 3.8 miles in distance with 1,100ft of climbing.  Alan produced an excellent performance, improving on his time from last year by nearly seven minutes, completing the gruelling course in 54:53. 


Special mention must also go to Alan’s daughter Katie, a member of Ballymena & Antrim AC, who finished as second junior female in 54:52.  Like her dad, Katie also took nearly seven minutes off her 2012 time.


In Belfast, East Coast AC’s interim secretary James Brown ran a new 5k personal best when competing in the Waterworks ‘parkrun’.  James secured an excellent time-trial victory in 16:38, a full twenty seconds quicker than his previous best for the distance.  Fellow East Coast AC interim committee member, Greg Lavery followed in 17:40, securing 3rd place.  Meanwhile, Lionel Date was in competition at the Ecos ‘parkrun’ in Ballymena, where he recorded 23:14 (36th place), an excellent run, especially when considering that Lionel is on the comeback from injury.


Thank you to all who supported our athletes at this weekend's events.

Top Performances from East Coast AC at Local & International Events!

The weekend action began early for East Coast AC athletes this week, with five club members travelling to Cookstown, County Tyrone for the annual Sperrin Harriers 5 mile ‘Classic’ road race (on Friday 2nd August 2013).

The tough course starts and finishes at Loughry College and takes in a rural undulating route; Justin Maxwell, who is more used to off-road ultra-distance racing, led the East Coast AC representatives home in 26:54 (4th place), edging out club mate and friend James Brown by a mere two seconds.  James clocked a new personal best of 26:56 to take 5th place, before International XC star Davy Clarke finished just outside the infamous thirty minute barrier in 30:03 (34th place).

Arguably the highlight of the night was still to follow; Daniel Girvin, racing for the club for the first time in what was his first ever competitive event, recorded an impressive 33:30 (79th place).  This was an excellent outing for the young man, who has shown great potential since joining East Coast AC.  Daniel’s dad, Drew Girvin completed another notable night for the club when he finished the course in 34:59.  Thanks must also go to the Girvin family who provided fantastic support for the East Coast AC men on the night, for which they were all grateful.

On Sunday 4th August 2013, East Coast AC track star Kieran McKeown represented Team Northern Ireland at the World Police & Fire Games.  Kieran lined up in the very competitive 400m race and qualified for the final after crossing the line in a new personal best of 57.52secs; in the final, Kieran clocked 57.68secs to take 6th place, an excellent achievement at the prestigious event.  Everyone at East Coast AC would like to congratulate Kieran on representing the club (and country) on the world stage, and also wish him the very best of luck for his 800m race on Tuesday.

East Coast AC Athletes Tame 'The Beast'!

On Saturday 27th July 2013, East Coast AC enjoyed further success in the Triathlon world.  After claiming second place at last week’s Dalriada Festival Triathlon relay, the club were well represented in both the relay and individual events at Browns Bay ‘Beast’ Triathlon hosted by Hi-Elbow Triathlon Club. 


The tough race (which certainly lived up to it's name - 'The Beast') included a 1500m swim, a 24.8 mile cycle and a 5.8 mile run.

Swimmer Gemma Davies got the team off to an excellent start, coming out of the water in seventh place before handing over to Mark McManus who covered the hilly cycle in a brilliant 1:09:28.  James Brown then produced the quickest run time of the day (31:34), overtaking race leader (and eventual individual winner) Peter Savage enroute to the finish.  James crossed the line first, thus securing an excellent victory for the East Coast AC team.  A decision by officials to impose a two minute penalty on the team (because they forgot to hand over the race/number belt during a transition) meant that their finish time changed from 2:03:25 to 2:05:25, but this did not change the relay standings.

In the individual race, Dan Spencer performed well, clocking 2:12:29 for the three disciplines; this was enough to take 7th place overall.  A second relay team, which included East Coast AC members Jenny Magill and Adele Neill, as well as club friend Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners) then followed in 2:28:27, taking 2nd place in the relay competition, before Barry McKeown crossed the line in 2:31:32 (37th place).  Drew Girvin produced a very consistent performance, battling well through the swim, cycle and run to complete a very successful outing for East Coast AC in 2:36:46 (46th place).


