Northern Ireland Running

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Mourne Skyline MTR reaches entry limit for second consecutive year:

Mourne Skyline MTR reaches entry limit:

After releasing entries for the Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race 2015 just over three months ago, we can confirm that for the second consecutive year, we have reached our entry limit, which means (unfortunately) no further entries can be taken.


Those who have entered the second annual running of the 35k race (inc 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, with no less than 17 countries represented.  The entry list is littered with local, national and international talent, including no less than 27 athletes who have represented their country on the international stage.


Mourne Skyline MTR Race Director Ryan Maxwell had this to say, “Once again, we have been genuinely humbled by the support for the event, which is shown in the fact that entries for the 35k race have sold out twelve weeks out from race day.  We thoroughly enjoyed 2014 and appreciated the amazing feedback that we received – however, we will not rest on the success of 2014 - this year, we want to move things forward another step.


In terms of the entry list, it excites me.  It really is a 'who's who' of local, national and international talent, which 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).  The 2 mile Uphill only event, with an ascent of approximately 1,000ft proved very popular in 2014, and this year has already attracted the likes of IAAF 24 hour World Championship medallist Robbie Britton and Mont Blanc ‘Cross’ winner Paul Navesey; the 2014 ladies winner and IAAF World Championship (Team) medallist Sarah McCormack will also return to defend her title.  There are currently 75 places remaining in the GTR, which we also expect to sell out, so early entry is advised.  


Please Note:  As part of our agreement with Skyrunning UK, we have a number of ‘elite’ places reserved in the Mourne Skyline MTR.  If you feel that you are eligible for an elite entry, please feel free to contact Race Director Ryan Maxwell on [email protected]

Athletes from Northern Ireland named in Ireland Euro U-23 squad:

Local athletes named in Ireland Euro U-23 squad:

Today, Monday 29th June 2015, Northern Ireland runner Jonathan Browning (Ballymena & Antrim AC) was named in the Athletics Ireland squad for the upcoming European Under 23 Athletics Championships, which will be held in Tallin (Estonia) between the 9th and 12th July 2015.


The Queen's University student will be part of the 4x100m relay team alongside Marcus Lawler (St Laurence O'Toole AC), Keith Pike (Clonliffe Harriers), Eanna Madden (Carrick-on-Shannon AC) and Kieran Elliot (North Sligo AC).  Jonathan has enjoyed an excellent year; he came into 2015 with a 100m best of 10.75secs, which has better twice, and now holds a personal best of 10.72secs, which he set in Switzerland earlier this month.


Jonathan will be joined on the team by fellow Northern Ireland man Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley AC); the exceptionally talented field athlete will compete in the hammer competition at the prestigious Championships.  The full Ireland team can be found HERE.

Local athletes impress at gruelling Mont Blanc and Laverado events:

Mont Blanc Marathon Events (France) & Laveredo Ultra-Trail (Italy):

Over the course of the weekend (Friday 26th June to Sunday 28th June 2015) a host of runners from Northern Ireland have lined up against thousands of athletes at two prestigious events, the Mont Blanc Marathon and associated events in Chamonix (France) and the Laverado Ultra-Trail in Italy.


Mont Blanc Marathon Events (France):

In recent years the Mont Blanc Marathon and associated 80k, 23k, 10k and Vertical Kilometre (VK) races have proved popular with the local trail and mountain running community in Northern Ireland.  This year is no different, with at least ten off-road enthusiasts (that we know of) taking part in one (or more) of the aforementioned events.


The action began on Friday 26th June 2015 at 4pm (local time) in the centre of the mountain village, when competitors assembled to take on the challenging Vertical Kilometre (VK).  


This uphill only event commenced in the village square and took participants 3.8k to the scenic finish line in Planpraz, at 2,000 metres altitude.  Sarah Graham (Mourne Runners) was the only familiar face amongst a plethora of talent, with this race doubling up as the Skyrunning Continental Championship event.  Sarah climbed exceptionally well to cover the apline route in 57:50, securing a brilliant 32nd place in the ladies race.  Spanish athlete Paula Cabrerizo won the ladies race in 41:11 (1st place).


On Saturday 27th June 2015, Barbara Hunter (Unattached) and Pat Alexander (Unattached) took on the 'Cross' event, which was 23k in distance, incorporating a climb of 1,665m and descent measuring 621m over the tough route.  Like the Vertical Kilometre, this race started in the centre of Chamonix and finished at Planpraz.  Barbara led the Northern Ireland duo home, with a time of 4:20:44 (211th place lady).  Pat Alexander, a newcomer to the running scene, also ran well in the latter stages of the race, finishing in 4:52:34 for 1,336th place.  Norwegian Stian Hovind-Angermund won the race in 2:03:39 (1st place), whilst Yngvild Kaspersen (Norway) took the victory in the ladies category.

Later on Saturday (27th June 2015), Eamonn McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) and Sarah Graham (Mourne Runners) raced the 10k event.  Eamonn progressed through the field to finish in 50:45 (56th place) almost two minutes quicker than his 2014 time.  Sarah, having competed the previous evening, showed plenty of strength and determination, descending well to take 15th place (57:33) in the ladies race.  Paul Navesey (Centurion Running), a highly placed finisher in the 2014 Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race won the event in 41:19 (1st place), with fellow Brit Emily Collinge taking victory in the ladies category in 43:49 (1st place).


On Sunday 28th June 2015, Mourne Runners' Sam Herron, Richard Bell, Richard Hanna, Garth McGimpsey, as well as Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) and John McBride (BARF) took part in the 13th annual running of the Mont Blanc Marathon.  The Northern Ireland participants enjoyed panoramic views of the entire Mont Blanc Mountain range as they circumnavigate Chamonix, taking on the mighty Aiguilles Des Posettes (2,201 metres) before finishing at Planpraz, 1,000 metres above the village. The 2,730 metres of ascent suited Sam, Richard, Ricky, Garth, Hazel and John, who all overtook plenty of competitors on their way to the mountain top finish.


Sam Herron, competing in the event for the first time, ran a smart race. Sam climbed well and raced to the finish line in a speedy 5:06:52, taking 71st place.  Richard Bell, a man familiar with the area, moved up in distance from the 23k event in 2014.  Richard, like Sam, showed patience in the early stages and took sixty seven places as the course climbed from Tre Le Champ to Planpraz.  He (Richard) secured 129th place, crossing the finish line in 5:32:09.  Garth McGimpsey was the next Mourne Runners athlete home, taking 162nd place with a time of 5:40:27.  A strong Ricky Hanna, another man stepping up from his normal distance, crossed the finish line happily in 5:57:52 (258th place).  


Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) was the only local female representative in the Marathon and like her male counterparts, climbed exceptionally well, finishing the mountainous course in 6:09:40 for a brilliant 20th place in the ladies race.  John McBride (BARF) completed the weekend of racing, negotiating the 42 kilometres in 9:08:23 (1,590th).  Swiss athlete Marc Lauenstein (Salomon) won the Marathon event, with a time of 3:48:35 (1st place), as Italian Elisa Desco (Scott Running) took the honours in the Female event, in 4:35:10 (1st place).


Laverado Ultra-Trail Race (Italy):

On Friday 26th June 2015, five of Northern Ireland's well travelled ultra running community took part in 'The North Face' Laverado Ultra Trail event in Italy.  The course was 119k in distance, covering the beautiful but brutally tough trails of the Dolomites Mountain range.  Newcastle AC trio Dominic McInerney, Stephen Wallace and Mark King were joined at the race by Jacque Toal (BARF) and Declan Faulkner (Knockmany Runners).


As 1.000 runners were set off at 11pm, they covered the 119k, with 5,850 metres of ascent to finish the next day, Saturday 27th June.  Dominic McInerney led the local contingent back to the finish at Cortina; the experienced Newcastle AC man again showed his grit over this kind of distance, taking 131st place with a time of 19:00:32.  Declan Faulkner was next to cross the finish line, overcoming some nutritional problems to finish in a fantastic 21:45:03 (312th place).  Jacque Toal, continued what has been a fantastic season for her, finishing in 22:09:01 (34th place lady).  A Strong Stephen Wallace reached the finish line in 23:53:16 (450th place), before his friend and club mate Mark King rounded off the Northern Ireland involvement.  Mark completed the course in 25:22:28, taking 527th place.  The 119k race was won by Norwegian Didrik Hermansen in 12:34:29 (1st place), with Caroline Chaverot from France taking victory in the Female event, with a time of 13:40:34 (1st place).


Full Results:  Mont Blanc Marathon Events 2015 Results and TNF Laverado Ultra-Trail 2015 Results 

Brendan Teer & Hannah Oldroyd win as athletes support 'Run for Paul' event:

Athletes turn out for well organised 'Run for Paul' event:
On Sunday 28th June 2015, hundreds of athletes descended on the scenic Delamont Country Park in County Down for the very worthwhile 'Run for Paul' 10k and 5k races.  The event was organised in order to raise funds for special treatment for local athlete Paul Brannigan, who has recently been diagnosed with a lung disease, having also battled cancer over the last few year.

The course, devised by race directors Mags Mathieson and Joe Quinn, saw competitors complete a tough but rewarding loop, measuring approximately 5k; the 10k entrants therefore completed two laps, while the 5k runners negotiated a single lap.

Although the emphasis on the event was very much friendly, there was of course a competitive edge at the front. Local athlete Brendan Teer (East Down AC) looked a class act as he cruised to a comfortable victory in 35:40 (1st place).  Kent Swann (North Belfast Harriers) followed in 37:56 (2nd place), while Steve Darby (Barnsley AC) completed the men's top three in 41:16 (3rd place).

Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers) completed what has been a successful weekend on the racing front – having won the Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race, the Ards Half Marathon, the Dromore 10k, and clocked 18:53 at the Enniskillen parkrun, Hannah covered the route in 39:20 (1st place) to secure victory.  In-form Newcastle AC lady Sinead Murtagh ran 44:38 for 2nd place, before Lyndsey Pronger (Orangegrove AC) crossed the line in 46:26 to seal 3rd place.

In the associated 5k race, up and coming Williowfield Harriers star Amando Bamisile led the field home in just under twenty minutes, recording 19:47 for 1st place.  Well respected North Belfast Harriers athlete Roisin Hughes took the ladies title in 21:26 (1st place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 35:40, 2nd Kent Swann (North Belfast Harriers) – 37:56, 3rd Steve Darby (Barnsley AC) – 41:16

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers) – 39:20, 2nd Sinead Murtagh (Newcastle AC) – 44:38, 3rd Lyndsey Pronger (Orangegrove AC) – 46:26

Athletes from Northern Ireland compete at BMC event in England:

BMC Track Meeting (Watford):

On Saturday 27th June 2015, at least twelve athletes from Northern Ireland were in action at the British Milers Club (BMC) track event in Watford, England.  


There were several notable performance and personal bests for the local runners at what proved to be a well organised and successful event.


There was a big Northern Ireland representation in the 800m, with arguably the best performance coming from NiRunning Mile record holder Mark Hoy (Finn Valley AC), who clocked 1:51.42 for 3rd place in the 'C' race won by Tallaght AC's Anthony Lieghio in 1:50.76 (1st place).  In the 800m 'H' race, up and coming talent Callum Crawford-Walker (Lagan Valley AC) ran a new personal best of 1:54.28 (4th place), while fellow NI man Jake Harbinson (City of Lisburn AC) crossed the line in 1:55.93 (9th place). The race was won by Sweden's Chris Nilsson in 1:53.73 (1st place).


Johnny Foster (Annadale Striders) continued his recent good form when he added to the local personal best haul in the 800m 'I' race – Johnny ran 1:59.18 to take 10th place in the race won by Hizam Sheekh (Rugby & Northampton AC) in 1:54.12 (1st place).  DeSPite suffering from illness this week, Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) put in a solid performance in the ladies 800m 'D' race won by Banbury AC's Emily Thompson (2:10.03); NI & Ulster 800m Champion Rachel recorded 2:14.06 for 5th place.


There were also quality performances by Northern Ireland athletes in the 1500m race.  The in-form Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers)  was the fastest of the familiar faces – he ran 3:52.03 to claim 12th place in the 'C' race won by Michael Callegari (St Mary's AC) in 3:44.02 (1st place).  In the 1500m 'E' race, Ballymena & Antrim AC's Steven Morrow and and Gareth Hill ran 3:54.39 (10th place) and 3:57.03 (13th place) respectively.  The race was won by Miles Weatherseed (Tonbridge Harriers) in 3:52.03 (1st place).  Next up was the man behind East Down AC's excellent 'You Tube' channel, Neil McCartan (East Down AC) – Neil raced in the 1500m 'G' race and broke the beam in 3:54.84 for 6th place.  The race was won by Kieran Wye (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC).


The 5,000m 'C' race brought NI & Ulster 10k (Road) and 5,000m Champion Conor Duffy (Glaslough Harriers) and recent Lisburn 10k winner Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) to the start line.  Up against top quality opposition, both men ran well - Conor clocked a new personal best of 14:53.93 (9th place), while Ryan ran 15:05.24 for 20th place.  The race was won by Alexander Teuten (City of Portsmouth AC) in 14:22.79 (1st place).  There was also a seasons best for Letterkenny AC athlete Ann-Marie McGlynn in the ladies 5,000m 'A' race; Ann-Marie ran 16:19.06 for 8th place, while another Northern Ireland athlete, Emma Mitchell (Banbridge AC), clocked 17:00.41 for 18th place.  The race was won by Dominika Nowakowska (Poland) in 15:29.26 (1st place).


Full Results:  BMC Watford Meeting 2015 Results

Stephen Duncan and Hannah Oldroyd win Dromore 10k road race:

Hannah Oldroyd makes in 3 in 3 at Dromore 10k road race:

On Saturday 27th June 2015, hundreds of athletes and spectators descended on the County Tyrone village of Dromore, close to Omagh, for the annual Dromore 10k road race.


The well organised event never fails to attract a plethora of talent, and this year was no different.  Reigning Champion Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) returned and faced the challenge of NI & Ulster Senior 10,000m Champion Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC).  In the end, it was NI international Stephen Duncan who claimed top spot, with both mean bettering their 2014 finish times by exactly seven seconds.  Stephen Duncan clocked 33:21 for 1st place, with Stephen Morris crossing the line in 35:50 for 2nd place.  Ballymena Runners' Richard Johnston completed the podium places in 36:19 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers) continued the superb form that has saw her win the Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race and the Ards Half Marathon in the days preceding this race.  The England based athlete broke the tape in 39:55 to secure 1st place.  Bex Lambson (Unattached) followed in 42:34 (2nd place), before Enniskillen Running Club's Karen Dolan took 3rd place in 44:32.


In the associated 5k road race, Sean McNabb (Unattached) led the field home in 20:22 (1st place), with Abbie Barrett (Unattached) also running well to win the ladies category in 23:21 (1st place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) – 33:21, 2nd Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC) – 35:50, 3rd Richard Johnston (Ballymena Runners) – 36:19


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers) – 39:55, 2nd Bex Lambson (Unattached) – 42:34, 3rd Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club) – 44:32


Full Results:  Dromore 10k (and 5k) 2015 Results

Local athletes secure high placings at Irish Runner 5 mile road race:

Irish Runner 5 mile Road Race:

On Saturday 27th June 2015, a host of Northern Ireland based athletes travelled south to Phoenix Park in Dublin (Ireland) for the first race of this years Dublin Marathon Series, the Irish Runner 5 mile road race.


The local runners produced top quality performances, with no less than six making the top twenty in a field of over three thousand competitors.  Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) was the first familiar face to finish, taking 6th place in a time of 24:56.  A train of Northern Ireland men followed, with Acorns AC trio Darrell McKee, Aaron Meharg and Glenn Donnelly being joined by North Belfast Harriers' NIMAA gold medallist Conor Curran.


Darrell led the way, clocking 27:15 for 16th place, while London Marathon finisher Aaron Meharg followed in 27:22 (17th place). Just nine seconds later, Conor crossed the line in 27:31 (18th place), before Glenn Donnelly showed that he is back to his best when he recorded 27:37 for 19th place.


The race was won by an impressive Mark Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock), who sealed victory in 23:47 (1st place), while Sarah Mulligan (DSD AC) claimed the ladies title in 27:55 (1st place).


Full Results:  Irish Runner 5 mile Road Race 2015 Results (Photo above by Francis Purvis - Acorns AC)

Brian Campbell and Hannah Oldroyd secure victory at Ards HM:

Ards Half Marathon 2015:

On Friday 26th June 2015, athletes from all of Northern Ireland (and beyond) took to the streets of the County Down town of Newtownards for the annual Ards Half Marathon, which was the sixth race of the ongoing Pure Running-ChampionChip Half Marathon Series.


