Castlewellan Forest Park was the setting for the final race in the Belfast Telegraph RUN FOREST RUN series organised by BORN2RUN Events on Saturday last.
Almost 800 runners from all over Ireland took part in the race with club and non-affiliated runners both represented in almost equal measure. The RUN FOREST RUN Series had a total of 8 races all of which took part over the Winter months in scenic forest locations throughout Northern Ireland. This year for the first time BORN2RUN introduced a 5K route at each of the 8 locations.
The first race in the series took place at the Mary Peters Track and Minnowburn forest back in early November. From there runners enjoyed races in Drum Manor, Loughgall Country Park, Kilbroney Forest Park , Tollymore Forest Park, Gosford Forest Park, Antrim Castle Gardens, and finally Castlewellan. The feedback from the runners on Saturday was extremely positive with many saying that the series kept them motivated to run throughout the Winter months.
Conditions for Saturday’s race in Castlewellan were a little windy with the odd short shower thrown in for good measure. The hundreds of runners lined up at the start of both races and enjoyed a verse of Springsteen’s ‘Born to Run’ before the claxon rang out and they were off. It was quite a sight to behold as the seemingly never ending stream of runners passed below the castle making their way toward the far side of the lake. The route took runners around the lake and the second half proved sufficiently challenging with a few hills thrown in for good measure.
David McKee of Mourne Runners was the winner of the 10K on Saturday in Castlewellan however runner up Don Travers of Newry City Runners gave him a really good run for his money. In third place was Timothy Johnston (Mourne Runners).
Shaleen McMurray of Newcastle AC won the women’s 10K race. Cathy McCourt was runner up having won most of the previous races in the series, however the injury she picked up at the Antrim race slowed her down somewhat on this occasion. Moire O’Sullivan came 3rd in the women’s 10K race.
The 5K race was won yet again by Sam Linton (Acorns AC), Sam Foster was the runner up and completing the trio of men on the Podium was Newry City Runner Robbie Marsh.
Ann Terek (City of Lisburn) was once again victorious in the women’s race followed in 2nd place by Mourne Runner Karalee Porter. Meadow McAuley (St Peter’s AC) at only 13 years of age came 3rd in the women’s 5k proving she’s one to watch for the future.
All of the age category winners received trophies supplied by Commercial Spare Parts as well as free BORN2RUN race entries.
There was a selection of further sponsored Prizes; Most Inspirational Runner (Belfast Telegraph), Junior Runner (Championchipireland), Face of the Series (My Sports Photo), Volunteer of the Series (Born 2 Run Events) and spot prizes (Pure Running).
BORN2RUN would like to thank all those who took part in the series, also our media partner The Belfast Telegraph, Free’ist and Pure Running and all the volunteers who gave up their time. Our next event, The Castleward Challenge Half Marathon, 10K & 5K takes place on April 8th – for more information and a full calendar of races go to www.born2runevents.com.
For further photos of the race series and video highlights please visit: The Belfast Telegraph Website and Mysportsphoto.uk and visit our face book page for regular updates. Full race results are available at: www.born2runevents.com.
Series Category Winners:
Overall Series Winner Female: Cathy McCourt
Female 35: Sinead McCarry
Female 40: Catherine Roberts (North Down AC)
Female 45: Sarah Feeney (Pace Running Club)
Female 50: Sharon Stephens (Ballymena Runners)
Female 55: Patricia Brown (Newry City Runners)
Female 70: Violet Davidson (Ballydrain Harriers)
Oversall Series Winner Male: Oliver Cook (Pace Running Club)
Male 35: Paul McGirr
Male 40: Philip Hunter
Male 45: David Graham (Armagh AC)
Male 50: Aidan O’Neill (Run-Anon)
Male 55: Martin Lundy
Male 60: Brendan Connolly
Male 65: Irvine Moorehead
Overall Series Winner Female: Eva Winters
Female 35: Ciara McVicker (Pace Running Club)
Female 40: Grace Shields
Female 50: Teresa McAnearney (Roxy’s Runner)
Female 60: Arlene Hamilton
Overall Series Winner Male: Sam Linton (Acorns AC)
Male 40: Neil McCormick (Ballydrain Harriers)
Male 45: Robert Stockley
Male 50: Ronald Gardiner
Male 55: Stephen Craig
Most Inspirational Runner (sponsored by the Belfast Telegraph):
Gillian Craig (Larne AC)
Junior Runner of the Race (sponsored by Championchipireland):
Face of the Series (sponsored by Mysportsphoto):
Patricia Brown (Newry AC)
Volunteer of the Series (sponsored by Born 2 Run): Joint winners –
Rollo Gillespie and Wendy McKeown