Northern Ireland Running

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Stephen Morris and Rachel Gibson excel at Lurgan Park 10k:

St Peter's AC host Lurgan Park 10k (and associated 5k):

On Sunday 31st August 2014, St Peter's AC hosted the 2nd annual running of their Lurgan Park 10k and 5k road races, which are held within Ireland's second largest town park, Lurgan Park in Lurgan (County Armagh).


Recently crowned Northern Ireland 10,000m Champion Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC), added another notable achievement and win to his growing CV.  The unassuming athlete ran well in what was in truth a time-trial like effort, crossing the line in 35:30 (1st place). Unattached athlete Peter Williams followed in 36:09 (2nd place), while Andy Burns (Dig Deep Coaching) completed the men's podium in 36:55 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, North Down AC's Rachel Gibson, winner of last weeks Downhill Demesne 5 mile trail race in Castlerock, recorded another victory.  The versatile athlete completed the 6.2 mile course in 40:15 (1st place), finishing almost three minutes ahead of Rosalyn Dobson (Unattached), who clocked 43:00 (2nd place).  Gillian McCrory (Kernan RC), a fourth place finisher at the Rathlin Run 2014, went one better, claiming a podium spot in 43:05 (3rd place).


In the associated 5k race, which also took place within the park, it was local athletes who secured top honours.  Peter Murray (St Peter's AC) led the field home in 17:56 (1st place), while Kate Mulholland (St Peter's AC) won the ladies equivalent in 19:49 (1st place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC) – 35:30, 2nd Peter Williams (Unattached) – 36:09, 3rd Andy Burns (Dig Deep Coaching) – 36:55


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) – 40:15, 2nd Rosalyn Dobson (Unattached) – 43:00, 3rd Gillian McCrory (Kernan RC) – 43:05


Full Results:  Lurgan Park 10k Race and 5k Race 2014 Results

NIMAA host annual Track & Field Championships at MPT:

NIMAA Track & Field Championships 2014:

On Saturday 30th August 2014, veteran athletes from near and far descended on the the Mary Peters Track in Belfast for the annual Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association Track & Field Championships.


It was obvious right from the off that a quality day of racing lay ahead, with the opening event, the 100m bringing an excellent encounter.  In what was a very close race between Johanna McMullan (Unattached), Emma Smith (Orangegrove AC) and Rhonda Montgomery (Larne AC), Johanna claimed the overall victory in 14.56secs, and with it, the Vet40 title.  Emma secured 2nd place in 14.59secs and silver in the Vet40 category, which she later added a 200m silver and 400m hurdles gold too.  Despite sustaining a hamstring injury during the race, Rhonda's 15.69secs timing was enough to see her take gold in the Vet45 category.


In the men's 100m and 200m races, Vet40 athletes John Corr (Leevale AC) and Roger Sexton (North Down AC) enjoyed two excellent duals; in both races, John narrowly took victory, running 11.75secs (1st place) in the 100m and 24.05secs (1st place) in the 200m, with Roger clocking 11.88secs (2nd place) and 24.19secs (2nd place) respectively.  Unattached athlete Gary Callaghan ran well to lead the 110m hudles field home in 20.28secs (1st place).  Clones AC's Denise Toner was one of the days star performers, winning the 400m (1:04.40), 800m (2:21.66) and 1500m (5:07.90) races, therefore securing gold in her Vet35 category.  Vet50 athlete Helen Stockdale (Finn Valley AC) was one of the busiest competitors of the day, competing in no less than four events; impressive runs in the over 400m (1:13.40), 800m (2:34.64), 1500m (5:14.97) and 3,000m (10:49.22) meant that the international cross country star collected gold in each.


Cathal McLaughlin (Derry City Track Club) and Mark Weir (North Down AC) battled it out at the front of the combined men's 800m, but in the end, it was Cathal who crossed the line first.  The respected athlete recorded 2:11.92 (1st place) and the associated Vet45 gold; Mark's 2nd place finishing time of 2:12.51 saw him win the Vet40 gold.  Dromore AC's Nigel McKibbin produced one of the most dominant displays of the day in the 1500m, leading from gun to tape to win in 4:31.31 (1st place).  Newry AC's Lee Magennis celebrated his return from injury win a 4:50.35 (2nd place) finish; as Nigel was a Vet45 competitor, this was enough to get Lee a gold in the Vet35 race.  In the longest race of the day, the 5,000m, Clonliffe Harriers' Declan Power showed his class, lapping the entire field to win in 15:47.99 (1st place).  Declan was therefore crowned Vet40 Champion, with runner up, Kevin O'Boyle (Ballymena Runners) sealing the Vet35 top prize in 17:41.34.  Larne AC's Bernard Brady (17:53.32) and North Belfast Harriers' Lawerence Johnston (17:53.73) won their respective Vet45 and Vet55 categories.


Ballymena Runners Lorna Sibbett topped the Vet45 podium after category wins in the 800m (2:44.12) and 1500m (5:37.75), while her club mate Brigid Quinn received gold over the same distances, running 3:36.46 (800m) and 7:10.97 (1500m).  Larne AC's Rhonda Brady claimed Vet40 bronze and gold medals over 200m (30.50secs) and 400m (1:07.65) and fellow Larne based athlete Allyson O'Toole (East Coast AC) secured two Vet35 bronze medals after recording 2:33.12 for 800m and 5:21.55 over 1500m.  Orangegrove AC's Jennifer Black was another athlete who doubled up in the 800m (2:27.49) and 1500m (5:08.73), claiming silver medals in both (Vet35 category).  


Full Results:  NIMAA Track & Field Championships 2014 Results.  Photographs from the NIMAA Track & Field Championships are now available within our Photo Gallery.

Athletes from NI compete at gruelling UTMB events in France:

Local athletes complete UTMB events and Denis Rankin Round:

Over the last few days (Wednesday 27th August to Sunday 31st August 2014), a number of Northern Ireland runners have taken part in events at the notoriously difficult Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc festival in Chamonix, France.


The action commenced on Wednesday (28th August 2013) when Dominic McInerney (Unattached), William Marks (Mourne Runners) and Brian Linton (BARF) completed the TDS (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie), an 119km race with 7,250m of ascending.  Dominic completed the course in 22:36:07 (132nd place), with William and Brian following in 26:26:51 (370th place) and 26:26:52 (371st place) respectively.  Unfortunately, Donal O'Kane (BARF) was forced to withdraw from the event.  The race was won by French athlete Xavier Thevenard in 14:10:37 (1st place).


Both the main UTMB and the CCC (Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix) races started on Friday 30th August 2013.  The 101km (including 6,100m of ascending) CCC participants were first to finish, with East Coast AC's Justin Maxwell leading the NI contingent home in an excellent 14:56:41 (43rd place).  Nicki McPeake (Springwell Running Club) was the next familiar face to finish in 17:33:40 (164th place), before Susan McCartney recorded 19:22:44; this was enough to see the Mourne Skyline MTR entrant claim 22nd place in the ladies category.  BARF's Martin Mullan reached Chamonix a mere two seconds later in 19:22:46 (317th place), while Mark King (Newcastle AC), completed the local interest in the CCC when he completed the course in 21:32:35 (542nd place). Team Buff athlete Paul Bartolo claimed victory in the men's race, breaking the tape in 11:21:16 (1st place), while Anne Lise Rousset (Team Race Land) took the ladies title in 14:28:48 (1st place).


In the even more gruelling UTMB main event, which saw competitors cover 168km (with 9,600m of ascending), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), who ran well in this event in 2013, covered the distance in 32:54:27 (196th place).  The ever consistent Paul Nesbitt (Unattached) had a good run to finish in 39:29:53 (628th place); despite having been on his feet for nearly two day's, unattached athlete Stephen Wallace, found the energy to produce a fast finish, crossing the line in 41:58:49 (891st place).  Craig Lloyd was the final local athlete to experience the atmospheric finish when he crossed the line in 44:29:42 (1,263rd place). Unfortunately, Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Declan Faulkner (Knockmany Runners) were forced to withdraw from the event with illness.  The race was won by Team Salomon's Francois D'Haene in 20:11:44 (1st place).


Full Results:  UTMB Festival 2013 Results 


In other news... Violet Linton is first lady to complete Denis Rankin Round:

Closer to home, local athlete Violet Linton (LVO) took on the Denis Rankin Round over the course of the Saturday 30th August and Sunday 31st August 2014. The recently conceived  challenge, started in memory of mountain running legend Denis Rankin, takes place in the Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland and requires runners to complete the 56 mile course (which includes 39 peaks and 6,000m of ascent) in less than 24 hours.  Violet covered the course in 23:56:00.

Local athletes compete in England, Wales and Turkey:

Local runners compete at road, mountain and track events outside Northern Ireland:

On Saturday 30th August 2014, three Northern Ireland mountain runners took part in the Maesgwm Muddle mountain race in Wales; the event was also the final fixture of the 2014 British Fell Running Championships.


Up against top quality opposition, Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC), Iain Whiteside (Carnethy HRC) and Gavin Mulholland (Carnethy HRC) all impressed.  Allan, who won the Northern Ireland fixture (Donard Challenge) in the Championship, led the trio hope in 1:32:38, which was enough to secure 9th place.  Gavin followed hot on his heels, taking 10th place in 1:33:18.  Iain completed a good day for the men when he crossed the line in 1:37:37 (23rd place). The race was won by Rob Hope (Pudsey & Bramley AC) in 1:24:53 (1st place).


Blackpool Hilton 10k Road Race:

In Blackpool (England), Larne AC's England based Olympian James McIlroy returned to competition at the Blackpool Hilton 10k road race on Saturday 30th August 2014.  James completed the coastal course in 32:58 (1st place), taking top spot in the process.


European Masters Track & Field Championships:

Derry City Track Club's Tim Shiels (pictured above) was also in action this weekend.  The talented track star lined up in the 800m at the European Track & Field Championships in Izmir, Turkey.  In a competitive final, Tim sealed 5th place in 2:00.57.  The race was won by  Dutch athlete Marijn Van der Putten in 1:57.00 (1st place).


Full Results:  Maesgwem Muddle 2014 Results (Not yet available) – Blackpool Hilton 10k 2014 ResultsEuropean Masters T&F Championships 2014 Results (Photo by Mal McCausland - Inside Track)

Travers, McKeown, McKee & Hegarty celebrate at Dambusters event:

Born 2 Run Event's host final race in Pure Running Half Marathon Series 2014:

On Saturday 30th August 2014, events management company Born 2 Run hosted their popular Dambusters 10/10 event in the scenic Silent Valley area of the Mourne Mountains. As well as the stalwart 10k, the annual event included a 13.1 mile race, which was the final race of the 2014 Pure Running Half Marathon Series.


Pre-race favourite Don Travers (Newry City Runners) lived up to his billing, showing his true class from the off.  Don, a winner at the 10 mile race which used to be part of the 10/10 event in 2013, led from early on and gradually built his lead to break the tape in 1:23:44 (1st place).  Nigel Grier (Dromore AC) continued his good run of results in the Series to claim 2nd place in 1:25:28, before Unattached athlete Michael Bell crossed the line in 1:25:58 for 3rd place.


The ladies race was a close encounter, with Liosa McKeown (Gym Tech), Catherine Roberts (North Down AC) and Mary Laverty (North East Runners) all in contention throughout. After an excellent start by Catherine, which saw her lead through the half way mark, it was the always impressive Liosa who took the reigns before claiming victory in 1:34:40 (1st place). Catherine followed fifteen seconds later in 1:34:55 (2nd place), while Mary completed the top three just under a minute later in 1:35:44 (3rd place).


In the 10k event, Mourne Runners' William McKee showed that he is not just a good mountain runner; the respected athlete put in a classy performance to seal top spot in the men's race in 36:44 (1st place). Peter Donnelly (Unattached) recorded 38:21 for 2nd place; Larne AC's John Neill followed on from a good outing at last weeks Inter Club Race to take 3rd place in 39:01.


The ladies race saw talented athlete Jade Hegarty (Unattached) secure her second podium place in as many weeks. After taking second place at the Rathlin Run 5k last week, Jade went one better to win in 43:35 (1st place). Virginia Ervine ensured that Mourne Runners were represented on both the male and female 10k podium when she finished as runner up in 44:10 (2nd place), while Murlough AC's Niamh O'Connell crossed the line in 44:47 (3rd place).


Half Marathon:

Top 3 Men:  1st Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 1:23:44, 2nd Nigel Grier (Dromore AC) – 1:25:28, 3rd Michael Best (Unattached) – 1:25:58

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Liosa McKeown (Gym Tech) – 1:34:40, 2nd Catherine Roberts (North Down AC) – 1:34:55, 3rd Mary Laverty (North East Runners) – 1:35:44


10k Race:

Top 3 Men:   1st William McKee (Mourne Runners) – 36:44, 2nd Peter Donnelly (Unattached) – 38:21, 3rd John Neill (Larne AC) – 39:01

Top 3 Ladies:   1st Jade Hegarty (Unattached) – 43:35, 2nd Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) – 44:10, 3rd Niamh O'Connell (Murlough AC) – 44:47


Full Results:  Dambusters 10/10 2014 Results

Barrie Atkinson and Catherine O'Connor win in Killyleagh:

Killyleagh 5m Road Race 2014:

On Friday 29th August 2014, athletes from across the province enjoyed the annual Killyleagh 5 mile road race in County Down, an event which also included races for junior athletes.


Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC), a man who has climbed the podium no less than seven times this year, added another win to his impressive achievements, when he led the field home in 27:20 (1st place); this was enough to see Barrie finish just ahead of Annadale Striders' Paul Carroll, who recorded 27:48 (2nd place).  In an exciting battle for 3rd place, Neill Weir (Lunchtime Legends) just pipped Newcastle AC's David McNeilly (4th place – 28:14), after crossing the line in 28:13.


Pre-race favourite Catherine O'Connor (East Down AC) showed her class in the ladies race.  The Northern Ireland mountain runner covered the distance in a notable 30:30 (1st place), almost two minutes clear of Ballydrain Harriers' Denise Logue, who also ran well to finish in 32:19 (2nd place).  Ballydrain Harriers new girl Fiona Johnston crossed the line in 34:48 (3rd place) to complete the ladies podium.


Top 3 Men:  1st Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) – 27:20, 2nd Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) – 27:48, 3rd Neill Weir (Lunchtime Legends) – 28:13


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Catherine O'Connor (East Down AC) – 30:30, 2nd Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) – 32:19, 3rd Fiona Johnston (Ballydrain Harriers) – 34:48


Full Results:  Killyleagh 5m Road Race 2014 Results (Photo by Mags Mathieson)

Paul Barbour and Alex Kirk win Donaghmore 5m road race:

Donaghmore 5m Road Race 2014:

On Thursday 28th August 2014, over one hundred runners turned out for the Donaghmore 5 mile road race in County Down. Despite the blustery conditions, both the men's and ladies races were exciting, with fairly decent times being posted at the head of the pack.


City of Derry AC's Chris McPeake and Omagh Harriers' Paul Barbour set off fast and led the field early on, but it was Paul Barbour, winner of last weeks Trillicks 10k, who finally edged it; Paul broke the tape in 26:36 (1st place).  Chris McPeake showed that his recent injury woes are behind him when he took the runners up spot in 27:02 (2nd place), before Acorns AC man Darrell McKee completed the top three in 28:46 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, it was young Springwell Running Club athlete Alex Kirk who impressed most.  Despite trailing Sperrin Harriers' Pauline McGurren in the very early stages, Alex managed to break clear of her competitors to win in 33:57 (1st place).  The ever consistent Pauline McGurren followed in 34:50 (2nd place), while fellow Sperrin Harriers athlete Angela O'Neill took 3rd place in 35:33.


Top 3 Men:  1st Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) – 26:36, 2nd Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC) – 27:02, 3rd Darrell McKee (Acorns AC) – 28:46


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Alex Kirk (Springwell Running Club) – 33:57, 2nd Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers) – 34:50, 3rd Angela O'Neill (Sperrin Harriers) – 35:33


Full Results:  Donaghmore 5m Road Race 2014 Results

Weekend Preview:  Another exciting weekend of action ahead...

Weekend Preview:  Killyleagh, Belfast, Newcastle and more...

After a busy Bank Holiday weekend last week, it would be perfectly acceptable to have a quiet, relaxing weekend; however, that is not the case as the competition bandwagon rolls on, with events in Killyleagh, Belfast, Cookstown and Newcastle amongst those set to attract big crowds.  Northern Ireland athletes will also be in action in England and France.


Tonight (Friday 29th August 2014), athletes from across Northern Ireland are expected to take part in the Killyleagh 5 mile road race in County Down, an event co-hosted by the busy and well-organised East Down AC.


Last years winner, David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) may well return to defend his title after producing a quality performance over the course last time.  Since injuring his rib a few months ago, David hasn't been racing much, but he did claim top honours at the Darragh Cross 6 mile road race two weeks ago, which shows that he is in good form.  Richard Coey (Ballydrain Harriers), a podium finisher at the Strangford Festival 10k last week should play a part at the front if he races, as will Dave Lonnen (City of Lisburn AC), Martin Wilcox (East Down AC), Norman Mawhinney (Ballydrain Harriers), James Savage (East Down AC) and Ryan Andrews (Ballydrain Harriers).


Northern Ireland mountain running international and one of the most impressive performers of 2014 so far, Catherine O'Connor (East Down AC), will prove hard to beat if she toes the line.  Whether it's over mountain, road or trail, Catherine seems to produce notable performances.  Catherine's club mate Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC), may also be a contender, while Strangford Festival 10k winner Heather Kelly (Ballydrain Harriers) will be hoping to finish well up the field.  Susan Smyth (Dromore AC), Laura Gardiner (East Down AC), Janette Bailie (Dromore AC) and Monica McCrickard (Leitrim Ladies) will all run well should they enter on the night.

Further afield, today (Friday 29th August 2014) and into tomorrow (Saturday 30th August 2014), a large number of athletes from Northern Ireland will be in action at the infamous Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc in Chamonix, France.  The world famous event, which includes three races (the TDS, CCC and UTMB) will attract the best long distance runners from across the globe and when you couple this with the incredibly scenic courses, it makes for an epic few days of competition.


The TDS race has already taken place (well done to those who took part!), but the CCC an UTMB races will start today (Friday 29th August 2014). Created in 2006, the CCC (Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix) has become as popular as its big sister (45 nationalities represented in 2010), the UTMB. The CCC® is considered by many runners to be "the little one" nevertheless it too, constitutes one of the most difficult challenges in ultra-running.  


