Northern Ireland runners set to compete in top competitions:
This weekend will see Northern Ireland athletes compete over various distances in different parts of the world, with local runners due to participate at events in Derry/Londonderry, Tullamore (Ireland), Manchester (England), Svalbard (Norway), Geneva (Switzerland) and Ooredgem (Belgium). The main local event of the weekend is the Walled City Marathon, but before it takes place on Sunday 2nd June 2013, NI runners will have already been in action elsewhere.
On Saturday 1st June 2013, Mark Patterson (North Down AC), Steven Morrow (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders), Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders), Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC) and London based Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers) take part in the British Milers Club ‘Sport City’ Grand Prix event in Manchester, England. Mark and Steven will race over 800m, while Eddie, Andrew, Eoghan and Stephen will cover 5,000m.
On the same day, but further afield in Ooredgem, Belgium; Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC), Ben Maze (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), Curtis Woods (Lagan Valley AC), Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) are all set to toe the line at the Flanders International Track & Field Meeting. Kerry Harty will go into her 3000m steeplechase event off the back of brilliant performances at the Loughborough International and the Westminster Mile. Ben Maze and Curtis Woods will take on the 400m; Jason Harvey will race in the 400m hurdles, Conor Bradley will cover 1500m, and Christine McMahon will line up in the 400m hurdles.
Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) and Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will race at the EAP Meeting International de Geneve in Geneva, Switzerland. Ben will take on the high hurdles, while Dean will compete over 100m. Meanwhile, off the ‘track’, two Orangegrove AC athletes will make the long trip to Svalbard, Norway for the Svalbard Turn Spitbergen Marathon and Half Marathon events. Paul Woodman will complete the 26.2 mile course, while Joy McAleer will cover the 13.1 mile route. The event is well-known because of the fact that participants are guarded by marshalls carrying fire-arms, to protect them from polar bears.
Also on Saturday 25th May 2013, a large number of Northern Ireland based runners are expected to travel south for the Irish Schools Track & Field Championships in Tullamore, County Offaly (Ireland). Conal Kirk (Lagan Valley AC), Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers) and Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC) will all compete; Ballymena & Antrim AC star Gareth Hill will also take on the 1500m at the event.
Special Feature: SSE Renewable Walled City Marathon:
Sunday 2nd June 2013, brings the weekend’s main event, the SSE Renewables Walled City Marathon 2013 in Derry/Londonderry. The 26.2 mile race will return to the 2013 City of Culture after a 28 year absence and will see over 1,500 runners from Ireland, Britain and across the world compete over a stunning course that will take in all the sights and sounds of the city. The challenging route will follow the neighbourhoods of the city, the rural villages, the banks of the River Foyle and the city’s three bridges before returning to the Walled City for a finish in the historic Guildhall Square. In addition to the 26.2 mile race, there will be a one mile mini marathon for children from the local boroughs.
Freddy Sittuk (Kenya), a third place finisher in this years Belfast City Marathon (after running 2:24:39) will head the field. The Kenyan athlete, who has spent the last four weeks in Northern Ireland, has enjoyed several race wins during his visit; including the Culaduff 5k road race (Ireland) and more recently, the Strawberry Half Marathon (Ireland) last weekend, where he crossed the line in 1:09:08.
Despite rumours of a slight injury, local man Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) should start the race. On ‘home turf’, Greg will be determined to impress; with a marathon personal best of 2:21:18 (Dublin 2010) and a more recent showing of 2:26:05 (Berlin 2012), he is more than capable of challenging training partner Freddie Sittuk on his day. Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) has won two previous Derry/Londonderry Marathon’s, in 1984 and 1985, and will return in the hope of completing a memorable hat-trick. Tommy finished in 6th place at the Belfast City Marathon (2:32:31), which statistically puts both Freddy and Greg as more likely winners, but the experienced marathoner (Tommy) is well known for his strength and determination; never rule this man out!
Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) has picked up wins at the Connemara, Kildare and Newry City Marathon’s recently, with the most impressive of his times being in Kildare, where he recorded 2:29:44 to finish six minutes ahead of his nearest rival. There is no doubt that Gary will be amongst the front runners here, but the amount of 26.2 mile races he has completed recently could well take it’s toll over this tough course. Pauric McKinney (Letterkenny AC) will feature prominently, as will Foyle Valley AC duo Chris McGuiness and Adrian McGowan; both Chris and Adrian have improved significantly this year and have enjoyed podium places at local races, with Chris taking third place at the Killyclogher 10k; while Adrian also claimed a third place finish at last week’s Wilkies 5 mile road race.
Damien Cox (Omagh Harriers), Aaron Meharg (Sperrin Harriers) and Emmett McAteer (Trafford AC) should all be in or around the top ten, while Barry Dinsmore (Foyle Valley AC), Jonny Graham (Ballymena Runners), Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC) and Barry Shanks (St Peter’s AC) will be hoping for the infamous sub three hour finishing time. Greg McClure (North Belfast Harriers), Michael Cultra (East Down AC), Ryan Armstrong (Ballymena Runners), Andrew Stevenson (Seapark AC) and French sports writer Bruno Lacroix (France) will also finish well up the field.
The ladies race will also be a close affair, with a host of talented local ladies set to start. Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club), Lisa Sturgeon (North Belfast Harriers), Caroline Miller (Omagh Harriers), Helen Bateson (Unattached) and Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners) will battle it out for the podium places. Ciara Toner finished just outside the top ten ladies at the Belfast City Marathon earlier this month after running (3:19:15) and also picked up a podium place at the Inishowen Half Marathon recently. Lisa Sturgeon will be keen to make up for what she will consider to have been a bad run at the Virgin London Marathon, and with a personal best of 3:03:03, the North Belfast Harriers lady has the credentials to take the title. Caroline Miller is a consistent performer and a regular podium finisher on the local circuit, she (Caroline) completed two marathons last year, in 3:29:16 (Dublin) and 3:33:29 (Edinburgh) and will be there or there abouts this time around.
Helen Bateson is somewhat of an unknown athlete, but produced a stunning performance last Friday (24th May 2013) at the Runher Coastal Challenge. Helen covered the tough 10k course in 40:11 and looked strong throughout the race. Helena Dornan has had a brilliant year so far, with excellent runs at the Lost Worlds 25k, where she finished third in 2:13:31 and the Belfast City Marathon, where she finished sixteenth in 3:24:14. Just last week, Helena won the Newry City Marathon in 3:24:57. Ita McCullagh (Omagh Harriers) and City of Derry AC ladies Paula McGilloway, Marina Campbell, Hanna Shields and Miriam Bridge will all finish well up, as will Caroline Wade (Newry City Runners) and Athanasia Sevastaki (North Belfast Harriers).
It’s sure to be a fantastic event and an exciting day of racing, and NiRunning will be there to provide live updates as the race progresses. Our race summary will be online on Sunday (2nd June 2013) night and race photographs will follow on Monday 3rd June 2013.
Also on Sunday 2nd June 2013, Larne AC’s John McManus will take on the notorious Comrades Ultra-Marathon in South Africa, a hilly race which covers the 86.96km journey between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. John has prepared for the gruelling event by completing the Connemara, London, and Belfast Marathon’s.
Northern Ireland’s ten parkrun events will also take place as normal, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.
Hill & Dales Series (Race 7) at Loughshannagh:
On Thursday 30th May 2013, nearly two hundred mountain runners turned out for the seventh race in this years Hill & Dale Series, hosted by Newcastle AC. On this occasion, Loughshannagh was the venue of choice, with the course measuring approximately 5 miles in distance with 1,700ft of ascending.
Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) completed a hat-trick of series race wins, crossing the line first in 40:39. Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC), who enjoyed a second place finish at Tollymore (Race 2), replicated that performance, claiming 2nd place in 42:00 (2nd place). Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) has been an almost permanent fixture on the podium throughout the series; he (Neil) continued his excellent run of form, which also included a win at last week’s Belfast Hills 10k, with a 3rd place finish in 42:14.
Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) celebrated her first series race win at Moughanmore two weeks ago; the Dromore AC lady returned from International duty to make it two wins in two H&D outings, recording 48:56 for top spot. Diane was followed by fellow International ladies, Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), who took 2nd place (51:01) and 3rd place (54:24) respectively.
Top 3 Men: 1st Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 40:39, 2nd Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 42:00, 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 42:14
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 48:56, 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 51:01, 3rd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 54:24
Full Results: Hill & Dale Series (Race 7) Loughshannagh 2013 Results
City of Lisburn AC star looks to be in good shape for impending track season:
On Thursday 30th May 2013, Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), one Northern Ireland’s top sprinters, was in competition at the EAP Riga Cup Track & Field meeting in Latvia. Amy was competing over the distances for which she holds the Northern Ireland records for, the 100m (joint with Anna Boyle) and 200m.
In the 100m, Amy clocked 11.55secs to take 2nd place behind American Cleo Van Buren (11.50secs). This was the City of Lisburn AC athletes fastest time of the year over the distance. The 200m race was also won by the Cleo Van Buren (USA) in 23.75secs, with Amy taking 2nd place in 23.90secs.
Full Results: EAP Riga Cup 2013 Results
ChampionChip Ireland provide update on Pure Running Half Marathon Series 2013:
After the first three races (Omagh Half Marathon, DUNE Half Marathon and Newry Half Marathon) in the Pure Running Half Marathon Series 2013 have been completed, the main protagonists are starting to emerge.
Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) is the star performer in the male category, with fast times in all three races to date and first place at both the Dundalk to Newry (DUNE) race and also the Newry City Marathon, where his first half (13.1m) time counts in the Series. Julie Balmer (North Down AC) romped home in sub 1:24:29 in Newry to announce her participation and will be the lady to chase again this year.
By the close of May there will have been 51 entrants eligible for the category prizes with 14 females and 37 males spread amongst the 7 categories. Within that there are 15 hardy souls who have completed in all 3 races so far and have indicated that they will attempt all 10 to claim their highly sought after souvenir garment come the end of September 2013.
The 15 are as follows: Deirdre Conway (Sperrin Harriers), Joe Cooney (Unattached), Catherine Fearon (Up & Runners), Sam Hogg (Lagan Valley AC), Daniel Jack (Unattached), Eunan Magee (Unattached), Zdzislaw Malkinski (Orangegrove AC), John McConnell (Up & Runners), Angus McCready (Up & Runners), Andrew McIntyre (Up & Runners), Michael McKeown (East Down AC), Stephen McStravick (Unattached), Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers), Eugene Winters (Unattached), Diane Woods (Unattached).
June is a busy month for the Series and will see the first half completed with races in Larne on the Saturday 8th June, Lisburn on the Wednesday 19th June and Ards on Friday 28th June. All these races have been part of the Series since its inception and will boost the numbers towards the organisers overall target of 10,000 runners. An average of 1,000 per race is required to race this target, with the total after 3 races is at 2,956. Lisburn, Larne and Ards should ensure the 7,000 mark is reached judging by past numbers.
If a runner wishes to be considered for an award as part of the series they need to register their interest free of charge through the Athletics NI website and then post their times on the spreadsheet accessed using the following link (Pure Running Half Marathon Series Spreadsheet). A list of rankings will be produced and posted on the Athletics NI site once the first 5 races are completed.
Furey Insurance 5k Series: Buncrana 5k Road Race (County Donegal, Ireland):
On Wednesday 29th May 2013, City of Derry AC hosted the second race of the Furey Insurance 5k series in Buncrana, County Donegal (Ireland). Excellent running conditions and a flat, fast course set things up for a superb night of racing, with over 260 athletes taking part in the event.
Ciaran Doherty (Letterkenny AC), who ran a 31:15 10k at the Bupa Great Manchester Run (England) on Sunday, recorded a new personal best of 14:34.05 to lead the field home. This was the fastest time ever by an Irish runner on the course. City of Derry AC’s Declan Reed crossed the line in 14:48.31 to claim 2nd place, while Foyle Valley AC’s Scott Rankin just missed a sub 15 minute clocking, when he finished in 15:00.66 (3rd place).
The ladies race was won by Lifford AC’s leading lady Ann-Marie McGlynn in an excellent 16:32.11. Springwell Running Club’s Gemma Turley continued her excellent form, which included a win at the Jengana 10k last Saturday, taking 2nd place in 18:06.08; City of Derry AC starlet Amy McDaid, a second place finisher at the NiRunning Mile in April (2013), completed the top three ladies in 18:37.67.
Top 3 Men: 1st Ciaran Doherty (Letterkenny AC) – 14:34.05, 2nd Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) – 14:48.31, 3rd Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 15:00.66
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) – 16:32.11, 2nd Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 18:06.08, 3rd Amy McDaid (City of Derry AC) – 18:37.67
Full Results: Buncrana 5k Road Race 2013 Results
Annadale Striders star selected by Athletics Ireland:
Leading Northern Ireland distance runner, Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) has been selected by Athletics Ireland to compete in the upcoming IAAF World Championships, set to take place between the 10th August and 18th August 2013 in Moscow, Russia.
The current AAI National Marathon and Half Marathon Champion will take on the marathon at the prestigious Championships. Paul was understandably delighted by his selection, despite being a little surprised after what he described as a “disappointing” run in the Virgin London Marathon in April 2013, where he recorded 2:17:10.
The down to earth and exceptionally talented Belfast man had this to say, “I’m just glad the selectors have given me the opportunity to represent my country and compete against the best marathon runners on a world stage. My plan had been to do Berlin Marathon at the end of September (2013) but I will now need to sit down with my coach Andy Hobdell and work out a plan for the next twelve weeks. Hopefully I will do myself and Ireland proud.”
Paul, who burst onto the marathon scene with a 2:16:30 clocking to win the AAI National Marathon Championships in the Dublin Marathon in 2012, has ambitions to break the Irish marathon record; the Athletics Ireland record for the 26.2m distance was set by John Treacy (2:09:15) in 1984, while the Athletics Northern Ireland record was set by Greg Hannon (2:13:06) in 1979.
In 2012, the Annadale Striders star won the AAI Half Marathon Championships in Athenry (Ireland) in a personal best time of 1:04:16 and went on to represent Ireland in the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Bulgaria, he was also crowned as the Athletics NI 10k Champion after winning the Seeley Cup in 30:40. NiRunning would like to congratulate Paul on this magnificent achievement and we look forward to following his progress in the run up to and during the World Championships. Hopefully, he’ll be joined on the team by several other Northern Ireland based runners.
East Antrim Harriers Forest Trail Series (Race 2) – Woodburn Forest:
On Tuesday 28th May 2013, East Antrim Harriers welcomed athletes to Woodburn Forest, Carrickfergus for the second race of their annual Forest Trail Series. In good running conditions, the athletes had 2.5 miles of tough forest trails to cover.
David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers), who enjoyed a comfortable victory in Ballyboley Forest two weeks ago, continued his impressive form; the experienced star sealed a second successive victory in a brilliant 14:34. Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) claimed 2nd place in 15:04, while Ballymena Runners’ Kevin O’Boyle, who is quickly getting back to his best after a spell out through injury, clocked 15:43 to take 3rd place.
The ladies race contained the top three ladies from the Ballyboley event; and in an interesting twist, the final standings read exactly the same as they did two weeks ago. Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) secured another excellent win in 19:08, ahead of Jennifer Bill (North Belfast Harriers) in 2nd place. Sarah Steer (Orangegrove AC) put in a strong performance to cross the line in 20:25 (3rd place).
Top 3 Men: 1st David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers) – 14:34, 2nd Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 15:04, 3rd Kevin O’Boyle (Ballymena Runners) – 15:43
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) – 19:08, 2nd Jennifer Bill (North Belfast Harriers) – 19:39, 3rd Sarah Steer (Orangegrove AC) – 20:25
Karen Alexander shows class in Ballina:
In other news, Sperrin Harriers’ Karen Alexander enjoyed an excellent win at the River Moy Half Marathon in Ballina, County Mayo (Ireland) on Saturday 25th May 2013. Northern Ireland international Karen, who has been in good form of late, having enjoyed wins at the prestigious Cooley Legends Half Marathon and the Lost Worlds 25k within the last month, smashed the course record by three minutes after crossing the line in 1:23:12. The men’s race was won by Alan O’Shea (Bantry AC) in 1:10:48. Full results can be found HERE.
Sean Furey Insurance – Buncrana 5k Road Race (Preview complied by City of Derry AC):
On Wednesday 29th May 2013, City of Derry AC will host the 10th annual Buncrana 5km Road Race and Fun Run. As ever, sponsored by Sean Furey Insurances of Buncrana and Carndonagh, the 2013 edition of the event promises to be popular with club runners and recreational athletes alike. Over the last nine years, the race has become a highlight in the North West racing calendar, due to the proven flat, fast course and the excellent organisation.
This race is the poster event of the Furey Insurances 5k Series, which this year comprises four races held between Derry/Londonderry (Northern Ireland) and Inis Eoghain (Ireland). The series kicked off in April at the Bay Road in Derry/Londonderry, a race that incorporated the Northern Ireland 5k (Road) Championships and was won in fine style by City of Derry AC’s Declan Reed, who just edged Foyle Valley AC’s Scott Rankin; Declan led the Spartans to a comprehensive team victory, where the City of Culture based team filled eight of the top ten placings. The women’s race at the Bay Road was also won by Spartan’s Catherine Whoriskey with a new Pb (Personal Best) of 18:18, but the female Spartans lost their team crown to a very strong Omagh Harriers trio.
However, that was then and the Buncrana 5k has proven itself to be a much tougher animal in the past with levels of competition usually higher than any of the other Furey Series races. The male team race last year was won by a very strong Foyle Valley AC quartet, who surprised everybody but themselves by lifting the Sean Furey Insurances Perpetual Shield for the first time. Over the previous eight editions of the race, either City of Derry AC or Letterkenny AC had been dominant but in 2012 they were relegated to 2nd and 3rd respectively by the purple vests. The Foyle Valley AC boys have been running very well so far in 2013 and will need to continue this if they are to retain their team title! Other North West clubs who could potentially feature include Inishowen AC, led by the evergreen and former three time winner Pauric McKinney, along with Omagh Harriers, Springwell Running Club, Tir Connall AC and Finn Valley AC.
The City of Derry AC ladies had a comprehensive victory in last year’s team race with Foyle Valley AC and Inishowen AC in 2nd and 3rd places. However, this year they will be without the 2012 individual winner Marina Campbell as she is on the injury list but have strength in depth and will be keen to seek revenge on the Omagh Harriers girls after the Bay Road 5k. The race is by no means only between these two though, with potentially strong squads from Finn Valley AC, Springwell Running Club, Inishowen AC, Foyle Valley AC and Letterkenny AC who, if they turn out, will all have something to say about the team title. As in the male event, clubs from further afield often seem to find the midweek journey too far, but if some of the Belfast clubs like St Malachys AC, North Belfast Harriers or Annadale Striders make the trip then you are sure to see some fireworks.