In humid conditions, the eight hundred strong field set of the tough but rewarding course.  Almost immediately, Lisburn Half Marathon runner up Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) moved to the front of the pack; and this is where he would remain for the duration of the race.  


Despite the efforts of Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers), Don Travers (Newry City Runners) and Desi Foley (Unattached), the Commonwealth Games triathlete and decorated runner proved too strong.  At half way, Brian had opened up a gap of just over one minute on the chasing duo of Andrew and Don.


Meanwhile, as the ladies race moved through half way, early leader Maeve Lavery (Dub Runners) had given way to last night's Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race winner Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers), who looked in control.  Maeve was in second place, with Caitriona Jennings (Rathfarnham WSAF), Karen Alexander (Acorns AC) and Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) all in close proximity and looking like viable contenders.

As the race progressed into the latter stages, there was no stopping Brian as he increased the gap at the front – by 11 miles, Brian had a two minute lead on Andrew and Don.  The Willowfield Harriers athlete descended toward the town centre finish at a relentless rate and to huge applause from the gathered spectators, he crossed the line in 1:14:22 (1st place).  Andrew followed in 1:16:26 (2nd place), with Don completed the top three in 1:16:58 (3rd place).


Hannah Oldroyd showed no signs of fatigue follow her race 24 hours earlier as she powered into the finish to secure victory in what proved to be an excellent contest by the ladies.  Hannah clocked 1:23:15 (1st place), while Karen Alexander finished strongly to claim 2nd place in 1:24:10.  Irish Olympian Caitriona Jennings crossed the line in 1:24:30 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) – 1:14:22, 2nd Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:16:26, 3rd Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 1:16:58


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers) – 1:23:15, 2nd Karen Alexander (Acorns AC) – 1:24:10, 3rd Caitriona Jennings (Rathfarnham WSAF) – 1:24:30


Full Results:  Ards Half Marathon 2015 Results (Photos from the Ards Half Marathon will be added to our 'Photo Gallery' on Saturday 27th June 2015).

Weekend Preview:  Pure Running HM Series, Hill & Dale Series and more...

Weekend Preview:  Pure Running HM Series, Hill & Dale Series finale and more...

After what has been another busy midweek of racing, with no less than six races taking place, including the Loughinisland 5.05 mile race, the Grant Thorton Runway Run and the always popular Jude Gallagher 'Around the Bridges' 10 mile race, the local running fraternity will look ahead to another action packed weekend.


Three day weekend of racing will bring the sixth race of the Pure Running-ChampionChip Half Marathon Series (the Ards Half Marathon), as well as other major events in Newcastle (County Down), Killyleagh (County Down) and Dromore (County Tyrone).  Local athletes will also race in England and France.


Ards Half Marathon:

The action will kick off later tonight (Friday 26th June 2015) in Newtownards, when hundreds of athletes are expected to take on the sixth race of this years Pure Running-ChampionChip Half Marathon Series, the Ards Half Marathon.  The race has previously been the NI & Ulster Half Marathon Championship event and despite not holding that status this year, it will still attract a sizeable following.


Lisburn Half Marathon winner and previous Belfast City Marathon Champion Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) will more than likely take to the start line; the Kenyan athlete had been opting for races in Ireland recently, but last weeks appearance in Lisburn would indicate that he may return to Northern Ireland.  Freddy will be joined on the start line by Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers), the man who finished as runner up to him just over seven days ago in Lisburn.  Don Travers (Newry City Runners), Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers), Desi Foley (Unattached), Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers) and Gregory Lucy (Willowfield Harriers) will also be worth watching as they contest a podium finish.  Chris Moren (Willowfield Harriers), Alan Johnston (Murlough AC), Chris Denton (Springwell Running Club), David Proctor (Willowfield Harriers), Steve Darby (Barnsley AC), Curtis McCaw (Ballydrain Harriers), Garry Morrow (Orangegrove AC) and Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC) will all finish well up the field.


The ladies race looks as if it is going to be an exciting affair – Lisburn Half Marathon winner Caitriona Jennings (Rathfarnham WSAF) is set to compete and following her 1:21:17 finish over the new Lisburn course, and on her return to racing, the Irish Olympian will be there or there abouts again.  However, she will face stiff opposition in the form of England based athlete Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers).  Two weeks ago, Hannah ran 1:21:26 to finish in fourth place at the Swansea Half Marathon in Wales – last night (Thursday 25th June 2015), she (Hannah) won the Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race.  Given that Hannah has several races planned over the weekend, it will be interesting to see how she approaches this one.  Talented triathlete Heather Foley (Unattached) will really spice things up should she make use of the late entry system – Heather ran well here in 2014 and will challenge the aforementioned ladies if she does race.  North Belfast Harriers duo Louise Smith and Martsje Hell will undoubtedly be in the mix for a podium place, while Maeve Lavery (Dub Runners), Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), Diane Watson (City of Lisburn AC), Fiona Prue (Ballydrain Harriers), Athanasia Sevastaki (North Belfast Harriers) and Anne Havern (Newry City Runners) should all be aiming for top ten places.

Hill & Dale Series Finale – Drinahilly:

Also tonight, (Friday 26th June 2015), county Down club Newcastle AC will host the finale of their 2015 Hill & Dale Race Series.  This week, competitors will reconvene in Donard Park in Newcastle for the running of the Drinahilly race.


The Drinahilly course, in comparison to the other events in the Series will be considered as a flat fast trail route comprising of 1,080ft ascent/descent. The reigning 2014 Drinahilly Champions, William McKee (Mourne Runners) and Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC), are expected to return to defend their titles and will be at the front end of the race. 


Current Series leader Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC), having completed his six counting races, five of which were victories, may decide to forgo this event.  However if Seamus does run, he will go into the race as favourite.  Iain Bailey (Newcastle AC) should also compete.  Iain has won three of the ten previous events and has the speed to challenge his club mate.  


The aforementioned William McKee (Mourne Runners) has ran well throughout the Series, taking victory at the opening in Castlewellan and making the podium on six other occasions; the neutral will want to see William in the mix for a prize. North Belfast Harriers man Andrew Annett, who showed his versatility when finishing second in two very different races at Tollymore and Slieve Binnian, and then following that up with a third place finish at the Lisburn Half Marathon, will compete for a podium spot, if he decides to run.  Newcastle AC pair David Steele and David McNeilly, along with Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) and Ballydrain Harriers trio Paul Pruzina, Scott McKeag and Ewan Findlay will all be looking for a top ten finish, as well as a good category performance.  Others with category wins in mind will be Dale Mathers (Mourne Runners), Ricky Cowan (Mourne Runners), Jim Brown (BARF), Fred Strickland (Ballydrain Harriers) and Peter McGuckin (East Down).


The ladies race, on paper, looks to be a very competitive and speedy affair.  Besides the previously mentioned Catherine O’Connor, who won the Loughinisland 5.05 mile race on Wednesday night, current Series leader Shalene McMurray (Newcastle AC), NIMRA Championship leader Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), current Champion Diane Wilson (Dromore AC), international duo Sam McNeilly (Newcastle AC) and Anne Sanford (Lagan Valley AC), as well as the in-form Jackie Toal (BARF) and youngster Dearbhla Magee (Newcastle AC) are all expected to run.  Shalene has won five of the previous ten events and is suited to this type of terrain.  In the Hill & Dale Series, Shileen has made the podium on eight occasions, with two of those being victories, in races at Castlewellan and Millstone.  Shileen looks to be back to her best, having won the recent East Antrim Harriers Trail Series on Tuesday night.  Current Northern Ireland (and Ireland) Mountain Running Champion Diane struggled with injury in the early part of 2015, but is another lady who is coming back to form.  She (Diane) won the Series events at Donard, and Hen & Cock, as well as a second place finish at Slieve Loughshannagh and is definitely going to challenge for the honours here. 


Sam (McNeilly) has had a fantastic season so far; the humble athlete has performed well in the NIMRA Championship, moving into some longer distance events.  This alongside her impressive outings on the road have cumulated in a deserved International call up for the young lady.  If volunteering duties don’t take precedence, Sam will make use of her local knowledge and compete for the podium place.  Anne (Sanford), Jackie (Toal) and Dearbhla (Magee) will also be at the head of the impressive ladies field, which will include Mauri Troeng (Unattached) and category contenders Patricia McKibbon (Newcastle AC), Mary Mackin (Dromore AC), Linda Cunningham (East Down AC) and Liz McLaughlin (Not the Sunday Run).

Dromore 10k Road Race:

On Saturday 27th June 2015, a large umber of athletes are set to take to the streets of Dromore in County Tyrone for the increasingly popular and well organised Dromore 10k road race (and the associated 5k).


Amongst those expected to take to the start line are five of the six podium finishers from twelve months ago.  In the men's race, previous Champion Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) and the man who finished behind him in 2014, Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers), should play a prominent part at the head of the pack.  Stephen Morris (City of Lisburn AC), a third place finisher last year, will also start; however, he may have to battle it out with Martin Cox (Project Africa) for the final podium place.  Steve Darby (Barnsley AC) and Richard Johnston (Ballymena Runners) are other notable participants.


Patricia O'Hagan (St Peter's AC) picked up the ladies top prize in 2014, with Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) and Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers) in second and third place respectively.  Although Patricia is unlikely to compete, Julie and Pauline should and will claim podium place if they do – depending on her fatigue levels having raced on the Friday night, Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers) may replace Patricia at the top of the podium.  Enniskillen Running Club's Rachel Kells will also run well.


British Milers Club Watford Track & Field Meeting (England):

On Saturday 27th June 2015, a number of familiar faces from Northern Ireland will take to the track at the latest British Milers Club (BMC) offering, the Watford Track & Field Meeting in England.


Amongst those planning to compete are Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC), Callum Crawford-Walker (Lagan Valley AC), Jake Harbinson (City of Lisburn AC), Johnny Foster (Annadale Striders), Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers), Rachel Gibson (North Down AC), Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC), Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders), Neil McCarton (East Down AC), Emma Mitchell (Banbridge) and Michael Dyer (North Down AC).

Mont Blanc Marathon (France):

Over the course of the weekend (Friday 26th June to Sunday 28th June 2015) a host of runners from Northern Ireland will compete against thousands of athletes at the Mont Blanc Marathon events in Chamonix, France.


In recent years the Mont Blanc Marathon and associated 80k, 23k, 10k and Vertical Kilometre races have proved popular with the local trail and mountain running community in NI.  This year is no different, with at least ten off road enthusiasts (that we know of) taking part in one of their chosen distances.


The action begins on Friday 26th June 2015 at 4pm (local time) in the centre of the mountain village, when competitors take on the challenging Vertical Kilometre.  This Alpine event will test nerves as well as physical and mental abilities, with steps, cables, hand rails and steep trails between each athlete and the scenic finish line in Planpraz, at 2,000 metres altitude.  Beverley Herron and Sarah Graham, both of Mourne Runners, will take on the unforgettable 3.8k journey.  Competition for the talented ladies will be fierce, with this race doubling up as the Skyrunning Continental Championship event.


On Saturday 27th June 2015 Barbara Hunter, a Cairncastle lady who now lives in England will take part in the 23k event.  Barbara will climb 1,665m and descend 621m between the start line in the centre of Chamonix and the summit at Planpraz.  Although the terrain will be testing, the beautiful ‘balcony’ path towards Planpraz will make the effort worthwhile.  Later on Saturday (27th June 2015), Eamon McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) will again race the 10k event, having competed well in the same race in 2014.  Eamon will be amongst 1,500 other participants who contour around the famous Chamonix Cross Country Ski route trails and will hope to improve on last year’s impressive performance.


On Sunday 28th June 2015, Mourne Runners Sam Herron, Richard Bell, Richard Hanna, Garth McGimpsey as well as Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) and John McBride (BARF) will take part in the 13th annual running of the Mont Blanc Marathon.  The Northern Ireland participants will be rewarded by breath-taking panoramic views of the entire Mont Blanc Mountain range as they circumnavigate Chamonix, taking in the mighty Aiguilles Des Posettes (2,201 metres) before finishing at Planpraz, 1,000 metres above the village.  Favourable weather conditions are expected, so the tough but atmospheric mountain top finish at Planpraz will remain in-situe (for 2015), with the 2014 finishers having to be diverted back to lower ground in Chamonix.  The 2,730 metres of ascent and 1,700 metres of descent will suit Sam, Richard, Ricky, Garth, Hazel and John, who have all been training and racing will in the local mountains.


Run for Paul 10k 2015:

On Sunday 27th June 2015, well-known running volunteer Mags Mathison and East Down AC, will host the very worthwhile 'Run for Paul' 10k trail race (and associated 5k) in Delamont Country Park in County Down.  The race has been organised as a way of raising urgent funds to allow local runner Paul Brannigan to travel to London for treatment for a disease in his lungs.  As part of the event, organisers are encouraging athletes who cannot make it to County Down to participate in a 'virtual run' in support of the race.


Despite the important and charitable nature of the event, there will be a battle for the top prize.  Steve Darby (Barnsley AC), Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers), Norman Mawhinney (Ballydrain Harriers), Greg McClure (North Belfast Harriers) and James Wallace (North Belfast Harriers) will all compete, while Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers), Lyndsey Pronger (Orangegrove AC) and Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) should head the challenge for the ladies prize.  Paul himself will be there to complete the 10k, along with several members of his own family.  His son Brendan will be completing the virtual run in Market Harborough, whilst many more of Paul's running friends will be doing the virtual run in Florida, Majorca, Spain, Washington DC, Yorkshire (England), and anywhere else they happen to be on the day.


Virtual runners include Peter Fleming (Ballymena Runners), Donald Smith (Peninsula Tri Club), Brian Todd (Orangegrove AC), Fiona Prue (Ballydrain Harriers), Dave Fulcher (Murlough AC), Kenneth Bacon (Springwell Running Club), Ivan Baxter(NICSAC), Cara Hamilton (North Down AC), Natalie Bowbanks (Unattached) and Shane Caher (Unattached).  There will be refreshments after the race and entry on the day will be available.


Humber Bridge Half Marathon:

In England on Sunday 28th June 2015, Northern Ireland man and established marathoner Nigel Greer (Dromore AC) will join thousands of athletes as they participate in the Humber Bridge Half Marathon.


Parkrun:

As always, Northern Ireland’s twenty parkrun events will 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.

Gary Slevin and Hannah Oldroyd win Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race:

Jude Gallagher Memorial 10 mile road race 2015:

On Thursday 25th June 2015, hundreds of athletes turned out for the annual Jude Gallagher Memorial 'Race Around the Bridges' 10 mile road race in Limavady, County Derry/Londonderry.  The popular event is well known for it's fast and flat course and despite the at time breezy conditions, the athletes made full use of the course to produce excellent times.


At the front, it was Walled City Marathon finisher Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC) and John Black (North Belfast Harriers) who contested top honours.  In the end, it was the Airtricity 10 mile road race runner up who broke the tape first, running 56:03 (1st place).  John Black clocked a brilliant new personal best of 56:21 for 2nd place, before the host club's Paul Thompson (Springwell Running Club) completed the top three in 58:38 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, England based star Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers) dominated proceedings and kicked off what will be a busy weekend with a win.  Hannah crossed the line in 1:02:37 (1st place).  Northern Ireland international Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) followed in 1:04:04 (2nd place), while Ciara Toner impressed with a 1:05:31 clocking for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC) - 56:03, 2nd John Black (North Belfast Harriers) - 56:21, 3rd Paul Thompson (Springwell Running Club) - 58:38


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Hannah Oldroyd (Airedale Harriers) - 1:02:37, 2nd Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) - 1:04:04, 3rd Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) – 1:05:31


Full results:  Jude Gallagher 10 Mile Road Race 2015 Results

Brendan Teer and Catherine O'Connor retain Loughinisland titles:

Loughinisland 5.05 mile road race 2015:

On Wednesday 24th June 2015, athletes from across the province descended on County Down for the annual Loughinisland 5.05 mile road race, hosted by East Down AC.  Interestingly, this event always brings the question, why 5.05 miles?  (Why not 5 miles?).  We took the opportunity to speak with race organisers and found out that this is because the race starts on the road (close to a hill) and finishes in the local school, and if the experienced race team altered this, it would be too close to a dangerous section of road; thus it has been left the way it is to ensure the safety of competitors and officials.


At the front of the field, it was 2014 Champion Brendan Teer (East Down AC) who impressed most.  The Les Jones 10k winner looked a class act as he cruised to victory in an excellent 26:23 (1st place); interestingly, this was over thirty seconds quicker than his 2014 winning time of 27:08.  Virgin Money London Marathon finisher Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) continued the good form that he showed at the iconic event back in April (2014) as he clocked 28:22 for 2nd place, while recent Hill & Dale race winner Martin Melville (Newcastle AC) crossed the line in 28:54 for 3rd place.


