Athletics: Acorn AC runners come good in Ballymena

Acorns AC Diarmuid O'Kane, Aaron Meharg and Bliadhan Glass
Acorns AC Diarmuid O'Kane, Aaron Meharg and Bliadhan Glass

The Ballymena Runners organised Fairhill 5 Mile race took place on Wednesday night close to the Braid Centre in the middle of the town.

There was a great buzz around with 300 runners preparing for the 5 mile race, in ideal conditions for running.

Acorns AC Rhian Pegram at the Fairhill 5

Acorns AC Rhian Pegram at the Fairhill 5

The Acorns crew were out in force, and with a sea of blue vests, it was certainly hard to miss the squad of over 30 runners, and one of the highest turnouts of any team at the event.

The race got underway at 7pm sharp, with two laps of the course taking the runners around the town centre.

The Acorns men, who included Aaron Meharg, Johnny Dempsey, Bliadhan Glass and Diarmuid O’Kane all started well, as did Sam Linton, Alan Shaw, Jordan Boyd and Roger McLean. The ladies had 20 members taking part, including those that had participated in the “Beginners” programme over recent weeks and months.

As the race progressed into the second lap, several Acorns had improved their position and were pushing hard.

There was a lot of close racing going on in the middle of the pack between Eugene McCauley, Rhian Pegram and Hugh Hamspey, all of whom were on target to break 35 minutes as they rounded the half way stage.

When everyone had crossed the line there was no fewer than 30 PBs achieved, with notable performances from Aaron Meharg, who finished 4th overall, Johnny Dempsey who took second place in his category and Elaine Hargan, who took first place in her category.

Fairhill 5 Results:-

Aaron Meharg- 27.02 PB– 4th overall.

Johnny Dempsey- 29.00 PB

Diarmuid O’Kane- 29.05

Bliadhan Glass- 29.42

Sam Linton- 29.51 PB

Alan Shaw- 30.47

Jordan Boyd- 31.19 PB

Roger McLean- 32.42PB

Richard Smith- 32.50 PB

Eugene McCauley- 33.04. PB

Rhian Sarah Pegram- 33.16 PB

Hugh Hampsey- 33.16 PB

Connor McWilliams- 33.26 PB

Barry Loughran- 33.55 PB

Jacqueline Mulligan- 34.03 PB

Adrian Whittle- 34.10 PB

Ciaran McElroy- 35.00 PB

Niall Hasson- 35.07 PB

John Knocker- 36.37 PB

Mary Devlin- 39.21 PB

Rosemary Hargan- 39.50 PB

Wendy Walker- 40.18 PB

Leanne Whittle- 40.57 PB

Deirdre Bradley- 40.56 PB

Wendy Wensley- 41.37 PB

Donna Patterson- 43.19 PB

Edel McGuckin- 45.07 PB

Ciara Quinn- 45.09 PB

Sandra Smyth- 46.50 PB

Samantha Morrow- 47.13 PB

Gail Lees- 48.11 PB

Sharon Scott- 49.06 PB

Pauline Kelly- 49.04 PB

Amanda McGuckin- 49.16 PB

Joyce McMullan- 50.11 PB

Shane Donnelly took part in the Mourneway Ultra 52 Mile Marathon organised mountain race on Saturday which was not for the faint hearted.

The event took place along the mountain paths from Newcastle to Kilbroney Park near Rostrevor. Shane completed the distance in 9 hours 40 mins, which was inside his targeted 10 hour time, and finished in 14th place overall, a superb achievement.

Congratulations to Rosemary Hargan, Elaine Hargan and Oli Murphy, who took part in the Walled City Marathon on 3rd June. Oli crossed the line in 4:02, whilst Elaine and Rosemary finished together in 5:05.

Elaine has also taken part in races in Edinburgh and Ballymena in the last two weeks.

Well done to Frances Bell and Roisin Mullan who took part in the Race for Life Belfast – Cancer Research this fundraising event in Belfast last week.

North coast Training Day- 30 members who took part in a training session at Portstewart/ Portrush on Saturday. Whilst conditions weren’t ideal, everyone got stuck in and put the maximum effort in along the beach, dunes and paths around Portstewart and Portrush.

Thanks to Francie and Wendy for organising the day and to Karen and her family for supplying the food and refreshments.

A trip is being planned to the Killarney Marathon and Half Marathon on 19th July, there are still places available, therefore please contact Francis Purvis is you are interested in going.

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

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

For all newcomers, please speak to the following people, who will help you with your enquiries:- Cookstown contact: Glenn Donnelly and Trevor Dallas; Magherafelt contact: Francis Purvis.