We would like to say a big thank you to all East Coast AC members and family who supported our athletes in this event.  Congratulations must also go to our friends Wayne Morrow and Graham Barr who finished in second place and fifth place respectively in the indivdual race.

Full Results:  Browns Bay ‘Beast’ Triathlon 2013 Results

East Coast AC First Ever AGM - date announced!

On Wednesday 14th August 2013, East Coast AC will be holding their first Annual General Meeting (AGM) in The Masonic Hall, Larne at 7pm.

We would encourage as many members as possible to attend this meeting.  East Coast Athletic Club is your club and we want everyone to be part of it and part of our vision for going forward. 

The AGM is a great opportunity for all members to voice their opinions and ensure that the club is moving in the right direction.  Eleven members started with one vision and East Coast AC was born, it’s now time for everyone else to ensure that we continue to strive. 

Emails have been sent to all club members as of 24th July 2013.  If you have not received an email, please inform us at eastcoastac@gmail.com.

Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association membership deadline approaching

East Coast AC members who wish to join the Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association (NIMAA) are reminded that they must submit their registration/membership application BEFORE Thursday 1st August 2013.

For any new members who aren't aware of the NIMAA, they are the official association for veteran category (over 35 years old) runners in Northern Ireland.  For your membership fee you will receive:

-  BMAF (British Masters Athletic Federation) magazine
-  NIMAA Newsletter
-  Eligibility for the popular NI Veterans XC League
-  Eligibility to be selected for a Northern Ireland XC team
-  You can take part in the annual 5k and 10k Championships
-  You are also eligible to compete at the National and International Veteran Track & Field and Road Championships (this includes travel insurance)
-  Invitation to the annual NIMAA prize-giving
-  Regular updates delivered to your email inbox from NIMAA

It is definately a worthwhile organisation to be part of and it would be nice to be able to have East Coast AC represented at some of the above events.  Many of you will know how to register, for those who don't, please follow this link to the NIMAA website membership page - NIMAA Membership - if anyone has any questions about this please do not hesitate to speak to one of our interim committee (or email us at eastcoastac@gmail.com) who will advise you accordingly.

Thank you!

East Coast AC Get Results At Dalriada Festival Triathlon!

On Wednesday 17th July 2013, over one hundred and thirty athletes from all over Northern Ireland descended on the coastal village of Glenarm for the annual Dalriada Glenarm Triathlon hosted by Invictus Triathlon Club, and associated races, which included a children’s Duathlon.

East Coast AC were well represented in both the Junior and Senior events; in the Under 5 category, prospective East Coast Cheetahs, Keilan McManus (age 3), Maggie Deller (age 3), and Hannah O’Toole (age 5) both completed their 50m run, 400m cycle, and 50m run before collecting their well-deserved medals.

In the children’s under 9 Duathlon, Rhys McManus (age 7 – birthday boy) and Lucy O'Toole (age 8) both performed well, with Rhys finishing as 3rd place boy and Lucy finishing 2nd place girl.  Both Rhys and Lucy had the honour of collecting trophies to go with their well-deserved finisher medals.

Later in the evening, nearly one hundred and fifty brave competitors completed the ‘main event’, which consisted of a 750m swim/15 mile cycle/5km run. 


Once again, East Coast AC had representation in the form of a relay team; Adele Neill (who is currently recovering from a foot injury) completed the swim in 13:30, coming out of the water in 21st place.  Adele then handed over to Mark McManus who had a fantastic cycle, Mark completed the 15 mile hilly course in the third quickest time of the night, 38:47 before handing over to James Robinson, for the 5km run.  James completed his section in 19:24 to bring East Coast AC home in an excellent 6th place overall, and achieving an impressive finishing time of 1:13:32.

Ultimately, East Coast AC finished in 1st place in the Mixed Relay category and 2nd place in the overall Relay standings, an amazing achievement for the newly formed club.  The overall relay was won by Queens University Men’s relay team in 1:09:03.