In the ladies race, Catherine O'Connor (East Down AC) completed an excellent double for the host club.  Catherine claimed an impressive victory in 34:01 (1st place), which like here male counterpart Brendan, ensured that she retained the title she won in 2014.  The in-form Sinead Murtagh (Newcastle AC) finished as runner up in 34:27 (2n place), before young Laura Gardiner (East Down AC) crossed the line in 35:40 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 26:23, 2nd Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) – 28:22, 3rd Martin Melville (Newcastle AC) – 28:54


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) – 34:01, 2nd Sinead Murtagh (Newcastle AC) – 34:27, 3rd Laura Gardiner (East Down AC) – 35:40


Full Results:  Loughinisland 5.05m Road Race 2015 Results


Tom Cairns Memorial 5 mile road race 2015:

Elsewhere on Wednesday 24th June 2015, Dromore AC athletes dominated the podium at the Tom Cairns Memorial 5 mile road race in Drumlough, County Down.  Northern Ireland international XC star and NIMAA Track & Field medallist Nigel McKibbin (Dromore AC) led the field home in 28:18 (1st place) and was closely followed by club mate Daniel Dawson (Dromore AC), who ran 28:27 (2nd place).  Paul Blaney (Unattached) completed the top three in 28:47 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, Cheryl Cardwell (Sperrin Harriers) interrupted Dromore AC's dominance when she sealed victory in 34:21 (1st place), before the black and yellow vests of the Dromore AC army began to flow into the finish area - this was led by Mary Mackin who recorded 35:47 for 2nd place and Diane McKee who crossed the line in 36:10 (3rd place).

Wilderbeast 10 mile Trail Race launched:  Can you beat the beast? 

Wilderbeast Trail Race launched:
Today, Thursday 25th June 2015, one of Northern Ireland’s newest events, the Wilderbeast 10 mile trail race, which will take place in the County Antrim village of Glenarm on Saturday 12th September 2015, launch their new website:  www.wilderbeast.co.uk

Local Ballymena Runners athlete Ben Morrow has teamed up with Glenarm Castle to organise ‘WILDERBEAST’, a new 10 mile race within the castle estate.  Ben has had the privilege of enjoying running in the forest adjacent to the estate for years as he grew up in the village. “I was running along the top path of the forest early one autumn morning, enjoying the variety of colours on display, and the peace that only an early morning run on the trails can bring when I thought I have to share this magnificent setting with the running world. 

I knew to fully maximise the experience runners needed to get the opportunity to run within the bounds of the private castle estate. I discussed the idea with the events manager and he was able to secure the support of the Landowner Lord Dunluce.”

On 12th September 2015 at 12.00pm the running community will have the unique opportunity to run within the private estate of Glenarm Castle. There will be three races on the day all starting and finishing against the backdrop of the castle.  The 10 mile race starts at 12.00pm at the front of the castle, enters the forest and follows the river along the base of the glen. The trail crosses Glenarm river and climbs up the glen before descending back to the finish. The race route is predominantly undulating trail and has been designed to showcase the scenery of the local area.  The 5k race starts along with the 10 mile race and is diverted onto a shorter loop to the finish.  There will be a junior race, which will start before the 10 mile and 5k events.

For more information and to enter go to www.wilderbeast.co.uk

Neill Weir and Shileen O'Kane excel at EAH Forest Series finale:

East Antrim Harriers host Forest Series finale:

On Tuesday 23rd June 2015, East Antrim Harriers welcomed nearly two hundred athletes to the fourth and final race of their popular annual Forest Series.   The final race was run in Woodburn Forest, just outside Carrickfergus, where competitors completed a tough 4.5 mile course in warm conditions.


Willowfield Harriers man Neill Weir, an impressive performer throughout the Series, took to the front from the off and in truth, looked pretty much uncatchable as he maintained the distance between himself and the chasing pack.  This pack included Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners), Gareth Grew (North Belfast Harriers) and James Trainor (Dub Runners), with all three men looking like potential podium contenders throughout.  In the end, Neill sealed victory and the overall Series title in 25:30 (1st place); behind, it was James Trainor who took the runners up spot in 25:48 (2nd place), while Alex Brennan finished strongly to complete the top three in 26:05 (3rd place).


In the absence of Ballymena Runners’ Paula McAllister, the ladies overall Series title was there for the taking and it was Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), one of the outstanding athletes of the Series, who stepped up to the plate.  The experienced mountain and trail runner led early on and kept a fairly sizeable gap between herself and the chasing duo of Catherine McQuillan (Ballymena Runners) and Sarah-Jane Guiney (Albertville Harriers), before crossing the line in 29:19 (1st place).  Catherine and Sarah-Jane were in second and third place respectively for the duration of the race, but despite a fast finish by Sarah-Jane, she was unable to catch Catherine, who clocked 30:06 for 2nd place; Sarah-Jane followed in 30:09 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) - 25:30, 2nd James Trainor (Dub Runners) - 25:48, 3rd Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) - 26:05


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) - 29:19, 2nd Catherine McQuillan (Ballymena Runners) - 30:06, 3rd Sarah-Jane Guiney (Albertville Harriers) - 30:09


Full Results:  EAH Forest Series (Race 4 - Woodburn Forest) 2015 Results (Note: Overall Series rankings will be added as soon as they are available)

Local athletes impress at events Ireland, Scotland, England, Austria & Spain:

Local athletes impress outside Northern Ireland:

Over the weekend (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st June 2015), a host of local runners produced notable performances outside Northern Ireland, at prestigious events in Scotland, Austria, Ireland, Spain and England.


West Highland Way 95 mile Ultra (Scotland):

In Scotland on Saturday 20th June 2015, Northern Ireland men Justin Maxwell (East Coast AC), Brendan O'Hagan (Team Purple) and Peter Coyle (Unattached) took to the start line of the infamous West Highland Way Ultra, a scenic but challenging 95 mile route (including 14,760ft of ascent) from Milngavie to Fort William.  


Justin came through the field well in the latter stages, narrowly missing a podium place when he crossed the line in 17:58:31 (4th place). Brendan clocked 23:25.24 for 52nd place, while Warrenpoint man Peter Coyle completed the NI contingent in 23:45:35 (59th place).  The race was won by Team GB's Paul Giblin in a new course record of 14:14:44 (1st place); interestingly, this is the third year in a row that Paul has won the race.


Artenara Trail Race (Spain):

In Spain on Saturday 20th June 2015, City of Derry AC's Allan Bogle joined hundreds of competitors at the Artenara Trail Race.  The event covered approximately 31k in distance and included 1,837m of ascent.  Against top quality opposition, Northern Ireland international Allan ran well despite the soaring heat, crossing the line 3:19:31; this secured a well-deserved 10th place.  The race was won by Danilson Pereira Silva (Cape Verde) in 2:45:48 (1st place).


Mozart 100k (Austria):

Also on Saturday 20th June 2015, Team Purple's Kevin Murdock completed the Mozart 100k trail race, a well-known event in Salzburg (Austria), named after the famous classical musician Wolfgang Mozart.  Kevin negotiated the testing course in 11:23:16, taking 11th place.  The race was won by Daniel Oralek (Czech Republic) in 8:45:50 (1st place).

Le Cheile Trail Marathon and Aghyaran 5k (Ireland):

Closer to home, Northern Ireland men Ryan Armstrong (Ballymena Runners) and Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) enjoyed victories at events in Ireland.  On Saturday 20th June 2015, the ever improving Ryan Armstrong secured victory at the Leixlip Trail Marathon in 3:29:48 (1st place).  


Less than 24 hours earlier, on Friday 19th June 2015, the always impressive Paul Barbour led the field home at the Aghyaran 5k, after running 16:22 (1st place).  Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior XC Champion Teresa Doherty, a Finn Valley AC athlete, produced a quality performance to take top spot in the ladies race and 2nd place overall in 16:48 (1st place).


England Athletics Under 20/Under 23 Track & Field Championships (England):

On Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st June 2015, a number of local athletes were in action at the England Athletics Under 20 and Under 23 Track & Field Championships at the Bedford Stadium in England.


Team NI Commonwealth Games star Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers) produced an excellent performance in his favourite 200m event.  The England based athlete cruised through his heat in 20.80secs (1st place) before taking 1st place in the final, after crossing the line in 20.95secs.  In the 1500m, Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers) recorded a brilliant 3:50.90 (7th place) in his heat, but had to settle for a 4:01.40 (10th place) clocking in the 'tactical' final, which was won by Neil Gourley (Glasgow City AC) in 3:65.60 (1st place).


Full Results:  West Highland Way Ultra 2015 ResultsArtenara Trail Race 2015 Results Mozart 100k 2015 ResultsLeixlip/Le Cheile Trail Marathon 2015 ResultsAghyaran 5k 2015 ResultsEngland Athletics Under 20/Under 23 Track & Field Championships 2015 Results

Freddy Sittuk and Paula Donnelly win Youth Sport Omagh 10k:

Omagh Youth Sport 10k 2015:

On Sunday 21st June 2015, hundreds of athletes took to the streets of the County Tyrone town of Omagh for the annual and always popular Omagh Youth Sport 10k road race.  The event is also known as the Kenny McGirr Memorial 10k.


As expected, the event attracted some well-known athletes; this included Lisburn Half Marathon winner Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) and local star Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers).  The talented duo battled it out for almost the entire distance, before Freddy edged clear to seal victory in 31:52 (1st place).  Stephen took the runners up prize in 31:55 (2nd place), while his club mate Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) crossed the line in 32:59 for 3rd place.


Paula Donnelly (Unattached) was the star performer in the ladies event, which albeit wasn’t just as close as the men’s race but still proved an excellent race, especially given the nature of Paula’s win.  Paula claimed a well-deserved top prize in 43:06 (1st place), just over a minute ahead of Michelle Sweeney (Unattached), who followed in 44:10 (2nd place).  Carmen Runners’ ever consistent Ciara Coyle recorded 44:32 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) – 31:52, 2nd Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) – 31:55, 3rd Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) – 32:59


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Paula Donnelly (Unattached) – 43:06, 2nd Michelle Sweeney (Unattached) – 44:10, 3rd Ciara Coyle (Carmen Runners) – 44:32


Full Results:  Omagh Youth Sport 10k Road Race 2015 Results

Classy performances make NIMAA T & F Championships one to remember:

NIMAA Track & Field Championships 2015:

On Saturday 20th June 2015, hundreds of athletes and supporters descended on the Mary Peters Track in Belfast for the annual Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Track & Field Championships.


The popular and always well organised event proved to be an excellent day of competition and one that brought compliments from even the most hard to please media sources.  Undoubtedly one of the reasons for this was the classy performances of NI & Ulster Senior Track & Field 800m medallist and well-known International athlete Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC).  The decorated athlete and coach claimed a hat-trick of wins, picking up gold medals in the 200m, 400m and 800m.


Kelly clocked 27.74secs for 200m, 58.81secs for 400m and 2:21.45 for her specialist 800m – all of these times were enough to lead the field home and see Kelly top the overall podium in 1st place, but more importantly win gold in her Vet35 category.  Roger Sexton (North Down AC), Mark McManus (East Coast AC) and Bob Douglas (Ballymena & Antrim AC) were another three competitors amongst the plethora of talent who impressed with double gold medal winning performances – Roger sealed Vet45 gold over 100m (1st place – 11.84secs) and 200m (1st place – 24.06secs), while Mark topped the Vet40 podium after running 53.94secs for 400m and 2:08.95 for 800m; Bob clocked 13.86secs for 200m and 1:04:04 for 400m to claim 1st place in his Vet60 races.


Derry City Track Club's Tim Shiels crossed the line in 2:03:41 to take 1st place in the Vet35 800m.  In the 100m races, City of Derry AC's Mary Devlin surged clear to win the Vet35 race in 13.20secs (1st place), while Beverley Martin (Orangegrove AC) and Anne Maguire (St Anne's AC) secured top spot in their respective Vet50 and Vet65 events, with Beverley running 17.22secs (1st place) and Anne 18.59secs (1st place).  


Orangegrove AC's Jenny Black showed that she is back in form after injury as she cruised to victory in the 3,000m, running 10:51.22 for 1st place. In the men's 5,000m, Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers) impressed with a 16:31.24 finish for 1st place overall and top spot in the Vet40 category. Conor then picked up silver over 1500m after running 4:25.54 to take 2nd place behind Michael Bennett (Ballymena Runners) who achieved Vet40 gold in 4:23.45 (1st place); Nigel McKibbin (Dromore AC) also ran well to win the Vet45 top prize in 4:26.48, taking 3rd place overall in the mixed category race.  Beechmount Harriers' Catherine Diver put in a strong performance to win the ladies 1500m in 5:04.04, taking 1st place overall as well as in her Vet35 category.


Full Results:  NIMAA Track & Field Championships 2015 Results (Photo by Alan Montgomery)

Local stars help Ireland to highest ever Euro Team Championship position:

European Athletics Team Championships (1st League) 2015:

A number of athletes from Northern Ireland helped guide Ireland to their best ever performance at the European Athletics Team Championships (1st League) competition, which took place in Crete this weekend (Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of June 2015). 


The Irish team finished in 6th place with a score of 261.5 points, improving on their previous best performance of 7th place in 2013 and 2014 when the Championships were held in Estonia and Dublin respectively.  The event was won by the Czech Republic with a score of 351 points from Greece (2nd place - 327) and the Netherlands (3rd place – 299.5).  All three teams will now progress to the 'Super League' next year.


Kevin Ankrom, Director of High Performance said “It was a great championships for us, we came here targeting a best ever performance at this event and we achieved that. It was a great success for the entire team and I am very proud of them. To come sixth and accumulate more points than we have ever done before is a successful team performance for us. It was a combined team effort with points coming in events we previously haven’t scored in.”


Northern Ireland man Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) set the tone for the team when he blasted to a seasons best time of 13.73 seconds in the 110m hurdles to claim 2nd place and secure eleven points for Ireland.  European medallist Mark English (UCD AC) was another of those just missing out on a victory as he took 2nd place in the 800m in a time of 1:48.28. Irish athletes demonstrated their battling qualities in the distance events, with Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) and John Travers (Donore Harriers AC) snatching place finishes in the 1,500m and 3,000m respectively – Northern Ireland lady Kerry clocked 4:15.79.

The evergreen Maria McCambridge (Dundrum South Dublin AC) gave it her all as she secured 4th place in the 5,000m in a time of 16:09.30, while newcomer to the Irish team Megan Tice (Finn Valley AC) matched Maria's position as she also took 4th place in the high jump with a clearance of 1.80m.  


In a thrilling conclusion to the programme the men’s 4x400m team (Brian Gregan, Thomas Barr, Craig Lynch and Mark English) finished in 3rd place in a time of 3:05.07 to claim ten points for Team Ireland.  Sprinters Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) and Marcus Lawler (St Laurence O’Toole AC) had both earlier finished in 6th place overall in the 200m events securing all-important points for Ireland.  


NI record holder Amy's finish time for the 200m was 23.92 seconds, which followed on from an 11.60 seconds finish in the 100m earlier in the competition; this was enough to see Amy take 3rd place.  In the 400m hurdles, Ballymena & Antrim AC star Christine McMahon recorded 59.00 seconds for 3rd place.  The Irish women’s 4x100m relay team, which included Northern Ireland's Amy Foster clocked a time of 45.16 seconds to take 6th place overall, with the men’s team running a time of 40.18 for third place in their heat, the time for the men's team was a new Irish Under 23 record. 


The performances on Day 2 of the event combined with the previous day’s points gave Ireland it’s best ever performances at these Championships with an overall score of 261.5 points. Highlights on Day 1 of the event included a 2nd place for Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) in the 400m hurdles and a clutch of 3rd place performances from Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) – 3,000m Steeplechase and Sarah Treacy (Dunboyne AC) – 3,000m. 


Full Results:  European Athletics Team Championships (1st League) 2015 Results (Report compiled using some information from Athletics Ireland website.  Photos by Athletics Ireland.

Mark McKinstry and Martsje Hell win inaugural Divis Mountain Challenge:

Divis Mountain Challenge 2015:

On Saturday 20th June 2015, a small but enthusiastic crowd of mountain-trail runners turned out for the first annual running of the Pure Running Divis Mountain Challenge, an event hosted by North Belfast Harriers.


The scenic course took competitors onto the hills overlooking Northern Ireland's capital city, Belfast, and measured approximately 7.6 miles in distance.  It was pre-race favourites Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers) played a major part at the front of the field as expected, with Mark securing top spot in 45:45 (1st place).  Brendan followed just under two minutes later in 47:17 (2nd place), before Slemish Stiders man Michael Maybin impressed with a 52:19 finish for 3rd place.


