Friday 4th March saw the inaugural Coleraine Campus 5k, generously sponsored by Roadside Garages
& Ulster University, take place at the university in Coleraine. The race was supporting the “Downs
Syndrome Association” with runners able to donate to the charity before or after the race as well as
10% of all profits being donated (final total TBC). A beautifully calm but chilly night greeted the 250
runners who descended on the campus to experience a new event on the racing calendar.
The night was split in two – with an “Open Race” at 6.45pm followed by the “Elite Race” at 8pm.
Excitement had been building leading up to the race with the announcement of several NI and
Ireland internationals including Commonwealth Games 2018 Steeplechase athlete Adam Kirk-Smith.
The first race was led off by a Roadside Garages Kia car and proved to be a great spectacle to start
the night off. 159 runners completed the Open Race with 14 year old Cora Scullion of Omagh
Harriers the first female over the line in 18:14 followed by local athletes Eobha McAllister in 18:59
and Mairi Clements in 19:19, both athletes representing Ballymena & Antrim AC.
The Open Men’s Race was a much closer affair with Tony Scullion in 17:06 taking the win, followed
by Ballymoney man Gordon Mawhinney of Springwell RC in 17:24. Gordon Linton and Alan Nevin
enjoyed a sprint finish to the line with Linton of Sperrin Harriers taking 3 rd place in an impressive
17:32. Many runners enjoyed hitting a personal best on a flat, fast course in near perfect conditions.
The much anticipated Elite Race was kicked off by Causeway Coast & Glens Mayor, Richard Holmes,
who blew the whistle to start both races on the night after the air horn failed the race director prior
to the start. The Men’s race was impossible to call with a group of around 10 runners following the
sacrificial lamb Ricky Johnston of Jog Lisburn who took it out hard in the first lap. It all boiled down
to a crazy fast last lap with the frontrunners hitting a 4:35/4:36 final mile to spread the field out. As
they turned on to the home straight, the track speed of Clonliffe Harriers 1500m specialist Jonny
Whan paid dividends as he outkicked Callum Morgan, JP Williamson and Andrew Annett to take the
win in a very impressive 14:46 with Morgan of St Malachy’s AC 2 nd in 14:49 and Williamson
(unattached) 3 rd in 14:50 ahead of Annett (Mourne Runners) in 14:51. The course record will be up
for grabs next year!
The Women’s Elite race wasn’t as close a race with the late withdrawal of Letterkenny AC athlete
and NI & Ulster international Nakita Burke. Fellow international Jessica Craig of North AC became
the overwhelming favourite and didn’t let this label put her off as she eased to victory in 16:28. Local
athlete Ciara Toner of City of Derry Spartans was 2 nd in 17:15 and Kerry Bamber of Ballymena
Runners 3 rd in 17:38. A total of 84 runners finished the Elite 5k.
A special mention to local DJ Michael Rafferty who brought a fantastic atmosphere to the race and
Peter Thompson who did a fantastic job on our social media pages to bring the event to life. Follow
@colerainecampus5k on Instagram & Facebook and @coleraine5k on Twitter for footage, photos
and news from the event.
Other race sponsors to thank:
The Male Room, Global Genes, GD Organisational Design Ltd, WCD Architects, Neversettlestrength,
Fortius Gym, Barn Door, JW Muscular Therapy, Core Gym, The Losers Club, NC Athletics, Runfit
Causeway, DAC Running, Millview Embroidery, Basaltsix, Avonmore Protein Milk and Seacoast
Ryan Galway – Race Director