Do not take the CCC® lightly; more than one runner has 'burnt' their thighs there.  A semi-tour of Mont-Blanc, starting from Courmayeur with 101k and 5,950 metres of positive height gain and in semi-autonomy. Starting in the centre of Courmayeur at 9am will be: Justin Maxwell (East Coast AC), Susan McCartney (Unattached), Nicki McPeake (Springwell Running Club), Mark King (Newcastle AC) and Martin Mullan (BARF).


Later in the day (Friday 29th August 2014), the UTMB (Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc; the original and Queen of the races!) will take place.  The UTMB is a complete tour of the Mont Blanc and passes through three countries: France, Switzerland and Italy, making it a race that every runner should finish at least once in their life.  Le tour of Mont-Blanc, starts from Chamonix and covers 168k with 9,600 metres of positive height gain. Starting in the centre of Chamonix at 5.30pm will be: Stephen Wallace (Unattached), Declan Faulkner (Knockmay Runners), Craig Lloyd (Unattached), Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Paul Nesbitt (Unattached).


On Saturday 30th August 2014, track specialists from Northern Ireland and Ulster will travel to the home of athletics in Northern Ireland, the Mary Peters Track, for the Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Track & Field Championships.


The action kicks off at 11am, with the first running event, the 100 metres, set to take place at 12.15pm.  Events will range from the aforementioned 100m to 5,000m and should attract a plethora of the provinces top athletes, as well as Northern Ireland runners who now live in other countries all over the world.  Paul McKee (Beechmount Harriers), Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), Cathal McLaughlin (Derry City Track Club), Roger Sexton (North Down AC), Adrian Boyle (Foyle Valley AC), Nigel McKibbin (Dromore AC), Kieran McKeown (East Coast AC), Lee Magennis (Newry AC) will all be in the hunt for medals in their respective categories, while Joy McAleer (Orangegrove AC), Lorna Sibbett (Ballymena Runners), Emma Smith (Orangegrove AC), Denise Toner (Clones AC), Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC), Helen Stockdale (Finn Valley AC), Rhonda Brady (Larne AC) and Rhonda Montgomery (Larne AC) will be amongst the ladies challenging for age group podium places and titles.

Also on Saturday 30th August 2014, events management company Born 2 Run events will welcome athletes to Silent Valley, in the heart of the Mourne Mountains (Newcastle, County Down) for the final race in the 2014 Pure Running Half Marathon Series, the Dambusters Half Marathon; the event also includes a 10k option.


North Belfast Harriers' Mark McKinstry may make use of the 'on the day' entry option, and if so, the East Antrim Inter-Club Race winner will no doubt be one of the men to watch.  He (Mark), may be joined by Don Tavers (Newry City Runners), who won the 10 mile race here last year (2013).  Eddie Hanna (Mourne Runners) will also start, as will Nigel Grier (Dormore AC).  Nigel has enjoyed several good outings in the 2014 Half Marathon Series and will be confident of finishing in or around the podium places here.  Paul McCullagh (City of Lisburn AC), Sean McShane (North Belfast Harriers) and Declan Teague (East Down AC) should have a top ten finish in their sights.


Irish athlete Jolene Mellon (North East Runners) is the standout entry in the ladies Half Marathon.  The talented triathlete, who has won several high profile events, such as the Cooley Legends Half Marathon, will go into the race as a strong favourite.  


However, Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), may also be contender for the top prize; the endurance specialist has had a couple of good weeks, having picked up awards at the Quadrathon, East Antrim Marathon Series 26.2m race and the Donegal Marathon; Gillian will go into this race high in confidence.  Gym Tech's Liosa McKeown has been going well in the Series and will be after a good time here to secure a place in the top three of her category.  Janice White (Ballymena Runners), Catherine Roberts (North Down AC) and Amanda Perry (North Belfast Harriers) will all run well.  David Allen (Albertville Harriers), John Neill (Larne AC), Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners), Kim Gleave (County Antrim Harriers), Lisa Mulholland (St Peter's AC) will all line up in the 10k race, which is expected to attract a number of entries on the day.


In County Tyrone on Saturday 30th August 2014, a sizeable crowd is expected to take on the O’Brien Kilomarathon Challenge.  The enjoyable race will see competitors complete a tough but scenic 26.2k course in and around Davagh Forest, just outside Cookstown.  Information regarding the event has been limited but we would expect Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC), Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC), Erin McDaid (Sperrin Harriers), Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) and Sean O'Gara (Sperrin Harriers) to be amongst those taking part.  


On Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st August 2014, an Ulster Team of fourteen athletes will travel over to the England Athletics U-17 & U-15 Track & Field Championships in Bedford, England.  They will be competing against some of the UK’s top young athletes over a programme of events that will see them strive to improve upon their performances thus far this season and to claim a coveted place on the podium.  Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC) will be just one of the local contingent who will be aiming for a medal.  The U-17 athlete will be racing over 100m and will be hoping to continue what has been an extremely successful summer season for the up and coming athlete, during which she has set a new personal best of 11.82secs/11.71secs (wind assisted) over the distance.

On Sunday 31st August 2014, young athletes from all over Northern Ireland will gather at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast for the grand finale of the 2014 Youth Development League.  The popular Track & Field Series has run throughout the track and field season and has attracted many future stars; the action kicks off at 10am an running events include 150m, 200m 300m, 400m, 800m, 3,000m and 4x100m relays.


Also on Sunday 31st August 2014, St Peter’s AC will host the 2nd annual running of their Lurgan Park 5k and 10k road races, within the confines of Ireland’s second largest town park, Lurgan Park, in Lurgan (County Armagh). More associated with Cross Country events (and of course the Lurgan Park rally) over the years, the landscaped park’s vast pathways and scenery should provide an excellent location for a ‘road race’. 


The event is a little different to last year, when organisers offered 5 mile and 5k courses, but the 10k and 5k options should work well.  Local hero's Patricia O'Hagan (St Peter's AC) and Eileen Stevenson (St Peter's AC) could be joined by Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) and Suzanne Higgins (Lagan Valley AC), while the men's event may attract Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club), if he is still in the country during his summer break from university.  Alan Johnston (Murlough AC), Dermot Mathers (Newry City Runners), Aaron Parks (Armagh AC) and Adam Boyd (North Belfast Harriers) could also race.  The race starts at 11.30am and n the day entry is available at this event.


Northern Ireland’s nineteen parkrun events will also take place this weekend, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page. 

Ballymena Runners secure East Antrim Inter-Club titles:

East Antrim Inter-Club Race 2014:

On Tuesday 26th August 2014, nearly three hundred athletes turned out for the East Antrim Inter-Club Race, which was held on the outskirts of Larne.  The annual event brings clubs located within the East Antrim area together and this year saw hosts Larne AC battle it out with Ballymena Runners, East Coast AC, East Antrim Harriers, County Antrim Harriers, Seapark AC and Whitehead Social Runners for the prestigious team prizes and associated bragging rights.


The race requires men to complete a 5 mile ‘out and back’ course, with six athletes to count in the team standings; meanwhile, the ladies cover a 4 mile ‘out and back’ route, and each team needs four runners to count.


Although the main focus of the race is based around the team competition as well as the charitable aspect of the event, there are of course, prizes for the individual winners.  


In respect to this, it was guest runner Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) who excelled.  Initially, Mark was joined by Ballymena Runners’ Richard Johnston, Matthew McCooke and Neil Douglas, and Larne AC’s Ryan Stewart as he negotiated the long downhill start, but as the race progressed, the in-form athlete opened up a gap, which by the 2.5 mile turning point looked too big for aforementioned chasing men to close.  This did indeed prove to be the case, with Mark claiming victory in an impressive 26:43 (1st place).  Richard Johnston sealed 2nd place in 27:49, with Matthew McCooke completing the top three in 27:55 (3rd place).  In the team competition, Ballymena Runners’ strong packing team of Richard Johnston, Matthew McCooke, Neil Douglas, Matt Wray, Kevin O’Boyle and Richard Agnew sealed the men’s team prize, with Larne AC in 2nd place and East Antrim Harriers in 3rd place.


The ladies race was also a close affair, with Lorna Sibbett (Ballymena Runners), Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) and East Coast AC duo Allyson O’Toole and Adele Neill leading the field out towards the 2 mile turning point, at which, very little separated the four.  However, on the long uphill section towards the finish, the group began to split, which allowed Janice White (Ballymena Runners), a winner at Saturday’s Rathlin Run, to edge her way into contention.  As the ladies worked into the final stages, it was 2013 runner up Allyson O’Toole who moved clear to seal victory in 26:18 (1st place).  Geraldine Quigley (26:30) dug deep to secure 2nd place, before the impressive Janice White (26:47) just got the better of talented triathlete Adele Neill (4th place – 26:59) for 3rd place.


Ballymena Runners’ dominance at the head of the pack was enough to ensure that they replicated the performance of their male club mates to take the team prize, with their ‘counting four’ being Janice White, Lorna Sibbett, Kerry Balmer and Catherine McQuillan.  Larne AC (2nd place) picked up the runners up prize, while East Coast AC took 3rd place.  The record turnout at the well organised event goes to show that running is very much hitting a boom in County Antrim, and with in excess of £800 being raised for the nominated charity, Epilepsy UK, the night was hailed a massive success by all involved.


Individual Race:

Top 3 Men (5 miles):  1st Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 26:43, 2nd Richard Johnston (Ballymena Runners) – 27:49, 3rd Matthew McCooke (Ballymena Runners) – 27:55

Top 3 Ladies (4 miles):  1st Allyson O’Toole (East Coast AC) – 26:18, 2nd Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) – 26:30, 3rd Janice White (Ballymena Runners) – 26:47


Team Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Ballymena Runners, 2nd Larne AC, 3rd East Antrim Harriers

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Ballymena Runners, 2nd Larne AC, 3rd East Coast AC


Full Results:  East Antrim Inter-Club Race 2014 – Men’s Results (5 miles) and Ladies Results (4 miles) (Note - Results are PROVISIONAL only)

Scott Rankin and Ann-Marie McGlynn win Dessie's 10k:

In excess of 300 athletes turn out for Dessie's 10k 2014:

On Tuesday 26th August 2014, a record number of over three hundred athletes completed the annual Dessie's 10k road race in Derry/Londonderry, and event which never fails to attract a quality field.


In perfect running conditions, an exciting battle ensued at the front, with Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC), Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC), Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC), Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) and Pauric McKinney (Inishowen AC) all in contention.  However, it came down to a dual between Scott Rankin and Greg Roberts, with NI & Ulster 5,000m medallist Scott just edging it in 31:27 (1st place).  Greg followed in 31:30, while Gary Slevin (32:39) got the better of Chris McGuinness (4th place - 32:54) for 3rd place.


In the ladies race, Irish international Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) was a dominant force throughout, leading from start to finish to break the tape in 35:58 (1st place).  Fellow Lifford AC athlete Claire McGuigan completed the course in 39:35 (2nd place), twenty four seconds ahead of Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC), who made a welcome return to competition to secure 3rd place in 39:59.


Top 3 Men:  1st Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 31:27, 2nd Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) – 31:30, 3rd Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC) – 32:39


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) – 35:58, 2nd Claire McGuigan (Lifford AC) – 39:35, 3rd Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) – 39:59


Full Results:  Dessie's 10k 2014 Results

Michael McKillop secures second IPC European Championships title:

Local athletes perform well during busy Bank Holiday weekend:

There have been many notable performances by local athletes over the busy Bank Holiday weekend, but none more so than Michael McKillop's (St Malachy's AC) outing on the final day (Saturday 23rd August 2014) of the IPC European Athletics Championships in Swansea (Wales) when he took the 1,500m title and the associated gold medal in dominant fashion in the T38 category.


Michael had already secured gold three days previously in the 800 metres. This double success replicated team mate Jason Smyth's (City of Derry AC) victories over 100m and 200m and made for a warm reception at Dublin Airport as the Paralympics Ireland team displayed their medal haul.  The 24 year old Glengormley man is now ranked as one of the most successful Paralympic athletes of all time.  

His double Swansea success gives him ten gold medals in major competition.  It follows five World titles and three Paralympic wins which include two world records.  Impressively, Michael has not lost a Paralympic race since 2006.  Michael looked strong in his 1500m race and led the field through 800 metres with Team GB's Dean Millar and France's Luis Radius for company.  The St Malachy’s AC star then accelerated, eventually claiming victory in 4:16.73 (1st place).


Afterwards Michael said; “The race started very slow. I decided to go out front to ensure I wasn't tripped. However as the pace stayed slow I decided to pick it up and just build from there. In my earlier 800 metres race I had a sense of relief but this time I had a smile on my face in the home straight.  I pushed hard until the last 100 metres and then I could take it all in."


Reflecting on his achievements he observed; "Because Jason had won 2 gold’s I wanted to finish my job and complete the double. Championships are all about medals and I am delighted to have won both. After such a challenging, tough year it's satisfying to finish the season on a high. I must give special thanks to my Dad (Paddy), my coach, the Sports Institute NI and everyone who took the time getting me back in such good shape at the right time.  The next step is the World Championships in Doha next November and I promise I will break the world record there.  It's been special racing in Swansea. You don't get to race close to home much and I would like it more often as you get more support." 


Full Results:  IPC European Athletics Championships 2014 Results


Youth Olympic Games (China):

Further afield at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing (China), City of Lisburn AC's Roseanna McGuckian secured 3rd place in her ‘B’ race final in a time of 25.15secs behind Kelly Mora of Equador who won in 24.74secs (1st place). The ‘A’ race was won by Jamaica's Natalliah Whyte in 23.55secs.  Earlier in the Games Roseanna had claimed 3rd place in her heat with a run of 24.77secs, which was 10th fastest overall. 


Full Results:  Youth Olympic Games 2014 Results 


Note:  Information for both the IPC European Athletics Championships and Youth Olympic Games articles were taken from the Athletics NI website.

Brian Young and Lyndsey Pronger excel at Mayobridge 10k:

Mayobridge 10k 2014:

On Sunday 24th August 2014, athletes from across Northern Ireland descended on Mayobridge, close to Newry (County Down) for the annual Mayobridge 10k road race, an event which attracts a mixture of recognised athletes and fitness enthusiasts.


Unattached athlete Brian Young, an accomplished athlete and a regular on the podium, stole the headlines.  Brian led from gun to tape, crossing the line in 37:35 (1st place).  There was an excellent dual for the runners up prize, with Brendan Heaney (Newry City Runners) and Damian Scullion (Unattached) both finishing in a time of 39:19; Brendan was awards 2nd place, with Damian having to settle for 3rd place.


The ladies race wasn't just as close, with Orangegrove AC athlete Lyndsey Pronger putting in a quality performance. Lyndsey continued her impressive rise through the ranks, following on from her win at the Active Antrim 5 mile race earlier in the summer with another notable win, after she completed the 6.2 mile course in 43:46 (1st place).  Another podium regular, Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) secured 2nd place in 46:13, with Susanna Allen (Ballymena Runners) completing the podium places in 47:27 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Brian Young (Unattached) – 37:35, 2nd Brendan Heaney (Newry City Runners) – 39:19, 3rd Damian Scullion (Unattached) – 39:19


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Lyndsey Pronger (Orangegrove AC) – 43:46, 2nd Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) – 46:13, 3rd Susanna Allen (Ballymena Runners) – 47:27


Full Results:  Mayobridge 10k 2014 Results

Brian Campbell and Eilis MacKechanie win Moneymore 10k:

Moneymore 10k 2014:

On Sunday 24th August 2014, nearly one hundred runners turned out for the 2nd annual running of the Moneymore 10k, an event which took place in the beautiful setting of Springwelll House in the County Derry/Londonderry town, close to Cookstown (and/or Magherafelt).


The scenic but tough course was undulating to begin with, then became more hilly in the latter part, before the competitors plunged downhill to the finish at the local sports field.  Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) looked sharp as he added to last weeks victory at the Mallusk 5 mile road race; the Belfast based athlete clocked 33:18 (1st place) for the course, sealing a well-deserved victory.  Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC), who like Brian, is just returning to competition after a long period out through injury, took 2nd place in 34:32, before East Coast AC's David Clarke crossed the line in 36:17 (3rd place).


Scottish based athlete Eilis MacKechanie (Hunters Bog Trotters) looked a class apart as she dominated proceedings in the ladies race.  Eilis' last visit to Northern Ireland saw her claim a podium spot at the Cookstown Half Marathon (2012), but she went one better her, leading the ladies home in 38:05 (1st place).  Reigning Champion, Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) had to settle for 2nd place after running 40:14, while Michelle Sweeney (Unattached) took 3rd place in 45:54.


Top 3 Men:  1st Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) – 33:18, 2nd Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC) – 34:32, 3rd David Clarke (East Coast AC) – 36:17


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Eilis MacKechanie (Hunters Bog Trotters) – 38:05, 2nd Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) – 40:14, 3rd Michelle Sweeney (Unattached) – 4:54


Full Results:  Moneymore 10k 2014 Results

Allan Bogle and Rachel Gibson claim top honours in Castlerock:

Athletes enjoy scenic Downhill Demesne 5m Trail Race 2014:

On Saturday 24th August 2014, Springwell Running Club welcomed athletes to their annual Downhill Demesne Trail Race, an event that takes place within the stunning Downhill Estate close to Castlerock on the North Coast.  The 5 mile undulating and at times slightly technical course covers two laps and leads runners through the ruins of the estate’s house, providing an excellent backdrop for photographs. 


Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC), a winner of the event in 2012 and a runner up last year (2013), once again stamped his authority at the front of the pack.  The City of Derry Spartan, who won the Lurig Challenge two weeks ago sealed victory in 32:28 (1st place).  Ballymena Runners' Alex Brennan continued what has been an excellent week; having won the Twin Peaks and Glenullin races over the last seven day's, Alex crossed the line in 34:12 for 2nd place.  The host clubs David Jackson (Springwell Running Club) completed the top three in 36:45 (3rd place).


In an exciting ladies race, it was North Down AC's Rachel Gibson who took top honours.  After a good battle with Springwell Running Clubs Gemma Turley, who had won the Rathlin Run 5k the previous day, Rachel broke the tape in 38:56 (1st place).  Gemma followed just three seconds later in 38:59 (2nd place), while Alexandra Kirk (Springwell Running Club) sealed 3rd place in 39:48.