The individual race has always been one of the highest quality in Ulster, with a sub 15 min clocking often required to seal the win. St Malachy’s AC duo of Kevin Seaward (14:44 in 2007) and Joe McAllister (14:40 in 2010), along with Letterkenny AC’s Ciaran Doherty (14:59 in 2011) are members of that elite club and indeed McAllister’s record stands as the Irish Record for the course. In 2012 the Buncrana public were treated to a little demonstration of the East African dominance when Kenyan Runner Freddie Keron Sittuk, who was staying with former winner Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) posted 14:18 to win, some 48 seconds ahead of runner up Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) who was himself very close with 15:06. The organisers have deemed Freddie’s time to be an all-comers record for the course and continue to offer €100 bonus to anyone who can break either record. In addition they offer €200 to anyone who can break 14 minutes! So far this year, local runners Scott Rankin, Declan Reed and City of Derry AC’s own Richard Johnston have all ran sub 15 minutes on different courses, so if the weather is decent they may repeat the feat in Buncrana and indeed could challenge McAllister’s record. Kenyan Freddie Sittuk is also in the country at the moment and has indicated that he’ll be back to have a crack at the all-comers record or indeed at the astounding 14 minute barrier which is worth noting, would mean having to run each mile at 4:30 minute mile pace! Others to watch out for include Foyle Valley AC’s Keith Shields, who seems to be setting Pb’s every time he races, along with City of Derry AC man Connor Bradley who has run sub 15 minutes on many occasions.
The ladies course record is no less impressive. Letterkenny AC’s former Olympian Maria McCambridge broke the record in 2010, running an excellent 16:07. Indeed, in that race, three time winner and former record holder, Finn Valley’s Therese Mc Gloin was also inside her old record running 16:35 for 2nd place. In addition to McCambridge and Mc Gloin, other likely contenders include Lifford AC’s Ann-Marie McGlynn, Letterkenny AC’s Foinnula Diver and City of Derry AC’s Catherine Whoriskey.
Despite all this talk of records and the fleet of foot, the main aim of this race and indeed of the series is to provide competition for all levels of runners and joggers. It doesn’t matter if you have just started jogging and have to take walk breaks every so often; you are more than welcome to take on the Buncrana 5k. The only thing that organisers ask is that you do attempt to run/jog the 5k. It doesn’t matter if you have to walk a bit in the middle but this is not a walking event. Also worth noting that due to Athletic Association of Ireland (AAI) rules, no athlete under 16 years of age will be allowed to compete.
In addition to being part of the Furey Insurances 5k series, the race is also race eleven of the Donegal Athletics Board’s Summer Grand Prix series, which this year comprises a staggering fifty races. Due to the huge number of events happening in 2013, the organisers of the Furey Insurances Series have decided to reduce the number of races from six to four. Along with the aforementioned Bay Road and Buncrana 5k race, the Lisnagelvin 5k (26/6/13) and the Balliniska (17/7/13) complete the 2013 Furey Insurances 5K Series with competitors needing to complete three out of four races to be eligible for the series prizes.
Wednesday 29th May 2013. Registration from 5.30pm at Scoil Mhuire Secondary School, adjacent to Buncrana Leisure Centre. Entry fee €10/£9stg, chip timing in operation. Race starts at 7.30pm sharp. Refreshments provided after in Scoil Mhuire. Showers available in Buncrana Leisure Centre. Pre-race entries can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org (simply state your name, gender, age on race day and club). These must be received by 6pm on Tuesday 28th May 2013. Your race number can be picked up on the night when payment is made. Due to the large numbers expected please help us and yourselves by pre-entering! Any of those who intend to register on the night, please get there early as we will be closing registration at 7.10pm sharp and don’t want to have to disappoint you.
The Sean Furey Insurances Buncrana 5k is organised by City of Derry Spartans AC in association with Scoil Mhuire Buncrana, Buncrana Leisure Centre and the help of the local community.
Northern Ireland clubs participate in National League:
On Sunday 26th May 2013, several Northern Ireland running clubs were represented at the opening round of the Woodies DIY National Track & Field League at Santry Stadium, Dublin (Ireland).
North Down AC’s Brendan McConville enjoyed a winning start to the day, he clocked 16.27secs to win the 110m hurdles. In the ladies 100m hurdles, North Down AC’s Clare Robinson (16.03secs) and City of Derry AC’s Emma McCay (17.71secs) finished in 2nd place and 5th place respectively; the race was won by Ferrybank AC’s double National Indoor Champion Kelly Proper in 14.48secs.
David Hynes (Menapions AC) won in the men’s 100m in 10.93secs, with NI man Kenny Elliot (North Down AC) taking 5th place in 11.66secs. Mollie Brett (North Down AC) and Mary Devlin (City of Derry AC) clocked 13.23secs (5th place) and 13.26secs (6th place) respectively in the ladies 100m, which was won by Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC) in 12.14secs. In the men’s 200m race, which was won by Menapions AC’s David Hynes (22.19secs), Adam McComb (North Down AC) ran 23.01secs (4th place). Adam then went on to win the 400m race in 48.61secs. Ellie Hull (North Down AC) and Katie Scott (City of Derry AC) were up against strong opposition in the ladies 200m race, but both ran well. Ellie crossed the line in 27.44secs (6th place) and Katie ran 28.42secs (7th place), the race was won by Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC) in 24.62secs.
In the ladies 400m race, Jenny O’Brien (City of Derry AC) just missed a sub sixty second finish time, recording 60.22secs (3rd place). North Down AC’s Ellen Robinson ran 64.46secs; Ciara McCallion (Clonliffe Harriers) won in 57.54secs. Michael Dyer (North Down AC) sealed an impressive victory in the men’s 800m race, clocking 1:58.45, while City of Derry AC rising star Amy McDaid (4th place – 2:32.04) just missed out on a podium place in the ladies equivalent. The race was won by Iseult O’Donnell (Raheny Shamrock AC) in 2:21:55. In the men’s 1500m, North Down AC’s Michael Dyer (4:03.63) missed out on what would have been an excellent 800m/1500m double, after finishing in 2nd place behind Clonliffe Harriers’ Ian Guiden (4:00.39). James Budde (North Down AC), regular at road races around the province, claimed a well-deserved 2nd place in the 3,000m steeplechase. James ran 10:04.02, the race was won by Brian Kirwan (SLOT AC) in 10:01.07.
North Down AC celebrated an excellent victory in the 4x400m men’s relay; winning in a brilliant 3:23.88. In the ladies 4x400m, North Down AC (4:40.17) and City of Derry AC (4:40.85) had to settle for 5th place and 6th place respectively. The race will be remembered for the photo finish between Raheny Shamrock AC and Clonliffe Harriers, with the teams being inseparable at the line, both recording 4:05.34. Raheny Shamrock AC were eventually awarded the win. City of Derry AC (52.67secs) finished in 7th place in the ladies 4x100m relay, behind race winners Kilkenny City Harriers (47.25secs), while in the men’s 4x100m relay, North Down AC (45.13sec) had to settle for 6th place. The race was won by Clonliffe Harriers in 42.06secs.
Full Results: Woodies DIY National Track & Field League (Round 1) 2013 Results – Photograph used above was taken from the City of Derry AC facebook page.
EMF Edinburgh Marathon and Half Marathon 2013:
On Sunday 26th May 2013, a number of runners from Northern Ireland took on the EMF Edinburgh Marathon and Half Marathon events in Scotland. The 26.2 mile and 13.1 mile races were held as part of an exciting weekend of racing in the historic Scottish City, other events included a 10k, 5k, Marathon Relay and Junior Races.
Tola Lema (Ethiopia) won the men’s marathon in 2:15:32, while Risper Kimaiyo (Kenya) lifted the ladies title in 2:35:57. Ever improving Stephen Wylie (North Down AC) was the first Northern Ireland runner to finish in 2:54:27, while Andrew Stevenson (Seapark AC) led a large crowd of fellow Seapark AC member’s home in 3:17:26. Experienced marathoner Bobby Irvine (Seapark AC) followed in 3:28:45, before Neil Porter (Seapark AC) recorded 3:32:37. Ballymena Runners’ Sharon Harvey crossed the line in a new personal best of 3:44:21, while Springwell Running Club’s Jean-Claude Bourgeois completed the distance in 3:53:23.
Elizabeth Leitch (Orangegrove AC) and Angela McBrien (Unattached), a Northern Ireland lady now living in Engalnd, covered the course together in 3:55:54. Seapark AC’s Vivien Davidson (4:19:35) was the next recognisable runner to cross the line, just ahead of club mate Julie-Ann Mitchell (4:23:05), who sparked a flurry of NI athletes, with Orangegrove AC’s Rachel Farrell (4:25:08) and Seapark AC duo Karen Poag (4:25:35) and Carrie Brown (4:26:20) all finishing within ninety seconds, before Sarah McPherson (Ballymena Runners) recorded 4:55:32.
The associated Half Marathon was won by Falkirk AC’s Ryan Beattie (1:09:30) and Gala AC’s Dianne Lauder (1:24:50). Sarah Rea (Seapark AC) crossed the line in 2:05:26, just ahead of club mate Andrew Smyth (2:05:38) and Springwell Running Club’s Rebecca Clarke (2:05:45). Karen Waring (Seapark AC) ran 2:07:46, while Seapark AC pair, Helen Boyd (2:08:33) and Emma Wightman (2:08:52) finished just nineteen seconds apart. Jennifer Parkhill (Springwell Running Club) and Barbara Porter (Seapark AC) completed the Northern Ireland interest in the event when they finished in 2:10:47 and 2:14:10 respectively.
Full Results: EMF Edinburgh Marathon and Half Marathon 2013 Results
Newry City Marathon and Newry City Half Marathon 2013:
On Sunday 26th May 2013, thousands of athletes and spectators descended on Newry City Centre and the nearby villages for the annual running of the Newry City Runners organised Newry City Marathon and Half Marathon; the Half Marathon is also part of the Pure Running Half Marathon Series.
In the 26.2 mile race, Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) and local man Don Travers (Newry City Runners) provided the watching crowds with a thrilling battle. The pair ran side by side for the majority of the route before Gary, who has recently won the Connemara and Kildare marathons, opened a small gap in the latter stages; eventually crossing the line in 2:34:15 to win. Two times winner of the event, Don followed closely behind, recording 2:34:54 to take 2nd place before David Griffin (Newry City Runners), another previous podium finisher in the race, took 3rd place in 2:51:59.
Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners), got within one minute of her Belfast City Marathon time (which was 3:24:14) to win the ladies top prize in 3:24:57. Tracy Gillen (Unattached) and Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) contested the runner up spot throughout the race, but it was Tracy (2nd place – 3:34:40) who just edged it in the end. Gillian, a consistent performer, settled for 3rd place in 3:34:59.
In the associated Half Marathon; talented North Belfast Harriers man Andrew Considine, winner of the recent Decathlon 10k, capped a solid display with a 1:17:09 winning performance. James Brown (Larne AC) knocked one minute off his previous personal best to claim 2nd place in 1:17:32, while official Belfast City Marathon pacer Chris Denton (Springwell Running Club) completed the top three in 1:20:13.
The ladies Half Marathon brought three of the provinces regular prize-winners together; Julie Balmer (North Down AC), Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) and Ciara Coffey (Club Pulse) all performed well, but it was the in-form Julie Balmer who came out on top. The leading NI lady at the Belfast Marathon and runner up in Friday’s Runher Coastal Challenge celebrated victory in 1:24:29. Roisin, who was runner up to Julie in Belfast, took 2nd place in 1:27:29. Ciara, who is not overly experienced in the 13.1 mile distance, produced a massive personal best of 1:28:17 to claim the final podium place.
Newry City Marathon:
Top 3 Men: 1st Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) – 2:34:15, 2nd Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 2:34:54, 3rd David Griffin (Newry City Runners) – 2:51:59
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners) – 3:24:57, 2nd Tracy Gillen (Unattached) – 3:34:40, 3rd Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) – 3:34:59
Newry City Half Marathon:
Top 3 Men: 1st Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:17:09, 2nd James Brown (Larne AC) – 1:17:32, 3rd Chris Denton (Springwell Running Club) – 1:20:13
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Julie Balmer (North Down AC) – 1:24:29, 2nd Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:27:29, 3rd Ciara Coffey (Club Pulse) – 1:28:17
Full Results: Newry City Half Marathon and Marathon 2013 Results (Marathon results are below Half Marathon). Picture used above is courtesy of David Balmer.
Harty and Maxwell put in impressive performances against top talent:
On Sunday 26th May 2013, Northern Ireland lady Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) took on the prestigious Westminster Mile in London, England. Kerry has enjoyed an impressive start to her summer campaign, with the most notable performance being a win in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Loughborough International last weekend.
Up against top quality competition once again, on a course that takes in the infamous Mall, before finishing outside Buckingham Palace, Kerry clocked 4:43.2 for the mile, finishing in 7th place. The race was won by Hannah England (Oxford City AC) in 4:31.00 and included the likes of Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford AC), Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC) and Emma Jackson (City of Stoke AC).
Further afield, Larne AC distance runner Justin Maxwell, continued his Skyrunning campaign in Zegama, Spain where he took on the tough and at times dangerous XI Zegama-Aizkorri Mendi Marathon. The event, which attracts the best ultra-runners in the world, covers 42.195km (with 5,472m accumulative ascent) of mountain tracks, forests trails and steep technical rocky terrain. Justin worked his way through the field as the race progressed, completing the course in 5:09:56 to claim a very credible 126th place. The race was won by the unbeatable Kilian Jornet (Salomon Running) in 3:54:38.
Northern Ireland athletes complete Bupa Great Manchester Run 2013:
On Sunday 26th May 2013, several Northern Ireland athletes joined thousands of runners in Manchester, England for the Bupa Great Manchester 10k Run. The quality field included world renowned names such as Haile Gebrselassie (Ethiopia), Wilson Kipsang (Kenya), Mosses Kipsiro (Uganda), Segiu Lebid (Ukraine), Tirunesh Dibaba (Ethiopia), Helen Clitheroe (England) and Gemma Steel (England).
Stephen Scullion, now based in London and listed in the official results as a North Belfast Harriers athlete, despite recent information stating that he is now attached to Clonliffe Harriers (Ireland), led the Northern Ireland contingent home in a 9th place. The in-form Stephen ran extremley well, going through 3k, 5k and 8k in 8:38, 14:46 and 23:59 respectively, before crossing the line to finish in 29:48.
Eric Montgomery (Lagan Valley AC) achieved a sub 40 minute finish, clocking 39:30. Eric’s club mate Andy Edwards finished in 47:18, before another Lagan Valley AC member, Kate Montgomery ran 50:10. Carol Annesley (East Antrim Harriers) finished just behind Kate in 50:43. Marion Hayes (East Antrim Harriers) followed in 57:15, while Fran Wright battled well to complete the 6.2 mile course in 1:14:17. Mosses Kipsiro (Uganda) won the men’s race in 27:50 and Ethiopian lady Tirunesh Dibaba topped the ladies podium, in a new course record of 30:49.
Full Results: Bupa Great Manchester Run 2013 Results
NIMRA teams do Northern Irealnd proud in England:
On Saturday 25th May, a team of Northern Ireland Mountain Runners toed the line at the Skiddaw Uphill Mountain Race, incorporating the UKA Mountain Running Senior Home International (between Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales) and the UKA trials for the upcoming European Mountain Running Championships. The event, held in Keswick, England is also the second of three races in the UKA Mountain Running Challenge.
The men covered an 11.3km uphill course, with a total ascent of 1,080m (and 230m of a descent). It was Iain Whiteside (Carnethy HRC), a Northern Ireland man based on the mainland who led the team home. Iain completed the course in 1:05:11 (26th place) and was followed by another man living away from his homeland, Chris Striling (Ambleside AC), who crossed the line in 1:09:01 (31st place). Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) was just behind, running 1:10:59 (32nd place). International debutant Emmett McAllister (Ballymena Runners), completed Northern Ireland’s interest in the male race when he finished in 1:19:45 (38th place). The race was won by Steve Vernon (Stockport AC) in 54:18.
The ladies covered an 8.7km course, with 940m climbing (and 80m of a descent); Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) was the first of the strong four women team to finish. Shileen recorded 1:01:45, which was enough to secure third place in the Vet40 category. Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) was the next NI athlete to cross the line in 1:02:11, while the in-form Diane Wilson covered the distance in 1:02:43. Anne Sanford sealed a good outing for the ladies, when she finished in 1:08:48. The ladies race was won by Emma Clayton (Bingley Harriers) – 50:41.
McDermott excels as Northern Ireland runners perform well at IMC Meet and NAIA Championships:
On Saturday 25th May 2013, a number of Northern Ireland based runners travelled south for the Irish Milers Club (IMC) track event at the Shoreline Sports Park in Greystones, County Wicklow (Ireland); with a number of the athletes putting in personal best performances.
In the men’s 800m ‘A race’ Pajo Hamilton (City of Derry AC) clocked 1:53.98 (3rd place) to secure a podium place, while Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Gareth Hill (1:55.31) and Lagan Valley AC’s Conall Kirk (1:57.44) finished in 5th place and 6th place respectively. The race was won by Letterkenny AC athlete Darren McBrearty in 1:51.10.
In the 800m ‘B race’, young Willowfield Harriers star Andrew Wright claimed silver, after recording a new personal best of 1:54.47 to finish as runner up to winner Harry Purcell (Trim AC) who ran 1:54.04; a mere 0.43secs quicker than the NI man. Neil McCartan (East Down AC) continued his good start to the track season, taking 2nd place in the 800m ‘C Race’ after running 2:01.06. City of Derry AC’s Cathal Logue (2:04.07) finished 4th place in the same race, which was won by Fionn Cleirigh Buttner (DSD AC) in 1:58.17. Ella Davis (Lagan Valley AC) crossed the line in 2:23.80 (5th place) in the ladies 800m, a race won by Ellie Hartnett (UCD AC) in 2:15.09.
Northern Ireland runners impressed in the 1500m, with Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) just being pipped to the post by well-known Irish runner John Coghlan (MSB AC) in the ‘A race’. John ran 3:47.05, while Conor finished just behind in 3:47.60. Annadale Striders man Andrew Agnew ran 3:55.71 (8th place), which was his second quickest time ever over the distance. In the 1500m ‘B race’, Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) produced one of the performances of the day; fresh from having achieved a brilliant personal best over 5,000m in Solihull last weekend, Ryan smashed his previous 1500m personal best with an excellent 3:59.23 to claim 3rd place. The race was won by Niall McCormack (Clonmel AC) in 3:55.70. Lagan Valley AC ladies Emma Laverty and Emer Magee lined up in the ladies 1500m race, with Emma running a personal best of 4:53.81 (6th place) and Emer finishing in 5:17.35 (8th place). The race was won by Eleanor Alexandra (Clonliffe Harriers) in 4:30:59.