In the ladies race, the in-form Martsje Hell once again showed that she is fast becoming an athlete to watch out for.  The ex-Enniskillen Running Club lady, now with North Belfast Harriers, won the St Benedict's 10k earlier this month and followed on from that with a convincing win here, taking 1st place in 54:53 (1st place).  The always impressive Gillian Cordner, who won the Mourne Way Marathon two weeks ago, sealed the runners up prize in 58:20 (2nd place), while the host club's Helen Weir completed the top three in 1:00:47 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 45:45, 2nd Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers) – 47:17, 3rd Michael Maybin (Slemish Striders) – 52:19


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) – 54:53, 2nd Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) – 58:20, 3rd Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:00:47


Full Results:  Divis Mountain Challenge 2015 Results

Weekend Preview:  NIMAA Track & Field Championships take centre stage...

Weekend Preview:  NI & Ulster Master T&F Championships 2015…   

It seems like no time since we were writing about the action coming up last weekend – now that’s been and gone and provided us with plenty to talk about, it's time to look ahead to another weekend of action and one that will most certainly provide plenty of quality competition, especially with the Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Track & Field Championships taking place!  


There is also the Divis Mountain 10 mile Challenge, the Lisnaskea 10k, the Youth Sport Omagh 10k and the Tullysaran 10k on the local calendar, while Northern Ireland based runners will compete at prestigious events in Greece and Scotland.


Northern Ireland Masters Athletics Association (NIMAA) Track & Field Championships:


On Saturday 20th June 2015, veteran 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.  NI & Ulster Senior 800m medallist Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) will prove hard to beat over her specialist distance 800m, as will respected coach and Olympian Paul McKee (Beechmount Harriers) in the 100m, if he competes.  


Away from Kelly and Paul, Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers), Nigel McKibbin (Dromore AC), Stuart Kennedy (Beechmount Harriers), Michael Magee (Beechmount Harriers), Brian Boyce (Letterkenny AC), Cathal McLaughlin (Derry City Track Club), Roger Sexton (North Down AC), Tim Shiels (Derry City Track Club), Samuel Miller (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Lee Magennis (Newry AC) and Mark McManus (East Coast AC) will all be in the hunt for medals in their respective categories, while Joy McAleer (Orangegrove AC), Lorna Sibbett (Ballymena Runners), Wendy Davis (Lagan Valley AC), Ruth Perioli (Lagan Valley AC), Jennifer Black (Orangegrove AC), Leann Gibson (Orangegrove AC), Emma Smith (Orangegrove AC), Denise Toner (Clones AC), Geraldine Quigley (Ballymena Runners), Allyson O’Toole (East Coast AC) and Rhonda Brady (Larne AC) will be amongst the ladies challenging for age group podium places and titles.

Divis Mountain 10 mile Challenge:

In Belfast on Saturday 20th June 2015, North Belfast Harriers will host the second of their off-road mountain events.  Following on from the successful Belfast Hills 8.8k last month (May 2015), the popular Belfast club will welcome athletes to the Divis Mountain 10 mile Challenge, an event which will see entrants cover a tough but incredibly scenic route overlooking Northern Ireland’s capital city. 


Although there won’t be much time to enjoy the stunning views, which stretch as far as the Mourne Mountains the athletes will look forward to getting some good off road running in without having to travel to the County Down mountain range.


The host club's Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers) will start as pre-race favourite and could well be joined by their club mate and experienced mountain runner Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers).  All three men will go into the event high in confidence – Mark clocked an impressive 33:19 at the Lisburn 10k on Wednesday night, while Brendan also made the top ten with a finish time of 34:12.  


Neil looked to be in great form when he sealed an impressive victory at the Belfast Hills 8.8k last month and given his reputation as a top class performer, he may well be the one to watch.  Other men to look out for could include Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers), Matt O'Kane (Unattached), Peter Fleming (Ballymena Runners), Martin Mullan (BARF), Aaron Shimmons (BARF), Darren Marshall (Orangegrove AC), Andy Gregg (Larne AC) and Greg McClure (North Belfast Harriers).


In the ladies race, Flagstaff-Carlingford mountain race winner and Belfast Hills Champion Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) will be the one to beat. The experience Northern Ireland mountain running international and current NIMRA Championship leader will prove hard to beat.  However, that will not stop BARF's Jacqueline Toal from having a go; Jacqui has returned to action this season and is rarely off the podium.  Mourne Way Marathon winner Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) will start and should be a podium contender, as will the North Belfast Harriers athlete Helen Weir.  Claire Withers (Mourne Runners), Sharon Dickenson (Orangegrove AC), Victoria Simms (BARF), Karen Poag (Separk AC) and Rosemary Hargan (Sperrin Harriers) will also run well.


Tullysaran 10k road race:

Also on Saturday 20th June 2015, running enthusiasts in the County Armagh area will take on the annual Tullysaran 10k (and associated 5k) road race, an event organised by local running group Tullysaran Runners.


Armagh AC's Gary Henderson will go into the race as favourite and should dominate if he toes the line; last month Gary took third place at the Newry Half Marathon after running 1:15:19.  The ex-footballer has also impressed over shorter distance, having clocked 4:42 at the NiRunning Mile in May (2015).  Delfim Pimentel (Unattached) and Stephen Kennedy (East Coast AC) may also start, as could Sperrin Harriers' Gavin Corey and Toirleach Gourley.  Natalie Hall (Sperrin Harriers) enjoyed an excellent return to action this week with a prize-winning finish at the An Creagan 5k and should finish on the podium once again if she competes here; however, Natalie may face tough opposition in the form of club mate Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers), amongst others.


Lisnaskea 10k road race:

In County Fermanagh on Saturday 20th June 2015, athletes will congregate for the second 10k in two weeks in the popular tourist area.  Despite the fact that it's just seven days since the last 10k in the area, a large crowd is expected to support the well organised Lisnaskea 10k road race.


Amongst those aiming for top spot should be local hero Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club); after opting to avoid the more commercial Enniskillen 10k last week, the Scotland based student may well kick off his summer campaign here and should he do so, based on recent results (including a 31:58 10k), the Stirling University man will take home the top prize.  He could be joined on the line by Martin Cox (North Belfast Harriers), Derek Phair (Unattached) and Derek Somerville (Enniskillen Running Club), amongst others.  In the ladies race, it is hard to look past Enniskillen Running Club's 3:10:56 marathoner Tara Malone for a potential winner, although, if fit, Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) may provide opposition.

West Highland Way Ultra:

In the early hours of Saturday 20th June 2015, East Coast AC’s Northern Ireland and Ireland international Justin Maxwell, a member of NiRunning’s Mourne Skyline MTR race team, will take on one of the UK’s toughest long distance events, the 95 mile West Highland Way Ultra, which includes approximately 4,000m of accumulative ascent.  


The classic race, which year on year attracts Northern Ireland representation takes competitors from Milngavie to Fort William. Event organisers have again put together a top quality field, including 2013 and 2014 race winner and current course record holder Paul Giblin, who represented Great Britain at the recent IAU Ultra-Trail World Championships in Annecy, France.  Another previous winner, Richard Cunningham (Scotland) and former Scottish National ultra-running Champion Neill McNicholl (Scotland) will also take to the start line.


European Athletics Team Cup:

Over the course of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st June 2015, five runners from Northern Ireland will represent Ireland at the prestigious European Athletics Team Cup in Heraklion, Greece.

Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle AC), Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), Ben Reynolds (North Down AC), Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Jonathan Browning (Ballymena & Antrim AC) are all part of the strong Ireland team (which also includes NI field competitors Dempsey McGuigan – Finn Valley AC and Adam McMullan – Crusaders AC), which will compete against Greece, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and Turkey. 


The Irish team placed seventh in this event last year when the competition was held in Tallinn, Estonia. The top three countries at the end of the two day competition will gain promotion to the super league in 2016.


Youth Sport Omagh 10k road race:

In Omagh on Sunday 21st June 2015, hundreds of athletes will take to the streets for one of the town’s most popular sporting events, the Omagh Youth Sport 10k road race.  Outside of the Omagh Half Marathon, the Omagh Youth Sport 10k is arguably the second biggest running event in terms of attracting well-known athletes, with a plethora of talent usually taking to the start line.


This year will be no different, with Omagh Harriers men Stephen Duncan and Paul Barbour likely to go head to head, alongside Project Africa’s Martin Cox.  Stephen showed good form at last week’s Enniskillen 10k when he cruised to victory, winning by approximately three minutes.  However, the talented athlete and WPFG medallist will need to show the same classy edge if he wants to fend off the ever improving Paul Barbour.   In 2015 so far, Paul, a former boxing star, has stepped onto the podium at least twelve times; eight of these twelve times were wins!  


Paul is still improving and it will be interesting to see where his running career goes from here.  Stephen and Paul may be joined by Project Africa man Martin Cox, another athlete who has really stepped up his game in the last six months.  Cairan Collins (Project Africa) could also start, while Stephen Prentice (Enniskillen Running Club), Bryan Young (Unattached), Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC), Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) and Michael Kerr (Carmen Runners) will also be worth watching if they race.


The ladies race may well turn into a battle of the Omagh Harriers ladies, with Julie Butler, the winner of this event in 2014, likely to start – she should be joined by club mates Mairead McCann and Patricia Campbell.  Ita Kelly should also perform well.  In saying all of this, the aforementioned ladies may be out run by former Enniskillen Running Club athlete Martsje Hell if she returns to 'the West' for this event.  Recently, Martsje, who is now running for North Belfast Harriers, has claimed several podium places, the most notable of which was a win at the St Benedict's 10k in Shanes Castle (Antrim) two weeks ago.  Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club) and Claire Cummins (Unattached), both podium finishers at the Enniskillen 10k last week, will also finish well up the field should they decide to compete.


Parkrun:

As always, Northern Ireland’s twenty parkrun events will 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:

Please be aware that there will be significant delays in the uploading of results and articles to our website over the weekend, but especially Saturday 20th June 2015.  We apologise in advance, but recommend that you check the individual event websites and the Athletics NI website in the meantime. 

Barry McConville and Diane Wilson win Race 10 of Hill & Dale Series 2015:

Hill & Dale Series – The Meels (Race 10):

On Thursday 18th June 2015, nearly two hundred athletes descended on 'Happy Valley' in the heart of the stunning Mourne Mountains for Race 10 of the Hill & Dale Series 2015, hosted by Newcastle AC.


The 2015 Series has proved as popular as ever and this event saw competitors take on a 3.5 mile route, incorporating 1,800ft of ascent over Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Meelbeg.  In the absence of habitual race winners Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) and Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC), it was another man who has impressed throughout the ongoing Series, Barry McConville (Newcastle AC), who not only stepped onto the podium, but topped it – Barry covered the course in 29:32 (1st place) to edge out Mourne Runners athlete William McKee – William followed in 29:35 (2nd place).  Csaba Gosswein (Unattached) took 3rd place in 29:58.


In the ladies event, the always impressive duo of Diane Wilson (Domore AC) and Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) once again went to battle, and following Shileen's win on Sunday at the Flagstaff-Carlingford race, it was Diane's turn to mix things up.  The Dromore AC athlete and reigning NIMRA Champion sealed the win in 34:48 (1st place).  Shileen crossed the line in 35:08 for 2nd place, while LVO's Mari Troeng completed the top three in 37:40 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Barry McConville (Newcastle AC) – 29:32, 2nd William McKee (Mourne Runners) – 29:35, 3rd Csaba Gosswein (Unattached) – 29:58


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 34:48, 2nd Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 35:08, 3rd Mari Troeng (LVO) – 37:40


Full Results:  Hill & Dale Series – The Meels (Race 10) 2015 Results

Sittuk, Jennings, McDermott and Adams secure Lisburn HM & 10k titles:

Lisburn Half Marathon and 10k 2015:

On Wednesday 17th June 2015, thousands of athletes brought the City of Lisburn to a standstill as they took on the annual Lisburn Half Marathon and 10k road races.  


The half marathon, which is also part of the Pure Running-ChampionChip Ireland Half Marathon Series boasted a new flatter, faster course; however, that was in some ways negated by the blustery conditions, especially in the first section of the course.


Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) started as favourite in the 13.1 mile race and duly delivered; the Kenyan athlete didn't have it all his own way though.  For the first ten miles, Freddy had company in the form of Willowfield Harriers front man and decorated athlete Brian Campbell and versatile runner Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers).  


Until the aforementioned 10 mile marker, little separated the trio, but when Freddy upped the pace and made the decisive break for home, there was no stopping him – Brian made a valiant effort, but it was the Cork City Marathon winner (Freddy) who crossed the line first, recording 1:11:36 (1st place) for the win.  Brian followed in 1:11:52 (2nd place), before Andrew completed the top three in 1:12:21 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, Irish Olympian Caitriona Jennings (Unattached) caused quite a stir with a late entry.  After returning to running following a break since the London 2012 Olympics, the talented athlete showed glimpses of her class to lead the field home.  Despite being well outside her personal best of 1:15:25, which was also run on Northern Ireland soil, Caitriona was understandably pleased to secure victory in 1:21:17 (1st place) and spoke of her delight to be back running.  The in-form Cathy McCourt finished strongly to claim the runners up spot in 1:22:00 (2nd place), while Mourne Way Half Marathon winner and newcomer to the local running scene, Laura Graham (Unattached), sealed a well-deserved 3rd place in 1:24:06.

Just like the Half Marathon, the 10k race brought a plethora of talent to the start line.  As soon as the seemingly endless stream of athletes set off, Gary Murray (St Malachy's AC) moved to the head of the pack, and that's where he remained until the 3 mile marker, when unfortunately he was forced to withdraw through injury.  


It was then the turn of 2014 NI & Ulster Junior XC Champion Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) to take charge and he obliged, leaving no one else with a chance.  Ryan powered through the 6k marker in just under nineteen minutes, with Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) in pursuit, and continued relentlessly towards the well supported finish area, where he broke the tape in 31:06 (1st place).  Paddy followed eight seconds later in 31:17 (2nd place), while local man Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) came through well to take 3rd place in 31:56.


The ladies 10k wasn't just as close, but still provided spectators with an excellent race to watch – NI & Ulster 10k and 5k medallist Natasha Adams (Letterkenny AC) put in an excellent display of front running as she led from start to finish, winning in 34:53 (1st place).  Behind, there was an excellent tussle for the remaining podium places, but in the end it was Craigavon Lakes 10k podium finisher Rebecca Murtagh (Dromore AC) and exceptionally talented multi-sport athlete Heather Foley (Unattached) who took the prizes.  Rebecca recorded an excellent 36:50 for 2nd place, with Heather following just over a minute later in 38:01 (3rd place).


Podium Places - Half Marathon:

Top 3 Men:  1st Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) – 1:11:36, 2nd Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) – 1:11:52, 3rd Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers) – 1;12:21


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Caitriona Jennings (Unattached) – 1:21:17, 2nd Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:22:00, 3rd Laura Graham (Unattached) – 1:24:06


Podium Places - 10k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) – 31:06, 2nd Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) – 31:17, 3rd Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) – 31:56


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Natasha Adams (Letterkenny AC) – 34:53, 2nd Rebecca Murtagh (Dromore AC) – 36:50, 3rd Heather Foley (Unattached) – 38:01


Provisional Results.  Lisburn Half Marathon 2015 Provisional Results and Lisburn 10k 2015 Provisional Results

Chris McPeake and Niamh Heaney claim top honours at An Creagan 5k:

An Creagan 5k Trail Race 2015

On Wednesday 17th June 2015, over two hundred and fifty athletes desceneded on An Creagan Visitors Centre, between Omagh and Cookstown (County Tyrone) for the 2nd annual running of the An Creagan 5k trail race.  


In pleasant but blustery conditions, it was City of Derry AC athlete Chris McPeake who stole the headlines; following on from his win at the St Johnston/Carrigans 5k on Saturday (13th June 2015), Chris secured another top prize when he crossed the line in 17:09 (1st place). Acorns AC's Aidan O'Hagan followed in 17:14 (2nd place), before his club mate Marin Loughran (Acorns AC) edged out Carmen Runners' Michael Kerr (4th place – 17:28) to take 3rd place in 17:25.


In the ladies race, young Omagh Harriers athlete Niamh Heaney produced the performance of the night.  Up against quality opposition, the rising star led the ladies home in 19:34 (1st place).  Natalie Hall (Sperrin Harriers) marked her return from injury with a 2nd place finish in 20:20, while Ciara Coyle ensured that Carmen Runners were represented on the podium when she clocked 20:45 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Chris McPeake (City of Derry AC) – 17:14, 2nd Aidan O'Hagan (Acorns AC) – 17:14, 3rd Martin Loughran (Acorns AC) – 17:25


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Niamh Heaney (Omagh Harriers) – 19:34, 2nd Natalie Hall (Sperrin Harriers) – 20:20, 3rd Ciara Coyle (Carmen Runners) – 20:45


Full Results:  An Creagan 5k Trail Race 2015 Results

NIMRA announce team for Snowdon International Mountain Race:

NIMRA announce Northern Ireland team for Snowdon International 2015:

Today, Tuesday 16th June 2015, the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) announced a seven strong team (plus reserves) for the upcoming Snowdon International Mountain Race in Wales on Saturday 18th July 2015.