Top 3 Men:  1st Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 32:28, 2nd Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) – 34:12, 3rd David Jackson (Springwell Running Club) – 36:45


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) – 38:56, 2nd Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 38:59, 3rd Alexandra Kirk (Springwell Running Club) – 39:48


Full Results:  Downhill Demesne 5m Trail Race 2014 Results

Local athletes claim prizes at Bank Holiday weekend events:

Round Up:  Athletes from NI complete Bank Holiday weekend events...

This weekend (Saturday 23rd August and Sunday 24th August 2014) saw long distance running enthusiasts from Northern Ireland compete in numerous events, both in Northern Ireland and outside the province.


There were numerous top performances, personal bests and podium places for local athletes.  In County Sligo (Ireland) on Saturday 23rd August 2014, Northern Ireland ladies Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) and Heather Foley (Unattached) put in impressive displays to take prizes at the Warriors 15k race.


However, it was respected triathlete Desi Foley (Unattached) who led the local contingent home just outside the one hour finish time in 1:00:39 (9th place).  Breege retained the title she won in 2013, covering the tough multi-terrain route in 1:02:01 (1st place).  


Greencastle AC's Conor McCullagh followed in 1:06:40 (18th place), before Heather Foley secured the runners up spot in the ladies race in 1:07:04 (2nd place). Murlough AC's Phil Hodge also ran well, recording 1:08:19 (24th place); the men's race was won by Brian McMahon (Clonliffe Harriers) in 52:18 (1st place).


Also on Saturday 23rd August 2014, a number of athletes from Northern Ireland travelled south for the Frank Duffy 10 mile road race, which was the third race in the ongoing Airtricity Dublin Marathon Series.  Annadale Striders' Eddie McGinley was the first of the local contingent to reach the finish, just missing a podium place when crossing the line in 50:35 (4th place).  Fellow Annadale Striders man, Paddy Hamilton followed in 51:19 (7th place), while North Belfast Harriers' John Devlin (58:39) and Stephen Walker (1:01:29) took 30th place and 79th place respectively. Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) continued her recent run of good form, after claiming a top ten finish in 1:01:33 (8th place); this was enough to see Cathy claim top spot in her Vet40 category.  The event was won by Scottish athlete Andrew Douglas in 49:56 (1st place), while DSD AC's Maria McCambridge topped the ladies podium in 56:15 (1st place).


Closer to home on Saturday 23rd August 2014, organisers of the East Antrim Marathon Series hosted another of their popular events in Greenisland; the four lap course, which started and finished at Greenisland Golf Club, took athletes into Monkstown and towards the Shore Road before making their way back towards Greenisland via Station Road.  Ian McAuley (Unattached) looked strong throughout, completing the 26.2 mile route in 3:15:33 (1st place).  Event regular, Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), who produced an excellent performance to claim overall victory at the gruelling Quadrathon in Ireland last weekend, led the ladies home in 3:40:08 (1st place).

The action continued on Sunday 24th August 2014, as did the prize-winning performances.  At the Donegal Marathon in Letterkenny (Ireland), Seapark AC's Gillian Cordner followed on from her win at the East Antrim Marathon Series the previous day with another podium place.


Gillian sealed 3rd place in the ladies race after clocking 3:50:54 (3rd place). Barry Shanks (St Peter's AC) was the leading Northern Ireland based finisher in 3:11:22 (6th place).  The men's race was won by Inishowen AC's Benny Mullan in 2:56:49 (1st place), while Jolene Mellon (North East Runners) claimed the ladies title in 3:31:22 (1st place).


In Longford (Ireland) on Sunday 24th August 2014, clubs from Northern Ireland were once again well represented.  The Longford Marathon event offered participants the choice of 26.2 miles (Marathon) and 13.1 miles (Half Marathon).  


In the marathon, which was won by Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) in 2:27:45 (1st place), City of Derry AC's James Brown battled well in the final stages to cross the line in 2:56:34 (12th place).  North Belfast Harriers' men Martin Rea and Greg McClure cruised home in 2:58:26 (16th place) and 3:20:00 (38th place) respectively.  Enniskillen Running Clubs Tara Malone narrowly missed a podium spot in the Half Marathon; the talented distance runner recorded 1:28:30 to take 5th place in the race won by Unattached athlete Michelle Magee in 1:18:09 (1st place). 


Full Results:  Warriers 15k Run 2014 ResultsFrank Duffy 10m Road Race 2014 ResultsEast Antrim Marathon Series (23/8/14) 2014 ResultsDonegal Marathon 2104 ResultsLongford HM and Marathon 2014 Results

Hundreds turn out for BAC/NiRunning's Rathlin Run 2014:

Rathlin Run 2014:

On Saturday 23rd August 2014, hundreds of athletes and spectators descended on Rathlin island, for the annual Rathlin Run, which this year, saw NiRunning co-host the event alongside respected Belfast based charity BAC (Belfast Activity Centre).


In good running conditions, albeit slightly breezy, the runners set off on the tough undulating 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.


Previous podium finisher at the event, Phelim McAlister (Larne AC) and East Coast AC's Andrew Guy were the pace-setters early on, with Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC), Martin Keane (Larne AC) and Thomas Craig (Larne AC) in pursuit.  


In the ladies race, Janice White (Ballymena Runners) was looking strong, while Martina McMullan (Foyle Valley AC), Sharon Willamson (Kernan RC) and Gillian McCrory (Kernan RC) were also running well.  As the race progressed into the latter stages, Andrew Guy began to take charge; on what was his first time competing at the event, the Amsterdam Marathon bound athlete proved that his hard work in training was paying off when he was the first to appear on the finishing straight.  To loud applause from the gathered spectators, Andrew made his way along the shoreline to break the tape in 1:02:39 (1st place).  A tired but happy Phelim McAlister took the runners up spot in 1:03:19 (2nd place), with Thomas Leitch completing the top three finishers in 1:04:53 (3rd place).

Despite having to manage a recent knee injury, Janice White produced an impressive performance to take the ladies title; the Ballymena Runners new girl, who has been performing well in the 2014 Pure Running Half Marathon Series, led the ladies home in 1:15:47 (1st place). Martina McMullan (Foyle Valley AC) received one of the loudest greetings of the day; Martina was cheered on by a large contingent of her club mates (as well as the spectators) as she crossed the line in 1:17:09 (2nd place), before Sharon Williamson (Kernan RC) secured the bronze medal in 1:20:32 (3rd place).


In the associated 5k event, athletes started in Church Bay and made their way towards the south side of the island, before turning and making their way back towards the start/finish area along the incredibly scenic coastline.


It was young North Belfast Harriers star Thomas Reid who stole the headlines; the junior athlete produced a top quality performance to win in 19:00 (1st place). Springwell Running Club's David McAfee finish just one second later in 19:01 (2nd place), while unattached athlete Callum Shaw crossed the line in 19:37 (3rd place).


Pre-race favourite, Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) looked classy as she dominated the ladies race from the early stages.  The ever consistent Springwell Running Club athlete, who was a podium finisher at the recent Mallusk 5 mile road race, cruised into the home straigt to finish in 20:08 (1st place).  A smiling Jade Heagarty (Unattached) finished seventeen seconds later in 20:25 (2nd place), while Liz Leitch (Orangegrove AC) completed an excellent day for the Leitch family – her husband Thomas finished on the podium of the men's 10 mile race – when she covered the distance in 22:19 (3rd place).


10 mile Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Andrew Guy (East Coast AC) – 1:02:39, 2nd Phelim McAlister (Larne AC) – 1:03:19, 3rd Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC) – 1:04:53

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Janice White (Ballymena Runners) – 1:15:47, 2nd Martina McMullan (Foyle Valley AC) – 1:17:09, 3rd Sharon Williamson (Kernan RC) – 1:20:32


5k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Thomas Reid (North Belfast Harriers) – 19:00, 2nd David McAfee (Springwell Running Club) – 19:01, 3rd Callum Shaw (Unattached) – 19:37

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 20:08, 2nd Jade Heagarty (Unattached) – 20:25, 3rd Liz Leitch (Orangegrove AC) – 22:19


Full Results:  Rathlin Run 10m Race 2014 Results and Rathlin Run 5k Race 2014 Results.  Photos from the Rathlin Run 2014 will be added to our website tomorrow (Monday 25th August 2014).


NiRunning would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere thanks to everyone who supported the Rathlin Run 2014, be that by running, volunteering, helping out before, during, or after race day.  We would also like to say thank you to the amazing team at Belfast Activity Centre (BAC) for inviting us to get onboard with the event and also for their efforts over the weekend.

Sam Herron and Diane Wilson claim wins at Slieve Bearnagh:

Slieve Bearnagh Race 2014:

On Saturday 23rd August 2014, Mourne Runners hosted the Slieve Bearnagh mountain race, which is part of the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championships.  This classic race takes on the unholy trinity of hills: Slieve Meelbeg, Slieve Bearnagh and Slieve Meelmore.  In the short distance of 3.9 miles (with a total ascent of 2,680ft), runners encounter every conceivable mountain terrain from grassy peaty climbs and descents to technical rocky paths and steep vertigo inducing boulder strewn descents.


The talented field took off like a runaway train, with Sam Herron (Mourne Runners), David Steele (Newcastle AC), and Willy McKee (Mourne Runners) setting the pace in the men’s race. In the ladies race Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) was being pushed by Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC).  At the top of Meelbeg there was nothing separating the front runners. It remained this way on the descent over to the foot of Bearnagh.  On Bearnagh Sam, who lately has been doing some super strong climbing, made his move and got a gap on David and Willy.  He crested the hill with a good gap on the other two men who were still neck and neck.


By the foot of Bearnagh the positions Sam was still leading, with Willy and David in pursuit.  As the mean began the rock climb along the wall at Meelmore, the mist was now starting to come down on the hill top but this did not deter any of the frontrunners from cresting the hill and making their way downhill to the finish.  Sam secured a well-deserved victory in 47:19 (1st place), with Willy McKee (48:01) and David Steele (48:03) taking 2nd place and 3rd place respectively.


In the ladies race, Diane Wilson had a good gap on the fast improving Catherine O'Connor from early on; it was just as well, as the 2014 NIMRA Champion elect reports that she had a spectacular fall on the Meelmore descent; Diane went on to win in 56:44 (1st place).  Catherine O’Connor (57:48) took 2nd place, while Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), clocked 1:04:19 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Sam Herron (Mourne Runners) – 47:19, 2nd Willy McKee (Mourne Runners) – 48:01, 3rd David Steele (Newcastle AC) – 48:03


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Diane Wilson 56:44, 2nd Catherine O’Conner (East Down AC) – 57:48, 3rd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) - 1:04:19


Full results will be added when available:  Note - Information for this article was taken from the official NIMRA race report by Richard Bell (Mourne Runners)

Brendan Teer and Heather Kelly impress at Strangford Festival 10k:

Strangford Festival 10k 2014:

On Friday 22nd August 2014, well over one hundred competitors toed the line for the inaugural Strangford Festival 10k, which was held over a tough but scenic course in County Down.


Brendan Teer (East Down AC) returned to competition in style; after racing sparingly in the last few months, the East Down AC man looked sharp, covering the route in 35:26 (1st place).  Another East Down AC athlete, Barrie Atkinson, claimed 2nd place in 36:15, before the always impressive Richard Coey (Ballydrain Harriers) crossed the line in 37:31 (3rd place).


Ballydrain Harriers were well represented at the event, and Heather Kelly ensured that they had finisher on both the male and female podiums when she broke the tape in 46:50 (1st place).  Dub Runners' Amy Laverty secured a well deserved prize when she recorded 48:58, just pipping Dromore AC's Jeanette Bailie (3rd place – 49:01) to 2nd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 35:26, 2nd Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) – 36:15, 3rd Richard Coey (Ballydrain Harriers) – 37:31


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Heather Kelly (Ballydrain Harriers) – 46:50, 2nd Amy Laverty (Dub Runners) – 48:58, 3rd Jeanette Bailie (Dromore AC) – 49:01


Full Results:  Strangford Festival 10k 2014 Results

Weekend Preview:  A busy Bank Holiday weekend ahead...

Weekend Preview:  A busy Bank Holiday weekend ahead...

Almost every week, whilst checking out what events are taking place over the course of a weekend, we are amazed by the amount of choice on offer to local running enthusiasts.  As we look ahead to this coming Bank Holiday weekend, the situation is the same, with Northern Ireland athletes likely to take part in no less than twelve events over three days!


Amongst those is our very own Rathlin Run 2014, which we (NiRunning) will co-host with respected charity Belfast Activity Centre.  There are also notable events taking place in Strangford, Knockmany, Greenisland, Newcastle, Derry/Londonderry, Limavady, Mayobridge, Moneymore and Dublin (Ireland).  Although it is impossible to provide an in-depth preview of all of these events, here is a guide to what is going on over the weekend and where applicable, who we expect to race where.


It is almost common place for the weekend action to kick off on a Friday evening over the summer months, and once again, that is the case, with the Strangford Festival 10k taking place on Friday 22nd August 2014.  The scenic event will attract a sizeable crowd, which could include the Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers), Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC), Declan Magee (Newcastle AC), Richard Coey (Ballydrain Harriers), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Nicky McKeag (Ballydrain Harriers) and Fiona Johnston (Ballydrain Harriers).  The race starts at 7.30pm and entry on the night is available.


On Saturday 23rd August 2014, hundreds of athletes and spectators will descend on Rathlin Island for the annual Rathlin Run, which this year reverts back to the popular 10 mile road race (and associated 5k road race).  The unique event, which covers an undulating and incredibly scenic course has proved popular with athletes and spectators alike, with all ferries to the island on race day sold out.  


At the head of the pack, previous winner of the event Phelim McAllister (Larne AC) is expected to play a major part in proceedings once again; however, Phelim may face a strong challenge from fellow Larne based athlete Andrew Guy (East Coast AC) and North Belfast Harriers' Eoin McQuillan.  Orangegrove AC's Thomas Leitch, a podium finisher last year, will also be there or there abouts, whilst Thomas Craig (Larne AC) and Andrew Johnston (Unattached) will also be worth watching.  The ladies race will be a close affair, with Janice White (Forge Harriers), Joan Melanophy (St Peter's AC/Kernan RC), Una Gavin (City of Derry AC) and Martina McMullan (Foyle Valley AC) looking like the front runners.  Julie McKimm (Orangegrove AC) and Sharon Williamson (Kernan Running Club) will also be hoping to finish well up the field; this pairing both possess the potential to challenge for a podium spot on their day.


The 5k race will see Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club), Liz Leitch (Orangegrove AC), Kerry-Anne Kearney (Larne AC), Paula Cosgrove (East Coast AC), Thomas Reid (North Belfast Harriers), Gareth Irvine (Kernan Running Club) and Mark Elliot (Unattached) all take to the startline.  Important Notice:  It is important to note that the race is a sell out and there will be no opportunity to enter on the day.  Athletes are encouraged to make their way to the pack collection close to McCuigs Public House as soon as they arrive on the island.

On the same day (Saturday 23rd August 2014), the provinces top mountain runners will take on the eighth race of this years Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championship in Newcastle, County Down. 


The Slieve Bearnagh mountain race, which will cover approximately 3.8 miles in distance, incorporating 2,680ft of ascent, will see athletes complete a circuit of Slieve Meelmore, Slieve Bearnagh and Slieve Meelbeg in that order, before finishing at Trassey Road (where they started).


Despite having wrapped up the Championship at the Spelga Skyline race in July (2014), Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) may still compete.  After his outstanding performances throughout the Championship, it's hard to look past Jonny as a pre-race favourite here.  


Although we would expect the always impressive Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) and the in-form duo of David Steele (Newcastle AC) and Sam Herron (Mourne Runners) to challenge for top honours as well.  Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) and Ballymena Runners men Emmet McAlister and Alex Brennan may also compete; the latter, Alex, will be high in confidence, following wins at the Twin Peaks 4.5k and the Glenullin 10k this week.


Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) will be the top contender in the ladies race should she toe the line; the Dromore AC athlete has enjoyed an excellent season and is set to retain the NIMRA title.  Should Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), Catherine O'Connor (East Down AC), Violet Linton (LVO), Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) and Anne Sanford (Lagan Valley AC) all turn out on the day, it will make for an exciting event.  It will be even better if Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) is fit enough to return, following a recent wrist injury.  Shileen is back training, but it is unclear as to whether the Northern Ireland international is ready for full competition as yet.


In Derry/Londonderry, on Saturday 23rd August 2014, City of Derry AC will once again host the NI & Ulster (Track) Relay Championships at Templemore Stadium in the maiden city.  The host club, City of Derry AC, will be well represented, as will most of the provinces top track clubs, including Ballymena & Antrim AC, City of Lisburn AC, North Down AC, East Down AC and Derry City Track Club.


Also on Saturday 23rd August 2014, Knockmany Runners will host the annual running of their tough 'Conquer the Cairn' 10k trail race, which is held within the confines of Knockmany Forest in County Tyrone.  Reigning Champion Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) should return to defend his title, and given his recent good run of form, he will prove hard to beat.  Since returning from injury, the Omagh Harriers man has climbed the podium on no less than four occasions, with a win at the Great Rossa 10k being the highlight.  Conor Moore (Omagh Harriers), Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) and Stephen Cassidy (Enniskillen Running Club) could all play a part.  Enniskillen Running Club athlete Karen Dolan should be one of the front runners in the ladies event; however, should St Peters AC's Patricia O'Hagan make the journey, she will no doubt control proceedings.  Other ladies to watch out for could include Deirdre Haigney (Omagh Harriers) and Mairead McCann (Omagh Harriers).

In Greenisland (County Antrim), organisers of the East Antrim Marathon Series will host another of their 26.2 mile events; on this occasion, the hardy competitors will cover a four lap course, starting and finishing at Greenisland Rugby Club.  Amongst those taking part will be Quadrathon winners Geoff Smyth (Unattached) and Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC); the prize-winning duo will be joined by fellow distance running enthusiasts such as Ryan Armstrong (Ballymena Runners), Trevor Denton (Springwell Running Club), Iryna Kennedy (Lagan Valley AC), Craig Mills (Unattached), Peter Montgomery (Unattached) and Darren Warnock (Sperrin Harriers), amongst others.  