City of Derry AC duo Emmett McGinty and Gary Slevin took on the 5,000m; a race won by Aaron Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers). Emmett recorded 15:33.22 (5th place), while Gary crossed the line in 16:05.41 (6th place).
Further afield, but still on the track; City of Derry AC man JP Williamson, a student at Lindsey Wilson college in America took part in the NAIA National Championships at Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, USA. After qualifying for the 5,000m final in 15:03.64, JP went on to clock a new personal best performance of 14:49.61 to finish in a very credible 11th place. The race was won by John Gilbertson (The Masters) in 14:08.07. JP has enjoyed an excellent season, which has seen him continuely improve, achieving personal best after personal best. He will now look forward to a summer of racing in Northern Ireland when he returns home next week.
Athletes descend on Shanes Castle for Jengana 10k:
On Saturday 25th May 2013, Northern Ireland charity ‘Jengana’, hosted the inaugural running of their well organised Jengana 10k. The race, primarily organised to raise much needed funds for the charities work, which on the most part, takes place in Kenya, was held within the confines of the historic Shanes Castle Antrim and attracted an excellent mix of fitness enthusiasts, charity fundraisers and well-known club athletes.
In, dare we say it, summery conditions; Stephen Prentice, a member of Enniskillen Running Club who has really come to the fore this year, sealed an impressive victory in 34:33. Another man who has been amongst the ‘big names’ this year, Dennis Scott (North Down AC), took 2nd place in 34:40, while speedy youngster, Vilius Pakalnaskis (Unattached) claimed the final podium place in 38:22.
Pre-race favourite in the ladies race, Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club), delivered in style; the North Coast based lady notched up another race win, her second within a week after a victory at the Maghera 10k last Monday (20th May 2013), crossing the line in 41:44. Janice White (Forge Harriers), completed the scenic course in 42:18 (2nd place), while ever improving Rhonda Brady (Larne AC) clocked 45:54 to secure 3rd place.
Top 3 Men: 1st Stephen Prentice (Enniskillen Running Club) – 34:33, 2nd Dennis Scott (North Down AC) – 34:40, 3rd Vilius Pakalnaskis (Unattached) – 38:22
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 41:44, 2nd Janice White (Forge Harriers) – 42:18, 3rd Rhonda Brady (Larne AC) – 45:54
Full Results: Jengana 10k 2013 Results
Young athletes impress at Antrim Stadium:
On Saturday 25th May 2013, the second round of the Northern Ireland Youth Development League took place at Antrim Stadium (Antrim Forum), and major NiRunning contributor John Glover was there to take in the action, and provide us with an update on developments:
“What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours”. OK, I exaggerate – it was a week since the last visit to Antrim but the conditions could not have been more different, with the torrential rain and strong winds replaced by bright sunshine and relatively calm conditions for Round 2 of the Northern Ireland Youth Development League.
Early victories went to four athletes who had overcome the terrible conditions of the previous week to win Ulster School’s titles. North Down’s Ollie Wakefield improved on his winning Long Jump performance by 30 centimetres to win the U15 Boys with 5.85m and Therese Hillman of City of Lisburn AC won her speciality 75 metres Hurdles. City of Lisbun AC’s Anna McAuley turned her attention successfully to High Jump 1.38 and Aaron Sexton moved up in distance to 300 metres, winning in 40.91secs.
Laura Gardiner (East Down AC) lived up to her pre-race expectations win a gun to tape victory in the U15 Girls 1500 metres, winning by over 20 seconds in 5:22.37. Others to take success in the metric mile were Josh Patterson, City of Lisburn AC (U13 Boys – 5:22.12), Fintan Stewart, City of Derry AC (U15 Boys – 4:51.56) and Michael Melarkey, City of Derry AC (U17 Boys – 4:29.30). The Under 13 Girls ran over 1200 metres with City of Lisburn AC’s Kate Gourley racing away on the last lap to break 4 minutes. The hurdlers all had to contend with slight headwinds and Cameron Kelly, the Ulster School’s Silver medalist, looked the most impressive winning the U15 Boys in 12.55secs. Alix Galbraith gave City of Lisburn AC a third victory winning the U15 ‘B’ race in 12.87secs, before rushing across to the High Jump to achieve another ‘B’ string victory alongside her team mate Phoebe Tan, who in equalling her personal best of 1.63 metres, continued the trend of winning School’s Champions.
The opening field event was the Hammer with City of Lisburn AC taking a double through Josh Jordan (41.68m) and Natalja Ritchie (15.47m) with Lagan Valley AC’s Lynsey Glover winning the Senior event with a throw of 36.09m. In the Javelin, Michael Gaffney continued his seasons winning streak with a throw of 45.32 metres. The sprints began with a double for City of Lisburn AC’s Anna McAuley, who added the 75 metres (10.51secs) to her High Jump success, with Shannon McCleary (11.02secs) then giving the club maximum points. North Down AC then produced a string of victories, with Jonny Moore (U13 Boys – 14.57secs), Archie Gilles (U13 Boys – 14.41secs) and Sakia Greer (U15 Girls – 13.42sces) winning consecutive races. Eimear Connor broke the mould for East Down AC, taking the U15 Girls ‘B’ race (14.09secs) with Martin Mellon (Mid Ulster AC) winning he U15 Boys in 12.36secs.
The combination of boys and girls led to very overcrowded fields in the opening stages of the races. Aime Bradley got one up for the girls by winning outright in the Under 13 race in 2:34.32, ahead of the Matthew McGrattan of East Down AC (2:35.82). In the Under 15 race, Regent House’s Josh McFarland won in 2:26.15 with Katlin Harvey (Lagan Valley) finishing very strongly to take victory in the girls race in 2:29.38. City of Derry AC duo Shane McGowan and Matthew Doherty were first across the line in the Under 17 Boys race, clocking 2:02.91 and 2:11.37 respectively, with Aoife Laverty running 2:30.43 to win the Girls race.
Chain Reaction Belfast Hills 10k Race:
On Saturday 25th May 2013, nearly one hundred runners took to the paths and trails of the scenic Cavehill Country Park, Belfast for the Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast Hills 10k race, organised by North Belfast Harriers. The event is the third race in the NIMRA (Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association) Grand Prix Series.
The interesting course takes competitors past Belfast Castle, before they ascended towards the intriguing caves and the summit at McArts Fort; where the perfect weather conditions allowed stunning views over Belfast, Carrickfegus, Strangford Lough and the Mourne Mountains. The tired runners then got some respite in the form of a long gradual downhill section to the finish line.
After a race briefing from course director Matt Shields, the runners were on their way. It wasn’t long before news began to filter through that David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) and Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) had moved clear of the chasing pack, which included Christian Nachitigal (Phoenix Cycle Club & Chain Reaction Cycles), Nat Glenn (Larne AC), Peter Morrison (North Belfast Harriers), Andy Gregg (Larne AC) and Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners).
Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) was heading the ladies field, with Violet Linton (LVO), Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers), Victoria Simms (Holme Pierrepont RC) and Nuala Muldoon (North Belfast Harriers) in pursuit. As the leading men reached the highest point of the race, McArts Fort; experienced mountain runner Neil Carty had forged a gap between himself and David McNeilly, and was looking strong as the men sped towards the gradual long downhill section to the finish.
As the spectators basked in the glorious sunshine, debating who would appear into the finishing stretch first, Matt Shields signalled that the first runner was in sight. As the well organised race officials prepared themselves for duty, it was their club mate, Neil Carty who turned the final bend, covering the remaining metres quickly, Neil crossed the line in 41:19 to secure top spot; an excellent win for a man that is always in or around the podium positions. David McNeilly followed, taking 2nd place in 41:55 before Simon Reeve, looking remarkably fresh despite having completed a parkrun before this race, completed the top three finishers in 43:30 (3rd place). In the ladies race; Hazel McLaughlin, a runner up in Thursday night’s Hill & Dale ‘Millstone’ race, bettered that position on this occasion, securing 1st place in 53:28. Violet Linton (LVO) recorded 54:55 (2nd place) to finish just six seconds ahead of Helen Weir who took 3rd place in 55:01.
Top 3 Men: 1st Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 41:19, 2nd David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 41:55, 3rd Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) – 43:30
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) – 53:28, 2nd Violet Linton (LVO) – 54:55, 3rd Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers) – 55:01
Results: Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast Hills 10k 2013 (Partial Results). A full electronic version of the results will be added as soon as possible. As our whole team are unavailable this afternoon and evening, there may be a delay in uploading the full results. Please visit www.northbelfastharriers.com as they may have the results online. A selection of race photographs, by Gareth Heron (around the course) and Ryan Maxwell (Start and Finish area) have now been added to our ‘Photo Gallery’.
Thousands turn out for atmospheric Runher Coastal Challenge:
On Friday 24th May 2013, thousands of runners and spectators swarmed two of County Down’s favourite recreational parks; Seapark in Holywood and Crawfordsburn Country Park, Crawfordsburn for the Belfast Telegraph sponsored Runher 10k Coastal Challenge.
On a sunny, warm, but breezy evening, the runners were treated to a lively and fun warm up by the specially selected personal trainer before the ‘challenge’ got under way. Exactly on time, Dame Mary Peters sounded the starting horn and the athletes set off on their 10k journey, which covered a tough but beautiful course.
As the leading ladies went through 5k, Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) had put approximately two minutes between herself and her rivals.
Julie Balmer (North Down AC) was next through the half way point, with Kerry Speers (North Down AC), Jessica Craig (North Down AC), Judith Lonnen – nee Lowry (City of Lisburn AC), Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners), Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers), Helen Bateson (Unattached), Ruth Magill (Lagan Valley AC), Lynsey Pronger (Unattached) and Amanda Perry (North Belfast Harriers) following.
In the second half of the race, the pack shuffled a little but that did not include the exceptional leader Breege, who was the first visible runner as the quickly growing crowd at the atmospheric finish line awaited the impending arrival of the athletes. Breege still had a tough climb to negotiate, but covered this with ease and breezed into the finish area, breaking the tape in 36:12 to win; an impressive time considering the course and the headwind.
Julie Balmer (North Down AC), the first Northern Ireland lady to finish the Belfast City Marathon earlier this month, took 2nd place in 39:11. Julie’s North Down AC team mate, Jessica Craig returned to competition with an excellent performance and was rewarded with a 3rd place finish after crossing the line in 39:50. Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners), a lady who enjoyed an extremely successful Junior running career before moving away from the serious side of the sport, returned in fine fashion to secure a 4th place in 40:05. Helen Bateson (Unattached) completed the top five ladies, recording 40:11 (5th place) for the distance.
Top 5 Ladies: 1st Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) – 36:17, 2nd Julie Balmer (North Down AC) – 39:11, 3rd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 39:50, 4th Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners) – 40:05, 5th Helen Bateson (Unattached) – 40:11
Full Results: Runher Coastal Challenge 2013 Results. A full ‘Race/Event Review’ is also available with the ‘Race Review’ section of our website, and a selection of race photographs have been uploaded to our ‘Photo Gallery’.
Northern Ireland runners look forward to a busy weekend:
After last weekend’s rain, athletes from Northern Ireland will be hoping for some better weather conditions as they take on events in Bangor, Belfast, Antrim, Greystones, Keswick, London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Zegama, amongst other places.
Like last week, the action begins early; with the incredibly popular Belfast Telegraph sponsored Runher Coastal Challenge taking place on Friday 24th May 2013. This is a ladies only 10k event, which will take approximately 1,500 ladies around the scenic coastal path between Seapark, Holywood and Crawfordsburn Country Park close to Bangor, County Down.
Although the Runher ethos is geared more towards participation than prizes, there will be an exciting battle at the head of the field, with Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers), Sarah Baxter (Bath AC), Julie Balmer (North Down AC), Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) and Jessica Craig (North Down AC) all set to toe the line. Breege will lace up her racers for the first time since her memorable performance at the Virgin London Marathon in April, where she achieved a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard after running 2:39:23. Sarah Baxter, a well-known sports and travel writer from England, will be one of the main contenders. Sarah clocked 1:24:06 to take third place at this years prestigious Bath Half Marathon (England). Meanwhile, Julie will hopefully have recovered from her impressive performance at the recent Belfast City Marathon; the North Down AC athlete picked up the newly awarded Moira O’Neill trophy at this week’s prize-giving, after being the first Northern Ireland lady to cross the line (in the Belfast City Marathon).
Cathy McCourt has shown some very positive signs that she is getting back to her best after returning from injury, with a podium place at the Sperrin Harriers 5m Classic and a fifth place finish in the Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships last month. Cathy won this race last year, but considering the plethora of quality in the line-up, the talented North Belfast Harriers athlete will have an almost impossible task on her hands if she aims to defend her title. Jessica Craig (North Down AC) is an ever present figure on the podium whenever she races, and possesses the class to be amongst the front runners here. Having spent the last month working hard in training, Jessica will be eager to race and should play a prominent part in proceedings.
Other top contenders will include, Natalie Bowbanks (Unattached), Amanda Perry (North Belfast Harriers), Athanasia Sevastaki (North Belfast Harriers) and Kerry Speers (North Down AC). Natalie was the fourth Northern Ireland lady to finish the Belfast City Marathon, while Amanda, Anthanasia and Kerry are all capable of times in and around 42mins to 44mins. Amanda finished third in the recent Castlewellan Spring Lakes 10k; Athanasia was fifth in the Les Jones 10k, while accomplished triathlete Kerry enjoyed a second place finish at Ballygalget earlier this year. Kerry is experienced over this terrain and has won several 26extreme trail races. Tiffany Brien (Unattached) is a regular at the Runher events and placed well in the last race at Stormont in 2012. The 2016 Olympic Sailing hopeful, who also completed this years Belfast City Marathon, will have a high placing in her sights, as will Nikki Heywood (North Down AC) and Catherine Fearon (Up & Runners). The action begins at Seapark, Holywood around 6.30pm (although pack collection is available from 2pm – 6pm), when competitors will have the opportunity to participate in an organised warm-up before setting off on their 10k journey. The atmosphere at both the start and finish will be electric and supporters are encouraged to come out and cheer the runners, joggers, walkers and celebrities as they cross the line. BBC Northern Ireland will also be covering the event.
On Saturday 25th May 2013, North Belfast Harriers will host their Chain Reaction Cycles sponsored Belfast Hills 10k race, in and around Cavehill Country Park, Belfast. The course boasts stunning views of Belfast and as far away as the Mourne Mountains, but that will be the last thing the willing participants will be interested in as they overcome the tough climb to the top.
David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) and Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) will feature at the head of the field should they participate. This terrain seems to suit David, who was a convincing winner at the opening race in the East Antrim Harriers Forest Series at Ballyboley Forest nearly two weeks ago. Neil took fourth place at Thursday’s Hill & Dale ‘Millstone’ race, while Simon just missed a top ten finish in the same event. Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers) will be another top finisher; he won this race last year but appears to have been concentrating more on the roads of late, which will shift the power to his aforementioned team mates. Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners) may return after a spell out through injury, and should play a part at the front if he does. Andrew Gregg (Larne AC), Maurice Harte (Team Purple) and Dale Smith (Larne AC) will all hope for a top ten spot.
Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) will be amongst the leading ladies, but the strong running Northern Ireland international will have to fend off the likes of Taryn McCoy (BARF), Joanne Curran (BARF), Violet Linton (LVO) and Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) if she wants to top the podium. Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers), Laura Hamill (Larne AC) and Orla Smyth (City of Lisburn AC) will also run well should they enter on the day.
Also on Saturday 25th May 2013, athletes, fun runners and charity fundraisers will take part in the Jengana 10k race at Shanes Castle, Antrim. The event is primarily organised to raise funds for Jengana (a registered charity) and also to raise awareness of their work, which for the most part, takes place in Kenya. The fast, flat 10k course will take competitors through Lord O’Neill’s ‘back garden’ and will cover tarmac, farm tracks and woodland; it will also cross and re-cross the River Bann before finishing at the historic Shanes Castle.
The race will attract several well-established club runners, with the likes of Stephen Prentice (Enniskillen Running Club), Dennis Scott (North Down AC), Greg Lavery (Larne AC) and Vilius Pakalnaskis (Unattached) all likely to make up the lead group. Speedy youngster, Stephen Prentice ran well at the Titanic 10k road race and has featured on the podium in several local races, while Dennis Scott has turned a few heads as he has progressed through the ranks to become a regular top ten finisher. His 1:15:17 clocking at the Omagh Half Marathon was arguably the performance of his life, and well-deserved after his hard work in training. Another man who should be in and around the podium, if he makes use of the late entry system, is the in-form Vilius Pakalnaskis (Unattached). Vilius, a 16 year old student based in the Randelstown area, recently produced impressive performances to win the Maghera 10k and the Randelstown 10k road races. Larne AC’s Greg Lavery should also achieve a high placing and will go into the race in good spirits, following excellent runs at the Albertville 5m road race and Jimmy’s 10k.
Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) is the stand out athlete in the ladies race. After returning to competition, Gemma has enjoyed success at the Decathlon 10k and Sperrin Harriers 5m classic road race, as well as numerous podium places. Earlier this week Gemma won the Maghera 10k, despite having been unwell in the days leading up to the event. Larne AC ladies Geraldine Quigley, Trisha Campbell, Bernadette Campbell and Rhonda Brady will also finish well up the field, as will Janice White (Unattached). On the day entry is available at this event, for further details please visit: www.jengana.com
A number of Northern Ireland based runners will travel to the Irish Milers (IMC) track meet at the Shoreline Sports Park, Greystones, County Wicklow (Ireland) on Saturday 25th May 2013. Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC), Pajo Hamilton (City of Derry AC), Shane McGowan (City of Derry AC), Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers), Neil McCartan (East Down AC), Cathal Logue (City of Derry AC), Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders), Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC), Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders), Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC), Emmett McGinty (City of Derry AC), Ella Davis (Lagan Valley AC) and Emma Laverty (Lagan Valley AC) are all named on the event start lists.
Further afield on Saturday 25th May, a team of Northern Ireland Mountain Runners will travel to Keswick, England for the Skiddaw Uphill Mountain Race, which incorporates the UKA Mountain Running Senior Home International (between Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales) and the UKA trials for the upcoming European Mountain Running Championships. The event is also the second of three races in the UKA Mountain Running Challenge.
The men’s team of Emmett McAllister (Ballymena Runners), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), Iain Whiteside (Carnethy HRC) and Chris Stirling (Ambleside AC) will take on a 11.3km course with 1,080m of climbing (230m descent), while the ladies team, which includes Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) and Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) will cover a 8.7km course with 940m climbing (80m descent).
