'Cracker' Performances by East Coast AC Athletes over the Christmas Period!
The Christmas period has been, and continues to be a busy time for East Coast Athletic Club; after the successful club championship race and Turkey Trot on Boxing Day, club members were in action again on Saturday 27th December 2014, with the club being represented at events in Larne, Castlewellan and Newport (Wales).
Killylane Klassic (Club Championship)
On Boxing Day (26th December 2014), athletes were in action in what was Race 5 of the popular Club Championship Challenge Series; an eleven race series which aims to cover most aspects of running including trail, road, cross country and fell. The event was titled ‘Killylane Klassic’, a 5 mile course in and around Ballyboley Forest starting and finishing at Killylane Reservoir. Icy conditions overnight meant that the course had to be altered in the morning, with the start/finish area now being around the Ballyboley Road entrance to the Forest and the course amended to measure approximately 4.7miles.
The event kicked off with an enjoyable and competitive junior race, measuring just under one mile on the forest trails. Rhys McManus led the junior athletes home in 8:42 (1st place), followed quickly by Harry Plumb and Theo McToal who finished in 8:51 (2nd place) and 9:09 (3rd place) respectively. Hannah Clements was the fastest junior lady of the day in a time of 9:12 (1st place lady). Hannah was followed by Curtis Robinson (10:01 - 5th place), Molly McToal (12:21 - 2nd place lady), Hannah Girvin (12:22 - 3rd place lady) and Patrick Date (13:33 - 8th place) who all ran well. Cousins Maggie Deller and Keilan McManus both looked happy as they crossed the line to loud applause, finishing in 16:42 (4th place lady) and 17:36 (10th place) respectively.
Making his competitive debut for the club, Shimon Tamar recorded 6th place in 34:39, followed by Paul Clements in 35:27 (7th place). Alan Glover and Lee Stirling were close throughout the race, Alan finished in 36:06 (8th place), followed by Lee in 36:14 (9th place). William Gallagher made the top ten with a strong run of 36:31 (10th place).
Next home was Birthday Boy Stephen Smyth, running 37:39 to take 11th place, shortly followed by Philip Greer who was cheered in by family members, claiming 12th place in 37:54. Two guest runners from County Antrim Harriers were next; Natasha Henderson and Jane Kinnear ran well to finish in 38:49 (1st place lady) and 39:03 (2nd place lady) respectively.
Christmas Cracker partners Iain Bailie and Sandy Plumb both looked strong as they finished in 41:34 (15th place) and 41:59 (16th place). Morna Wright secured 3rd place in the ladies race and also the Championship Challenge winner when she powered down the finishing hill to clock 43:09 for the distance.
After a short break, the runners then arrived in thick and fast with Paul Cunningham leading the way in 46:22 (18th place), followed by Patrice Murphy (47:25 – 4th place lady), Sarah Girvin (47:41 – 5th place lady), Leah Girvin (48:19 – 6th place lady) and Glenda Girvin (48:20 – 7th place lady) all in quick succession. Patricia Campbell ran well to take 8th place in the ladies race with a finish time of 57:59, followed by Rosie Kerr and Justin Maxwell in 57:59 (9th place lady) and 59:15 (25th place) respectively.
As the race was a mass start, handicap times were added on to athletes actual finish times as noted above; this resulted in a Championship Challenge Race 5 winner of Morna Wright, with Paul Cunningham and Patricia Campbell securing 2nd and 3rd place.
Also on Boxing Day, BARF (Belfast Association of Rock Climbers and Fell Runners) held their annual Turkey Trot, a 5.75 mile course including 424m of ascent in the Mourne Mountains. The course started and finished at the bottom of the Trassey Track and took competitors to the Col between Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Bearnagh and onwards towards Slieve Meelbeg and Slieve Meelmore, before descending to Happy Valley and along the Ulster Way back to the Trassey Track.
Despite the poor weather conditions, which deteriorated fast into high winds and hail on the higher points of the course, there were several top performances, including East Coast AC’s Matthew Hewitt. Matthew claimed an impressive 6th place in a time of 47:47.
Castlewellan Christmas Cracker
On Saturday 27th December 2014, over three hundred and fifty teams descended on the County Down town of Castlewellan for the 31st annual running of the well organised Castlewellan Christmas Cracker, which was hosted by Newcastle AC. The event requires athletes to pair up with another runner to complete the course; some opt to run ahead of their team mate, but wait at the 'meeting point' close to the finish, while others run together the whole way.
The course, which measured 8.4 miles in distance, started in the town centre before taking the competitors into the scenic Castlewellan Country Park, were they would negotiate a tough ascent and some excellent trails before passing the stunning Castlewellan Castle en-route to the finish line.
East Coast AC had no less than twenty two members out competing in the tough but enjoyable event. First home for the club was Justin Maxwell who was paired with Paul Hutchinson; Justin and Paul recorded a finish time of 1:01:53 taking 19th place overall and 5th place in their category. Mark McManus and Murray Deller followed in 24th place after running 1:02:48 (7th place in their category).
International triathlete, Adele Neill performed well with a 123rd place overall finish in 1:13:47, securing 2nd place in the female 70-79 category; Adele was running with friend and fellow triathlete Natalie Davidson (County Antrim Harriers). Drew Girvin and runner partner Shane Rice (Murlough AC) recorded 1:14:47 (134th place), while John Steele impressed with a 1:14:55 clocking for the course, running with Stephen McKenna (North Belfast Harriers), John secured 135th place overall and 20th in his category. Running with his friend Peter Grimes, Mark Jordan impressed with a 1:17:01 finish time to claim 156th place.
Lesley Robinson was 5th in her category and 225th overall after finishing in a time of 1:23:25, running with friend Carol Clarke (North Belfast Harriers). Two more East Coast AC teams finished just seconds apart, with Alan Glover and Phil Smyth running 1:24:19 (228th place overall) and followed ten seconds later by Stephen Smyth and Glenda Girvin in 1:24:29 (230th place overall). Team ‘118’ consisting of Conor Sheridan and Karl Joyce were next to reach the finish line, completing the course in 1:27:28 (255th place overall).
The next familiar faces to be greeted by the East Coast AC supporters were Catherine Maxwell and Gillian Leetch-Armstrong; the duo ran 1:32:05 to claim 289th place overall, followed just seconds later by Marty McToal and Ruth Kelly in a time of 1:32:22 (291st place overall). Sandy Plumb and Ian Bailie looked festive in their fancy dress outfits as they crossed the line in 1:36:19 to take 307th place overall.
Kelly Deller and Sharon Kirkpatrick completed the final yards quickly in almost blizzard like conditions in a time of 1:41:53 (325th place). Lisa Graham unfortunately had to pull out of the event after nearly 4 miles due to injury, everyone at East Coast AC wishes Lisa a speedy recovery. Lisa’s team mate and running partner Angela Campbell continued to complete the event, performing well as she negotiated the testing route.
For most, Christmas Day is a quiet day full of over indulgence and rest and relaxation; not however for Brian Maltman who travelled to Belfast on Christmas morning for the Belfast Victoria parkrun event. Brian joined over 150 others at the popular parkrun and ran well to secure 52nd place in a time of 22:49.
On Saturday 27th December, members took part in Larne and Newport parkrun. In Newport (Wales), Sally McKeown took to the start line of the Newport parkrun; a flat two lap course around the grounds of Tredegar House. Sally claimed 50th placed lady in a new personal best time of 30:37.
Closer to home at the Larne parkrun, Chris Davis led the way once again for East Coast AC with a 22:03 clocking to secure 4th place. Chris was followed by fellow member, Paul Clements who finished in 5th place in 23:05. Brian Maltman ran 25:09 (10th place) in what was his second parkrun in the week. Lionel Date achieved a new personal best of 25:33 when he followed in 12th place. Young Hannah Clements joined her father at the finish line when she completed her 24th parkrun in an impressive time of 26:52 (3rd place lady).
East Coast AC launch Junior XC Series for 2015!
East Coast AC are proud to announce details of our Junior Cross Country Series, a three race Series aimed at promoting Junior athletics within the Borough of Larne.
All three races will be in local venues and are open to EVERYONE! Just come along on race day and enter the event!
Junior athletes from schools and running clubs are welcome to take part, as are those wishing to try running for the first time. The Series is a community orientated event and set during a time when schools will be gearing up for the Schools XC Championships.
Please visit the official Junior XC Series page HERE for full details.
East Coast AC Athletes Compete at Home and Abroad!
The penultimate weekend of 2014 saw East Coast AC athletes enjoy their annual Christmas Dinner and participate in a number of events, over various terrain and distance, and as far away as Hong Kong and Australia.
The action kicked off early on Saturday morning with the weekly parkrun in Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne. Up and coming star Matthew McIlroy once again showed his talent, recoding 22:06 for 7th place. The fast improving John Steele followed in 22:13 (9th place), while Glenda Girvin and Hannah Clements also ran well to cross the line in 26:22 (7th place lady) and 28:48 (10th place) respectively; Hannah was accompanied by her dad and fellow East Coast AC member, Paul Clements, who ran 28:49 (34th place).
Husband and wife team, Shirley (12th place lady – 29:36) and Philip McGuckin (39th place – 29:37) clocked new parkrun personal bests, with Shirley pipping Philip by just one second. Another family 'team', Brad and Stephen Smyth also completed the two lap 5k course; Brad claimed the bragging rights in 30:53 (41st place), with Stephen following a second later in 30:54 (42nd place). The ever consistent Cyndy Hay reached the Drainsbay finish line in 32:11 (15th place lady).
East Coast AC Athletes Turn Out in Memory of Poppy!
This week, athletes from East Coast AC accompanied running friends from Larne and the wider East Antrim area as they came together in support of 'Poppy's 5k Santa Run and Walk', a well organised and extremely worthwhile event organsied by club members Chris and Rowena Davis and their family in memory of their daughter Poppy Davis.
Over one hundred runners and walkers donned Christmas attire as they took on the challenge in order to raise awareness of Stillbirth and Neonatal Death, and in-turn raise much needed funds for the SANDS Charity, who provide support for bereaved parents and their families. The 2nd annual running of the event proved to be a resounding success, with many passers by showing support. After completing the 5k route, particpants enjoyed plentyful refreshments and a very generous prize-draw in St Johns Masonic Hall, Larne.
Donations for SANDS are still being accepted at www.justgiving.com/Poppys-Santa-Run-2014/ - Any donations are appreciated!
Adele to compete in Triathlon Super Series:
There was also notable news for East Coast AC athlete Adele Neill this week, with the announcement that the International triathlete and the clubs veteran 'Athlete of the Year' award winner has received a 'Category 1' status from Triathlon Ireland, meaning that she is now invited to take part in the very select and 'invite only' six race Series which provides the provinces highly rated athletes with the opportunity to race head-to-head with other top level competitors. This is just reward for Adele's performances and commitment over the last few years.
Hewitt & Clements Impress Over 5k!
Since East Coast AC's formation eighteen months ago, not one weekend has passed without the clubs members lacing up their racers to represent the club on the local running circuit, and this weekend was no different! East Coast AC members donned their racing kit and took on events in Larne, Cookstown and Ballyclare.
As always, there was a strong representation at the Larne parkrun, with no less than eleven familiar faces taking to the start line of the fifty fifth running of the 5k time-trial, which starts and finishes at Dixon Hall, Drainsbay and takes in one long and one short lap of the scenic Carnfunnock Country Park.
Two of the clubs top talents, Andy Guy and Conor Davies, both of whom are making their way back from injury setbacks, produced excellent performances. Andy claimed 3rd place in 19:08 and was followed a short time later by Conor who recorded 19:51 for 4th place. Valued new addition to the club, John Steele once again showed his potential with 22:18 (8th place) finish, while Paul Clements (14th place – 23:03) and Brian Maltman (16th place – 23:22) reached the Drainsbay finish line less than twenty seconds apart. Conor Sheridan secured a new parkrun personal best of 23:46 (18th place), before Sandy Plumb continued his recent run of good form, crossing the line in 24:31 (21st place).
Stephen Smyth showed that he is back to his best after an injury lay-off with a new personal best of 25:11 (24th place) to finish ahead of Roy McMullan who cruised into the finish in 27:21 (25th place).
The exceptionally talented Hannah Clements proved once again that she has bright future in the sport when she led the ladies field home in 27:47 (1st place lady); this was all the more impressive given the fact that East Coast Cheetah, Hannah, is still within the Under 10 category! Mark Dean clocked 29:33 (32nd place), which was just four seconds away from his personal best, while Cyndy Hay claimed 3rd place in the ladies category with a time of 30:26 (3rd place lady).
Later on Saturday, a number of club members made the short journey up the A8 to Ballyclare for the Malcolm Cup XC, which took place in Sixmilewater Park in the town. The event, which was the fifth race of the Athletics NI XC League 2014/15 attracted a plethora of talent from across the province.
The day got off to an excellent start when young Rhys McManus, who was running in his first ever competitive cross country race, put in a notable performance to take 17th place in the Under 11 race, having covered the 800m route in an 4:04.
In the ladies 3 mile event, Trisha Campbell looked strong as she impressed with a top twenty placing after crossing the line in 21:05 (20th place lady). Carol Clarke completed the course in 24:29 (65th place lady), while Ruth Kelly made a welcome return to competition with a finish time of 27:00 (83rd place lady).
Sperrin Harriers' Winter League Series
Also on Saturday (6th December 2014), Matthew Hewitt, a man who is much used to covering longer distances, showed his speedy edge over 5k. Up against a record breaking field at Race 2 of Sperrin Harriers' Winter League Series 2014/15 in Lough Fea, just outside Cookstown, Matthew recorded a brilliant 16:46 for 3rd place.
Deller and Neill Lead the Way at Seely Cup 10k!
This weekend, 26 East Coast AC members were in action at one of Northern Ireland’s to road race, the Seeley Cup 10k in Belfast, as well as parkrun events throughout Larne and Armagh.
On Saturday 29th November 2014, seventeen East Coast AC athletes, accompanied by a large number of friends and family, descended on Ormeau Park, Belfast for the annual Podium 4 Sport Seeley Cup 10k.
A sell-out crowd set off on the course, which covers the paths in and around the well used city park. Murray Deller led the way for the black and yellow East Coast AC team, running well to secure a new personal best of 38:31 and taking with it 127th place. Mark Jordan and Adele Neill were inseparable for much of the race, however it was Mark who reached the finish first in an impressive 42:29 (285th place). International triathlete, Adele Neill followed in 42:33 claiming 19th place (5th in age category) in the ladies category.
Wearing club colours for the first time, John Steele looked strong as he made his way towards the finish, running 44:18 (362nd place) for the 10k distance. Running his second race in just a matter of hours, Paul Clements produced one of the most notable performances of the day; finishing in 45:44 (411st place) which bettered his previous personal best by nine minutes. Alan Glover and Brian Maltman finished in quick succession; Alan crossed the line in a time of 47:08 (461st place) and Brian who was competing in his first ever 10k ran 47:16 to take 470th place.
Sandy Plumb proved his hard work in training is paying off after running 48:16 for the distance, securing 496th place overall. Carol Clarke was the second East Coast AC lady home in a new personal best of 48:50 (77th place lady). Glenda Girvin was the next familiar face to reach the atmospheric finish area; Glenda smashed her personal best by over four minutes when she recorded 49:46, taking 99th place in the ladies category.
Another man who was competing in his first ever 10k was Mark Dean, Mark completed the course in 56:50 (742nd place), closely followed by Ruth Maltman who impressed with 57:49 (218th place lady) finish time. Paul Cunningham achieved a new personal best when he covered the two and a half lap course in 59:03, taking 769th place overall, followed by Katie Glover in 59:14 (226th place lady).
Friends and training partners, Patricia Campbell and Marie Glover started as they finished, side by side; the duo ran well over the distance securing 277th and 278th place respectively in the ladies category with a joint finish time of 1:11:19. After a strong start Drew Girvin unfortunately had to pull out of the race due to injury, everyone at East Coast AC wish him a speedy recovery. Pictures of the event are now added to our gallery.
In Armagh, Matthew Hewitt continued his impressive run of top finishes at the Armagh parkrun, where he led the field home for the fifth time, after crossing the line in a new personal best of 17:55 (1st place).
At the local Larne parkrun, nine East Coast AC athletes took to the start line. Dan Spencer claimed 3rd place in 19:41, followed by Andy Guy who made a welcome return to competition with a 20:13 finish time (6th place). Paul Clements used the parkrun as a warm up for his later race in the Seeley Cup, running well to claim 16th place in 23:31. Exactly one minute later Conor Sheridan reached the Drains Bay finish line in 24:41 (17th place).
Stephen Smyth secured 21st place after running 26:06 for the 5k distance, followed by talented junior athlete Hannah Clements who finished in 27:35 (4th place lady). Tracey Park secured a new parkrun personal best after crossing the line in 29:34 and taking 6th place in the ladies category. Sally McKeown and Christine Irwin completed the East Coast AC representation at the event, running well in times of 33:03 (9th place lady) and 33:54 (10th place lady) respectively.
East Coast AC Members Impress at Parkrun Events!
On what was a relatively quiet weekend on the racing calendar, East Coast AC members would have been forgiven for taking the opportunity to rest prior to the upcoming busy festive season. However, this was not the case, with a large number of members choosing to maintain their race sharpness by taking on parkrun events in Larne and Nottingham.
In Larne, at least fifteen East Coast AC athletes toed the line of the fifty third running of the popular Larne parkrun, which starts and finishes at Dixon Hall, Drainsbay and takes in a two lap course, measuring 5k, within the confines of the scenic Carnfunnock Country Park.
Dan Spencer produced an excellent performance to lead the field home in 19:43 (1st place), before young Matthew McIlroy continued to impress with a 22:38 finish, securing 8th place. Brian Maltman followed in a new personal best of 22:43 (9th place), which saw him reach Drainsbay a mere seven seconds ahead of club mate Paul Clements (10th place – 22:50).
Junior star Harry Plumb crossed the line in 24:19 (18th place), therefore claiming the family bragging right over his father, Sandy Plumb, who followed in 24:46 (21st place). Just over thirty seconds split Conor Sheridan and Karl Joyce, with Conor recording 25:26 (23rd place) and Karl 25:55 (25th place).
Brad Smyth (28th place – 28:14) pipped his dad Stephen Smyth (29th place – 28:21) to the post, while the ever consistent Joanna McIlroy clocked 28:59 (5th place lady). The fast improving trio of Valerie Lyttle, Dawn Ralph and Christine Irwin were once again rewarded for their hard work in training; Valerie claimed a new personal best of 32:04 (7th place lady), with Dawn and Christine following in 33:17 (8th place lady) and 35:18 (9th place lady) respectively.
Whilst in Nottingham (England), Carol Clarke seized the opportunity to complete the local parkrun, 'Forest Rec', and claimed a top three finish in 24:46 (3rd place lady).
East Coast AC Take on Tollymore Trail Events!
This weekend, East Coast AC members took on the inaugural Tollymore Trail Marathon and associated events as well as a number of parkruns within the province and as far afield as Redditch in England.
Tollymore Trail Marathon
On Saturday 15th November 2014, ten East Coast AC members took part in the 26extreme Tollymore Trail Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k in Tollymore Forest Park (County Down).
In the marathon event, Justin Maxwell and Mark McManus took on the 26.2mile challenge. Justin ran well to finish in 5th place in a time of 3:22:15. Club coach, Mark McManus claimed a top ten finish in 3:30:30 (10th place).
Mark Jordan and Karl Joyce lined up with approximately two hundred and fifty other athletes in the half marathon event. In torrential rain, Mark looked strong as he crossed the line in 33rd place in a time of 1:46:06. Karl Joyce covered the tough 13.1mile course in 2:09:27 claiming 146th place.
The 10k race was by far the most popular for East Coast AC members, with six taking part. Brian Maltman and Philip Greer both put in top performances; after a sprint finish Brian claimed 22nd place in 52:18 closely followed by Philip in 52:29 (24th place). Jenny Magill and Karen Monaghan ran the race together, both running well to finish in 1:04:19 (40th place lady) and 1:04:24 (42nd place lady) respectively.
The ever-improving Julianne Greer was next to finish, clocking 1:11:42 to claim 57th placed lady. Heather Shaw completed the East Coast AC contingent when she covered the course in 1:15:44 (61st place lady).
Also this weekend, parkrun was yet again a popular choice for many members. In Larne parkrun, Chris Davis led the way, setting a new personal best over the course of 20:37 to claim 4th place. Matthew McIlroy and Drew Girvin were close throughout the course and right to the finish, however it was Matthew who crossed the line first in 21:27 (5th place) and Drew followed in 21:35 (6th place).
Stephen Millar put in a top class performance after his recent injury, clocking 22:38 for the distance to take 12th place. Friends and parkrun regulars, Paul Clements and Sandy Plumb both ran well to finish in 23:37 (18th place) and 24:22 (20th place) respectively. Young athlete Harry Plumb joined his father at the finish line after running 24:48 and claiming 22nd place. Carol Clarke achieved a new personal best over the course when she finished in a time of 25:02 (1st place lady).
Patrice Murphy and Cyndy Hay crossed the line just one second apart, with Patrice finishing in 29:37 (8th place lady) and Cyndy claiming a new personal best of 29:38 (9th place lady). Hannah Girvin was the next familiar face to finish, reaching Dixon Hall after 30:38 (10th place lady) accompanied by big brother Daniel Girvin who clocked 30:43 (42nd place).
Jacque Craig ran well to claim 13th place in the ladies category with a time of 31:34, Sarah Girvin followed less than a minute later in 32:14 (14th place lady). Fiona Swann and Sally McKeown claimed 18th and 19th place in the ladies category clocking 33:36 and 34:02 respectively. Tracey Shannon along with daughter Eimer Ward completed the tough 5k together, with Eimer running 41:29 (23rd place lady) and Tracey 41:30 (24th place lady).
Matthew Hewitt was in action in the Armagh parkrun; a two lap 5k course in Palace Demesne Public Park. In his fifth attempt at the parkrun, Matthew claimed 1st place in a new personal best of 18:32.
Husband and wife duo of Murray and Kelly Deller completed the Belfast Victoria parkrun; a popular event which attracted two hundred and thirty competitors. Murray ran 19:16 over the course which secured 9th place, and Kelly claimed 58th place in the ladies category with a finish time of 30:43.
Further afield in Redditch, England, Peter McManus completed the Arrow Valley parkrun. Peter claimed 102nd place out of 203 runners when he ran well to finish in 27:53.
East Coast AC Celebrates Larne Parkrun 1st Birthday!
On Saturday 8th November 2014, Larne parkrun celebrated its first birthday. The local parkrun attracted one hundred and thirty six competitors to celebrate this occasion, including over forty East Coast AC members. Matthew McIlroy celebrated being the first club member to finish with a new personal best for the course of 20:48 (10th place), closely followed by Mark Jordan just one second later in 20:49 (11th place); Mark also achieved a new personal best.
Drew Girvin was the first of the Girvin family to finish, recording 21:23 to take 14th place. Danny Hylands was the next member to cross the line, finishing in 22:37 (26th place), followed by Paul Clements who recorded a new personal best of 22:47 (29th place). Brian Maltman ran well to take 32nd place when he finished in 23:14. Harry Plumb recorded another sub-24 minute 5k when he reached the finish area in a time of 23:51 (42nd place), followed by his dad Sandy Plumb who finished in a new personal best of 24:14 (45th place). Sandy was also awarded third place in the men’s points table for Larne parkrun to date.
Conor Sheridan and Nigel Taylor ran well to finish in 24:17 (46th place) and 24:21 (47th place) respectively, followed by Glenda Girvin in a new personal best of 25:31 (5th place lady). Completing in their 20th parkrun, Daniel Girvin finished in 59th place in 25:51, and young Hannah Clements clocked 27:21 to secure 12th place in the ladies category.
Hannah Girvin achieved a new personal best when she finished in 27:44, claiming 13th place in the ladies category. Johanna McIlroy (28:38 – 19th place lady), Charlotte Dean (28:54 – 20th place lady) and David Hall (28:54 – 80th place) all ran well and finished in quick succession. Morna Wright was the next familiar face to reach the Drainsbay finish area, clocking 29:20 (22nd place lady), followed by Mark Dean who recorded a new personal best of 29:29 (85th place).
Patrice Murphy and Cyndy Hay finished just seconds apart, with Patrice crossing the line first in 30:14 (27th place lady) followed by Cyndy in 30:17 (28th place lady). Eva Craig then started a string of personal bests for East Coast AC, finishing in 30:57 (32nd place lady) she was followed by Julianne Greer and birthday boy Ewan Davis who recorded 31:26 (33rd place lady) and 31:29 (102nd place) respectively. Chris Davis accompanied Ewan around the course and finished in 31:31 (103rd place).
Patrice Murphy and Cyndy Hay finished just seconds apart, with Patrice crossing the line first in 30:14 (27th place lady) followed by Cyndy in 30:17 (28th place lady). Eva Craig then started a string of personal bests for East Coast AC, finishing in 30:57 (32nd place lady) she was followed by Julianne Greer and birthday boy Ewan Davis who recorded 31:26 (33rd place lady) and 31:29 (102nd place) respectively. Chris Davis accompanied Ewan around the course and finished in 31:31 (103rd place).
Leah Girvin secured 34th place in the ladies category when she finished in 31:42, followed by Christine Irwin who recorded a new personal best of 32:26 (38th place lady). Sally McKeown covered the final stretch of path quickly to cross the line in 32:45 (39th place lady). Next was Dawn Ralph who claimed 40th place in the ladies category with a 33:04 finish. Sisters Evie and Abbie Lavery ran well around the course accompanied by their mum Roisin Lavery; Evie was the first of the trio to reach the finish in a time of 34:01 (43rd place lady), followed by Abbie in 34:16 (44th place lady) and Roisin in 34:17 (45th place lady).
East Coast Cheetahs Matilda Dean, Caitlin Pike and Christopher Campbell completed the 5k course accompanied by Christopher’s sister and club member Trisha Campbell; Matilda lead the way with a 35:02 finish (46th place lady), followed by Caitlin (35:03 – 47th place lady), Christopher (35:07 – 119th place) and Trisha (35:08 – 48th place lady) who all finished in quick succession. Mother and son pairing of Oliver and Ashley Smyth completed the course together, with Ashley recording a new personal best along the way; Oliver finished in 35:49 (125th place) and Ashley in 35:51 (52nd place lady).
Talented young athlete, Charlotte Smyth clocked 36:11 for the distance to take 53rd place in the ladies category, followed by Gillian Pike in 36:34 (54th place lady). Heather Shaw and Sarah Girvin completed the East Coast AC contingent at the event when they finished together in 42:57 taking 56th and 57th place ladies).
Also on Saturday, Callum Sittlington took part in the Ecos parkrun based in Ballymena. Callum joined almost one hundred and twenty other running enthusiasts at the popular event and ran well to finish in 17th place, recording a time of 21:41 for the course.
A Spooktacular Weekend for East Coast Athletic Club!
