Portumna 50k Trail Race 2017:
On Saturday 10th June 2017, experienced marathon runner and ultra-distance athlete Mark Walker (Unattached) added to what has been a successful weekend for local runners outside Northern Ireland with an impressive victory at the Portumna Forest 50k trail race in Galway (Ireland).
The race has proved an excellent hunting ground for the County Down man in the past, but it was the manner of his victory this time around that has attracted attention. Mark recorded 3:30:22 for the distance, which saw him finish well over twenty minutes ahead of his nearest rival Shane Stafford, who took 2nd place in 3:53:79. The ladies 50k was won by Deirdre Finn (Ireland) in 4:06:42 (1st place).
Mark, who will now look towards the open race at the World 24 hour Championships in Belfast next month, spoke to NiRunning after the event. He said, “I entered the race as a training session towards the 24 Hour World Championships in Belfast, in a few weeks. So I’m delighted to have won the race, breaking my 50k PB by 11 minutes. The race went almost perfect, with my plan to run about 21 minutes each 5k lap. It got tough near the end and I did slow a little on the last two laps. I was extremely relieved to finally cross the line. Bring on Belfast!”
In other news…
Patrick Bell 5k road race (Ireland):
There was also a podium place for Northern Ireland man Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) at the Patrick Bell 5k road race, an event hosted by Bohermeen AC in County Meath, Ireland (Saturday 10th June 2017). Paddy secured 2nd place in 15:11 after an epic battle with Dunboyne AC’s Peter Somba, who edged victory in 15:10 (1st place). Full results for the event are available HERE.
‘The Relay’ (Ireland):
In the Wicklow Mountains on Saturday 10th June 2017, five Northern Ireland based runners went under the guise of Team ‘Up North’ and claimed 2nd place in ‘The Relay’ 70k ultra-distance event. Jonny Steede (Glens Runners), Elizabeth Wheeler (Glens Runners), Connor Reid (Ballymena Runners), Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners) and Don Travers (Newry City Runners) cover the gruelling course in 4:40:15. The event was won by ‘TT Racers’ which included well known Irish internationals Ian Conroy and Laura Shaughnessy in 4:24:25 (1st place). Full results for the event can be found HERE.