The second round of the Youth Development League will take place at Antrim Stadium on Saturday 25th May 2013. The full day event, which starts at 9.30am, will include a full range of disciplines. City of Lisburn AC’s stand out performers Megan Marrs, Kate Farrelly and Ben Fisher have already set up a large lead after the opening round, but is hoped that they will face a stronger challenge this time around from the likes of City of Derry AC, North Down AC and Lagan Valley AC. East Down AC are also in the process of developing a good group of youngsters, including Laura Gardiner who shone through the Rising Stars competition. Mid Ulster AC have made a welcome return to the competition after a short absence.
On Sunday 26th May 2013, Newry City Runners will welcome thousands of competitors to their annual Marathon and Half Marathon events; the Half Marathon is also included in the Pure Running/ChampionChip Ireland Half Marathon Series.
Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers), winner of the DUNE Half Marathon may return to the area for this race. If so, Gary will hope to continue his winning streak over the 26.2 mile distance, after winning recent marathons in Kildare (Ireland) and Connemara (Ireland). Local man Don Travers (Newry City Runners) could be another title contender; Don is a two time winner of the Newry City Marathon and has been running well, he recorded a particularly impressive 33:18 to win the hilly Run Armagh 10k last month. Ciaran Canavan (East London AC) possesses the quality to run under 2:45:00, which will put him within reach of a podium place, going by previous results. Chris Denton (Springwell Running Club), Geoff Smyth (Unattached), Garry Connolly (Seapark AC) and Juan Botella (Playas De Malaga) will also be in or around the top ten places if they take part. The ladies marathon is a tough one to call, with little information available on possible participants. Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners) is definitely due to start, and should lead the charge if her good runs at the 26extreme Causeway Crossing and Belfast City Marathon are to be used as an indicator of form. Lagan Valley AC distance runner Letita Meenan is another entrant, alongside Seapark AC’s Gillian Cordner.
Eamon White (North Belfast Harriers) claimed fourth place in last years Newry City Half Marathon, but he will hope to improve on that, should he compete this year. Considering his excellent win in the Newry 10k last week, we expect him to be in the thick of the action. Eamon’s club mate, Alan O’Hara could be a late entrant, as could the in-form Brendan Teer (East Down AC). Julie Balmer (North Down AC) will more than likely participate in the ladies Half Marathon, but may not ‘race’ it, considering that she will have completed the Runer Coastal Challenge just two days prior to the event. This may leave the door open for Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers), Denise Toner (Clones AC) or Patricia Campbell (Omagh Harriers) to claim the title.
Also on Sunday 26th May 2013, popular Belfast based club Orangegrove AC will host a day of ‘track’ races in Victoria Park, Belfast. A variety of distances, from 80m to 3,000m will be included in the event, which is geared towards both Junior and Senior athletes. Entry is available on the day from 10.30am at the Victoria Park Bowling Club, with the first event starting at 11am. Please visit the Orangegrove AC facebook page for full details and a timetable of events.
Further afield on Sunday 26th May 2013, at least seven Northern Ireland based runners will take on the BUPA Great Manchester 10k Run (England). Lagan Valley AC athletes Eric Montgomery, Kate Montgomery, Andy Edwards and Gary Nicholl will be joined by East Antrim Harriers trio Marian Hayes, Carol Annesley and Fran Wright on the City Centre based course. The event will be screened live on BBC 2 on Sunday morning at 10am.
On the same day, but in London; Newcastle AC lady Kerry Harty will race in the prestigious BUPA Westminster Mile, an event organised by the London Marathon and Westminster City Council. The 1,609m race starts on the Mall and finishes outside Buckingham Palace, and will attract many high profile athletes.
An impressive total of twenty nine runners associated with Seapark AC will travel to Scotland for the EMF Edinburgh Marathon Festival this weekend (Saturday 25th May and Sunday 26th May 2013). This will include: Bobbie Irvine, Vivien Davidson, Neil Porter, Karen Poag, Julie-Ann Mitchell, Carrie Brown, Andy Stevenson, who will join Ballymena Runners’ Sharon Harvey in the Marathon. Barbara Porter, Karen Waring, Andy Smyth, Aubrey McCoubrey, Helen Boyd, Sarah Rea, Emma Whightman, Yvonne McIlree, Stacey Coherty will take on the Half Marathon.
Justin Maxwell (Larne AC) will continue his Skyrunning campaign this weekend (Sunday 26th May 2013), on this occasion the Larne AC athlete will travel to Zegama, Spain for the XI Zegama-Aizkorri Mendi Marathon. The race is 42.195km (26.2m) in distance (with 5,472m accumulative ascent) and covers mountain tracks, forests trails and steep technical rocky terrain.
Northern Ireland’s ten parkrun events will also take place as normal, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.
Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) and Natasha Adams (Lifford AC) win Wilkies 5m Race:
On Wednesday 23rd May 2013, nearly one hundred athletes took to the fast, flat Foyle Cycle Path in Derry/Londonderry for the Wilkies 5 mile race, hosted by Foyle Valley AC.
Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) showed no signs of tiredness following his excellent podium finish at last weekend’s Letterkenny AC ‘sub 4 minute mile’ challenge event, where he picked up a bronze medal in the 3000m; as he ran out clear winner here. The ever improving Foyle Valley man produced an excellent display of front running to lead the field home in a brilliant new personal best of 24:51. Another man in good form at the moment, City of Derry AC’s James Brown (26:43), claimed 2nd place, just ahead of Adrian McGowan (Foyle Valley AC) who took 3rd place in 26:49.
The ladies race was won by Lifford AC’s Natasha Adams in 28:58, while Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) continued what has been a successful week, after having picked up her prize for being the third Northern Ireland lady in the Belfast City Marathon at Tuesday’s prize-giving, Ciara secured a well-deserved 2nd place, completing the 5 mile course in 32:24. Lorraine Carlin (BOLT) crossed the line in 35:56 for 3rd place.
Top 3 Men: 1st Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 24:51, 2nd James Brown (City of Derry AC) – 26:43, 3rd Adrian McGowan (Foyle Valley AC) – 26:49
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Natasha Adams (Lifford AC) – 28:58, 2nd Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) – 32:24, 3rd Lorraine Carlin (BOLT) – 35:56
Full Results: Wilkies 5 mile Race 2013 Results. Photograph used above was taken from the City of Derry AC facebook page.
On Wednesday 23rd May 2013, mountain running enthusiasts once again turned out in large numbers for the Newcastle AC hosted Hill & Dales Series. Race 6 – ‘Millstone’ took place in Newcastle, County Down and covered 4 miles in distance with approximately 1,500ft of ascending.
The evening began with a fitting tribute to Denis Rankin by his daughter Kerry. Joe McCann then spoke on behalf of Newcastle AC and the Hill & Dale organising committee. During his tribute, Joe explained that all proceeds from the final Hill & Dale race at Drinahilly on Thursday 28th June 2013 will go to Denis’ family charity, the Mourne Mountain Rescue. Kerry and her husband, Simon Hall then made their way onto the crowded start-line, accompanied by a large number of BARF (Belfast Association of Rock Climbers and Fell Runners) runners, the club to which Denis Rankin was attached.
As the action got underway, Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) immediately imposed himself on the group as they left Donard Park, moving to the front of the field; Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) and Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) followed. As the men reached the summit, Deon had a slight lead over Ian, Neil and Stephen. This set things up for an exciting descent, during which; Ian, who proved himself on the descent at the Slieve Martin race earlier in the series and more recently at the Slieve Donard Challenge, once again impressed and reached the finish line first; he crossed the line in 36:48 to earn his second win of the series. Stephen Cunningham, another man who descended well, making up two places on the way down, followed in 37:17, before local man and regular podium finisher Deon McNeilly claimed 3rd place in 37:29.
Top 3 Men: 1st Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) – 36:48, 2nd Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 37:17, 3rd Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 37:29
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Patricia McKibbin (Unattached) – 49:42, 2nd Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) – 50:17, 3rd Sinead Murtagh (Castlewellan AC) – 51:49
Full Results: Hill & Dale Series (Race 6) 2013 Results
In windy conditions, Patrick Hamilton (Annadale Striders), a silver medallist at the Northern Ireland 10k Championships (Seeley Cup) late last year, showed his class. Despite having been ‘off the radar’ recently, the Annadale Striders star showed no lack of race sharpness, breaking the tape in 32:12 to seal a comfortable victory. Brian Young (Unattached) and Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC) battled for second place, matching each other stride for stride before Brian moved clear in the latter stages to secure the runner up spot in 35:17. Andrew replicated his position in the recent Newry 10k, when he claimed 3rd place in 35:30.
North Belfast Harriers’ Claire Connor topped the ladies podium, after completing the hilly course in 39:30, just under a minute ahead of Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) who took 2nd place in 40:26. Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC), winner of last weeks Les Jones Memorial 10k finished in 3rd place after crossing the line in 41:07.
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) – 39:30, 2nd Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) – 40:26, 3rd Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) – 41:07
Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon Prize-Giving 2013:
On Wednesday 22nd May 2013, organisers of the Belfast City Marathon held their annual prize-giving for the event, which took place on Monday 6th May 2013. Although the top three male and female prizes were handed out on the day, there were many more deserved awards to be presented.
There was also a special presentation of a new award; this was a trophy for the first Northern Ireland lady to finish, presented in memory of the legendary Northern Ireland runner, the late Moira O’Neill who sadly passed away in August 2012. Julie Balmer (North Down AC) had the honour of collecting this prestigious prize, which was presented by Moira’s family.
We (NiRunning) would like to congratulate all prize winners, as well as the Belfast City Marathon organisers and everyone involved in make this years event a success. A selection of photographs from the prize-giving are now available in our ‘Photo Gallery’ and the results from this years event are below.
Last week, Ballymena Runners launched their annual Fairhill 5 mile Road Race, which is organised in conjunction with Ballymena Town Development and scheduled to take place on Wednesday 5th June 2013 at 7pm. The family friendly event will also include a 2.5 mile Fun Run/Walk for those looking for a lighter challenge.
The main race will cover a fast, flat two lap course, starting and finishing in the heart of the town centre and incorporating the well-known ECOS Park. There will be a generous prize-fund on offer, kindly provided by the race sponsors. This will include a £100 top prize for the first male and female to cross the line. There will also be prizes for the 2nd and 3rd placed male and female runners and 1st and 2nd place category prizes up to Vet55. There will be several prizes for the Fun Run event.
The race sponsors nominated charity, the Chest Heart and Stroke Association will also benefit from the event. You can find out more about their work and also download a race registration form from their website: www.nichs.org.uk
On Monday 20th May 2013, athletes from all over the province took part in the Maghera 10k in County Londonderry. In the absence of last years winners Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC) and Helena Quinn (Unattached), two new title winners were unveiled.
In cool, breezy conditions, a battle between Vilius Pakalnaskis (Unattached), Aaron Meharg (Sperrin Harriers) and Stephen Joyce (Springwell Running Club) ensued; the aforementioned trio led from the start, with Ballymena Runners’ James Turtle, Kevin O’Boyle and Noel Connor just behind. In the end, it was the young Randelstown based Vilius who secured a well-deserved victory in 35:37. This was the talented 16 year olds second win in a month, after he won the Randelstown 10k at the end of April 2013. Stephen Joyce finished a mere two seconds behind after running a new personal best of 35:39, while Aaron Meharg took 3rd place in 36:03.
Top 3 Men: 1st Vilius Pakalniskis (Unattached) – 35:37, 2nd Stephen Joyce (Springwell Running Club) – 35:39, 3rd Aaron Meharg (Sperrin Harriers) – 36:03
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Runing Club) – 39:00, 2nd Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) – 39:23, 3rd Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) – 41:00
Full Results: Maghera 10k Road Race 2013 Results
On Sunday 19th May 2013, two athletes attached to Northern Ireland running clubs and one adopted City of Derry AC runner enjoyed successful outings in Culaduff, County Donegal (Ireland). Kenyan marathon specialist Freddy Sittuk, a podium finisher at this years Belfast City Marathon, wore the colours of the 2013 ‘City of Culture’ based club at the Inishowen AC hosted Culaduff 5k road race.
Freddy, who is currently staying in Northern Ireland and training with friend Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC), showed his class; leading the race from start to finish, eventually breaking the tape in 14:59 to seal a comfortable victory. James Brown (City of Derry AC), an ever consistent performer, took 2nd place in 16:11. In the ladies race, Foyle Valley AC’s Joanne Doran claimed an excellent 2nd place finish, after completing the course in 20:50. The ladies race was won by Inishowen AC’s Theresa Doherty in 20:00.
On Sunday 19th May 2013, Northern Ireland ladies Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) kicked off their outdoor track season in fine fashion at the prestigious Loughborough International meet in England.
Despite spending much of the last few days travelling from her high altitude base in Font Romeu, Kerry showed no signs fatigue as she produced her second quickest time ever in the 3,000m Steeplechase. The Newcastle AC athlete beat several high profile athletes to seal an impressive victory in 10:06.30, over four seconds clear of her nearest rival, Scottish International Emily Stewart (10:10.83).
Kerry was understandably happy with her performance, saying that she “felt strong”. This display bodes well for the talented lady as she looks ahead to a summer of competition, but before that, Kerry will take on the much anticipated ‘Westminster Mile’ next weekend.
On Sunday 19th May 2013, Sperrin Harriers runner Darren Warnock took on his third marathon in five weeks. After completing the Virgin London Marathon (3:55:34) and the Belfast City Marathon (4:19:38), Darren was not put off by the hilly Brathay Windermere Marathon; which interestingly is also the final 26.2 miles of the world famous Brathay 10 in 10 (ten marathons in ten days).
A happy Darren, who is also due to run the Walled City Marathon in Derry/Londonderry on Sunday 2nd June 2013, crossed the line in 4:11:48. For the first time in the events history; the Brathay Windermere Marathon had a local male winner. This was England and Team GB ultra-runner Marcus Scotney (2:38:50).
Full Results: Brathay Windermere Marathon 2013 Results
On Sunday 19th May 2013, a team of four Northern Ireland runners were in competition in Yorkshire (England), at the Settle Hill Fell Race, which incorporated the UKA Mountain Running Challenge and the Inter County Championships.
Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Gavin Mulholland (Calder Valley Fell Runners) and James Logue (Calder Valley Fell Runners) took on the 11.3km course, which included approximately 400m of ascending. It was the NI men now based in England, Gavin Mulholland and James Logue who led the team home. Gavin covered the difficult course in 50:35 (13th place), this was enough to secure second place in the Vet40 category. James (51:12) finished just over thirty seconds behind Gavin in 17th place, before Allan Bogle crossed the line in 52:50 (28th place). Newcastle AC man David McNeilly also ran well, recording 54:36 (44th place) for the distance.
The men were rewarded for their excellent ‘packing’ with a 4th place finish in the team standings. Yorkshire won the team prize while Scotland’s Wegene Tafase in 46:06 won the individual title in 46:06.
In much better conditions to those endured by athletes in competition yesterday, Gary Keenan (Orangegrove AC), a man who has taken part in every single running of this event, retained the title he won last year. Gary and his club mate, Paul Woodman led a sea of Orangegrove AC athletes onto the Ormeau Park paths before Gary forged a gap between himself and Paul.
In the ladies race, Claire Duffield (Unattached) put on an impressive display of front running, leading from start to finish, securing an impressive victory in 42:44. Unattached athlete Maria McCarter (45:48), an Oxfam employee who was taking on the race with a number of her work colleagues, finished in 2nd place. Elizabeth Watt made sure that Orangegrove AC were represented on the ladies podium as well, working her way through in the latter stages to take 3rd place in 45:55.
Top 3 Men: 1st Gary Keenan (Orangegrove AC) – 35:28, 2nd Paul Woodman (Orangegrove AC) – 37:13, 3rd Michael Thompson (Orangegrove AC) – 37:36
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Claire Duffield (Unattached) – 42:44, 2nd Maria McCarter (Unattached) – 45:48, 3rd Elizabeth Watt (Orangegrove AC) – 45:55
Full results will be added as soon as they are available. Times used above are PROVISIONAL only. Race photographs from the Belfast One World Run are available in our ‘Photo Gallery’.
On Friday, sun shone on the competitors taking part in the first evening of the Ulster Secondary Schools Track and Field Championships at Antrim Stadium. On Saturday morning the athletes returned for day two of competition but unfortunately the sun was having a duvet day and sent along her nemesis, the rain, and boy did it rain, and rain and rain… providing the worst conditions in the living memory of all the officials with the possible exception of timekeeper Roy (Stevie) Stevenson who was working at his 64th consecutive Ulster Schools Championships, a record which must be unique to any sporting event anywhere.
Saturday 18th May 2013 began with another ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ moment when RBAI’s Jack McComb won the 400m hurdles. Father Raymond, a former pupil of Lisnagarvey High School, was once hailed in the Ulster Star Newspaper as the new Valery Borzov! Others to follow in the parental footsteps were Phoebe Tan (Junior Girls High Jump – daughter of Michael), Aaron Sexton (Minor Boys 100m – son of Roger), Conall Kirk (Senior Boys 800m – son of Mark), Jonathan Hill (Senior Triple Jump – son of Ruth Atkinson), Anna McIlmoyle (Senior High Jump – daughter of Wendy Phillips), Megan Marrs (Inter 100m – daughter of Davy Marrs and Debbie McDowell) to name just those that I picked up on. Added to these the number of other medallists and participants in the same situation and there appears ample evidence for an interesting dissertation on the effect of genes on aspiring young athletes.
While the officials, and the arena, got wetter and wetter the athletes appeared to take it in their stride (sorry pun not intended), but it was clear the field eventers in particular were seriously adversely effected by the conditions. One who did manage to defy the odds was Shot Putter John Kelly. Surely one of the finest prospects in Ireland the Royal and Prior Raphoe youngster smashed the Senior Shot Putt record by half a metre with a prodigious 16.12 metres, four and a half metres ahead of his nearest opposition. Others to shine in the throws were Jacqueline Burns (Cookstown HS), Michaela McNally (Lurgan College), Caris Greenwood (Carrick Grammar), Michael Gaffney (Campbell College), Jack Magee (Ballyclare High), James Williams (Baillieborough CS) and a delighted Amy Edwards (Victoria College) who took the Junior Girls Javelin.
The sprinters made the most of the following wind although some sadly had to be satisfied with hand timing as the incessant rain played havoc with the electric timing despite the hard efforts of a very dedicated team who resorted to every method they could to keep things going including the ingenious use of a wellington boot! Methody’s Paddy Colhoun left his competitors trailing in a spray of water as he sprinted to his fifth consecutive Ulster Schools 100 metres title and his seventh title overall. Equally impressive in the Junior Boys event was Ollie Wakefield (Priory College). The standout sprinter in the girls was Roseanna McGuckian (Ballymena Academy) who defied the conditions to produce a lifetime best in the 200 metres (25.28secs) and returned just minutes later to take the 300 metres in 42.44secs. The fastest girl on the track was McGuckian’s training partner Megan Marrs who won the Intermediate 100m in 12.42secs.