Monster Dash & Monster Mile
This week (Thursday 29th October 2014), East Coast AC hosted the inaugural running of their Monster Dash 5k and the associated Monster Mile races in Carnfunnock Country Park, just outside Larne. The events, which proved extremely popular, took place under moonlight and attracted hundreds of runners from all over the province.
There were impressive runs throughout the field but it was siblings Kelly and Charlie Patterson who led the Monster Mile competitors home. Then, while the younger Monster Mile competitors were treated to hot dogs, toasted marshmallows and hot chocolate, the Monster Dash 5k athletes took to the start-line.
Runners donned head torches as they negotiated the spook paths, trails and single track in and around the confines of the scenic park and the nearby Carnfunnock Forest and it was Murray Deller (East Coast AC) who claimed top honours in 22:10 (1st place).
Unattached athlete David Allan followed just over two minutes later in 24:15 (2nd place), before Andrew McIntyre (Orangegrove AC) completed the top three in 24:21 (3rd place).
Allyson O'Toole (East Coast AC) produced arguably the performance of the night when she sealed victory in the ladies 5k, clocking 24:48; this not only ensured victory in the ladies race but secured an excellent 4th place overall. Lagan Valley AC's Amy Edwards took the runners up spot in 27:05 (2nd place), while Claire Oliphant (County Antrim Harriers) crossed the line in 29:21 for 3rd place.
East Coast AC would like express their thanks to everyone who supported the event. Full results are available here.
On Saturday (1st November 2014), East Coast Athletic Club members again returned to Carnfunnock Country Park, this time in daylight, and showed a strong presence at the popular Larne parkrun. This weekend, to add to the fun, participants were encouraged to dress in their Halloween outfits.
The course was slightly amended due to the closure of the parks Walled Garden, but Brian Maltman seemed to enjoy the new route as he led the East Coast AC athletes home, securing a new personal best time of 22:54, for 14th place. Paul Clements, a regular at the event was next home for the club, in 15th place (23:22). Young Hannah Clements (under 10 category) produced another top performance, finishing as 5th lady overall, with a time of 27:06. Sandy Plumb, another regular, but this time participating in costume was the familiar face into the Drains Bay finish area in 27:49 (31st place). Jacque Craig (11th place lady) and Mark Dean (44th place) finished only seconds apart in 30:36 and 30:39 respectively, before the impressive Sally McKeown secured a new PB of 31:29 (13th place lady). The youthful Eva Craig again ran well, narrowly missing her PB (by eight seconds) with a time of 31:30, this meant Eva finished as 14th placed lady. Julie Anne Greer crossed the finish line in 32:30, for 15th place (in the ladies category) before Dawn Ralph added to the personal best haul. Dawn's time of 32:51 meant she was 17th place lady.
The ever consistent Heather Shaw finished the 5k route in 34:08 (21st place lady) before father and son pairing of Philip and Kristian Greer crossed the line together, with Kristian narrowly edging out his dad for 64th place in 41:57. Although slower than his own PB, proud dad Philip was happy with 65th place and a time of 41:58.
On Sunday (2nd November 2014), the multi talented Lee Stirling took part in the Ballymoney Cycling Club Autumn Duathlon. The event comprised of a 2 mile run, 10 mile cycle, followed by another 2 mile run. In blustery but bright conditions, Lee ran well and cycled to his usual high standard, taking 26th place in a strong field of participants, with a time of 58:25.
On the same day, In Belfast, three club members took part in the Decathlon 10k event in the harbour area of the city. Top Triathlete Dan Spencer left his bike behind and raced around the roads to finish in a very impressive 38:59, for 20th place. In the 200 plus field of runners, Allyson O'Toole was next to cross the finish line for East Coast AC, narrowly missing out on a podium please with a time of 41:04 (4th place Female). The ever improving Chris Davis concluded the clubs participation in the event, taking 65th place with a time of 44:55.
East Coast AC Take on Dublin Marathon!
On Monday 27th October 2014, hundreds, if not thousands of runners from Northern Ireland took to the start line of the 35th annual Dublin Marathon in the Ireland's capital city, Dublin. The event also included the Athletics Ireland National Marathon Championships.
This year, the record breaking crowd of over 15,000 competitors negotiated a new course, one which many found more challenging than previous routes; windy conditions also contributed to what was a hard day for some.
East Coast AC had five members taking part in the 26.2 mile race, which for many was the culmination of months of hard work and dedication in training. Justin Maxwell was first home for the club, pacing himself well to finish in 2:59:58. Allan McCullough was the next black and yellow vest to reach the city center finishing area; Allan put in a strong performance to record 4:02:05 for the distance.
Husband and wife duo of Gary and Wendy McKeegan both ran well, however it was Wendy who gained the bragging rights in the McKeegan household, finishing first in 4:08:31 followed by Gary in 4:09:34. Ruth Kelly was taking on the challenge for the second time in as many years; running for NI Chest Heart and Stroke and Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, Ruth completed the 26.2 miles in 5:22:33.
This week twenty eight members joined over almost seventy other participants for the Larne parkrun. Justin Maxwell was the first East Coast AC man to finish, recording 18:29 for the distance (2nd place). Murray Deller continued his good form of late when he finished in 3rd place in 19:39. Drew Girvin was next to cross the line in 21:44 (5th place), followed by Paul Clements in 23:24 (13th place).
Philip Greer achieved a new personal best when he reached the finish in 24:04 (16th place). Junior athlete Harry Plumb celebrated his tenth parkrun with a 24:58 clocking for the 5k distance. Karl Joyce finished in 22nd place, recording a new personal best with a time of 25:04, followed by Sandy Plumb in 25:13 (23rd place).
Hannah Clements ran well to finish in 27:59, claiming 7th place in the ladies category. Johanna McIlroy was the next familiar face to reach the finishing area, when she crossed the line in 28:32 (8th place lady). Hannah Girvin ran a new 5k personal best on the course when she finished in 28:46 (9th place lady), accompanied by her mum Glenda Girvin (28:47 – 10th place lady).
Paul Cunningham covered the final yards quickly to finish in a new personal best of 28:50, taking 40th place. Father and daughter duo of Mark and Charlotte Dean ran together and produced excellent results; the pair recorded 29:56 (Charlotte - 11th place lady; Mark – 40th place) which was a new personal best for Mark.
Patrice Murphy claimed 12th place in the ladies category when she finished in 30:08, followed just ten seconds later by Cyndy Hay in 30:18 (14th place lady). Jacque Craig proved she is back on track after a recent injury, covering the course in 30:56 (16th place lady). Patricia Campbell achieved a new personal best when she crossed the finish line with her daughter Trisha in 32:07 to take 18th place in the ladies category (Trisha finished in 32:08 – 19th place lady).
Tracey Park was the next familiar face to reach the finish, looking strong as she crossed the line in 32:18 to take 20th place in the ladies category. Another personal best was achieved when Sally McKeown finished next in 32:22 (21st place lady), closely followed by Eva Craig in 32:23 (22nd place lady).
Sisters, Sarah and Leah Girvin ran together and finished just one second apart, with Sarah finishing in 34:02 (25th place lady) and Leah in 34:03 (26th place lady). Christine Irwin was next to complete the undulating 5k course in 34:48 (27th place lady), followed by Charlotte and Ashley Smyth in 41:37 (28th place lady) and 41:40 (29th place lady) respectively.
East Coast AC Compete against the World's Finest!
This weekend, East Coast AC athletes competed against some of the World's best runners and secured podium places, personal bests and as usual put in some top class performances. Six athletes took part in the Skyrunning UK weekend of events, whilst Andy Guy took on the marathon distance in Amsterdam and Allyson O'Toole competed for a place in the Northern Ireland team in the NIMAA Cross Country in Belfast.
GRANITE TRAIL RACE
On Friday 17th October 2014, athletes from all over the world descended on the coastal town of Newcastle (County Down) for the beginning of an excellent weekend of 'Skyrunning' action. The Granite Trail Race ('GTR') saw athletes start on Newcastle's Central Promenade, before making their way into Donard Forest and up the historic Granite Trail towards the finish at Millstone Quarry, overlooking the town. Altogether, this totalled 2 miles uphill with approximately 1,000ft of ascent.
In severe weather conditions, East Coast AC’s Matthew Hewitt, Dan Spencer, Phil Smyth, Lee Magill and Jenny Magill took to the start line. Matthew Hewitt had an impressive run in what would be his first event in the Skyrunning weekend; Matthew battled it out with Team GB athlete, Robbie Britton to claim an impressive third place in a time of 17:19.
Dan Spencer climbed extremely well in the latter stages of the course, finishing strong in a time of 20:05 to take 8th place and first in his category. The next East Coast AC man to reach the moonlit finish area was Phil Smyth who recorded a time of 26:37 (23rd place). Lee Magill was next to navigate his way through the forest, reaching the atmospheric finish line in 30:34 and claiming 31st place. Club coach Jenny Magill completed the East Coast AC contingent at the GTR event; Jenny used her mountain experience to put in a strong climb up the famous Granite Steps, finishing in 30:46 (9th place lady).
MOURNE SKYLINE MOUNTAIN-TRAIL RACE
On Saturday 18th October 2014, Newcastle (County Down) welcomed a huge array of talent to the inaugural running of our Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race in the Mourne Mountains. The event, known better as the ‘MTR’ was the first time Skyrunning has been introduced into Northern Ireland and East Coast AC’s Matthew Hewitt and Mark McManus both took on the challenging 35k course (including 3,370m of ascent).
In an international field of athletes, Matthew Hewitt (who had achieved a podium place in the GTR just twelve hours prior to the event) showed yet again his class in the mountain running scene. The gale force winds and at times poor visibility didn’t deter Matthew who ran well to finish in 32nd place in a time of 5:17:16.
With one club coach completing the GTR the night before, it was now time for another of the coaches, Mark McManus to take on the Skyrunning challenge. Mark ran well over the technical terrain and relentless climbing, reaching the finish line in a well-deserved 58th place in 5:48:48.
NIMAA CROSS COUNTRY
On Saturday 18th October 2014, veteran athletes from all over the province (and beyond) descended on DUB Road Playing Fields for the annual Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Cross Country event, which incorporated trials for the upcoming British & Irish Masters International Cross Country in Nottingham (England).
The competition was fierce and East Coast AC’s Allyson O’Toole was in the thick of the action. Allyson took part in the Ladies 6k event and performed to her usual high standard when she finished in 24:43 to take 13th place, this was enough to secure a place in the reserve team for Northern Ireland at the upcoming British & Irish Masters International.
On Sunday 19th October 2014, Andy Guy joined thousands of other athletes in Europe’s most popular marathon, the TCS Amsterdam marathon in Holland. In what was only his second attempt at the 26.2 mile distance, Andy started at the Olympic Stadium and made his way in through the cultured city centre, before finishing back at the Stadium.
Andy paced his race well, and despite suffering from a painful cramp in the latter stages, he completed the distance in a superb 2:57:21, finishing in 281st place out of over 12,000 competitors.
Lionel Date travelled to Wales for the Bryn Bach parkrun; a fast two lap 5k course around the lake. Lionel ran well to finish in 42nd place in a time of 24:40.
In the local Larne parkrun, Trisha Campbell led the way for East Coast AC, running 23:11 to claim 1st place in the ladies category. Parkrun regular Paul Clements finished in 23:44 (17th place), closely followed by Brian Maltman who reached the finish line in a new personal best of 24:04 (18th place). Junior athlete, Harry Plumb recorded 24:53 for the distance to take 20th place. Carol Clarke was the third lady to finish when she covered the course in 25:49.
The next familiar face to reach the finishing area was Sandy Plum, who recorded 26:23 (30th place) for the tough course. Hannah Clements (28:57 – 7th place lady) and David Hall (28:58 – 38th place) crossed the line with just a second separating them. Eva Craig achieved a new personal best for the course when she finished in 31:22 to take 9th place in the ladies category. Eva’s mother Jacque was next to finish in a time of 32:33 (11th place lady) followed by Christine Irwin in 33:49 (13th place lady). Sally McKeown and Patricia Campbell both ran well to claim new personal bests when they covered the course in 33:53 (15th place lady) and 34:12 (16th place lady) respectively.
East Coast AC Launch Monster Event!
Larne based athletic club East Coast AC have this week launched an exciting night time Haloween race; the 5k 'Monster Dash' and associated Junior 'Monster Mile' will take place within the vicinity of Carnfunnock Country Park in Larne on Thursday 30th October 2014.
The Hastings Ballygally Castle Hotel sponsored event is open to everyone, from the most competitive runners to those wishing to complete their first 5k. A spooktactular array of prizes are on offer to competitors, with an overnight stay at the allegedly haunted Ballygally Castle Hotel up for grabs. There are also prizes for podium finishers and the best male and female fancy dress outfits.
Entry, which is now available online at www.eastcoastathleticclub.co.uk and priced at £10 (£12 on the night), includes a FREE headtorch which competitors can then use to light up the route. Entry into the Junior 'Monster Mile' is just £3 (£5 on the night), which includes a goody bag. The first fifty entrants will be placed into a prize-draw for afternoon tea at the newly refurbished Hastings Ballygally Castle Hotel.
On the night, race pack collection and late entry will open at 5pm at the Carnfunnock Games Field, with Junior Monster Mile kicking proceedings off at 7pm and the Monster Dash 5k starting at 8pm. Registration will close strictly 15 minutes prior to each race start.
Full details are available at HERE.
East Coast AC Start off the XC Season in Style!
After the busy summer months of competition, the nights have got longer and temperatures have plummeted; meaning only one thing… cross country season is upon us! East Coast AC celebrated the start of this with the club’s own cross country Championship Challenge Series race held at Seacourt in Larne on Saturday 11th October. As well as in this event, East Coast AC members were competing this weekend in the Comber Cup Cross Country event, the Run for Ross event, and the ever-popular Larne parkrun.
On Saturday 11th October 2014, over thirty club members participated in the fourth race in the East Coast AC Championship Challenge Series for 2014/15; a 5k cross country event based in Seacourt, Larne. The race attracted those who are new to cross country as well as more experienced runners looking to use it as a good base for the upcoming racing season.
All athletes set off together, with Murray Deller, Daniel Girvin and Mark McManus making their intentions clear from the off. As the race progressed, the club’s coach, Mark McManus led the way, reaching the finish line in a time of 18:38 to claim 1st place.
Daniel Girvin was the next to cross the line in 19:34 (2nd place), followed just twelve seconds later by Murray Deller in 19:46 (3rd place). The in-form Chris Davis took 4th place with a time of 20:51, shortly followed by up and coming junior athlete, Matthew McIlroy in a time of 21:28 (5th place). Mark Jordan and Drew Girvin both ran well, however it was Mark who just pipped Drew to the line to finish in 6th place in 21:30, with Drew finishing in 21:34 (7th place).
After a frantic rush from work to make the race on time, Alex Robertson ran well to finish in 22:05 (8th place). Scott Cowie showed he is back on form after a recent injury, claiming 9th place in 22:52. Callum Sittlington and Alan Glover were another duo who had a fast race towards the finish line; junior triathlete, Callum covered the final yards quickly to finish just ahead of Alan in 23:16 (10th place), with Alan following in 23:19 (11th place).
Paul Clements showed no signs of tiredness after completing the Larne parkrun just hours earlier when he finished in 12th place with a clocking of 24:00 for the distance. Brian Maltman looked strong as he reached the finish line in 24:08 (13th place), followed by a happy looking Conor Sheridan who ran 24:36 (14th place). Philip Greer and Karl Joyce both had strong runs in what was their first attempt at cross country running; Philip recorded 24:47 (15th place) followed by Karl in 24:55 (16th place).
With the male finishers coming in thick and fast, it was the ladies turn to take center stage, with Catherine Maxwell claiming 1st place in 26:10. In an exciting battle for 2nd place (ladies category), Paula Cosgrove and Katie Glover were side by side coming into the final climb; however it was Paula who reached the cheering crowds first, claiming 2nd place in a time of 27:34, followed by Katie in 27:43 (3rd place lady).
Championship Challenge Series regular, Johanna McIlroy put in another top performance when she completed her first cross country race in a time of 28:49 to take 4th place in the ladies category. Cheered in by his family, Mark Dean ran well to finish in 21st place clocking 29:27 for the distance. Recent Belfast Half Marathon finisher, Amanda Clements was next to reach the loud and atmospheric finish line, finishing in 29:48 (5th place lady).
Looking stronger as she covered each lap, Joanne Knox claimed a well-deserved 6th place in the ladies category when she finished in 31:10. Paul Cunningham was the next member to achieve a loud round of applause from spectators when he crossed the line in 31:11 to take 24th place. Putting in one of the best finishes of the day, Doris Kirby finished next in 32:15 (7th place lady).
Two more cross country debutants finished next, Carla Barkley and Valerie Lyttle; Carla finished 8th place in the ladies category in a time of 33:00, and Valerie finished shortly after in 9th place in a time of 33:15. Recent Jog Larne graduates Sally McKeown, Dawn Ralph and Christine Irwin all finished in quick succession, with Sally leading the way in 34:39 (10th place lady), followed by Dawn (34:42 – 11th place lady) and Christine (34:47 – 12th place lady).
Recent Causeway Coast Half Marathon finisher Heather Shaw continued her good form off-road when she finished in 35:55 to take 13th place in the ladies category. Patricia Campbell worked hard in the tough three lap course to record 37:38 (14th place lady), followed by Rosie Kerr in 40:29 (15th place lady).
As this was a Championship Challenge Series Race and all athletes set off on a ‘mass start’, pre-calculated predicted times were compared to actual finish times in order to determine the Series race winner. 1st place was awarded to Valerie Lyttle who had finished in a time which was 3:58 quicker than predicted, Mark Dean was 2nd (2:34 quicker than predicted) and Karl Joyce was 3rd (1:21 quicker than predicted).
Comber Cup XC
Also on Saturday (11th October 2014), athletes from across Northern Ireland descended on the Billy Neill Playing Fields in Comber (County Down) for the Ballydrain Harriers organised Comber Cup Cross Country event, which was the first race of the 2014/15 Athletics NI Cross Country League. The well organised event was held in perfect running conditions and included numerous junior races, all of which proved to be a fitting 'warm up' for the exciting adult races which were to follow.
In the men’s 8k race, Matthew Hewitt put in another top class performance. After his recent outings at the Causeway Coast Ultra Marathon and the NI Road Relay Championships, Matthew performed to his usual high standard over the cross country terrain; finishing in the top twenty (19th place) in a time of 28:58.
In the ladies 6k race (also including the men’s over 60’s race) East Coast AC had three competitors who all performed well. Trisha Campbell led the way to finish in 27:45 to claim 32nd placed lady. Coventry based athlete, Bernadette Campbell finished next in 29:57, taking 53rd place in the ladies category. Carol Clarke completed the East Coast AC contingent when she finished as 74th placed lady in 33:00.
Run for Ross
Four club members made the short journey to Ballyclare on Sunday (12th October 2014) for the ‘Run for Ross’ an event organised as part of the Ross Patterson Blood Donation Drive. The 3k run attracted over one hundred runners and raised a total of £2,200 for charity. Dawn Ralph, Carla Barkley, Colleen Taylor and young Imogen Taylor all took part in the worthwhile event.
This week, Larne parkrun attracted thirteen club members, all eager to take part in the challenging but enjoyable 5k time trial in and around the trails of Carnfunnock Country Park. Mark Lockwood was the first member to finish, crossing the line in a time of 22:46 claiming 11th place. Competing in his first race of the day, Paul Clements impressed with a 23:06 clocking (15th place) for the distance.
Up and coming junior athlete, Harry Plumb achieved a new personal best when he finished in 18th place in 23:39. This started a string of personal bests, with Nigel Taylor achieving one next when he finished in 24:07 (20th place), followed by Martin Conway in 24:58 (22nd place).
Sandy Plumb and Glenda Girvin finished just seconds apart, with Sandy reaching the line first in 25:40 (25th place) and Glenda in 25:42 (2nd place lady) to achieve a new personal best.
Young Hannah Clements was the next familiar face to finish, crossing the line in a time of 28:10 to take 5th place in the ladies category. Another East Coast Cheetah, Charlotte Dean finished next in a time of 28:25 (6th place lady) to achieve a new personal best for the distance. David Hall completed his 17th parkrun with a 28:49 finish (30th place), followed by Patrice Murphy in 30:35 (7th place lady).
Nichola Hall achieved a new 5k personal best when she crossed the line in 31:17 to take 9th place in the ladies category. Walking the course with her friend Donna McMaster, Jacque Craig covered the 3.1 miles in a time of 44:07, finishing in 13th place in the ladies category.
On Saturday (11th October), popular club member Morna Wright along with friends climbed Ben Nevis to raise money for Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke. Standing at 1,344 metres (4,409 ft) above sea level, Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in the British Isles and climbing it is no easy feat. To date Morna and friends have raised over £1,000 pounds for this great cause.
A Busy and Successful Weekend for East Coast AC!
This weekend a record number of East Coast AC members took to the start line of various events both within Northern Ireland and in Bournemouth, England. The action kicked off on Saturday morning at the NI & Ulster Road Relay Championships in Belfast and continued right through until Sunday with the Runher Titanic 10k, Bournemouth Half Marathon and Drains Bay Team Relay Duathlon.
NI & Ulster Road Relay Championships
On Saturday 4th October 2014, hundreds of athletes and spectators descended on the sun drenched Victoria Park in Belfast for the Northern Ireland & Ulster Road Relay Championships, which were sublimely hosted for the third year in a row by Orangegrove AC. The event also incorporated the Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Championships.
The day kicked off with a number of junior races, which proved to be both fun and competitive; supporters were treated to some impressive performances, highlighting the up and coming talent within the club and indeed the province. In the 800m girls primary school race, 6 year old Hannah O’Toole led the way for the club’s girls followed by the talented duo of Hannah Clements and Charlotte Dean who had been inspired after earlier meeting Dame Mary Peters at the event.
The boys primary school race was next, this was another 800m race, and it was 8 year old Rhys McManus who produced an outstanding performance, putting in effort right to the finish line to be the first boy home for the club. Rhys was closely followed by another talented young athlete, Harry Plumb who had a strong sprint finish. The supporters didn’t have to wait long for Jake Dempsey to speedily make his way to the finish line, followed by fellow Cheetah club mate, Ewan Davis. Two of the youngest members, Matthew Crawford and Keilan McManus completed the East Coast AC contingent in the race when they crossed the line next to loud cheers from spectators.
Lisa Graham set up the ‘B’ team well with a quick two laps around the Victoria Park course, before passing on to recent Bangor 10k finisher Paula Cosgrove, who continued to keep the relentless pace up. As Paula neared the end of her second lap, her sister and team mate, the in form Glenda Girvin was ready to set off; Glenda put in a strong performance to give the team a 22nd place finish in a total time of 47:53.
Shirley McGuckin made a brave effort to complete the two lap course for the ‘C’ team; after an ankle injury during the week, she was determined to not let the team down and put in a gutsy performance over the course. Once Shirley finished, Angela Campbell took off from the starting pen in fine fashion, quickly covering her 3,380m leg before Nikki McNeill completed the final section for the team, resulting in a total finish time of 49:31 (25th place).
Although usually seen on a ‘hillier’ or off-road run, Morna Wright put in a top performance in the ‘D’ team, starting off well before handing over to sisters Linzi Conway and Gillian Leetch-Armstrong. Linzi was the second lady in the team to leave the starting pen, and after completing her two laps Gillian who made her return from injury; Gillian ran well to give the team an overall finish time of 53:44 (28th place).
Next up was the Masters Men (4 x 3,380m) who had a lot to live up to following the performances of their fellow Masters athletes. East Coast AC had a team consisting of Chris Davis, Alex Robertson, Mark McManus and Drew Girvin. The continually improving Chris Davis didn’t disappoint when he started first for the team, covering the laps quickly before reaching the changeover point where Alex Robertson was ready to start. Alex, who like many of his club mates, was making his debut in a NI & Ulster Relay Championship event, ran well and gave a strong finish after being encouraged by the huge East Coast AC support team along the finishing straight.
As Alex finished, club coach and team captain Mark McManus rapidly left the starting pen, this pace didn’t drop as the club’s coach covered the two laps in fine fashion. As Mark crossed the finishing line, the final member of the team, Drew Girvin began his race; Drew looked strong after the first lap and continued to pick the pace up into the final sections of the course, resulting in a total finish time of 50:33, securing 21st place.
It was back to teams of three (but still 3,380m per athlete) as the Senior Ladies took to the start line, with the East Coast AC ‘A’ team (Catherine Maxwell, Sharon Smith, Katie Glover) and ‘B’ team (Ruth Maltman, Hazel Ritchie, Doris Kirby) taking to the start line. All the ladies set off quickly, however the ‘A’ team’s Catherine Maxwell paced it well, with a steady first lap she gained a number of places in the second lap, and after a sprint finish let her team mate Sharon Smith take the reins. Sharon ran strongly over the distance, gaining much encouragement from the spectators as she reached the finishing area before young Katie Glover started her section of the race. The up and coming star started off quickly and kept a good pace throughout, showing that she is most definitely a talent to look out for in the future; Katie finished in an overall team time of 48:42 (16th place).
In the ‘B’ team, Ruth Maltman led the way, starting off quickly and then settling into a good pace ; Ruth handed over to Hazel Ritchie who put in a notable performance for the team. Hazel looked strong over the fast paced two lap course and covered the final yards with ease before a nervous but excited Doris Kirby took to the start line. Doris had one of the best finishes of the day when she sprinted down the finishing straight, taking an overall 20th place for the team in a time of 55:04.
The final race of the day was another team for four event, with each athlete covering 3,380m; the Senior Men’s race. Matthew Hewitt, Brian Maltman, Martin Conway and Mark McManus all took part in this event, with Matthew putting in one of the best performances of the day. After having taken a top 6 place in last week’s Causeway Coast Ultra Marathon (40 miles), Matthew showed no signs of fatigue in what was an unusually shorter distance for the Richill based athlete. Reaching the changeover point in the top ten men, Matthew let Brian Maltman set off. Brian was followed by Martin Conway, and both men put in good runs in what were their first ever competitive races for the club. The final leg of the race was completed by Mark McManus, in what was his second race of the day, Mark gave 100% over the course, finishing in a total team time of 52:19 (27th place).
Individual results for the Relays are as follows:
East Coast AC 'A' - Allyson O'Toole 12:43; Rowena Davis 15:38; Paula Urwin 14:58
East Coast AC 'B' - Lisa Graham 15:32; Paula Cosgrove 16:23; Glenda Girvin 15:56
East Coast AC 'C' - Shirley McGuckin 16:55; Angela Campbell 15:52; Nikki McNeill 16:43
East Coast AC 'D' - Morna Wright 17:10; Linzi Conway 19:08; Gillian Leetch-Armstrong 17:24
East Coast AC 'A' - Catherine Maxwell 15:21; Sharon Smith 17:10; Katie Glover 16:11
East Coast AC 'B' - Ruth Maltman 16:31; Hazel Ritchie 19:13; Doris Kirby 19:20
East Coast AC 'A' - Split times not yet available
East Coast AC 'A' - Split times not yet available
Bournemouth Half Marathon
On Sunday (5th October 2014), Tracey Parke along with her brother Ken Parke travelled to Bournemouth for the Bournemouth Half Marathon which was part of the Bournemouth Marathon Festival. The 13.1 mile coastal route covers both the Boscombe and Bournemouth Piers and attracted almost three thousand competitors. Tracey ran well to complete the course in 2:19:19 securing 2,236th place, just ahead of her brother Ken who finished in 2:19:38 (2,235th place).
