This week I was a passenger in a Scania 500 tractor unit, writes Oli Murphy of Acorns AC.
“How many gears does this thing have?” I asked.
“Six full and six half,” was the driver’s reply.
“When it’s getting tight on the hills I just go down a half gear, then on the flat I just go up again,” I told him.
Typical of this week’s racing, I thought, that it has been full on up and down the gears for the Acorns. With very clammy conditions, the club runners have had to put the throttle down and grind through all the gears. The turbo has been whistling all week!
The week’s events kicked off on Sunday last at the Swatragh 10k.
Acorns’ Diarmuid O’Kane came in first overall in 38.46 and was closely followed in third overall by Steven Mulholland with a great run on the challenging course of 39.55.
John Knocker finished next in 47.58, followed by Bronagh Stockman in 1.04.15.
On Tuesday evening, Diarmuid O’Kane took a dander over the border to take part in the Convoy 5k in Donegal.
With nearly 400 people taking part in the high standard event, Diarmuid acquitted himself very well finishing in a very quick time of 17.21.
On Wednesday evening Acorns attacked on two fronts; a squad travelled to An Creagan 5k trail race in Tyrone while the other squad attacked the Lisburn 10k and Half Marathon.
Conditions were warm and very clammy. First up was the 10k and all the Acorn girls ran very well. This was the second year running on the new revised flatter course, but it still has a few stings in the tail, with a sharp hill to battle just before the run down to the finish.
The first Acorn home was Kate Semple in 53.25 with Carol Brownlee second in 60.16. Third Acorn home was Ailis Corey in 63.21 with Bronagh Stockman just behind in 64.16.
Caroline Kelly, Tracy Devlin and Patrice Hughes were working together around the course and fought hard to the line crossing together in 67.31. Julie McVey finished next in 70.36 with Sharon Murphy - in only her second 10k - finishing in 98.28.
There was a great Acorn family togetherness (as their always is) with the girls all turning around at the finish and running back to support Sharon to the finish line.
Next up were the Acorns tackling the Half Marathon. The first Acorn to finish, as well as being 14th and second female overall, was Karen Alexander in 1.22.11.
Running her first half marathon on tarmac was Siobhan Brown with a great time of 1.30.05 PB to finish fourth female overall.
Thomas Bell had a great run, coming in next with 1.41.49 PB, followed by Sandra McKeown in 1.45.04. She was closely followed by John Knocker in 1.45.20 to take his age group prize. Rosemary Hargan ran John close in 1.46.36 to also win her group.
She was followed by Jennifer and Deirdre Bradley who were working together to finish in 1.51.34. Colin Thom was next to finish in 1.53.01, complaining that the course was too flat!
Trevor Dallas was just in behind Colin in 1.53.49 with Steve Dallas - tackling his first Half Marathon - next in 1.56.43 PB.
Next was Frances Bell in 2.13.16 followed by Roisin Mullan in 2.23.19 who ran along with their brother Thomas.
AN CREAGAN 5K
Acorns’ other squad tackled An Creagan 5k trail race and tackle it they did with great times round the flat fast trail course!
Martin Loughran - in a very close finish - came in second overall in 16.54 PB while the second Acorn was Fergal Mulgrew in 19.11. He was followed closely by Marty Foster in 19.28.
Natalie Hall had another strong run, finishing second lady overall in 19.51 and was followed closely by Brian Thom in 19.57.
Niall Hasson was next in with 20.21 and was followed in by Barry Loughran (20.42), Eoin Conway (22.24), Barry Hall (22.52), Gary Martin (24.09), Marsha Abbott (24.30), Erica Kudrenko (25.03), Claire Donnelly (25.22) and Mick Muldoon (26.38).
Thursday evening saw Eoin Hughes continue his winning form. Eoin finished in first place at the Antrim summer festival 10k in conjunction with Junction One Shopping Centre. He recorded at time of 36.51.
Friday evening was a proud and exciting night for the club. It was the second year of our 3,000 metre track meet.
The first race of the evening was the 12-14 minute race with Acorns Andrew Shaw and Lisa Simpson taking first male and first female in this event.
Andrew Shaw 11.24.66
Les Maneely 11.42.12
Lisa Simpson 12.03.77 PB
Eugene McCauley 12.13.83
Sandra McKeown 12.26.64
Stacey Hinfey 12.51.59 PB
John Knocker 13.06.49
Tommy Evans 13.14.09 PB
Bernard Bateson 13.21.42
Rosemary Hargan 13.23.80
Martin Conway 13.31.97
Donna Patterson 13.44.22
Erica Kudrenko 14.02.20
Kate Semple 14.17.60
Sandra Smyth 14.59.39
Denise Wright 14.59.68
The second race of the evening was the 10-12 minute race. Colm Mullan was the first Acorn home, continuing his strong form, in 10.29.48. He was followed by Pat Groogan (10.54.80), Fergal Mulgrew (10.59 16), John Paul McGuckin (11.26.66), Alan Shaw (11.36.77) and Leanne Sands (12.10.37).