The horrendous conditions had little effect on the middle distance boys and girls most of whom had survived the rain, snow and gales of the winter during their cross country season. St Malachy’s Paddy Robb cruised to an 800m / 1500m double in the Inter Boys, while Aislinn Crossey (Sacred Heart Newry) followed up her 400 metres victory with an impressive solo display in the 800 metres. Andrew Wright (Grosvenor Grammar) hot from a superb 1500 metres in Dublin on Thursday night (16th May 2013) had to give way to Conall Kirk (Sullivan Upper) in the 800m but returned a few hours later to take the metric mile in impressive form. Arlene Crossan (Loretto Letterkenny) produced an interesting double, winning the Junior Girls Long Jump and 800 metres! A hotly contested Junior Girls 1500m was won by former Cross Country Champion Madison Bowyer (MCB) while Amy Hamill, resplendent in bright pink, won the Inter Girls 1500m from a fast finishing Zoe Carruthers (Friends School) who was attempting a double having won the 3,000m on Friday night.
The race of the day was perhaps the Inter Girls 800 metres, which was won by Ella Davis (Victoria College). The line-up contained the Northern Ireland and Ulster Under 15, Under 16 and Under 17 Champions from 2012 and it took a lifetime best of 2:17.98 from the Lagan Valley athlete to take victory from Thornhill’s Aoife Laverty (2:19.43 – Pb) and an amazing run from Anna Lawther (Ballyclare HS) who in also going under 2:20, shattered her personal best by over 12 seconds.
For some, the meeting was a stepping stone towards the Irish Schools and future success. Sadly for many others it was their first and last taste of big meeting athletics as they are lost to the sport through a variety of causes; for some it is the appeal of other, more lucrative sports and for others the excitement cannot compete with the thrill of the Xbox and the titillation of Twitter and Facebook. Indeed the most depressing aspect of the day (apart from the weather) was the number of District Qualifiers, particularly in the older age groups, who did not even bother turning up for the Ulster’s.
Full Results: Ulster Schools T&F Championships 2013 Results
On Saturday 18th May 2013, a number of athletes from Northern Ireland travelled to Solihull, Birmingham (England) for the opening meet of this years BMC (British Milers Club) Grand Prix.
Two NI men were competing in the BMC men’s 800m ‘C Race’; Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Steven Morrow (one of the men behind popular running website ‘Trackbound USA’) clocked 1:53.66 (5th place) for the distance, finishing just ahead of North Down AC’s Michael Dyer who crossed the line in 1:57.10. The race was won by Mason Dudley (Southampton AC) in 1:51.91
Annadale Striders trio Eddie McGinley, Andrew Agnew and Ryan McDermott were all competing over 5,000m at the event. Eddie was in the ‘A Race’ and covered the distance in a brilliant 14:21.61 (12th place), while in the ‘B Race’; Andrew finished in 14:35.41 (4th place). Ryan was in the ‘C Race’ and ran a new personal best of 14:58.28 (8th place). Danish runner Abdi Hakin (14:01.35), Aldershot, Farnham & District AC’s Andy Vernon (14:18.58) and Leeds City AC’s James Smith (14:45.56) won the A,B and C Races respectively.
Full Results: BMC Grand Prix 2013 (Meet 1 – Solihull) Results
After the invited guests had spoken of their respect for Danny and his achievements; the main man himself – Irish Olympic hero Danny McDaid, a former National Champion over 2 miles, 15 miles and 26.2 miles (and thirteen time Ulster Senior XC Champion) delivered a heartfelt and at times emotional speech, full of interesting stories and words of motivation for the younger generation. A statue of the 2:13:06 marathon man was then unveiled as well as a plaque marking the occasion.
Despite the pouring rain, all attention then turned to the track and the impending action, which saw four Northern Ireland runners achieve podium places. Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Dean Adams (10.94secs) got the night off to an excellent start for the NI contingent, taking 2nd place in the men’s 100m race. Dean’s club mate Jonathan Browning just missed a podium spot, claiming 4th place in 11.17secs. The race was won by Team GB’s Richard Kilty (England) in 10.51secs.
Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) completed the NI medal haul with an excellent performance in the men’s 400m race. The Crusaders AC athlete held off a late challenge from Luke Lennon Ford (England) to seal an impressive photo-finish victory in 47.15secs. Curtis Woods (Lagan Valley AC), John Houston (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Ben Maze (Lagan Valley AC) were also in the race; Curtis took 5th place in 48.66secs, while Ben (49.06secs) and John (51.71secs) claimed 6th place and 8th place respectively. City of Derry AC’s Jenny O’Brien clocked 27.10secs (5th place) in the women’s 200m race, which was won by Emerald AC’s Sarah Levin in 24.69secs. Current AAI National Indoor 60m and 200m champion Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) finished in 3rd place (25.61secs).
Another City of Derry AC athlete, Conor Bradley lined up against an exceptionally talented field for the nights main event, the sub 4 minute mile challenge; a race that drew the biggest reaction of the night from the soaked but happy spectators. Conor was always in or around the top places and battled well to earn a very credible 4th place finish, after running 4:02.22. He (Conor) was only beaten by Kenyan duo Jonathan Kiplimo (1st place – 4:02.16) and Maiyo Kipkorir (2nd place – 4:02.91) and Belgium athlete Jeroen D’Hoedt (4:03.27).
In the penultimate battle of the night, the men’s 800m race; NI men Mark Patterson (North Down AC) and Patrick Hamilton (City of Derry AC) toed the line. In an exciting race, Patrick (4th place – 1:53.93) narrowly missed a podium spot, finishing just 0.57seconds behind bronze medal man Kris Valters (Clonliffe Harriers) who ran 1:53.36. Mark covered the distance in 1:54.75 (7th place). Popular competitor Mark English (UCD AC) won the event in 1:50.96. Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) faced the likes of Belfast City Marathon podium finisher Freddy Sittuk (Kenya), Irish Olympian Mark Kenneally (Clonliffe Harriers) and talented Donore Harriers man John Travers in the men’s 3,000m event. Keith ran well, and achieved his pre-race target of a new personal best, recording 8:47.82 (9th place) for the distance.
Full Results: Letterkenny AC’s ‘Sub 4 minute mile’ Challenge Event 2013 Results (Official opening of Danny McDaid Athletics Track). NiRunning would like to thank Letterkenny AC and Daragh McDaid for their hospitality.
Athletes turn out for popular Killyclogher 10k:
On Saturday 18th May 2013, well over 200 athletes turned out for the annual Killyclogher 10k road race in County Tyrone. The race has grown since it’s inception and is now regarded by many as the second most popular event in the area behind the coveted Omagh Half Marathon.
On a dull and wet day, local man Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) brightened things up with a brilliant performance. Paul is a regular podium finisher in events around his home county, but on this occasion his hard work was rewarded with a well-deserved victory. Paul broke the tape in 33:24 to win comfortably; Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) took 2nd place in 34:17, while another Foyle Valley AC athlete, Chris McGuiness finished just eight seconds behind him to claim 3rd place in 34:25.
Brilliant Lifford AC athlete Ann-Marie McGlynn, winner of this years Omagh Half Marathon and a fifth place finisher at the recent AAI National 10k Championships, topped the ladies standings, clocking an impressive 35:21 to win by a considerable margin. Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) crossed the line in 38:44 to secure 2nd place, ahead of Clones AC’s Denise Toner (39:17) in 3rd place.
Top 3 Men: 1st Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) – 33:24, 2nd Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) – 34:17, 3rd Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) – 34:28
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) – 35:21, 2nd Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) – 38:44, 3rd Denise Toner (Clones AC) – 39:17
Full Results: Killyclogher 10k Road Race 2013 Results
Denis was a legend – climber, athlete, fell runner, skier, in short an all-round mountaineer. In 1982 he completed the Bob Graham round of 42 Lake District peaks and 70+ miles in under 24 hours and more recently ticked off ascents of all the Scottish Munros. In 1979 as a founder member (of NIMRA) and first secretary he was one of a small group who began mountain running events in Northern Ireland. Denis organised the Annalong Horseshoe race for many years and then devoted his abilities to making the Mourne Mountain Marathon a must do event.
Article compiled by Ian Taylor (NIMRA secretary).
This weekend, the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) will send a male team to the Inter Counties Championships, held in the Settle Hills, Yorkshire (England) on Sunday 19th May 2013.
The Inter Counties Championships is the first event in the UKA Mountain Running Challenge and incorporates the Welsh Inter Regional Championships. It is also a trial for the upcoming Snowdon International Race, which means the event will attract a plethora of talent.
The race sets off at midday and is approximately 7 miles and 1,750ft of ascent. The course has a bit of everything – grassy paths, tarmac at the beginning and end, rocky paths, tussocky moorland and it includes some steep climbs and descents. The terrain is described as very uneven in places. The weather is expected to be fair, with light winds and very good visibility. NiRunning will of course keep you updated as to how the team perform, we would also like to wish Allan, David, Gavin and James the very best of luck in the event.
On Friday 17th May 2013, hundreds of athletes gathered at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track, Belfast for the Athletics NI organised Les Jones Memorial 10k. The course covered the roads, paths and trails around the Lagan Towpath, Barnetts Demesne and Mary Peters Track; the areas in which the late, popular Les Jones used to train with friends during his lunch break.
After completing a lap on the newly laid mondo surface at the MPT, Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers), Brendan Teer (East Down AC) and Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) led the runners up the hill and onto the Old Coach Road. North Belfast Harriers men Eddie Cooke, Alan Considine, Mark McKinstry and Simon Reeve followed with Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC), James Budde (North Down AC), Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) and Larne AC duo Craig Hutchinson and Bernard Brady just behind.
As spectators hurried from the towpath back to the Mary Peters Track for the finish, the atmosphere began to intensify. It wasn’t long before the red and yellow vest of Brendan Teer, a man who is in the form of his life, came into view. Alan O’Hara was next into sight, with Richard Johnston close behind. Brendan completed the remaining metres on the track quickly and broke the tape in 30:15; Alan followed in 30:29 (2nd place), while Richard took 3rd place in 30:43. In the ladies race, Julie Murphy moved clear of her friend and club mate Catriona McCorkell in the latter stages to win in 38:09. Catriona took the runner up spot in 38:41 (2nd place), while Denise Logue claimed the final podium place in 39:43.
Top 3 Men: 1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 30:15, 2nd Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) – 30:29, 3rd Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) – 30:43
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Jule Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) – 38:09, 2nd Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC) – 38:41, 3rd Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) – 39:43
Full Results: Les Jones Memorial 10k 2013 Results
*Important Note* The efficient and apologetic race officials and organisers were quick to point out that despite their best efforts, an error had occurred on the night, which led to the course measuring slightly short (it measured approximately 5.9 miles). This was because athletes were sent the wrong way at Barnetts Demesne. However, all runners completed exactly the same course, so no positions were affected by this.
The biggest of the local events will most definitely be the Athletics NI organisedLes Jones Memorial 10k race, which will start and finish at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track in Belfast. The course, notorious for “that one hill”, takes competitors along the Lagan towpath and through Barnetts Demesne.
Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) and Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers) will also place well; Andrew won the Decathlon 10k last month and Michael seems to be getting back to his best, he (Michael) ran 2:49:02 to finish well up the Belfast City Marathon standings. Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers), Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC), Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), Chris Speers (North Down AC) and Bernard Brady (Larne AC) will all challenge for a top ten finish, as will Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) and Richard Coey (Unattached). Simon and Richard completed the Belfast City Marathon in 2:54:30 and 3:01:47 respectively and will have hopefully recovered sufficiently from the 26.2 mile jaunt. John McCambridge (St Peter’s AC), Ryan Andrews (Ballydrain Harriers), Chris Collins (East Antrim Harriers), Michael Cultra (East Down AC), Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC), Greg McClure (North Belfast Harriers) and Michael McKeown (East Down AC) are all set to compete and should run well, with Greg and Michael (McKeown) likely to be in contention for category prizes
This race may provide a good opportunity for the likes of Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) to ease themselves back into competition after their recent marathon efforts. Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC) is definatley racing; the ‘Pure Running’ lady has been running really well off the back of her excellent performance at the Virgin London Marathon, achieving a podium finish at the Run Armagh 10k. Catriona will be joined on the start line by her Lagan Valley AC club mates Julie Murphy and Ruth Magill. Julie could well challenge for a podium spot, while Ruth should secure a category win. Dromore AC veteran Mary Mackin has been competing over mountains, trails and on the roads recently, and should be in contention here. Another Dromore AC athlete Susan Smyth, who produced a notable performance at the Ballynahinch 10k, where she finished in third place, will also hope to finish well up the field. Nikki Heywood (North Down AC) is another lady who could put in a decent showing.
Last years winner, Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) may be unable to defend his title, so it will be down to Foyle Valley AC duo Keith Shiels and Scott Rankin to battle it out for the top spot. This should be an exciting dual, considering the ability of both men; a few weeks ago, Scott would have been considered as slight favourite, but Keith edged his friend at last weeks North West 10k, so it will be interesting to see who comes out on top this time around. Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) and Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) will also have their sights on one of the top three places if they race. Paul Barbour (Unattached) is a consistent performer and is another man who will be in or around the podium places, while Michael Kerr (Carmen Runners) should still be on a high after achieving a runners up spot in the Termoneeny 10k last weekend.
Enniskillen Running Club duo Fergus McGirr and Stephen Prentice are capable of competing for the top places, as are Omagh Harriers’ Damian Cox and Conor Moore. Aaron Meharg (Sperrin Harriers) won last month’s Randelstown 10k in impressive fashion and will hope to continue that form here, while his club mate Aidan O’Hagan, a fourth place finisher here last year will also have high expectations. Derek Sommerville (Omagh Harriers), Martin McLaughlin (Omagh Harriers) and Barney McCullagh (Omagh Harriers) will all place well.
In the ladies race, Denise Toner (Clones AC) will have to fend off the likes of up and coming Omagh Harriers prospect Sara Moore and Monaghan Phoenix AC’s Donna Evans if she wants to retain her title. Local lady Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) could be another starter, and should be at the fore if she does decide to compete. Miread McCann (Omagh Harriers) is always in the mix, and will be there or there abouts if she toes the line. Other high placing ladies will include Ita Kelly (Omagh Harriers), Jenny Alger (Carmen Runners), Caroline Miller (Omagh Harriers) and Deidre Haigney (Omagh Harriers). All four of the aforementioned ladies possess the ability to challenge for a podium place on their day and could be at the front here, depending on the confirmed starters.
Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), Conor Bradely (City of Derry AC), Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC), Ben Maze (Lagan Valley AC), Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) and Curtis Woods (Beechmount Harriers) are all due to participate in what should be a fantastic day of racing.
Summary courtesy of Letterkenny AC:
Men’s 100m: In the men’s 100m, England’s Richard Kilty will be coming to take on the best of the Irish. Kilty, a former European U-23 relay medallist,nicknamed “The Teeside Tornado” holds a personal best of 10.23 seconds and has been showing some good early season form in the Caribbean. Dean Adams, and Chris Russell, along with up and coming athletes Zak Irwin and National Indoor champion Keith Pike will make sure that Kilty doesn’t have it all his own way to show who is the fastest man on the Letterkenny home straight.
Women’s 200m: Kelly Proper just last week broke the Irish record for the heptathlon in Italy. She will feature in the womens 200m, a distance in which sheclaimed the National Indoor title earlier in the year. Tir Chonaill’s Mary McLoone will look to challenge Proper on Donegal soil. Louise Holmes, Sarah Lavin and Laura Costello will add further class to the field. Lavin recently recorded a standard for the European Junior Championships in the 100m hurdles, and Costello recorded a standard for the European Youth Olympic Festival over 200m.
Men’s 400m: Brian Gregan, European finalist over 400m last year, and fastest European indoors this year, will be looking to set his stall out for the WorldChampionships in Moscow in August. Gregan will be challenged over the one lap distance by England’s Luke Lennon Ford who has a Pb of 45.23 seconds, ran 46.90 seconds in Des Moines, Iowa at the end of April 2013. This will be some battle and when the lanes even out coming off the final bend, it will be an epic battle to the finish line. However, it is far from a two horse race with four other Irish athletes with bests of 47 seconds, Curtis Woods, Dara Kervick, Jason Harvey and Eoin Mulhall, who will all be looking to steal the thunder.
Women’s 800m: Womens 800m running has shown a resurgence over the past twelve months with several Irish athletes making the breakthrough to international level. Laura Crowe will lead the field in this event, and with a Pb of 2:05, will be looking to get down towards the 2 minute mark. Alanna Lally, who holds a qualification standard for the World Youths Championships for the 400m, will be looking to add the 800m standard, and along with Rachel O’Shea and Clare McSweeney, will further add to the improvement in Irish womens middle distance running, hoping to make it a fast 800m in Letterkenny.
Men’s 800m: Quoted by many as Ireland’s hottest athletic prospect, local boy Mark English will be looking to impress the home crowd in the 800m. English recently recorded a fine win over 400m in an impressive time of 47.56 seconds, winning the Irish Universities title last month. Having finished 5th in the World Junior Championships last Summer, Mark has already established himself as a world class athlete. Another young talent Shane Fitzsimons from Mullingar will be chasing qualification times for the European Junior Championships, and along with Mark Patterson and Darragh Greene will be looking to get under the 1:50 barrier for the 800m.
Men’s Mile: The feature event of the meeting will be the men’s mile and the field is star studded with Irish and international athletes looking to join the illustrious sub 4 minute club. Showing Letterkenny’s talent at middle distance, local trio of Darren McBrearty, Danny Mooney and Ruairi Finnegan would love to have the honour of running the first sub 4 minute mile on Donegal soil. City of Derry AC’s Conor Bradley will also be looking to join his neighbours in this attempt. However, it is from well away from Donegal where the biggest threat will lie. Kenyan’s Jonathon Kiplimo and Hillary Kipkorir will pose a threat, as African distance runners do. Kiplimo recently won the mile race at the Penn Relays in a time of 3:57.03 so will bring good form in to the race. Belgium’s Jeroen D’Hoedt will also come with a personal best over 1500m of 3:36 and will be looking to go well under the 4 minute mile.
