The quiet hamlet of Eskra in Co.Tyrone is now firmly on Ulster’s Road racing map with a total of 1,257 runners taking to the surrounding roads during June past to participate in the Paul Murray 5k Grand Prix Series. The race is organised by the nearby Clogher Valley based Knockmany Running Club in memory of club member Paul Murray. Paul needed use of an Air Ambulance so in his memory proceeds from the event are given to the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Charity.
Recently the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland Charity was presented with a cheque for £5,370 raised from this year’s 5k Series. Paul’s wife Tracy and members of Knockmany Running Club presented the cheque to Damien Mc Anespie from AANI at the Air Ambulance base near Lisburn.
The Paul Murray Grand Prix is now established as the most popular series of its kind in Ulster. Now in its second year the Paul Murray Grand Prix has raised almost £10,000 for the Air Ambulance. The races take place on Friday nights in June along different 5k routes with the start from Eskra Community Centre where refreshments are served afterwards, unique medals are presented to everyone who complete the series.
Aisling Murray presented by Conor McCarroll, Matthew Neill overall Grand Prix series winner presented by Tracy Murray
The Overall Grand Prix Winners are determined by the fastest cumulative times over the four races with athletes needing to compete in three races to qualify for standings. With a hat-trick of race wins in the Male series Matthew Neill (Omagh Harriers) was the clear winner in a total time of 46.38. Whilst the Female Grand Prix winner was Aisling Murray (Carmen Runners) in a time of 56.17 who also claimed three victories throughout the series. Both winners were presented with the special Paul Murray 5k Grand Prix wood engraved trophies.
The Organisers would like to thank all who contributed to the success of the second Paul Murray Grand Prix Series and all participants who helped raise important funds for the Air Ambulance charity. Special thanks to Declan Hamill from Nettworx Powerlines who helped with sponsorship. The organisers hope to draw on the success of this year’s series so athletes across the province descend on Eskra each June to enjoy quality road racing and the Eskra hospitality all to support a great cause.