The third and final race of the evening was the sub-10 minute race and what a race it was! Martin Loughran finished in a time of 9.34.56 with Francis McDaid just behind in 9.48.81.
Thank-you to everyone that took part and to all the clubs that participated: Derry City Track Club, Foyle Valley, City Of Derry Spartans, Beechmount Harriers, Victoria Park And Connswater, Sperrin Harriers, Ballymena Runners, and Lagan Valley. The club hopes that you all enjoyed it and hopes to see you all again next year.
On Saturday, a squad of Acorns travelled to take part in the first running of the Loup 5k and 10k.
Both routes started beside the Church Hall and then down past the clubhouse, heading out towards Moneymore where the 5k and 10k split with the 5k runners heading back to the finish on the pitch beside the clubhouse. The 10k route continued onto the Loup-Moneymore Road before heading back to the club.
In the 5k race, Cathaoir Purvis had a great run on the testing course to come in first overall in 18.08. Second Acorn to finish was Chalky McGuckin in 20.02 followed by Ronan Lindsay in 23.35.
Amy Rose Mulligan and Anna McDaid were both female junior prizewinners.
In the 10k race, Loup local Marty McVey put his pride on the line and wasn`t going to let Moortown, Ballinderry or any other parish win on his patch! He put the head down and floored the throttle as he crested the last hill, but on he came, winning with a personal PB of 35.12.
It was all Aidan O’Hagan could do too stay with Marty. He pushed him right to the end and came in second overall in a great time of 35.30.
Pat Groogan had a great run to finish third Acorn in 39.55. Leanne Sands was the second overall female in 45.31 while Trevor Dallas and Rosemary Hargan both claimed age group prizes.
Loup 5K Results
Cathaoir Purvis 18.08
Chalky McGuckin 20.02
Ronan Lindsay 23.35
Amy Rose Mulligan 23.57
Anna McDaid 24.33
Odhran Mulligan 27.08
Margaret McKee 29.06
Brianna McKinless 29.29
Julie McVey 30.13
Monica Mullin 31.52
Natasha Henry 32.24
Loup 10K Results
Martin Mcvey 35.12 PB
Aidan O’Hagan 35.30
Pat Groogan 39.55
Enda Daly 40.17 PB
Barry Loughran 43.55
Leanne Sands 45.31
Trevor Dallas 46.41
Rosemary Hargan 48.06
John Knocker 48.06
Damien Kelly 48.20
Patrice Laffitte-Fitou 50.22
Deirdre Bradley 50.31
Jacqueline Cahoon PB
Tracy Quinn 52.01
Gary Martin 52.25
Joe McKinless 52.52
Clodagh McKinless 52.55
Bridie Young 53.19 PB
Brian McKinless 53.35
Mick Muldoon 55.26
Frances Bell 55.31
Paul Bradley 55.33
Roisin Mullan 57.10
Declan Young 61.44 PB
Judith Black 62.36 PB
Stacey Cherry 65.21 PB
Fiona Henderson 68.46 PB
Sarah Doyle 68.46 PB
Sinead McGuckin 71.21 PB
Cathy McQuillan 73.10
Oliver Murphy 75.50
Also on Saturday, Moneyglass held there Hell4Leather 10k and 5k. This was a good, fast course with one sharp hill at the two mile point.
Acorn Eoin Hughes went ‘Hell4Leather’ finishing first overall for the second time in a week in 36.05. Gillian Kirkpatrick had a very good run in 54.04 PB followed closely by Helen McToal with 55.59 PB.
On Sunday, Acorn Shane Donnelly took part in the Flagstaff-Carlingford Mountain Race.
The course measured 10 miles and had 3,000 feet of climbing. Heavy rain and thick fog made it very tough, so good navigation was key!
Shane was very happy with his run in the conditions and felt it was a well organised race. He finished second overall in 2 hours 3 minutes.
Well done to Acorns Samantha Convery and Stephen Mulholland who were age group prize winners in Sunday’s Firmus City of Derry Triathlon.
Diarmuid O’Kane 17.34
Colm Mullan 18.05
Darrell McKee 16.04 PB
Brian Thom 19.15
Alan Shaw 20.15
Nigel Stockman 24.58
Andra McKeown 27.52
Zak Hall 29.27 Pb
Natalie Hall 29.28
Barry Hall 29.39
Alanda Greer 30.56 PB
Ruth Ruddell 36.14
Kate O’Neill 36.47
Sandra Smyth 37.37
Donna Patterson 37.38
Martin McGirr 19.08
Bronagh Stockman 31.37
Friday 24 June
Ards Half Marathon
Saturday 25 June
Dromore 10K And 5K
Belfast Hills 10 Mile