After a week of questionable summer weather, East Coast AC athletes were once again out in force at a number of events and put in some top performances.
The major event of the weekend was, without doubt, the Lurig Challenge mountain race on Saturday (August 9). Fourteen members joined hundreds of runners in the coastal village of Cushendall for the 3.5-mile race which included 375m of ascent.
Justin Maxwell, Matthew Hewitt and Stephen Kennedy were all relatively close throughout the race, however, after a fast descent and run in towards the crowds, Maxwell was the first East Coast AC man to finish in a time of 32:00, taking 6th place.
Kennedy put in arguably the performance of the day, having climbed the mountain in astounding speed, he descended well to reach the finish in 32:35 (8th overall) taking first place in the V45 category. Just five seconds split Kennedy from his friend and training partner, Hewitt, who crossing the line in 32:40 securing 9th place.
Corey Urwin reached the finish line in 34:17 (14th), a particularly impressive time given the fact that Corey sustained an ankle injury during the race. Mark McManus was next home (23rd, 36:11).
Murray Deller climbed well and made a fast descent to finish in a time of 40:11, securing 52nd place overall. Alan Glover was next to cross the line in 46:58 (116th place), bettering his last year’s time by almost eight minutes! Lee Stirling worked hard and his efforts paid off when he completed the tough course in 48:08 (128th place).
Nigel Taylor reached the finish in a time of 51:20, taking 156th place. Jenny Magill was the first of the club’s ladies to complete the course, clocking 54:30 (27th lady). Katie Glover followed just over a minute later in 55:39 (37th lady), replicating her position from last year as second-placed junior female.
Nikki McNeill, Gillian Leetch-Armstrong and Kelly Deller all ran well. The trio finished together, with only a second between them. Leetch-Armstrong crossed the line first in 1:01:07 (60th lady), followed by McNeill in 1:01:08 (61st lady) and Deller in 1:01:09 (62nd lady).
AAI National Masters Track and Field Championships
On Sunday (August 10), Allyson O’Toole made her debut in track racing at the Glo Health AAI National Masters Track & Field Championships in Tullamore. She was competing in the 800m and 1500m events in the F35 category.
In her first event of the day, the 800m, she claimed sixthth place in 2:36 and continued on from this with another top performance in the afternoon in the 1500m (5:23, 7th).
East Coast members were in action at seven different parkrun events across Northern Ireland and Wales.
The most popular was the local Larne parkrun. Andy Guy was the first member to finish in 23:38, taking 14th place. Paul Clements ran 24:18 (19th), followed by Conor Sheridan who achieved a new personal best in 24:24 (20th).
April and Carol Clarke both achieved personal bests when they finished in 24:49 (2nd lady) and 25:52 (3rd lady) respectively.
Harry Plumb, a junior athlete, finished in 26:04 (29th). Sandy Plumb ran 26:04 (30th), with Janice Plumb clocking 26:05 (4th lady).
Other results: Karl Joyce (26:19, 34th; Hannah Clements (28:20, 10th lady); Paula Cosgrove (28:22, 11th lady); Julianne Greer (32:24, 18th); Cyndy Hay (33:46, 22nd; Naomi Coupland (34:41 pb): Heather Shaw (36:55, 33rd lady); Christine Irwin (37:11, pb, 34th lady), Kristian Greer (37:16, 89th place); Philip Greer (37:16, 90th), Megan Millar (37:55, 35th lady), and Tia Maxwell (37:56, 36th lady); Christopher Campbell (38:50, 97th); Trisha Campbell (41:08, 40th lady).
At the Carrickfergus parkrun, Gillian and Caitlan Pike joined almost one hundred other participants for the three lap course.
Caitlan ran with mum, Gillian, throughout the course and finished just one second ahead in 36:14, taking 24th place in the ladies’ category. Gillian completed the 5k course in 36:15 securing 25th place in the ladies’ category.
Ballymena parkrun: Callum Sittlington travelled to Ballymena for the popular Ecos parkrun and achieved a new personal best when he finished in 21:25 (10th).
Comber parkrun: Chris Davis (21:53, 8th).
Ormeau parkrun: Mel Milligan (29:43, 39th lady).
Enniskillen parkrun: Matthew McIlroy (21:36, pb, 8th); Callum McIlroy (23:03, pb, 14th); Oliver Smyth (32:22, pb, 79th; Johanna McIlroy (33:14, 38th lady); Charlotte Smyth (37:41, 40th lady); Ashley Smyth (37:57, 41st lady).
Cardiff parkrun: Peter McManus (25:16, 254th).