The men's team includes NIMRA Champion elect Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) and the in-form trio of Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC), Sam Herron (Mourne Runners) and England based athlete Gavin Mulholland (Calder Valley AC) – Newcastle AC's David Steele will be the men's reserve.  


The ladies team is made up of reigning NIMRA Champion and podium finisher at the Mourne Skyline MTR, Diane Wilson (Dromore AC), Flagstaff-Carlingford winner Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and the returning Jacqueline Toal (BARF), with Lagan Valley AC's Hazel McLaughlin the ladies reserve.

Northern Ireland based runners named in Ireland Euro Cup Team:

Local athletes named in strong Ireland team:

Today, Monday 15th June 2015, Athletics Ireland announced a strong team for the European Athletics Team Championships (1st League), which takes place in Heraklion, Greece on Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of June 2015.


Five Northern Ireland based runners have been selected for the team, which will compete against Greece, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and Turkey.  Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle AC), Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), Ben Reynolds (North Down AC), Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Jonathan Browning (Ballymena & Antrim AC) have been rewarded for their early season form with selection.  Northern Ireland field competitors Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley AC) and Adam McMullan (Crusaders AC) have also been named in the squad; the full team can be found HERE.


The Irish team placed seventh in this event last year when the competition was held in Tallinn, Estonia. The top three countries at the end of the two day competition will gain promotion to the super league in 2016. 

Local athletes impress at events outside Northern Ireland:

Weekend Round-Up:  Local athletes impress outside NI…

Over the course of the weekend (Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June 2015), athletes from Northern Ireland have not only impressed at local events, but also at events outside Northern Ireland.  As part of our work over the weekend, we have covered several of these events, but we’ll now take this opportunity to round-up further impressive performances by local athletes.


St Johnston/Carrigans 5k road race:

On Saturday 13th June 2013, local athletes dominated the podium at the St Johnston/Carrigans 5k road race in County Donegal (Ireland).  City of Derry AC’s Chris McPeake led the field home in 16:31 (1st place).  Foyle Valley AC’s Martin Dunleavy also claimed a top ten spot when he crossed the line in 18:49 (10th place), while several of his club mates enjoyed top ten places in the ladies race.  None more so than the ever improving and always impressive Gemma McGinty (Foyle Valley AC), who claimed top spot in 19:24 (1st place).  


City of Derry AC’s Janeen Leese took 4th place in 21:33 and was joined in the finish area by BOLT Running Club’s Annalisa Mullan who also recorded 21:33 for 5th place.  Brigeen Canavan (City of Derry AC) followed twenty seconds later in 21:52 (6th place), before Catherine Moren (Foyle Valley AC) secured 7th place in 22:09.


Glenmore 10 mile road race:

Also on Saturday 13th June 2015, Northern Ireland based athletes dominated the podium at the annual Glenmore 10 mile road race in County Kilkenny, Ireland.  The men’s race was won by Castlewellan Christmas Cracker joint-winner Brian McCluskey (North East Runners) in 56:05 (1st place), with NI man Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers) claiming 3rd place in 58:35.  Fellow North Belfast Harriers man, Simon Reeve and Slieve Gullion Runners’ Ray Monaghan also made the top ten when they crossed the line in 1:03:54 (8th place) and 1:05:30 (10th place) respectively.  Noel Kelly led the large Dub Runners contingent home in 1:07:54 (13th place) with his club mates Dale Biggerstaff (15th place – 1:09:07) and Jim Larkin (20th place – 1:11:50) securing places within the top twenty finishers.


In the ladies race, Dub Runners’ Natalie Connolly and Paula Owens both ran well to ensure NI representation on the ladies podium.  The race was won by North East Runners’ Kana Akimoto in 1:13:15 (1st place), with Natalie taking the runners up prize in 1:15:33 (2nd place).  Paula completed the course in 1:15:08 for 3rd place, while fellow Dub Runners athletes Lynsey Hamilton (1:17:57) and Lorraine Broderick (1:19:57) taking 7th place ad 9th place respectively.  Newry City Runners athlete Caroline Wade continued her good run of form with a top ten finish in 1:20:18 (10th place).

Sonia’s 5k road race:

In Dublin (Ireland) on Saturday 13th June 2015, a number of familiar faces joined in excess of one thousand competitors on the start line of the Sonia O’Sullivan 5k road race.  North Belfast Harriers’ John Black clocked a new personal best of 16:16 to secure 5th place and with it, the honour of leading the local contingent home.  Orangegrove AC’s Thomas Leitch also claimed a top twenty place when he crossed the line in 18:26 (19th place).  In the ladies race, Liz Leitch ran well to take 18th place in 22:17.  The men’s race was won by DSD AC’s Brendan O’Neill in 14:43 (1st place), while Unattached athlete Mary Ballinger secured the ladies title in 17:40 (1st place).


South Downs Way 100:

Further afield on Saturday 13th June 2015, three of Northern Ireland’s best known ultra-runners took on the Centurion Running’s South Downs Way 100 mile event in England. 


The famous South Downs Way is a path running along the South Downs in southern England. The trail runs for 160k (100 miles) from Winchester in Hampshire, to Eastbourne in East Sussex with 4,150 m (13,620ft) of ascent and descent. Richard McLernon (Unattached) was the first of the trio to complete the gruelling event in 20:43:59, which saw him claim an excellent 31st place finish. 


Ronald Peacock (Unattached) followed just over an hour later in 21:48:49 (60th place); unfortunately Nicki McPeak (Springwell Running Club) was forced to withdraw from the event after 35 miles.  The race was won by Peter Kominsky in 16:50:36 (1st place).


Dirty 30 Challenge Trail Race:

In Scotland on Saturday 13th June 2015, Scotland based Northern Ireland man and recent Ireland international debutant Eoin Lennon (Carnethy HRC) was in action at the Dirty 30 Challenge, a 30 mile trail race.  Eoin, a podium finisher at the Mourne Skyline MTR in 2014, continued his excellent recent form as he claimed joint 1st place with Iain Docura (Scotland) in a new course record of 3:59:00.


Full Results:  St Johnston/Carrigans 5k Road Race 2015 ResultsGlenmore 10 mile Road Race 2015 Results Sonia’s 5k Road Race 2015 ResultsSouth Downs Way 100 mile Trail Race 2015 ResultsDirty 30 Challenge Trail Race 2015 Results

Athletes enjoy weekend track events in Magherafelt and Newry:

Athletes enjoy local track events:

Over the weekend, athletes across Northern Ireland have been able to enjoy several newly established track events; the Acorns AC Night of 3,000m races and the Inter-Club Athletics Meeting, both of which proved popular and will become annual fixtures.


Acorns AC Night of 3,000m Races:

On Friday 12th June 2015, Acorns AC welcomed athletes to the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt (County Derry/Londonderry) for the inaugural running of their Night of 3,000m Races.


On the night, there were four separate races, all set in a format that would allow athletes to race alongside competitors of similar ability, therefore improving their chances of achieving new personal bests.  


As expected, the fastest times of the night came in the 'sub 10 minute' race – Derry City Track Club's Matthew Doherty led the field home in 9:23.30 (1st place) and was followed by North Belfast Harriers' Andrew Considine and Acorns AC's own Darrell McKee; Andrew ran 9:24.40 (2nd place), while Darrell clocked 9:28.10 (3rd place).  There were also individual race wins for Derry City Track Club's Chris Miller (1st place – 10:18.90), North Belfast Harriers' Callum McIlroy (1st place – 11:45.70) and Acorns AC's John Knock (1st place – 12:37.50).


Inter-Club Athletics Event:

On Sunday 14th June 2015, William and Eimear McCracken hosted the first annual running of their Inter-Club Athletics Event in Newry (County Armagh); the event offered athletes the opportunity to race over a variety of distance, with 800m, 1500m and 3,000m races on offer.


In the ladies 800m race, Natalie Gorniak (Unattached) led the field home in 2:47.00 (1st place), while Newry City Runners' Marcus Hynds won the men's equivalent in 2:12.00 (1st place).  Eimear McCracken (Newry City Runners) found time out from her organisational responsibilities to win the ladies 1500m event in 6:23.00 (1st place) – Martin Doran (Newry City Runners) won the men's 1500m race in 5:06.00 (1st place).  In the final race of the day, local athlete Don Travers (Newry City Runners) produced the performance of the day to win the men's 3,000m race in 9:53.00 (1st place). Don's club mate Caroline Wade (Newry City Runners) took the ladies 3,000m title in 13:05.00 (1st place).


Full Results:  Acorns AC Night of 3,000m Races 2015 Results and Inter-Club Athletics Event 2015 Results (Podium Places only) - Photo above by CR Images.

Seamus Lynch and Shileen O'Kane seal Flagstaff-Carlingford wins:

Flagstaff-Carlingford Mountain Race 2015:

On Sunday 14th June 2015, sixty two mountain runners took on the annual Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race.  The event was the fifth race of the ongoing Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championship.


At the front, it was current Championship leader and winner of the four previous races, Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) who dictated proceedings. Despite the challenge of current NIMRA Champion Jonny Steede (Unattached), it was Seamus who completed the scenic 11 mile course (with 3,000ft of ascent) first, securing victory and pretty much the 2015 NIMRA Championship in 1:36:15 (1st place); interestingly, this was over three minutes faster than his time over the course in 2014.  

Jonny looked as if he is recovering well from his recent 85k jaunt around Lake Annecy last month as he took 2nd place in 1:38:03.  Behind, there was an excellent battle for the final podium place, with Paul McAnespie (Armagh AC), Sam Heron (Mourne Runners) and Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners) all involved; in the end, it was local Armagh based man Paul McAnespie who claimed 3rd place in 1:44:20, just six seconds ahead of the ever impressive Clive Bailey (4th place – 1:44:26).


In the ladies race, there was an excellent dual between Northern Ireland international mountain runners Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and Diane Wilson (Dromore AC).  The talented pair were split by just over thirty seconds in the end; Shileen showed no signs of nerves having fallen badly at this event twelve months ago (which resulted in a broken wrist) as she sealed top spot in 1:56:17 (1st place).  Current NIMRA Champion Diane Wilson followed in 1:56:51 (2nd place), before BARF's Jacqueline Toal, a podium finisher at the Slieve Donard-Commedagh Championship race, completed the top three ladies in 2:19:52 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 1:36:15, 2nd Jonny Steede (Unattached) – 1:38:03, 3rd Paul McAnespie (Armagh AC) – 1:44:20


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:56:17, 2nd Diane Wilson (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:56:51, 3rd Jacqueline Toal (BARF) – 2:19:52


Provisional Results:  Flagstaff-Carlingford Mountain Race 2015 Results - Photo above by Jayne Bell.  Photos from the Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race 2015 (by Jayne Bell) are available HERE.

Athletes from Northern Ireland impress at Le Cheile International:

Le Cheile International T&F Meeting (in association with IMC):

On Saturday 13th June 2015, a host of Northern Ireland based athletes were in action at the prestigious Le Cheile International Track & Field Meeting in Leixlip, Ireland, an event hosted in association with the Irish Milers Club.


There were numerous notable performances by the local contingent, with several podium places and personal bests achieved.  There were significant personal bests for Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle AC), Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers) and James Hamilton (Ballymena Runners) amongst others.


Kerry followed on from her new Northern Ireland 3,000m Steeplechase record, set  earlier this week in Spain, with another impressive outing.  This time racing over 1500m, Kerry recorded a new personal best of 4:12.79 to take 2nd place behind New Zealand's Angela Petty (1st place – 4:08.54).  In the same race, Banbridge AC's Emma Mitchell (4:26.02) and Ballymena & Antrim AC's Emma Hutchinson (5:07.42) took 8th place and 15th place respectively.   In the Men's 1500m 'A' race, won by Team GB's Tom Lancashire in 3:40.04 (1st place), Northern Ireland's Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) and Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers) performed well, with Danny clocking 3:45.79 (7th place) and Andrew 3:48.80 (10th place).


In the Men's 1500m 'B' race, Springwell Running Club athlete Neil Johnston took 2nd place in 3:56.06; the race was won by DSD AC's Patrick Mac Gabham in 3:52.13 (1st place).  There was a strong Northern Ireland representation in the 800m races, with Annadale Striders' Michael Quinn clocking the fastest time of the local athletes – racing in the 'B' race, Michael ran 1:55.40 to take 6th place – he was followed across the line by Newry AC's Oisin O'Callaghan in 1:58.96 (7th place); the race was won by Damien Landes (Ennis Track Club) in 1:53.34 (1st place).  In the 800m 'C' race, Lagan Valley AC's up and coming star Callum Crawford-Walker completed the distance in 1:56.46 (5th place); the race was won by Conor O'Driscoll (Leevale AC) in 1:54.97 (1st place).

In the 800m 'D' race, Johnny Foster (Annadale Striders) missed a new personal best by 0.02secs when he crossed the line in 1:59.35 (7th place), a seasons best performance; Niall Harvey (St Laurence O'Toole AC) won in 1:57.07 (1st place).  Ballymena Runners' James Hamilton continued his rise through the ranks with an excellent performance in the 800m 'F' race, where he led the field home in a new personal best of 1:59.33 (1st place) - Ballymena & Antrim AC's Samuel Miller clocked 2:03.86 (5th place) in the same race.  


In the ladies 800m, NI & Ulster 800m gold and silver medallists Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) and Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) took to the start line and on this occasion, Kelly edged it, taking 3rd place in an excellent 2:10.35; Rachel followed less than a second later in 2:11.30 (5th place); the race was won by Leevale AC's Louise Shanahan in 2:09.05 (1st place).


Annadale Striders' Ryan McDermott continued his return to competition with a strong run over 3,000m. The 2014 NI & Ulster Junior XC Champion was three seconds outside his personal best when he finished in 8:39.47 for 7th place; the race was won by Roy Chesser (Ennis Track Club) in 8:11.47 (1st place).  In the Mixed 3,000m 'B' race, Letterkenny AC's Ann-Marie McGlynn led the ladies home in 9:27.23 (1st place).  


Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) looked good in the 400m hurdles, where she narrowly missed a podium place after crossing the line in 59.52secs (4th place) – the race was won by Team GB's Jessica Turner in 57.43secs (1st place).  Aislinn Crossey (UCD AC) was in competition over 400m and the Ulster Schools Champion recorded 59.19secs for 5th place; the race was won by well-known Irish international Sinead Denny (DSD AC) in 54.94secs (1st place).  In the close 200m race won by Huew Freeman (Unattached) in 23.10secs (1st place), Willowfield Harriers' Ryan Henry ran 23.92secs for 5th place.


Full Results:  Le Cheile International T&F Meeting (in association with IMC) 2015 Results

Stephen Duncan and Donna Evans lead the way at Enniskillen 10k:

Enniskillen 10k Road Race 2015:

On Saturday 13th June 2015, nearly eight hundred runners took part in the Enniskillen 10k road race in County Fermanagh, an event hosted by the Fermanagh District Council alongside the local Rotary Club at the home of the Enniskillen parkrun at Lake land Forum, Enniskillen.


Omagh Harriers' Stephen Duncan looked a class apart as he cruised to a comfortable victory.  The respected international athlete led from the off and recorded 32:15 (1st place) to win by nearly three minutes.  Behind, Stephen Cassidy (Enniskillen Running Club) took 2nd place in 35:01, before Brian Young (Unattached) completed the mens podium in 36:03 (3rd place).


In the ladies race, Donna Evans (Finn Valley AC) produced a dominant performance to match that of her winning male counterpart Stephen; the Finn Valley AC lady and podium regular, covered the distance in 39:46 (1st place).  Enniskillen Running Club's Karen Dolan followed in 43:19 (2nd place), while Claire Cummins (Unattached) pipped Caitlin McBrien (Unattached) to the final prize-winning place, with Claire running 43:54 for 3rd place and Caitlin 43:55 for 4th place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) – 32:15, 2nd Stephen Cassidy (Enniskillen Running Club) – 35:01, 3rd Brian Young (Unattached) – 36:03


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Donna Evans (Finn Valley AC) – 39:46, 2nd Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club) – 43:19, 3rd Claire Cummins (Unattached) – 43:54


Full Results:  Enniskillen 10k 2015 Results

Cathy McCourt excels as nearly 300 turn out for Stunnerz in Runnerz event:

Sperrin Harriers Stunnerz in Runnerz 5 mile Road Race 2015:

On Saturday 13th June 2015, nearly three hundred ladies took the start line of the annual Sperrin Harriers 'Stunnerz in Runnerz' 5 mile road race in Magherafelt, County Derry/Londonderry.


