Lurig Challenge 2017:
On Saturday 12th August 2017, nearly four hundred athletes descended on the coastal village of Cushendall for the annual Lurig Challenge Mountain Race, hosted by local club Glens Runners.
The atmospheric event, which is approximately 3.5 miles in distance, with 375 metres of ascent is part of a week-long festival in the area and will see a mix of mountain, road and fun runners convene for a classic ‘to the top and back’ course. It’s popularity was further emphasised this week with the BBC’s One Show featuring it!
Participants started in the centre of the village, making their way through the assembled crowds and up a series of steps onto a gradually ascending farm lane, before reaching the open mountain. Once onto the grassy slopes, runners then climbed the steep north face of Lurgethan, before descending from the summit and making their way back to the village finish line.
Northern Ireland and Ireland international Jonny Steede (Glens Runners), a man who holds this race in the highest regard, claimed a victory that will mean a lot to him – Jonny clocked his fastest time ever over the course to win in 27:55 (1st place). Tommy Simmons (North Belfast Harriers), an athlete who always impresses here, replicated his runners up finish in 2016, when he crossed the line in 29:11 for 2nd place. Shane Donnelly (Unattached) completed the podium positions in 31:18 (3rd place).
In the ladies race, Lagan Valley AC athlete and Northern Ireland international Shileen O’Kane led the field into the atmospheric finish area – Shileen claimed top honours in 34:22 (1st place). Last years winner Gillian Wasson (Ballymena Runners) ran well to take 2nd place in 34:59, before Judith Lonnen (City of Lisburn AC) produced one of the performances of the day. The versatile competitor, better known for her superb outings on the road and also in the duathlon/triathlon world, secured 3rd place in 36:26 (3rd place).
Full Results: Lurig Mountain Race 2017 Results