It has been quite a week for Ballymena Runners, with success stories at all distances from 3000m to 69 miles, and from events close to home to one side of England to the other.
Susanna Allen travelled to Carlisle on Saturday to compete in The Wall – an Ultra marathon that follows Hadrian’s Wall from Carlisle Castle across England to the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead, a mammoth distance of some 69 miles!
And not only did Susanna complete the race in an impressive 15hrs 32min 24secs, she finished first in her age category. Many congratulations, Susanna, on an amazing achievement!
We all know Ballymena Runners run the town but we also run the country and Gillian Wasson led that particular charge this weekend as she captained the Northern Ireland Women’s Mountain Running team at the Senior Home International at Sedbergh, Cumbria.
On Friday night Ben Morrow produced a superb showing to battle his way to third spot in the Comber 10k in what was the latest race in the Novosco Grand Prix series.
Finishing in 34:10, Ben saw off Paul Rowan (Willowfield Harriers) and Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) to secure his spot on the podium while Noel Connor ran strongly (37:02) to secure a top 20 spot from the almost 700-strong field, and second in his category. Also competing was Rosemary Morrow who just missed out on third place in her age category.
The club was well represented on Thursday evening at the Antrim Festival 10k event at Junction One.
As has been the case this week, Ballymena Runners weren’t found wanting when it came to collecting the prizes on offer. Ryan Logan led the way with a strong 7th place finish and, with it, a win in the Open Men category with a time of 40:42, finishing a few seconds of club mate Oliver Bateson.
Well done, also, to Linda Petticrew who continued her recent rich vein of form, finishing 23rd overall with a time of 46:37 and third spot in her category.
Acorns Night of 3000m
Several Ballymena Runners travelled to the Meadowbank Stadium in Magherafelt on Wednesday evening to take part in the Acorns AC "Night of 3000 Metres" event.
Graded races were held with runners selecting different paces.
With background music and a supportive crowd a great atmosphere led to some super times being achieved.
Six club members lined up in the 10-12 minutes race and, after a titanic battle, David Law (10:03) passed long-time leader and club mate James Turtle 10:05) with 50 metres to go to claim a podium finish.
Paul Wallace (10:24), Ollie Bateson (10:42), Paul Connolly (11.19) and Rodney Livingstone (11:31) all ran strong races.
In the 12-14 minutes event Tom Mills (11:30) ran an impressive second mile with Judith Worthington (12:25) also running a solid time.
T20 Para athlete James Hamilton, recently called up to the GB & NI team for the forthcoming World Athletics Championships in London, continued his preparations with an impressive time of two minutes in the 800m last Saturday in the Northern Ireland Track Championships.
NIMRA Mountain Running
A strong contingent from Ballymena Runners excelled themselves in Sunday’s mountain running event from Flagstaff to Carlingford in County Louth, an 11-mile route with a climb of 3,000 feet that encompassed the ridge of the Cooley mountains to Slieve Foye.
Connor Reid finished in a very impressive second place with a time of 1:53:26, and was joined in the top ten with clubmate Alex Brennan (2:04:48).
Next up was Mark Alexander in 20th (2:17:36) while Tim Lowry, Seamus Kelly and Ruth Aiken also finished strongly.
Indeed, Ruth collected her age category prize while the men’s team placed second overall.