As always, the well organised event attracted a large number of established runners as well as fitness enthusiasts and those out to complete the distance for the first time.  One of the aforementioned well-known athletes, Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers), excelled at the the front of the field.  Following on from an excellent performance at the Fairhill 5 mile road race last week, Cathy dominated proceedings, claiming a comfortable victory in 30:21 (1st place).  Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club), who won the Born 2 Run Surf N'Turf 10k last month, secured the runners up spot in 31:31 (2nd place), before Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers) completed the top three in 33:13 (3rd place).


Acorns AC's Rhian Pegram crossed the line just over thirty seconds later to seal 4th place in 33:47, while Ballymena Runners' Lorna Sibbett continued her recent good form with a top five finish, after recording 33:50 (5th place).


Top 5 Ladies:  1st Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) – 30:21, 2nd Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) – 31:31, 3rd Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers) – 33:13, 4th Rhian Pegram (Acorns AC) – 33:47, 5th Lorna Sibbett (Ballymena Runners) – 33:50


Full Results:  Sperrin Harriers Stunnerz in Runnerz 5 mile Road Race 2015

Ben Branagh and Gemma Turley win Antrim 5 mile Road Race:

Antrim 5 mile Road Race 2015:

On Friday 12th June 2015, nearly one hundred and fifty athletes turned out for the 2nd annual Antrim 5 mile Road Race.  The increasingly popular event started and finished at Antrim Stadium at Antrim Forum and covered a flat and fast course.


St Malachy's AC men Ben Branagh and Joe McAlister looked a class above the rest as they moved clear of the pack early on.  Up and coming star Ben edged clear of his well-respected club mate and eventually sealed victory in an impressive 25:31 (1st place).  Joe followed in 26:03 (2nd place), before returning Ballymena Runners star Richard Johnston claimed 3rd place in 27:56.


In the ladies race, pre-race favourite Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) was as dominant at the front as her male counterpart.  Gemma put in a quality performance to break the tape in 32:12 (1st place).  Last years winner, Lyndsey Pronger (Orangegrove AC) took the runners up spot in 32:55 (2nd place), while Jengana 10k podium finisher Nicola Swinson (PACE Running Club) crossed the line in 34:02 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Ben Branagh (St Malachy's AC) – 25:31, 2nd Joe McAlister (St Malachy's AC) – 26:03, 3rd Richard Johnston (Ballymena Runners) – 27:56


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 32:12, 2nd Lyndsey Pronger (Orangegrove AC) – 32:55, 3rd Nicola Swinson (PACE Running Club) – 34:02


Full Results:  Antrim 5 mile Road Race 2015 Results

Weekend Preview:  Competition, lots of quality competition...

Weekend Preview:  ‘Competition, lots of competition…’

Another weekend begins and of course that means one thing, competition, lots of competition.  As the summer season kicks off, there are now an abundance of races through the week as well as the weekend; we’ve had the East Antrim Harriers Forest Series (Race 3), Annaghmore 10k, NDAC Juniors Track & Field Meeting and of course the ever popular Hill & Dales Series this week.


Now it’s time to look ahead to the next few days, with three days of action coming up, kicking off tonight in Antrim and Magherafelt, and continuing with several notable events on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th June 2015 – this includes the Stunnerz in Runnerz 5 mile road race, Enniskillen 10k, Mark Annett 10k.


Junior athletes will have the NI & Ulster Under 16/Under 17 Track & Field Championships to look forward to, while athletes in Newry will also have a track option, with the Inter Club Athletics event taking place at St Coleman’s Track.  Outside Northern Ireland, there will be a host of familiar faces at the Le Cheile International in Leixlip (Ireland) and the South Downs Way 100 in England.  The next round of the NIMRA Championship will also take place in Flagstaff-Carlingford (Ireland).

Antrim 5 mile Road Race:

On Friday 12th June 2015, hundreds of athletes are expected to descend on Antrim Stadium, at Antrim Forum (Antrim) for the 2nd annual Antrim 5 mile road race.  The course covers a flat and fast route, which starts and finishes on the track at the famous athletics stadium.


Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) sealed victory at this event last year (2014) and that win seemed to trigger what would become a trend of excellent performances and ultimately achievements for the North Belfast Harriers/Fit N’Running athlete.  Mark has impressed with two wins in the space of a week, at the St Benedict’s 10k in Shanes Castle and the East Antrim Harriers trail race in Ballyboley Forest, so he’ll go into this race high in confidence.  Jengana 10k winner Kevin O’Boyle (Unattached) could also toe the line and may be joined by Matt Wray (Unattached) and Ballymena Runners men James Turtle and Noel Connor.  Ben Branagh (St Malachy's AC), Bryan Edgar (Springwell Running Club), Oliver Cooke (PACE Running Club) and Thomas Craig should all make the top ten.


Like her male counterpart, Orangegrove AC’s Lyndsey Pronger’s victory at this event seemed to catapult here into the next level of competition – since the win twelve months ago, which in truth, despite her obvious improvement, came as a bit of a surprise, Lyndsey has proved herself as a quality athlete.  Podium places at several events followed and she should be one of the leading contenders again this year.  


However, Springwell Running Club’s Gemma Turley, Ballymena Runners’ Geraldine Quigley and Larne AC duo Patricia Blair and Kirsty Sharratt will all be in the mix should they turn out on the night.  Paula Arthur McCarthy (Ballymena Runners), Natasha Henderson (County Antrim Harriers), Catherine Pinkerton (Springwell Running Club) and Jengana 10k podium finisher Nicola Swinson (PACE Running Club) will all run well.


Acorns AC Night of 3,000m Races:

Also on Friday 12th June 2015, Acorns AC will host the first ever running of their ‘Night of 3,000m races’ at the impressive Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt.  Following on from the NiRunning Mile and the North Belfast Harriers Afternoon of 5,000m races, this type of event appears to be growing in popularity, so much so that there will be no on the day entry available here as the entry limit has been reached.


The host club will make up a large proportion of the sell-out field and it will be Aaron Meharg and Darrell McKee who will more than likely clock the fastest times for their club.  There will be four races on the programme, with those predicting a finish time of around 14-15 minutes kicking things off at 7.30pm – the 12-13 minute 3,000m will start at 7.50pm.  The 10-11 minute 3,000m will start at 8.10pm, before the sub 10 minute 3,000m colses proceedings at 8.25pm.

Sperrin Harriers ‘Stunnerz in Runnerz’ 5 mile road race:

On Saturday 13th June 2015, Sperrin Harriers will welcome athletes from all over the province to their ladies only ‘Stunnerz in Runnerz’ 5 mile road race, which takes place in the market town of Magherafelt - this year the course has been revamped with the return journey making its way back to Meadowbank Sports Arena via the Ballymulligan Road and the Ballyronan Road.


Over three hundred ladies have made use of the online entry system and it looks like a classy line up is expected.  The in-form Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) will go into the event as pre-race favourite.  Following her return to competition after some warm weather training in America, Cathy produced an excellent performance at the Women’s Mini-Marathon 10k in Dublin (Ireland) before cruising to victory at the Fairhill 5 mile road race last week. 


Last year's winner Suzanne Higgins (Lagan Valley AC) is also amongst the starters and will come up against talented local athletes Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers) and Ciara Coyle (Carmen Runners).  The organisers' chosen charity this year is the very worthy 'Niamh Louise Foundation', which promotes suicide awareness and supports those dealing with mental health issues.  A donation of every entry will go to this very worthwhile cause.  


There are prizes in all categories, including team prizes and spot prizes. Aside from the running, the event is a great girls day out with DJ dance warm up at 11.30am, and in the main hall of Meadowbank Sports Arena will be an array of offerings including refreshments, buffet food, health advice, massages, reflexology, nail care, arts and crafts, and a charity cake raffle. Entries on the day will also be taken up to 11.30am. Car parking will be available at Kilcronagh Primary School and the District Council Offices, as well as at Meadowbank Sports Arena.


Enniskillen 10k:

Also on Saturday 14th June 2014, a large crowd are expected to turn out for the Enniskillen 10k road race in County Fermanagh.  The event is organised by the local Council and Community Association; it starts and finishes at the home of the Enniskillen parkrun, the scenic Lakeland Forum. 


Local man Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club) may take to the start line and given his recent form, which has included a 15:01 clocking over 5k in Ballyshannon, the Stirling University student should take top honours especially in the absence of 2014 winner Glenn Phair (Annadale Striders).  Stephen Cassidy (Enniskillen Running Club), James Trainor (Dub Runners) and Brian McGread (Omagh Harriers) will also be amongst the podium contenders if they decide to race.  In the ladies race, local star Tara Malone (Enniksillen Running Club) will go into the event as pre-race favourite.  Tara recently ran 3:10:56 for the marathon (Boston 2015) and dipped well under the 6 minute mark at a local mile event a few weeks ago. St Benedict's 10k winner Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) may also feature.


NI & Ulster Under14/Under 15 Track & Field Championships:

Also on Saturday 13th June 2015, hundreds of up and coming junior stars will be in competition for medals at the Northern Ireland & Ulster Track & Field Championships, which will be held at Antrim Stadium, Antrim Forum (Antrim).  The full day of competition will kick off at 10am and should provide an exciting day of events for athletes and spectators alike.  Youngsters Jonny Moore (North Down AC), Rebecca Walker (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC), Grace Hillman (City of Lisburn AC) and Reece McMurray (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will be just a few of the athletes to look out for.

Le Cheile International Track & Field Meeting (in conjunction with IMC):

In Leixlip (Ireland) on Saturday 13th June 2015, a host of talented athletes from Northern Ireland will continue their outdoor track campaign at the prestigious Le Cheile International Track & Field Meeting.  The event offers events over a variety of distances, but the main focus for local athletes appears to be 800m, 1500m and 3000m, with another few taking on the 200m and 400mH.


Newly crowned NI & Ulster Senior 800m Champion Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) will again race over 800m and will compete with the lady who ran her so close at last week’s Championships, Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC).  In the men’s 800m, Johnny Foster (Annadale Striders), James Hamilton (Ballymena Runners), Jonny Whan (City of Lisburn AC), Tim Shiels (Derry City Track Club) and Michael Quinn (Annadale Striders) are all due to start.  Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) will hope to continue the form that saw her set a new Northern Ireland 3,000m Steeplechase record as she lines up over the 1500m flat alongside fellow NI ladies Jessica Craig (North Down AC) and Emma Mitchell (Banbridge AC).  Team NI’s Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) will lead the men, with Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers), Neil Johnston (Springwell Running Club) and Stuart Kennedy (Beechmount Harriers) also likely to feature.  


Brendan Teer (East Down AC), Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) and Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC) will race over 3,000m, while Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) and Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will line up in the 400m hurdles.  Willowfield Harriers’ Ryan Henry (Willowfield Harriers) is due to race in the 200m.


South Downs Way 100 mile Ultra:

On Saturday 13th June 2015, three of Northern Ireland’s best known ultra-runners will travel to Centurion Running’s South Downs Way 100 mile event in England.  The famous South Downs Way is a path running along the South Downs in southern England. The trail runs for 160k (100 miles) from Winchester in Hampshire, to Eastbourne in East Sussex with 4,150 m (13,620ft) of ascent and descent.  


Nicki McPeake (Springwell RC), Ronald Peacock (Unattached) and Richard McLernon (Unattached) will all compete at this endurance test.  Nicki (McPeake), a recent winner of the Causeway Crossing 100k event on the North Coast will use this race as his final preparation for Tahoe 100 trail race (USA) in July 2015.  Ronald (Peacock) and Richard (McLernon), who also ran well at last month’s Causeway Crossing will be hoping to cover the distance and get the elusive belt buckle that is on offer to those who finish.

Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race:

On Sunday 14th June 2015, Northern Ireland's mountain runners will congregate in Carlingford (Ireland) for Round 5 of the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championships. The annual Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race consists of approximately 3,000ft of ascent over a tough but scenic 11 mile course through the Cooley Mountains and finishing in the atmospheric village of Carlingford. 


Current NIMRA Championship leader Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) will more than like face the challenge of 2014 Champion and long distance specialist Jonny Steede (Unattached).  Jonny, who is recovering from the 53 mile IAU World Ultra Trail Championships took an impressive second place at the recent East Antrim Harriers Trail event at Ballyboley this week.  


Meanwhile, Seamus has been in outstanding form this season, securing wins at Glenariff, Donard-Commedagh and Annalong Horseshoe, as well as smashing course records at Hill & Dale Series events at Loughshannagh, Rocky and Millstone – his most recent outing was at last night's Hill & Dale Race (Hen & Cock), where he sealed yet another win.  Last year’s third place finisher and local man Paul McAnespie (Armagh AC) always performs well at this event and is expected to push for a similar position this weekend.  Newcastle AC pair David Steele and Deon McNeilly, and Mourne Runners’ Sam Herron will all be looking for podium positions.  Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners), Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners), Dale Mathers (Mourne Runners) and Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) should also run and challenge for their respective categories.


In the ladies event, 2014 winner Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) should return.  The 2014 NIMRA Champion struggled with injury in the early part of 2015, but looks to be returning to the form with a good second place finish at Annalong Horseshoe.  Diane will line up against Lagan Valley AC ladies Shileen O’Kane, Hazel McLaughlin and Anne Sanford, as well as the Newcastle AC’s rising star Sam McNeilly.  Current leader, Shileen (O’Kane) has started the 2015 Championship Series successfully, with wins at Glenariff, Donard-Commedagh and Annalong Horseshoe.  Hazel (McLaughlin) has been climbing well and given the nature of this course, should be well in contention if recent Hill & Dale Series results are anything to go by.  Sam (McNeilly), a newcomer to the longer distance events will hope to replicate the impressive result from Annalong.   Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC), Jacque Toal (BARF) and Denise Mathers (Mourne Runners) are others who couldn’t be ruled out.


Mark Annett 10k road race:

Also on Sunday 14th June 2015, athletes from the Newry and Mourne area are expected to turn out in large numbers for the annual Mark Annett 10k road race in Newry.  The event, which is run in memory of the late Mark Annett, raising funds for charitable causes, always attracts a good mixture of recognised athletes and exercise enthusiasts.


At the competitive end of the field, reigning Champion Eamon White should return to defend his title.  The AAI National Vet45 10k silver medallist will prove extremely hard to knock off top spot – the only man likely to possess the ability to this would be Slieve Gullion Runners athlete Paddy Hamilton, should he enter.  Two weeks ago, Paddy won the Craigavon Lakes 10k in 31:11, which would be enough to seal a win here.  Don Harte (Unattached) and Barry McConville (Unattached) will also finish well up the field.  In the ladies race, Liosa McKeown (Gym Tech AC) will feature prominently at the front as long as she's recovered from her 26extreme Mourne Way Half Marathon exploits; Liosa claimed a podium place there. Newry City Runners should also be well represented, with Anne Havern likely to lead their strong contingent home.  Laura Graham (Unattached) and Cathy Rice (Unattached) will also be worth watching.

Inter-Club Athletics Event – Newry:

On the same day (Sunday 14th June 2015), athletes in and around the Newry area will have the opportunity to test themselves against fellow tracks stars at the Inter-Club Athletics Event, which will be held at the impressive St Coleman’s Track in the town.  Given that some of the provinces top up and coming talent (Aislinn Crossey, Oisin O’Callaghan etc) come from the area, this event is expected to attract some quality interest.  Andrew McKee (Annadale Striders) and Newry AC men Gavin Crilly and Lee Magennis may well compete an could be joined by the Newry City Runners athletes Caroline Wade, Michael Englishby, Patricia Brown, Michael Dillon, Martin Doran, Marcus Hynds and Mourne Way 10k finisher Duddy Parr.


Parkrun:

As always, Northern Ireland’s parkrun events will take place this weekend.  However, the Larne parkrun has been cancelled (for one week only!) due to an annual event which takes place within Carnfunnock Country Park.  It will return as usual on Saturday 20th June 2015.  For more information on parkrun events, or to locate your nearest parkrun, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page. 

Seamus Lynch and Diane Wilson win H&D Series Race 9 (Hen & Cock):

Hill & Dale Series (Race 9 – Hen & Cock) 2015:

On Thursday 11th June 2015, Newcastle AC hosted Race 9 of their popular Hill & Dale Series. On this occasion, nearly two hundred athletes took on Hen & Cock Mountains, covering a route that measured 3.5 miles in distance, with 1,600ft of ascent.


Current Series leader and leader of the ongoing NIMRA Championship (which resumes this weekend), Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC), was once again in top form.  The unassuming and humble athlete put in a classy performance to lead the field home in 27:09 (1st place); interestingly, this was well over minute quicker than his 2014 finish time (28:23).  Fellow Newcastle AC athlete, Ian Bailey finished well to claim the runners up spot in 27:24 (2nd place), while William McKee (Mourne Runners) crossed the line in 29:01 for 3rd place.