In another, unrelated endurance test, Sperrin Harriers athlete Eamonn Sheehan will attempt to negotiate two laps of Lough Neagh, as part of the his 'Double the Lough' run.  This will see the County Tyrone man, who has completed two ironman events, cover approximately 170 miles in 48 hours (Friday 22nd August and Sunday 24th August 2014). You can keep up to date with Eamonn's progress HERE.


In Ireland on Saturday 23rd August 2014, a large contingent of local athletes are expected to take part in the third race of this years Airtricity Dublin Marathon Race Series, the Frank Duffy 10 mile road race. The popular event will be run within the confines of the scenic Phoenix Park in Dublin and is expected to attract a top quality field; from a Northern Ireland perspective, we'll be looking out for Paddy Hamilton (Annadale Striders), Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders), Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers), Paul Elliott (North Belfast Harriers) and Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) amongst others.


On Sunday 24th August 2014, Springwell Running Club will welcome athletes to their annual Downhill Demesne (5 mile) Trail Race, which is held in the scenic Downhill Estate close to Castlerock, County Derry/Londonderry. 


City of Derry AC's Allan Bogle will be the one to watch here; having enjoyed success at the event in previous years, Allan should return.  Considering his recent form, which has included several victories, with the most recent being at the Lurig Challenge, the International athlete will prove hard to knock off top spot.  However, that will not stop Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), Conor McQuillan (North Belfast Harriers) and Stephen Prentice (Enniskillen Running Club) from having a go.


The ladies race could be an excellent battle between Springwell Running Club ladies Gillian Wasson and Alexandra Kirk, and North Down AC track star Rachel Gibson.  International mountain runner Gillian Wasson won the Lurig Challenge two weeks ago, while Rachel Gibson has put in some quality performances on the track this season.  Meanwhile, Alexandra has been racing sparingly this term, but the young athlete definitely has the class to be amongst the front runners if she races.  Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club), Kathryn Grant (Ballymena Runners) and Shelley Tomlin (Ballymena Runners) should also finish in the top ten.


Also on Sunday 24th August 2014, organisers of the Moneymore 10k will welcome athletes from across the province to their increasingly popular event, which takes place in the beautiful setting of Springwell House in the County Derry/Londonderry town, close to Cookstown (and/or Magherafelt).  North Belfast Harriers' Adam Boyd won here last year, but it is unclear as to whether Adam will feature this time.  In his absence, we would expect Chris McPeak (City of Derry AC) and Acorns AC men Aaron Meharg, Bliadhan Glass and Shane Donnelly to feature.  The ladies race could be a three way battle between Lagan Valley AC team mates and friends Suzanne Higgins, Catriona Donaldson and Julie Murphy.  Sperrin Harriers' Pauline McGurren will also be a challenger, should she toe the line.


In Mayobridge (County Down), running enthusiasts from the Newry and Mourne area  will take to the start line of the Mayobridge 10k road race, close to Newry.  The event should attract a number of recognisable faces, which may include Don Travers (Newry City Runners), Alan Johnston (Murlough AC), Dermot Mathers (Newry City Runners), Aaron Parks (Armagh AC), Anne Haveron (Newry City Runners) and Liosa McKeown (Gym Tech).


On the same day (Sunday 24th August 2014), there will also be a charity fundraising 5k race in Derry/Londonderry, aimed at raising funds to help those affected by the conflict in Gaza (Palastine).  The 'Run for Gaza' 5k road race will kick off at 11am from Bay Road in Derry/Londonderry and entry is available on the day.  Derry City Track Club, City of Derry AC and Foyle Valley AC should all be well represented at the event. 


Northern Ireland’s nineteen parkrun events will also take place this weekend, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.


IMPORTANT NOTICE:  We expect there to be significant delays in the uploading of articles and results over this coming weekend.  Unfortunately, this is beyond our control, as our entire team will be on Rathlin Island, where signal is minimal.  We hope to be able to provide limited updates on the weekend events via social media (facebook and twitter) but it will be late on Sunday (24th August 2014) night or Monday (25th August 2014) before things are fully operational on our website.  


We apologise about this, but in the meantime, we recommend that you check the Athletics NI website and/or the official websites for the races happening this weekend for results.  We will try our upmost to make the results from the Rathlin Run available on Saturday evening/night (by getting someone on the 'mainland' to upload them).

Jason Smyth secures 200m title at IPC European Championships:

IPC European Athletics Championships 2014:

On Thursday 21st August 2014, Derry City Track Club athlete Jason Smyth once again showed his class on the international stage.  Whilst representing Ireland at the the IPC European Athletics Championships in Wales, Jason added to his success over 100m, when he secured the 200m title and the associated gold medal. 


After winning his heat in 22.34secs (1st place), the decorated Paralympic star power to victory in the final, crossing the line in 21.67secs (1st place).  This is the third medal for Northern Ireland based athletes, after Jason's aforementioned success over 100m and Michael McKillop's (St Malachy's AC) win in the 800m yesterday (Tuesday 20th August 2014).


Full Results:  IPC European Athletics Championships 2014 Results (Photo by Getty Images)

Alex Brennan and Alison Rankin win Glenullin 10k:

Glenullin 10k 2014:

On Wednesday 20th August 2014, a small but enthusiastic crowd turned out for the annual Glenullin 10k road race, just outside Coleraine in County Derry/Londonderry.


In fairly good running conditions, it was Ballymena Runners' Alex Brennan who stole the headlines; after a podium finish at the recent Lurig Challenge and a win just 48 hours earlier at the Twin Peaks 4.5k race, the well-known mountain runner produced another excellent performance, covering the tough course in 38:34 (1st place).  Acorn AC's Eugene McAuley followed in 41:06 (2nd place), before the leading lady, Alison Rankin (Springwell Running Club) crossed the line in 40:56 (1st place).


Unattached athlete Seamus McNicholl completed the men's top three in 41:20 (3rd place), while Sperrin Harriers' Hannah Su claimed runners up spot in the ladies race, having recorded 47:36 (2nd place). Theresa Rafferty (Unattached) secured the final podium place in 48:48 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) – 38:34, 2nd Eugene McAuley (Acorns AC) – 41:06, 3rd Seamus McNicholl (Unattached) – 41:20


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Alison Rankin (Springwell Running Club) – 40:56, 2nd Hannah Su (Sperrin Harriers) – 47:36, 3rd Theresa Rafferty (Unattached) – 48:48


Full results will follow if they become available.

Michael McKillop adds to Irish medal haul at IPC Championships:

IPC European Athletics Championships (Wales) - BMC Challenge (England) 2014:

On Wednesday 20th August 2014, St Malachy's AC athlete Michael McKillop added another gold to the Irish medal haul at the IPC European Athletics Championships in Swansea (Wales), replicating the achievements of fellow Northern Ireland man Jason Smyth (Derry City Track Club), who claimed gold yesterday (Tuesday 19th August 2014) in the 100m.


On Day 2 of competition, the London 2012 medallist, who has won pretty much everything under the IPC banner apart from a European Championship title, lined up in the (T38) 800m final.  After a close opening 400m, which Michael went through in 58.51secs, the talented athlete moved clear of the field to win in 1:58.16 (1st place).


Full Results:  IPC European Athletics Championships 2014 Results


BMC Challenge (London):

Northern Ireland based athletes Katie Kirk (Queens Uni AC) and Johnny Foster (Annadale Striders) were also in action on Wednesday 20th August 2014, with both racing at the British Milers Club (BMC) Challenge in London, England.  Katie, who has been one of this seasons most impressive local athletes, once again produced an excellent performance to claim 1st place in her 800m 'A', after running 2:03.34.  Johnny also ran well, once again dipping below the two minute barrier when crossing the line in 1:59.57.

Jason Smyth claims gold at IPC European Athletics Championships:

IPC European Athletics Championships 2014:

On Tuesday 19th August 2014, Northern Ireland man Jason Smyth (Derry City Track Club) represented Ireland at the IPC European Athletics Championships in Swansea (Wales).  


On Day 1 of competition, the London 2012 double gold medallist was in action over 100m.  Despite an unsettling run up to today's race, after the Eglington athletes category was changed from T13 to T12, Jason performed well, leading his heat home in 11.40secs (1st place).  Later in the afternoon, Jason stepped up a gear for the 100m final, when he clocked 10.78secs (1st place) to secure the gold medal.


Fellow Northern Ireland athletes Michael McKillop (St Malachy's AC) and Sally Brown (Springwell Running Club) are also set to compete at the Championships in the coming days.


Full Results:  IPC European Athletics Championships 2014 Results (Photo by Getty Images)

Alex Brennan and Kathryn Grant win Twin Peaks race:

Ballymena Runners dominate podium Twin Peaks race in Cargan:

On Monday 18th August 2014, nearly one hundred runners took part in the annual ‘Twin Peaks’ 4.5k race (distance approximate) in Cargan, County Antrim, a tough but enjoyable race organised as part of the popular Glenravel Festival. 


In 2013, Ballymena Runners’ dominance of the podium was evident, and this year proved to be even more successful for the popular and successful club. Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) continued his recent good form, which saw him take a podium place at the Lurig Challenge, to lead the field home in an impressive 15:11 (1st place). His friend and club mate, Emmet McAlister (Ballymena Runners) replicated his finishing position from last year, taking 2nd place in 15:40; interestingly, there was just six seconds difference between Emmet’s 2013 and 2014 finish times, with the 2013 time (15:34) being quicker. Another Ballymena Runners man, Conor Reid, completed the top three in 15:43 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, the fast improving Kathryn Grant (Ballymena Runners) claimed victory in a time of 23:26 (1st place).  Consistent performer Christine Caulfield (Ballymena Runners) followed in 23:59 (2nd place), before Shelley Tomlins (Ballymena Runners) showed that she is getting back to her best after a recent injury; Shelley crossed the line in 24:39 for 3rd place.  These strong performances from the Ballymena Runners athletes will no doubt boost confidence ahead of next weeks East Antrim Inter-Club Race in Larne (County Antrim).


Top 3 Men:  1st Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) – 15:11, 2nd Emmett McAlister (Ballymena Runners) – 15:40, 3rd Conor Reid (Ballymena Runners) – 15:43


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Kathryn Grant (Ballymena Runners) – 23:26, 2nd Christine Caulfield (Ballymena Runners) – 23:59, 3rd Shelley Tomlins (Ballymena Runners) – 24:39


Full Results:  Twin Peaks 4.5k 2014 Results

Runners from NI claim prizes at gruelling 'Quadrathon' multi-stage event:

Northern Ireland athletes impress at Quadrathon in Ireland:

Over the weekend, from Thursday 14th August until Sunday 17th August 2014, a number of athletes from Northern Ireland completed the gruelling ‘Quadrathon’ event in Ireland.  The multi-stage endurance race, hosted by events management company Extreme North, saw competitors complete 26.2 mile races on four consecutive days.


Although all of the participants deserve credit, Geoff Smyth (Unattached) and Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) were undoubtedly the stars of the weekend.  Geoff was the first home on each of the four days; his times, 3:20:00 (Day 1), 3:16:17 (Day 2), 3:28:12 (Day 3) and 3:13:34 (Day 4) saw Geoff take the overall Quadrathon title overall.  In the ladies competition, Northern Ireland lady Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners) won Thursday’s Kinnego Marathon in 3:52:27; Gillian Cordner (3:55:35) finished as runner up to Helena on Day 1, but went on to break the tape first in the Mailn Head (Day 2), Mamore (Day 3) and Muff (Day 4) Marathon’s.  Gillian’s finishing times of 3:55:16, 4:09:57 and 3:59:44 on these days ensured that she collected the overall ladies prize.


There were also impressive and consistent performances by fellow Northern Ireland athletes Gary Connolly (Seapark AC), Eugene Winters (Unattached), Sean Nickell (Unattached), Martin Lilley (Unattached), Ali Shaw (Springwell Running Club), Peter Ferris (Unattached), Ken Beggs (East Antrim Harriers).  AAI National 24hr medallist Iryna Kennedy (Lagan Valley AC) completed two of the four events, recording 5:03:30 (Day 3 – Mamore) and 5:13:36 (Day 4 – Muff).


Full Results:  Quadrathon 2014 Results

Podium places for Northern Ireland athletes in Monaghan:

Monaghan 10m Road Race 2014:

On Sunday 17th August 2014, hundreds of athletes and spectators from Northern Ireland made the short border crossing to County Monaghan (Ireland) for the annual Monaghan 10 mile road race.  


Despite the tougher than expected course and blustery conditions, there were a number of notable performances by the local contingent.  None more so than Armagh AC's Leroy Brady, who claimed a podium place in 54:44 (3rd place). Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) crossed the line just eleven seconds later in 54:55 (4th place) and was followed by fellow Northern Ireland men, Chris McPeak (City of Derry AC) – 56:52 (7th place), Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) – 57:19 (8th place), Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 57:28 (9th place) and Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) – 57:54 (10th place), all of whom secured top ten finishes.


Brian McGread (Omagh Harriers), who finished as runner up at the Kesh 10k last week, narrowly missed a sub one hour finish after recording 1:00:31 (16th place).  Murlough AC's Alan Johnston ran 1:02:45 (19th place) and was joined in the finish area by Newry City Runners' Stephen Quinn (20th place – 1:03:24).  Enniskillen Running Club duo Cathal May and David Carron ran 1:04:10 (23rd place) and 1:04:26 (24th place) respectively, before the leading lady, Donna Evans (Finn Valley AC) broke the tape in 1:05:18 (1st place).  Ryan Treaner led a large group of Sperrin Harriers home in 1:06:58 (35th place), finishing just ahead of Lagan Valley AC's Jason Ratcliffe (40th place – 1:07:42) who in-turn, beat Enniskillen Running Clubs Dave Slater (41st place – 1:07:46) by a mere four seconds.


Michael Walsh (Enniskillen Running Club) clocked 1:08:03 (43rd place), before Tommy Harraghy (Sperrin Harriers) crossed the line in 1:08:37 (47th place). Paul Carron (Enniskillen Running Club) covered the distance in 1:10:17 (58th place) and was joined in the finish area by St Peter's AC athlete Eileen Stevenson (pictured above), who took 3rd place in the ladies race, having recorded 1:10:32.  Newry City Runners' Sean Goodman followed five seconds later in 1:10:37 (63rd place), while recent Kesh 10k winner Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club) continued her good form with a 1:10:55 finish, thus taking 4th place in the ladies race.


Sean Smith was another Newry City Runners finisher, having run 1:11:52 (72nd place); this was enough to see Sean cross the line before Magherafelt Harriers athlete Francis Stewart, who ran well to finish in 1:12:15 (76th place).  Michael Englishby (Newry City Runners) clocked 1:13:56 (91st place), while Sperrin Harriers' Toirleach Gourley and Newry City Runners' Caroline Wade claimed top one hundred finishing positions in 97th place and 98th place.  Toirleach ran 1:14:33 (97th place) and Caroline completed the route in 1:14:39, which sealed 10th place in the ladies competition.


The race was won by Belfast City Marathon winner Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock) in 52:07 (1st place).  There were also numerous other top outings by Northern Ireland based athletes, including DUB Runners' Maeve Lavery who won the ladies category in the associated 5 mile race in 33:25 (1st place).


Full Results:  Monaghan 10m Road Race 2014 Results

Pure Running Half Marathon Series 2014 reaches exciting climax:

Pure Running Half Marathon Series 2014 update:

The culmination of the popular Pure Running Half Marathon Series is now in sight; after last weeks Groomsport Half Marathon, which brought victories for David Proctor (Willowfield Harriers) and Heather Foley (Unattached), there is only one more event remaining, the Dambusters Half Marathon on Saturday 30th August 2014.


The aforementioned Groomsport Half Marathon winners are both performing well in the overall Series, with Heather having an uncatchable lead in the Female Open category and David currently sitting in the runners up spot in the Male Vet35 category, which is led by Marc Jennings (North Belfast Harriers).  Natalie Bowbanks (Unattached) and Eileen Jack (Unattached) are in second and third place behind Heather in the Female Open category, but that could change if Gym Tech’s Liosa McKeown competes in the final event.  Given her previous performances, Liosa would be the favourite to take second place, which would then mean that Natalie and Eileen would drop down a position.  Consistent athlete Anne Fitzpatrick looks to have sealed top spot in the Female Vet35 category.


On of the most exciting categories is the Female Vet40; although Catherine Roberts (North Down AC) has all but sealed the title, the three places behind her are still to be confirmed, with Diane Watson (City of Lisburn AC), Janice White (Forge Harriers) and Janice Plumb (East Coast AC) all vying for a top three finish going into the final race.  The Male equivalent Vet40 competition is pretty much confirmed, with Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers), Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) and Mark Walker (Unattached) taking the prize-winning place.


Penny Lindsay (North Belfast Harriers), Ita McCambridge (North Belfast Harriers) and Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) look like the Female Vet45, Vet50 and Vet55 category winners, while Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC), Nat Glenn (North Belfast Harriers), Ben Trowell (Unattached) and Norman Mawhinney (Ballydrain Harriers) have been rewarded for their consistency in the Male Vet35, Vet45, Vet50 and Vet55 categories.


Anyone who has currently completed two races in the second half of the Series, can still count as part of the overall rankings if they compete at the final event, which as previously mentioned, is the Born 2 Run Dambusters Half Marathon, which will take place on Saturday 30th August 2014.  Entry is available HERE. A full set of the updated Pure Running Half Marathon Series 2014 standings are also available HERE.

James Savage and Louise Smith shine at 'Bright 10k' road race:

Bright Run 10k Road Race 2014:

On Sunday 17th August 2014, nearly one hundred runners turned out for the inaugural running if the 'Bright 10k' road race and associated 5k in Downpatrick, County Down.


In damp and blustery conditions, it was members of the co-hosting club, East Down AC, who stole the headlines.  James Savage (East Down AC) continued his recent good form, claiming victory in 37:00 (1st place).  Fellow East Down AC athletes Francis Tumelty and young Caolan Atkinson crossed the line in 37:16 and 38:14 respectively, therefore claiming 2nd place and 3rd place.


In the ladies race, North Belfast Harriers' Louise Smith was the star of the show; Louise, a podium finisher at the recent Cookstown Half Marathon, led from gun to tape.  She (Louise) not only taking top honours in the ladies race after breaking the tape in 38:21 (1st place), but also secured fourth place overall. Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) took 2nd place in 46:09, while Ballydrain Harriers' Nicky McKeag completed the ladies top three in 49:11 (3rd place). In the associated 5k, Curtis McCaw (Ballydrain Harriers) was first home in 17:31 (1st place); Unattached athlete Ciara Sharvin sealed top spot in the ladies category in a time of 26:03 (1st place).


