East Coast athletes have a spring in their step at weekend races

East Coast runners Connie Hodge, William Gallagher and Glenda Girvin. INLT 10-905-CON
East Coast runners Connie Hodge, William Gallagher and Glenda Girvin. INLT 10-905-CON

As the busy Spring racing season approaches, athletes from East Coast AC are reaping the rewards for their winter training, with members performing well at local events.

On Saturday, three club members travelled to Nutts Corner for the second instalment of the NI Duathlon Nutts Corner Duathlon Series.

James Robinson, Roy McMullan and Martin Taylor all took to the start line of the ‘Super Sprint’ race, consisting of a 0.9-mile run (one lap), followed by a 4.-mile cycle (five laps) and another 0.-mile run (one lap).

Robinson was the first club member home in 27:59, which was enough to secure eighth place. McMullan claimed ninth in 28:13, while Taylor’s time of 31:42 saw him take 13th.

On Sunday, 45 club members took part in the seventh race of the East Coast AC Championship Challenge Series, the 10-mile road race and two five-mile associated relay.

With a mass start, individual runners and relay teams set off together from the Larne Leisure Centre, out towards the town centre before making their way along the coast towards Ballygally. At this point they would turn south towards the Promenade finish area and relay teams would changeover for the second leg of the 10-mile course.

After a fast start, Justin Maxwell led the way to take first place in 58:47, with Andy Guy not far behind in 1:01:15 (seconnd).

The next runner home was Allyson O’Toole, competing in the relay event alongside Mark McManus. Allyson and Mark recorded 1:04:52 for the distance and claimed first place in the relay event.

Seconds separated Chris Davis and Murray Deller as they made their way down the promenade, battling it out for the final men’s podium place. However it was Davis who reached the line first after clocking 1:09:51 (3rd),followed by Murray in 1:09:56 (4th).

Alex Robertson was next along the promenade towards the finish. Alex was competing in a relay team alongside Matthew McIlroy, the duo ran well to claim second place in the relay event in a total time of 1:16:23.

Katie Glover impressed with a final surge towards the line, crossing in 1:20:48 to secure third place in the relay for her team-mate, James Robinson.

Glenda Girvin was first lady in 1:24:26, while debutant Connie Hodge did not disappoint when she finished in 1:25:16 (second lady). Polly Dix completed the 10 miles in an impressive 1:27:48 which secured third place in the ladies’ category.

When pre-determined handicap times were added on Martin Taylor was first in the series event, followed by Anne Hegarty in second and Jacque Craig in third.