Inter-Counties Mountain Running Championships 2018:
Northern Ireland’s ladies team secured a podium place at the Inter-Counties Mountain Running Championships, at Lads Leap, Derbyshire(England) today (Saturday 19th May 2018).
Esther Dickson (Newry AC), Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) and Sarah Graham (Mourne Runners) produced excellent performances in soaring heat to claim 3rd place in the team competition.
Competing over a 9.5km course, with 518m of ascent, all of the ladies finished within the top 26 of a classy international field. In-form Esther Dickson led the team home in 59:36, for an excellent 15th place. Shileen O’Kane, winner of last weekend’s Slieve Donard Mountain Race, followed in 1:01:01 (18th place), with the always impressive Martsje Hell crossing the line 1:02:13 for 21st place. Sarah Graham impressed on her international debut, completing the team in 1:03:42 (26th place). Well known athlete Emma Clayton won the ladies race in 53:50 (1st place).
In the men’s race, Under 23 competitor Zak Hanna (Newcastle AC) was the first familiar face home in 49:42 for 23rd place – this was enough to see Zak take 2nd place in the Under 23 competition. Mourne Runners star Timothy Johnston ran well to finish in 50:30 (30th place), before Gavin Mulholland (Calder Valley FR) completed the tough course in 50:51 (34th place) – Gavin picked up 1st place in the Vet45 category. Team Captain David Hicks (Newcastle AC) crossed the line in 51:52 for 43rd place. Newcastle AC team mate Luke McMullan completed the team in 54:01 (57th place).
The men’s race was won by Nick Swinburn (Unattached) in 44:37 (1st place). The Northern Ireland men claimed a top ten finish in the team competition, taking 8th place.
Full results will be added as soon as they are available.