Ards Half Marathon 2017:
On Friday 30th June 2017, well over seven hundred athletes took to the start line of the annual Ards Half Marathon in Newtownards. The event is part of the ongoing Pure Running Half Marathon Series.
Irish athlete Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel AC) was a surprise inclusion in the line up and he set his stall out from the off, racing through half way in 34:39, just over thirty seconds ahead of North Belfast Harriers’ Mark McKinstry (35:11). Willowfield Harriers’ Neill Weir (37:04) and Victoria Park & Connswater AC’s John Craig (37:26) were in pursuit.
In the ladies race, Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) controlled proceedings at half way, moving into the second half in 39:49. Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers), Catriona Jennings (Letterkenny AC) and Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) were contesting the final podium places.
In the end, Kevin, who has run 49:54 for 10 miles this year, sealed a comfortable victory in 1:10:11 (1st place). Mark McKinstry followed in 1:11:16 (2nd place), with Neill Weir completing the men’s podium in 1:14:19 (3rd place).
There was no stopping Northern Ireland and Ireland international Gladys as she moved clear of the ladies field in the second half of the race, before winning in 1:19:53 (1st place). Amy crossed the line in 1:22:23 for 2nd place, before Olympian Catriona clocked 1:24:14 for 3rd place.
Top 3 Men: 1st Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel AC) – 1:10:11, 2nd Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:11:16, 3rd Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) – 1:14:19
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:19:53, 2nd Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) – 1:22:23, 3rd Catriona Jennings (Letterkenny AC) – 1:24:14
Full Results: Ards Half Marathon 2017 Results (Photo by Kathryn Morrow)