Also on Sunday (5th October 2014), five East Coast AC ladies travelled to Belfast for the latest instalment of running from the popular Runher team; the Runher Titanic. The 10k event was set in and around the Titanic Slipways in Belfast and attracted almost one thousand runners.
Wendy McKeegan proved she is going from strength to strength after a super run, finishing in 24th place in a new personal best of 47:37. Catherine McClelland achieved a new 10k personal best when she crossed the line after 55:11, securing 186th place.
Morna Wright showed no signs of fatigue after the previous day's exploits at the NI Road Relay Championships in Victoria Park, when she finished in 58:06 (298th place). The next East Coast AC lady to reach the atmospheric finishing area was Cyndy Hay who ran well to complete the 10k course in a new personal best of 59:38 (367th place). Another competitor from Saturday's NI Road Relays, Doris Kirby covered the miles effortlessly to finish in 1:01:11 (415th place).
Drains Bay Team Relay Duathlon
The first ever Drains Bay Team Relay Duathlon was held on Sunday (5th October 2014) and organised by the club’s secretary Drew Girvin. The event HQ was based at Larne’s Dixon Hall in Drains Bay and included an out and back run which totalled just under 1 mile, followed by a 10k cycle and finishing with the same out and back run.
With twenty teams entered, East Coast AC had a large number of members taking part including some of the more experienced duathletes as well as some of those who were attempting the sport for the very first time. Each team included three members; with the ‘A’ member completing the run, bike, run before the ‘B’ member would take on the challenge, eventually passing over to the ‘C’ member once they had completed the three legs.
In the individual standings, Adele Neill (part of team 'A Rose Between Two Thorns') topped the scoreboard for the East Coast AC athletes; after having ran the first section of the course in a fast 5:49 she went on to give one of the quickest bike times of the day when she clocked 17:13 for the distance. Adele finished off with a 6:23 time for her second run giving her a total time of 30:48 which was enough to secure 7th place overall and 1st place in the ladies category.
Danny Hylands (part of team 'Dopey's Fairy Cakes) claimed 9th place after running 5:34 in the first run section of the course, followed by a time of 17:36 and 6:28 for the bike and second run respectively. Danny's total time for the event was 30:59. Another member of team 'A Rose Between Two Thorns', Murray Deller put in a top class performance when he was placed 11th overall with a total time of 31:16 (run 1 - 5:12; bike - 19:00; run 2 - 5:40).
Stephen Whelan (team 'Ballyclare Rejects') and Callum Sittlington (team 'Touch and Go') finished in joint 19th place in a total time of 32:07. Stephen completed his first run in a time of 6:11, followed by a bike time of 17:58 and a final run of 6:21. Callum started off well with a fast run of 5:49, following on from this with a clocking of 18:27 for the cycle and 6:34 for the second run.
Stephen Whelan's team mate ('Ballyclare Rejects'), Allan McCullough claimed 24th place with a total time of 32:59 (run 1 - 5:13; bike - 20:47; run 2 - 5:49), followed by Roy McMullan who finished in 33:43 to claim 27th place (run 1 - 6:25; bike - 18:52; run 2 - 7:25). Competing as part of team 'Zip It Shrimpy', Iain Bailie performed well in what was his first duathlon; finishing in 31st place in a total time of 34:06 (run 1 - 6:15, bike - 20:26; run 2 - 6:33). Lionel Date's (team 'East Coast Hustlers') training had most certainly paid off when he finished in 36th place with a 35:36 clocking (run 1 - 6:25; bike - 20:57; run 2 - 7:09).
Alan Glover's (team 'The Wooden Ones') and Phil Smyth's (team 'East Coast Hustlers') finish times were seconds apart, with Alan finishing in 36:02 to claim 39th place (run 1 - 5:41; bike - 22:39; run 2 - 6:35) and Phil finishing in 36:06 to take 40th place (run 1 - 6:43; bike - 21:24; run 2 - 7:07). Paula Urwin (team 'Touch and Go') and Laura Hogg (team 'L's Belles) had an exciting race, with both ladies finishing almost side by side. Paula just made it to the finish ahead of Laura with a finish time of 36:13 (4th placed lady: run 1 - 6:25; bike - 21:37; run 2 - 6:35); Laura finished in 36:14 (5th placed lady: run 1 - 5:56; bike - 22:10; run 2 - 6:36).
Sandy Plumb (team 'Zip It Shrimpy') claimed 43rd place with a total finish time of 36:23 (run 1 - 6:34; bike - 20:55; run 2 - 7:46), followed by Alex Robertson (team 'East Coast Hustlers') in 44th place with a time of 37:16 (run 1 - 5:51; bike - 23:19; run 2 - 6:52). Catherine Maxwell (team 'Dynamic Dabblers') and Glenda Girvin (team 'Lap Loughers') were another pair who finished with only a second between them. Catherine finished as 7th placed lady in a time of 38:18 (run 1 - 6:37; bike - 23:07; run 2 - 7:16), followed by Glenda in 38:19 (8th placed lady: run 1 - 7:06; bike - 22:29; run 2 - 7:27).
Final 'Zip It Shrimpy' team member Paul Clements finished in 38:37 to claim 50th place after running the first section of the course in 6:21, completing the cycle in 23:49 and finishing with a 6:43 run. Paula Cosgrove (team 'Dynamic Dabblers') finished as 9th placed lady in a time of 39:22 (run 1 - 7:20; bike - 23:01; run 2 - 7:49) followed by 'Lap Loughers' team member Kelly Deller in a time of 39:38 (10th placed lady: run 1- 7:56; bike - 20:59; run 2 - 8:53).
Sharon Kirkpatrick (team 'Lap Loughers') and Sharon Smith (team 'Dynamic Dabblers') both performed well with Sharon Kirkpatrick finishing in 40:01 (11th placed lady: run 1 - 7:38; bike - 23:06; run 2 - 8:05) and Sharon Smith finishing just after in 40:12 (12th placed lady: run 1 - 7:14; bike - 24:02; run 2 - 7:43). Competing as part of team 'Kamikazee Spanners', Martin Conway finished in 58th place in 44:26 (run 1 - 8:02; bike - 25:32; run 2 - 9:34). Full results can be found here.
Great Scottish Run
Also on Sunday, John McManus took part in the Great Scottish Run; a 10k race based in Glasgow city centre in Scotland. John joined over 30,000 other participants on the start line and ran well to finish in 55:16 (2,597th place).
On Saturday morning (4th October 2014), East Coast AC had no less than twelve runners out at the local Larne parkrun; a free weekly 5k time trial based in and around Carnfunnock Country Park. Paul Hutchinson was the clear leader, with over a minute between him and his nearest rival, crossing the line in first place in a time of 19:38. The next member to finish was Mark Lockwood who took a top ten finish in 22:54 (10th place). Paul Clements battled through a recent football injury to take 17th place in a time of 23:43.
The ever improving Johanna McIlroy was rewarded for her efforts with a new Larne parkrun personal best and a 3rd place in the ladies category, finishing in a time of 28:28. David Hall and Patrice Murphy followed, with David covering the 5k course in 29:17 (26th place) and Patrice shortly after in 29:24 (4th place lady).
Joanne Knox claimed 6th place in the ladies category when she finished in 29:39. Christine Irwin achieved a new personal best when she was the next East Coast AC lady to cross the line in 33:40 (11th place lady), followed by Sally McKeown who also achieved a personal best with a 34:13 finish (14th place lady). Matthew McIlroy accompanied his younger brother Lukey McIlroy around the tough course, the duo finished seconds apart with Lukey crossing the line first in 39:24 (37th place) and Matthew in 39:26 (38th place).
This weekend also saw club members Karen Monaghan and Amanda Clements take on a 50 mile spin bike challenge, raising much need funds for worthwhile children's cancer charities. The energetic pair completed the gruelling challenge within the Laharna Retail Park and collected a notable sum, making their efforts all the better.
East Coast AC Excel in a Weekend of Challenging Events!
After a busy few weeks of competition for East Coast Athletic Club, the athelete’s could be forgiven for a quiet weekend, but as usual the Club had an abundance of members participating in various events right through from 5k to ultra-marathons and half-ironman events.
Causeway Coast Events
On Saturday 27th September 2014, thousands of athletes and spectators from across Northern Ireland (and beyond) descended on the North Coast village of Portballintrae for the 26extreme Causeway Coast Marathon and associated events. The extensive race programme included a 40 mile Ultra Marathon, Marathon, Half Marathon and 10k, all of which covered incredibly scenic courses along the world famous Causeway Coast Way.
The action kicked off at 7.30am when nearly one hundred hardy ultra-runners began their 40 mile journey from Portstewart to Ballintoy and back to the finish line in Portballintrae. As the sun rose up over the horizon, the athletes set off on their journey, including East Coast AC’s experienced and talented ultra-runner, Matthew Hewitt. Matthew ran well in what was a competitive field. As he neared the finish line, he covered the final yards quickly to finish in a time of 6:14:19 securing 6th place.
The Marathon event started in Portballintrae and took competitors along the coast to Ballintoy, where they turned and made their way back towards the atmospheric finish in Portballintrae, where they had began their journey. Mark McManus took on the marathon distance for the first time in a number of years, and did so in fine fashion; the international duathlete stayed within a chasing pack at the front of the field right up to the turning point at half way (Larrybane Quarry). On his return and as the gaps between his nearest rivals began to increase, Mark continued to run well (even including a few ‘selfie’ stops along the way!) and entered the finishing area to a deafening yet encouraging cheer from fellow East Coast AC members, finishing in a time of 3:54:36 to claim 5th place.
Nine East Coast AC members joined nearly four hundred athletes to take part in the Half Marathon, during which, athletes completed a section of the Causeway Coast Way between Ballintoy and Portballintrae. Dan Spencer was the first East Coast AC man home; the talented triathlete showed he can also put in top class performances over these type of events when he crossed the line in an impressive 15th place, clocking 1:42:47 for the distance.
The next athlete to be cheered along by the East Coast AC spectators up towards the finish was Drew Girvin, Drew looked strong as he made the final climb to cross the line in 2:06:06, taking 97th place overall. Just over three minutes later, Phil Smyth burst on to the finishing straight, looking strong as he crossed the finish line in 2:09:18 (111th place).
Nigel Taylor proved his weeks of training over the Antrim Hills was put to good use when he took 180th place in a time of 2:19:28. Nikki McNeill was the next familiar face to be cheered on by the expectant crowds at the finishing area, looking strong as she reached the finish in 2:27:46, claiming 229th place overall. Kelly Deller was cheered along the finishing straight by her family, running well to cross the line in 2:37:31, claiming 297th place overall.
Running together throughout the course, friends and club mates, Marty McToal and Chris Davis made short work of the final climb to finish the 13.1 miles in a time of 2:38:29 (300th place) and 2:38:31 (301st place) respectively. A happy looking Heather Shaw was the next East Coast AC runner to reach the finish, running well over the duration of the course to finish in 3:27:30, taking 379th place.
In the final race of the day was the 10k; the short and sharp event started at Dunseverick and finished at the atmospheric Portballintrae (the finishing place for all the races), passing through the Giants Causeway en-route. Seven East Coast AC men and ladies joined over two hundred other runners for the tough yet incredibly scenic event, with Murray Deller leading the way. Murray continued his good form of late to finish in 12th place in a time of 45:52.
Philip Greer was the next black and yellow vest to reach the finish, clocking 57:23 (58th place) for the distance, closely followed by Karl Joyce who ran strongly to secure 66th place in a time of 59:31.
Catherine Maxwell and Rowena Davis ran together over the 6.2 miles to cross the line side by side in a time of 1:02:04 (84th and 85th place).
The ever improving Julianne Greer was next to be cheered to towards the atmospheric finish area, clocking a time of 1:15:57 for the distance (157th place), followed by Rosie Kerr who had a strong finish to take 194th place in 1:27:23.
Also on Saturday (27th September 2014), Paula Cosgrove and Daniel Girvin travelled to Bangor to join nearly seven hundred athletes for the popular Aurora Bangor 10k in County Down. Daniel Girvin started well, keeping to the front of the seemingly endless stream of runners to make their way towards the town centre. Daniel ran well to finish in 376th place with a time of 54:56.
Paula Cosgrove was attempting the event for the second time after it being one of her first ever competitive races just one year ago. Paula put in a top performance, running fast on the flat sections and climbing well in the final uphill section, finishing in a time of 55:09 and securing 89th place in the ladies category.
On Sunday 28th September 2014, Corey Urwin and Gary McKeegan 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). Only 165 of the 300 competitors finished the gruelling event, which makes Corey's and Gary's performances all the more impressive. Corey finished in 72nd place (36th in his category) in a time of 9:07:22, followed by Gary in 142nd place in 11:01:36 (53rd in his category).
This week seventeen East Coast AC athletes joined over sixty other participants at the Larne parkrun on Saturday (27th September). Junior stars and brothers, Matthew McIlroy and Callum McIlroy put in the performances of the day, with the duo just seconds apart through the tough 5k course. After a fast finish down the long path towards the Dixon Hall, it was Matthew who crossed the line first in 22:26 (5th place), with Callum following in 22:28 (6th place).
The in form Paul Clements got just rewards for his hard work over the past few weeks, with a new personal best of 22:56 for the course, finishing in 11th place. This started off a string of personal bests, with Conor Sheridan finishing next in a new personal best of 23:50 (14th place), followed by Brian Maltman in another new personal best of 24:27 (18th place). Junior athlete Harry Plumb achieved a new personal best when he dipped under the 25 minute mark, to finish in 24:48 (21st place).
Sandy Plumb joined the rest of his family at the Drainsbay finish area, running well to take a 24th place finish in a time of 25:26. Young Hannah Clements performed to her usual high standards when she finished as 3rd place lady in 26:11. Dublin Marathon bound Ruth Kelly achieved a new, well deserved personal best when she finished in 26:20, claiming 4th place in the ladies category.
Patrice Murphy showed her hard work in training is paying off when she completed her eighth parkrun in a new personal best of 29:00 (7th place lady). Sharon Kirkpatrick was the next familiar face to reach the Dixon Hall finish, crossing the line in 29:22 (10th place lady), followed closely by parkrun regular, Cyndy Hay who ran well to get a new 5k personal best of 29:46 (11th place lady).
Mark Dean accompanied his daughter Charlotte Dean around the undulating 5k course, with Charlotte finishing just ahead of Mark in a time of 31:55 (15th place lady) and Mark in a time of 32:01 (48th place). Another personal best was achieved when Dawn Ralph crossed the finish line, the improving athlete claimed a 19th place finish in the ladies category in a time of 33:02. Christine Irwin narrowly missed out on a personal best for the distance, however ran well to finish in 34:27 to take 20th place in the ladies category.
After being presented with a special commemorative parkrun t-shirt for completing ten parkruns, Charlotte Smyth covered the 5k course in 37:27, and finished as 24th place lady.
Family Fun Day
On Sunday (28th September 2014), the Club held it’s annual Family Fun Day in the Town Park in Larne. The day’s events included junior running races and duathlons as well as an adult 800m race. The day was a huge success and the Club would like to thank all members who volunteered and offered their services.
East Coast AC would like to thank all members, friends and family who travelled to the various events to help support and cheer on our athletes; your help is very much appreciated.
Photos from the above events will be added to our gallery in the coming days.
2013/14 Prize Giving
On Saturday 20th September, East Coast AC held their first ever annual prize giving to celebrate the performances of the members in the club's first year. The achievements and performances of athletes from June 2013 to June 2014 were celebrated with an evening of food and entertainment held in St John's Masonic Club in Larne.
After dinner, the club chairman Justin Maxwell welcomed everyone to the prize giving evening and showed a video of the club's activities in it's first year (June 2013 to June 2014) before Ryan Maxwell started off proceedings by explaining the prize categories in further detail and a short description of why each nominee was chosen. Prizes were awarded to club members as follows:
Most Improved Athlete of the Year
Nominees: Kerry Fokkens, Daniel Girvin, Carol Clarke, Lesley Robinson
Winner: Daniel Girvin
Female Athlete of the Year
Nominees: Allyson O'Toole, Adele Neill, Penny Lindsay, Janice Plumb
Runner Up: Penny Lindsay
Winner: Allyson O'Toole
Male Athlete of the Year
Nominees: Kieran McKeown, David Clarke, Justin Maxwell, Matthew Hewitt
Runner Up: David Clarke
Winner: JUSTIN MAXWELL
Female Veteran of the Year
Nominees: Kerry Fokkens, Janice Plumb, Penny Lindsay, Adele Neill
Runner Up: Penny Lindsay
Winner: ADELE NEILL
Male Veteran of the Year
Nominees: Greg Lavery, David Clarke, Kieran McKeown, Andy Guy
Runner Up: Kieran McKeown
Winner: DAVID CLARKE
Female Performance of the Year
Nominees: Adele Neill (4th place at ITU World Championships), Penny Lindsay (3:30:21 at London Marathon), Allyson O'Toole (2nd place at East Antrim Inter-Club Race), Janice Plumb (1:34:47 at Omagh Half Marathon)
Winner: ADELE NEILL - ITU WORLD DUATHLON CHAMPIONSHIPS 2014
Male Performance of the Year
Nominees: Danny Hylands (5th place Tri Limits Ironman), David Clarke (4th place at ITU World Championships), Dan Spencer (12th at Wasdale Half Ironman), Justin Maxwell (2nd at Hoka Highland Fling)
Winner: JUSTIN MAXWELL - HOKA HIGHLAND FLING
Club Person of the Year
Nominees: Justin Maxwell, Mark McManus, Ryan Maxwell, Catherine Maxwell, Rosie Kerr
Winner: CATHERINE MAXWELL
Female 'Spirit of East Coast' Award
Winner: JACQUE CRAIG
Male 'Spirit of East Coast' Award
Winner: JAMES ROBINSON
Paddy Campbell Memorial Trophy
Winner: PAUL CUNNINGHAM
Club Championship Challenge Series
Winner: JANICE PLUMB
International Selection Awards
Mark McManus, David Clarke, Greg Lavery, Adele Neill, Kieran McKeown, Nat Glenn
A selection of photos from the evening can be found here.
Top Spot for Girvin at Ballyboley!
This weekend East Coast AC athletes were rewarded for their efforts over the first 12 months (June 2013-14) with the first annual prize giving evening on Saturday 20th September. The club’s athletes were also in competition in triathlons, parkruns and the third race of the Club Championship Challenge Series; a 4.2 mile trail race held in Ballyboley Forest.
Championship Challenge Series – Race 3
On a bright and warm Saturday afternoon (20th September 2014), thirty club members took part in the third race of the 2014/15 Club Championship Challenge Series; a 4.2mile trail race in Ballyboley Forest. Using a staggered start system, Rosie Kerr set off first on the undulating (and at times, very hilly!) course, with the remainder of athletes following in pre-determined start times afterwards.
Setting off over thirteen minutes after the first runner, Glenda Girvin worked her way through the pack right until the end, causing an exciting sprint finish between Linzi Conway and herself; however it was Glenda who kept up the momentum and just pipped Linzi to the finish line, finishing in 48:49 resulting in an actual time for the distance of 35:25 (1st place) which also was the quickest female time of the day. Linzi Conway reached the finish just one second later (48:50), gaining seven places throughout the race, Linzi was rewarded for her efforts with a 2nd place finish, achieving an actual time of 41:26 for the distance.
Paul Clements showed no signs of tiredness from his earlier parkrun (where he achieved a new pb) when he was the third person to cross the finish line; Paul had a superb run, starting off over fifteen minutes after the first runner, Paul kept up a good pace throughout to finish in 49:01 and covering the 4.2 miles in an actual time of 33:16. Brian Maltman, Valerie Lyttle and Davy Hall followed quickly, with all running well to claim 4th, 5th and 6th place respectively. Brian finished in 49:06 (actual time 33:33) followed by Valerie in 49:10 (actual time 46:34) and Davy just two seconds later in 49:12 (actual time 37:25).
The athletes then began to come in thick and fast, with Kelly Deller appearing at the finish line next, clocking 49:24 (7th place) and an actual time of 38:15 for the distance. Ruth Maltman was the third fastest lady when she was 8th across the line, finishing in 49:30 and achieving a 37:51 actual time for the 4.2miles. Marie Glover and Doris Kirby were seconds apart as they neared the crowds at the finish, with Marie reaching the line first in 49:34 (9th place – actual time 42:42) and Doris following in 49:36 (10th place – actual time 44:09).
Race 1 winner, Johanna McIlroy yet again ran well to secure 11th place in 49:43, covering the distance in an actual time of 38:22. Jacqui McLoughlin looked effortless as she ran down the finishing straight, clocking 49:45 overall (12th place) and an actual time of 39:45. Heather Shaw continued her training for the upcoming Causeway Coast Half Marathon, showing she is in fine form for the event when she finished in 13th place in 50:15 (actual time 47:06).
Alan Glover and Karl Joyce were next to reach the finish, both men’s hard work paid off when they finished in 50:45 (14th place – actual time 30:30) and 50:57 (15th place – actual time 33:48) respectively. Next was Tracy Shannon, completing all three races to date, Tracy ran well to finish in 51:04 (16th place), resulting in a 44:02 actual time for the 4.2miles. Supported by his family, Iain Bailie was cheered along into the finish, reaching the end of the course after 51:09, and achieving a 30:58 clocking for the distance (17th place).
Drew Girvin, Conor Sheridan, Greg Lavery and Daniel Girvin all finished in quick succession. Drew led the way, finishing in 51:20 (18th place – actual time 30:05), followed by Conor in 51:25 (19th place – actual time 33:41). Greg and Daniel were close as the race progressed, with Greg pushing right to the line to finish in 20th place and the 2nd quickest time of the day (51:31, actual time 25:55) and Daniel one second later in 21st place and the 3rd quickest time (51:32, actual time 26:26). Matthew Hewitt was rewarded for his long journey from Richill to Ballyboley when he achieved the quickest time of the day, crossing the line in 51:47 (22nd place) and clocking an actual time of 24:11 for the distance.
Catherine Maxwell achieved the second fastest female time when she finished in 23rd place in 51:59 (actual time 36:11). Morna Wright continued her fine form of late when she finished next in 52:21 (24th place) and an actual time of 39:15 for the 4.2miles. Training partners and friends, Chris Davis (25th place) and Alex Robertson (26th place) finished side by side in a time of 52:29, with Chris completing the distance in an actual time of 29:32 and Alex 32:23. After a top performance at last weekend’s Belfast City Half Marathon, Naoise McLoughlin put in another great effort when he finished in 52:38 (27th place, actual time 27:52).
Rosie Kerr was the 28th athlete to cross the line, finishing in a total (and actual) time of 53:01. Paul Cunningham was next, finishing in 53:05 (29th place, actual time 42:12), followed by the continually improving Sally McKeown in 55:41 (30th place, actual time 50:22). East Coast AC would like to thank all the volunteers who helped make the event possible and to all the athletes for taking part in the third event in the series.
Pulse Port Beach Triathlon
Also on Saturday, Adele Neill took part in the Pulse Port Beach Triathlon in Clogherhead, Co. Louth. Adele put in a top class performance over all three disciplines, starting well with the 750m swim which she finished in a time of 18:40, followed by a 34:15 clocking for the 20k cycle and a 5k run time of 19:45; this was a new 5k personal best for the talented athlete. The total finish time for Adele was 1:15:51 which secured her 5th place in the ladies category and more importantly, ensured she has qualified for the ITU World Triathlon Championships in Chicago next September (2015).
On Sunday (21st September 2014), Callum Sittlington took part in the Stenaline Triathlon in Newtownabbey; a sprint triathlon starting in the Valley Leisure Centre. Callum performed to his usual high standard, completing the 750m swim in 13:49, the 20k cycle in 43:40 and the 5k run in 21:38 resulting in an overall finish time of 1:20:59. This secured Callum 27th place overall, but even more impressively, 3rd place in the competitive junior category of the race.
Saturday morning (20th September 2014) brought with it the return of the weekly 5k time trials held across the province. This week East Coast AC yet again had a large number of athletes competing in the Larne parkrun and Melissa Milligan participating in the Comber parkrun.
In Larne, Paul Clements led the way with a new personal best of 23:11, claiming 12th place. Young Bradie Hogg ran well to take 3rd place in the ladies race with a time of 24:47. Next to cross the finish was Sandy Plumb, completing the tough 5k in 24:51 (22nd place). Laura Hogg joined her daughter at the finish area when she was next to finish in 24:55 (4th place lady).
In his fourth parkrun in as many weeks, Martin Conway continued with the habit of achieving personal bests when he finished in 25:19, claiming 24th place. More personal bests were achieved when William Gallagher, Hannah Clements and Lionel Date all finished in quick succession. William Gallagher was the 25th person to cross the line, finishing in 25:28. After being awarded a commemorative ’10 runs’ t-shirt, Hannah Clements went on to produce an impressive performance to claim 5th place in the ladies race with a 25:48 finish time. Lionel Date secured 22nd place in a time of 26:09, an impressive feat considering it was part of a longer training session, followed by Roy McMullan who clocked 26:17 (23rd place) in his first attempt at the parkrun course.
Joanne Knox claimed a new personal best when she crossed the line as the 10th lady in a time of 29:25, followed by friend and training partner Cyndy Hay who also achieved a new personal best of 30:14 (12th place lady) for the distance. Just over a minute later, Mark Dean reached the finishing area, claiming a new personal best of 31:25 (42nd place) over the course. Sarah Girvin enjoyed her tenth parkrun with a 32:06 finish (16th place), followed by her sister Leah Girvin who ran 33:28 (16th place lady).
In the Comber parkrun, Mel Milligan completed the 5k course in 27:59 securing 14th place in the ladies category.
Madigan Torr Head Challenge
On Sunday 21st September 2014, the popular cycling club, Madigans, held their popular Torr Head Challenge event. The event included a choice of three distances, a 20 mile, 50 mile or 70 mile route; with each starting and finishing at Ballygally and following a route out the coast to as far as Carnlough, Cushendun or Torr Head. Roy McMullan, Glenda Girvin and Drew Girvin completed the event.
Belfast Memory Walk
Also on Saturday (20th September 2014), Tracey Parke participated in the Belfast Memory Walk, raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. The Memory Walk took place in the beautiful grounds of Stormont Estate, taking in views of the stunning Government buildings.
Personal Bests in Belfast City Half Marathon!
