Rathlin Run 2017:
North Belfast Harriers athlete Philip Goss retained his Rathlin Run title in the most emphatic fashion as a record number of athletes and spectators descended on Rathlin Island (Saturday 26th August 2017).
Rathlin Island is situated approximately 6 miles off the coast of Ballycastle, which means that athletes have to travel by ferry to the race – this coupled with the tough undulating course makes it one of the provinces most unique running experiences. The event, hosted by NiRunning with assistance from well-respected charity Belfast Activity Centre (BAC), offers participants the choice of a 10 mile race, or a 5k race.
In good running conditions the runners set off on the 10 mile route, which would see them reach the island’s west light house and RSPB Centre, before making their way back to the atmospheric start/finish area at Church Bay.
At the head of the pack, pre-race favourites Philip Goss (North Belfast Harriers), Steven McAlary (Springwell Running Club) and David Turtle (East Antrim Harriers) led the way early on. As the front runners reached the further most section of the course at the RSPB Centre, Philip and Steven had moved clear, with little separating the pair.
However, on the return, North Belfast Harriers man Philip broke clear and made short work of the relentless undulations, before sealing an exceptional victory in 57:57 (1st place), a new course record. Given the re-surfacing of a trail section at the back end of the course, fast times were always on the cards; however, this was an incredible run on such a tough course.
In-form Steven McAlary followed in 59:48 for a well-deserved 2nd place, with David Turtle holding off a late surge by Larne AC’s David Noble to claim 3rd place in 1:03:08 – David Noble secured 4th place in 1:04:05.
In the closely contested ladies race, it was Northern Ireland masters cross country international Gerrie Short (Beechmount Harriers) who emerged victorious. Gerrie broke the tape in 1:12:16 (1st place). North Belfast Harriers’ Helen Weir replicated her finishing position from 2016, but in a much quicker time, when she recorded 1:13:55 for 2nd place. Unattached athlete Sarah Porter completed the ladies top three in 1:17:22, holding off previous podium finishers Mari Troeng (Newcastle AC) and Beverley Mitchell (Albertville Harriers) who finished in 1:18:19 (4th place) and 1:18:26 (5th place) respectively.
In the associated 5k event, athletes started in Church Bay and made their way towards the south side of the island, before turning at a designated point and making their way back towards the start/finish area along the incredibly scenic coastline.
James Robinson (East Coast AC) led the field home for a well-deserved victory – having played a part at the head of the pack throughout, James came through well in the second half to take top honours in 19:31 (1st place). Catherine Diver (Beechmount Harriers) impressed with a 2nd place finish overall, therefore taking the ladies title in 19:53 (1st place).
Ballymena Runners’ Peter Fleming crossed the line in 20:08 for 2nd place in the men’s race, before Clive Robinson (Riada Tri Club) completed the men’s podium in 20:38 (3rd place). Maria Morris ensured Beechmount Harriers dominated the podium when she clocked 22:48 for 2nd place – Orangegrove AC’s Harriet Anderson crossed the line in 26:15 for 3rd place.
PROVISIONAL Results: Rathlin Run 2017 Provisional Results – Photos from the Rathlin Run 2017 will be added to our website on Monday 28th August 2017.
NiRunning would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to everyone who supported the Rathlin Run 2017, be that by running, volunteering, helping out before, during, or after race day. We would also like to say thank you to Belfast Activity Centre (BAC) and the Rathlin Island Community.