Last weekend, D’Hoedt ran 2:23.40 for 1000m so he is also bringing good form to Letterkenny. There will also be a challenge from England with AnthonyWhiteman and James Tartt, 3:42:70 for 1500m last year. Whiteman, a two time Olympian, is the current world record holder for the masters men’s mile, having ran 3:58 in Nashville last year. At 41 years old, he became the first man over 40 ever to run a sub 4 minute mile outdoors, with Ireland’s own Eamonn Coghlan having been the first man ever to record a sub 4 minute mile indoors. With such a star studded line up for the 1609m distance, we will hopefully see the first sub 4 minute mile ever recorded on Donegal soil.
Men’s 3000m: Another athlete with a bright future, John Travers, who had a superb indoor season with a 7:58 clocking to qualify for his first major trackchampionship, will be looking to kick off his outdoor season. London Olympian over the marathon, Mark Kenneally will step down a distance, and will ensure Travers is not alone in the 3000m, also having broken 8 minutes before with a Pb of 7:59. Former European Junior Champion over 1500m Colin Costello, double Paralympic champion Michael McKillop, Letterkenny’s own Ciaran Doherty, and recent North Pole marathon winner, Gary Thornton, should all ensure a fast 3000m will be on the cards.
Women’s 3000m: Double European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton will be the star of the show in the womens 3000m. Britton has shown herpromise on the track, having competed in the London Olympics last year over 5000m and 10000m, and also having won a bronze medal at the European Indoors earlier this year over 3000m. Britton ran 9:03 in France just two weeks ago, and is showing some good form having recently returned from a period of altitude training. Siobhra O’Flaherty, another athlete with a qualification mark for the European Youth Olympic Festival, will be joined by Eimear O Brien and Teresa McGloin, making it a competitive race.
Men 1hr Track Race: This rarely run event will see athletes running against the stopwatch to see how much distance they can run in one hour. John Treacy’s Irish record of 19625m stands since 1987 from Monaco, and it will be interesting to see how close Barry Minnock and Greg Roberts can get to this record. Minnock has a marathon personal best of 2:17 and will tackle the demanding event. He will need to call on all his reserves to hold off the international challenge from Kenya’s Freddy Sittuk. Sittuk recently finished third in the Belfast City Marathon, and boasts a marathon Pb of 2:14. He is currently staying in the North West with training partner Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC), who leads the local charge over the 1 hour race.
Women’s 1hr Track Race: In the womens event 1 hour track race, the winner will be assured of an Irish record, as the race has never been run by an Irishwoman before. Olympian Maria McCambridge will be looking to see how far she can push this record, having dominated the Irish road racing scene over the past number of years, and the home crowd will be urging her on over the unique distance.
Men’s 4 x 400m Relay: The mens 4 x 400m relay event will provide a fitting finale to the evening of international athletics. The event will include athletes from many different clubs with international selections taking on the best of the Irish talent on display on the night. With two members of Ireland’s 5th placing world class performance at the Penn Relays in Philadelphia just a few weeks ago taking part in individual events, it may just serve up an exciting finish to the track and field programme.
Also this weekend, the Ulster School Track & Field Championships will take place at Antrim Stadium on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th May 2013 (please visit www.athleticsni.org for full details/preview etc). There will be two charity runs taking place in the province, the Action Mental Health ‘Steeple Chase’ will be held within the confines of Stormont Estate on Saturday 18th May 2013 (11am) and the annual Belfast ‘One World’ Run will take place in Ormeau Park, Belfast on Sunday 19th May 2013 (3pm).
Northern Ireland welcomes parkrun number ten to the province this weekend, with the new Mid-Ulster Sports Arena parkrun starting on Saturday 18th May2013 (9.30am). The provinces other nine parkrun events will also take place as normal, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.
*Note* Photograph used above taken from Athletics NI ‘Les Jones 2011’ photo gallery.
“We are also delighted to be staging the National Championship for the third year in a row and the new look Mary Peters track with its new eight-lane track and stand should provide a fitting backdrop for the Irish title race. It is important to point out that to become champion, the athlete will need to belong to a recognised club in Ireland and have covered a minimum distance; for men this is 200km and for women, 160km.”
On Wednesday 15th May 2013, Springwell Running Club held their inaugural ‘Purple Ladies 5k’ in Ballymoney, County Antrim. The race HQ was based at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre, an appropriate venue considering the upcoming North West 200. There were also numerous pampering and healthy lifestyle orientated stalls for the participating ladies, all of whom were there to support a night of fun and exercise.
Once ‘business’ got underway, it was City of Derry AC’s Anne Paul who impressed most, leading the ladies home in 19:15, closely followed by hot prospect Alexandra Kirk (Springwell Running Club) who took 2nd place in 19:40. Another talented local lady, Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club); an eleventh place finisher in last weeks Belfast City Marathon (ladies category), took 3rd place in 19:53.
Full Results: Springwell Running Club ‘Purple Ladies’ 5k Road Race 2013 Results. Picture used above was taken from the Ballymena Runners facebook page.
On Tuesday 14th May 2013, East Antrim Harriers welcomed athletes to the 9th running of their annual forest trail series. The traditional series consists of four races, with one race in Ballyboley Forest, one in Tardree Forest and two in Woodburn Forest.
Despite the changeable weather conditions throughout the day, a perfect spring evening greeted runners, officials and spectators. After the competitors had tackled the uphill start, Ballydrain Harriers’ leading man David Simpson moved to the front and took charge, with Andrew Guy (Larne AC), Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), Kevin O’Boyle (Ballymena Runners) and Andy Gregg (Larne AC) all following.
David increased his lead as the race progressed and eventually ran out as clear winner, crossing the line in 23:40. Mark McKinstry worked hard throughout and claimed a well-deserved 2nd place in 24:52, while Andrew Guy showed no signs of tired legs after his recent marathon personal best in Belfast; taking 3rd place in 25:06.
Top 3 Men: 1st David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers) – 23:40, 2nd Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 24:52, 3rd Andrew Guy (Larne AC) – 25:06
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) – 30:05, 2nd Jennifer Bill (Club Unknown) – 31:25, 3rd Sarah Steer (Orangegrove AC) – 32:19
Full Results: EAH Forest Trail Series 2013 (Race 1) Results. The second race in the series will take place in Woodburn Forest (New Line entrance) on Tuesday 28th May 2013 (7.30pm).
This LADIES ONLY event will take place on Wednesday 15th May 2013 at 7.30pm, from the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre, Ballymoney.
The run is open to all ladies over the age of 14 years old and covers a distance of 5k (3.1 miles). This event gives all ladies the chance to run, jog or walk at their own pace around the route as Springwell Running Club aim to raise the profile of female sport and promote health and fitness in the area. It is hoped that this will be a fun event. There will be a fun warm-up by a qualified fitness instructor to get everyone motivated at the start line. Marshals will also be well positioned around the course to encourage everyone.
After the run there will be a chance to talk to fellow runners and members of Springwell Running Club whilst enjoying some post-race refreshments. Check out the Springwell Running Club website: www.springwellrunners.com for more information on running in the Ballymoney – Coleraine – Limavady areas and to download an entry form (entry forms are also available at local leisure centres).
Make sure this friendly, fun and healthy ‘night out’ is in your diary, it should be a really enjoyable evening! Whether you are a very beginner or an experienced competitive runner this event caters for all abilities! You complete the 5K at your own pace!
Over the weekend just past (Saturday 11th May 2013), athletes from Northern Ireland made the short cross-border journey to Lifford, County Donegal (Ireland) for the Donegal Track & Field Championships, hosted by Lifford AC on their new mondo track; exactly the same surface that was used at the London 2012 Olympics.
Strabane’s Darryl Crawford (13.42secs) was one of the first NI based runners to claim a podium spot, taking 3rd place in the U-16 boys 100m. The race was won by James Clarke (Olympian) in 12.90secs. In the U-16 boys 1500m, up and coming Mid Ulster AC star PJ O’Neill (4:58.77) finished as runner up to race winner Alan McGinley (Lifford AC), who broke the beam in 4:55.14.
Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC), a man who enjoyed tremendous success during his recent indoor campaign, has obviously brought his good form outdoors. Conor clocked 1:53.48 to win the Senior Men’s 800m race. Darragh Crossan (Lifford AC) a regular competitor in NI and a participant at the recent NiRunning Mile took 2nd place in 2:12.28, while Foyle Valley AC’s Declan Doherty claimed 3rd place in 2:19.60. Despite being won by talented Ruairi Finnegan (Letterkenny AC) in 3:50.34, the Senior Men’s 1500m event was dominated by Northern Ireland based athletes, with City of Derry AC trio Patrick Hamilton (4:11.40), Emmet McGinty (4:16.57) and Gary Slevin (4:19.54) taking 2nd place, 4th place and 5th place respectively. Darragh Crossan (Lifford AC) claimed 6th place in 4:42.63, while Declan Doherty (Foyle Valley AC) crossed the line in 4:55.03 to secure 7th place.
In the Senior Women’s 1500m event, Lifford AC’s Anne Marie McGlynn, winner of the Omagh Half Marathon in March 2013, led the field home in 4:30.76. Anne Marie was followed by a trio of NI runners, Sarah Kivlehan (City of Derry AC) took 2nd place in 5:26.98, ahead of Ciara Fraser (City of Derry AC) and Janeen Lease (City of Derry AC) who ran 5:36.65 (3rd place) and 5:42.98 (4th place) respectively.
Full Results: Donegal Track & Field Championships (Day 2) 2013 Results
On Sunday 12th May 2013, a number of Northern Ireland based runners travelled South for the Extreme North organised Rocks & Rolling events in Inishowen, County Donegal (Ireland). There were a variety of distances on offer to competitors, including a 13 mile ‘Half’, a 17 mile ‘pre Walled City Marathon run’, a 26.1 mile ‘Full’ and a 39.2 mile ‘Ultra’; all of which offered tough but scenic courses.
In the ‘Ultra’ event, Kieran Mageean (Unattached) led the Northern Ireland runners home in 6:31:55 (4th place), before accomplished ultra-runner and winner of last years event Greame Colhoun (Sperrin Harriers) finished in 6:34:58 (5th place). Experienced marathon man Peter Ferris (Unattached) crossed the line in 6:59:06 to claim 6th place, while Springwell Running Club’s Alison McAllister recorded 7:18:25 to take 4th place in the ladies race. The 39.2m event was won by Jacek Latala (Unattached) in 4:59:15, while Sylvia Kasperska (IMRA) topped the ladies standings, after finishing in 6:38:26.
Full Results (for all events): Extreme North Rocks & Rolling Events 2013 Results. Picture used above was taken from the Springwell Running Club facebook page. As this was a big event outside Northern Ireland, we are happy to add the details of any NI runners who we have missed to the above summary, so please get in touch if you were competing.
Experienced runner, Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) showed no signs of fatigue after his sixth place finish at last Monday’s Belfast City Marathon as he ran out clear winner over the tough, undulating Termoneeny course. Tommy completed the 6.2 mile distance in 34:22 to seal an impressive victory, he was followed across the line by Carmen Runners’ Michael Kerr in 35:35 (2nd place). Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim AC) just edged out Larne AC’s Bernard Brady (4th place – 35:57) to claim the final podium place in 35:53.
In the ladies race, Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) put in a strong performance to beat last years title winner Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) to top spot. Anne recorded 39:37 to win, while Geraldine took 2nd place in 41:17. Karen O’Kane (Magherafelt Harriers) completed the top three ladies in 43:31.
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) – 39:37, 2nd Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) – 41:17, 3rd Karen O’Kane (Magherafelt Harriers) – 43:31
Full Results: Termoneeny 10k 2013 Results
This weekend (Friday 10th May 2013), several Northern Ireland runners travelled to Ballyshannon in County Donegal (Ireland) for the Ballyshannon 5k road race, with two of the NI based athletes picking up prizes.
Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), a man in top form at the moment, made it two wins in five days, following on from his impressive performance at last Sunday’s North West 10k. Keith took 1st place in 15:14 and was followed closely by Enniskillen Running Club’s up and coming star Conan McCaughey in 15:25 (2nd place). James Speight (Finn Valley AC), a regular competitor in Northern Ireland claimed the final podium place in 15:36. Martin Cox (North Belfast Harriers) covered the course in 19:55 (37th place), while Lagan Valley AC’s Desmond Brownlie crossed the line in 26:48 (91st place). The ladies race was won by Lifford AC’s Natasha Adams in 17:29.
Full Results: Ballyshannon 5k Road Race 2013 Results
On Saturday 11th May 2013, Northern Ireland International Justin Maxwell (Larne AC) took on the notoriously difficult Transvulcania Salomon Nature Trails 83.3k Ultra Marathon (with 8,525m of accumulative ascent/descent), the first race of the 2013 Skyrunning World series.
Up against 2,000 participants in what was described as “one of the best ultra fields ever assembled”, Justin performed extremely well over the tough and at times very technical terrain. The Larne AC athlete worked his way through the field as the race progressed, leading the British and Irish contingent home in a very credible 65th place, covering the distance in 9:54:16.
The race was won by the exceptionally talented Kilian Jornet (Salomon Running Team) in a new course record of 6:54:09. Justin will continue his Skyrunning World Series participation, with upcoming races in Zegama (Spain), Mont Blanc (France) and Matterhorn (Switzerland).
Full results: Transvulcania Salomon Nature Trails Ultra 2013 Results
The race, which was accompanied by shorter family friendly junior and fun events, starts on the Main Street and takes competitors to the summit of Slieve Donard (approximately 5.5 miles with 852m of ascending), where they turn and descend back to the Main Street and the well supported finish area.
The ladies race panned out as we thought it would, with Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) playing prominent parts at the front. Both ladies put in excellent performances, but on this occasion it was Diane who reached the line first, taking top spot in 1:10:57. Shileen followed in 1:15:00 (2nd place), before Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) claimed a well-deserved 3rd place in 1:21:16
Top 3 Men: 1st Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) – 52:47, 2nd Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 59:44, 3rd Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 1:00:34
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 1:10:57, 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:15:00, 3rd Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) –1:21:16
On Saturday 11th May 2013, local athletes turned out to support the Downpatrick Lions 3 Lakes ‘figure of eight’ Challenge, organised to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind.
In changeable and blustery conditions, Brendan Teer (East Down AC) was the star of the show once again. The East Down AC man ran relentlessly from start to finish, leading the field over the entire 14km course, which he completed in 45:19 to win. Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders), who finished as runner up to Bredan two weeks ago in Ballynahinch, took 2nd place in 48:58, while Martin Wilcox (East Down AC) produced an excellent performance to secure 3rd place in 49:53.
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Karen Alexander (SperrinHarriers) – 52:47, 2nd Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) – 1:01:41, 3rd Alison Carroll (Unattached) -1:06:39
On Friday 10th May 2013, City of Derry AC athlete JP Williamson was in action in Louisville, America. JP is currently a student at Lindsey Wilson College, America and was competing in the 5,000m ‘B’ race at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.
After threatening to achieve the National Championship qualifying standard of 15:00.00 in recent races, JP smashed it on this occasion. The Northern Ireland man recorded 14:51.10 for the distance, winning the race by some fourteen seconds. JP will now look forward to competing at the National Championships in a few weeks before he returns home for the summer.
Full Results: Please see picture (of scoreboard) to the left side of this article.
As the dust settles on what was an extraordinary Bank Holiday weekend for running in Northern Ireland, athletes are once again preparing themselves for upcoming events; these include races in Newcastle (County Down), Downpatrick, Termoneeny and Transvulcania.
Saturday 11th May 2013 brings arguably the main event of the weekend, the annual Slieve Donard Challenge, hosted by Newcastle AC. The 69th running of the event will start on the Main Street in Newcastle (County Down) and see competitors choose their own way to the summit of Slieve Donard (852m – Approx 5.5miles depending on competitor route choice). The race will be the opening fixture of the Irish Mountain Running Championships and will therefore attract most of Northern Ireland’s top mountain runners as well as several from the south.
Robbie Bryson (Newcastle AC) is another strong athlete and will figure prominently, as will North Belfast Harriers’ Neil Carty and Newry City Runners’ Dale Mathers. Neil is a regular podium finisher and will be there or there abouts; Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC), Clive Bailey (Newcastle AC) and David Steele (Newcastle AC) are all capable of a high finish and complete an incredibly strong local team, which will ensure that the host club dominates the top ten. Phil Hodge (Murlough AC), PJ McCrickard (Newcastle AC), Andy Gregg (Larne AC), Mark Alexander (Ballymena Runners), Jerome McCrickard (Newcastle AC) and Jason Wilson (Ballymena Runners) will all run well, while Dominic McGreevy (Newcastle AC), John Kelly (Newcastle AC) and Eugene McCann (Newcastle AC) should pick up category prizes. The event will attract some quality Irish competitors as well, with Brian Furey (Rathfarnham WSAF), Ian Conroy (Raheny Shamrocks), Bernard Fortune (SBR AC), Tom Blackburn (IMRA) and Peter O’Farrell (Rathfarnham WSAF) likely to finish well up the field.
The ladies start list reads like a ‘Who’s Who’ of Northern Ireland mountain running talent, with immediate attention being drawn to the dual we have continually pointed out in recent weeks. Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), a dominant figure in recent Hill & Dale races will once again line up against her friend and ex-Lagan Valley AC club mate Diane Wilson (Dromore AC), a lady who has pipped Shileen to the post at both Silent Valley and Annalong Horseshoe this year. Shileen and Diane should take the top two positions, so this will leave a string of talented ladies to battle it out for the final podium spot. Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), Violet Linton (LVO), Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC), Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) and Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) are all contenders and will have one eye on third place. Considering that all have been running well lately, this will prove to be an exciting contest.
Newcastle AC have produced their own, very interesting and detailed preview in relation to the Slieve Donard Challenge. We would encourage you to visit their website and read what they have to say about Saturday’s event. Newcastle AC’s Slieve Donard Challenge PREVIEW and full event details.
Brendan Teer (East Down AC) should claim the top prize. The speedy local man was a comfortable winner at the Ballynahinch Lions 10k two weeks ago,where he ran an excellent 32:29 on a difficult course. Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) was runner up to Brendan in Ballynahinch, and could well toe the line here as well. Michael King (Murlough AC), Christopher Moren (Willowfield Harriers), Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) and Martin Wilcox (East Down AC) could also challenge for high placings, while Richard Coey (Unattached) and Michael McKeown (East Down AC) may race if they have recovered sufficiently from good runs at the Belfast Marathon.
Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers), comprehensive winner of the Lost Worlds/26extreme Causeway Crossing 25k last week, where she was the first 10krunner to finish (including the male competitors) will line up in Downpatrick. Karen will be considered as the strong pre-race favourite to win the ladies category and she will also finish well up overall. Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) has been in good form of late, having won the Castle Ward 10k and placing well in several other local events. Catherine should continue her podium run with a top three finish, while Donna McCluskey (Murlough AC), Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) and Alley Bennett (County Antrim Harriers) will also run well.
