This week we swapped our trainers for dancing shoes to celebrate our achievements over the past twelve months but there was still plenty of running with a strong club showing at international level and at Drum Manor.
Ballymena Runners Annual Awards Dinner
Club members left their trainers at home on Saturday night to celebrate their achievements over the past twelve months at the annual awards dinner in the Adair Arms Hotel.
It was a year that brought success and prestige to the club on many varying levels, and these were rightfully recognised in the distribution of prizes:-
Female Athlete Of The Year: Kerry Bamber
Male Athlete Of The Year: Ben Morrow
Most Improved Female Athlete Of The Year: Linda Petticrew
Most Improved Male Athlete Of The Year: John Robinson
Best Female Newcomer: Sinead Scullion
Best Male Newcomer: Billy Bamber
Outstanding Female Athletic Performance: Gillian Wasson
Outstanding Male Athletic Performance: James Hamilton
Club Person Of The Year: Mark Alexander
Special Contribution/Unsung Hero: Lynn Tennant
Curran Cup: Noel Connor
Medals were also presented to the following for their international section in Cross Country and Mountain running: Noel Connor, Ruth Murphy Aiken, Geraldine Quigley, Brigid Quinn, Conor Reid, James Turtle, Gillian Wasson and Paula Worthington.
British and Irish Masters International Cross Country
Ballymena Runners were well represented in the Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association squad which competed at the annual British and Irish Masters International Cross Country Event in Gransha on Saturday afternoon.
Conditions were near perfect for the 30th running of this prestigious fixture.
First up was the 6k Ladies International with teams made up of four runners in each age category from 35 years to 70 and above, as well as men aged 65 plus.
Paula Worthington produced a strong performance taking a hard earned 40th overall place in 24:37, with Geraldine Quigley also competing well in 84th overall in 26:16.
Club Female Masters legend Brigid Quinn, competing in the F70+ category ran well also to gain 187th overall position in 35:10 and a top ten age category finish.
The next race was for men aged 50-64 years with, again, team results in five year age categories.
Both Noel Connor and James Turtle were part of a strong Northern Ireland squad with both men producing the goods on the day.
Noel ran 30:21 in the 8k race to take seventh in his age category and a team silver medal ... and James' James 30:49 gained him 20th in his category and a team bronze medal on the day.
Well done to all our athletes.
Born2Run: Drum Manor
The second event in the Born2Run 2017/18 Trail Series was held on Saturday morning at Drum Manor Forest Park near Cookstown.
As always with these popular races Ballymena Runners brought a good turnout for the 10k and 5k events.
In the 10k, Sinead Scullion crossed the line first in 51:24 followed by Kathryn Grant (53:55) and Patricia MacRory (58:33). Meanwhile, in the 5k, Norman and Sharon Stephens finished together (32:56) with Patricia O'Hagan coming home in 37:06.
Amongst those also competing in one of the races on the day were Lindsay Cunningham, Mary Duffin, Kevin Duffy, Judith Irwin, Margaret McAleese and Sylvia Ringer.
A number of PB's were set at the Ecos parkrun on Saturday ... congratulations to Conor Crilly (20:50), Jennifer Dickson (30:28), Diana Dunlop (30:08), Nicholas McGroggan (23:57) and Eugene Reid (22:34).
And well done, also, to Seamus Kelly and Daniel McClelland on completing milestone runs at the weekend. Seamus clocked up his 50th outing in 18:55, just a fraction outside his fastest time this year. Daniel, meanwhile, now has 100 parkruns under his belt, 83 of which have been at Ecos.
The success continued in Antrim when Jonathan Johnston (23:48), Stephanie Johnston (26:09), Lorraine Craig (26:59) and Alison Foster (24:03) all set new PB's while Linda Petticrew finished second lady.