Local athletes impress in the mountains of Italy, Switzerland and Ireland:
Four runners from Northern Ireland were part of Ireland’s team at the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy (Sunday 30th July 2017). In the senior men’s race, Zak Hanna (Newcastle AC) covered the tough 13k route, which included 860m of ascent, in 1:04:37 (53rd place) – Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers) followed in 1:06:64 (57th place). The Ireland team finish in 14th place in the team rankings. Newry AC’s Esther Dickson (pictured with the ladies team above) completed the course in 1:24:17 for 51st place in the ladies race. The Ireland ladies team claimed 8th place in the standings.
In the Junior 6.5k race, which included 430m of ascent, Springwell Running Club’s Oisin Brennan finished in 55th place, after crossing the line in 35:13.
Twentry four hours earlier, on Saturday 29th July 2017, six Northern Ireland based runners travelled south to take part in the Log-Na-Coille Mountain Race in County Wicklow. The testing course covered approximately 10k of technical mountain terrain, with over 718 metres of ascent.
Mourne Runners’ Dale Mathers led the local participants home, in 16th place, with an impressive time of 1:04:21. The talented Ciara Largey (LVO) took victory in the ladies race and finished in a fantastic 22nd place overall, in 1:06:18 (1st place).
Paulette Thomson (Newcastle AC) continued her good form in the Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA) Championship, narrowly missing out on a podium spot, finishing in 4th place with a time of 1:17:55. Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) also competed well, taking 5th place in 1:20:21. Denise Mathers (Mourne Runners) continued her return to racing, completing the tough route in 1:21:13 (5th place), before another Lagan Valley AC lady, Anne Sandford took a good top 10 position, crossing the line for 9th place in 1:27:28.
Also on 29th July 2017, in Switzerland, East Coast AC’s Justin Maxwell took part in the Swiss Alpine K78 Mountain Race. The historic ultra-marathon, based in the town of Davos, took competitors around a 78 kilometre loop of the scenic Swiss Alps, incorporating 2,800 metres of ascent. In what was a quality field, Justin finished in an impressive 22nd place in 7:53:37.