Top 3 Men:  1st James Savage (East Down AC) – 37:00, 2nd Francis Tumelty (East Down AC) – 37:16, 3rd Caolan Atkinson (East Down AC) – 38:14


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) – 38:21, 2nd Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) – 46:09, 3rd Nicky McKeag (Ballydrain Harriers) – 49:11


Full Results:  Bright Run 10k 2014 Results

Local athletes in action at BMC Solihull Grand Prix:

BMC Solihull Grand Prix 2014 Results:

This weekend (Saturday 17th August 2014), at least eight runners from Northern Ireland travelled to Solihill, just outside Birmingham (England), for the British Milers Club (BMC) Solihull Grand Prix.


There were several notable performances from the local athletes, who faced top quality opposition.  Annadale Striders' Johnny Foster and Banbridge AC's Emma Mitchell both recorded new personal bests after running 1:59.33 (3rd place) and 4:27.70 (14th place) in their respective 800m and 1500m events.  Johnny's 800m 'I' race was won by Dominic Bill (Halestown AC) in 1:57.39 (1st place), while Emma's 1500m 'A' race was won by Jemma Simpson (Newquay AC) in 4:12.18 (1st place).


Commonwealth Games hero Katie Kirk (Queens Uni AC) produced an excellent performance to claim 2nd place in the 800m 'A' race; Katie recorded 2:03.46 in the race won by Jenny Meadows (Wigan & District AC) in 2:01.48 (1st place).  Also in the 800m ('E' race), USA based Northern Ireland man Steven Morrow (Ballymena & Antrim AC) took 5th place after crossing the line in 1:55.77; Basingstoke & Mid Herts AC athlete Tom Sycklemoore led the field home in 1:54.64 (1st place).


North Down AC man Michael Dyer ran a seasons best of 3:49.55 to claim 5th place in the 1500m 'B' race.  In the same race, which was won by Notts AC's Sam Mitchell (3:46.57), Ballymena & Antrim AC's Gareth Hill clocked 3:50.88 (10th place).  Annadale Striders' James O'Hare continued what has been an excellent season with a 3:48.23 (11th place) outing in the 1500m 'A' race won by Jonathan Hay (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC) in 3:42.13 (1st place). Stephen Kerr (Armagh AC) looked in good form as he completed the 3,000m 'A' race in 8:41.42 (7th place); the race was won by Brighton & Hove AC's William Gray in 8:14.81 (1st place).


Full Results:  BMC Solihill Grand Prix 2014 Results

Kevin Seaward and Thomas Frazer perform well at Euro Championships:

European Athletics Championships 2014:

On Sunday 17th August 2014, two Northern Ireland men were in action at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland.  Kevin Seaward (St Malachy's AC) and Thomas Frazer (St Malachy's AC) both lined up in the marathon, which covered a tough course.


Kevin was the first of the pair to cross the line, after recording 2:20:30 (28th place).  His club mate, Thomas followed just over two minutes later in 2:22:33 (32nd place).  In the 'Marathon Cup' (team competition), the Ireland team, which also included Rathfarnham WSAF's Sean Hehir (20th place – 2:17:59) took 7th place.  The race was won by Italian athlete Daniele Meucci in 2:11:08 (1st place), while Russia won the Marathon Cup.


Full Results:   European Athletics Championships 2014 Results 

Northern Ireland team claim top ten place at WMRA Championships:

WMRA Championships 2014 (in conjunction with Pikes Peak Ascent):

On Saturday 16th August 2014, a team of mountain runners from Northern Ireland were in competition at the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Championships, which were held in conjunction with the prestigious and notoriously difficult Pikes Peak Ascent in Colorado, America.  


The men, Justin Maxwell (East Coast AC), Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC), Chris Stirling (Ambleside AC) and Peter Bell (Pegasus AC) completed the 13.3 mile 'ascent only' course, which saw them start at 1,920 metres above sea level and ascend to the finish at 4,302 metres, a total elevation gain of 2,382 metres.


Up against the world's top athletes, the Northern Ireland runners coped very well with the course, but understandably found the altitude and thin air more difficult. Nevertheless, all performed to their usually high standard.  Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) led the team home in 2:56:22 (81st place); Justin Maxwell followed in 3:04:04 (108th place), with England based Chris Stirling crossing the line in 3:20:20 (185th place).  Peter Bell completed a good day for the team when he recorded 3:53:57 (451st place).


This was enough to see the four man team claim a very credible 8th place overall.  The race was won by well-known American Sage Canaday in 2:10:03 (1st place), while Allie McLaughlin (USA) claimed the ladies title in 2:33:42 (1st place).  The host country, USA, secured both the male and female team prizes.


Full Results:  WMRA Championships (Pikes Peak Ascent) 2014 Results

Amy Foster and Ireland team mates break National 4x100m record:

European Athletics Championships 2014:

On Saturday 16th August 2014, Northern Ireland 100m and 200m record holder Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) was in action at the European Athletics Championships in  Zurich, Switzerland.


After having performed well in her individual 100m event, Amy lined up with Ireland team mates Kelly Proper, Sarah Lavin and Phil Healy in the 4x100m relay competition.  Despite narrowly missing qualification for the semi-final, the speedy ladies produced an excellent display to set a new national 4x100m relay record of 43.84secs (4th place).  The race was won by Team GB in 42.62secs (1st place).


There was unfortunate news from the Ireland camp on Saturday (16th August 2014) evening, when it was announced that medal hopeful Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) would miss tomorrows European Championship marathon with a hip injury.  Fellow Northern Ireland men Kevin Seaward and Tomas Frazer, both of St Malachy's AC will still compete in the event, which will be televised live on BBC2 from 7.45am on Sunday 17th August 2014.


Full Results:  European Athletics Championships 2014 Results (Photo above taken from Finn Valley AC website)

Stephen Morris and Helen Stockdale win ANI 10,000m Championships:

Athletics NI 10,000m Championships 2014:

On Saturday 16th August 2014, junior, senior and veteran athletes from across Northern Ireland were in action at the Northern Ireland Multi-Event Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.  As part of the two day competition, there were several 'Open' races, which included the Northern Ireland 10,000m Championships.


What should have been the highlight of the day, given it's Championship status, the 10,000m race attracted just two runners, Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC) and Helen Stockdale (Finn Valley AC).  In windy conditions, Stephen and Helen showed grit and determination to finish in 35:43 and 38:08 respectively; both Stephen and Helen were crowned Northern Ireland Champions and collected the associated gold medals.


At the well-organised events, there were also good wins for Kris Wilson (Lagan Valley AC) and Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) in the 3,000m, with Kris running 9:55.56 and Rachel 10:20.98.  In the 800m race, Balmoral Harriers' Finbar Toolan clocked 2:03.11 to lead the field home; North Down AC lady Jessica Craig was the first lady to cross the line, in 2:19.10.


Full results will be added as soon as they are available.

Proctor, Foley, Wylie and Perry take top honours in Groomsport:

Groomsport Half Marathon and 10k 2014:

On Friday 15th August 2014, hundreds of athletes and spectators descended on the coastal village of Groomsport (County Down) for the penultimate race in the 2014 Pure Running Half Marathon Series, the Groomsport Half Marathon.  The event also included a 10k road race.


After a competitive race, it was Series regular and consistent performer David Proctor (Willowfield Harriers) who claimed victory.  David, a familiar face in or around the top ten at most of the longer distance events, secured the win in 1:18:22 (1st place).  Orangegrove AC's fast improving Joe Craney crossed the line just ten seconds later in 1:18:32 (2nd place), while long serving Dromore AC athlete Nigel Grier clocked 1:20:01 for (3rd place).


Heather Foley (Unattached) continued her dominance of the ladies category in the popular Half Marathon Series.  The unattached athlete led from gun to tape, cruising into the finish in 1:23:30 (1st place).  Catherine Roberts (North Down AC), Anne Fitzpatrick (Unattached) and Liosa McKeown (Gym Tech) all looked like podium contenders throughout, but it was Catherine and Anne who eventually claimed the places, with Catherine taking the runners up spot in 1:30:50 (2nd place) and Anne 3rd place in 1:31:46.


Local athlete Stephen Wylie (North Down AC) looked strong in the 10k event; having led from the off, the Portaferry 10 mile Champion powered home in 34:37 (1st place).  Kent Swann ran well to seal 2nd place in 37:35, while North Down AC's Chris Speers (3rd place – 37:52) completed the top three seventeen seconds later.  Amanda Perry continued an excellent night for North Belfast Harriers when she topped the ladies podium.  Like her male counterpart (Stephen Wylie), Amanda looked unbeatable as she covered the 6.2 mile course in 42:14 (1st place).  Unattached athlete Pauline Miller crossed the line in 45:00 (2nd place), a minute and a half ahead of Judith Taylor (Unattached) who ran 46:30 (3rd place).


Half Marathon: 

Top 3 Men:  1st David Proctor (Willowfield Harriers) – 1:18:22, 2nd Joe Craney (Orangegrove AC) – 1:18:32, 3rd Nigel Grier (Dromore AC) – 1:20:01

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Heather Foley (Unattached) – 1:23:30, 2nd Catherine Roberts (North Down AC) – 1:30:50, 3rd Anne Fitzpatrick (Unattached) – 1:31:46


10k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Wylie (North Down AC) – 34:47, 2nd Kent Swann (North Belfast Harriers) – 37:35, 3rd Chris Speers (North Down AC) – 37:52

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Amanda Perry (North Belfast Harriers) – 42:14, 2nd Pauline Millar (Unattached) – 45:00, 3rd Judith Taylor (Unattached) – 46:30


Full Results:  Groomsport HM and 10k 2014 Results

Brian Campbell and Cathy McCourt excel at Mallusk 5m Road Race:

Athletes enjoy inaugural Mallusk 5m Road Race:

On Friday 15th August 2014, nearly one hundred and fifty athletes turned out for the inaugural running of the Mallusk 5 mile road race, a well organised event hosted by Mallusk Harriers.


In dry but breezy conditions, the athletes set off on a looped course, which would see them move quickly off the main industrial estate road and onto a steep ascent.  The long climb certainly slowed proceedings, but the gathered spectators didn't have to wait too long for the leading runners to return.  It was Willowfield Harriers' Brian Campbell who turned onto the finishing straight first; well clear of any potential challenger, Brian quickly negotiated the final yards to cross the line in 26:59 (1st place).  The in-form Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) followed in 27:29 (2nd place), which was enough to see him finish just ahead of club mate Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) who recorded 27:58 for 3rd place.


Cathy McCourt ensured that North Belfast Harriers were represented on the ladies podium when she bettered the finishing position of her male club mates Mark and Andrew.  Cathy, who recently claimed a category gold at the AAI National Half Marathon, broke the tape in 31:21 (1st place).  In an exciting contest between Springwell Running Club ladies Gillian Wasson and Gemma Turley, it was Lurig Challenge winner Gillian Wasson who edged it; Gillian finished in 32:46 (2nd place), with Gemma following in 33:30 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) – 26:59, 2nd Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 27:29, 3rd Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) – 27:58


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) – 31:21, 2nd Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) – 32:46, 3rd Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 33:30


Full Results:  Mallusk 5m Road Race 2014 Results - Photos from the Mallusk 5m Road Race are now available within our Photo Gallery.

Weekend Preview:  Athletes set for local, national and international....

Local runners to compete on local, national and international stage:

As another weekend descends upon us, it is once again time to look ahead to the upcoming action; with events on Friday (15th August 2014), Saturday (16th August 2014) and Sunday (17th August 2014), there is plenty of choice for the local running fraternity within the province.  


Further afield, athletes from Northern Ireland will take part in ongoing events in Zurich (Switzerland), Monaghan (Ireland) and Donegal (Ireland), whilst a team from Northern Ireland will also compete at the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Championships in Colorado (USA).


On Friday 15th August 2014, hundreds of athletes are expected to descend on the coastal village of Groomsport (County Down) for the penultimate race of the 2014 Pure Running Half Marathon Series, the Groomsport Half Marathon; there will also be a 10k event as part of proceedings.


Don Travers (Newry City Runners) was a clear winner here last year, but the talented multi-sport enthusiast hasn’t featured just as much throughout this years Half Marathon Series.  However, if Don does decide to race, he’ll no doubt find himself in the thick of the action once again.  The same could be said for the likes of Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC).  Barrie has been a regular over 13.1 miles this year and has enjoyed some excellent performances, with a personal best of 1:14:17 over the distance.  Three weeks ago, the East Down AC man won the Cookstown Half Marathon and more recently, just last weekend, he (Barrie) recorded 16:14 for 5,000m at the GloHealth AAI National Masters Track & Field Championships in Tullamore, Ireland.  David Graham (Unattached) and Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) will both play a prominent part at the front should they enter on the night, while Nigel Grier (Dromore AC), Alan Johnston (Murlough AC), Mark Walker (Unattached), Norman Mawhinney (Ballydrain Harriers) and Marc Jennings (North Belfast Harriers) will also perform well.


The always impressive Heather Foley (Unattached) should be the ‘one to watch’ in the ladies race; Heather has won the Cookstown Half Marathon and the Ballinderry Bridge 10k in recent weeks and will prove difficult to knock off top spot, should she toe the line.  That will not stop fellow Series regulars, Janice White (Forge Harriers), Janice Plumb (East Coast AC), Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) and Diane Watson (City of Lisburn AC) from having a go.  These ladies will finish in or around the podium places, while Nikki Heywood (North Down AC), Anne Fitzpatrick (Unattached) and Natalie Bowbanks (Unattached) will all be hoping for a place in the top ten.

On the same night (Friday 15th August 2014), newly established running club, Mallusk Harriers, will host the inaugural running of their Mallusk 5 mile road race in County Antrim.


The course, which includes a long steady climb, should suit North Belfast Harriers star Mark McKinstry.  The popular athlete spends a lot of time training off-road, which has no doubt added strength to his speed; speaking of his speedy side, last week Mark set a new Ecos parkrun course record of 16:20.  This alongside good runs at the Active Antrim 5 mile road race and the East Antrim Harriers Trail Series will mean that Mark will go into this event high in confidence.  Mark could well be joined on the start line by North Belfast Harriers club mates John Black, Nat Glenn and Brendan Grew, who will all finish well up the field.  Larne based athletes James Brown (Larne AC), Bernard Brady (Larne AC), David Clarke (East Coast AC) and Billy Thompson (Larne AC) will also be aiming for good performances, as will Energia 24 hour race competitor Ryan Armstrong (Ballymena Runners) and Belfast man Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC).


Springwell Running Club athletes Gillian Wasson and Gemma Turley will be the leading contenders for top honours in the ladies race.  Both have been running well of late, with Gillian winning the prestigious Lurig Challenge last week, while Gemma claimed a podium spots at the Milk Run and Stanley Reid Memorial. North Belfast Harriers’ Claire Connor could well be a late entry; if she is, Claire will be worth watching.  Larne AC’s Kirsty Sharratt and Geraldine Quigley will have their eyes on prizes, while the ever consistent pairing of Liz Leitch (Orangegrove AC) and Paula Wallace (Fit N’Running) may be considered as outside bets for podium places and/or category prizes.


Further afield on Friday 15th August 2014, local endurance runners Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), Gary Connolly (Seapark AC), Ken Beggs (East Antrim Harriers) and Ali Shaw (Springwell Running Club) will be on the second day of their four marathons in four day’s ‘Quadrathon’ multi-stage race in Donegal, Ireland.  The event will see competitors cover 26.2 miles on over four consecutive day’s, from Thursday 14th August to Sunday 17th August 2014.


On Saturday 16th August 2014, attention will turn to the Mary Peters Track in Belfast, where the Athletics NI 10,000m Championships will be incorporated in the Multi-Event Track & Field Meet.  Information on possible entrants is hard to come by, but we anticipate that Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders), Joe McAlister (St Malachy's AC), Gary Murray (St Malachy's AC), Paddy Hamilton (Annadale Striders), Stephen Kerr (Armagh AC), Glenn Phair (Annadale Striders) and Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders) should all race.  The ladies event is just as hard to predict as the men's, but Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC), Natasha Adams (Lifford AC) and Patricia O'Hagan (St Peter's AC) may fancy a rattle at the title.  There will also be various other ‘open’ races on offer, with the 800m, 1500m and the 3,000m just a few a few of those on offer (click HERE for full programme), but the 10,000m will take centre stage.

In Colorado (America), a four man team from Northern Ireland will take on the prestigious Pikes Peak uphill only race on Saturday 16th August 2014.  

The race, which finishes at 12,000ft above sea level incorporates the World Mountain Running Association Championships and will therefore attract a classy field; Skyrunning World Series Champion Stevie Kremer, who is one of the headliners at NiRunning’s Mourne Skyline MTR in October (2014), will race at the event.


Meanwhile, in the men’s race, Justin Maxwell (East Coast AC), Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC), Peter Bell (Pegasus AC) and Chris Stirling (Ambleside AC) will face former Hanson-Brooks athlete Sage Canaday, amongst others, as they negotiate the 13.2 mile uphill only route, which includes a massive 7,815ft of ascending.


On Sunday 17th August 2014, a large turnout is expected for the first ever ‘Bright Run 10k’, which will take place in Downpatrick, County Down.  The event, which will be co-hosted by East Down AC, should attract a variety of athletes, ranging from those with the goal of completing the course to some well-known local faces.


Downpatrick RGU 10k winner Martin Wilcox (East Down AC) could be joined on the start line by Brian Young (Unattached), Dave Lonnen (City of Lisburn AC), Brendan Quail (Newcastle AC) and Michael Cultra (East Down AC).  In the ladies race, Northern Ireland international mountain runner and winner of last nights Darragh Cross 6 mile road race, Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) should be amongst the leaders.  Fellow East Down AC athletes Laura Gardiner and Cheryl Denvir won’t be far off the pace either, but will have to fend off the challenge of the likes of Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) and Gillian Burns (Dromore AC should they want prizes.


Also on Sunday 17th August 2014, a large contingent of runners from Northern Ireland will travel south to Monaghan (Ireland) for the 4th annual running of the Monaghan 10 mile road race.  In the 2013, Carmen Runners were well represented, with Michael Kerr (Carmen Runners) finishing in the top ten; we would expect a similar performance from Michael this time around.  The vests of Newry City Runners and Dromore AC should also be present.