Last years winner Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC) should return to defend his title, but he may find himself up against some of his club mates on thisoccasion. Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) and Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC) could make the short trip over the Glenshane Pass to participate. Otherfront runners are expected to be Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Brian Young (Unattached). Brian picked up a top three placing at the Run Armagh 10k several weeks ago, while Matt appears to be getting back to his best after some time on the side-lines. Larne AC’s Bernard Brady could also finish well up should he decide to race.
Ciara Coffey (Club Pulse) could be tempted by this event, and the undulating course will suit Ciara should she enter on the day. Last years winner, Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) won the Randelstown 10k at the end of April (2013) and is in good shape going into this race, while Helena Quinn (Unattached) will hope to produce the kind of performance that led to a podium finish in the race last year. Nicola Sargent (Unattached), Catriona Quigley (Ballymena Runners) and Rhonda Brady (Larne AC) will all finish well up.
Northern Ireland’s nine parkrun events will also take place as normal, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.
Up against strong International opposition, Christine clocked 59.52secs for the distance, narrowly missing out on a podium place after finishing in 4th place. The race was won by Danish starlet Strina Troest (57.55secs), a previous Youth Olympics silver medalist. Christine’s previous best for the 400m hurdles was 59.55secs, set in 2009.
At NiRunning (Northern Ireland Running) we are always thinking of new and exciting initiatives to improve the content of our website.
Today, Tuesday 7th May 2013 we are extremely proud to announce that we will be setting up the ‘Physio Room’ @ NiRunning in association with Apex Clinic (Belfast), one of the most respected Physiotherapy practices in Northern Ireland.
‘The Physio Room’ will be a page geared towards running related injuries. There will be a monthly article as well as a monthly, one hour live online ‘Injury Clinic’ (within the NiRunning facebook page) where you can put any injury related questions to the experts at Apex Clinic, who will be available to advise you accordingly.
Further information regarding the introduction of the ‘Physio Room’ will be announced next week, including dates for the online ‘Injury Clinic’. You can also check out the Apex Clinic website HERE.
On Monday 6th May 2013, tens of thousands of runners and spectators took to the streets of Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast for the 32nd running of the Deep RiverRock sponsored Belfast City Marathon.
There was a mixture of excitement, nerves and apprehension around Belfast City Hall prior to the start, as marathoners, fun runners, relay participants and walkers geared up for their respective challenges. Of course as always, the main media interest was focused on the 26.2 mile marathon. After a short silence as a mark of respect to those affect by the tragedy at Boston Marathon last month, the athletes set off on their journey and almost immediately, talented Kenyan athletes, Joel Kipsang, James Roitich and Freddy Sittuk stamped their authority on the race. It was a similar story in the ladies race, with Sarah Kerubo (Kenya), Helen Cherono (Kenya) and Nataliya Lehonkova (Ukraine) all looking strong from the off.
At the 6.1 mile mark, the aforementioned men and women could not be split; with the men going through in 33:43 and the ladies in 38:40. Kerry Liam Wilson (Cambusland AC), Thomas Frazer (St Malachy’s AC) and Tommy Hughes were also moving well as they came across the Queens Bridge and back towards the City Centre. Delfim Pimentel (Unattached), Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers), Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers), Peter Cassidy (Beechmount Harriers), Darren McAllister (County Antrim Harriers), Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers), Sam Crawford (East Antrim Harriers) and Donal Gallagher (Sperrin Harriers) were all contending the top Northern Ireland places.
By half-way Joel Kipsang and James Roitich had dropped Freddy Sittuk, who was a fifth place finisher in the event last year. Scottish runner Kerry Liam Wilson followed, with Chicago based Northern Ireland man Thomas Frazer just behind. Peter Cassidy, Michael Fitzpatrick and Simon Reeve were the next men through half way, but this was after the top ladies had passed the 13.1 mile point; Nataliya Lehonkova, Helen Cherono and Sarah Kerubo were still inseparable, with Julie Balmer, Roisin Hughes in fourth and fifth place. Despite the gap to the ladies behind, Helen Leonard, Elena Kozevnikova and Victoria Hunter were all still looking good.
As the leading runners negotiated the much talked about cycle path and went into Duncrue Industrial Estate, where they passed the 20 mile point, Joel Kipsang and James Roitich were matching each other stride for stride. Further back, Freddy Sittuck had slowed and was being caught by Thomas Frazer, who had now overtaken Kerry Liam Wilson. The Duncrue section was where the ladies top three appeared to take shape, with Helen Cherono having surged clear of Natalliya Lehonkova and Sarah Kerubo.
At the finish, crowds were starting to gather, eagerly awaiting the arrival of the leading runners; the atmosphere around Ormeau Park was really beginning to become apparent. Before long, the race commentator made the excitable crowd aware of the impending arrival of the leader, this turned out to be Joel Kipsang, after he had surged clear of James Roitich in the closing stages. Joel crossed the line in 2:19:28 to claim an impressive victory. James Roitich was forced to settle for 2nd place after recording 2:19:56. Freddy Sittuk claimed the final podium place in 2:24:39. Thomas Frazer (2:26:24) was next home and he had the honour of being the first Northern Ireland runner to cross the finish line, this was the highest finish by an NI athlete for some time. Kerry Liam Wilson took 5th place in 2:27:20, before experienced marathoner Tommy Hughes (2:32:31) was named as the second Northern Ireland finisher. Before the third local runner could finish, the exciting ladies race reached a climax.
In the latter stages of the ladies race, impressive Ukrainian Nataliya Lehonkova showed great strength to catch Helen Cherono and move clear of Helen and her fellow Kenyan, Sarah Kerubo. The tiring Cherono and Kerubo were unable to match this, and appeared to be happy to compete for the runner up spot. Therefore, Nataliya was able to cover the remaining miles unchallenged, sealing victory in a new course record of 2:36:49. Helen Cherono followed in 2:37:08, while an exhausted looking Sarah Kerubo crossed the line in 2:40:13 to take 3rd place. A few minutes later, former Sperrin Harriers man Delfim Pimentel confirmed his place as 3rd place NI runner in 2:46:29.
Attention then turned to the leading Northern Ireland ladies who were now well on their way to the finish, with Julie Balmer heading the pack despite what had appeared to be a decent attempt by North Belfast Harriers’ Roisin Hughes to catch the North Down AC endurance specialist. It was indeed Julie who entered the finishing straight first, to a loud applause Julie crossed the line in 3:00:29 to take 4th place overall (and first place NI lady). Roisin recorded 3:01:04 to take 5th place, which also secured second spot in the local standings. Helen Leonard (6th place – 3:05:15) and Elena Kozhevnikova (7th place – 3:11:38) finished before Victoria Hunter (3:16:37), a Northern Ireland lady now based in Leven, Scotland took 8th place overall. This also meant that Victoria was the third NI finisher.
As the sun began to shine, the athletes poured into the finish area; with the majority looking tired but happy. Many were obviously emotional after realising their achievement, probably the most emotional of these was Michelle Robinson, whose boyfriend, Alistair Ramsey proposed to her immediately after both crossed the line together. Jim Corbett clocked 2:32:03 to beat Paul Hannan in a nail biting finish to the wheelchair race, which saw both men record the same finish time. In the well supported relay event, QUB Old Boys won the male prize in 2:24:29, while North Belfast Harriers’ mixed team (2:30:31) picked up the top prize in their category. The Lagan Valley AC ladies team crossed the line in 2:54:47 to win the ladies relay top prize, much to the delight of their coach and birthday boy John Glover.
Podium Finishers in Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon 2013:
Top 3 Men: 1st Joel Kipsang (Kenya) – 2:19:28, 2nd James Roitich (Kenya) – 2:19:56, 3rd Freddy Sittuk (Kenya) – 2:24:39
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Nataliya Lehonkova (Ukraine) – 2:36:49 *Course Record*, 2nd Helen Cherono (Kenya) – 2:37:08, 3rd Sarah Kerubo (Kenya) – 2:40:13
Top Northern Ireland Finishers:
Top 3 NI Men: 1st Thomas Frazer (St Malachy’s AC) – 2:26:24, 2nd Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) – 2:32:31, 3rd Delfim Pimentel (Unattached) – 2:46:29
Top 3 NI Ladies: 1st Julie Balmer (North Down AC) – 3:00:29, 2nd Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) – 3:01:04, 3rd Victoria Hunter (Unattached) – 3:16:37
Marathon Relay Winners:
Male Team: QUB Old Boy’s – 2:24:29, Female Team: Lagan Valley AC – 2:54:47, Mixed Team: North Belfast Harriers – 2:30:31
Provisional Results: Belfast Marathon 2013 Results – Belfast Marathon Relay 2013 Results. We have uploaded a selection of race photographs to our ‘Photo Gallery’ and will add to this over the next few days. NiRunning would like to congratulate all competitors who took part in the Belfast Marathon (whatever distance or event), as well as all of those who made the day possible. We would also like to praise the spectators who created such an amazing atmosphere at the start, on the course and especially at the finish in Ormeau Park.
On Sunday 5th May 2013, North Belfast Harriers man Conor Curran travelled to County Louth, Ireland for the Dunboyne 10k road race. The event, which is part of the Coca Cola International Series and also incorporated the County Louth 10k Championships attracted in excess of 1,700 competitors.
Despite the windy conditions and hilly course, which had to be altered this year because of subsidence on part of the regular course, Conor performed well; clocking 34:27 for the 6.2m distance. This was enough to secure a 9th place finish. Robbie Matthews (Dunshaughlin AC) led the quality field home in 32:09, while Katie O’Neill (Metro AC) won the ladies race in 38:02.
Newcastle AC’s Kerry Harty was also in action on Sunday 4th May 2013, at the XI Meeting Internazionale E.A.P in Italy. Kerry, who enjoyed an excellent run over 3,000m last week, when she finished as runner up to Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) in France, was competing over 1,500m this time around. In difficult conditions Kerry clocked 4:16:36 (4th place) for the distance; the race was won by Magherita Magnani (Italy) in 4:08:94.
On Sunday 5th May 2013, quite a few Northern Ireland based athletes made the short cross border trip to Letterkenny, County Donegal (Ireland) for the North West 10k road race, organised by Letterkenny AC. In a field over 1,000 competitors, several Foyle Valley AC runners played a prominent part in proceedings.
In very windy conditions, Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) produced a personal best performance to lead the field home. Keith seems to be smashing Pb’s every time he laces his racers. On this occasion, he crossed the line in 32:15 to claim a notable victory. Keith’s club mate, Scott Rankin, another man who continually impresses, took 2nd place in 33:11; just ahead of Eoghan McGinley (Cranford AC) who claimed 3rd place in 33:31.
Well-Known Irish International distance runner Maria McCambridge (DSD AC) won the ladies race in 35:39, with Unattached athlete Pauline Sweeney (36:02) and Letterkenny AC’s Fionnuala Diver (38:22) finishing in 2nd place and 3rd place respectively. Foyle Valley duo Joanne Doran and Catherine Moran were also in action, Joanne ran 43:53 (11th place lady) and Catherine recorded 50:47 (76th place lady).
Top 3 Men: 1st Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 32:15, 2nd Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 33:11, 3rd Eoghan McGinley (Cranford AC) – 33:31
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Maria McCambridge (DSD AC) – 35:39, 2nd Pauline Sweeney (Unattached) – 36:02, 3rd Fionnuala Diver (Letterkenny AC) – 38:22
Full Results: North West 10k 2013 Results
On Saturday 4th May 2013, running enthusiasts for all over the world took part in the 26extreme hosted Lost Worlds 100k, 50k and 25k events. The action began at 6am when the 100k participants started their grueling journey from Waterfoot, in the Glens of Antrim to Larry Bane Quarry, Carrick-A-Rede via the Moyle Way and the Causeway Coast.
This was the most anticipated race of the day, probably because of the fact that talented Northern Ireland man Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners), who is relatively new to the ultra-running scene; but won the infamous Wicklow Way Ultra (51k) in March 2013 was up against world renowned USA International Dave James, an athlete who regularly competes against the best endurance runners in the world.
Early on, the signs were good for the unassuming Ballymena man, as after just two miles he had forged a slight gap on the American, but it was when Jonny came out of the first hilly section in Glenariff Forest, over two minutes ahead of Dave that heads began to turn. This was a defining moment in the race, as from here on Jonny continually increased his lead at an astounding rate. Behind, City of Derry AC lady Hannah Shields was holding her own with the third, fourth and fifth placed men and was already some distance ahead of any other female competitors.
Meanwhile, Everest conqueror and experienced ultra-runner Hannah Shields had worked her way into fifth place overall, and was moving clear of the otherladies nearly as impressively as her male counterpart. Jonny Steede was now reaching the turning point which would see him race back towards Larry BaneQuarry, close to the Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge. At this point, news was starting to filter through that Dave James had pulled out of the race, this wasconfirmed a short time later.
This meant that nothing but the distance, which Jonny was covering for the very first time, stood between him and an outstanding victory. Not surprising tothose who know the hard working ‘Steede’, the distance did not beat him, as he finished confidently, crossing the line in 8:35:50 to seal victory, a win that must go down as his greatest running achievement to date. A tired but happy looking Noel Brick (Unattached) took 2nd place, crossing the line in 11:20:26; ahead of Coleraine man Ronald Peacock (Club Unknown), who just pipped Springwell Running Club’s Nicki McPeak (4th place – 11:58:11) to 3rd place, clocking 11:58:10 for the distance.
Despite a partial recurrence of a recent calf injury, Hannah Shields battled with admirable determination to claim a well-deserved victory in the ladies category. The City of Derry AC lady, who led the category from start to finish, recorded 12:13:33 to claim victory. Swedish runner Susanne Hastrup took 2nd place in 14:10:27, while Amy Beggs (Larne AC) crossed the line in 15:46:30 to take 3rd place.
The 50k event saw competitors start at Larrybane Head Quarry, before heading out to Dunluce Castle, where they turned and made their way back to the finish line at Larrybane Head Quarry. As the large field set off, several quality athletes battled it out during the early stages, before well-known Scottish Doctor, Andrew Murray, famous for his love of long distance challenges made a break. He gradually built on his advantage, before finishing in 3:55:54, thus sealing a notable victory. On finishing, a happy Andrew described the event as “fantastic” and went on to add, “I can’t imagine there are many better places to run”. The tussle for second place was between Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) and Shane Whitty (Marathon Club Ireland), with Shane originally having the edge over Martin; however, the North Belfast Harriers man ran well in the latter stages to reclaim the runner up spot in 4:07:02 (2nd place). Martin will now pace the three hour group at the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon on Monday (6th May 2013). Shane settled for 3rd place after covering the distance in 4:10:36.
In the ladies 50k, pre-race favourite Jolene Mellon (Setanta Triathlon Club) dominated proceedings from the off. The in-form Irish woman was a prominentfigure at the front, eventually sealing victory in 4:49:48, just over four minutes ahead of Col Conway (USA) who finished in 4:53:58. Huffington Post Adventure, Travel and Wine journalist Stefani Jackenthal (USA) enjoyed the challenging course and took the final podium place in 5:07:54.
Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) made light work of the 25k course (from Dunluce Castle to Larrybane Head Quarry), leading the entire field home in an excellent 1:53:17, thus winning the ladies top prize. Unattached athlete Patrick Thompson was the first male runner home, winning the category in 2:00:33. Chris Heaney (Unattached) beat American Kalle Kraften in a sprint finish, Chris took 2nd place in 2:01:09, while Kalle had to settle for 3rd place in 2:01:11. Laura O’Driscoll (Unattached) and Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners) both performed well, taking 2nd place and 3rd place respectively. Laura clocked 2:06:45 and Helena recorded 2:13:31.
100k Podium Finishers:
Men: 1st Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) – 8:35:23, 2nd Noel Brick (Unattached) – 11:20:26, 3rd Ronald Peacock (Club Unknown) – 11:58:10
Ladies: 1st Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) – 12:13:33, 2nd Susanne Hastrup (Sweden) – 14:10:27, 3rd Amy Beggs (Larne AC) – 15:46:30
50k Podium Finishers:
Men: 1st Andrew Murray (Scotland) – 3:55:54, 2nd Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) – 4:07:02, 3rd Shane James Whitty (Marathon Club Ireland) – 4:10:36
Ladies: 1st Jolene Mellon (Setanta Triathlon Club) – 4:49:48, 2nd Col Conway (USA) – 4:53:58, 3rd Stefani Jackenthal (USA) – 5:07:54
25k Podium Finishers:
Men: 1st Patrick Thompson (Unattached) – 2:00:33, 2nd Chris Heaney (Unattached) – 2:01:09, 3rd Kalle Kraften (USA) – 2:01:11
Ladies: 1st Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) – 1:53:17, 2nd Laura O’Driscoll (Unattached) – 2:06:45, 3rd Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners) – 2:13:31
Full Results: 26extreme/Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing 2013 Results. These are provisional results. NiRunning would like to thank 26extreme and ChampionChip Ireland for their assistance both in lead up to, and on the day of the event. The hosts of today’s Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing, 26extreme will be at the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon expo tomorrow (Sunday 5th May 2013) and are offering a wide range of discounts on entry into their events. We (NiRunning) have uploaded a selection of race photographs to our ‘Photo Gallery’.
Stepehen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) stole the headlines on this occasion. The strong athlete, who finished in third place in the race last year, bettered that position somewhat this time around, claiming a comfortable victory in 2:04:14. Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) also ran well, especially considering he was racing for the second time in three days, after he claimed a podium place at Thursday’s Hill & Dale Race at Slieve Binnian. Deon took 2nd place in 2:12:16, just ahead of Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) who crossed the line in 2:12:37 (3rd place).
Top 3 Men: 1st Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 2:04:14, 2nd Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 2:12:16, 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 2:12:37
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 2:31:41, 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 2:39:20, 3rd Anne Sanford (Lagan Valley AC) – 2:52:25
Full Results: Annalong Horseshoe Mountain Race 2013 Results
On Thursday 2nd May 2013, hundreds of junior and senior athletes turned out at the Mary Peters Track, Belfast for the second instalment of the Lagan Valley AC organised Power NI ‘Super 5’ Series. On this occasion, the distances on offer to the eager competitors were 150m, 200m, 600m and 800m. The wheelchair athletes were competing over 100m and 200m.
In the U-11 boy’s 150m race, East Down AC’s Andrew McGrattan impressed, winning in 22.88secs. The equivalent girls race was much closer, with less than a second splitting the top three; Megan Drummond (North Down AC) won in 24.33secs, with City of Lisburn AC’s Ella Armstrong (24.51secs) and Banbridge AC’s Ruby McNiff (24.70secs) taking 2nd place and 3rd place respectively. In the same race, Alex Kelly (City of Lisburn AC) won the U-13 girls category in 24.84secs.