This weekend, East Coast AC had yet again a large number of members taking part in various events across the province. Belfast Half Marathon attracted fourteen of the club’s road runners on Sunday (14th September), with many achieving personal bests over the distance. Other events which East Coast AC members participated in included the Dunluce Ultra Sprint Triathlon, The Fallows mountain race, the Causeway Sportive, and of course the popular parkrun events.
Belfast Half Marathon
On Sunday 14th September 2014, thousands of athletes from across Northern Ireland, and beyond, descended on the Kings Hall Complex in Belfast for the 2nd annual running of the Deep River Rock Belfast City Half Marathon.
After an unavoidable delay to the race start because of a serious road traffic collision which closed part of the course, the athletes set off on their 13.1 mile journey which would take them towards the City Centre and the breezy Titanic Quarter before returning to the Kings Hall and the atmospheric finish.
David Clarke was the first East Coast AC man to finish, running strongly to place 12th overall and 1st place in the male 50 category (1:18:37). As the clock was nearing 1 hour 30 minutes, Naoise McLoughlin appeared down the finishing straight; Naoise was rewarded for his efforts with a new personal best, crossing the line in 1:29:35 (190th place) which was over four minutes quicker than his 2013 result.
The husband and wife team of Gary and Wendy McKeegan were the next East Coast AC members to complete the city centre based course, with Gary finishing in 1:46:37 (897th place) and Wendy achieving a new personal best by over four minutes of 1:46:42 (112th place lady).
Paul Clements bettered his performance from last week’s Great North Run by almost five minutes when he crossed the line just after the 1,000th runner finished, clocking a new personal best of 1:48:49 (1,001st place).
Competing in the event in memory of their father and valued club member, Paddy Campbell, were sisters Bernadette and Trisha Campbell. The two young athletes crossed the line together, achieving the much sought after personal best time which Paddy always strived for; clocking 1:50:48 for the distance (167th and 168th place). The ever improving Carol Clarke was the next familiar face to reach the atmospheric finish area; Carol ran well to produce another personal best for the second week in a row, finishing in 1:50:54 (171st place).
Sandy Plumb put in an impressive performance; after completing the Great North Run last week, the determined Sandy completed the Belfast City Half Marathon in a time which was over twenty three minutes quicker, achieving a new personal best of 1:56:13 (1,412nd place).
Friends and training partners Angela Campbell and Lisa Graham both claimed personal bests in what was their second half marathon attempt. The duo supported each other across the line, with Angela (1:56:25) just reaching the finish one second ahead of Lisa (1:56:26), claiming 254th and 255th place in the ladies category respectively. Conor Sheridan put in a top class performance, after only returning from holidays just days prior to the event, Conor finished in a new half marathon personal best of 1:56:17 (1,648th place).
Amanda Clements was another member to get a new personal best at the event, crossing the line in 2:08:19 (508th place lady). Raising money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities, a happy looking Cat McClelland was the next familiar face to reach the finish, clocking 2:18:17 for the 13.1miles (785th place lady).
Dunluce Ultra Sprint Triathlon
On Saturday (13th September 2014), experienced athlete Dan Spencer travelled to the North Coast for the first ever Dunluce Ultra Sprint Triathlon. Consisting of a 1,000m swim, followed by a 14mile cycle and 6.5mile run, Dan completed the event impressively to take 8th place in a total time of 1:53:04 (swim 24:26; bike 39:17; run 46:04).
Saturday also saw the final race of the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association Championship, in Kilbroney Forest Park, Rostrevor. Justin Maxwell represented East Coast AC in 'The Fallows' event, promoted by Newry City Runners. The route comprised of a 10 mile mountain trail run, with 700 metres of ascent. Justin ran well, finishing strong in 5th place.
On Saturday 13th September 2014, despite a busy weekend of running, local club East Coast AC had 18 athletes taking part at the challenging but popular Larne parkrun.
Daniel Girvin, who participated in the event as part of a duathlon training session, was the first runner to reach the Drains Bay finish line, completing the course in a speedy 19:36. Junior member, Callum McIlroy again impressed, running a new personal best with a finish time of 21:58 (9th place). Last weekends Great North Run finisher Paul Clements was next home, completing the route in 23:54 for 19th place. Less then a minute later (24:37), April Clarke led the East Coast female runners home (2nd female overall) in a new personal best time for the country park course.
Young Harry Plumb also recorded a new personal best, crossing the line with his mum Janice in 25:08 (25th overall) and 25:09 (4th female) respectively. Janice and Harry were followed across the line by another impressive junior athlete, Bradie Hogg (25:16), who finished as 5th fastest female. Martin Conway, who continued his progress, taking 29th place in a new personal best time of 25:45. Like her son Daniel, Glenda Girvin also completed a tough training session by competing in Parkrun. Glenda completed the scenic run in 28:39, taking 12th place in the female category. Doris Kirby and Cyndy Hay added to the list of personal bests, Doris crossing the line in 30:34 (16th), followed by Cyndy in 30:36 (17th). Junior members Hannah Clements (31:03 - PB), Charlotte Dean (31:08 - PB) and Sarah Girvin (31:59), took 18th, 19th and 20th (female) spots, before Charlotte's father Mark Dean completed his 5k, taking 53rd place overall in 32:12. Christine Irwin, who has also shown massive progress lately, was another to finish the course in a new personal best time. Christine completed the route in 34:22 for 25th place. Mother and Daughter pairing, Joirdan and Shirley McGuckin worked hard together, with the junior of the two Joirdan taking 28th place (35:39) in the female category and Shirley 29th (35:41).
Further afield in the Arrow Valley parkrun (Redditch, England), Peter McManus achieved a massive new personal best for the 5k distance when he clocked 24:33, claiming 73rd place in what was a competitive field.
Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive
Also on Saturday (13th September), Corey Urwin completed the Chain Reaction Cycles hosted Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive. The tough course allowed cyclists to soak up the spectacular scenery whilst ‘enjoying’ some epic climbs and hair-raising descents.
Podium Places, Category Wins and Personal Bests for East Coast AC!
This weekend East Coast Athletic Club had both junior and senior athletes competing in events in Scotland, England, Belfast and Larne. With so many outstanding performances including podium places, category wins and personal bests, the club is certainly showcasing the excellent talent it has on offer.
Scottish Half Marathon
On Saturday 6th September 2014, Jacque Craig and Ruth Kelly travelled to Edinburgh for the inaugural Scottish Half Marathon. The 13.1 mile course started just outside Edinburgh, and seen runners travel along the picturesque East Lothian Golf Coast before finishing in the final furlong at Musselburgh Racecourse, Scotland’s oldest racecourse. The pair performed well, with Ruth leading the way and finishing her first ever half marathon in 1:59:22, Jacque followed in 2:24:11.
Great North Run
On Sunday (7th September 2014), five East Coast AC members (along with a team of supporters) took part in the Great North Run which starts in Newcastle (England) and finishes 13.1miles later in the coastal town of South Shields.
In extremely warm conditions, Chris Davis was the first member home in a new personal best of 1:38:38. Friends and training partners Iain Bailie and Paul Clements followed in 1:53:31 and 1:53:32 respectively. Catherine Maxwell completed her first half marathon in 1:56:57, while Sandy Plumb braved a recent injury to cover the course in 2:19:45.
Also on Sunday, thousands of athletes and spectators descended on a sun soaked Ormeau Park in Belfast for the annual Laganside 10k road race, which this year also incorporated the Northern Ireland 10k Road Running Championships. East Coast Athletic Club had 28 representatives at the event, all of whom performed well.
Laganside Junior 1 Mile Race
First up, was a children's one mile event where fifteen East Coast Cheetahs represented the Larne based club to their usual high standard, again showing that running in the town has a bright future. Rhys McManus was the first Cheetah to speedily reach the finish line in a time of 6:21, claiming 1st place in his age 8 category (23rd place overall). Theo McToal followed shortly after, finishing in 6:37 to claim 2nd place in the boys age 7 category (30th place overall); Theo narrowly missed out on a first place spot when the winner of his category crossed the line in exactly the same time but just slightly ahead of the junior star.
Luke McToal took a 4th place finish in his boys age 12 category, finishing in 6:45 (12th place overall). Next to reach the crowded finish area were two of the club’s future female stars; Hannah Clements and Hannah O’Toole. Within seconds of each other, the girls took 1st place in their respective categories; Hannah Clements finishing just ahead in 7:11 (girls age 9 category) and Hannah O’Toole clocking 7:15 for the distance (girls age 6 category).
Brothers George and Harvey Ross were cheered into the finishing straight, with George reaching the line in 7:28 (6th place in boys age 8 category) and his younger brother Harvey finishing in 8:21 and claiming a well-deserved 2nd place in his age 6 category. Hannah Girvin finished 4th in her girls age 11 category when she crossed the finish line next in 9:20, just one second ahead of class mate and friend, Cameron Smyth who finished in 9:21 (11th place in boys age 11 category).
Molly McToal (age 10) and Corey McToal (age 9) both took 8th place in their age categories when they finished in 9:42 and 10:12 respectively. Corey’s younger sister Mia chased her brother right to the finish line, creating an exciting sprint finish for spectators; Mia clocked 10:13 for the distance and secured 12th place in her girls age 6 category.
The East Coast Cheetahs contingent was completed when the club’s youngest competitors along with their families reached the atmospheric finish area; Maggie Deller, Imogen Taylor and Kielan McManus all ran exceptionally well for their age categories. Maggie finished in 11:45 and Kielan and Imogen crossed the line side by side in 12:45. Full results can be found here.
In the main 10k male event, it was David Clarke who led the coastal club home, in 26th place overall, crossing the line in a new personal best time of 35:43 and with it taking the M50 category and NI championship win. Naoise McLoughlin was next home, also running a new PB, for 137th place in 39:53. Murray Dellar finished quickly in 140th position, in 39:56.
Drew Girvin (248th - 44:08), Alan Glover (304th - 46:22) and Daniel Girvin (410th - 49:32) were next familiar faces to cross the Ormeau Park finish line. A strong finishing Lee Stirling crossed the line in 49:19 (426th) before Lionel Date, showing he has put injury behind him, finished in 442nd, in 50:33.
In the female category, it was again Janice Plumb who led the East Coast Athletic Club female contingent home. The ever improving athlete crossed the finish line in 43:06 to secure 19th place and with it a new PB and a silver medal in the F45 category and the NI Championship event. Another lady, who continues to impress was next home, Paula Urwin recorded a time of 48:41 for 61st place in the female race.
Next home was Trisha Campbell (65th - 49:17), followed closely by Carol Clarke, who with a time of 49:18 also took a new personal best time. Another member of the Campbell family was next to reach the park, Bernadette, taking 97th place in a time of 52:19.
Nikki McNeill (52:57 - 120th), Polly Dix (54:21 - 141st) and Glenda Girvin ( 54:21 - 145th) all finished fast to record impressive times. Friend of the club, Geraldine Dalton finished well, taking 148th in a time of 54:40, before her sister Helen Stranney followed her (Geraldine) home (156th - 55:14). Shirley McGuckin (159th - 54:53) and Mandy McToal (187th - 56:44) were next home for the black and yellow vests, before female junior athlete Katie Glover finished in a time of 57:17 (192nd).
Kelly Dellar and Morna Wright ended their journey within a matter of seconds of each other, with Kelly clocking 58:09 (217th place) and Morna clocking 58:41 (229th place) for the distance. Likewise, a determined Marie Glover (269th - 62:11) and an improving Julianne Greer (285th - 63:13) impressed with their efforts, finishing close together. Tracey Shannon (304th - 65:23), Fiona Rolston (334th - 70:47) and Colleen Taylor (352nd - 74:17) ended the clubs impressive participation. For full results click here.
Belfast Titanic Triathlon
On the same date, across the Lagan river at Custom House Square (in Belfast), it was East Coast athletes Adele Neill, Callum Sittlington and Phil Smyth who took centre stage, again performing to their usual high standard at the BTT Olympic and Sprint distance Triathlon events.
For the second time in a week, international Triathlete Adele took 3rd place on the podium in the female category of the Olympic distance race, finishing the fast but tough course in a very impressive 2:18:53. Phil Smyth, who continues to show massive improvements this season, took 8th place (84th overall) in a very competitive M40-44 category. (Click here for results)
In the Sprint distance race, Callum Sittlington finished in 1:15:58, claiming 37th place overall and 7th in his M16-19 category. (Click here for results)
As always, the weekend for the club would not be complete without members taking part in parkrun events; a free weekly 5k time trial. This weekend (Saturday 6th September), members were out in force at the Larne parkrun based in and around Carnfunnock Country Park. Kieran McKeown swapped the track for the trails this week and did so in fine fashion as he was the first East Coast AC man to cross the line, finishing in 20:48 (4th place). Alex Robertson was the next familiar face to reach the Dixon Hall finish line when he crossed the line in 23:11 to take 17th place.
Martin Conway achieved a new personal best for the third week in a row, completing the 3.1 miles in 26:15 (30th place). Patrice Murphy took over two minutes off her time from just two weeks ago, achieving a new personal best of 30:12 when she crossed the finish line as 7th placed lady. Leah Girvin was the next East Coast AC lady to reach the finish, clocking 30:52 (9th place lady) for the distance.
Completing her 17th parkrun, Cyndy Hay ran well to claim 11th place in the ladies category, finishing in 31:35. Tracey Parke and Sarah Girvin were next to finish, completing the course in 32:16 (12th place lady) and 33:23 (14th place lady) respectively. Christine Irwin was next to reach the finish, narrowly missing out on a new personal best, finishing in 35:28 (17th place lady). Julianne Greer along with her son Kristian finished in a time of 35:35, securing 18th place in the ladies category.
Martin Taylor was the next familiar face to cross the line, finishing in 60th place in a time of 37:09. Charlotte Smyth (37:58 – 21st place lady), Oliver Smyth (38:02 – 64th place) and Johanna McIlroy (38:03 – 22ns place lady) all ran well, finishing within quick succession of one another. The mother and daughter pairing of Glenda Girvin and Hannah Girvin were next to finish, with Hannah reaching the line first in 44:18 (24th place lady) and Glenda finishing in 44:19 (25th place lady).
Prizes for McKeown, O'Toole and Neill!
After the excitement of the East Antrim Inter-Club Race during the week, East Coast AC athletes continued to impress right through to the weekend. Members took part in road, trail, mountain and track events and as usual, each one put in top class performances.
Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
The action kicked off early on Friday (29th August 2014), with Justin Maxwell lining up at the CCC race at the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc event in Chamonix, France. Up against the world’s best long distance runners, the Northern Ireland international performed to his usual high standard, working his way through the field well, before completing the 101k course (which included 6,100m of ascent) in 14:56:41 (43rd place).
Northern Ireland Masters Track & Field Championships
On Saturday (30th August 2014), club members Allyson O’Toole and Kieran McKeown were in competition at the prestigious Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association Track & Field Championships in Belfast.
Both Allyson and Kieran put in top performances, which ultimately led to an impressive medal haul for the talented pair. In the 400m, Kieran powered out of the blocks and sustained his effort to cross the line in 58.07secs, which was enough to see him take the gold medal in his Vet40 category. Kieran then followed this up with a 26.83secs clocking in the 200m (5th place).
Allyson lined up in the 800m and 1500m and despite this being only her second time racing on the track, the Inter Club Race winner showed her class to secure two bronze medals, after running 2:33.12 for 800m and 5:21.55 for 1500m.
Newry City Triathlon
Adele Neill continued on from her top performance at Tuesday’s Inter-Club race with another impressive achievement at the Newry City Triathlon on Sunday (31st August 2014). In what was the second annual running of the event, Adele showed her class when she finished as 3rd lady overall at the event and 1st in her category.
The event started with a 750m swim along the Newry Quay, Adele completed this with ease in a time of 13:26, followed by a 34:49 clocking for the cycle section which took athletes on an out and back course from Newry City Centre to Warrenpoint. Adele completed the final discipline in fine fashion; a 5k run through the heart of the city, completing this in 18:35 which resulted in a total time of 1:07:45 for all three disciplines.
Pure Running Half Marathon Series
Final standings of the Pure Running Half Marathon Series were announced on Saturday 30th August, confirming East Coast AC’s Janice Plumb as 4th place finisher of the Series in her category.
The Series includes the DUNE Half Marathon, Larne Half Marathon, Omagh Half Marathon,Newry Half Marathon, Lisburn Half Marathon, Ards Half Marathon, Dervock Half Marathon, Cookstown Half Marathon, Groomsport Half Marathon and the Dambusters Half Marathon. Since the start of the Series in March 2014, Janice has completed in six of the aforementioned races (Larne Half Marathon, Omagh Half Marathon, Newry Half Marathon, Ards Half Marathon, Cookstown Half Marathon and Groomsport Half Marathon) resulting in a combined time of 9:34:36 and a best time of 1:32:16 (Cookstown Half Marathon).
This week East Coast AC had a total of twenty six members competing in parkrun events in both Larne and Craigavon. In the Citypark parkrun based in Craigavon, Matthew Hewitt joined over one hundred runners on the start line of the one lap 5k course around the Craigavon Lake. Matthew led from start to finish and crossed the line in a new personal best of 17:03 (1st place).
Closer to home in Larne, Chris Davis was the first member to finish the 5k time trial in a time of 22:10, securing 8th place in the popular weekly event. Chris was closely followed by Matthew McIlroy who crossed the line just two seconds later in 22:10 (9th place).
Laura Hogg and Janice Plumb were close throughout the two lap course, however Laura just pipped Janice to the finish line, finishing in a new personal best of 22:21 and claiming 1st place in the ladies category. Janice was rewarded for her efforts with a 2nd place finish in a time of 22:24. Callum McIlroy enjoyed the last parkrun of the summer with a 14th place finish when he crossed the line in 22:32.
Trisha Campbell ensured it was 1-2-3 for East Coast AC in the ladies category when she finished next in a new personal best of 22:57 (3rd place). Paul Clements continued his training for next week’s Great North Run in Newcastle with a 24:01 finish in the event, resulting in 27th place overall. Bernadette Campbell narrowly missed out on a new personal best when she finished in 25:48, taking 5th place in the ladies category.
More personal bests were achieved when Brian Maltman, Martin Conway and William Gallagher crossed the line. Brian continued on from his good form at the East Antrim Inter-Club race with a 34th place finish in 25:53. Brian was followed by Martin Conway, who in his second attempt at the course, improved on his last week’s finish time by over thirty seconds, completing the course in 26:37 (38th place). William Gallagher has achieved a personal best in his last two attempts at the event and this week was no exception, William finished in a time of 27:53 (45th place).
Hannah Clements completed her twelfth parkrun in style with a 27:59 finish, taking 9th place in the ladies category. Ruth Maltman took over a minute off her previous best at the distance when she crossed the line in 28:31 (10th place lady), followed by the in-form Mandy McToal who claimed a new personal best of 29:18 when she finished as 14th place lady.
Lynsey McKeen ran well on the tough course, completing the distance in a new personal best of 31:26 (18th place lady). Parkrun regular Cyndy Hay finished as 19th placed lady when she crossed the line in a time of 31:42. Caeli McLoughlin was the next familiar face to reach the finishing area, claiming 24th place in the ladies category in a time of 34:51. Dawn Ralph was next to finish in a new personal best of 35:21 (25th place lady), followed by Oliver Smyth and Michael Smyth; Oliver achieved a new personal best of 35:39 (74th place) and Michael finished just behind in 35:41 (75th place).
Young Keegan McLoughlin finished in his fastest ever 5k time of 36:40, securing 77th place, followed and supported by mum Jacqui McLoughlin who finished in 36:48 (27th place lady). Christine Irwin completed what was her fifth parkrun in a time of 37:00, claiming 28th place lady). Charlotte Smyth and Ashley Smyth completed the East Coast AC contingent when they crossed the line in 41:12 (32nd place lady) and 41:14 (33rd place lady) respectively.
Allyson O'Toole Top Lady at Inter-Club Race!
On Tuesday 27th August 2014 East Coast Athletic Club members, supporters, family and friends turned out for the annual East Antrim Inter-Club Race. Sixty members competed in the event, comprising of thirty six in the ladies race and twenty four in the mens race. The prestigious annual event which this year attracted the largest crowd in it’s history (274 finishers), is hosted by Larne AC, and 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, Whitehead Social Runners and 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.
In what were perfect running conditions, the record breaking field set off fast down the hill in the direction of Glenarm, where the ladies would turn first at the two mile marker and the men would continue on for another half a mile before they would turn. It was after the turning points when the race began to really take shape, with the gruelling continuous uphills it was the front running ladies who led the way however the leading men weren’t far behind.
In the ladies race, East Coast AC’s Allyson O’Toole and Adele Neill led from early on, however as the race progressed Allyson really began to get into her stride and had victory in her sights. Allyson who has been training on shorter distances this season looked effortless as she powered up to the finish line, taking a well-deserved 1st place in 26:18 (taking 14 seconds off her 2013 finish time).
Although usually seen taking part in triathlons and duathlons recently, Adele Neill proved she is still one of the province’s top runners when she finished in 4th place in a time of 26:59. Interestingly, this was Adele’s same position as last year, but this year she took over a minute off her time, thus showing the improvement the dedicated athlete has made in both the national and international scene.
Laura Hogg had a superb run from start to finish; racing down the hill well within the front group of ladies and continuing her good form on the return back up the tough hill. Laura finished in 11th place overall, and 3rd East Coast AC lady in 29:06. The ever improving Carol Clarke finished as 4th lady for the club and therefore counting for the ladies team prize; who collected claimed 3rd place in the team competition. Carol ran 32:35 for the distance, securing 26th place. Catherine Maxwell continued her training for the Great North Run in just under two weeks time, running well to finish in 32:49 and taking 28th place.
Training partners Lisa Graham and birthday girl Angela Campbell enjoyed another dual, crossing the line just one second apart, with Lisa running 34:04 (48th place) and Angela next in 34:05 (49th place); proving their training for the upcoming Belfast Half Marathon is well on track.
Competing in the event for the first time, Polly Dix and Nikki McNeill worked their way through the field to finish in 53rd and 54th place respectively, with Polly reaching the finish line first in 34:29 and Nikki following in 34:34. Ruth Kelly was hot on their heels when she finished next in 34:37 (57th place), an excellent effort given Ruth’s intense week of training for the upcoming Scottish Half Marathon.
Although battling a stitch during the course, recent Rathlin Run 5k finisher Paula Cosgrove continued the race and finished well up the field in 64th place in a time of 35:20. Despite having been suffering from a virus, Katie Glover put in a strong performance to finish in 35:22 (65th place) .
As the clock struck 36 minutes, a barrage of East Coast AC ladies raced up the hill towards the atmospheric finishing area. Amanda Clements led the ladies across the line in a time of 36:05 (73rd place) for the 4 mile distance, closely followed by Mandy McToal and Morna Wright. Mandy took almost three minutes off her 2013 time with a 36:12 finish (75th place), and recent Rathlin Run 10 mile finisher Morna Wright slashed her previous best on the course (in 2013) by almost seven minutes when she crossed the line in 36:13 (76th place).
Johanna McIlroy was the next familiar face to reach the brow of the hill, covering the course in 36:23 (79th place), followed by East Coast AC new signings, Shirley McGuckin and Ruth Maltman in 36:38 (82nd place) and 36:47 (84th place) respectively. Lorraine Lyttle and Sharon Smith climbed well on the return leg of the race, with Lorraine clocking 36:51 (87th place) and Sharon following in 36:57 (88th place).
Kelly Deller (37:36) showed no signs of fatigue from Sunday’s 85 mile Lap the Lough when she finished in 96th place. Two more Lap the Lough finishers were among a trio of East Coast AC ladies crossing the line in quick succession; with Sharon Kirkpatrick (39:01 – 108th place), Sarah Girvin (39:22 – 111th place), and Glenda Girvin (39:31 – 114th place) all running well.
The black and yellow vests continued to emerge at a relentless rate as the clock passed 40 minutes; Alison Whelan (40:59 – 121st place), Julieanne Greer (41:32 – 124th place), Doris Kirby (41:41 – 126th place) and Helen Macklin (41:46 – 127th place) all looked strong as they negotiated the final climb. Elaine McGarry and Carla Barkley ran together, encouraging each other to the top of the hill where the finish line was situated, with Elaine crossing in 43:10 (130th place) and Carla in 43:11 (131st place).
Valerie Lyttle was the next tired but happy familiar face to reach the finish line in a time of 43:53, claiming 133rd place. As the East Coast AC members and supporters continued to cheer each and every one of their club mates over the line, Fiona Rolston (44:32 – 136th place), Dawn Ralph (45:25 – 139th place), Christine Irwin (46:34 – 140th place), Rosie Kerr (48:40 – 142nd place) and Emma Smith (55:15 – 148th place) all completed the distance impressively.
In the men’s event, Andy Guy’s talent once again shone through; battling it out between 6th and 7th place continually up the hill, the newly crowned Rathlin Run Champion put in another top class performance, crossing the line in 6th place overall and 1st for East Coast AC in a time of 28:47. Up and coming star Daniel Girvin slashed approximately two and a half minutes off his time from last year when he finished in 31:16 (25th place), with this, Daniel was the 2nd club member home.
Paul Hutchinson was the next familiar face to make his way up the hill to the finish line, covering the distance in 31:50 and claiming 32nd place (3rd East Coast AC member). The ever consistent Murray Deller put in a strong performance, especially so when considering he cycled 85 miles in the Lap The Lough event just days beforehand, Murray finished in 37th place in a time of 32:24. Club coach, Ryan Maxwell made a last minute decision to race despite his ongoing injury problems and worked his way through the pack well to finish in 33:10 (40th place).
No stranger to hills this weekend, Chris Davis ran a strong race to finish in 49th place in 33:53. Talented triathletes, Stephen Millar and Drew Girvin were the next black and yellow vests to reach the finishing area, with Stephen crossing the line in 34:28 (53rd place) and Drew in 34:45 (57th place).
As the runners began to come in thick and fast, the trio of Michael Smith, Callum Sittlington and Iain Bailie all came in within close proximity of each other; Michael finished in 35:23 (61st place) followed by Callum and Iain in 35:35 (63rd place) and 36:00 (69th place) respectively. Alex Robertson showed he is back on track after an injury, finishing well in 36:59 (76th place).
Alan Glover kept a good pace throughout the race and looked powerful as he crossed the finish in 38:25, taking 79th place. Great North Run bound Paul Clements ran well, finishing in 82nd place in a time of 38:50, followed by Conor Sheridan in 39:03 (84th place). Adrian Smith (39:24 – 86th place) then led Nigel Taylor (39:49 – 88th place) and Philip Greer (40:00 – 90th place) across the line, with all three men having put in top performances.
Another recent Lap The Lough finisher, Lionel Date was next to finish in a time of 42:44, taking 105th place overall. Marty McToal and Brian Maltman were the next members of the black and yellow army to reach the top of the hill, finishing in 43:10 (107th place) and 43:27 (110th place) respectively. William Gallagher (44:28 – 114th place), Paul Cunningham (48:16 – 122nd place) and Bobby O’Toole (52:44 – 126th place) all arrived into the finishing tunnel to great support from the watching crowds.