Three Northern Ireland runners will represent Ireland at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland on Sunday 17th August 2014.  Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) and St Malachy’s AC duo Thomas Frazer and Kevin Seaward will hope to follow on from notable performances from other NI runners when they take to the marathon startline.  The event, which will be televised live on BBC2, will kick off at 8am.


Northern Ireland’s nineteen parkrun events will also take place this weekend, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page. 

David McNeilly and Catherine O'Connor win Darragh Cross 6m Road Race:

Darragh Cross 6 mile Road Race 2014:

On Wednesday 14th August 2014, athletes from across Northern Ireland turned out for the annual Darragh Cross 6 mile road race in County Down.


In good running conditions, it was Newcastle AC's David McNeilly who impressed most.  David showed that he has well and truly put a recent rib injury behind him as she produced a strong performance to claim victory in 34:46 (1st place).  Richard Coey (Ballydrain Harriers) returned to competition to take 2nd place in 35:17 (2nd place), while East Down AC's James Savage crossed the line in 35:22 (3rd place).


International mountain runner Catherine O'Connor (East Down AC) looked strong as she dominated proceedings in the ladies race.  There was no sign of any lose of speed, given her time on the mountains as Catherine led the ladies home in 37:46; this not only secured 1st place in the ladies race but 8th place overall. Ballydrain Harriers' Aoibhinn Clinton followed in 42:17 (2nd place), before her club mate Fiona Johnston (Ballydrain Harriers) continued her recent good form with another podium place; Fiona recorded 42:34 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 34:46, 2nd Richard Coey (Ballydrain Harriers) – 35:17, 3rd James Savage (East Down AC) – 35:22


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Catherine O'Connor (East Down AC) – 37:46, 2nd Aoibhinn Clinton (Ballydrain Harriers) – 42:17, 3rd Fiona Johnston (Ballydrain Harriers) – 42:34


Full Results:  Darragh Cross 6m Road Race 2014 Results - Photograph used above courtesy of Mags Mathieson.

Christine McMahon runs well in European Championships semi-final:

European Athletics Championships 2014 (Day 3):

On Wednesday 14th August 2014, Ballymena & Antrim AC star and recently crowned AAI National Senior 400m hurdles Champion Christine McMahon was in action at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland.


After an impressive outing in the earlier heats (on Tuesday 13th August 2014), where Christine recorded 57.16secs to qualify for the semi-final, the Northern Ireland based athlete lined up in a competitive Heat 2 of the 400m hurdles.  Christine appeared to jump well but tired in the final stages, crossing the line in 57.31secs (8th place).  Unfortunately, this was not enough to see Christine qualify for the final, but the 22 year old athlete will take a lot of positives away from the competition.  The race was won by Scottish athlete Eilidh Child (Team GB) in 54.71secs (1st place).


Full Results:  European Athletics Championships 2014 Results (Photograph taken from Finn Valley AC facebook page)

Christine McMahon and Amy Foster in action on Day 2 of Euro's:

European Athletics Championships 2014 (Day 2):

On Wednesday 13th August 2014, Northern Ireland based athletes Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) were in action on Day 2 of the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland.


Christine kicked off the day with an excellent performance in what was an eventful 400m hurdles heat (Heat 2).  After one athlete was disqualified and one fell at the final hurdle, falling into Christine's lane, the 22 year old Ballymena & Antrim AC athlete managed to hold her composure well to cross the line in 57.16secs (3rd place), ensuring automatic qualification for the semi-final.  Heat 2 was won by Vera Barbosa (Portugal) in 55.85secs (1st place).  Christine will now line up in a very competitive Heat 2 of the 400m hurdles semi-final's tomorrow (Wednesday 14th August 2014) at 5.20pm.


In the evening session, which was delayed because of a storm, Northern Ireland 100m record holder Amy Foster battled well in a tough 100m semi-final (Heat 1).  After a good start, Amy recorded 11.79secs (8th place) into a headwind (-1.9).  Unfortunately this was not enough to see Amy progress to the final. The race was won by Myriam Soumare (France) in 11.17secs (1st place).


Full Results:  European Athletics Championships 2014 Results (Photograph by Keith McClure)

Important Information:  Rathlin Run 2014 - Entries Close/Ferries Full:

IMPORTANT INFORMATION:

As of Wednesday 13th August 2014, no further entries can be taken for the Rathlin Run 2014.  All ferries running from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island on Saturday 23rd August 2014 are FULL!


The only exception to this ruling is if you have already booked your ferry place, but still need to enter the race through Belfast Activity Centre (028 90 600132); if this is the case, you MUST enter before 5pm on Friday 15th August 2014! 


Note:  If you are willing to travel to Rathlin Island on Friday 22nd August 2014, returning on Sunday 24th August 2014, we may be able to accommodate your entry, but please book your ferry first and then contact Belfast Activity Centre before 5pm on Friday 15th August 2014.

Amy Foster qualifies for European Championships semi-final:

European Athletics Championships 2014 (Day 1):

On Tuesday 12th August 2014, two out of the six Northern Ireland athletes representing Ireland at the European Athletics Track & Field Championships in Zurich (Switzerland), opened their campaign on Day 1 of the prestigious Championships.


Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) were in action in their respective 400m hurdles and 100m events; Jason was up first in his 400m hurdles heat, and despite a blistering start, the Belfast based athlete failed to qualify for the next round after crossing the line in 51.91secs (7th place).  The race was won by Kariem Hussein (Switzerland) in 49.70secs.  Just over an hour later, Northern Ireland record holder Amy Foster lined up for her 100m heat.  In a close contest, which was won by Dutch record holder Dafne Schippers (11.10secs), Amy took 5th place in a time of 11.51secs; this was enough to see Amy reach the semi-finals as one of the fastest non-automatic qualifiers. 


Amy's 100m Semi-Final (Heat 1) will take place tomorrow (Wednesday 13th August 2014) at 5.17pm (GMT). Ballymena & Antrim AC's Christine McMahon will also be in action in the 400m hurdles heat tomorrow; Christine will race in Heat 1 at 10.05am. Coverage of the European Athletics Championships is available most days on BBC2.


Full Results:  European Athletics Championships 2014 Results (Photograph above by Keith McClure)

Stephen Cassidy and Karen Dolan claim double for Enniskillen RC in Kesh:

County Fermanagh race proves popular with local athletes:

On Monday 11th August 2014, over two hundred and fifty running enthusiasts participated in the Kesh 10k (and the associated 4k fun run) in County Fermanagh.


At the head of the pack, it was local man Stephen Cassidy (Enniskillen Running Club) who impressed most.  Stephen, a podium finisher at the Lisnaskea 10k and Omagh CBS 10k in recent months, and one of the men behind his clubs successful cross country season, broke the tape in 33:56 (1st place).  Omagh Harriers' Brian McGread followed just over one minute later in 35:01 (2nd place), while another in-form athlete, Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC), completed the top three in 35:21 (3rd place).


The ladies race also brought a local winner; this was in the form of Enniskillen Running Clubs Karen Dolan.  Karen, who ran an impressive 1:36:34 at last weeks National Half Marathon in Dublin, showed the same strength to lead the ladies home in 41:41 (1st place).  Ballymena Runners front runner Jacqueline McIlrath secured 2nd place in 42:25 (2nd place), with Roisin McDonnell (Enniskillen Running Club) crossing the line in 45:11 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Cassidy (Enniskillen Running Club) – 33:56, 2nd Brian McGread (Omagh Harriers) – 35:01, 3rd Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC) – 35:21


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club) – 41:41, 2nd Jacqueline McIlrath (Ballymena Runners) – 42:25, 3rd Roisin McDonnell (Enniskillen Running Club) – 45:11


Full Results:  Kesh 10k (and 4k) 2014 Results

DCTC enjoy major success as NI athletes claim AAI Masters medals:

AAI National Masters T&F Championships 2014:

On Sunday 10th August 2014, a large number of athletes from Northern Ireland travelled south to Tullamore in County Offaly (Ireland) for the GloHealth AAI National Track & Field Championships.


Despite the wet and at times blustery conditions, there were many notable performances and personal bests on a day, but it was those who achieved podium places who claimed the headlines.  Northern Ireland based club, Derry City Track Club, enjoyed a spectacular day, with no less than six club members claiming medals.  In the closely contested Vet35 800m, Tim Shiels (1st place - 2:03.06) claimed gold after finishing just ahead of club mate Adrian Boyle, who took the silver medal in 2:03.81 (2nd place).  


Two more of the clubs athletes, Cathal McLaughlin and Gerry McGee celebrated excellent performances in the Vet45 1500m, with the pair taking 1st place and 3rd place; Cathal won in 4:28.58 (1st place) and Gerry sealed 3rd place in 4:31.95.  Cathal followed this up with a silver medal in the Vet45 800m.  The ever-green athlete recorded 2:06.54 (2nd place) to finish behind Finn Valley AC's Paul Carlin, who crossed the line in 2:06.48 (1st place).  Vet75 athlete Frank Stewart (1st place – 16.25secs) continued the Derry City Track Club medal haul with a win in the 100m, while Robert Bigger replicated that position in the Vet55 800m, when he clocked 2:25.94 (1st place) for top spot.  Robert also picked up a silver medal in the Vet55 400m, when he ran 63.29secs to finish behind winner Anthony Martin (Monaghan Phoenix AC), who broke the beam in 59.55secs.   


North Down AC's Michael Roberts ran well in the Vet60 800m, eventually finishing in 2:47.12 (3rd place); the race was won by Clonliffe Harriers' George Maybury in 2:36.16 (1st place).  Jim Harris (Orangegrove AC) doubled up in the Vet65 400m and 800m and enjoyed success in both.  In the 400m, Jim ran 76.99secs for 2nd place; the race was won by Liam Harris in 73.55secs (1st place).  Jim then took 3rd place in the 800m, when he ran 2:54.50 to finish as runner up to Galway City Harriers' Martin McEvilly (2:38.76).  The always impressive James Brown (City of Derry AC) climbed the podium in the 5,000m event, taking 2nd place in the Vet40 category after crossing the line in 16:25.05.  The category was won by Sli Cualann AC's Damien Lawless (1st place - 16:16.66)


British Champion Ruth Magill (Lagan Valley AC) added the AAI National Vet55 title to her impressive career CV.  Ruth crossed the line in 32.70secs (1st place), claiming the gold medal.  Ruth followed this up with a silver medal in her category over 3,000m after running 11:35.53 (2nd place) to finish behind DMP AC's Ann Sullivan (1st place – 11:15.35).  Denise Toner (Clones AC) topped the podium in both the Vet35 400m and 800m races, winning the 400m in 61.62secs (1st place) and the 800m in 2:21.59 (1st place).  Northern Ireland international cross country runner Helen Stockdale (Finn Valley AC) also collected a medal over 3,000m.  Helen won the Vet50 3,000m in 10:45.29 (1st place), adding to another win in the Vet50 1500m, where she ran 5:09.61 (1st place); that wasn't all for Helen, who is the current Donegal Novice Masters XC Champion, as she also picked up silver in the Vet50 800m after recording 2:41.52 (2nd place).  The race was won by Clonliffe Harriers' Geraldine Keogh in 2:40.22 (1st place).  


Full Results:  GloHealth AAI National Masters Track & Field Championships 2014 Results (Men ResultsLadies Results).  Note - Photograph used above taken from Derry City Track Club's facebook page.

Karen Alexander wins as athletes from NI impress in Austria and Ireland:

Karen Alexander and Paddy Hamilton impress outside Northern Ireland:

This weekend, runners from Northern Ireland have been in action outside the province, with the most notable performance coming from Acorns AC athlete Karen Alexander in Austria.  Annadale Striders' Paddy Hamilton also impressed in Ireland.


On Saturday 9th August 2014, Karen, who was racing at the Salomon Ganghofer Half Marathon in Austria, in preparation for the upcoming World Masters Mountain Running Championships (Austria) and the Mourne Skyline MTR (Northern Ireland), claimed an outstanding victory.  Up against quality opposition, the international long distance athlete completed the tough 13.1 mile trail course in 1:30:04 (1st place); this was enough to see Karen win by over four minutes, from German runner Ulrike Mayor-Tancic (1st place - 1:34:28).


On Sunday 10th August 2014, Paddy Hamilton (Annadale Striders) continued his build up to the Airtricity Dublin Marathon in October (2014) with an excellent run at the 29th annual running of the 'Streets of Galway 8k' in Galway, Ireland.  Paddy, a fourth place finisher at the event in 2013, recorded a speedy 24:33 for 5th place.  The hotly contested event was won by Mullingar Harriers' Martin Fagan in 23:38 (1st place).


Full Results:  Salomon Ganghofer HM 2014 Results and Streets of Galway 8k 2014 Results

Declan Reed and Ann-Marie McGlynn win at Riverine 10k in Co. Donegal:

Nearly 300 athletes participate in Riverine 10k 2014:

On Sunday 10th August 2014, nearly three hundred athletes took part in the annual Riverine 10k road race, hosted by Lifford AC in Lifford, County Donegal (Ireland).


In wet conditions, it was athletes from Northern Ireland who dominated the podium places.  City of Derry AC men Declan Reed and Greg Roberts, and Foyle Valley AC's Scott Rankin were involved in an epic battle for the honours.  In the end, it was current AAI Masters XC Champion Declan who collected the top prize in 31:09 (1st place), a mere four seconds ahead of Scott and Greg, who both crossed the line in 31:13; Scott was awarded 2nd place, with Greg taking 3rd place.


Although the ladies race was just as closely contested, it will also make the headline.  Strabane based Irish international Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) looked a class act as she slashed half a minute off her previous 10k personal best, after breaking the tape in 34:41 (1st place).  Fellow Stabane lady and Lifford AC team mate, Claire McGuigan followed in 38:53 (2nd place), while Catherine Dooher (Finn Valley AC) secured 3rd place in 40:51.


Top 3 Men:  1st Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) – 31:09, 2nd Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 31:13, 3rd Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) – 31:13


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) – 34:41, 2nd Claire McGuigan (Lifford AC) – 38:53, 3rd Catherine Dooher (Finn Valley AC) – 40:51


Full Results:  Riverine 10k 2014 Results

Allan Bogle and Gillian Wasson win Lurig Challenge 2014:

Hundreds enjoy atmospheric Lurig Challenge 2014:

On Saturday 9th August 2014, hundreds of runners and spectators descended on the coastal village of Cushendall (County Antrim) for the well-organised and atmospheric Lurig Challenge. The mountain race, which attracts a variety of athletes, covers 3.5 miles in distance (with 375m of ascent) and is part of a week long festival of events in the area.


After starting in the middle of the village, the seemingly endless string of runners made their way uphill, negotiating steps and farming land before reaching the open mountain.  Once there, the athletes made their way up the north face of Lurgethan, and on reaching the summit, they descended back towards the village, where they were welcomed by the exceptionally loud crowd, which was 6-7 deep in places.


As predicted, there was an interesting dual between Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) and Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) at the front, but in the end, it was the City of Derry Spartan, who reached the village and the cheering crowds first; Allan turned onto the home straight and made short work of the downhill finish, crossing the line in 28:06 (1st place).  The always impressive Jonny was next home in 29:33 (2nd place), while his in-form club mate, Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) claimed a podium place in 30:47 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, Springwell Running Club athlete Gillian Wasson, a runner up in the event for the past two years, looked strong as she dominated proceedings to lead the ladies home in 35:36 (1st place).  Local lady, Catherine McLaughlin (Glens Runners) received one of the loudest receptions, when she secured 2nd place in 37:28.  Lagan Valley AC's Hazel McLaughlin crossed the line in 40:17, thus taking 3rd place.


In the much anticipated battle for the 'first' local finisher, Cushendall based Ballymena Runners man Emmet McAlister took top honours in 31:55; the aforementioned Catherine McLaughlin (Glens Runners) won the ladies prize in 37:28 (2nd place).  Meanwhile, Ballymena Runners won the team prize.


Top 3 Men:  1st Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 28:06, 2nd Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) – 29:33, 3rd Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) – 30:47


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) – 35:36, 2nd Catherine McLaughlin (Glens Runners) – 37:28, 3rd Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) – 40:17


Full Results:  Lurig Challenge 2014 Results

Chris McPeake & Heather Foley excel at Ballinderry Bridge 10k:

Athletes turn out for increasingly popular Ballinderry Bridge 10k:

On Saturday 9th August 2014, over one hundred and forty athletes turned out for the annual Ballinderry Bridge 10k race. The scenic route started in the County Derry/Londonderry village of Ballinderry and traversed County Tyrone by way of three bridge crossings, before finishing back in Ballinderry.


In warm and sunny conditions, it was the reigning Champion who once again took centre stage; having recently returned to competition from a lengthy absence, City of Derry AC athlete Chris McPeake retained his title in impressive fashion.  After an excellent battle with Aaron Meharg (Acorns AC), Chris broke the tape in 34:24 (1st place), with Aaron following closely in 34:39 (2nd place).  Acorns AC's Aidan O'Hagan completed the top three in 35:59 (3rd place).


The seemingly unbeatable Heather Foley (Unattached) was a class act in the ladies race.  After excelling at the Cookstown Half Marathon and Stanley Reid Memorial 5 mile race in recent weeks, the Northern Ireland international cross country runner sealed victory in 37:22 (1st place).  Lagan Valley AC's Suzanne Higgins recorded 39:13 for 2nd place, while Helena Quinn (Termoneeny Running Club) crossed the line in 41:14 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC) – 34:24, 2nd Aaron Meharg (Acorns AC) – 34:39, 3rd Aidan O'Hagan (Acorns AC) – 35:39


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Heather Foley (Unattached) – 37:22, 2nd Suzanne Higgins (Lagan Valley AC) – 39:13, 3rd Helena Quinn (Termoneeny Running Club) – 41:14


Provisional Results:  Ballinderry Bridge 10k 2014 Results

Weekend Preview:  Road, mountain, track and trail for NI runners....

Weekend Preview:  Road, mountain, track and...

After a week of questionable summer weather, local athletes will be hoping for better conditions as they look ahead to a weekend of choice, with road, mountain and track races all on offer; Northern Ireland based runners will also compete at events in Ireland and Austria in the coming days. 


