Race Reports w/e 7th January 2018

World Class action at Greenmount Campus
Seven Ballymena Runners members lined up to compete in the Athletics Northern Ireland Cross Country league fixture which included the annual International event.

Many top class athletes travelled from various parts of the globe to compete along with Home Countries selections.

First up Aine Hasson finished a creditable 81st place in the ladies event which was won by Kenyan athlete Margaret Chelimo with best placed Northern Ireland finisher Fionnuala Ross 11th. Well done Aine.

The hotly contested Men's event resulted in a dip finish win for track star Timothy Cheruiyo from Kenya with Mogus Tuemay from arch rivals Ethiopia given second (23:12 for both). Neil Johnston was best placed Northern Ireland finisher in 17th (25:28).

Taking the opportunity to race along with world class athletes, James Hamilton had a strong run to lead home the club finishers in 40th spot (27:09), followed by Ben Morrow 49th (28:11) only five days after his 6th place at the Race Over The Glens!

Next up Seamus Kelly 83rd (31:39) was well pleased with his race with John Robinson 91st (32:06) followed shortly after by John Hasson (32:21). John displayed his endurance qualities having competed in lots of races over the Christmas and New Year period. Well done guys.

Despite suffering a knee injury club ultra distance runner Ryan Armstrong battled his way to the finish in 158th (36: 42). Well done Ryan.

Next Saturday 13th January is the Mighty Oaks XCountry League race over a testing course in Cookstown, including the infamous Acorns Hill each lap! As always participation point scored for those brave enough to finish.

Born2Run Tollymore 10k & 5k
Almost 800 runners descended on Tollymore Forest Park on Saturday for the fifth event in the 2017/18 Run Forest Run series.

As usual Ballymena Runners were represented in both the 10k and 5k events. Kieran Scullion finished in a very impressive 9th spot overall in the 10k race (39:48), followed by Kathryn Grant (53:02) and Sinead Scullion (53:04). Also donning club colours were Lindsay Cunningham (1:11:20), Mary Duffin (1:00:15), Elaine Scullion (1:01:51).

Meanwhile, completing the 5k course were Kevin Duffy (37:46), Judith Irwin (38:43), Lisa Kirkwood (36:59) and Patricia O'Hagan (35:05).

Race Over The Glens
The annual Race Over The Glens has become established as the premier running event in Northern Ireland on New Years Day, and the 2018 edition was no exception.

An impressive 294 athletes (59 from Ballymena Runners) completed the 5.3 mile course under very wet and cold conditions.

Zak Hanna from Newcastle AC held off the challenge from Glenwherry man Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) to win the overall event while Ballymena Runners' very own Gillian Wasson won the female race, beating Lagan Valley's Shileen O'Kane into second place.

Ballymena Runners also won the Men's Team award with Ben Morrow, Jason Wilson, Mark Alexander, Noel Connor, John Hasson and Kieran Scullion. The Ladies team were pipped to top spot by seven points by Glens Runners.

The club also produced three age category winners, namely Mark Alexander (M45), Noel Connor (M55) and Brigid Quinn (F70).

Linda and Brigid win in Loughmacrory
In between pulling the Cracker and running over the Glens Linda Petticrew and Brigid Quinn found the time and energy to compete in the annual Lough 5 mile road race in Loughmacrory, Co. Tyrone.

And not only did they squeeze those extra five miles out of undoubtedly tired legs, both also won their respective age categories! Linda finished 144th overall (38:16) with Brigid coming home in 48:53.

Judith Brown does the East Antrim double
Huge congratulations to Judith Brown who ended the year on a fantastic note with back-to-back wins in the East Antrim Marathon Series Half Marathon events.

Judith finished third on December 30th to pick up the ladies prize before going one better just 24 hours later to actually win the entire event. Well done Judith, a tremendous achievement!

 Andrea Wylie, Helen McCormick and Geraldine McClintock with piper Ewan MacDonald after Race Over The Glens

Andrea Wylie, Helen McCormick and Geraldine McClintock with piper Ewan MacDonald after Race Over The Glens

 Zak Hanna and Gillian Wasson, Race Over The Glens winners

Zak Hanna and Gillian Wasson, Race Over The Glens winners

 Ballymena Runners at Tollymore Forest

Ballymena Runners at Tollymore Forest

 Seamus Kelly, Ryan Armstrong, John Robinson and James Hamilton representing the club at the Antrim Cross Country event on Saturday

Seamus Kelly, Ryan Armstrong, John Robinson and James Hamilton representing the club at the Antrim Cross Country event on Saturday