In the ladies race, Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) proved once again that she is back to top form with gutsy performance.  The reigning NIMRA Champion saw off the always impressive Shileen McMurray (Newcastle AC) to break the tape in 34:23 (1st place).  Shalene followed just seven seconds later in 34:30 (2nd place), before Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) recorded 36:04 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 27:09, 2nd Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) – 27:24, 3rd William McKee (Mourne Runners) – 29:01


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 34:23, 2nd Shileen McMurray (Newcastle AC) – 24:30, 3rd Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 36:04


Full Results:  Hill & Dale Series (Race 9 – Hen & Cock) 2015 Results

Kerry O'Flaherty breaks Northern Ireland Steeplechase record in Spain:

Kerry continues good form in Spain:

On Wednesday 10th June 2015, Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games star Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle AC) smashed her own Northern Ireland 3,000m Steeplechase record (9:52.54) whilst in competition at the 11th Meeting Iberoamericano de Atletismo in Huelva, Spain.


Despite the windy conditions, Kerry produced an outstanding performance to secure 2nd place in 9:51.64, finishing just behind Algerian athlete Amina Betiche (1st place – 9:50.03).  After the race, Kerry was understandably happy with her performance and record, “I’m delighted to get another couple of seconds closer to the Olympic Qualifying time (9:45); I was closing on the Amina Beitche on the last couple of laps but she was just too strong over the last 200 metres.  Disappointed it was windy, but I know there’s a lot more more there and it’s still very early in the season. Looking forward to the rest of the season.” 


This race followed on from Kerry's win in the 2k Steeplechase at whilst representing Windsor, Slough & Eton AC at the UK Women’s League Premier Division event in Edinburgh on Saturday (6th June 2015).  Again in windy conditions, the Newcastle AC star sealed victory by over ten seconds, after covering the distance in 6:53.60 (1st place).


Full Results:   11th Meeting Iberoamericano de Atletismo 2015 Results

Mark McKinstry and Paula McAllister win Race 3 of EAH Forest Series 2015:

East Antrim Harriers (Race 3) – Killylane Reservoir:

On Tuesday 9th June 2015m well over one hundred and fifty runners descended on the picturesque Killylane Reservoir, close to Larne for Race 3 of the East Antrim Harriers Forest Trail Series, which took place over a challenging 4. 1 mile course in the adjacent Ballyboley Forest.


In perfect running conditions, the athletes set off into the forest, and it was Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) who led the way.  The local athlete, who enjoys training within the forest, looked strong as he negotiated the gradual uphill start.  Behind, Jonny Steede (Unattached), John Neill (Larne AC) and Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners) all looked like potential podium finishers.  Meanwhile, in the ladies race, it was Ballymena Runners’ Paula McAllister who was in control with the ever consistent Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) hot on her heels.


By half way, things looked to be settling into place - Mark still a dominant figure at the head of the pack, with Jonny Steede and Jack Neeson were now in second and third place respectively. This is how it remained as the athletes made their way back towards Killylane Reservoir and the impending finish line.  Mark broke the tape in 21:55 (1st place), with recent Ireland international debutant Jonny Steede following in 22:08 (2nd place).  Jack Neeson completed the top three just over a minute later in 23:45 (3rd place).


It was a similar story in the ladies competition, with early leader Paula McAllister proving to be uncatchable; Paula looked back to her best as she powered to her second victory in the Series in 27:06 (1st place).  The versatile international athlete Shileen O’Kane sealed 2nd place in 27:19 (2nd place), while the in-form Catherine McQuillan (Ballymena Runners) continued what has been an excellent year with a podium spot; the Ballymena Runners marathon (ladies) club record holder crossed the line 27:48 for 3rd place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 21:55, 2nd Jonny Steede (Unattached) – 22:08, 3rd Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners) – 23:45


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners) – 27:06, 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 27:19, 3rd Catherine McQuillan (Ballymena Runners) – 27:48


Full Results:   East Antrim Harriers (Race) – Killylane Reservoir 2015 Results and East Antrim Harriers Forest Series 2015 Age Category Standings

Local athletes impress at Track and Mountain events outside NI:

Runners from NI impress in Ireland and Switzerland:

Over the weekend (Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th June 2015), athletes from Northern Ireland have been in action at events outside the province, namely the EAP Track & Field Meeting in Belgium, the IMC Bertie Quinn Track & Field Meeting in Ireland and the Crone Wood Mountain Race, also in Ireland.  


EAP Track & Field Meeting (Switzerland):

On Saturday 6th June 2015, at least five familiar faces took to the track at the EAP (European Athlete Promotion) Track & Field Meeting in Geneve, Switzerland.  


Team NI Commonwealth Games athlete Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers) continued his recent good form when he secured 2nd place in Race 1 of the 200m competition, where he recorded 20.62secs to finish a mere 0.01secs behind race winner Alexis-Pierre Pessanneaux (France), who ran 20:62secs (1st place).  


Fellow Glasgow 2014 star Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), was also in competition over 200m; Amy ran 23.62secs for 4th place in the race won by Riva Giuliau (Italy) in 23:30secs – Amy also joined Ireland international team mates Stephanie Creaner, Catherine McManus and Phil Healy as they took 3rd place in the ladies 4x100m relay.  The girls crossed the line in 44.75secs; the race was won by Switzerland in 43.11secs (1st place).


In the 800m, the always impressive Aislinn Crossey (UCD AC) clocked 2:08.82 to take 3rd place; Hungarian athlete Bianka Keri won in 2:05.79 (1st place).  Ballymena & Antrim AC's Jonathan Browning was also in excellent form – racing in the 100m race won by Otto Abifora (Finland) in 10.56secs (1st place), Jonathan broke the beam in 10.72secs for 3rd place.  The Ballymena & Antrim AC star also lined up in the 4x100m with Irish team mates Marcus Lawler, Stephen Gaffney and Eanna Madden and the men secured a new Irish U-23 4x100m when they won in 40.27secs (1st place).


IMC Bertie Quinn Track & Field Meeting (Ireland):

Also on Saturday 6th June 2015, there were several familiar faces on the start lines at the Irish Milers Club Bertie Quinn Track & Field Meeting in Tullamore, Ireland.  Derry City Track Club's Tim Shiels narrowly missed a sub two minute finish in the 800m, when he clocked 2:01.55 for 2nd place behind race winner, Nenagh Olympic's Tom Hennessy (1st place – 1:59.26); fellow DCTC athlete Conor McCullagh took 7th place in the same race, after crossing the line in 2:05.00.


Also in the 800m, Banbridge AC's Emma Mitchell ran 2:12.16; this saw Emma narrowly miss a podium finish – incidentally the podium was topped by Amy O'Donoghue (Emerald AC), who crossed the line in 2:08.08 (1st place).  James O'Hare (Annadale Striders) also performed well in the 3,000m, where he completed the distance in 8:24.27 (2nd place); the race was won by Tallaght AC's Thomas Fitzpatrick in 8:21.88 (1st place).

Crone Wood Mountain Race, incorporating European and Youth Trials (Ireland):

Also in Ireland on Saturday 6th June 2015, Northern Ireland based athletes enjoyed excellent outings at the IMRA Crone Wood Mountain Race, which also incorporated the Senior, Junior and Youth trials for the European Mountain Running Championships.


Current leader of the NIMRA Championship, Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC), was  a contender at the front throughout, but just missed out on a podium place when he completed the 6.5k course (with 643m of ascent) in 34:36 (4th place).  North Belfast Harriers' Andrew Annett also took a top ten place when he finished in 36:16 (7th place).  The race was won by Brian McMahon (Clonliffe Harriers) in 32:50 (1st place).


In the Junior Men's race, which measured 6.5k (and included 643m of ascent), Omagh Harriers' David Gormley was rewarded for an excellent run with a 3rd place finish; the up and coming star finished in 42:13, just over two minutes behind winner Tadgh McGinty (Swinford AC) who ran 39:45 (1st place).  In the Youth Boys event, another Omagh Harriers athlete excelled – Oisin Donnelly narrowly missed a podium place when he covered the 5.8k course(with 330m of ascent) in 27:28 (4th place); the race was won by Christian McKenna (DSD AC) in 25:40 (1st place).  There was further success for Omagh Harriers in the Youth Girls 3.9k race (with 220m of ascent), with ladies Toni Moore and Aideen Casey taking 1st place and 2nd place respectively, with Toni breaking the tape in 21:45 and Aideen following in 22:13.


Full Results:  EAP Track & Field Meeting 2015 Results - IMC Bertie Quinn Track & Field Meeting 2015 Results - Crone Wood Mountain Race 2015 Results

NI & Ulster Senior/U-18, U-19 and U-20 Track & Field Championships 2015:

NI & Ulster Senior and U-18, U-19 and U-20 T&F Championships 2015:

On Saturday 6th June 2015, athletes from across the province descended on the Mary Peters Track in Belfast for the Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Track & Field Championships. The event also included the Under 18, 19 and 20 Championships.


The weather conditions were not ideal, but the competitors didn't let that deter them from producing quality performances – in many cases, this results in NI & Ulster titles and the associated gold medals for those involved.


Well-known Northern Ireland and Ireland hurdler Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) made full use of the +3.8 wind as he powered to an impressive victory in 110m hurdles, clocking 13.76secs (1st place). Up and coming City of Lisburn AC stars Roseanna McGuckian and Christian Robinson claimed gold medals in their respective 100m events, with Roseanna running 12.63secs (1st place) and Christian 10.71secs (1st place).


In the 400m, North Down AC's Adam McComb covered the distance in 48.78secs, taking the gold. In the ladies event, Irish international Sinead Denny recorded 55.97secs (1st place) to win, but the first NI & Ulster finisher was Commonwealth Games athlete Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC), who ran 57.10secs (2nd place).  Annalee AC's junior international Clodagh O'Reilly led the ladies 1500m athletes home in 4:42.60 (1st place), while Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) just edged out in-form Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers) for gold in the men's race; Danny ran 3:59.32 (1st place), with Andrew following in 4:00.53 (2nd place). The ladies 800m brought another close contest and an epic finishing straight battle between highly respected international Kelly Neely (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and relative 'newcomer' Rachel Gibson (North Down AC); on this ocassion, Rachel edged it, taking top spot in 2:19.97 (1st place), with Kelly recording 2:20.10 for 2nd place.  NiRunning Mile record holder Mark Hoy (Finn Valley AC) topped the podium in the men's 800m after breaking the beam in 1:57.06 (1st place).

Young St Malachy's AC man Eoin Maguire looked a class act as he picked up gold in the 3,000m – Eoin led the field home in 9:56.06 (1st place); this also sealed the Under 18 title. Clodagh O'Reilly added to her 1500m gold when she crossed the line in 11:45.32 for 1st place as well as the Under 19 title.


In the competitive 5,000m event, exceptionally talented duo Conor Duffy (Glaslough Harriers) and Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – the pair have enjoyed several exciting duals, most notably for the NI & Ulster 10,000m (Road) title at the Titanic 10k in April (2014). After an exciting race, it was Conor who claimed the title in 15:11.30 (1st place). Scott followed in 15:14.92 (2nd place), with City of Derry AC's Declan Reed taking bronze in 15:17.24 (3rd place). The Spartan club (City of Derry AC) also picked up a medal in the ladies race, only this time it was gold! Catherine Whoriskey looked in fantastic form as she dominated the race before sealing victory in 17:47.44 (1st place).


Full Results:  NI & Ulster Senior and Under 18, Under 19 and Under 20 T&F Championships 2015 Results

Hundreds of athletes enjoy 26extreme Mourne Way Marathon Series 2015:

Mourne Way Marathon Series 2015:

On Saturday 6th June 2015, hundreds of athletes from all over the world descended on Kilbroney Park, close to Rostrevor for the annual 26extreme Mourne Way Marathon Series; the exciting programme of events included a 52.4 mile ultra-marathon, a marathon, a half marathon and also a 10k, all of which covered the stunning mountain-trails of the Mourne Mountains.


The ultra-marathon was the first to set off, with runners taking to the start line at 6am.  The challenge was to make their way from Kilbroney Park to Donard Park (Newcastle), where they would turn and make their way back to Kilbroney Park, in the quickest time possible. 


Interestingly, the route close to Donard Forest had to be altered slightly due to recent incidents of a buzzard attacking runners (seriously!); the amended route measured approximately 51 miles.  Sean Brosnan (Ireland) and Graham Hedger (England) set off at a pace that would make many believe that the aforementioned buzzard was indeed chasing them.  The pair were approximately four minutes ahead of any challengers as they passed the 10k marker at Leitrim Lodge and veered uphill in the direction of the next main checkpoint at Spelga Dam.  Paul O'Callaghan (Ireland), Ivan Sadlier (Unttached) and Juraj Karcack (Unattached) all looked strong but in truth, they had nothing on Sean and Graham as they continually added to their lead, which had increased to around twelve minutes by the time the speedy pair had reached the uphill section at Spelga Dam.


Meanwhile, Susan McCartney (BARF) was showing her experience and class in the ladies race.  The Irish international appeared calm and relaxed as she dominated at the front – Joanne Curran (BARF) and Orla McElroy (Unattached) both did their best but it was evident that the race would now be for the runners up spot behind Susan. 

As the men completed the long uphill section between Spelga Dam and Slievenaman Road, Sean had opened up a gap between himself and Graham; this proved costly for Graham, as without anyone to follow, he failed to make a designated right turn off the road and back onto the trails.  


This error allowed Ivan Paul, Juraj and the very consistent Phil Hodge (Newcastle AC) to gain a place each.  By the turn around in Donard Park (Newcastle), things had changed further, with Sean leading, Ivan Sadlier in second place and Juraj in third,


In the ladies competition, Susan had approximately four minutes on the Comrades Ultra finisher Joanne Curran and was looking as if she was running well within her limits.  Joanne and Orla followed, but it was arrival of Wiola Gorman (Unattached) that turned heads – Wiola had started at 5am with the 'early starters' but had obviously underestimated her ability as she was excelling here; in a basic sense, Wiola would need to cover the course in a quicker time than Orla to claim a podium spot.


As anticipated things changed as the athletes made their way back from Donard Park to Kilbroney, well that was pretty much everything except fo the leaders – Sean remained at the head of the men's pack, with Susan taking on the same role in the ladies race.  Juraj Karcak had caught and passed Ivan Sadlier and Phil Hodge, who was continually moving through the field, also moved into the podium places.  In the ladies race, Susan first place was secure as long as nothing went went wrong, and given her experience that was unlikely.  Joanne Curran, despite tiring, was looking good for the podium place.  Orla was doing her best o hold onto third place, but as the wind and rain/hailstones, slowed her down on the return to the Spelga area, it was looking increasingly likely that Wiola Gorman would get third place.


In the end, there was no toppling either Sean or Susan from their respective top placings; Sean ran out clear winner of the men's race in 8:02:24 (1st place), while Susan secured victory in the ladies race in a time of 9:23:56 (1st place).  Juraj Karcak claimed 2nd place in the men's standings with a 8:37:02 finish, while Phil Hodge was rewarded for his well paced effort with a 3rd place finish in 9:06:06.  Joanne Curran crossed the line in 9:36:49 for runners up spot in the ladies competition, with Wiola Gorman being confirmed as 3rd place finisher in a time of 10:20:22.

The Marathon covered the same return route as the Ultra, leaving Donard Park (Newcastle) at 12.30pm and heading back towards Kilbroney Park and the atmospheric finish area.  In truth, the marathon brought no surprises – favourite, Kevin Doyle (Kimberworth Harriers) moved to the front as soon as they set off, and there was no stopping the England based athlete from there.  


By the time he has reached the Trassey Track, Kevin had four minutes on his nearest rivals, which happened to be Torben Dahl (IMRA), Niall Mooney (Unattached) and Pat O'Hare (Unattached).  


It was a similar story in the ladies race, with Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), Gina Graham (Unattached) and Caroline Wade (Newry City Harriers) having stamped their authority on the top three places by the half way marker.  Gillian led by twelve minutes; in-turn, Gina had eight minutes on Caroline.


Aside from Pat O'Hare dropping off the pace in the latter stages, nothing at all changed as the marathoners battled through the changeable weather conditions.  It was event regular and three time winner of the marathon, Kevin Doyle, who broke the tape in 3:19:33 (1st place).  Torben Dahl looked back to his best when he took 2nd place in 3:33:52; Niall Mooney completed the top three men 3:37:56 (3rd place).  Marathon Des Sables finisher and winner of the recent Newry City Marathon, Gillian Cordner added another achievement to her CV, when she recorded victory in 4:17:11 (1st place).  Gina Graham and Caroline Wade then recorded 4:37:08 (2nd place) and 4:45:03 (3rd place) respectively.

The Half Marathon, which started on the Slievenaman Road, just outside Newcastle and finished in Kilbroney Park, proved to be one of the closest of the day, with both the men's and ladies races going through the half way point at Leitrim Lodge with everything the play for. 