Ryan Carmichael collected his second gold medal of the night, in the U-13 800m event. The Newry AC athlete completed the distance in 2:32.37, whileWillowfield Harriers’ Georgia Hamill (2:38.62), Newry AC’s Tara Breen (2:46.98) and Willowfield Harriers’ Katie Willis (2:44.89) won the U-13, U-15 and U-17 girls 800m categories. Tom McVeigh (City of Lisburn AC) claimed victory in the U-15 boys 200m race, recording 26.14secs. Olivia Cumming (North Down AC) and Zoe Hagan (City of Lisburn AC) won their U-15 and U-17 girls races in 27.21secs and 29.96secs respectively.
Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) produced one of the best performances of the night to win the 150m race in 21.94secs, while City of Lisburn AC’s PatrickColhoun won the U-20 category in 22.45secs. Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Ben McKeown took third place overall, securing the U-17 top spot in 23.63secs. In the competitive senior 800m event, Paddy Robb (St Malachy’s AC) just edged to victory in 1:58.55, taking the U-23 category. Springwell Running Club’s Neil Johnston (1:58.57) was next across the line, while Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) took the U-20 title in 2:00.54. Neil McCartan (East Down AC) clocked 2:02.40 to win the senior men’s race and Philip Tweedie (Springwell Running Club) was the first veteran to finish in 2:10.70.
Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Jake Harbinson (2:13.59) and City of Lisburn AC’s Madison Bowyer (2:32.90) won their U-15 800m races. The men’s and ladies 200m mixed category races proved to be close affairs; Lagan Valley AC’s Aaron Croskey (24.39secs), City of Lisburn AC’s Gareth Thompson (24.70secs) and Unattached athlete Jacob Brady (25.82secs) achieved notable category wins, while Springwell Running Club’s Holly Clark (27.45secs), Lagan Valley AC’s Lauren Brooker (28.67secs) and Armagh AC’s Aisling Fegan (29.81secs) won their age groups in the ladies contest.
In the mixed age category 800m races, Oisin O’Callaghan (Newry AC) and Zoe Carruthers (City of Lisburn AC) won their U-17 races in 2:07.96 and 2:23.04 respectively, while Amando Bamisile (Willowfield Harriers) won the U-15 category in 2:11.38. Springwell Running Club enjoyed an excellent double victory in the U-20 category, with Alex Kirk (2:19.42) and Brian Tweedie (2:19.92) winning. Joan Melonphy (St Peter’s AC) took the Vet40 prize in 2:49.20. In the wheelchair events, Jack Agnew won both the 100m (19.91secs) and the 200m (39.26secs) with Luke Marshall taking 2nd place on both occasions, crossing the line in 23.55secs (100m) and 44.53secs (200m).
Full Results: Lagan Valley AC ‘Super 5’ Series (Meet 2) 2013 Results – Photograph used above was taken by Bob Given for Lagan Valley AC.
For the first time in the event’s history, a former Olympic Champion is due to take part in the Belfast City Marathon. Hunde Gezahegne Abere (Ethiopia) won the gold medal in Sydney in 2000 and went on to become World Champion the following year. Abere is also a previous winner of the London Marathon (2003 – 2:07:56). More recently, the Ethiopian runner won the Barcelona Marathon (March 2013) in 2:10:17.
The leading local runner is expected to be Irish international Thomas Frazer (St Malachy’s AC), who will be seeking to emulate his personal best time of 2:18:37. Thomas is now based in Chicago, where he ran the aforementioned personal best in 2012. Scottish International Kerry Liam Wilson (Cambuslang AC), a seventh place finisher in Belfast last year (2:29:10) will again take part. Kerry has been in-form, having recorded numerous podium finishes recently and just this week, the talented veteran clocked a new 5k personal best of 15:02 to win the Scottish Vet40 title. He (Kerry) also holds his age group Scottish National title over 10 miles, having run 51:39 for the distance. The Ayrshire man is also the current British Masters Vet40 Cross Country Champion.
Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) will be another top ten finisher, the experienced marathon man crossed the line just behind Kerry Liam Wilson last year in eighth place (2:29:43) and should claim one of the top local placings again this year. East Antrim Harriers’ Sam Crawford, a former three hour pacer at the event, should also finish well up the Northern Ireland standings. Sam is returning to his best and took third place at last weekend’s Ballynahinch Lions 10k. Another man who has previously ran well in Belfast is Sperrin Harriers’ Delfim Pemintel, although not in the form that he was a few years ago; Delfim is capable of producing the goods on a given day and could well be saving himself for this.
Aside from some of those mentioned (and based on the information we have), there is an obvious gap of NI entrants aiming for a time around 2:35 to 2:45, with most having opted for other marathons or pacing this one. Nigel Grier (Dromore AC) should compete and will be a sub 2:50 finisher, while Phelim McAllister (Larne AC) and Rodney Agnew (Ballymena Runners) will be looking to break the infamous three hour barrier. Marathon debutants Neil Ramsey (Ballymena Runners) and Kent Swann (North Belfast Harriers) along with more experienced men Billy Thompson (Larne AC) and Jason Reid (North Belfast Harriers) will also perform well.
Greg McClure (North Belfast Harriers), Michael McKeown (East Down AC) and Robert Wilson (Willowfield Harriers) are familiar faces on the start line each year and this year will surely see the consistent performers take on the 26.2 mile challenge once again. John McGerty (Ballymena Runners), a member of the Belfast Marathon 26.2 group will hope to finish before his club mates Peter Fleming and Jim Moore, who will be pacing the 4:30 group. Andy Ferguson (Ballymena Runners) will be one of many thousands of athletes running for their chosen charity. Andy will be completing the first of three marathons for MITRE, with Newry Marathon and the Walled City Marathon still ahead of him.
In the women’s race, the top challenger for honours is expected to be 21-year old Ethiopian Lemlem Berbe Yachem, who set a personal best of 2:34:38 when she won the Barcelona Marathon on St Patrick’s Day (March 2013). Lemlem’s strongest opponent will be Helen Chereno Koskei (Kenya), who has a personal best of 2:29:33 and has beaten the 2:40 barrier on eight occasions, while Russia’s Yelena Kozhevnikova will be seeking to improve on the second place she has secured in Belfast in 2012 (2:42:10) and 2011 (2:48:05).
Other top women include Nataliya Lehonkova (Ukraine), Zenabu Haftu Abay (Ethiopia), and Tsehai Desalegn Adhana (Ethiopia). Lehonkova finished on the podium at three marathons in 2012, she won Edinburgh (2:39:48) and Toulouse (2:38:22) and was runner up in Utrecht (2:39:20). Although not just as experienced as Lehonkova, Zenabu Haftu Abay is of similar ability, boasting a personal best of 2:38:22 (Porto, October 2012), so she could well be a podium chaser. Tsehai Desalegn Adhana has ran quicker than Lehonkova and Abay, having finished Macau Marathon in 2:34:37. However, this was two years ago and there is some debate about her current form, with little records to show consistency.
Julie Balmer (North Down AC), winner of the recent Decathlon Half Marathon and podium finisher at the Titanic 10k, Jimmys 10k and Albertville 5, should lead the Northern Ireland ladies home and place highly overall. Julie has a personal best of 2:57:50 (London 2012) and her recent outings would suggest that she is more than capable of bettering this. Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) will be another top lady, having finished in seventh place here in 2012 (3:10:29) and then improving on that time in Dublin later in the year, when she ran 3:06:16; Roisin will surely be aiming for a sub three hour finish.
Irish lady, Fiona Stack (Raheny Shamrock AC) could also finish well up the rankings; Fiona took third place at the Omagh Half Marathon in March 2013 and finished in 3:04:57 over this course last year, despite the blustery conditions. Depending on how hard Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) races the Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing on Saturday (4th May 2013), she may well be in or around the top ten NI ladies. Gillian ran a personal best of 3:27:24 at the notoriously difficult Connemarathon in 2012. Based on this and her obvious improvement this year, Gillian is well capable of a finish time of around 3:15 on a decent course. Miss Northern Ireland, Tiffany Brien (Unattached) should also do well; not to be overlooked just because she is a ‘model’, Tiffany is an extremely capable runner (and an even better sailor) and completed the Omagh Half Marathon in 1:45:32 this year. She (Tiffany) also finished as runner up in a tough 10k trail race in Stormont Estate towards the end of 2012, covering the distance in 44:56.
Hundreds of the marathon competitors will be taking on the famous distance for the first time, this includes Ballymena Runners’ Declan Stockman, Katherine Grant and Jayne Ross. NiRunning would like to wish everyone the very best of luck and hope that you enjoy the experience. We will be providing live updates on Monday’s race via Twitter (@NiRunning) and Facebook (Northern Ireland Running) and a race summary will be online on Monday night. Full Results will be uploaded as soon as possible, these are often dependent on any sponsorship deals with local newspapers (which gives them the rights to publish the results first). We will also add a selection of race photographs to our ‘Photo Gallery’ on Tuesday (7th May 2013) or Wednesday (8th May 2013).
More than 17,500 people are expected to take part in the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, which starts at the front of City Hall at 9am on Bank Holiday Monday (6th May 2013). This year’s event will be preceded by a short silence, in memory of those killed and injured in the bomb attack on the Boston Marathon earlier this month. All events: the Marathon, the Team Relay, the nine-mile walk and the Fun Run finish at Ormeau Park, Belfast. Motorists are warned to expect delays along the 26.2 mile route, details of which can be found on the official website: www.belfastcitymarathon.com
Other News: Aside from the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon, Northern Ireland runners will be competing in other races this weekend. We have already mentioned the provinces nine parkrun events and the Annalong Horseshoe Mountain Race in our Big Race Preview No.1 – 26extreme / Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing (located further down this page).
Foyle Valley AC men Keith Shiels, Scott Rankin, Pius McIntyre, Chris McGuiness and Adam McGowan will be amongst the Northern Ireland based athletes who travel to Letterkenny, County Donegal (Ireland) for the Letterkenny AC hosted North West 10k road race on Sunday 5th May 2013. On the same day, North Belfast Harriers duo Conor Curran and Cathy McCourt will take on the tough Dunboyne 10k road race in Drogheda, County Louth (Ireland). We will provide summaries (and results) in relation to these events as soon as we have full details.
*Note* The Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon preview will be altered if necessary, if or when new information becomes available to us. So, please keep an eye on it throughout the weekend.
On Thursday 2nd May 2013, nearly two hundred athletes turned out for the fourth race of the Newcastle AC hosted Hill & Dale Series. This was another excellent turnout and shows the increasing popularity and support for the well organised series.
In decent conditions, two of the most impressive performers of the series so far, Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) and Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) battled it out on the relentless climb to the top of Slieve Binnian. On this occasion it was the City of Derry AC man who came out victorious, completing the (2 miles – 2,000ft) uphill only course in 22:26. Ian Bailey, impressive winner of last week’s race at Slieve Martin, took 2nd place in 22:55; while another Newcastle AC man, Deon McNeilly claimed 3rd place in 23:03.
Top 3 Men: 1st Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 22:26, 2nd Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) – 22:55, 3rd Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 23:03
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 27:15, 2nd Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) – 28:30, 3rd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 29:39
Full Results: Hill & Dale Series (Race 4) 2013 Results
The unique event offers competitors three distances; 100k, 50k and 25k, all of which will be contested over some of Northern Ireland’s most scenic terrain. The fully way-marked routes will follow the paths, trails, beaches and coastline of the Moyle Way and Causeway Coast, arguably one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world. All three races will pass through the spectacular and world famous Giants Causeway.
Dave James may be a world famous runner, but his busy schedule and constant high race mileage may open the door for the leading Northern Ireland contender, Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners). Despite being relatively new to the ultra-running world Jonny is causing quite a stir, he recently won the prestigious Wickow Way Ultra (51k) in March 2013, and seems to have found his niche on the trails. Although this will be Jonny’s first attempt at 100k, he has put in the training for it, much of which has been with experienced International ultra-runner Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers), who will take part in the 50k; Northern Ireland International Justin Maxwell (Larne AC), who is taking part in the Skyrunning World Series and John O’Regan, an Irish International based in the south. If Jonny uses his knowledge of the course efficiently, he could well cause an upset.
Geoff Smyth (Unattached) won this race last year (in 10:44:22) and may return to defend his title. He knows the route and has also won the Causeway Coast Ultra (39miles) in 2011, which covers the coastal section of the Lost Worlds course. Geoff also won the Dervock Marathon in 2012 and although he will not possess the same speed as Dave or Jonny he is a real ‘battler ‘ and will run steady, which will prove hard to break. Ivan Sadlier (Unattached), who is well-known for his strength and determination over the longer distance events, finished third here last year and should place well up the field on this occasion. Gary Connolly (Seapark AC), Declan McElroy (Newcastle AC) and Bobby Irvine (Seapark AC) will all hope for a top ten finish.
Despite plenty of American interest, Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) will be considered as one of the main contenders for the ladies 100k title. The City of Derry AC lady, who once conquered Everest, is an experienced ultra- runner. She (Hannah) was third in the Causeway Coast Ultra (39 miles) and third in the Mourne Way Ultra (52 miles) in 2012. Hannah has also enjoyed some success whilst preparing for this event, she finished second at the Wicklow Way Ultra (51k) and a third at the Connemara Ultra (39.3m) in April 2013.
Alongside the 100k race, there is also a 50k event taking place. This race will start at Larrybane Head and follow Causeway Coast Way (and route markings) to the turnaround point at Dunluce Castle Car Park. After turning at Dunluce Castle Car Park, runners will follow the Causeway Coast Way back to Larrybane Head Quarry and the finish.
A quick look at the start-list throws up some top names, such as North Belfast Harriers man Martin Rea. Martin took third place in the SDW50 (South Downs Way 50 mile) race in England last month and is really getting back his best after taking a couple of years away from the ultra-scene (to concentrate on shorter distances). Earlier this year, Martin was also a podium finisher at the London 50k, an event that the former Irish 100k champion has previously won. The decorated International ultra-runner has won numerous ultra-distance events in the past, including the Himalayan 100m stage race and the Everest Challenge.
Scottish Doctor, Andrew Murray (Club Unknown) is another household name set to toe the line in the 50k. Andrew is famous for his seven ultra-marathon challenge, which saw him take on seven 50km runs on each of the world’s seven continents on consecutive days as well as his 2,659 mile run from his native Scotland to the Sahara Dessert, which was filmed by the BBC. Recently Andrew; who is well-known and respected for his work in a campaign by the Scottish Government to get the nation active, was the first man home in the Scottish 50k Championships in Perth (Scotland), but was denied the title as he has forgotten to re-new his registration with Scottish Athletics.
Another podium contender could be David Gamble (Seapark AC). David is a strong, determined and consistent athlete. He has completed the Mourne Way Ultra (52miles in 10:30:18) and the Causeway Coast Marathon on several occasions, with the terrain of the Mourne Way event and the knowledge gained during his participation in the Causeway Coast Marathon, David could go well. He has been off the radar ‘racing wise’ recently, quite possibly getting himself into good shape for this.
Jolene Mellon (Setanta Triathlon Club) will be one of the hot favourites in the ladies 50k race. The Irish lady originates from a Sportiff cycling backround but moved into triathlons for a bigger challenge and went on to complete and Ironman/women event. Jolene is a strong runner and won the Mourne Way Ultra (52miles in 9:45:58) in 2012. She completed the tough Cooley Legends Half Marathon, as preparation for this event and finished in third place.
The top local lady in the 50k race will be another Seapark AC athlete, Gillian Cordner. Gillian is beginning to shine over this type of terrain and will challenge Jolene Mellon over the distance. Having been on the podium at the Clonakilty Back2Back Marathon event (two marathons in two days), as well as Connemara Marathon, Gillian will go into this event off the back of consistent mileage and success, which could be a recipe for a good placing.
In the 25k event, competitors will start at Dunluce Castle Car Park and follow the Causeway Coast Way to the finish at Larrybane Head Quarry. The most noticeable name set to toe the line in the 25k is Northern Ireland lady Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers). Karen will be high in confidence going into the race, having won the Cooley Legends Half Marathons two weeks ago, where she beat 50k competitor Jolene Mellon (Setanta Triathlon Club). This course will suit Karen and it is hard to look past the Northern Ireland International when selecting possible winners, the Sperrin Harriers’ endurance specialist will place well in the overall (male and female) standings as well. In the men’s 25k, Barry McManus (Club Unknown) finished as runner up last year, and will hope to better that this time around. In the absence of the man who beat him last year (James Kerr), Barry may taste victory on this occasion.
Please follow us on Twitter (@NiRunning) or Facebook (Northern Ireland Running) for regular updates on this event. Information on Dave James (USA) was kindly provided by our friend Ian Corless at Talk Ultra. For more details on the event, including start times, feed station information and pack collection details as well as detailed information regarding all future 26extreme events please visit their website HERE.
On Saturday 4th May 2013, 26extreme will promote the Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing; which is part of the famous ‘Lost Worlds’ race series. The unique series offers runners the opportunity to race over 25k, 50k and 100k in designated world heritage sites across the globe. Other races in the series include the Tuscany Crossing (Italy) and the Ladonia Crossing (Sweden), these attract a range of competitors, from world famous ultra-runners to running/travel enthusiasts who want to compete in different places.
As part of NiRunning’s aim to extensively cover both events, we will have two special previews in the coming days; Big Race Preview No.1 which will be online later this afternoon (Thursday 2nd May 2013) will feature the Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing, then tomorrow (Friday 3rd May 2013) our Big Race Preview No.2 will feature the Deep RiverRock Belfast City Marathon.
We hope you find these interesting and enjoyable, we will endevour to provide continuous updates via our Twitter (@NiRunning) and Facebook (Northern Ireland Running) accounts throughout the weekend, as well as race summaries and results for both events and any other races that are taking place. We will also upload any race photographs we have at the start of next week (probably Tuesday 7th or Wednesday 8th May 2013).
Of course, these aren’t the only races happening in Northern Ireland this weekend. All nine of the provinces parkrun events will take place as usual; you can find out where your nearest event is by checking out our ‘Fixtures’ page. Also, mountain running enthusiasts from all over the country will be taking part in the annual Annalong Horseshoe Mountain Race in Annalong on Saturday 4th May 2013. Our friends at the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) have provided an excellent preview for this event on their website. Please take some time to visit their website.
Having enjoyed a successful Indoor track campaign, which included wins over 1500m in Athlone and Birmingham, as well as 9:20.95 and 9:28 clockings over 3,000m in Sheffield (Indoor) and Armagh (Road); Kerry ran an excellent 9:11.66 to take 2nd place behind the outstanding Fionnuala who won the race in 9:03.12. Kerry is currently altitude training in Font Romeu (France) in preparation for the upcoming outdoor track season.
Full Results: ‘Meeting de Balma’, France 2013 Results