Gideon Kipsang and Laura Graham secure top honours at Bangor Classic 10k!

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Bangor Classic 10k Road Race 2017 (in association with Belfast City Airport):

On Saturday 30th September 2017, in-form duo Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club) and Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) claimed top honours as well over one thousand competitors took to the streets of Bangor (County Down) for the annual Bangor Classic 10k road race, an event hosted by North Down AC in association with Belfast City Airport.

The course took competitors from Castle Park, through the atmospheric Town Centre and onto the picturesque North Down coastline, where they negotiated a flat but harsh promenade section before turning and making their way back towards the town and the well-supported finish area in Ward Park.

After the fast start, Belfast City Half Marathon winner Gideon Kipsang settled at the head of the pack.  Behind, Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) followed, with Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) and Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) side by side, just behind.  Gideon went through half way in 15:05 – Paddy followed in 15:31 and nothing separated Chris and Mark as they reached 5k in 15:42.

In the ladies race, Laura showed no signs of fatigue from her impressive 2:37:05 clocking at the Berlin Marathon last week as she led through half way in 16:56.  The host club’s Jessica Craig (North Down AC) followed in 17:49, while Cathy McCourt (Unattached) and Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) contested the final podium spot – at 5k, Cathy (18:43) had a nine second lead on Kelly (18:52).

As the race progressed, Kenyan star Gideon increased his lead, making short work of the final climb towards the finish line.  He turned into Ward Park to break the tape just outside the 30 minute barrier in 30:02 (1st place).  Northern Ireland international Paddy Hamilton crossed the line in 31:30 for 2nd place, while Chris Madden saw off Mark McKinstry in the second half to secure the final podium place in in 32:04 (3rd place); Mark took 4th place in 32:34.

It was a similar story in the ladies race, with Laura Graham building on her early lead to emerge victorious in 34:35; this was just seven seconds outside of her personal best for the distance.  Jessica Craig ran well to claim the runners up prize in 36:07 (2nd place), before Cathy McCourt recorded 38:04 for 3rd place – this was just ahead of Kelly Neely, who crossed the line in 38:11 for 4th place.

Top 3 Men:  1st Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club) – 30:02, 2nd Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) – 31:30, 3rd Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) – 32:04

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) – 34:35, 2nd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 36:07, 3rd Cathy McCourt (Unattached) – 38:04

Full Results:  Bangor 10k 2017 Results