The winter trail season is in full swing now with a sizeable number of Ballymena Runners competing in Davagh, Garvagh and Tollymore Forests ... oh, and there was a wedding to celebrate too!
Sperrin Harriers Winter Trail Series - Davagh Forest
No fewer than 26 club members travelled to Davagh Forest in the heart of the Sperrins to compete in a tough off-road trail race, the first in the Sperrin Harriers Winter Trail Series.
With over 200 runners in attendance, congratulations must go to Jason Wilson, first club finisher in 4th overall, and to Gillian Wasson (22nd overall and first lady).
Other club finishers were 7th Connor Reid, 13th Paul Wallace, 16th Mark Alexander, 24th Ian McCracken, 32nd Paul Connolly, 52nd Ray Curran, 67th Chris Young, 68th Glenn McGall, 77th Linda Petticrew, 82nd Alastair Hill, 114th Sinead Scullion, 115th Moyra McKinley, 118th Naomi Hutchinson, 119th Alastair Donaghy, 129th Michael Scott, 132nd Karen Purvis, 133rd Neil Purvis, 143rd Alison Foster, 147th Paul McKinley, 155th Alan Foster, 164th Terry Foley, 169th Patricia MacRory, 175th Catherine Stewart and 176th Jim Stewart.
The series continues on December 2nd, with a 5k event at Lough Fea.
Tollymore Trail Marathon
Tollymore Forest Park was the destination of choice for a number of club members for the latest in the 26extreme trail series, encompassing the long established park near Newcastle, Co. Down.
Claire Martin got another full marathon under her belt, coming home in 4:34:10 while, of those doing the half, Willie Fleck was first to finish in 1:37:00. Also competing were Amanda Strange, Karen Ritchie, John Lilley, Nikki Hassan and Declan Hassan.
East Antrim Marathon Series – The Wedding
You may have seen on the evening news during the week the somewhat unusual wedding celebrations of ultra marathon couple Gillian Cordner and Gary Connolly.
They celebrated their nuptials by organising a variety of running events, from 5k to the full 26.2 miles, and were helped in their celebrations by a trio from Ballymena Runners.
Judith Worthington finished fourth in the half marathon (1:42:50), Kathryn Grant 10th (1:53:56) and Helen McCormack 11 (1:55:09).
Northern Velocity Trail Series - Garvagh Forest
Ballymena Runners were well represented at the opening event of the 2017/18 Northern Velocity Trail Run Series recently at Garvagh Forest.
Three athletes completed in the 10k race with Gerry McClintock first to finish (54:12), followed by Thmara Millar (57:59) and Donna McConkey (1:05:57).
Meanwhile, in the associated 5k, Margaret McAleese recorded a sub-30 29:48.
At the local Ecos event, James Turtle led the pack home in 17:40, doubling up to claim the top age grade rating (84.15%) while Kelly Courtney finished first lady, setting a new pb in the process (20:27).
Simon Boyle (19:27) recorded a top ten finish in Bangor while Harry Armstrong (30:02) competed in Carrickfergus for the first time, finishing second in his age category while, a little further up the coast, Rosemary Morrow (32:45) visited Larne.
Meanwhile Roy White (26:15) kept up his record of visiting every parkrun in Northern Ireland with an appearance at the recently established Castlewellan event and winning his age category to boot!
In Antrim, a trio of athletes completed the 5k course, namely Raymond Ruck (33:03), Noel Connor (18:00; 6th overall and age cat winner) and regular Pamela Kane (23:59).
And, up on the North Coast, Ollie Bateson (21:18) and Mark Osmer (27:37) - who recently completed his 50th parkrun - took to the beaches of Portrush's East Strand.