On behalf of East Coast Athletic Club, chairman Justin Maxwell and the club committee would like to thank Larne AC for the invitation to compete at the well-organised race and for their hospitality before, during and after the hugely successful event. Club officials further extended their thanks to all East Coast AC members, supporters, family and friends who turned out on the night.
Guy Crowned Rathlin Champion!
This bank holiday weekend, East Coast AC athletes competed in a variety of events including the Rathlin Run, the Colour Run, Moneymore 10k, Lap the Lough and the ever popular parkrun events.
On Saturday 23rd August, four members along with their families travelled to the small and picturesque island of Rathlin for the Rathlin Run and associated Rathlin 5k. Andy Guy, Chris Davis, Morna Wright and Paula Cosgrove all braved the stormy ferry crossing from Ballycastle which took the athletes to Church Bay in the island where both races would start and finish.
The first of the day’s events was the 10 mile race; promoted as Northern Ireland’s most unique and arguably most challenging road race, it took competitors towards the West Lighthouse and RSPB Centre whilst taking in stunning coastal as well as inland views. Andy Guy led the almost two hundred strong field throughout the course, but it wasn’t until the turning point (5.7 miles) when he really began to show his class; steadily tackling the uphills and making short, fast work of the downhill sections. Andy, who is in training for the upcoming Amsterdam Marathon in October, cruised to victory along the final stretch of road to a chorus of cheers from the awaiting crowds, as he was crowned the Rathlin champion of 2014, taking 1st place in a time of 1:02:39.
Chris Davis ran well over the (extremely) undulating course, looking very strong on the uphill sections. After negotiating the steep downhill towards the finish area, Chris was cheered along by family and friends, crossing the line in 53rd place and in a time of 1:24:24. This was a great performance and puts him in good stead for the Great North Run in two weeks time.
After 10 miles of continuous hills, Morna Wright powered into the atmospheric (and more importantly flat) finishing straight. The hard working athlete was most definitely rewarded for her efforts when she finished 1st in her category and 43rd lady in a time of 1:47:06.
In the 5k, Paula Cosgrove joined almost fifty other athletes at the start line of the race which would see them run towards the South of the island over an undulating yet scenic course. Paula started well, working her way up the first hills strongly and keeping a fast pace right out to the turning point. The determined athlete worked her way up through the field on the return leg of the course, and covered the final finishing stretch quickly, crossing the line in a new 5k personal best of 25:52 (10th place lady).
The Colour Run
Also on Saturday (23rd August 2014), members were in action at the Colour Run in Belfast. Known as ‘the happiest 5k on the planet,’ the 3.1 mile course based around Titanic Quarter involves participants getting doused head to toe in coloured powder at each kilometre, resulting in rather ‘colourful’ finishers.
Hazel Ritchie, Gillian Pike, Ashley Smyth, Charlotte Smyth, Jacque Craig, Eva Craig, Karl Joyce and Tracey Parke all completed the fun 5k run looking a little more colourful than when they started.
Lap The Lough
On Sunday 24th August, eight club members took part in the annual Lap The Lough cycle event. The event, starting from Peatlands Park in Dungannon, involved competitors cycling anticlockwise around Lough Neagh, covering a total of 85 miles in distance.
Glenda Girvin, Kelly Deller, Sharon Kirkpatrick, Tracy Hutchinson, Roisin Lavery, Paula Urwin, Lionel Date and Murray Deller all completed the gruelling cycle.
Although results are not yet available at the time of going to press, this is a great achievement for all involved and just rewards for months of hard training. Please keep an eye on the website for results, as these will be published as soon as available.
On Sunday 24th August 2014, international duathlete David Clarke travelled to Moneymore, just outside Cookstown, for the 2nd annual Moneymore 10k, an event renowned for it's tough course. David produced an excellent performance to claim 3rd place, after covering the 6.2 mile route in an excellent 36:17.
On Saturday (23rd August) morning, members were out representing the club at Ormeau parkrun and the popular, local Larne parkrun based in and around Carnfunnock Country Park.
In Larne, the in-form Daniel Girvin ran well to finish in 2nd place in a time of 19:34. The young McIlroy brothers were only seconds apart this week, with Matthew finishing in 7th place in 22:00 and Callum just four seconds later in a new personal best on the course of 22:04 (8th place).
Iain Bailie achieved a new personal best when he crossed the line in 22:33 claiming 12th place in the event. Great North Run bound Paul Clements was next to finish in 21st place in a time of 23:55. Representing the club for the first time and taking part in his first running event, Martin Conway did so in fine fashion, finishing in 40th place in 27:09.
East Coast Cheetah star, Hannah Clements achieved a new personal best on what was her 11th parkrun, finishing in 27:19 (4th place lady). Megan Millar also achieved a new personal best when she finished as 14th placed lady in 31:49, closely followed by Cyndy Hay in 32:14 (16th place lady) and Lynsey McKeen in 32:17 (17th place lady).
There were more personal bests when Christine Irwin and Oliver Smyth crossed the finish line; Christine finished in 35:21 (25th place lady) and Oliver finished in 35:44 (74th place). Charlotte Smyth, Caitlin Pike and Gillian Pike all finished in quick succession of each other, with Charlotte leading the way in 38:35 (31st place lady), followed by Caitlin in 38:39 (32nd place lady) and Gillian in 38:43 (33rd place lady).
Further afield in Ormeau parkrun (Belfast), Philip Greer completed the 5k time trial in a new personal best of 24:40, securing 66th place.
Maxwell Captains NI whilst McIlroy Wins 5 Mile Race!
This week, East Coast AC athletes enjoyed a busy few days of competition, which saw the clubs members race over a variety of distances and terrains; club chairman Justin Maxwell also captained Northern Ireland at the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Championships in America.
Groomsport Half Marathon
On Friday 15th August 2014, hundreds of athletes and spectators descended on the coastal village of Groomsport (County Down) for the penultimate race in the 2014 Pure Running Half Marathon Series, the Groomsport Half Marathon. Series regular, Janice Plumb performed to her usual high standard and secured a top ten spot in the ladies category.
Janice fought through a severe stitch in the second half of the course to reach the finish line in a time of 1:36:47, taking 6th place and 1st place in her category. This result puts Janice well into contention for the overall Series category prizes. Full results can be found here.
Mallusk 5 Mile Road Race
Also on Friday, two of the club’s members took part in the inaugural running of the Mallusk 5 mile road race, an event hosted by Mallusk Harriers. Husband and wife duo, David and Carol Clarke put in notable performances over the looped course which included a long and steep ascent in the early stages.
Finishing in a time of 30:14, David claimed 7th place (although finishing in the exact same time as Newcastle AC’s Brendan Quail in 6th place), which also secured a 1st place finish in his category. Carol Clarke continued her impressive running of late, completing the distance in 42:47, therefore taking 20th place in the ladies category. Full results can be found here.
World Mountain Running Association Championships
On Saturday 16th August 2014, Justin Maxwell was in competition at the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Championships, which were held in conjunction with the prestigious and notoriously difficult Pikes Peak Ascent in Colorado, America (described as ‘America’s Ultimate Challenge’). The ‘ascent only’ course measured 13.3 miles, starting at 1,920 metres above sea level and finishing at 4,302 metres, giving a total elevation climb of 2,382 metres.
Justin, who was captain of the four man Northern Ireland team taking part in the event, climbed strongly, working his way through the elite field. He (Justin) coped well with the tough course, but like most of the European athletes, found the ‘thin air’ difficult. Despite this, Justin finished in a time of 3:04:04 (108th place). His performance alongside his team mates (Ian Bailey – Newcastle AC; Chris Stirling – Ableside AC; Peter Bell – Pegasus AC) secured a brilliant 8th place overall for Northern Ireland in the World Championship team standings.
Lough Neagh Triathlon
On Saturday 16th August 2014, Callum Sittlington travelled to Ballyronan for the annual Lough Neagh Triathlon. The popular event which takes the form of a sprint distance, incorporating a 750m swim, 20k cycle and 5k run, attracted over two hundred entrants.
Up and coming star Callum started the event with a strong swim in a time of 17:25, following this with a 40:42 finish for the cycle and a 23:00 5k run time. Callum’s overall finish time was 1:24:16, securing him 105th place in the event. Full results can be found here.
Club Championship Challenge Series
Sunday 17th August brought with it the first instalment of the new East Coast AC Club Championship Series for 2014/15. The Series, which includes a total of 11 races from August 2014 to June 2015, covers a variety of distances and terrains. The 5 mile road race was first on the agenda and attracted over forty club members, all eager to take part in the coastal course starting and finishing at Larne Leisure Centre.
Using a handicap system, all athletes were allocated their various start times ensuring that it was an equal playing field for all taking part; with the trio of Suzanne Lough, Rosie Kerr and Christine Irwin collectively starting the proceedings.
Setting off over seven minutes behind the first wave of runners, Johanna McIlroy ran extremely well to reach the finish line in first place in a total time of 54:37, giving her an actual 5 mile time of 47:00. Recent Jog Larne graduate Christine Irwin was the next to cross the line, showing her hard work in training is paying off, finishing in 55:06 and covering the distance in an actual time of 56:17.
Stephen Millar put in a top class performance after starting 20 minutes behind the first wave of athletes, Stephen crossed the finish line in 3rd place in 57:08, resulting in an actual time of 36:05 for the distance. Junior athlete Eva Craig completed her first 5 mile race in style, finishing in 4th place with a time of 1:00:44 (actual time – 53:00).
The quickly improving Helen Stranney was the next runner to appear along the promenade, finishing in 1:00:46 (5th place), resulting in a time of 44:59 for the distance. Lorraine Lyttle followed shortly after, taking 6th place in 1:00:59 and an actual time of 48:40 for the 5 mile course.
The athletes then began to come in thick and fast, with Rosie Kerr leading a group across the line in 1:01:10 (7th place – actual time 1:10:10). Amanda Clements secured 8th place with a finishing time of 1:01:11 and actual time of 45:45; followed by Lionel Date in 1:01:17 (9th place – actual time 43:04).
Mandy McToal and Shirley McGuckin finished within seconds of each other, with Mandy just reaching the finish line first in 1:01:23 (10th place – actual time 44:52) and Shirley following in 1:01:28 (11th place – actual time 46:53). Paul Cunningham and Patricia Campbell started and finished together, with both crossing the line in 1:01:35, giving them a 5 mile actual time of 56:36 and 12th and 13th place respectively.
Recent Lurig Challenge finisher, Nikki McNeill was the second fastest lady of the day when she finished in 1:01:43 giving her an actual time of 43:15 (14th place). Marie Glover was the 15th person to finish when she crossed the line in 1:01:59 (actual time – 51:08), followed by Kelly Deller in 1:02:03 (16th place – actual time 48:13) and Peter McManus in 1:02:05 (17th place – actual time 46:34).
Paula Cosgrove had no need to be worried with her bigger than expected handicap time, when she took 18th place in 1:02:06, securing the 3rd fastest female time of the day for the distance in 43:26. Rowena Davis produced a new personal best and also claimed the fastest female time of the day when she reached the finish area next, in 19th place and an overall time of 1:02:22 (actual time 42:23).
Andy Guy ran the fastest time of the day when he crossed the line next in a total time of 1:02:26 (20th place), resulting in an actual time of 30:19, all the more impressive considering this part of a 20 mile training run for the Amsterdam Marathon bound athlete. Julianne Greer ran well to finish in 21st place in 1:02:29, giving her a time of 52:21 for the 5 mile distance. Scott Cowie put in a strong performance, claiming the third fastest time of the day in 35:13, and finishing in 22nd place in an overall time of 1:02:40.
Adrian Smith covered the final yards quickly to finish in 23rd place in 1:02:45 (actual time – 40:15), followed by Heather Shaw and Valerie Lyttle in 1:02:53 (24th place – actual time 54:27) and 1:02:57 (25th place – actual time 55:02). Daniel Girvin once again took the family bragging rights when he finished in 1:03:02 (26th place), giving him an actual time of 32:17 for the distance, and the second fastest time of the day.
Alex Robertson showed he is back on track after a recent injury, when he finished in 27th place in an overall time of 1:03:22 and an actual time of 37:18. Suzanne Lough claimed 28th place when she finished in 1:03:41, however due to starting later than expected, Suzanne’s actual time for the distance was 1:18:55. Tracey Shannon claimed 29th place when she finished in 1:03:45, resulting in a 5 mile actual time of 52:48.
Having completed his run earlier than expected due to work commitments, Paul Clements put in a solid performance to finish in an overall time of 1:03:53 (30th place) and an actual time of 41:28 for the distance. Marty McToal, Colleen Taylor, Phil Smyth and Iain Bailie all finished within quick succession, with Marty claiming 31st place in 1:03:54 (actual time 42:47), Colleen 32nd place in 1:03:55 (actual time 53:51), Iain 33rd place in 1:03:58 (actual time 38:31) and Phil 34th place in 1:03:59 (actual time 40:37).
Although almost one minute split them in crossing the finish line, Drew Girvin and Murray Deller were only two seconds apart over the 5 mile distance. Drew finished in 35th place crossing the line in 1:04:05 giving an actual time of 35:52, and Murray followed in 1:05:08 giving an actual time of 35:54 (36th place). Using the race as part of a training run, Chris Davis performed well to finish in 1:05:09 covering the 5 mile course in an actual time of 36:08 (37th place).
Chris Dickson, William Gallagher and Mark McDonnell all came across the finish quickly, with Chris leading the trio in 1:05:12 (38th place – actual time 43:59) and William and Mark both crossing in 1:05:27 and achieving an actual time of 46:20 (39th and 40th place respectively). Alan Glover finished in 41st place after missing out on his original start time, resulting in an overall finish time of 1:07:23 and an actual time of 42:00 for the distance.
East Coast AC would like to thank everyone who helped at this event, it couldn’t have been made possible without you and the club and its members very much appreciate it. Full results can be found on our results page here.
There was another impressive turnout at this week’s local Larne parkrun, with sixteen members completing the 5k time trial. Glasgow based John McManus achieved a new personal best over the course as well as claiming 1st place when he cruised across the finish line in 18:39. Stephen Millar narrowly missed out on a personal best when he was the 6th man to finish in 21:47.
Iain Bailie ran extremely well throughout and put in a fast finish to secure 13th place in 22:55. Callum McIlroy was the fastest junior athlete of the day when he finished in a time of 23:19, taking 15th place. Conor Sheridan’s hard work in training was rewarded with a new personal best when he crossed the line next in 23:56 (19th place).
East Coast Cheetah, Rhys McManus put in a top performance to achieve a new personal best of 24:01 for the distance when he finished next in 20th place. Paul Clements and Mark McManus both ran well, completing the tough 5k course in 24:06 (21st place) and 24:08 (22nd place) respectively. Peter McManus completed his first ever Larne parkrun in fine fashion, crossing the line in a time of 26:16 (35th place).
Young star Hannah Clements was the next familiar face to make their way back towards Dixon Hall, finishing in 28:30 (6th place lady) for her tenth parkrun. Patrice Murphy achieved a new personal best of 30:49 when she finished as the 11th placed lady. Lynsey McKeen took over a minute off her previous best for the distance when she finished in 32:12 (15th place lady).
Mary Carmichael joined her two brothers at the finish area after covering the 5k course in 33:46, securing 16th place in the ladies category. Philip Greer was the next member to make their way back to the finish, running alongside son Kristian, Philip completed the run in 35:15 (72nd place). Siblings, Oliver and Charlotte Smyth completed the East Coast AC contingent at the event when they crossed the line to loud cheers in 38:02 (75th place) and 40:05 (26th place lady) respectively.
For the second week running, Gillian and Caitlin Pike were in action at the Carrickfergus parkrun; the mother and daughter team ran well to secure top thirty places in the ladies category, with Caitlin crossing the line first in 37:14 (29th place lady), and Gillian one second later in 37:15 (30th place lady).
Kennedy claims prize in Lurig Challenge!
After a week of questionable summer weather, East Coast AC athletes were once again out in force across a number of events and as usual put in some top performances.
The major event of the weekend was without doubt the Lurig Challenge mountain race on Saturday 9th August. Fourteen members joined hundreds of runners in the coastal village of Cushendall for the 3.5 mile race which included 375m of ascent and held as part of the popular Heart of the Glens Festival. The race, which attracts both road runners and mountain runners sets off from the centre of the village, taking athletes towards the mountain (Lurgethan) where they have to negotiate a steep climb before making their way back down - usually by sliding rather than running – to the finish area.
Justin Maxwell, Matthew Hewitt and Stephen Kennedy were all relatively close throughout the race, however after a fast descent and run in towards the crowds, Justin was the first East Coast AC man to finish in a time of 32:00, taking 6th place. Stephen Kennedy put in arguably the performance of the day, having climbed the mountain in astounding speed, the Dungannon based athlete descended well to reach the finish in 32:35, claiming 8th place overall and 1st place in the competitive V45 category. Only five seconds split Stephen from his friend and training partner, Matthew Hewitt, with Matthew crossing the line in 32:40 securing 9th place.
The East Coast AC ‘cheerleading squad’ didn’t have to wait long until the next familiar face arrived; Corey Urwin reached the finish line in 34:17 (14th place), a particularly impressive time given the fact that Corey sustained an ankle injury during the race. Mark McManus was next to make his way towards the atmospheric finish area, crossing the line in 23rd place and in a time of 36:11.
Murray Deller climbed well and made a fast descent to finish in a time of 40:11, securing 52nd place overall. A regular at this event, Alan Glover was next to cross the line in 46:58 (116th place), bettering his prior year time by almost eight minutes! In what was his first attempt at mountain running, Lee Stirling worked hard and his efforts paid off when he completed the tough course in 48:08 (128th place).
Nigel Taylor received a loud reception from the awaiting crowds when he covered the final yards quickly, reaching the finish in a time of 51:20, taking 156th place. Jenny Magill was the first of the club’s ladies to complete the course, and did so in fine fashion, finishing in 54:30 (27th place lady). Katie Glover followed just over a minute later in 55:39 (37th place lady), replicating her position from last year as 2nd placed junior female.
Nikki McNeill, Gillian Leetch-Armstrong and Kelly Deller all ran well, proving that their recent training over the hills paid off for this event. After strong climbing and a speedy descent, the trio finished together, with only a second between them. Gillian crossed the line first in 1:01:07 (60th place lady), followed by Nikki in 1:01:08 (61st place lady) and Kelly in 1:01:09 (62nd place lady). Full results can be found here.
AAI National Masters Track & Field Championships
On Sunday (10th August 2014), Allyson O’Toole made her debut to track racing at the Glo Health AAI National Masters Track & Field Championships in Tullamore, Ireland. Allyson was competing in the 800m and 1500m events in the F35 category.
In her first event of the day, the 800m, Allyson claimed 6th place in 2:36. Allyson continued on from this with another top performance in the afternoon in the 1500m, competing this event in 5:23, securing 7th place.
Drumlanrig Castle MTB Marathon
Last Sunday (3rd August 2014), Stephen Millar, Barry McKeown and Bill Mackness completed the Drumlanrig Castle MTB Marathon in Scotland. The trio completed the 75k mountain bike endurance course on forest trails within the grounds of one of Scotland's finest stately homes.
This Saturday (9th August 2014), club members were in action at seven different parkrun events across Northern Ireland and Wales. The most popular was the local Larne parkrun, held within the grounds of Carnfunnock Country Park and starting and finishing at Dixon Hall (Drainsbay). Andy Guy was the first member to finish in 23:38, taking 14th place. Recent ‘Rock n Roll Dublin Half Marathon’ finisher, Paul Clements was next to cross the finish line in 24:18 (19th place), followed by Conor Sheridan who achieved a new personal best in 24:24 (20th place).
April and Carol Clarke both achieved new personal bests when they finished in 24:49 (2nd place lady) and 25:52 (3rd place lady) respectively. Parkrun regulars, the Plumb family were out encouraging young Harry Plumb around the course, resulting in a new personal best for the up and coming junior athlete, finishing in 26:04 (29th place). Sandy Plumb also finished in 26:04 (30th place), with Janice following just one second later in 26:05 (4th place lady).
Karl Joyce took over thirty seconds off his time from last week, finishing in 26:19 and claiming 34th place. Hannah Clements and Paula Cosgrove finished just seconds apart, with Hannah reaching the finish line in 28:20 (10th place lady) and Paula in 28:22 (11th place lady). Julianne Greer took 18th place in the ladies category when she completed the 5k course in 32:24, shortly followed by Cyndy Hay in 33:46 (22nd place lady).
Naomi Coupland completed her second ever parkrun in a new personal best of 34:41, taking over two minutes off her previous attempt at the distance just three weeks ago. Heather Shaw then led a large group of members into the finishing area in a time of 36:55 (33rd place lady) with Christine Irwin (37:11 new personal best – 34th place lady), Kristian Greer (37:16 – 89th place), Philip Greer (37:16 – 90th place), Megan Millar (37:55 – 35th place lady), and Tia Maxwell (37:56 – 36th place lady) all following in quick succession. Next to finish were Christopher and Trisha Campbell who completed the tough course in 38:50 (97th place) and 41:08 (40th place lady) respectively.
In Carrickfergus parkrun, Gillian and Caitlan Pike joined almost one hundred other participants for the three lap course. Caitlan ran with mum Gillian throughout the course and finished just one second ahead in 36:14, taking 24th place in the ladies category. Gillian completed the 5k course in 36:15 securing 25th place in the ladies category.
Callum Sittlington travelled to Ballymena for the popular Ecos parkrun, held within Ecos Park close to the town centre. Callum achieved a new parkrun personal best when he finished in 21:25 securing 10th place overall.
Chris Davis secured a top ten spot when he completed the eleventh running of the Comber parkrun; Chris completed the course in 21:53 taking 8th place.
Mel Milligan joined over two hundred others at the start line of the Ormeau parkrun in Belfast. Mel worked hard throughout the course, covering the distance in 29:43 and securing 39th place in the ladies category.
While on a short family break in Enniskillen, the Smyth and McIlroy families took part in the Enniskillen parkrun. Matthew McIlroy was the first to finish, and did so with a new parkrun personal best of 21:36 (8th place). Callum McIlroy also achieved a new parkrun personal best with a 23:03 finish time, securing 14th place.
In Wales, Peter McManus took part in the Cardiff parkrun; an out and back 5k run along the River Taff which attracted almost six hundred participants. Peter ran a new personal best of 25:16 over the course which secured 254th place.
The club would also like to congratulate Ryan Maxwell on successfully completing the final assessment of his UKA (UK Athletics) Coach in Running Fitness course (Level 2 Coach) on Saturday (9th August 2014).
This qualification adds to Ryan’s UKA Coaching Assistant (Athletics) qualification and now brings the number of UKA Level 2 coaches within East Coast Athletic Club to three.
Next Sunday (17th August 2014), the club will be holding it’s first race of the 2014-15 Championship Challenge Series. For more details of this race and the series, please visit the specific events page here.
Clarke claims prize in Cookstown!
In a week that the Commonwealth Games fever hit the running community, East Coast AC were once again putting in top class performances in a variety of races across the province.
The exciting weekend of running kicked off with the Stanley Reid Memorial 5 mile road race in Cookstown on Friday (1st August 2014) evening. Two of the club’s talented running families – the Clarke’s and Girvin’s - joined over three hundred athletes at the start line of the event at Loughry College campus.
Experienced international athlete, David Clarke was the first across the line for the club when he completed the undulating but fast course in a new personal best of 28:45, this exceptional time didn’t just secure 14th place overall but also 1st place in David’s category. Drew Girvin was the 100th runner to cross the finish line after a strong run, covering the 5 miles in 34:30.
It was personal bests all round for the Clarke household when Carol Clarke appeared towards the finish line, completing the course in 40:46 and claiming 30th place in the competitive ladies category. Daniel Girvin ran alongside Glenda Girvin for the majority of the race and his encouragement obviously worked as Glenda put in a top performance in what was her first attempt at the distance. Glenda and Daniel crossed the line together however due to chip timing, it meant that Glenda covered the course in 43:36 (53rd place lady) and Daniel in 43:46 (249th place). Full results can be found here.
On Saturday 2nd August 2014, Stephen Kennedy was in action at the Tandragee 10k road race. In wet and blustery conditions, Stephen started off well and kept within the top ten throughout and eventually covering the tough 6.2mile course in 37:58, securing 6th place overall. Full results can be found here.
Also on Saturday (2nd August 2014), Justin Maxwell travelled to the Mourne Mountains for the iconic ‘Seven Sevens’ long distance race hosted by BARF. The notoriously difficult course covers 19miles with 8,700ft of ascent whilst covering seven of the summits of the Mourne Mountains. Justin completed the event in 4:49:08 and claimed 11th place overall. Full results can be found here.
On Monday (4th August 2014), friends Sandy Plumb, Paul Clements and Iain Bailie travelled to Dublin for the second annual Rock n Roll Half Marathon. The trio joined over five thousand other competitors for the scenic city centre course which would see them run by many of Dublin's most famous sights. As with all the 'Rock n Roll' events, there were live bands playing along the route of the half marathon and a finish line festival awaited the athletes upon completing the 13.1miles.
Paul, Ian and Sandy ran the first half of the course together, with all three crossing the 10k marker within a few seconds of each other. After a similar second half, the men kept up a good pace with Paul making a fast dash towards the atmospheric finish area and crossing the line first in 1:53:39 (1,582nd place). Less than half a minute later, Ian reached the finish in a time of 1:54:08 (1,629th place). Sandy Plumb took over fifteen minutes off his time for his previous attempt at the distance (Ards Half Marathon) when he crossed the line in 1:58:15, taking 2,032nd place.
The weekend wouldn’t be complete without members taking part in the 5k parkrun time trials every Saturday morning, and this weekend was no exception with over twenty members taking part. Greg Lavery completed his first ever Portrush parkrun in fine fashion as he was first across the line in 18:39 (1st place). Another newcomer to the Portrush parkrun, Naoise McLoughlin followed exactly 60 seconds after, securing 3rd place in 19:39.
Peter McManus continued to impress ‘over the water’, when he completed the Abington parkrun in 26:21, taking 107th place out of a total of 216 runners.
Closer to home, East Coast AC had the usual strong representation at the local Larne parkrun. Parkrun regular Andy Guy replicated his finishing position from his previous two attempts at the course, securing 1st place in 18:49. Scott Cowie was the next member to finish and was one of many to achieve a new personal best over the 5k course; Scott finished in a time of 21:16 securing 5th place.
Junior member and talented triathlete, Callum Sittlington was next to cross the line in a new personal best of 21:42 taking 7th place. Trisha Campbell put in a top performance in what was her first Larne parkrun, claiming 2nd place in the ladies category in 23:20. Just over ten seconds later, Matthew McIlroy was next to sprint down the long finishing straight; Matthew celebrated his tenth parkrun with a time of 23:32 (17th place).
