Athletics: Parkrun action for Acorns runners

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Last weekend Acorns AC focused on parkruns in preparation for the road race season, which gets underway next weekend.

Parkrun has become a phenomenal success since its inception in 2004, and has gradually built into a global brand operating in countries such as the USA, Russia and Australia.

In Northern Ireland weekly 5k Parkrun events take place across the province and this week the Acorns members ran at MUSA, Victoria Park and Antrim.

The local Parkrun is going from strength to strength with around 60 runners taking park. Thanks to Irwin Speirs and his volunteer team they keep the 5k going on a weekly basis.

There were lots of personal bests for the Acorns crew again this week, including all those new members who have recently joined the club.

Results: Sam Linton 19.37 (PB); Ciaran McElroy 20.30 (PB); Francis Bell 22.55 (PB); Sharon Hasson 23.39 (PB); Karl Murphy 24.14 (PB); Sharon Crooks 26.07 (PB); Joan O’Neill 27.11 (PB); Marina Abbott 29.40; Sheryl Watters 30.08 (PB); Helen Steenson 30.33; Caroline Kelly 31.25 (PB); Robyn Tierney 32.18 (PB); Brenda Buchanan 32.57 (PB); Tracey Devlin 33.20 (PB).

The Acorns team had 14 runners taking part in the Victoria Parkrun in Belfast. Glenn Donnelly had a fantastic run taking 1st place overall in 16.48, a superb achievement after a lot of hard work over the autumn months.

Well done to all team members, including our junior contingent of Cathaoir and Caoimhe Purvis, Andrew Shaw and Ronan McWilliams who all achieved PB times.

Results: Glenn Donnelly 16.48 (PB); Darrell McKee 17.10; Cathaoir Purvis 19.04 (PB); Alan Shaw 19.21; Pat Groogan 19.28 (PB); Eugene McAuley 19.43 (PB); Niall Hasson 20.44 (PB); Andrew Shaw 21.44 (PB); John Knocker 22.11; Ronan McWilliams 22.50 (PB); Rosemary Hargan 23.57 (PB); Nuala McWilliams 24.27 (PB); Caoimhe Purvis 27.41 (PB); Edel Kidd 29.13 (PB).

Antrim Parkrun: Roisin Egan 27.21.

Lough Feagh 10 mile- This Sperrin Harriers organised event took place on Saturday around the trails of lough Feagh. Acorns members Marty Loughran finished 11th overall in 63 minutes, with Oli (Warrior) Murphy not far behind when he crossed the line in 70 minutes.

Stephen Kerr had a strong run finishing in 72 minutes, whilst James Little, who is building his race distances each week, crossed the finish in 84 minutes. Colin Thom was also in action around the lough and he completed the ten male distance in 89 minutes.

The current C25K programme for all those newcomers to running is now entering the final preparation week of the programme, with graduation runs due to take place next week.

Once the programme has been completed, those people who wishing to continue running have the opportunity to continue with the regular Acorns AC training schemes.

Well done to everyone so far and good luck over the next two weeks. Thanks to the local councils for their support with the C25K so far.

The next Couch to 5k Programme is due to start in April, please keep a watch on our social media site and also on Active NI over the coming weeks, as participants will be required to register on-line.

The Club AGM will take place on Tuesday 10th March at 7.45pm in Cookstown Leisure Centre.

It is important that as many members as possible attend, as this is your opportunity to hear how the club has performed in 2014 and also to get an understanding of the future plans.

Race Calendar: Saturday 7th March– Carmen 10k; Albertville 5. Sunday 8th March– Addiction 10k; Valleys 5k.

The club is organising a trip to Killarney on 17th July for their annual Marathon events. If you are interested please contact Francis Purvis.

Training- Meadow Bank Sports Arena- Monday and Wednesday Couch to 5k programme at 6.45pm; Monday- Senior Training at 7pm; Wednesday- Senior Training at 7.30pm.

Mid Ulster Sports Arena- Tuesday and Thursday- Couch to 5k and senior training at 6.30pm.