Acorns take part in Bobby Rea XC

Acorns AC athletes Rhonda Darragh, Debbie O'Rourke and Annemarie McKernan at the recent Bobby Rea Cross Country races at Jordanstown
Acorns AC athletes Rhonda Darragh, Debbie O'Rourke and Annemarie McKernan at the recent Bobby Rea Cross Country races at Jordanstown

On Saturday thirty team members headed off to Jordanstown to attend the second race of the Cross Country league, known at the Bobby Rea XC races.

The facilities at UUJ were ideal, the course was reasonably flat, and weather conditions were cool but blustery at times.

First up were the underage runners, with Cathaoir Purvis taking part in the U16 race, which he completed the course in an excellent 15:37. Patrick O’Neill ran in the U18 class, crossing the line in 18:55.

The ladies race took place around 2.30pm with many strong Acorns performances.

There were many strong performances including Rosemary, Wendy and Deidre, who led the charge at the start and finished in under 27 minutes.

Samantha, Lisa and Julie put in a sharp performance completing the course in under 28 minutes.

The next group of Acorn ladies included Edel, Anne-Marie, Rhona, Debbie and Ciara, who finished in around 29 minutes.

Roisin, Denise, Elaine, Pauline and Amanda rounded of the team results with a solid finish in 32 minutes.

The men’s race got underway after 3pm and the distance to cover for them was 5 miles. Aaron, Aidan and Bliadhan were quickest out of the blocks, and completed the course in under 27 minutes, and inside the top 40.

Fergal, Diarmuid, Jonny and Marty were hot on their heels and put in a super shift to finish in 30 minutes. Alan, Connor and Ciaran were the next three team members to cross the line, again with sharp times inside the 33 minute marker. Eugene, Niall and John completed the team’s results.

Remember we pick up additional points for the overall team based on our level of entrants, so it really is a team effort. See you all in Coleraine next Saturday for the third race of the XC season.

Ladies results:- Rosemary Hargan 26.18; Wendy Walker 26.47; Deirdre Bradley 26.49; Samantha Convery 27.08; Lisa Henry 27.48; Julie Brodison 27.56; Edel McGuckin 28.05; Anne-Marie McKernan 28.13; Rhonda Darragh 28.22; Debbie O’Rourke 28.22; Ciara Quinn 28.48; Roisin Mullan 30.09; Denise Wright 30.16; Elaine Hargan 31.29; Pauline Kelly 31.51; Amanda McGuckin 31.51.

Men’s results:- Aaron Meharg 26.49; Aidan O’Hagan 27.42; Bliadhan Glass 27.48; Fergal Mulgrew 28.22; Diarmuid O’Kane 29.22; Jonathan Dempsey 29.40; Marty McGirr 29.59; Alan Shaw 30.40; Conor McWilliams 31.41; Ciaran McElroy 32.34; Eugene McAuley 33.05; Niall Hassan 34.06; John Knocker 36.16.

The Acorns AC “Couch to 5k programme”, or C25K for short, which is supported by Cookstown and Magherafelt Councils and the Health agency, got underway last week.

There was a tremendous turnout of approximately 100 participants between the two venues to have a go at the introduction to running programme. It was a magnificent sight to see so many people walking and running together, and for many it was their first time.

The feedback from the participants has been extremely positive, albeit a few aches where mentioned after the first session, which is to be expected.

The important thing to remember is that everyone can put in some additional work in their own time, which will help reach them reach the goal of completing a 5k distance.

Remember to register your details for the programme at

As we go into week 2 of the 9 week programme, we look forward to seeing everyone back in action on the various training nights in Magherafelt and Cookstown.

MUSA Parkrun Results:- Sean Boyle 19.37; Matthew Sampson 21.33 PB; Trevor Dallas 22.05; Karen Coyle 26.23 PB; Gillian Kirkpatrick 28.50 PB; Victoria Morrow 28.54 PB; Marina Abbott 29.18; Joyce McMullan 30.27 PB; Andrea McKeown 32.33; Demi Lee Dallas 33.36.

Stock of club kit is available from Trevor Dallas and Francis Purvis, please place you order with them by text or at the club training sessions. There is also a new Winter Rain Jacket now available to order at a cost of £45.

If you wish your results to be reported in our weekly press coverage, then please send the details to Gary McGuckin (Club PRO).

Race Calendar: Saturday- Springwell XC Coleraine (University of Ulster) at 10am; Sperrin Harriers Winter league – Davagh at Noon; Sunday- Decathalon 10k and Half Marathon (Belfast) at 9am.

Training takes place in Magherafelt at Meadow Bank Sports Arena running track on a Monday at 7pm, and a Wednesday at 7pm (C25K) and 7.30pm.

Cookstown training takes place at MUSA on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 6.30pm.