Matthew’s younger brother Callum was never too far behind, and finished strongly in a time of 23:46 which secured 19th place. Conor Sheridan, Nigel Taylor and Paul Clements all finished within quick succession, proving that their hard work in training is most certainly paying off. Conor completed the tough course in a new personal best of 24:30 (27th place), followed by Nigel in a new personal best of 24:46 (28th place), and Paul in 24:56 taking 30th place.
Another parkrun regular, Sandy Plumb looked strong as he crossed the line in 41st place, covering the 3.1 mile course in 26:44. Karl Joyce was the next familiar face to reach the Dixon Hall finish area after completing the course in 26:51 (44th place). Young Hannah Clements crossed the line with a smile in a time of 28:42 securing 8th place in the ladies category. Julianne Greer continued to chip away at her 5k time when she finished with a new personal best of 31:43 (17th place lady).
Philip Greer ran with his son Kristian throughout the hilly course and finished together in 35:48 (75th and 76th place). The Smyth family were out in full force with East Coast Cheetah, Charlotte Smyth leading her mum and younger brother across the finish line in 37:10 (18th place lady). Oliver Smyth and Ashley Smyth followed in 38:27 (79th place) and 38:28 (19th place lady) respectively. Christine Irwin completed the East Coast AC representation at the event when she crossed the finish line in a time of 41:06 and claimed 20th place in the ladies category.
East Coast AC dominate the podiums in a busy weekend of racing!
In the week which seen East Coast AC hold its first official race, members continued to do the club proud once again with personal bests, wins and podium places.
The Milk Run
As with many of the summer weekends, the action kicked off with a Friday evening (25th July 2014) event, the ‘Milk Run’ in Ballymoney. The newly named event consisted of a 5 mile road race, which was hosted by Springwell Running Club. International mountain runner and long distance specialist, Justin Maxwell made a welcome return to the road racing scene, and in doing so claimed a well-deserved podium place at the event. Justin covered the 5mile course in 27:20 securing 3rd place overall. (Full results can be found here)
Browns Bay Beast Triathlon
On Saturday (26th July 2014), East Coast AC triathletes made the short journey to Islandmagee for the tough (as the name suggests!) Browns Bay Beast triathlon. Joined by an abundance of ECAC supporters, six members took to the start line, ready for the gruelling course which lay ahead; 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run.
Adele Neill put in the performance of the day and reaped the rewards when she was crowned the winner of the ladies event in a total time of 2:25:10. Adele’s time also ensured she was the first of the six club members to finish, after an impressive swim of 24:24 followed by a clocking of 1:16:12 for the cycling section and then a fantastic 10k run time of 43:04.
The ECAC cheerleaders didn’t have long to wait for the next member to cross the finish line, when Corey Urwin appeared after 2:25:28, taking 25th place. Corey’s swim of 26:25 and 40k cycle of 1:15:25 set him up nicely for what was his strongest area, the running section, which he covered with ease in 41:21. Experienced triathlete, Danny Hylands was next to appear alongside club friend, Michael Smyth, the pair ran towards the finish line together with Danny covering the course in 2:30:03 (35th place), and Michael in 2:30:02 (34th place). After a swim time of 27:01, Danny quickly moved up the field in the cycling section, which he completed in a quick 1:13:19, followed by a 48:01 clocking for the 10k run.
Stephen Millar and Stephen Whelan appeared almost a minute apart from each other, with Stephen Millar reaching the finish first in 2:30:55, claiming 38th place. The balmy waters of Browns Bay posed no difficulty to Stephen as he completed this section in 25:40, he then put in a good performance on the bike (1:15:49) followed by a strong 10k run (47:26). Stephen Whelan continued to work through the pack as the race progressed, starting in 71st place after a 28:29 swim time, moving up the ranks after a quick cycle of 1:14:19, and finishing in 41st place in 2:31:46, after a run of 46:32.
Murray Deller completed the East Coast AC contingent when the familiar black and yellow tri-suit appeared at the finish line after completing the course in 2:35:06, taking 46th place overall. Murray started well with a swim of 29:25, followed by a strong cycle over the undulating course in 1:19:29, before moving on to the two lap run route which he completed in 43:36. (Full results can be found here)
Run Mucker Run
Also on Saturday, Stephen Kennedy joined almost 1,000 other competitors at the annual Run Mucker Run event. Described as possibly the toughest 5k/10k obstacle course in Ireland, Stephen along with a team of friends completed 20-25 extreme obstacles, including names such as Daring Planks, Cargo Crawl, Ice Bath and Mud Hole as well as running the cross country route based in Ballymoney.
The Sunrise Run
On Sunday 27th July, East Coast AC held their first ever official race, the aptly named ‘Sunrise Run’. The event, which started at 7am, was held in memory of the club’s late friend and valued member, Paddy Campbell, and was set as a trial with the vision of creating and establishing an annual 5k run/walk event to raise some much needed funds for NI Chest Heart and Stroke. The early morning race was planned based on Paddy’s favourite run; Carnfunnock Country Park and first thing in the morning – hence the early start of 7am!
Almost one hundred and thirty sleepy eyed entrants arrived into the Dixon Hall starting area for the start of the 5k run (including walk) which covered two laps of the Carnfunnock Country Park loop and finished back at the Dixon Hall in Drainsbay. After a ‘thank you’ speech and encouragement to go get a ‘pb’ just as Paddy always aimed for, from Bernadette Campbell, Paddy’s daughter, it was Paddy’s wife Patricia who announced the start of the race, giving the competitors the signal to start.
The top four spots were taken by East Coast AC men and ladies with Murray Deller crossing the line in 1st place in a time of 20:15; obviously showing no signs of tiredness from his triathlon exploits the previous day. Naoise McLoughlin took 2nd place in 20:30, followed by Allyson O’Toole in 21:56 claiming top spot in the ladies category and 3rd overall. Fourteen year old Matthew McIlroy performed to his usual high standard when he took 4th place overall and 3rd male in 22:12.
David Clarke and Andy Guy were close throughout, but it was David who just pipped Andy to the post, with a finish time of 20:30 (6th place); Andy finished in 20:32 (7th place). Young Callum McIlroy (only 10 years old), powered down the finishing straight to a round of applause from the awaiting crowds, covering the undulating 3.1 mile course in 23:56 (10th place).
Another young star and East Coast Cheetah, Rhys McManus (8 years) achieved a massive new personal best when he crossed the line in 13th place in a time of 24:37. Another man who took on the Browns Bay Beast triathlon the day before, Stephen Millar reached the finish line in a time of 25:08 (16th place), closely followed by Bernadette Campbell who claimed 3rd placed lady after finishing in 25:10 (a new personal best over the course).
Corey Urwin ran well especially when considering he was pushing his two children in the buggy, finishing in a time of 25:26 (19th place). Marty McToal put in a strong performance to finish in 25:34 (21st place), followed by Adrian Smith in 25:52 (23rd place). Carol Clarke achieved a new personal best when she claimed 4th place in the ladies category in a time of 26:22. Katie Glover was the next familiar face to reach the atmospheric finish area in a time of 26:44, taking 6th place in the ladies category.
Lionel Date achieved a personal best for the second time in as many days when he covered the distance in 26:50 (28th place). East Coast AC members then came in thick and fast when young Hannah O’Toole (6 years) led a chasing pack of Chris Dickson, Lesley Robinson, and Sandy Plumb towards the Dixon Hall finish. Hannah reached the finish first in 27:27 (7th place lady), followed in quick succession by Chris (27:28 – 33rd place), Lesley (27:29 – 8th place lady), and Sandy (27:30 – 35th place).
Paula Cosgrove proved her hard work in training is paying off when she crossed the line in 27:46, taking 10th place in the ladies category. Friends Lucy O’Toole and Hannah Girvin were next to reach the finish in 28:09 (11th place lady) and 28:10 (12th place lady) respectively. Amanda Clements achieved a new personal best when she covered the course in 28:15 (13th place lady). Johanna McIlroy joined her sons in the finishing area when she crossed the line in 30:03, claiming 17th place in the ladies category.
East Coast Cheetah, Jake Dempsey ran with his mum Lisa throughout the course, reaching the finish in 30:48 (53rd place); Lisa followed just one second later in 30:49 (19th place lady).
Doris Kirby was another athlete to achieve a personal best when she finished in 31:48 (23rd place lady). Paddy’s son Christopher Campbell reached Dixon Hall to a chorus of loud cheers, crossing the line in 31:54 (61st place).
Tracey Parke was the next member to finish in 32:27 (26th place lady), followed by Nicola Robinson (and dog Scout) in 32:55 (29th place lady). Almost one minute later, a large group of East Coast AC ladies appeared, with Sharon Smith leading the way in 33:20 (30th place lady). Cyndy Hay (33:25 – 31st place lady), Tracey Shannon (33:26 – 32nd place lady), Lynn Magee (33:35 – 33rd place lady), and Joanne Knox (33:36 – 34th place lady) all followed quickly.
Maria Glenn made a return to running after a short break due to injury, finishing well in 33:41 (37th place lady). Caeli McLoughlin was the next familiar face to cross the line in 34:47 (38th place lady), followed by Sarah Girvin (34:59 – 39th place lady) and Drew Girvin (35:01 – 82nd place). 7 year old Lauren McKeown was accompanied by dad Kieran around the tough 3.1mile course; Lauren covered the distance in 35:54 (42nd place lady) followed by Kieran in 35:56 (86th place).
Paul Cunningham and Trisha Campbell were the next pair to reach the gathered crowds, crossing the line in 36:03 (87th place) and 36:04 (43rd place lady) respectively. The ever improving East Coast Cheetah, Charlotte Smyth covered the course in 36:24 (44th place lady), followed closely by the mum, Ashley Smyth who claimed 46th place in the ladies category in 36:58. Fiona McToal and Gillian Pike both put in good performances, completing the run in 37:06 (47th place lady) and 37:10 (48th place lady) respectively.
After a short break in the continuous line of finishers, the cheers from the spectators increased in volume, signalling the arrival of Patricia Campbell onto the finishing straight. In what was a day of mixed emotions, Patricia proudly crossed the line in 38:14, taking 49th place in the ladies category. Young Cameron Smyth, who celebrated his birthday the day before, was next to finish in 38:27 (96th place), followed by Leah Girvin in 45:06 (59th place lady). The youngest competitor to complete the 5k race, Keilan McManus accompanied by father Mark McManus, ran 46:10, the same as his dad, therefore ensuring 111st and 112nd place. (Full results can be found here)
East Coast AC would like to thank everyone for supporting this event and thank club members and friends for volunteering to help make it such a success. The total amount raised for NI Chest Heart and Stroke currently totals £902.10 which is more than ever expected and is thanks to everyone’s generosity, East Coast AC and the Campbell family would like to pass on their sincere thanks to all involved.
Cookstown Half Marathon
Later on Sunday afternoon and after they stood down from volunteer duties at the ‘Sunrise Run’, Justin Maxwell, Janice Plumb and Chris Davis travelled to Cookstown for the Cookstown Half Marathon. The event, which is organised by events management group Tri-Limits, was also the ninth race in the 2014 Pure Running-Champion Chip Ireland Half Marathon Series. Justin Maxwell claimed his second podium place of the weekend when he covered the undulating course in 1:15:28, securing 3rd place.
Janice Plumb continued her excellent form in the Series, with another impressive performance and personal best, completing the distance in 1:32:13 which secured 8th place in the ladies race and 1st in her category. This was Janice’s fifth race of the Series and sees her as a major contender in her category. Chris Davis ran very well throughout the tough out and back course, and his hard work paid off when he achieved a new half marathon personal best of 1:37:24, claiming 88th place. (Full results can be found here)
On Saturday morning (26th July 2014), seventeen East Coast AC members took part in the weekly Larne parkrun; a free 5k time trial around the paths and trails of Carnfunnock Country Park. Daniel Girvin was first home for the club after finishing in 19:18 and claiming third place. Parkrun regular, Callum McIlroy put in a top performance to cover the 5k distance in 23:36 (17th place).
East Coast Cheetah, Katie Wilson ran superbly to take 1st place in the ladies category, winning in a new personal best time of 24:35. Paul Clements was the next familiar face to reach the finish in 25:00 (29th place), shortly followed by Sandy Plumb in 25:53 (34th place). Lionel Date achieved a new personal best when he crossed the line in 27:13, which was made all the more impressive as it was after a 20 mile cycle training session.
Harry Plumb and Hannah Clements worked well off each other throughout the course, with Harry finishing in 28:37 (50th place) and Hannah just ten seconds after in 28:47 (9th place lady). Lorena Wilson ran with son Zack in what was their second attempt at the course; Lorena finished in 32:02 (14th place lady) with Zack following in 32:05 (68th place). Jog Larne graduate Elaine McGarry bettered her time from the previous week when she crossed the line in 32:16 (15th place lady).
Charlotte Greer and Philip Greer completed their first ever parkrun in 32:20 (16th place lady) and 32:21 (71st place) respectively and were closely followed in by Cyndy Hay who finished in 33:00 taking 18th place in the ladies category.
Encouraged down the finishing straight by his brother, Lukey McIlroy ran well to finish in 38:59 claiming 85th place. Kristian Greer and Julianne Greer joined the remainder of their family at the finish when they crossed the line in 39:41 (87th place) and 39:43 (24th place lady) respectively.
Plumb and Neill secure podium places in a busy and successful week for East Coast AC!
The July holiday week is usually a quiet period in the world of athletics, however this was most certainly not the case with East Coast AC. The club had no less than seventy four senior and junior members out competing over a variety of events including, running, duathlon and triathlon. There were podium places and personal bests, as well as almost seventy participants completing the club’s popular Jog Larne programme.
Dalriada Duathlon and Triathlon
On Wednesday 16th July 2014, East Coast AC’s junior members travelled to Glenarm for the Dalriada Junior Duathlon, organised as part of the Dalriada Festival week of events. The event was open to all children of primary school age, with two races; 6years to 8 years and 9 years to 11 years.
In the 6-8 years race, the eager junior athletes had to negotiate a 250m run followed by a 1.5k cycle and then finishing with a final 250m run. Rhys McManus, Lukey McIlroy, Keilan McManus, Imogen Taylor, Katie Monaghan, and Maggie Deller all performed well.
The 9-11 years race included a 400m run, a 2.5k cycle and then another 400m run. In a large field of competitors, Callum McIlroy took to the start line; the up and coming star just missed out on a podium place, but claimed a well-deserved 4th place.
Later that evening, it was time for the East Coast AC triathletes to take centre stage in the much anticipated Dalriada Glenarm Triathlon. Over one hundred athletes, including seven East Coast AC members took part in the event which was initiated in 2011 and has grown in popularity ever since. Starting off with a 750m swim in the sheltered and invigorating waters of the Irish Sea, athletes would then take to their bikes for a 20k circular bike course inland up and above Glenarm village which included some spectacular views on the return leg. The final discipline; the 5k run was flat and fast in and around the scenic Glenarm Castle Estate.
Stephen Millar was most certainly the East Coast AC man of the night when he was first across the line for the club in an impressive 1:20:32 (29th place). Stephen’s strong swim set him up well for the bike and run section of the event, completing his swim in 14:01 and following it with a 41:52 clocking for the cycle discipline and finishing with a 21:47 5k run time.
Experienced triathlete and recent Ironman, Danny Hylands wasn’t far behind, taking 33rd place in a total time of 1:21:37. After completing the swim in 16:15, Danny clocked the fastest East Coast AC time for the 20k cycle – 41:27 (14th place) – followed by a quick 5k run of 21:45. Just over a minute later, Stephen Whelan crossed the line in 1:22:52 taking 40th place. After completing the swim in 16:42, Stephen had a strong cycle, covering the 20k in 41:45 and followed that well with a 21:33 timing for the 5k run.
Murray Deller was the next black and yellow tri suit to come sprinting down the finishing straight, completing all three disciplines in 1:25:15 (49th place). Murray’s most impressive discipline of the event was undoubtedly his run, which he completed in a fast 20:28 after clocking 16:09 and 45:37 for the swim and cycle respectively. Daniel Girvin took 4th place in the male junior category when he reached the finish in a time of 1:26:57 (56th place). Daniel started well with a fast swim time of 14:38, then following this with a 45:20 clocking for the bike and a 24:03 5k run time.
Phil Smyth reached the finish to a chorus of cheers from spectators when he took 77th place in a time of 1:34:47. Phil, who was competing in his second ever triathlon looked very strong throughout all three disciplines, clocking 19:20, 49:42 and 23:05 for the swim, cycle and run respectively.
Recent Ballygally Training Triathlon finisher, Mark Clark was the next East Coast AC man to make his way up the finishing arch inside the Estate grounds. After a 750m swim in a time of 25:11, Mark completed the cycle course in 58:00, following this with a great 5k run in 26:12, this ensured he took 98th place in a total time of 1:52:51.
A mention must also go to member’s friends and families who were competing in the tough but enjoyable event. Stephen Withers, Michael Smyth and Gareth McIntyre completed the course in 1:22:04, 1:24:21 and 1:36:38 respectively. The support from members was fantastic at both this event and the junior events during the day, the club as well as the competitors would like to thank everyone who made the trip down to Glenarm to cheer on our athletes.
North Coast 10k
Also on Wednesday evening (16th July 2014), Marty McToal was in action at the North Coast 10k. The charity run, which is now in it’s second year, started and finished at East Strand beach in Portrush. Marty joined almost 130 other athletes for the 10k race and had good run over the tricky undulating course in warm conditions, resulting in a finish time of 52:21 and securing 53rd place overall.
Dalriada 5k and 10k
The small coastal village of Glenarm was once again inundated with East Coast AC members on Friday (18th July 2014) evening, this time swapping their tri suits (from Wednesday’s event) for the black and yellow athletics vests. Over two hundred competitors turned out for the tough yet scenic 5k and the newly introduced 10k race held within the village, castle grounds and the forest.
In the 5k event, Allan McCullough was the first club member to finish; Allan put in a top performance to claim 9th place when crossing the line in 20:18. Junior star, Matthew McIlroy was next to cross the line in 21:24 taking 12th place overall. Janice Plumb ran very strongly to secure a 2nd place finish in the ladies race in a time of 22:08. In her first race in almost one year, Trisha Campbell firmly made her mark on the running scene when she narrowly missed out on a podium place, crossing the line as 4th placed lady in 22:57. Trisha's sister Bernadette made a welcome return to competition and also did so in fine fashion when she covered the distance in 24:35 (7th place lady).
Callum McIlroy joined his big brother at the finish line after completing the tough 5k course in a time of 24:40. Lionel Date was competing in his first race after sustaining an injury and showed he is most definitely back fighting fit when he finished in 25:33 (31st place). Gillian Leetch Armstrong secured a top ten finish when she crossed the line in 26:17 (10th place lady).
Katie Glover was next to cross the line in 27:17 (12th place lady) followed by Johanna McIlroy in 29:28 (18th place lady). The ever improving Tracey Shannon completed the tough course in 32:05 claiming 29th place lady. Julianne Greer had a great run, reaching the finish line in 32:12 (32nd place lady). Young Lauren McKeown was next to sprint up the hill towards the finish, doing so in a time of 34:35 (39th place lady). Lauren was followed by younger brother Sam McKeown (accompanied by father, Kieran McKeown) less than a minute later; with Sam finishing in 35:12 (94th place). A special mention must also go to club member’s family who completed the 5k including Philip Greer (32:12 - 74th place) and Coen Hogg (23:43 - 22nd place) and Brian Hogg (24:33 - 25th place) (Coen and Brian are on holiday from Holland).
Nikki McNeill took on the tough and undulating 10k race which included two laps of the 5k route. Nikki finished in a time of 55:41 securing 10th place in the ladies category.
On Saturday (19th July 2014) morning, James Robinson joined almost three hundred and fifty other athletes for the annual Kennedy Kane McArthur 10k road race in the rural village of Dervock. James looked strong as he negotiated the challenging course, and his hard work paid off when he crossed the line in 11th place in a time of 39:37. Unfortunately Hazel Ritchie who had planned to complete the 10k race had to withdraw due to illness, everyone at East Coast AC wishes Hazel a speedy recovery. (Results attached here)
Also on Saturday morning, the Jog Larne graduation was held; this was the culmination of ten weeks of hard work by almost eighty participants, whereby they are introduced to the sport of running, gradually building the distance and time up over the weeks resulting in a 5k run.
This year, East Coast AC introduced a junior programme alongside the senior programme which was now in its second year. The Larne parkrun was the official 5k run for the graduation event and although a challenging course, all participants did themselves and the club extremely proud.
The club would like to say thank you to every single participant for taking part in the programme and helping us share our love of running. The East Coast AC committee would also like to express a sincere thank you to the club members who assisted with the organisation and delivery of the programme. A selection of photos from this event have been uploaded to our facebook page.
Lisburn City Triathlon
On Sunday (20th July 2014), it was time again for the ever growing sport of triathlon to take the focus. International athlete, Adele Neill was back in action after her recent podium place at the Peninsula Sea Sprint Triathlon in Ballywalter last month. Adele performed to her usual top class standard when she completed all three disciplines in 1:09:45 securing 2nd place overall and 1st place in her category.
Adele got off to a great start after completing the 750m swim in 14:36, but it was her cycle which made her stand out from the crowd, with the fastest ladies time of 33:30 for the 20k course. Although Adele’s final discipline, a 5k run, was also worthy of note as she recorded a superb 19:14 for the distance.
Full results can be found here.
The local Larne parkrun enjoyed its largest ever turnout on Saturday (19th July) due to the final 5k run/graduation of East Coast AC’s Jog Larne programme, seeing a massive 182 athletes take to the start line. Corey Urwin was first runner across the line in a time of 21:05, a superb result given that Corey ran the entire course pushing a buggy with not one, but two children inside. Laura Hogg led the ladies home in a new personal best of 22:49.
Parkrun regular and a star performer each week, Callum McIlroy showed no signs of tiredness from his performance at the previous night’s Dalriada 5k race when he covered the course in 25:03, claiming 19th place. Young Bradie Hogg followed just three seconds behind, showing that the running talent certainly runs in the family when she joined her mum at the finish area in a time of 25:06 (3rd place lady).
Sandy Plumb ran well to secure 23rd place in a time of 25:50, closely followed by Karl Joyce who achieved a new personal best in 25:57 (24th place). The next familiar face to cross the line was Morna Wright, who achieved a well-deserved new personal best in 27:41, taking 7th place in the ladies category. Mother and son duo, Janice and Harry Plumb ran together right to the finish line, crossing together in 27:42. In his third attempt at the parkrun, Harry (38th place) achieved a fantastic new personal best and birthday girl Janice took 8th place in the ladies category.
East Coast Cheetah, Theo McToal completed the course for the first time in 28:04 (41st place), followed by Sonia Ross who took 10th place in the ladies category, crossing the line in 28:24. Emily Lavery and Rhys McManus were the next junior members to receive the cheers of the finish line, when Emily covered the 5k course in 28:44 (11th place lady) followed shortly by Rhys in a time of 29:25 (48th place).
Completing her third parkrun, Amanda Clements put in a strong performance resulting in a new personal best of 29:35 (13th place lady). The personal bests then came in thick and fast, with East Coast Cheetahs Evie and Abbie Lavery claiming 59th and 60th place respectively (in the ladies category) both in a time of 30:17.
Another Dalriada 5k finisher from the previous night, Joanna McIlroy completed her twelfth parkrun in a time of 30:28, claiming 21st placed lady. Lesley Robinson who was predominantly on the course to help and encourage the Jog Larne participants, finished next in 30:45 (23rd place lady). Two more East Coast Cheetahs then followed accompanied by senior member, Lorena Wilson. Zach Wilson covered the tough course in 31:18 (70th place) with mum Lorena (31:18 – 25th place lady), and shortly followed by young Mia McToal who reached the finish in 31:22 (26th place lady).
Club member Lisa Graham accompanied her son and East Coast Cheetah, Jake Dempsey around the course, with Jake crossing the finish in 32:07 (78th place) and Lisa just one second after in 32:08 (30th place lady). More families crossed the line together, giving the popular parkrun a real family atmosphere, the next of which were Gillian Pike (32nd place lady) who accompanied daughter Caitlin Pike (31st place lady), both finishing in 32:16. East Coast Cheetah leader Kelly Deller (32:15 – 34th place lady) was next to reach the finish with daughter and ‘Cheetah’ Maggie Deller (32:24 – 33rd place lady).
Another junior member, Corey McToal completed his first parkrun in style with a 32:57 finish (85th place). George Ross showed his training with the Cheetahs is paying off when he reached the finish in 33:20, claiming 85th place. Mandy McToal was another member who was helping encourage the Jog Larne graduates throughout the course, Mandy herself completed the run in 33:34 (37th place lady). Fresh back from holidays, Cyndy Hay covered the course in 33:39 claiming 39th place lady.
In her sixth parkrun, East Coast Cheetah Charlotte Smyth achieved a new personal best when she crossed the line in 33:55 (41st place lady). Gillian Leetch Armstrong (34:56 – 46th place lady) was the next member to reach the crowds at the finishing area, when she crossed the line with her son Lewis who completed the parkrun for the first time in 34:53 (108th place). Ashley Smyth got a new personal best when she covered the 3.1miles in 36:02 taking 49th placed lady. East Coast Cheetahs Katie Wilson and Lauren McKeown were next to cross the finish line in 37:16 (62nd place lady) and 38:51 (67th place lady) respectively.
Heather Shaw and Patricia Campbell both ran the event with Jog Larne graduates, offering support and advice throughout. Heather finished in 41:42 (74th place lady) with Patricia following just one second behind in 41:43 (75th place lady). Suzanne Lough finished in 48:22 (90th place lady) with Mark McManus and Lionel Date following in 48:24 (179th place) and 48:32 (181st place) respectively.
Please note, as there were a large number of East Coast AC related participants at the Larne parkrun who were completing the Jog Larne final 5k run, we have only mentioned East Coast AC members above, however full results from parkrun can be found here.
Whilst on holiday in England, the Girvin family yet again started off their Saturday morning with a parkrun event. At Brokenhurst parkrun and in a field of almost sixty other competitors, Drew Girvin led the family home in a time of 20:45 (6th place). Glenda Girvin was the first of the ladies in the family to finish, crossing the line in 26:52 claiming 5th place in the ladies category. Hannah, Leah and Sarah all completed their Jog Larne graduation run, with Hannah finishing in 27:02 (6th place lady), Leah in 30:33 (13th place lady), and Sarah following in 32:28 (18th place lady).
Please remember, that The Sunrise Run is taking place next Sunday (27th July 2014). For full detail please see the dedicated page here or visit the facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/540134172782261/.
Maxwell selected for NI as ECAC athletes enjoy a busy week!
The week got off to an excellent start for East Coast AC when it was announced that Club Chairman, Justin Maxwell was selected to represent and captain the Northern Ireland team at the World Mountain Running Association Long Distance Championships in America next month.
The event (Pikes Peak Ascent) is regarded as one of WMRA’s (World Mountain Running Association) premier racing events and has been cited as the ‘World Championship of Mountain Running’. Although Justin has represented his country previously, this will be his first time as an East Coast AC member and everyone at the club would like to wish him the very best.