This weekends action will kick off on Saturday 9th August 2014, with the 4th annual running of the Ballinderry Bridge 10k.  The event, which covers a mixture of road and trail, starts in the County Derry/Londonderry village of Ballinderry, but will take competitors back and forth into the neighbouring County Tyrone, by way of three bridge crossings, before finishing back where it began.  


Proceedings will kick off at 12pm and on the day entry is available from 10am; record numbers are expected as the race grows in popularity.  Defending Champion and two time winner of the event, Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC), has returned to action in the last few weeks, after a long period away from competition; at the Stanley Reid Memorial, the Spartan ran well to claim 5th place in 27:42.  It is likely that Chris will face stiff competition at the front from Acorns AC man Aaron Meharg, who has been running well of late; he (Aaron) secured the runners up prize at both the Magherafelt Harriers 10k and the Maghera 10k before going on to win the Brackaghreilly 10k recently.  However, both Chris and Aaron will have fend of Sperrin Harriers duo Erin McDaid and Bladhian Glass, both of whom have the potential to challenge on their day.  The fast improving Darrell McKee (Acorns AC) will also be worth watch, as will Michael Kerr (Carmen Runners).


In the absence of Karen Alexander (Acorns AC), it is expected that the ladies race should bring a two way battle between Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) and Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club).  Anne, the winner of this race in 2013, has picked up prizes at the Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race and the Lisburn 10k in the last couple of months, so will be going into this event high in spirits.  Although, that will not put Gemma off, and the Springwell Running Club athlete will play a major part if she decides to race.  Unattached athlete Charlene Abraham, a podium finisher at the Stanley Reid Memorial, and Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers) will also feature at the head of the pack if they toe the line.  Up and coming Acorns AC star Rhian Pegram cannot be ruled out either, while Bronagh Hawe (Sperrin Harriers) and Ciara Coyle (Carmen Runners) will be ready to pounce should any of the aforementioned ladies falter.

Also on Saturday 9th August 2014, Glens Runners will host the annual Lurig Mountain Challenge in the seaside village of Cushendall (County Antrim). The event, which is approximately 3.5 miles in distance, with 375 metres of ascent, is part of a week long festival in the area and will see a mix of mountain, road and fun runners convene for a classic 'to the top and back' mountain race.  


Participants will start in the centre of the atmospheric village and make their way up the steps onto gradually ascending farming lane, before reaching the open mountain.  Once onto the grassy slopes, runners will climb the steep north face of Lurgethan, before descending from the summit and making their way back to the village finish line, which will be lined by hundreds, if not thousands of spectators.


It is likely that the top five from 2013 will participate.  This includes reigning Champion David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), runner up Paul McAnespie (Armagh AC), first local runner Kevin O'Boyle (Ballymena Runners) and his club mate and friend Emmet McAlister.  Fifth place finisher, Phelim McAllister of Larne AC should also run and always finishes well up the field.  


These men are likely to be joined by a plethora of mountain running talent including 2012 winner and newly crowned Northern Ireland Mountain Running (NIMRA) Champion Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners), winner of the Northern Ireland round of British Championship fell running races, Allan Bogle (City of Derry), who won here in 2011, and Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) who cruised to victory in last weeks iconic Seven Sevens long distance mountain running event.  These men are likely to battle it out for the podium positions and should be pursued by Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners), North Belfast Harriers pair Neil Carty and Nat Glenn, James Brown (Larne AC) and East Coast AC man Stephen Kennedy, who will all be chasing category prizes.  East Coast AC pair Justin Maxwell and Matthew Hewitt should challenge for top ten places.


In the ladies event, 2012 and 2013 winner Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and leader of the NIMRA Championship, Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) will be notable absentees.  Northern Ireland International trio Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Catherine O'Connor (East Down AC) and Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) are likely to be at the head of the field.  Catherine O'Connor, should she run, will be the lady to beat given her form in the 2014 Hill & Dale Series.  Catherine's podium finishes in the Series led to her first international vest, following selection for the Snowdon International in July 2014.  That said, Gillian Wasson has been training and running well of late and has good experience on this course and having finished runner up in 2012 and 2013 she (Gillian) will be eager to go one better in 2014.  Hazel McLaughlin, a runner up in last weeks Seven Sevens event may be more suited to the longer steeper terrain, but has the speed to stay in contention here.  North Belfast Harriers' Helen Weir, a podium finisher at the Belfast Hills event at the start of the summer, will also place well.  Registration for the event opens at midday, in the Courtyard off Main Street in Cushendall.  The race start time is 1pm, with the leading runners expected back in the village before 1.30pm.  


In Belfast (County Antrim) on Saturday 9th August 2014, athletes young and old will compete at Round 3 of the Youth Development League (inc Senior Competition).  The Track & Field Meeting, which takes place at the Mary Peters Track, will also include several events for senior athletes.  Although the 'Celtic Games' and the GloHealth AAI National Masters Championships may affect the junior and senior/masters entries at this event, a large selection of the provinces most talented up and coming runners will be on show throughout an exciting day of competition.


The aforementioned Celtic Games will also take place on Saturday 9th August 2014, and bring top U-18 and U-16 athletes from Ireland, Scotland and Wales compete at the Morton Stadium, Santry (Ireland).  Northern Ireland based runners in the Ireland team include, Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Stephen McGahey (City of Derry AC).


Further afield on Saturday 9th August 2014, Acorns AC athlete and Northern Ireland international, Karen Alexander, will take on the Salomon Ganghoferstrasse Trail Half Marathon in Austria.  The World Mountain Running Championships medallist is gearing up for this years World Masters Mountain Running Championships, which will also take place in Austria (September 2014) and the Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race (October 2014), and should perform here.

On Sunday 10th August 2014, a large number of competitors are expected to turn out for the Mark Annett Memorial 10k, which will take place on the shores of Carlingford Lough, in Warrenpoint (County Down).


Newry City Runners' Don Travers will go into the event as firm favourite; should he start, it is hard to look past the international athlete, who has been excelling in multi-sport events recently.  Don's club mates Sean Goodman, Don Harte and Dermot Mathers may also be contenders, while Murlough AC's Alan Johnston will also chase a podium spot if he races.  Gym-Tach athlete Liosa McKeown will head the ladies field, which may also include Newry City Runners' Anne Havern, Eimear McCracken, Patricia Brown and Aine Fegan.  Eileen Stevenson (St Peter's AC) will also play a part at the front if she enters on race day.


On the same day (Sunday 10th August 2014), a large contingent of athletes from Northern Ireland will travel south to Dublin for the GloHealth AAI National Masters Track & Field Championships, which will take place in Tullamore Harriers Stadium, Tullamore (Ireland).  Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers), Paul Elliot (North Belfast Harriers), Mark Wright (Annadale Striders), Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC), Tim Shiels (Derry City Track Club), James Brown (City of Derry AC), Cathal McLaughlin (Derry City Track Club), Francis Marsh (North Down AC), Roger Sexton (North Down AC), Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) and Fionnuala McCourt (Lagan Valley AC) should all run well if they decide to make the cross border journey.


Northern Ireland will also welcome it's nineteenth parkrun, with the Valley parkrun kicking off in Newtownabbey on Saturday 9th August 2014.  The other eighteen parkrun events across the province 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. 

Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop set for IPC European Championships:

IPC European Championships 2014:

Today (Thursday 7th August 2014), Paralympics Ireland announced an eight strong squad for the upcoming IPC European Championships, which will be held in Swansea (Wales) between Tuesday 19th August and Saturday 23rd August 2014.


Local Paralympic running hero's Jason Smyth (Derry City Track Club) and Michael McKillop (St Malachy's AC) will be amongst the talented athletes in competition and will be confident of adding European titles to the World titles they claimed last year in Lyon (France), despite both recently recovering from injury. Michael spent a lengthy period rehabilitating a foot injury sustained after he won the IPC World Championships last year.  He recently had his first race of 2014 at a BMC Trafford meet in Manchester (England) and returned a super performance of 3:59.85 for 1500m.  


Meanwhile, Jason had been receiving treatment for ongoing tightness of his hamstring but clearly showed this is behind him when representing Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games recently and running 10.66secs for 100m.  Almost 600 athletes from 49 countries will be competing at the European Championships, which will be held in the Swansea University International Sports Village.  The Irish team depart on Friday 15th August 2014.


Information for this article was taken from the Paralympics Ireland website.

Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) claims podium place at Tralee 100k:

Athletes from NI run well in Tralee as Harte and Smyth win Saval 10k:

Over the weekend (Saturday 2nd August 2014), at least three runners from Northern Ireland travelled to Tralee in County Kerry (Ireland) for the Tralee 100k ultra-marathon.  The event, which is well known for its scenic route through North Kerry, attracts competitors from all corners of the UK and Ireland.


Seapark AC athlete Gillian Cordner showed that she has recovered well from the recent Energia 24 hour race.  The endurance specialist was forced to withdraw from that event with a foot injury after covering 75 miles, but looked strong as she claimed 3rd place in the ladies race, after covering the course in 11:05:48.  Another Energia 24 hour competitor, Gary Connolly (Seapark AC), followed in 11:14:00 (9th place), while Unattached runner Martin Lilly recorded 14:34:43 (36th place). The race was won by Jacek Latala (Unattached) in 8:40:43 (1st place), while the ladies title went to Jayne Angilley (Cornwall AC), who ran 9:46:28 (1st place).


Full Results:  Tralee 100k 2014 Results


Saval 10k 2014:

Closer to home (on Sunday 3rd August 2014), Newry City Runners' Don Harte claimed victory at the Saval 10k road race, close to Newry.  Don broke the tape in 36:36 (1st place), with Gary Fearon (Saul Running Club) and Donal Murphy (Unattached) taking 2nd place and 3rd place in 37:38 and 37:58 respectively. Dromore AC athlete Susan Smyth led the ladies home in 44:18 (1st place), while Anne Moore (Orangegrove AC) clocked 44:40 for 2nd place; local lady, Seana Mulvaney (Unattached) secured the final podium spot in 45:12 (3rd place).  Full results for the Saval 10k are not available.

NiRunning's Mourne Skyline MTR is a sell out:

Mourne Skyline MTR sells out, but places still available in 'GTR':

After announcing our latest event, the Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race just over two months ago, NiRunning can now confirm that entries have SOLD OUT.


Those who have entered the inaugural running of the 35k (including 3,370m of ascent), which is part of the Skyrunning UK National Series, will have the opportunity to race against athletes from across the globe.  


The entry list is littered with local, national and international talent, including no less than 25 athletes who have represented their country on the international stage.  Skyrunning World Series Champion Stevie Kremer (Team Salomon) and recently crowned British Ultra Running Champions Kim Collison (England) and Jo Meek (England) are just a few names who will toe the line as part of what is arguably one of the most exciting line-ups ever assembled in Northern Ireland.  


Mourne Skyline MTR Race Director Ryan Maxwell had this to say, “We have been genuinely humbled by the support for the event and this is now shown in the fact that entries for the 35k race have sold out just over ten weeks out from race day.  The entry list excites me, it really is a 'who's who' of local and national talent, then with the added extra of Stevie (Kremer) and numerous other international competitors, it makes for a phenomenal race, not just at the head of the pack, but right through the field where personal battles will be fought.  I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone for their support.  We will repay this with a top quality event.”


If you have missed out on entry for the Mourne Skyline MTR, why not race the 'GTR' (Granite Trail Race), a 2 mile Uphill only night time event, with an ascent of 300m (approx 1,000ft).  There are currently 86 places remaining in the GTR, which we also expect to sell out, so early entry is advised.  Please visit www.mourneskylinemtr.com for full details.

Barrie Atkinson and Catriona Donaldson win Kilmore Rec 5m road race:

Kilmore Rec 5m Road Race 2014:

On Monday 4th August 2014, close to one hundred running enthusiasts turned out for the annual Kilmore Rec 5 mile road race in Crossgar, County Down.


East Down AC's Barrie Atkinson continued the recent good form that has saw the recent Cookstown Half Marathon winner record new personal bests over 3,000m, 5k, 10k and Half Marathon this year, to lead the field home in 26:57 (1st place).  Desi Foley (Unattached), who finished as runner up to Barrie in Cookstown last week, claimed 2nd place in 27:22, before trail specialist Brian Young (Unattached) completed the men's podium in 27:58 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, Catriona Donaldson (Lagan Valley AC) showed her class.  After leading from the off, Catriona gradually increased her lead before breaking the tape in 31:49 (1st place).  Ballydrain Harriers new girl Fiona Johnston took a well-deserved 2nd place after covering the course in 34:22, while Lynne Kerr (North Down AC) followed just twenty two seconds later to seal 3rd place in 34:44.


Top 3 Men:  1st Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) – 26:57, 2nd Desi Foley (Unattached) – 27:22, 3rd Brian Young (Unattached) – 27:58


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Catriona Donaldson (Lagan Valley AC) – 31:49, 2nd Fiona Johnston (Ballydrain Harriers) – 34:22, 3rd Lynne Kerr (North Down AC) – 34:44


Full Results:  Kilmore Rec 5m Road Race 2014 Results (Photo above taken by Mags Mathieson)

Athletes from NI put in impressive performances at AAI HM Championships:

Rock N’Roll Half Marathon 2014 (inc AAI National HM Championships):

On Monday 4th August 2014, a large number of runners from Northern Ireland took part in the Rock N’Roll Half Marathon in Dublin, Ireland.  The event, which boasted an atmospheric city centre based course, also incorporated the AAI National Half Marathon Championships and the AAI National Masters Half Marathon Championships.


Boosted by the uplifting sound of live bands dotted around the course, it was Foyle Valley AC's Keith Shiels who led the Northern Ireland contingent home in 1:10:32 (8th place), which was enough to secure a top ten spot and a National medal (in the Vet35 category).  North Belfast Harriers were well represented at the event, with the in-form John Black putting in one of the most impressive performances of the day.  After recording a new 5k personal best in Carlingford on Friday night (1st August 2014), John finished in a new 13.1 mile personal best of 1:16:48 and was followed across the line by club mates Martin Rea and Gerard McNamara, who recorded 1:21:09 and 1:21:42 respectively.  


Armagh AC's current Athletics NI 10k (Road) Champion Fionnuala Ross (1:22:25), narrowly missed a podium spot when she claimed 4th place in the ladies race, while Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) added another top performance to what was proving to be an excellent day for North Belfast Harriers when she crossed the line in a new personal best of 1:23:46; this saw Cathy take 5th place in the ladies race and 1st place in the AAI National Masters Half Marathon Championships.  Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club), who recently completed 6 marathons in 6 days (in 6 different countries) ran well to finish in 1:32:02, just ahead of Springwell Running Club's Gary Moore (1:34:24).


Consistent performer Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club), completed the course in 1:36:34, while City of Derry AC's veteran star Christy McMonagle claimed the Vet70 title after clocking 1:37:53.  Sperrin Harriers Toirleach Gourley ran 1:44:43 to reach the atmospheric finish before Newry City Runners' Eimear McCracken crossed the line in just seconds later in 1:45:04; Catherine Pinkerton-Moore (Springwell Running Club) finished in 1:46:22.   City of Derry AC athlete Una Gavin (1:48:10) picked up a silver medal in her Vet50 category, while East Coast AC men Paul Clements (1:53:39), Ian Bailie (1:54:08) and Sandy Plumb (1:58:15) dipped under the infamous 2:00 barrier.  Sperrin Harriers' Ciara Coyle (1:59:19) and Forge Harriers duo Janice White (1:59:19) and Peter Grimes (1:59:21) also achieved sub two hour finishes.  Francis Cullen-Wilson (Sperrin Harriers) and Kim Gleave (County Antrim Harriers) covered the route in in 2:13:45 and 2:17:45 respectively, with Belfast Running Club pair Mark Ramsey (2:21:43) and Janine Ramsey (2:22:52) following.  Breige McCann and Bronagh McKenna, both of whom were competing over the 13.1 mile distance for the first time, ran well. Briege recorded 2:59:23 and Bronagh 3:00:29.


English athlete Scott Overall won the race  in 1:05:19, while DSD AC lady Sarah Mulligan (1:16:03) took the ladies title.  Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC) picked up the AAI National Half Marathon gold after running 1:05:55.


Full Results:  Rock N' Roll Dublin HM (inc AAI National HM Championships) 2014 Results - Men - Ladies - Men's Team - Ladies Team

Local athletes pick up prizes at Danny McDaid 15k:

City of Derry AC and Foyle Valley AC dominate podium in Letterkenny:

On Sunday 3rd August 2014, local Northern Ireland based running clubs were well represented at the annual Danny McDaid 15k road race in Letterkenny, Ireland.  The Letterkenny AC hosted event covered a relatively fast course, starting and finishing at the Aura Leisure Complex in the town.


City of Derry AC athlete Greg Roberts looked in good shape as he took charge at the front; the 2013 Walled City Marathon runner up clocked an excellent 48:31 (1st place) to secure victory.  Another Spartan, Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC) took 3rd place in 52:06, while Foyle Valley AC’s Pius McIntyre followed twenty seven seconds later in 52:33 (4th place).  Paul McCafferty (City of Derry AC) and Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) ensured that the North West clubs dominated the top ten when they crossed the line in 53:25 (5th place) and 53:34 (6th place) respectively.  There was also a podium place for Foyle Valley AC lady Gemma McGinty in the ladies race, which was won by Catherine Dooher (Finn Valley AC) in 1:04:53 (1st place).  Gemma ran well to finish in 1:08:32, which was enough to take 3rd place.


Full Results:  Danny McDaid 15k 2014 Results

Seamus Lynch and Denise Mathers brave weather to win 7x7's:

Mourne Seven Sevens 2014:

On Saturday 2nd August 2014, Northern Ireland's mountain runners braved horrendous weather conditions in the Mourne Mountains as they completed the seventh round of the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championships, which came in the form of the iconic 'Seven Sevens' long distance race, hosted by BARF.


The notoriously difficult course, which measures approximately 19 miles with 8,700ft of ascent, took the athletes to the top of Northern Ireland's highest mountain, Slieve Donard; from there, they went on to cover five further summits above 700 metres in height (Slieve Commedagh, Slieve Lamagan, Slieve Binnian, Slieve Meelbeg, Slieve Meelmore), before finishing with Slieve Bearnagh.  After conquering Slieve Bearnagh it is up to the competitor to get themselves back to the Donard Park finish line.


