Race Reports w/e 22nd July 2018

After a relatively quiet couple of weeks Ballymena Runners roared back with a vengeance with podium topping performances everywhere from Dalriada, Dervock and Donegal!

Seven Sisters Mountain Marathon
Huge congratulations to Gillian Wasson and Mark Alexander in winning their respective races in the inaugural Seven Sisters Mountain Marathon and Half Marathon.

Held in the Derryveagh mountains of Donegal on the edge of the Wild Atlantic Way and incorporating a total ascent of an eye watering 13,000 feet Gillian won the ladies Marathon in 7:42:40, over an hour ahead of her nearest challenger.

And the successes continued in the Half Marathon with Mark Alexander winning the overall event in 3:41:54, an advantage of almost six minutes on the runner-up.

There were strong performances, too, from Ruth Aiken who finished sixth in the ladies Half, while Tim Lowry was 12th over the full 26.2 miles.

Kennedy Kane McArthur Festival of Running
Ballymena Runners descended en masse upon the village of Dervock for the annual Kennedy Kane McArthur Festival of Running for both the half marathon and five mile events.

On an undulating course and featuring the world famous Dark Hedges, Eamon Loughran was first from the club over the line in the Half Marathon, clocking 1:26:00 just ahead of Kieran Scullion (1:26:25 - a personal best) and Rodney Agnew (1:29:17).

In addition, further 30+ athletes took on the 13.1 mile route, namely Harry Armstrong, Billy Bamber, Thomas Bradley, Iverene Carleton (new PB), Conor Crilly, Paul Cupples, Nigel Davidson, Chris Davies, Terry Foley, Stephen Gage, Trevor Gage, Kathryn Grant, James Galbraith, Jonny Graham, Martin Harris, Naomi Hutchinson, Gillian Kernohan, Wendy McAuley, Bronagh McCormick (new PB), Helen McCormick, Iris McDowell, John McGerty, Claire Martin, Patrick Millar, Brigid Quinn, David Rainey, Eleanor Reid, Eugene Reid, Elaine Scullion (new PB), Sinead Scullion, Catherine White and Andrea Wylie.

Amongst that number there were also some age category successes with Iris McDowell, Brigid Quinn and Billy Bamber all claiming the honours in their respective classes.

Another ten runners took on the five mile route with Daniel and John McClelland claiming top ten finishes in 34:20 and 34:24 respectively while Peter Fleming was third home in 34:50.

Furthermore, both Chris Magill and Zara Surgenor dipped under the 40-minute mark while Adrian Dodds, Sharon Kerr, Sandy McDermott, David Nicholson and Jim Stewart also turned in strong performances on the hilly course.

Dalriada Festival
On Friday evening over 200 athletes made their way to Glenarm for the Dalriada Festival 10k and 5k races. The events, which are part of the week-long festival in the village, cover a multi-terrain course within Glenarm Castle grounds and surroundings streets and roads.

Ballymena Runners completed the double in the 5k, with Iain Taggart (17:03) winning the overall race while Paula Worthington (19:45) won the ladies race.

Indeed, it was a night of successes for the club with David Law claiming third spot in the 5k, while Geraldine Quigley was third lady over the line in the 10k.

 Mark Alexander and Gillian Wasson - race winners in the Seven Sisters Mountain Marathon

Mark Alexander and Gillian Wasson - race winners in the Seven Sisters Mountain Marathon

 Ballymena Runners line up before the Dark Hedges Half Marathon

Ballymena Runners line up before the Dark Hedges Half Marathon

 Eamon Loughran was first Ballymena Runner home through the Dark Hedges

Eamon Loughran was first Ballymena Runner home through the Dark Hedges

 Iverene Carleton on her way to a PB at the Dark Hedges Half Marathon

Iverene Carleton on her way to a PB at the Dark Hedges Half Marathon

 John McGerty and Kathryn Grant smile for the cameras through the Dark Hedges

John McGerty and Kathryn Grant smile for the cameras through the Dark Hedges

 Michael Johnston #184 competes in the Dalriada Festival 5k

Michael Johnston #184 competes in the Dalriada Festival 5k