Parkanaur a Thrilling Finale to Winter League
Almost 140 runners braved the blustery conditions on Saturday 25th February 2017 to take on the testing but scenic Parkanaur Forest 10 Mile course, which comprised of three laps of the forest. The fifth and final race in the eighth series didn’t fail to disappoint with both the Overall Male and Overall Female titles still up for grabs going into the race, along with many of the other male and female age category prizes in the mix.
The runners started off eagerly in the courtyard and headed out into the forest for the first lap which took them past the deer enclosure, along the Torrent River, past Saint Patrick’s Well and through the ornamental gardens, returning to the courtyard before heading out for the second lap. In the Overall Male category Eoin Hughes (Acorns AC) and Vincent McAlister (unaffiliated) were vying for top spot Once again Vincent McAlister (unaffiliated) made his intentions clear from the off, moving into the lead ahead of Eoin Hughes (Acorns AC) and Christopher Devine (Newry City Runners). McAlister maintained his advantage for the first two laps with Hughes, the contender for Overall Male winner hot on his heels hoping to maintain his position as leading runner in the league. However, the pace set by McAlister around the tough course was exceptional and took its toll on Hughes, who fell behind Christopher Devine into third place on the final lap. And so it was McAlister who came out on top on the day and also in the series to win in an impressive time of 57.17. Next in was Christopher Devine taking second place in 58.08. Hughes encouraged by club mate Martin McVey toughed it out to complete in fourth place in 58.55 just behind McVey, who took third place in 58.54.
In the Overall Female category Karen Alexander (Acorns AC) who picked up perfect scores at the Davagh Forest and Drum Manor Forest races went into the final race as leading contender, ahead of Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) who had to beat Alexander in the final race to stand a chance of taking the overall title. However, Alexander was in winning form again finishing first in 62.46 to take the title with a perfect score of 3, well ahead of chasers Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) who took second place in 65.25. Ciara Toner who could only manage third place in 67.25, guaranteed her second place in the league ahead of club mate Karen McLaughlin, who finished fourth (70.59) for the fourth time in the series, to take third lady in the league overall.
Thank you to all those who supported the race and particular thanks goes to those who helped stage the enjoyable event at Parkanaur Forest. Thanks also to the Forestry Service for the use of Parkanaur and its facilities.
The eighth series of the Winter League has been the most successful to date since it began, attracting almost 900 entries, with well over 400 individual athletes taking part in one or more of the five races. Runners from right across N. Ireland and the Republic of Ireland took part and the Davagh Forest and Lough Fea races increased their numbers over last year, with Lough Fea having more than a 40% increase in runners at the start line. The series drew a significant number of high profile athletes making for strong competition in a league that is now considered to be one of the premier fixtures in the winter running calender. We hoped you enjoyed the series and look forward to seeing you again at the end of the year for the ninth series. The complete set of results for all categories in the Winter League will be published over the coming days, with the prize giving night scheduled to take place the end of March. Keep an eye on the Sperrin Harriers’ Facebook page for further details. The full set of results for Parkanaur Forest 10 mile race can be viewed by clicking on the link below.Parkanaur 10M Results
Pre Registration Form, Results, Rules & Scoring, etc are on the Winter League Series page. Winter League 2016/17
The final race in the 2016/17 Winter League Series is the 10 miler at Parkanaur Forest at 12 noon on 13th February 2016. Registration is from 11am to 11.45am.
This new 10 mile course was first trialled as an alternative to the Lough Fea 10 mile course in the 2015/16 series, proved such a popular venue that it has been retained for this year. The Parkanaur Forest course comprises of three laps of the trail around the forest (as opposed to four laps of Lough Fea) taking you past the stately Parkanaur House and its gardens and along the Torrent River. Parkanaur offers plenty of car parking, toilet facilities and a large room for indoor assembly. The course is suitable for both experienced runners aiming for a fast time, and also runners looking for an easy starter 10 mile race. As usual there will be refreshments served after the race.
Your usual road running shoes are suitable for all our trail races. However it may be advisable to wear shoes that give you sufficient support as some of the trails can be uneven with loose or soft surfaces.
Click on the button below to get a map of the course.Course
Directions to Parkanaur Forest
Parkanaur Forest is located close to Castlecaulfield approximately four miles from Dungannon and eleven miles from Cookstown along the B162 (Old Ballygawley Road). For anyone using a GPS the address and postcode is 57 Parkanaur Road, Dungannon BT70 3AA.
If travelling from Cookstown take the A29 (Dungannon Road) and travel for six miles. After passing by Carland take the road on right for Donaghmore. Travel through Donaghmore, branching off to the left for Castlecaulfield in the centre of the village. Travel through Castlecaulfield and the entrance gates to Parkanaur will be on your right hand side one mile outside the village. Click on the button below for Google map directions.Directions from A4 (Craigavon/Armagh/Belfast direction)
The curtain came down on another successful Winter League Series on Saturday 13th February 2016 with the staging of the inaugural Parkanaur Forest Park 10 Miler. Almost 150 runners turned out at the new venue, just outside Dungannon in what proved to be a popular addition to this year’s series.
The three laps of the course took the runners from the court yard of the majestic Parkanaur Manor House, out into the forest trails, along the Torrent River, past Saint Patrick’s Well and back past the Manor House through the ornamental gardens.
From the off it was Gary Slevin (City of Derry) who set down the standard taking the lead ahead of David Simpson (Newcastle AC) and host club Sperrin Harrier’s Pierce McCullagh. After three testing laps of this wheel measured course, it was Gary Slevin who maintained his lead to win in 56.27, while David Simpson crossed the line second in 57.39, hotly pursued by Pierce McCullagh who finished in 58.09.
In the ladies, Julie Butler of Omagh Harriers was to the fore once again, pursued closely by Esther Dickson (unaffiliated). For the third consecutive race in the series, it was Julie who stretched her lead over Esther to win, crossing the line in 62.56 to win the race, making her also the winning lady of the Series with a perfect total score of three first places. Esther finished in 66.22 while Tanya Quinn of host club Sperrin Harriers was third lady in 75.42.
Congratulations to overall Winter League winners Michael Crawley (who obtained perfect scores of first place in races 1, 3 and 4) and Julie Butler who was victorious in the last three races. Full results of all the category winners in Series will be posted shortly.
Thank you to all who attended the races over the series, all those club members, family members and friends who provided assistance in organising the events, especially Oliver McCullagh who provide the finish line equipment. Our gratitude goes to race sponsors Oliver Corey Garages, Van Jak Rigging Supplies and RT Autoparts, as well as to the Forestry Service, Mid Ulster District Council and An Creagan for kindly providing the venues for the events.
Last year’s Parkanaur 10M Race results are available by clicking on the link below.Results