Salty Sea Dog Triathlon
Competition kicked off on Saturday morning (12th July 2014) when Drew Girvin completed the Salty Sea Dog Triathlon in Boscombe, England. Although away on a family holiday, Drew couldn’t keep away from the lure of the triathlon world, representing East Coast AC in the Super Sprint event which was part of the Salty Sea Dog Triathlon Series on Boscombe sea front.
Starting at 7am, Drew completed the 375m swim in the fourth fastest time of 9:55. He then took to the bike for an 11.7k lap along the coastal roads including a short but steep climb which he managed with ease, completing this section in the sixth fastest time of 25:06. The final discipline of the event was a 2.5k flat, fast run along the seafront promenade which Drew did strongly, covering this section in 10:40, thus achieving a total time of 47:31; this secured 4th place overall and 1st place in his category.
Evesham Vale 10k
On Sunday (13th July 2014), England based member, Peter McManus travelled to Worcestershire (England) for the 7th annual Evesham Vale 10k, an event organised by Evesham Vale Running Club. Peter completed the hilly route in 54:48 (292nd place) which is a superb achievement given that he has only been running for a few months now.
Great Rossa Run
Also on Sunday, Stephen Kennedy took part in the Great Rossa Run in Ardboe (County Tyrone); an event which offered competitors a choice of distances including 5k, 10k and half marathon. Stephen joined over two hundred others at the start line for the 10k event, which he completed in a time of 39:10 securing 9th place.
Not content with his early morning triathlon exploits, Drew joined the girls of the family (Glenda, Leah, Hannah and Sarah) at the Poole parkrun in Dorset, England. The Girvin family joined almost 550 competitors, including internationally renowned runners Liz Yelling and Steve Way, for the flat two lap course around Poole lake. Drew was first across the line for the family in a time of 21:47, taking 82nd place.
Hannah Girvin achieved a new personal best when she was the first of the Girvin ladies home in 29:08 (99th place lady). Leah Girvin also achieved a new personal best of 30:17 for the distance when she crossed the line as 119th placed lady. Sarah Girvin added to the string of personal bests achieved by her sisters when she crossed the finish line in 31:42 (139th place lady), with her mum, Glenda Girvin who claimed 140th placed lady in 31:43.
Slightly closer to home, Hazel Ritchie took part in the Portrush parkrun – the first parkrun in the world to be ran entirely on sand. Hazel ran well over the scenic but tough course, securing 39th placed lady in a time of 31:50.
One of the most popular events this weekend for members was undoubtedly the local Larne parkrun. Enjoying its 34th running with a ‘World Cup’ themed day, 104 participants toed the line wearing the colours of their favourite football teams to celebrate this year’s Football World Cup.
Thirteen East Coast AC members finished, led by one of the club’s coaches, Mark McManus who claimed 2nd place in 19:28. After completing a 24mile cycle before the event, Daniel Girvin completed the 5k course in 19:42, taking 3rd place. Naoise McLoughlin showed no signs of tiredness after he too cycled before starting the 3.1mile course, completing it in a time of 21:23 (7th place).
East Coast AC’s ‘ironman’, Danny Hylands was the next familiar face to reach Dixon Hall, covering the course in 21:48 (8th place). Matthew McIlroy puts in a top performance every week at this event, with this week being no exception; Matthew finished in a time of 22:18 (11th place), securing the first male junior title. Alex Robertson completed his fifth parkrun in 22:44 (16th place), just before young Callum McIlroy cruised into the finish area in a time of 23:21 (21st place).
Lisa Graham and Angela Dempsey ran well throughout the course, with Lisa reaching the finish in 26:35 (7th place lady) and Angela just two seconds later in 26:37 (8th place lady). Ruth Kelly achieved a new parkrun personal best after running strongly to claim 11th placed lady in 27:45.
East Coast Cheetah, Charlotte Smyth looked effortless as she made a fast finish along the coastline path towards Dixon Hall, covering the 5k in 36:19 (27th place lady). Mother and son duo, Joanna and Luke McIlroy joined the rest of the family at the finish after completing the course in 38:59 (31st place lady) and 39:00 (93rd place) respectively.
We would like to remind all members that our extremely popular Jog Larne will finish this week, and the 10 weeks of hard work from all participants will culminate with a graduation 5k run at Larne parkrun (Carnfunnock), next Saturday (19th July 2014) – We are in particular need of marshals. Any assistance from members would be greatly appreciated at this event (marshalling, running, encouraging etc).
On Sunday 27th July 2014, East Coast AC have organised ‘The Sunrise Run’. This is a 5k run/race/walk event which is held in memory of our late friend and member Paddy Campbell. For details of this event please visit the event page here.
East Coast AC impress from 5k to 100k!
This weekend, East Coast AC athletes impressed over mountain, road and cycling events across the province and in distances from 5k to 100k.
The weekend action kicked off on Friday 4th July 2014, when almost three hundred running enthusiasts descended on the County Down village of Greyabbey for the annual Greyabbey 10k and 5k race, an event which covers an undulating but enjoyable course. Husband and wife duo, Chris and Rowena Davis represented the East Coast AC with Chris participating in the 10k and Rowena in the associated 5k.
After his impressive mile time trial on Thursday (3rd July 2014), Chris put in a strong performance which resulted in a well deserved new 10k personal best of 42:42, securing 53rd place. Rowena unfortunately sustained an injury during the final stages of the 5k and everyone at East Coast AC wishes her a speedy recovery.
On Saturday 5th July 2014, two of East Coast AC’s mountain runners travelled to Spelga Dam, just outside Newcastle (County Down) for the sixth race of the 2014 Northern Ireland Mountain Running Championships, the Spelga Skyline mountain race, hosted by Belfast Association of Rock Climbers and Fell Runners (BARF). Justin Maxwell and Mark McManus completed the 12.5mile course including 1,558m of ascent, covering nine summits of the scenic Mourne Mountains.
Justin showed no signs of fatigue from his exploits in last week’s Skyrunning World Championships in France when he covered the tough course in 3:18:54 (12th place). Former junior international mountain runner, Mark, wade a welcome return to competition on his old stomping ground and impressed when he completed the course in 3:26:21 (14th place).
For many club members, their Saturday morning wouldn’t be the same without their usual 5k parkrun; this Saturday (5th July 2014) was no exception. In one of the largest Larne parkrun’s to date (109 finishers), seventeen East Coast AC members made the short trip down to Dixon Hall for the start of the 5k time trial. For the fifth time since the Larne parkrun began in Autumn last year, and replicating his position from last week, Andy Guy took 1st place once again in a time of 18:39.
The in-form Daniel Girvin secured 3rd place in a time of 19:54 after a fast finish along the Carnfunnock Country Park path to the parkrun HQ. Stephen Millar was back in action after last weekend’s Ballygally Training Triathlon, adding a new personal best to his records when he crossed the line in 21:42 (8th place).
Last weekend’s bronze medallist from the Athletics NI Half Marathon Championships – Janice Plumb - was the fastest lady of the day by almost three minutes when she covered the 5k course in 21:57 (1st place lady). Janice was followed by Scott Cowie who claimed another personal best in 22:41, taking 12th place. Paul Clements was the next familiar face to enter the finishing tunnel when he took 26th place in 24:41.
Ruth Kelly showed she is well on the way to her upcoming Autumn marathon, when she put in a strong performance to claim 8th place in the ladies race, in a time of 27:55. East Coast Cheetah star, Hannah Clements completed what was her 6th parkrun in a time of 29:21 (11th place lady), shortly followed by Joanna McIlroy who marked her tenth parkrun with a 14th place finish in 29:45.
Colleen Taylor showed her hard work in training is most certainly paying off when she claimed a personal best for the fourth time in a row at parkrun, covering the course in 31:45 (18th place lady). Parkrun newcomer, Cate Devine took a top twenty finish in 32:01 (19th place lady).
Next to cross the line was a group of four Jog Larne participants getting some practice in before the upcoming graduation on 19th July, accompanied by club member and Jog Larne helper, Jacque Craig. First to reach the finish was young Eva Craig who claimed a new personal best, knocking over two minutes off her previous time to give a finish time of 35:03 (27th place lady). Elaine McGarry was the next to cross the line in 35:20 (28th place lady), with Jacque Craig (35:22 – 29th place lady), Shirley McCalmont (35:23 – 30th place lady) and Jackie Topping (35:28 – 31st place lady) all following in quick succession. East Coast Cheetah Charlotte Smyth completed an excellent day for the local club when she recorded 36:15 (33rd place lady) for the distance.
In Belfast, Mel Milligan took part in the popular Ormeau parkrun. The event, which attracted almost 250 people this weekend, takes place in the scenic Ormeau Park in South Belfast. Mel took almost two minutes off her previous Larne parkrun time, when she covered the course in a new personal best of 27:39 taking 35th place lady.
Further afield in England, Peter McManus once again took part in the Arrow Valley parkrun in Redditch. Peter joined almost 170 others on the start line and ran well to claim a new personal best of 26:19 (80th place), taking over a minute off his previous record for the distance.
Also on Saturday (5th July 2014), at least three members took part in the 6th annual Glens of Antrim ‘Charity Cycling Sportive’. Daniel Girvin, Sharon Kirkpatrick and Kelly Deller joined a mass of other cycling enthusiasts at the Larne Leisure Centre and completed a 100k route which would see them cycle from Larne to Cushendall and back along the picturesque Coast Road.
Thank you to everyone who supported our athletes this weekend whether it be travelling to the events or volunteering at them, your help is very much appreciated as always.
East Coast AC represented on National and World stage!
This week East Coast AC athletes were in action over a variety of terrains, distances, and sporting disciplines. There were wins, podium spots, and personal bests for many of our members who were out representing the club not just on our national stage, but also in World Championships in France.
Woodburn Forest Race
The week’s action kicked off with the final installment of the East Antrim Harriers’ Forest Series. The Series included four races held within Ballyboley Forest, Tardree Forest and Woodburn Forest. For the final race, competitors returned to Woodburn Forest where the route measured an undulating 4.1miles. Eight East Coast AC members braved the midges and joined almost one hundred other competitors on the start line.
Andy Guy performed to his usual high standard when he replicated his performance in Race 3 of the series, crossing the line in 5th place in 24:13. Less than one week after completing the Lisburn Half Marathon, David Clarke was back in action over the forest trails; David covered the tough course in 25:05 (9th place). Daniel Girvin was the third man home for the club, when he crossed the line in 25:28, securing 12th place overall.
James Robinson looked strong when he finished in a time of 26:13 (17th place), just ahead of club mate Naoise McLoughlin who followed in 26:42, securing 20th place in the race. Race 3 winner, Allyson O’Toole claimed second place in the ladies race when she crossed the line in 28:30, interestingly this is the same position as her previous race in the same forest. Lesley Robinson continued her fine form of late, with an impressive run, covering the 4.1mile course in approximately 35minutes. Unfortunately Lesley’s time is unofficial due to a timing error by officials. Completing in her third race of the series, Carol Clarke completed the East Coast AC representation in the event with a strong run, finishing in 36:15 (18th placed lady). (Results for the race can be found here).
After the race, the final standings for the series were announced along with a prize giving for overall and category winners. In the overall standings, Allyson O’Toole took a well deserved first place in the ladies event. Allyson completed three out of the four races, securing podium spots in each event – Woodburn Race 1 – 2nd place, Tardree – 1st place, Woodburn Race 2 – 2nd place.
Andy Guy secured victory in the men’s Vet40 event after completing all four races and taking 1st place in his category in three of the four races – Ballyboley – 4th place, Woodburn Race 1 – 14th place, Tardree – 5th place, Woodburn Race 2 – 5th pace.
In the junior men’s category, Daniel Girvin took top spot after taking part in three of the four events and being first in his category in each. Daniel’s overall placings were: Woodburn Race 1 – 6th place, Tardree – 9th place, Woodburn Race 2 – 12th place.
On Wednesday evening (25th June) Carnfunnock Country Park welcomed Northern Ireland’s biggest and most popular female only running event - Belfast Telegraph Runher. This was the first ever ‘pop-up’ event for Runher which included 5k and 10k races.
Thirty three East Coast AC ladies participated in the event which started at Drains Bay (Dixon Hall) and consisted of either just over two laps (5k) or just over four laps (10k) of the picturesque Country Park, finishing in the Walled Garden.
The dull and wet conditions certainly didn’t dampen the spirits of the East Coast ladies as they set off on the 5k with plenty of black and yellow vests at the front of the field. Lisa Graham and Angela Campbell kept together throughout the majority of the course, and staying within the top ten at all times. As the girls neared the Walled Garden, Angela began to move clear and reached the finish line first covering the 3.1mile course in 25:25 and securing 6th place. Lisa followed just ten seconds after, taking 7th place in 25:35. The ever-improving Gillian Leetch-Armstrong had a great run, looking strong on the uphill sections and right into the finishing area when she took a top ten place in 26:21 (9th place). Nikki McNeill showed her training sessions are most certainly paying off when she crossed the line in 26:49 (12th place).
Recent Newry Half Marathon finisher, Nicola Robinson showed she was back on form with a 27:22 finish (17th place). Polly Dix returned to racing in fine fashion as she completed the tough course in 28:14, securing 19th place. Mandy McToal completed the top twenty ladies when she crossed the line in 28:23 (20th place).
Next to cross the line was a group of East Coast AC ladies consisting of Morna Wright, Mel Milligan, Karen Fergie, Jacqui McLoughlin and Joanna McIlroy. The impressive Morna Wright looked strong as she climbed the path into the Walled Garden making her way to the finishing arch in 28:31 (23rd place). Mel Milligan (24th place) and Jacqui McLoughlin (25th place) crossed the line just seconds apart, however their chip times were exactly the same, meaning they covered the course in 28:40. Fresh back from honeymoon, the newly married Karen Fergie recorded 28:48 (27th place). Joanna McIlroy’s experience on the parkrun course helped in this event as she was next to reach the finish in 28:55 (28th place).
Friends and training partners, Sharon Kirkpatrick and Glenda Girvin reached the finish line side by side, Sharon claimed 32nd place in 29:27 and Glenda finished in 29:26 (33rd place). A happy looking Kelly Deller finished in 36th place when she crossed the line next in 29:44. Close friends Doris Kirby and Joanne Knox were the next familiar faces to enter the Walled Garden finish area, when Joanne crossed the line in 30:14 (40th place) and Doris took 42nd place in 30:27. The fast improving Colleen Taylor, who was completing her first ever Runher event, covered the course in 30:29 (43rd place).
The expectant crowds were greeted by a group of four more East Coast AC ladies who quickly covered the final metres in the enclosed gardens, reaching the finishing arch in quick succession. Lynn Magee led the group in a time of 30:56 (46th place), followed by Cate Devine (30:59 – 47th place), Tracey Shannon (31:04 – 48th place) and Hazel Ritchie (31:02 – 49th place) who all made the top fifty athletes in what was a competitive field. A smiling Julianne Greer was next into the finishing area in a time of 32:54, securing 63rd place. Fiona Rolsten was the 70th lady to complete the hilly two lap course when she crossed the line in 34:50.
It wasn’t long before another trio of East Coast AC ladies came into sight, with Linzi Conway covering the final metres quickly to secure 78th place, Linzi was closely followed by Gillian Pike and Ashley Smyth (79th and 80th place respectively); chip times meant that all three completed the course in 37:34.
Another recent Newry Half Marathon finisher, Lisa Parker claimed a sub 40 finish in 39:57 taking 88th place. In her first ever competitive race, Suzanne Lough completed the East Coast AC contingent in the 5k in a time of 47:46 (97th place), knocking almost eight minutes off her couch to 5k graduation run time from last summer.
While the athletes were coming in thick and fast in the 5k race, the 10k runners, who had started five minutes after the 5k, were battling the elements out on the course. The 10k course varied slightly from the 5k, with competitors veering off into the Walled Garden and entering the maze on each lap before re-joining the 5k route back at the visitors centre.
Unsurprisingly the 10k option was less appealing to athletes than the shorter 5k due to the nature of the course, however four East Coast AC members joined almost ninety other ladies on the start line (Dixon Hall). Wendy McKeegan started well and stayed with the front runners throughout the course. Wendy, who had a sub-4 hour finish in the Belfast Marathon this year (3:54:43), showed her class when she finished the 10k course in 53:01 (6th place).
Catherine Maxwell was the second familiar face to join club mates at the finishing area when she crossed the line in 56:06 (19th place). Ruth Kelly continued her good form when she completed the 6.2 miles under the hour, reaching the finish arch in 59:52 (29th place). The final member to complete the course was birthday girl, Tracey Park, who entered the Walled Garden to massive cheers from spectators in a total time of 1:05:10, securing 53rd place.
A special thank you must also go to the marshalls at the event, who not only did a superb job ensuring the safety of athletes but also provided much well needed encouragement and motivation around the course for our members. A mention must also go to Alan and Marie Glover’s daughter Katie Glover (Ballymena & Antrim AC) who completed the 5k in 27:21 (16th place), and friend of the club, Julie Withers who completed the 5k with club member Glenda Girvin in 29:27 (34th place). Photos from the event have been added to our photo gallery and results can be found here.
Ballygally Training Triathlon
On Friday evening (27th June 2014), club secretary Drew Girvin organised a triathlon at Ballygally, Larne. The event, which was primarily used for training and as a trial, was more successful than ever imagined, helped by the perfect weather conditions and huge numbers of spectators. A total of twenty two athletes started the event, including nine East Coast AC members.
Recent Ironman finisher, Danny Hylands was the first to complete all three disciplines in a total time of 56:08 (1st place) – swim 10:12; bike 26:25; run 18:28. Daniel Girvin was the next East Coast AC man to appear towards the finish line, completing the course in just under the hour, 58:48 (5th place) – swim 10:02; bike 28:17; run 18:35. Jenny Magill was taking part in the relay option along with Fergal McAllister, the pair finished in a total time of 1:00:06 taking 6th place. Jenny completed the swim in 12:30 whilst Fergal completed the bike and run sections in 25:52 and 20:05 respectively.
Stephen Millar was the fastest East Coast AC man in the water, completing the 600m swim in an impressive 9:57 (3rd out of the water). Stephen continued with a strong bike and run section to complete the event in 7th place – 1:00:12) – swim 9:57; bike 28:29; run 19:10. Naoise McLoughlin performed well in all three disciplines, but ultimately it was the run where he excelled when he had the third fastest time of the evening (18:07). Naoise finished in an overall time of 1:02:02 (9th place) –swim 11:14; bike 29:36; run 18:07. Naoise was followed one minute later by junior star, Callum Sittlington. Callum looked strong as he came down Croft Road into the Ballygally Car Park finish in a time of 1:03:07, taking 10th place – swim 10:37; bike 30:14; run 19:55).
Phil Smyth was the next familiar face to greet the cheering crowds when he crossed the line in 15th place (1:05:27) – swim 12:06; bike 32:04; run 19:51). Mark Clarke performed well in what was his first ever triathlon, completing all three disciplines in 1:13:28 (19th place) – swim 15:19; bike 33:37; run 22:04. Unfortunately Chris Dickson had to withdraw from the event shortly into the final run section due to injury, everyone at East Coast AC wishes Chris a speedy recovery. (Results can be found here)
Ards Half Marathon
Also on Friday, six members took to the streets of Newtownards for the annual Ards Half Marathon. This was part of the popular Pure Running-Championchip Ireland Half Marathon Series and was also used for the Athletics NI Half Marathon Championships.
Three days after being crowned the male vet40 East Antrim Harriers Forest Series winner, Andy Guy was back in competition. The talented athlete produced a top twenty finish (amongst a field of almost 650 competitors) when he finished in 1:21:38. After running through half-way with Andy, David Clarke, showed no signs of fatigue from his excellent performance on Tuesday (EAH Forest Series – Woodburn), when he crossed the line less than one minute later in 1:22:28 (24th place).
Janice Plumb put in another great performance over what was a tough course, when she secured 15th place in the ladies race with a time of 1:37:19. Kerry Fokkens and Penny Lindsay were close throughout the entire course, with the pair making it through half-way less than twenty seconds apart. After 13.1miles only seven seconds split the hard-working pair, with Kerry crossing the line in 1:41:00 (20th place lady) and Penny finishing in 1:41:07 (21st place lady). All three ladies were rewarded for their efforts with a Bronze team medal, this is an excellent achievement especially over what was a difficult course. Sandy Plumb joined his wife and club mates at the atmospheric finish area after completing the course in 2:15:07, taking 551st place. (Full results can be found here)
On Saturday morning (29th June 2014), Drew Girvin and Lionel Date completed the Maracyle; an event which see's competitors cycle 110miles from Belfast to Dublin. Lionel completed the distance in 2:55:36 (213th place), with Drew following just a few seconds behind in 2:55:43 (217th place). Full results for this event can be found here.
Skyrunning World Championships
Over the course of the weekend, East Coast AC athletes were participating in events based around Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France for the 2014 Skyrunning World Championships.
On Friday (27th June 2014) Justin Maxwell continued his preparation for the upcoming Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc ‘CCC’ race in August, with the 80k Ultra Marathon. Starting at 4am, Justin joined a thousand other world class athletes in a new course which would see him face challenging and technical terrain including 6,000m of vertical climb along ridges, over snow fields, crossing into Swiss territory and traversing glaciers in a point to point loop from the town of Chamonix. Justin put in a top class performance, covering the 53miles in 13:14:56 which secured him 39th place.
Scotland based John McManus was in action on Sunday 29th June 2014 when he completed the famous Marathon du Mont-Blanc. Due to poor weather conditions, the 42k course was altered slightly, starting in the centre of Chamonix and gathering 2,511m of elevation gain, resulting in some of the best scenery in the Mont-Blanc area. After half-way, John faced a steep downhill before climbing again to finish at the resort of Planpraz, situated at 2,016m altitude. John completed the gruelling course in a fantastic 5:23:19.
Peninsula Sea Sprint Triathlon
Also on Sunday (29th June 2014) Dan Spencer, Adele Neill, Chris Davis and Rowena Davis all travelled to Ballywalter for the Peninsula Sea Sprint Triathlon, hosted by Peninsula Triathlon Club. Advertised as one of the best sea sprint triathlons in the Triathlon Ireland calendar, the event included a 750m (open water) swim, 20k bike ride, followed by a 5k run.
East Coast AC’s international triathlete, Adele Neill put in a top class performance across all three disciplines which earned her a well deserved podium place. After exiting the water in third place (14:23) and having one of the quickest transition times, Adele worked hard to retain this position during the cycle (37:40) and into the 5k run, which she completed in 20:31, ensuring she secured third place in the ladies category in an overall time of 1:47:17 – this time also secured first place in Adele’s age category.
Dan Spencer was the next East Coast AC triathlete to cross the line, taking 54th place in a time of 1:18:31. Dan’s time included a 16:48 swim, followed by a 38:18 20k cycle and finishing in a 5k time of 21:28. Chris and Rowena Davis took part in the relay event along with friend Alison. In what was their first ever triathlon event, Chris Davis completed the cycle section of the course in 48:21 before joining his wife Rowena in the 5k run. Rowena got a new personal best over the course when she ran 25:54 which ensured they claimed 3rd place in the relay category in an overall time of 1:31:34. (Full results can be found here)
On Saturday morning (28th June 2014), 21 members made the short journey down to Carnfunnock for the free weekly 5k parkrun. James Robinson continued his good performance on Tuesdays forest race in Woodburn, with a new personal best and first place finish in a time of 19:36. Fresh from marshalling duties at Wednesday night’s Runher event, Alex Robertson cruised into the finish line in 22:50, taking 10th place. Future star, Matthew McIlroy followed shortly after in a time of 23:02 securing 12th place. Callum McIlroy marked his 5th parkrun with a well-deserved new personal best when he joined his older brother in the finish area, completing the 5k course in 23:17 (14th place).
Michelle Clarke made her debut to parkrun in fine fashion when she secured third place in the ladies race in 26:52. In better conditions than her previous race in Carnfunnock on Wednesday evening (Runher), Morna Wright covered the tough course in 28:42, taking 5th place in the ladies category. Parkrun regular, Hannah Girvin produced a new personal best when she crossed the line in 29:11 (8th place lady).
Caeli McLoughlin and Leah Girvin were the next familiar faces to make their way along the path towards the finishing tunnel at Dixon Hall, Caeli completed the 3.1miles in 31:38 (11th place female) followed by Leah in 32:03 (14th place female). Mother and daughter pairing of Glenda and Sarah Girvin crossed the line close together with Sarah gaining a new personal best in a time of 33:04 (17th place female) and Glenda closely following in 33:15 (18th place female).
Almost three months after his previous parkrun exploits, Paul Cunningham made an impressive return when he took 49th place in 34:38. East Coast AC Cheetah, Charlotte Smyth achieved a new personal best when she crossed the line in 35:44 (20th place female). Gillian Pike was joined for the first time by her daughter Caitlin around the course, with Caitlin (21st place female – 36:02) just making it to the finish line two seconds ahead of Gillian (22nd place female – 36:04).
There was another string of personal bests when Keegan McLoughlin (37:21 – 51st place), Ashley Smyth (37:40 – 24th place female), and Luke McIlroy (37:41 – 52nd place) all followed within quick succession. Luke was accompanied by his mother, Joanna who crossed the line just one second after in 38:05 (25th place female). Oliver Smyth and Robyn Crawford completed the course for the first time together, finishing in 41:14 (54th place) and 41:16 (29th place female) respectively.
East Coast AC would like to thank everyone who supported our athletes and volunteered at the various events this week, your help is very much appreciated.
East Coast AC Race in Memory of Friend!
In a week when East Coast AC mourned the loss of valued club member and friend Patrick 'Paddy' Campbell, there was little focus on racing or competition; however, several club members donned their racers and dedicated their performances to their club mate.
On Wednesday night (11th June 2014), five club members braved scorching conditions to complete the Lisburn Half Marathon and 10k road race, events which attracted a combined total of nearly 3,000 participants.
David Clarke returned to action for the first time since his heroic efforts at the World Duathlon Championships and led the East Coast AC contingent home. David completed the Half Marathon in 1:24:27 (20th place) and was followed across the line by recent Half Ironman finisher Murray Deller (59th place – 1:31:23). Chris Davis missed a new personal best by seconds when he crossed the line in 1:46:18 (279th place).
In the 10k, Carol Clarke continued her impressive rise through the ranks when she recorded 53:30 (86th place lady) for the course. Another athlete who is continually improving, Karl Joyce, finished in 56:55 (680th place).
On Saturday (21st June 2014), a number of familiar faces completed the weekly free 5k parkrun 'time-trial' in Carnfunnock Country Park, which starts and finishes at Dixon Hall in Drains Bay. Up and coming star Callum McIlroy was the first club member to return in a brilliant new personal best of 23:12 (16th place). Joanna McIlroy (14th place lady – 29:19) almost achieved a new personal best, but despite a strong performance, the first ever East Coast AC Club Championship race (race 1) winner missed out by two seconds. Tracey Shannon clocked 38:54 (33rd place lady), before youngsters Charlotte Smyth and Charlie Ward impressed with 40:00 (35th place lady) and 42:00 (74th place) finishing times. Ashley Smyth completed the ECAC contingent in 42:15 (37th place lady).