After battling through torrential rain and gales in low visibility, it was one of the country's most impressive mountain runners, Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) who descended into Donard Park first.  The Newcastle AC man has been a regular on the podium this season and looked strong as he broke the tape in 4:01:54 (1st place).  Another athlete who has enjoyed a memorable season, Sam Herron (Mourne Runners) followed in 4:18:40 (2nd place), before Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners) completed the men's podium in 4:23:36 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, experienced Northern Ireland international Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) put in a strong performance throughout; in a race that suited the Mourne 500 and Bob Graham Round finisher because of the distance, Denise excelled, leading the ladies home in 5:28:51 (1st place).  Another international, Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC), crossed the line in  5:38:10 for 2nd place, while Unattached athlete Sinead Murtagh recorded 5:53:45 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 4:01:54, 2nd Sam Herron (Mourne Runners) – 4:18:40, 3rd Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners) – 4:23:36


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) – 5:28:51, 2nd Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) – 5:38:10, 3rd Sinead Murtagh (Unattached) – 5:53:45


Full Results:  Mourne Seven Sevens 2014 Results

Delfim Pimentel, Stephen Morris and Louise Smith excel in Tandragee:

Athletes enjoy annual Tandragee 10k road race:

On Saturday 2nd August 2014, athletes from across Northern Ireland travelled to the home of Tayto Castle, Tandragee in County Armagh, for the annual Tandragee 10k road race.


In a battle, fitting of the historic Castle backdrop, the leading pair of Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC) and Delfim Pimentel (Unattached) could not be split.  The men worked off each other as they covered the undulating 6.2 mile route.  On reaching the finishing straight, neither felt it appropriate to surge ahead, and both finished in 35:47 (Joint 1st place).  Unattached athlete Peter Williams ran well to take 3rd place in 36:33.


The ladies race wasn't quite so close but still turned out to be an exciting affair; the in-form duo of Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) and Patricia O'Hagan (St Peter's AC) were the front runners throughout, with Louise, a podium finisher at last weeks Cookstown Half Marathon claiming the win in 39:21 (1st place).  Patricia followed in 41:24 (2nd place), while Amy Sheppard (Cobra RC) secured 3rd place in 42:59.


Top 3 Men:  Joint 1st Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC) – 35:47, Joint 1st Delfim Pimentel (Unattached) – 35:47, 3rd Peter Williams (Unattached) – 36:33


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) – 39:23, 2nd Patricia O'Hagan (St Peter's AC) – 41:24, 3rd Amy Sheppard (Cobra RC) – 42:59


Provisional Results:  Tandragee 10k 2014 Results (Please note that these are PROVISIONAL results only and are subject to amendment)

Neil Johnston and Heather Foley impress at Stanley Reid Memorial 5m:

Over 300 turn out for Stanley Reid Memorial 5m Road Race 2014:

On Friday 1st August 2014, well over three hundred runners descended on Loughry Campus in Cookstown for the Sperrin Harriers organised 'Stanley Reid Memorial' 5 mile road race, which took place over an undulating but fairly fast course.


In good running conditions, the athletes exited Loughry College onto the open roads, where a battle ensued; Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers), Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC), Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) and Neil Johnston (Springwell Running Club) all played their part at the front, before Neil Johnston moved clear in the final stages to break the tape in 26:12 (1st place).  Paul Barbour followed just three seconds later in 26:15 (2nd place), while the in-form Barrie Atkinson completed the top three in 26:38 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, the almost un-stoppable Heather Foley (Unattached) once again controlled proceedings.  The Northern Ireland international cross country runner, who won the Cookstown Half Marathon last Sunday (27th July 2014) led from gun to tape, winning in a new course record of 29:36 (1st place).  Last years winner, Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) followed up her podium place at last weeks 'Milk Run' with another runners up spot, after taking 2nd place in 31:33.  Unattached athlete Charlene Abraham recorded 31:40 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Neil Johnston (Springwell Running Club) – 26:12, 2nd Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) – 26:15, 3rd Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) – 26:38


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Heather Foley (Unattached) – 29:36, 2nd Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 31:33, 3rd Charlene Abraham (Unattached) – 31:40


Full Results:  Stanley Reid Memorial 5m Road Race 2014 Results

Athletes from NI dominate the podium at Glenmore 5k in Carlingford:

Stephen Kerr leads NI contingent home at Glenmore 5k:

On Friday 1st August 2014, a large contingent of athletes from Northern Ireland were amongst the hundreds of runners who turned out for the annual Glenmore 5k road race in Carlingford, Ireland.


The local runners produced some excellent performances, with Stephen Kerr (Armagh AC) taking 3rd place in a new personal best of 15:07; Northern Ireland ladies Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers), Danielle Fegan (Armagh AC) and Rebecca Murtagh (Dromore AC) all climbed the ladies podium.  However, before the ladies crossed the line, there were some noteworthy times from then Northern Ireland men.  North Belfast Harriers' Andrew Considine took 8th place in 16:06 and was closely followed by Armagh AC's Leroy Brady (9th place – 16:10) and another two North Belfast Harriers men Brendan Grew and John Black, who achieved new personal bests of 16:13 (10th place) and 16:22 (11th place) respectively.


A mere five seconds split Armagh AC's Gary Henderson (14th place – 16:37) and Dromore AC's Nigel McKibbin (15th place – 16:42), while young athletes, Odhran Copeland (Beechmount Harriers) and Daniel Fegan (Armagh AC) both finished on 16:54; Odhran took 19th place and Daniel 20th place; Ed Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) followed in 16:55 (21st place).  Respected veteran athletes Dermot Kerr (Armagh AC) and Paul Elliott (North Belfast Harriers) ran 16:57 (22nd place) and 17:00 (23rd place) respectively, before Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) claimed the ladies title.  Breege, who has won the Lisburn 10k, Fairhill 5, Run Armagh 10k and Portaferry 10, collected another trophy after running 17:14 (1st place).  


Stephen Walker (North Belfast Harriers) covered the course in 17:15 (28th place), finishing just ahead of the second lady, who turned out to be Northern Ireland international Danielle Fegan (Armagh AC), who finished in 17:33 (2nd place), just under a minute ahead of Dromore AC's ever improving Rebecca Murtagh, who crossed the line in 18:23 (3rd place).  East Down AC's Liam Keenan was the next familiar face home in 18:39 (45th place), while Newry City Runners man Brendan Heaney ran 18:42 (46th place).  Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) continued the Northern Ireland dominance of the ladies race, after sealing 4th place in 18:47.  Another Dromore AC athlete, Andrew Johnston dipped under 19 minutes after crossing the line in 18:57 (52nd place).  Beechmount Harriers' Pearse McCormack (64th place – 19:35), Dromore AC's Geraldine Branagh (7th place lady – 19:35) and Newry City Runners' Pat Rocks (67th place – 19:36) all achieved sub 20:00 finish times.  The race was won by Martin Fegan (Mullingar Harriers) in 14:26 (1st place).


Full Results:  Glenmore 5k 2014 Results

Team NI at Commonwealth Games 2014 - Athletics Day 6 Round Up:

Commonwealth Games Round-Up:  Athletics/Running Day 6...

On Friday 1st August 2014, Northern Ireland men Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) and Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) made their Commonwealth Games debuts as the world enjoyed a pulsating Day 6 of the athletics programme at Hampden Park in Glasgow (Scotland).


England based Paul Pollock lined up in what was arguably the race of the Games so far, the 10,000m.  After a tactical start, which allowed Australian athlete Henry Summers to move well ahead, European Championships bound Paul sat at the back of the group and looked comfortable.  As things began to quicken up, Henry Summers was soon swallowed up by the swarm of top class athletes as Peter Kirui (Kenya) led through 4,000m; a 67secs lap from the Kenyan split the large group and saw much of the field, including Paul drop off.  However, after getting a close up view of the exciting finish, which ended in Moses Kipsiro (Uganda) sealing victory in 27:56.11 (1st place), just 0.03secs ahead of Kenya's Josphet Bett (2nd place - 27:56.14), Paul negotiated the final 400m quickly to record his second fastest 10,000m time of 29:11.46 (19th place).  Although not the Northern Ireland 10,000m record he was aiming for, this was a good performance by Paul after his recent injury and bodes well as he now looks towards the European Championships marathon in Zurich (Switzerland) later this month (August 2014).


AAI National indoor silver medallist Danny Mooney was also in action; Danny toed the line in Heat 1 of the 1500m and like many of his fellow Team NI athletes, he faced strong opposition in his race.  However, the Letterkenny AC man acquitted himself well as he covered the distance in 3:45.79 (10th place), which was enough to secure a top ten finish.  The race was won by well-known athlete Nick Willis (New Zealand) in 3:40.76 (1st place).


Full Results:  Commonwealth Games 2014 Results


After six exciting days and some memorable performances by Team NI athletes, there are no further Northern Ireland runners scheduled to compete after the 4x100m relay team were withdrawn.  NiRunning would like to congratulate all of the local athletes, all of whom did themselves and their country proud!

Weekend Preview:  Local action adds to excitement of CWG:

Local races and CWG make for an exciting weekend:

During a week when the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow (Scotland) have taken centre stage, it is now time to look ahead to the action closer to home as another weekend arrives.  As with many weekend's over the summer, the action will start on a Friday night, when athletes will take on the Stanley Reid Memorial 5 mile race in Cookstown (County Tyrone); there will also be events in Newcastle (County Down), Tandragee (County Armagh) and Saval (County Down).  Local runners will also be in action in Carlingford (Ireland), Tullamore (Ireland), Letterkenny (Ireland) and of course, Glasgow (Scotland).


Tonight (Friday 1st August 2014), Sperrin Harriers will host their annual 5 mile road race in Cookstown, which from this year onwards will be run in memory of highly respected club member Stanley Reid.  Despite being an undulating course, this race always seems to produce some quality times and this year should be no different.


Omagh Harriers' Paul Barbour is the pick of the pre-entries and having won the Great Rossa 10k and claimed podium places at the Enniskillen 10k and Dromore 10k since returning from injury, the talented athlete looks set to play a prominent part at the front.  Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), Aaron Meharg (Acorns AC) and Kevin O'Boyle (Ballymena Runners) will also run well should they make use of the on the night entry at Loughry Campus.  Mark has been one of the success stories of the last twelve months and this course will suit the North Belfast Harriers man, who will improve on his 28:00 finish time from here in 2013.  Aaron Meharg has also shown good form recently, and won over the 5 mile distance just over a week ago at the Brackaghreilly 5 mile road race, where he clocked 28:22 over a tough course.  Waterfoot based Ballymena Runners man Kevin O'Boyle is a consistent performer and will place well; he crossed the line in 28:10 at this event last time but is capable of dipping into the 27's, which would secure a top five place.  Stephen Joyce (Springwell Running Club), Erin McDaid (Sperrin Harriers), Michael Crawley (Acorns AC), Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) and Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers).


Last years ladies Champion, Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) should return to defend her title, but the always impressive athlete may have to compete against Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers), the lady who pipped her to the post at last weeks 'Milk Run'.  That night, Cathy recorded 31:30, with Gemma following in 32:18, so Cathy will go into the event as favourite.  Another lady to watch out for will be Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers); it was roughly around this time last year when Pauline first came to prominence.  After taking the runners up spot, Pauline went on to achieve podium places at numerous events and recently, she won the Maghera 10k 39:21. Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) and Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) will also challenge for prizes should they turn out on the night.  All in all, it should be a night of quality running and afterwards, competitors will be treated to refreshments back at Loughry Campus, where the generous prize-giving will also take place.


Also on Friday 1st August 2014, there is expected to be a strong Northern Ireland representation at the Michael Fearon & Kevin Marron 5k road race, hosted by Glenmore AC in Carlingford, Ireland.  There will be a contingent from Dromore AC, which will include cross country international Nigel McKibbin, a man who has enjoyed an excellent track season, with personal bests over 800m, the mile and 3,000m.


In Glasgow (Scotland) tonight (Friday 1st August 2014), Team NI men Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) and Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) will open their Commonwealth Games 2014 campaign.  Paul will take on the 10,000m, which is a straight final, while Danny will line up in the 1500m heats and will be hopeful of progressing.

On Saturday 2nd August 2014, the local mountain running fraternity will welcome round seven of the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championship, which will take place in Newcastle, Co Down. This will come in the form of the iconic 'Seven Sevens' long distance race, organised by BARF. 


The route will take athletes to the top of Northern Ireland's highest mountain, Slieve Donard, from there, competitors will then cover five further summits above 700 metres in height (Slieve Commedagh, Slieve Lamagan, Slieve Binnian, Slieve Meelbeg, Slieve Meelmore) before finishing with Slieve Bearnagh.  After conquering Slieve Bearnagh it is up to the competitor to get themselves back to the Donard Park finish line as quick as possible. The course is approximately 19 miles in distance with 8,700 feet of ascent.


After securing the Championship with a victory at the Spelga Skyline, Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) is unlikely to start.  This could leave the door open for Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) to claim victory.  Seamus has enjoyed an excellent year and finished as runner up to Jonny at the aforementioned Spelga Skyline.  Like Jonny Steede, a few other top names who have completed their quota of 'long distance' races, such as, Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) and Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) may opt to sit this one out.  Should any of the duo decide to take part, it is likely to be the latter, Deon McNeilly.  Newcastle AC's David Steele is a definite absentee.


Given the distance and the terrain, if things go as expected, the remaining prize-winners could come from a large group of talented distance runners.  One man who is expected to attend and run well is Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners).  Clive, who finished as runner up in 2012, when the course was last run in a clockwise direction, has been running well of late and finished well up the field at Spelga Skyline (6th place). Clive's club mate, Sam Heron (Mourne Runners) is another man who is likely to feature.  The Mourne Runners pair should be accompanied by an array of local athletes who may not have their eye solely on this race, but the Ultra Trail Du Mont Blanc (UTMB) events at the end of this month (August 2014). Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), William Marks (Mourne Runners), Justin Maxwell (East Coast Athletic Club) and Billy Reed (East Antrim Harriers) are all expected to start and have made the top ten here in recent years.  Phil Hodge (Murlough AC) and Pete Grant (Team Purple), who both recently completed the Mourne 500 Challenge and Cathal McGreevy (Newry City Runners) who impressed at the iconic Western States 100 endurance run in June (2014), all have the experience and ability, but will their recent endeavours hamper or assist their prospects? Simon Reeve of North Belfast Harriers is another who may be looking for a podium position, having made this challenging course an almost annual event in his calendar. Nikki McPeake (Unattached) will take on the course for the first time. 


In the ladies race, Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) won the long distance Annalong Horseshoe event, as well as all of the other Championship races that she has competed in.  Considering this, it is unlikely that Diane will take part.  The same can be said for her friend Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC), who is just about recovered from a broken arm and may not have the training banked to take on this challenge.  Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) won the Spelga Skyline race and is likely to play a major part in proceedings, should Diane (Wilson) decide to rest.  At Spelga, Denise showed fantastic endurance to pip the talented Violet Linton (LVO) to the finish line.  Violet is likely to make the podium this weekend, having shown good form at Spelga and Annalong.  East Down AC's Catherine O'Connor has been the 'find' of the season, but the distance in this race could be just beyond her at this stage.  Laura Hamill (Larne AC) and Orla McElroy (Newry Triathlon Club) have been training and competing well in 2014, as have Lagan Valley AC international pair Anne Sandford and Hazel McLaughlin and Dromore AC runner Mary Mackin, who will all need a long race finish if they want to complete the Series.

Also on Saturday 2nd August 2014, athletes from the County Armagh area will compete in the second annual running of the Tandragee 10k, which will take place over an undulating course in the town, which interestingly, is the location of Tayto Castle. 


Aaron Parks (Armagh AC) and Nigel Grier (Dromore AC) are expected to be amongst the front runners.  Sub three hour marathoner Aaron will he hoping to better his 36:33 personal best and this will be necessary if he wants to beat Dromore AC's Nigel Grier.  Nigel has been running well in the Pure Running Half Marathon Series and will look to continue that form over the 6.2 mile distance.  Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC), Jonathan Irvine (Lagan Valley AC) and Rick Hill (Ballymena Runners) should all finish well up the field.


The close proximity of the event could attract St Peter's AC star Patricia O'Hagan; since returning to competition, Patricia has claimed several high profile wins, which have included the Runher Coastal Challenge, Les Jones 10k, Beragh 5 mile, Enniskillen 10k and Dromore 10k.  It's hard to look past the former track star when choosing a possible winner, although Eileen Stevenson (St Peter's AC), Sharon Williamson (Unattached) and Natalie Bowbanks (Unattached) should all perform well.


At the Commonwealth Games (Glasgow, Scotland) on Saturday 2nd August 2014, Team NI's 4x100m relay team of Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers), Jason Smyth (Derry City Track Club), Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) and Peter Glass (North Down AC) will kick off their competition.


On Sunday 3rd August 2014, a sizeable crowd is expected to participate in the Saval 10k road race, just outside Newry (County Down).  The event is expected to attract a  mixture of well-known runners alongside local fitness enthusiasts.  The blue and yellow vests of Newry City Runners should be prominent throughout the field, with Don Travers and Dermot Mathers expected to be amongst the leading men.  Gym-Tech athlete Liosa McKeown, a regular on the podium, will go into the event as pre-race favourite in the ladies race.


In Letterkenny (Ireland) on Sunday 3rd August 2014, a number of athletes from Northern Ireland should toe the line for the 9th annual running of the Danny McDaid 15k road race.  Foyle Valley AC and City of Derry AC should be well represented at the increasingly popular event, which starts and finishes at the impressive Aura Sports Centre.


Also on Sunday 3rd August 2014, at least one club from Northern Ireland will take part in the GloHealth National League Final in Tullamore, Ireland.  North Down AC will participate in the event, which will see the top eight clubs from both the premier and division one categories battle it out to be named Ireland’s best outdoor track and field club in 2014.  Defending premier women’s Champions Dundrum South Dublin AC are back to defend their title where they can expect a strong challenge from Cork club Leevale AC.  Defending men’s champions Crusaders AC failed to make it through to the final leaving the likes of Clonliffe Harriers AC, Leevale AC and St Abbans AC to battle it out for the title.  Meath Athletics women’s team and Nenagh Olympic AC men’s team amassed the most amounts of points in the division one qualification. However with all eight teams starting from scratch in Tullamore it’s all to play for.


Northern Ireland’s eighteen parkrun events will also take place this weekend, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.

Note - July 2014 'News' is available HERE or by following the navigational bar at the top of the page.  This includes our daily round up's from the Commonwealth Games (from Day 1 to Day 5).