Thanks must also go to the many club members and their families who travelled to support all the competitors.  The atmosphere was electric throughout and athletes and spectators enjoyed every moment of the well organised event.

The event was being used by many as a build up for the Browns Bay Beast Triathlon in Islandmagee in nine days time (27th July 2013) where at least four East Coast AC members will be taking part.


A special mention must also go to David Clarke who ran a fantastic 18:39 in the Waterworks parkrun on 20th July 2013 to achieve 4th place.  The race was won by Ben Branagh in a time of 16:41.

East Coast AC Enjoy First Official Outing!

On Monday 15th July 2013, East Coast AC enjoyed their first outing as an officially affiliated club when several runners particpated in the Dalriada Festival 5k Run in Glenarm.

Nat Glenn, Mark McManus, Martin Taylor and Allyson O’Toole joined nearly eighty runners on the start line of the event, which took competitors on a 3.1 mile journey through Glenarm Forest and into the grounds of the scenic Glenarm Castle, before they returned to the village and the well supported finish area on Altmore Street.

Nat battled it out at the front with race winner Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) before claiming a brilliant 2nd place in 17:45.  Mark followed in 18:47 (7th place), while Allyson (22:04) finished strongly to secure 3rd place in the ladies race; the ladies race was won by Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners) in 20:40.  Martin continued his consistent and impressive improvement, crossing the line in 27:53 (36th place). 

ECAC Members Achieve Qualifications!

The interim committee and members of East Coast Athletic Club would like to congratulate Nat Glenn on successfully completing the final assessment of his UKA (UK Athletics) Level 2 Athletics Coach course tonight (Tuesday 2nd July 2013). 


Nat has been working hard for eight months to achieve the prestigious award; this now brings the number of UKA Level 2 coaches at East Coast Athletic Club to three, the coaches are assisted by one UKA Assistant Athletics Coach and four Leaders in Running Fitness.

Congratulations must also go to James Robinson, Kelly Deller and Rosemary Kerr, who all recently completed the Leader in Running Fitness Course.  Well done to you all!

Justin Maxwell Performs Well in Mont Blanc Marathon!

On Sunday 30th June 2013, East Coast AC's Justin Maxwell completed the Mont Blanc Marathon in Chamonix, France.

The marathon, which is part of the World Skyrunning Series, has a positive vertical gain of 2,511 metres, which is why it is well known to be one of the toughest 42.195km races around.  Justin put in a quality performance against a field of two thousand world-class athletes, which resulted in him taking 38th place in an impressive time of 4:27:31.  The event was won by Killian Jornet in 3:30:41.

This was Justin's third event in the World Skyrunning Series.  The series has taken Justin to Zegama, Spain where he took on the tough, and at times dangerous XI Zegama-Aizkorri Mendi Marathon (126th place - 5:09:56), and La Palma, Canary Islands for the Transvulcania 83.3km ultra-marathon (65th place - 9:54:16).


Results, information and photograph taken from www.nirunning.co.uk

Couch to 5k Programme Announced!

East Coast AC are running a 9 week Couch to 5k programme starting 23rd July 2013.


The Couch to 5k plan is designed to get just about anyone off the couch and ready to run a 5k in just 9 weeks!  Our fully qualified UKA (UK Athletics) coaches challenge and motivate you to achieve your goal, and at the end of the process a graduation will be held for all participants.


For more details please visit the events section here.

New Club Founded!

On Monday 10th June 2013, history was made!  A group of like-minded individuals agreed to start a new athletics club catering to Borough of Larne and surrounding areas.  The vision is simple:  "To improve and promote athletics in the borough."


East Coast AC is an ambitious, all inclusive and welcoming club based in Larne, County Antrim.  Athletes of all abilities are encouraged to join the club, and all will be catered for.  We have a selection of UKA qualified coaches, all of whom are passionate about athletics and our club.  Our coaches will focus on member's development and performance, encouraging and assisting them to achieve their goals, whatever they may be.


Keep up to date with all of our club news and members' achievements via our website,