Also on Saturday, Matthew Hewitt continued his excellent run of form. After winning the Mourne Way 10k two weeks ago, Matthew took top honours at the BST 'Run for the Hills 10k', an extreme running event which took place in Pomeroy, County Tyrone. The ECAC man covered the obstacle course in 46:29 (1st place); a special mention must go to Matt's friend, Ruth Hill, who like him, won at the Mourne Way 10k – Ruth won the ladies race in 58:15 (1st place).
In England, Peter McManus showed great potential as participated in two events this week. Peter, a newcomer to the sport of running, set two new personal bests. He completed the tough Spinx Summer 5 mile race in 47:12 and added another personal best when he covered the Acorns 5k trail course in 27:26.
On Sunday (22nd June 2014), at four East Coast AC athletes were in competition at the Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race. The Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championship event attracts the province's top off-road athletes, and includes a grueling 11 mile course incorporating 3,000ft of ascent.
Justin Maxwell led the black and yellow vests home in 1:52:07 (10th place), Justin was followed by experienced off-road runner, Steven Kennedy who finished in 20th place in a time of 2:03:29. Club coaches, Jenny Magill and Mark McManus ran together throughout the tough yet scenic course, with Jenny finishing in 2:53:59 (10th place lady) and Mark just two seconds behind in 2:54:01 (54th place).
Also on Sunday, junior and senior athletes enjoyed the Larne Town Centre Family Cycle, an event organised by Larne Borough Council Sports Development Team. The well organised family orientated event allowed participants to cycle on the Main Street, which was closed to traffic for one hour. Spectators also enjoyed several displays from the talented East Coast Raiders BMX team.
East Coast Athletic Club would like to thank everyone who supported our athletes at the various events this week as well as those who volunteered at parkrun and the Larne Town Centre Family Cycle.
Allyson O'Toole wins Forest Race!
East Coast AC were well represented this week over trails, roads and community events. The action kicked off on Tuesday evening (10th June 2014), when eight members joined almost one hundred other athletes to take part in the third race in the East Antrim Harriers Forest Trail Series (Race 3). This race was held in Tardree Forest and consisted of a 3.3mile undulating course.
Andy Guy put in a top class performance which secured him 5th place, covering the course in 19:56. This was Andy’s third Series race and he has maintained top five positions in each event, resulting in him taking first place in his category in the current standings for the series. Daniel Girvin was the next black and yellow vest to cross the line, Daniel worked hard throughout the race to maintain a top ten position, which he did with ease when he crossed the line in 20:48 taking 9th place. James Robinson, another man who has taken part in all of the Series races to date, followed a minute later in 21:51 securing 17th place.
The in-form Allyson O’Toole put in what was arguably the performance of the evening, when she bettered her finishing position from just two weeks ago (when she finished in 2nd place in Race 2) by securing a win in the ladies category in an impressive time of 23:36.
Another event regular, Lee Stirling put in a strong performance to cross the line in 26:56 (49th place). Lee was followed shortly by newcomer to the Series, April Clarke, the impressive athlete completed the course in 28:06 which secured 10th place in the ladies category. Lesley Robinson continued her good form to finish as 14th lady in a time of 29:11, while her friend and training partner, Carol Clarke followed three minutes later, after running well to complete the 3.3mile tough course in 32:11 (23rd place lady).
Birmingham based Peter McManus has been flying the East Coast AC flag at two different events this week. On Wednesday 11th June, Peter completed his first 10k at the Malvern Joggers 10k race in Castlemorton Common in Malvern, England. Peter completed the gruelling but scenic course in 1:05:15 (205th place). Just three days later (Saturday 14th June), Peter then took part in a charity half marathon walk for St Basils, a charity working with young people to prevent homelessness.
On Friday 13th June 2014, four East Coast AC members travelled to Antrim Forum for the annual Active Antrim 5mile Road Race hosted by Antrim Borough Council. In warm conditions, over one hundred athletes lined up at the 100m start line on the Antrim Stadium rack.
After a quick start out of the track and into Loughshore park, Justin Maxwell began to make his way through the pack to the front positions. Justin, who won the Mourne Way Marathon last week, showed no signs of fatigue as he covered the 5mile course in 27:08 claiming second place.
James Robinson was the next familiar face to enter the finishing area, after completing the distance in 31:47 (15th place). Almost one minute later, a strong looking Allan McCullough came into view, crossing the line in 32:31 and claiming 21st place. Catherine Maxwell completed the East Coast AC contingent when she made a speedy finish into the track, securing 14th place in the ladies race in a time of 41:53.
On Saturday (14th June 2014), the East Coast Cheetahs along with family and friends represented the Club at the Larne Alive 75th anniversary celebrations in the town. This was an extremely enjoyable event and one which showed the local community what East Coast AC has to offer for the future.
East Coast AC would like to congratulate all of our members on their brilliant performances this week, and we would like to extend a special thank you to those who organised and took part in the Larne Borough 75th Anniversary celebrations. This would be an appropriate time to remind all club members about our first birthday celebrations on 21st June 2014. More details can be found here.
Justin Maxwell and Matthew Hewitt Win Mourne Way Events!
This week a multitude of East Coast AC athletes took to the start lines of various events covering different terrains and sporting disciplines. The performance of the week was as hotly contested as ever, with so many notable outings to choose from; club members won 10k and marathon races, but we also had a top five placing in a gruelling Ironman event. This has certainly been a week which has shown off the plethora of talent within East Coast AC, making not just the club, but the Borough of Larne proud.
The action started on Wednesday 4th June at the annual Fairhill 5mile Road Race, hosted by Ballymena Runners. Tracey Shannon joined over three hundred athletes in Ballymena for the two lap course in and around the centre of the town. The ever-improving Tracey, completed the course in 47:03 taking 95th place in the ladies category.
On Saturday 7th June, three members travelled to Rostrevor, just outside Warrenpoint for the 26extreme Mourne Way Marathon and associated events. The distances on the day included an Ultra-Marathon (52.4miles), Marathon, Half-Marathon, 10k and 5k.
In what can only be described as miserable conditions, club chairman and ultra-distance runner Justin Maxwell, toed the line of the marathon which would see him race from Donard Park in Newcastle, back towards Rostrevor. Justin started off well, in amongst the leading pack, but it wasn’t until approximately 7 miles into the race when Justin began to move clear. He continued to lead the quality field across the Mourne Mountains and back to Rostrevor, where he reached the finishing area over 20 minutes ahead of his nearest rival. Justin completed the gruelling 26.2mile course (including 8,000ft of ascent) in an impressive 3:21:00 (1st place).
In the Mourne Way 10k event, Matthew Hewitt and Lee Stirling joined almost 150 others at the Leitrim Lodge start line. The 6.2 mile course would take competitors along the trails and fire roads of Kilbroney Forest and into the finishing area at Rostrevor.
From the off, it was clear that Matthew Hewitt was going to claim a podium place, as he battled it out with Newcastle AC’s David O’Flaherty throughout the course. It wasn’t until the final downhill into the finishing area that the top spot was decided, when Matthew descended strongly to take 1st place in 35:10.
Lee Stirling, a man who has been producing top performances at the recent East Antrim Harriers’ Forest Series events, showed that he is now well suited to this type of terrain. Lee worked his way well through the competitive field of athletes, and after a speedy final mile he crossed the line in 53:00 (44th place).
Saturday brought with it two major triathlon events; the Tri Limits ‘Salt Marine Cars Triathlon Festival’ and the Crooked Lake Triathlon. The first triathlete to toe the line was Danny Hylands who was competing in the Tri Limits Ironman event in Dungannon. Danny, along with almost 20 other competitors had a huge task ahead of them in this event which included a 2.4mile swim, 112mile cycle, and finishing with a 26.2mile run (marathon). Due to the extreme weather conditions, the organisers had to amend the running route slightly for safety, this resulted in the final run measuring approximately 28miles.
The ironman is the most extreme and difficult of all triathlon events and arguably the toughest sporting event available, therefore completing it is an achievement in itself, which makes Danny’s performance all the more impressive. In heavy rain, he started off well and kept within the top ten.
After a strong swim in Eskragh Lough (4 laps) and as conditions deteriorated, Danny began a 6 lap 112mile cycle along an extremely undulating route. His brave efforts began to pay off as he moved into the final stage (‘marathon’), where he had now put a 20 minute gap between himself and any chasing athletes. After a total time of 12:35:20, a tired but happy looking Danny cruised into the finishing straight taking an extremely impressive 5th place.
At the same festival, another three of the club’s triathletes were in action at the Tri Limits Half Ironman, an event which included a 1.2mile swim, 56mile cycle, and 13.1mile run (half-marathon). As with the aforementioned Ironman event, the final run route was amended resulting in approximately a 14mile finishing run rather than 13.1miles.
Drew Girvin, Corey Urwin and Murray Deller all travelled to Eskragh Lough for the start of the demanding event. After a strong swim, it was Drew who was out of the water first (34mins), followed by Murray (35mins), and one minute later, Corey (36mins). The men then took to their bikes, where the positions began to reverse, with Corey now in the lead followed by Murray and Drew, all within two minutes of each other. The run would see the trio complete 6 laps over an undulating road course.
Corey held onto his position, completing the route in 5:10:00, followed just 5 minutes later by Murray in 5:15:00. Drew completed the East Coast AC representation at the event when he crossed the line in a superb 5:35:00. All times for the half-ironman event are unofficial. Exact results will be available at www.eastcoastathleticclub.co.uk as soon as available.
Meanwhile, in Camlough, Newry, Phil Smyth was taking part in the Crooked Lake Sprint Triathlon. The popular event, which had almost 530 entrants (520 of which finished the event), would see athletes complete a 750m swim, followed by an 18k cycle and finish with a 5k run. Phil completed the first stage of the event (750m swim) in a commendable 18:29, but it was during his cycle where he really began to excel and work his way through the pack, finishing this stage in a superb 36:22.
The committed athlete continued to improve his placing in the final 5k run, completing this in an impressive 25:28, resulting in an overall finish time of 1:23:35 which was enough to secure 295th place. Club friend, Gareth McIntyre was also competing in this event and covered all three disciplines in 1:29:00, finishing strongly and taking with it 374th place.
Also on Saturday, the weather didn’t deter members from taking part in parkrun events in Larne, Worcester and Comber. The free weekly time trial events cover 5k in local parkland areas. The most popular event for East Coast AC members, is the tough but scenic Larne parkrun, starting and finishing at Dixon Hall in Drainsbay. Andy Guy led the 16 strong East Coast AC contingent home in 18:53 (1st place), marking his 10th parkrun with a top result.
Newcomer to the event, Paul Hutchinson followed just behind in 19:10 taking 2nd place. The impressive and consistent Naoise McLoughlin, who is no stranger to this course, performed well to take 5th place in 20:16. Naoise was swiftly followed by James Robinson who covered the 3.1miles in 20:24 (6th place).
The next member to appear into the finishing straight was Janice Plumb. Janice proved her 13th run at Larne parkrun certainly wasn’t an unlucky one, as she took first place in the ladies category in an excellent 22:07. Scott Cowie was next into view, another parkrun first timer, Scott ran strongly to complete the two loop course in 22:45 (14th place). Young Callum McIlroy took the McIlroy family bragging rights when he was the first to finish, taking 22nd place in 24:30. The improving Nigel Taylor showed off what all his hard work in training has led to with a new (Larne) parkrun personal best of 25:02 (25th place).
Completing his 16th parkrun, Sandy Plumb who also this week claimed the parkrun Sweatshop Monthly Prize, ran well taking 31st place in 26:07. Emily Lavery put in one of the performances of the day, covering the course in 26:42 and securing 4th place in the ladies category. The next familiar face into the finish area was Patrick Campbell who finished well in 27:31 (35th place). Caeli McLoughlin marked her 10th parkrun with a new personal best, the improving young athlete completed the 5k course in 29:49 (6th place lady). Joanna McIlroy ran well, following in 30:02 and claiming 7th place in the ladies category.
Another parkrun regular, David Hall, negotiated the final stretch of path with ease and entered the finishing tunnel in 45th place (30:34). Parkrun official, Maria Glenn put in a strong performance following in 32:10 (11th place lady). Caoilfhinn McLoughlin battled the elements to take a top 15 finish in the ladies category, covering the course in 33:33.
In Comber, Chris Davis took on the newly introduced Comber parkrun for the first time. Chris, who is training for the Lisburn Half Marathon, worked hard and was rewarded with a top five placing after crossing the line in 20:54 (5th place). In Worcester, England, Peter McManus joined over 300 others at the start of the Worcester parkrun. Peter continued his impressive introduction to running with a 29:15 clocking (209th place).
Outside of athletics events and despite the horrendous weather conditions took to the zip wire to raise funds for the Stroke Association on Saturday 7th June 2014. The club would like to congratulate James on his efforts.
East Coast AC would like to congratulate all members on their performances this week. You all continue to do the club proud! Also, a massive thank you must go out to those who travelled to support and encourage our athletes at the various events this weekend and volunteered at the parkrun events, especially considering the weather conditions in the last few days.
As we are nearing our one year anniversary (what a year it has been!), we’d like to invite all club members, friends, and family to help us celebrate with an evening of prizes, food and entertainment on 21st June 2014 – for tickets or more information please visit our events page here.
Important notice: In the build up to the evening Birthday celebrations, the club will host a 3x2mile Team Relay competition at 11:30am from the Larne Youth Clubhouse (Saturday 21st June). This event is open to all members and teams will be selected ‘out of a hat’ and announced on Thursday 19th June 2014. All you have to do is declare your interest on the list which will be made available every training night until 19th June.
Clarke and Neill represent Ireland at World Championships!
This week, two East Coast AC athletes swapped their black and yellow club colours for the green of their country; David Clarke and Adele Neill represented Ireland at the ITU World Duathlon Championships in Pontevedra, Spain (Sunday 1st June 2014).
Their hard work in training paid off as the pair performed well over a tough course and against world class opposition. The course was made up of a 10k cycle, 40k run and a final 5k run. In the 55-59 Male AG race, experienced athlete, David completed the course in 2:13:43 securing an impressive 4th place.
In the 35-39 Female AG race, Adele narrowly missed out on a podium place by a mere 7 seconds when she was overtaken by the Spanish athlete, Ernestina Bastanchury-Oropesa, in the final 400m. Adele however, put in a strong performance to finish in 2:21:56 (4th place).
On a running front, the weeks action kicked off early again this week, with the East Antrim Harriers Forest Race in Woodburn Forest, just outside Carrickfergus. The second race of the Series saw participants negotiate a short but hilly 2.5m course. Andy Guy, a regular at the Series over the years continued his good form to lead the East Coast AC contingent home in14:29 (4th place). Vice-Chairman Greg Lavery crossed the line a mere three seconds later in 14:32 (5th place), before the ever impressive Daniel Girvin recorded 14:42 for 6th place. James Robinson (17th place – 15:49), Naoise McLoughlin (19th place – 15:55) and Allan McCullough (21st place – 16:04) all reached the finish line in quick succession, while Chris Davis once again impressed with a 16:36 (26th place) finish.
Allyson O’Toole produced an excellent performance, racing strongly to secure 2nd place in the ladies category in 17:06. Lee Stirling continued his good form of late, crossing the line next and taking 46th place in 18:46. Paul Clements (19:31 – 55th place), Lesley Robinson (20:01 – 13th place lady), Sandy Plumb (20:12 – 72nd place), Catherine Maxwell (20:28 – 16th place lady), and Gillian Leetch-Armstrong (20:36 – 17th place lady) crossed the line within the space of a minute, while Carol Clarke (21:08 – 19th place lady), Rowena Davis (22:05 – 26th place lady) and Nicky Marcus (23:22 – 32nd place lady) also enjoyed strong runs.
On Thursday (29th May 2014), Justin Maxwell joined over 150 runners at Loughshannagh in the seventh of this years Hill and Dale Series, hosted by Newcastle AC. Justin completed the 5mile course, which incorporated 1,700ft of ascent in 52:50, taking 27th place.
The next day (Friday 30th May 2014), the husband and wife team of Chris and Rowena Davis travelled to Newtownards for the annual Ards Lions 5mile Road Race. The pair performed to their usual high standard in what was their second race of the week. Full results were unavailable at time of press, however will be uploaded to the Club’s website as soon as they are released.
Saturday morning saw no less than 25 members take to parkrun events in Larne, London and Worcestershire, England. In the local Larne parkrun based at Carnfunnock Country Park, it was junior athlete Conor Davies who led the field home, after crossing the line in 19:26 (1st place). Upcoming star Matthew McIlroy secured a 5k personal best over the course when he followed in 21:58 (8th place), closely followed by Alex Robertson in 22:30 (10th place).
Paul Clements was next to get what was a string of personal bests for club members when he covered the tough two lap course in 23:24 (15th place). Phil Smyth proved his hard work in training is paying off when he clocked a new personal best of 23:44 (17th place). Young Callum McIlroy took a top 20 spot with a time of 23:57 (19th place – Personal Best). Impressive junior athlete, Bradie Hogg improved on her previous best over the distance with mum, Laura Hogg, when they crossed the line as 2nd place (24:00) and 3rd place (24:01) ladies respectively. East Coast Cheetah and parkrun regular, Hannah Clements recorded a new personal best and with it took 4th place lady in 27:41.
Stephen Smyth joined his son Brad for his second outing at the popular parkrun, where Brad (27:46) took almost a minute off his time three weeks ago, taking 39th place, with Stephen following in 27:49 (40th place). David Hall completed his fourteenth Larne parkrun in impressive fashion as he claimed 41st place in 27:57. Joanna McIlroy achieved a new personal best when she crossed the line in 29:17 (6th place lady), closely followed by Jacqui McLoughlin (29:20 – 7th place lady) who had just ran her tenth Larne parkrun.
The fast improving Tracey Parke was the next club member home in 30:48 (12th place lady). Tracey Shannon and Cyndy Hay secured top twenty places when they completed the 3.1mile course in 32:28 (18th place lady) and 32:57 (19th place lady) respectively. Heather Shaw just pipped birthday girl Mags Clements to the finish line by 3 seconds, with Heather covering the distance in 34:48 (23rd place lady) and Mags in 34:41 (24th place lady). Father and son duo, Sandy and Harry Plumb completed the East Coast AC contingent when they took 79th place and 80th place in 36:43 (Harry) and 36:46 (Sandy). A special mention must also go to young Imogen Taylor, who along with club member and mum, Colleen Taylor ran the final stretches of the parkrun route, showing that she is certainly one to watch for the future.
In London, Nigel Taylor took part in arguably the largest of the UK’s parkrun events, the Bushy parkrun where he completed the 5k course in 24:28 (368th place). Peter McManus joined over 200 on the start line of the Arrow Valley parkrun in Worcestershire where he covered the course in 27:41 taking 106th place.
On Sunday 1st June 2014, Andy Guy took on pacing duties at the second annual Walled City Marathon in Derry/Londonderry. Andy was the official 3 hour pacer for the event and showed excellent judgement over the 26.2mile course when he brought a crowd of athletes into the finishing area in a time of 2:59:41.
Also on Sunday, at least 16 East Coast AC ladies joined thousands in the Race for Life at Stormont, Belfast to support Cancer Research UK. After a fun warm-up (our very own Fitness Fi Fi was back showing the girls how it's done!), the Stormont Estate was turned into a sea of pink as the annual 5k charity run got underway. All ladies made an effort to wear pink, with some touchingly wearing tributes to someone special who has been affected by cancer. The 3.1mile course, took competitors around the scenic estate as well as incorporating 'the hill' - a one mile stretch of road up to the impressive Northern Ireland Parliament Buildings.
In no particular order, the following members were amongst those who took part: Jacque Craig; Gillian Leetch-Armstrong; Eva Craig; Fiona McToal; Sharon Kirkpatrick; Morna Wright; Tracey Parke; Nikki McNeill; Ashley Smyth; Charlotte Smyth; Colleen Taylor; Roisin Lavery; Karen Fergie; Lisa McConnell; Mel Milligan; and Rowena Davis along with son and East Coast Cheetah, Ewan Davis.
An East Coast AC Just Giving page was set up to aid the fundraising for this very worthwhile charity (http://www.justgiving.com/East-Coast-AC), to date £330 has been raised and the Club hopes to add to this through our Prize Giving evening on 21st June 2014.
In other news: East Coast AC would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Larne Grammar School 4x100m relay team who picked up a bronze medal at the All Ireland Schools Track & Field Championships in Tullamore over the weekend.
The Club would also like to congratulate all junior members, Cheetahs, and those associated with the club who have taken part in their school’s sports days this week; and good luck to those who are still due to participate.
A Competitive Bank Holiday Weekend for East Coast AC!
The distinguished black and yellow vests of East Coast Athletic Club have been worn at a number of events this week, over various terrains and distances, and in destinations from Larne to London.
Friday 23rd May 2014 brought the annual Runher Coastal Challenge 10k, a ladies only event starting in Seapark (Holywood) and finishing in Crawfordsburn Country Park, close to Bangor. Twenty three East Coast AC ladies braved the cold and blustery conditions, toeing the line with some of the provinces top female athletes. After the energetic 'zumba' warm up, the ladies set off on the 6.2 mile multi-terrain route; nearly all were rewarded for their efforts on the night and in training with personal bests.
The fast improving Angela Campbell led the local contingent home in 50:16 (82nd place). Lesley Robinson completed the tough undulating course in 50:44 (80th place), before Wendy McKeegan (103rd place – 51:23), Catherine Maxwell (106th place – 51:25) and Carol Clarke (121st place – 51:48) all finished in quick succession.
Nikki McNeill clocked 52:41 (141st place) to finish just ahead of Gillian Leetch-Armstrong (148th place) and Roisin Lavery (151st place), who crossed the line together in 53:00. Katrina Vokes ran 53:03 (153rd place), while Lisa Graham covered the distance in 54:14 (183rd place). Rowena Davis continued to impress with a 54:50 (201st place) finish; Ruth Kelly and Gill James were next home, with Ruth running 55:28 (220th place) and Gill 55:57 (239th place). A mere eight seconds split Lynn Magee (255th place – 56:20) and Amanda Clements (262nd place – 56:28), while Nicky Marcus (307th place – 57:10) and Mandy McToal (351th place – 57:58) also broke the infamous one hour barrier.
Tracey Parke (461st place – 1:00:11) and Tracey Shannon (470th place – 1:00:19) were agonisingly close to the same achievement, but both will be happy with their excellent performances none-the-less. Likewise, the smiling pair of Hazel Ritchie (621st place – 1:03:33) and Sonia Ross (622nd place – 1:03:33) also ran well. Fiona Swann and Heather Shaw both looked strong as they they negotiated the final hill to finish in 1:06:29 (769th place) and 1:07:55 (814th place) respectively. (A selection of photos from the event can be found in our gallery here)
On Saturday (24th May 2014), Justin Maxwell joined the provinces mountain runners at the Belfast Hills 10k, an event which takes in the steep slopes of Cave Hill in Belfast. Due to a landslide, the course was revised and measured approximately 8k; Justin narrowly missed a podium place after taking 4th place in 33:37.
In Newry, two East Coast AC athletes secured top ten places at the Newry Half Marathon. Penny Lindsay ran a new personal best of 1:36:23 for 8th place lady, with Janice Plumb following closely in 1:36:45 (9th place lady). Kerry Fokkens continued her good run of form to finish in 1:40:13 (12th place lady), while Alex Robertson crossed the line in a personal best of 1:44:25 (202nd place).
13.1 mile debutant Nicola Robinson ran 2:06:08 (153rd place lady), while Jacque Craig made a notable return to the distance with a personal best 2:17:32 (198th place lady). Joanne Knox and Doris Kirby crossed the line together and although Doris (209th place lady - 2:20:23) just pipped Joanne (210th place lady - 2:20:22) to the finish, Joanne's 'chip-time' was one second quicker. Another Half Marathon first-timer, Lisa Parker, produced a strong performance to complete the course in 3:04:17 (243rd place lady).
Also on Sunday, Amanda Peoples joined thousands of competitors at the Edinburgh Marathon in Scotland. Unfortunately, Amanda had to withdraw from the event due to illness. Everyone at East Coast AC wishes her a speedy recover, and we have no doubt that it won't be too long before she is back on the start line.
No less than twenty four East Coast AC members took part in parkrun events this week. In Larne, Greg Lavery led the field home in a new parkrun personal best of 18:23 (1st place). Club mates Dan Spencer (19:27) and Naoise McLoughlin (19:59) followed in 2nd place and 3rd place respectively, both in new parkrun personal bests. Chris Davis continued the personal best haul in 20:59 (7th place), before Corey Urwin also claimed a top ten place, after completing the 5k time-trial in 21:08 (8th place).
Event regular and consistent performer, Mark Lockwood completed the two lap course in 23:08 (18th place), finishing just before Belfast Marathon man Paul Clements, who clocked a new personal best of 24:04 (23rd place). Conor Sheridan (24th place – 24:40) also claimed a personal best; Sandy Plumb (27th place – 25:20) crossed the line in 25:20 (27th place); his son and parkrun first timer Harry Plumb (39th place – 28:00) and friend Hannah Clements (6th place lady – 28:05) followed, guided into the Dixon Hall finish area by the Newry Half Marathon bound Janice Plumb (7th place lady – 28:06).
David Hall ran 28:33 for 43rd place, while Joanna McIlroy (10th place lady – 29:45) secured a top ten finish in the ladies category. Paula Cosgrove looked back to her best as she cruised into Drainsbay in 30:09 (11th place). Leah Girvin (12th place lady – 30:20) secured the Grivin Family 'bragging rights' for this week, with only the impressive Gillian Pike (19th place lady – 35:47) seperating Leah and her sibblings, Hannah Girvin (21st place lady – 36:14), Sarah Girvin (22nd place lady – 36:34), and Glenda Girvin (23rd place lady – 36:38). Stephen Weir continued his return with a solid 37:38 finisn (69th place).
In England, Peter McManus completed the popular Worcester parkrun in a new personal best of 30:49 (228th place), while Nigel Taylor also recorded a new personal best; running at the Bedfont Park parkrun, Nigel clocked 24:07 (19th place).
East Coast AC build on Giro D'Italia enthusiasm!
The enthusiasm for sport and exercise following the hugely successful Giro d'Italia weekend was evident this week as East Coast AC athletes turned out in force at events across the province and in Wales, covering a variety of terrain, distance and disciplines.
The most notable story of the week, however, was the beginning of the inaugural Jog Larne Couch to 5k programme, hosted by East Coast AC; a staggering 150 participants turned out for the opening night of the worthwhile 10 week programme. All participants appeared to enjoy the evening, with all performing very well. The event was facilitated by a large number of club members, who offered help, advice and support where required.<