The Bogle Express stops at Glenariff

In the morning it looked like being a great day.  Sun, sky and mild conditions.  Setting off on the trek north for the race it started snowing and the temperature gauge in the car started dropping.  It was tempting at this point to pull into Junction One for a coffee and some shopping before heading home; but that is not how hill running should be done.

The start line is on the coast road and can feel exposed at the best of times.  Yesterday it was no different and it was heartening to see that all the ladies were clad in racing vests whilst all of the men sported at least one base layer; I guess that answers any questions about who may be the hardier of the two sexes.

At midday when the gun went the Bogle express took off with the standard mass stampede for the first lane in tow.  The lane section and river path that runs to the hill was damp underfoot, but firm enough for fast running.  Not surprisingly Alan Bogle was first to the hill followed closely by Neil Carty, Paul McAnspie, and Stephen Cunningham.

The Bogle express took the ‘king of the hills’ points followed by McAnspie, Carty and Cunningham. The descent felt slippy underfoot but that did not seem to affect the peerless Cunningham who had passed Carty and McAnspie by the bottom to lead the pursuit of Bogle.

There was no catching Bogle so the three behind ended up battling on the river path for second position.  Cunningham managed to keep a gap all the way back to the last lane section at which point the two chasers had reeled him in.  It was now going to be a battle of wills as the three ran as group.  On the road in Waterfoot Cunningham out sprinted the guys with McAnspie taking third.

Slightly further back Justin Maxwell, Clive Bailey, Emmet McAllister and Alex Brennan were sorting out the other top positions.  If prizes were given for the effort on your face Emmet and Alex would have taken one and two today as they looked like two men who had set out some serious mission objectives.

Due to the inclement conditions the prize giving in the school was a steamy affair; however the great spread of tea, sandwiches and buns helped offset any lingering cold that runners and spectators may have had.  It was a very successful day and everyone would like to thank Ballymena Runners for a well marked and marshalled event.

Photos now online
Results can be found on the results page.

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