It was neck and neck between Matthew Hewitt (East Coast AC) and David Turtle (East Antrim Harriers) until the men began their decent towards Leitrim Lodge, when Matthew fearlessly made his way downhill and opened up a 25-30secs on David.  He (Matthew) then increased this lead as the race moved into the latter stages, before crossing the line in 1:24:14 (1st place).  


The in-form David Turtle took a well-deserved 2nd place in 1:26:01, before Larne AC's Wayne Morrow made his way through the field to claim 3rd place in 1:28:25.


In the ladies race, Liosa McKeown (Gym Tech AC), Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers), Laura Graham (Unattached) and Helen Perry (Ballydrain Harriers) all looked like potential winners as the came through Leitrim Lodge, but it was Laura Graham who ended up stealing the headlines.  Laura moved clear and never looked back as the field negotiated the good running trails en-route to Kilbroney Park, before crossing the line in 1:45:12 (1st place).  Liosa McKeown followed in 1:54:52 (2nd place), while Helen Weir, a recognised and well-known trail runners, secured a podium place in 1:55:08 (3rd place).

The final competitive race to kick off on what as an exciting day of action was the 10k, which started at Leitrim Lodge and finish, like all of the other events, in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.  Slieve Gullion Runners' Bernard Hamill was an early leader of the race, but it was established athlete an a regular at 26extreme events, Don Harte (Unattached), who eventually came through to shine.  Done worked his way through so seal an impressive win in 37:04 (1st place).  Martin Doran also ran well to take 2nd place in 37:33, while Bernard Hamill held on for 3rd place in 38:51 (3rd place).


The ladies race was a close affair between Sarah McAlinden (Club Unknown) and Niamh O'Connell (Murlough AC).  After an excellent battle, it was Sarah who claimed top spot, winning nearly forty seconds in a time of 42:23 (1st place).  Niamh crossed the line in 43:34, before Helen Carr (Raheny Shamrock AC) completed the prize winners in 44:40 (3rd place) – interestingly all three of the ladies finished within the top ten overall.


Podium Places - Ultra Marathon (51 miles):

Top 3 Men:  1st Sean Brosnan (Ireland) – 8:02:24, 2nd Juraj Karcak (Unattached) – 8:37:02, 3rd Phil Hodge (Newcastle AC) 9:06:06

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Susan McCartney (BARF) – 9:23:56, 2nd Joanne Curran (BARF) – 9:36:49, 3rd Wiola Gorman (Unattached) – 10:20:22


Podium Places - Marathon:

Top 3 Men:  1st Kevin Doyle (Kimberworth Harriers) – 3:19:33, 2nd Torben Dahl (IMRA) – 3:33:52, 3rd Niall Mooney (Unattached) – 3:37:56

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) – 4:17:11, 2nd Gina Graham (Unattached) – 4:37:08, 3rd Caroline Wade (Newry City Runners) – 4:45:03


Podium Places - Half Marathon:

Top 3 Men:  1st Matthew Hewitt (East Coast AC) - 1:24:14, 2nd David Turtle (East Antrim Harriers) - 1:26:03, 3rd Wayne Morrow (Larne AC) - 1:28:25

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Laura Graham (Unattached) - 1:45:12, 2nd Liosa McKeown (Gym Tech AC) - 1:54:52, 3rd Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers) - 1:55:08


Podium Places - 10k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Don Harte (Unattached) – 37:04, 2nd Martin Doran (Unattached) – 37:33, 3rd Bernard Hamill (Slieve Gullion Runners) – 38:51

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Sarah McAlinden (Club Unknown) – 42:23, 2nd Niamh O'Connell (Murlough AC) – 43:34, 3rd Helen Carr (Unattached) – 44:40


Provisional Results:  26extreme Mourne Way Marathon Series 2015 Provisional Results

Mark McKinstry and Martsje Hell secure wins at St Benedict's College 10k:

St Benedict's College 10k 2015:

On Friday 5th June 2015, well over one hundred runners descended on the County Antrim town of Randalstown for the 3rd annual running of the St Benedict's College 10k race, which took places within the confines of the picturesque Shane's Castle Estate.


In sunny but blustery conditions, the field set off on a one lap course which would see them cover trail and road before finishing close to where they started.  


There were several notable performances, but none more so than that of North Belfast Harriers athlete Mark McKinstry; having finished as runner up to Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) at the Fairhill 5 mile road race 48 hours earlier, Mark bettered that position when he secured top spot in 33:20 (1st place).  Reigning Champion Aaron Meharg (Acorns AC), another impressive performer in Ballymena this week, took 2nd place in 34:35, before Kent Swann (North Belfast Harriers) completed the top three in 35:36 (3rd place).


North Belfast Harriers also celebrated victory in the ladies race, when former Enniskillen Running Club lady Martsje Hell claimed her second when within a month.  Following on from an impressive outing at the Maghera 10k last month, Martsje broke the tape in 40:07 (1st place).  Lorna Sibbett (Ballymena Runners) followed just over a minute later in 41:11 (2nd place), while Orangegrove AC's Lyndsey Pronger crossed the line in 42:02 (3rd place) to secure a podium place.


Top 3 Men:  1st Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 33:20, 2nd Aaron Meharg (Acorns AC) – 34:35, 3rd Kent Swann (North Belfast Harriers) – 35:36


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) – 40:07, 2nd Lorna Sibbett (Ballymena Runners) – 41:11, 3rd Lyndsey Pronger (Orangegrove AC) – 42:02


Full Results:  St Benedict's 10k 2015 Results

Weekend Preview:  '100 metres to 52.4 miles - difference in distance, but...'

Weekend Preview:  '100m to 52.4 miles – difference in distance, but not commitment...'

This week signalled the ‘official’ start to Summer and although the weather has made a stuttering start to the season, the local running community has been somewhat different – the last few weeks have proved to be busy and successful for local athletes and we move into Summer with drive, enthusiasm and high expectations.


This weekend, we look ahead to a number of quality events, which in  truth, could not be further apart in terms of similarity but still, will bring the same effort, commitment and hopefully achievement for those involved.  Aside from the NI & Ulster Senior Track & Field Championships and the 26extreme Mourne Way Marathon and associated events, we look forward to St Benedict’s College Shane's Castle 10k.  Runners from Northern Ireland will also be in action at the IMC's Bertie Quinn Track Meeting in Ireland and the EAP Track & Field Meeting in Switzerland.


St Benedict’s College Randlestown/Shanes Castle 10k:

The weekend action kicks off on Friday 5th June 2015, when hundreds of athletes are expected to descend on the stunning grounds of Shane's Castle Estate in the County Antrim town of Randlestown for the annual St Benedict’s College 10k race.  


Two time winner of the event, Aaron Meharg (Acorns AC) will make use of the on the night entry as he sets out to complete a hat-trick of victories. The Acorns AC man has come through his recovery from London Marathon well and will prove hard to beat here, as long as he's not feeling the effects of a good performance at the Fairhill 5 mile road race on Wednesday (3rd June 2015), where he recorded 26:54 for fifth place.  The Acorns AC man could be joined on the start line by club mate Darrell McKee (Acorns AC) and the likes of Kevin O'Boyle (Unattached) and Matt Wray (Unattached), two men who impressed at the Jengana 10k in the same venue a few weeks ago.  Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC), Noel Connor (Ballymena Runners) and James Turtle (Ballymena Runners) will also go well if they enter on the night.


Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) may be the outstanding performer in the ladies race.  Gemma has impressed with wins at the recent Termoneeny and Mayfair 10k road races and should be the lady to watch out for if she toes the line.  Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers) could provide strong opposition for Gemma, which could make for an excellent race for spectators.  Scotland based student Rhian Pegram (Acorns AC) may also compete, as could her club mate, the ever improving Karen O'Kane (Acorns AC).  PACE Running Club athlete Nicola Swinson was a surprise but well deserved podium finisher at the recent Jengana 10k in Shane's Castle and will contest a prize-winning spot here if she starts.

Mourne Way Marathon/Ultra-Marathon/Half Marathon/10k and 5k:

On Saturday 6th June 2015, established events management company 26extreme will welcome athletes from all over the world to Northern Ireland for the Mourne Way Marathon Series, which includes; Ultra Marathon, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k events. 


The action starts at 6am in the Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, where the Ultra Marathon participants will begin their 85km (52.4m) return journey to Donard Park, Newcastle and back, passing through many of the most popular Mourne Mountain haunts, including Spelga Dam, Leitrim Lodge, Trassey Track, Hen Track and Donard Forest.


In years gone by, we've identified obvious potential winners and pre-race favourites going into the Ultra, but this year, it's hard to choose just one athlete out of five or six potential Champions.  Last years winner, Don Travers (Newry City Runners), will not return to defend his title, so it will be down to 2014 runner up and a man that knows the course well, Tim Brownlie (Unattached), to conduct proceedings.  


However, having come through a period of niggles at the back end of 2014, it's hard to say what kind of shape Tim is in, so well-known distance specialists Phil Hodge (Murlough AC) and Ivan Sadlier (Unattached) will also come into consideration.  Given their experience in long distance ultra-trail races, both men will provide a good challenge for Tim, as will Geoff Smyth (Unattached) and Martin Mullan (BARF).


In the ladies Ultra, AAI National 24hr medallist and Irish international ultra-runner Susan McCartney (BARF) will be the one to watch – Susan stated in a recent interview with us (NiRunning) that this race was her favourite event in Northern Ireland; she will be aiming to win the race for the third year in a row, and hoping to better her course best of 9:13:15!  That will not stop Comrades Ultra finisher Joanne Curran (BARF), a regular podium finisher at recent 26extreme events, from giving it a go.  Other ladies who should finish in or around the top three include Emma-Louise Kirk (North East Runners), Orla McElroy (City of Lisburn AC) and Amy Beggs (Larne AC).


The Marathon starts in Donard Park, Newcastle at 12.30pm and will take competitors on an enjoyable 26.2 miles journey to Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.  One of the many highlights of this route is the view over Newcastle as the runners reach the top of Donard Forest and turn right, it is spectacular!


None of the top three men from 2014 (Justin Maxwell, Stuart Paulin and Martin Rea) are expected to start this time around; however, a former winner will return.  Kevin Doyle from Kimberworth Harriers will travel to Northern Ireland (alongside his team mates) to take part in the event; in 2014, Kevin stepped up to the Ultra, but his attempt at victory was shattered when he suffered an injury just before half way.  The England based athlete will revert back to his best distance and will be hoping to replicate the performances that has brought him victory on several occasions.  IMRA member Torben Dahl should also be there or there abouts, while local men Barry Shanks (St Peter's AC), Paul Nesbitt (BARF), Thomas Craig (Larne AC), Chris Davis (East Coast AC) and Mark Jordan (East Coast AC) should finish well up the field.

The ladies marathon should be a close affair, with MDS finisher and winner of the Newry City Marathon, Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) set to go head to head with Janice White (Unattached).  Both Gillian and Janice are always in or around the podium places and will no doubt take up similar positions here, with Cara Hamilton (North Down AC), Monica McCrickard (Leitrim Ladies) and Caroline Wade (Newry City Runners) all likely to be amongst those who will be chasing the final podium place.


There are close to three hundred entries for the Half Marathon (2pm start), which will take competitors from Spelga Dam to Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.  East Antrim Harriers' David Turtle, a twelfth place finisher at the Fairhill 5 this week should play a prominent part in proceedings – based on his recent good form in both running and duathlon events, David should perform well.  As should Larne AC's Wayne Morrow, who finished just behind David on Wednesday night in Ballymena.  Murray Deller (East Coast AC) and Orangegrove AC men Darren Marshall and Darren Houston will also go well.


Their is a plethora of choice when looking at potential candidates for the top three places in the ladies race; evidently, this makes picking just three quite difficult.  Although, one thing is for sure, Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers), Liosa McKeown (GymTech AC), Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC), Sarah Steer (Orangegrove AC) and Paula McKibbin (Murlough AC) will all be worth watching – these ladies have impressed off-road this year and should contest the prizes.  Joanne McCauley (St Peter's AC), Attracta Magennis (Newry City Runners), Helen Vint (East Down AC) and Sharon Dickenson (Orangegrove AC) will all perform to their usual high standard.


In the 10k, which covers a scenic route from Leitrim Lodge (Start Time - 3pm) to Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, 2014 winner Matthew Hewitt (East Coast AC) looks to be the main man once again.  The Richill based athlete enjoyed an excellent 2014, with the highlight being a third place finish at the Mourne Skyline GTR – unfortunately, he missed the start of 2015 through injury, but has returned to form recently and should top the podium once again.  Experienced mountain runner Declan Magee (Newcastle AC) and BARF's Johnny Cash will hope to finish within the top three.


In the ladies 10k, Claire Chapman (Kimberworth Harriers) should improve on her third place finish from twelve months ago, but the England based athlete will have to outrun local Glens Runners lady Catriona Kerr, who always seems to impress.  Newry City Runners' Patricia Brown and another Kimberworth Harriers athlete, Samantha James, will place well, as should Verity Cornford (Orangegrove AC) and Kim Gleave (County Antrim Harriers).

NI & Ulster Senior/U-18/U-20 Track & Field Championships:

Also on Saturday 6th June 2015, hundreds of athletes from across the province are expected to compete for NI & Ulster titles and the associated medals at the NI & Ulster Senior/Under 18/Under 20 Track & Field Championships, which will be held at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.


North Down AC's Ben Reynolds will be in action as he looks ahead to the possibility of competing at the European Team Championships next month.  The former World Championships Indoor hurdles semi-finalist ran his fastest time in a year in Belgium last week; 13.79secs for 110m hurdles.  Commonwealth Games athlete Katie Kirk (QUB AC) has entered the 400m where she finished in second place last year - Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will also race over 400m, but with some jumping included – Christine will compete in her specialist 400m hurdles event.


In the men's 1500m, defending Champion Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) will race against in-form Willowfield Harriers man Andrew Wright, who set a personal best over the distance recently.  Andrew is aiming for a qualification mark for the European Under 23 Championships in Tallin.  There are several athletes who will be aiming for a successful defence of their titles - in the 400m North Down AC's Adam McComb  has recorded 48.22secs this season and should again edge out team mate Andrew Mellon.  Finn Valley AC's Mark Hoy's recent sub 1 min 50 secs time over 800m could also get the better of  North Down AC's Michael Dyer who claimed silver last year.  City of Lisburn AC's talented athlete Roseanna McGuckian should repeat last year's 200m victory.  Other athletes who may turn out include Aislinn Crossey (UCD AC), Rachel Gibson (North Down AC), Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC), Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC), James Edgar (City of Lisburn AC), Jake Harbinson (City of Lisburn AC) and Callum Crawford-Walker (Lagan Valley AC).


Irish Milers Club (IMC) Bertie Quinn Track Meeting (Ireland):

Also on Saturday 6th June 2015, several athletes from Northern Ireland will be in action at the Irish Milers Club (IMC) Track Meeting in Tullamore, Ireland.  This includes several of the athletes who impressed most whenever the IMC road show was at MPT a few weeks ago.  Banbridge AC's Emma Mitchell and City of Lisburn AC's Kelly Neely will be in competition alongside fellow Northern Ireland stars Johnny Foster (Annadale Striders), Enya Haigney (Omagh Harriers), Samuel Miller (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Tim Shiels (Derry City Track Club) and Connor McCullagh (Derry City Track Club).


EAP Track & Field Meeting (Switzerland):

In Switzerland on Saturday 6th June 2015, Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games duo Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) will be in action at the European Athlete Promotion (EAP) event in Geneva, Switzerland.   Leon will be hoping to get close to the Northern Ireland 200m record of 20.54secs; he has already ran 20.67secs this season, as well as a recent 100m personal best of 10.34secs.


Meanwhile, Northern Ireland 100m and 200m record holder Amy, who ran 11.41secs for 100m in Florida last month, which is only .01secs short of her NI and Irish record, will be racing in an Irish relay squad which will be attempting to gain qualification for the World Championships in Beijing this Summer.  The team will need to achieve top 16 clocking on the World level to seal qualification.


NI & Ulster Under 14/Under 15 Track & Field Championships:

On Sunday 7th June 2015, up and coming athletes from all parts of Northern Ireland and Ulster will be hoping to follow on from their performances at the recent AAI National 'All Ireland' events as they compete at the NI & Ulster Under 14/Under 15 Track & Field Championships.  The event will take place at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast, with the timetable kicking off at 10am.


Parkrun:

As always, Northern Ireland’s twenty parkrun events will 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.

Paddy Hamilton and Heather Foley secure victory at Craigavon 10k:

Over 400 athletes turn out for Craigavon Lakes 10k and 5k 2015:

On Wednesday 3rd June 2015, over four hundred athletes turned out for the annual Craigavon Lakes 10k and associated 5k race, both of which are held within the scenic area surrounding Craigavon Sports Centre close to Portadown and Lurgan.


Slieve Gullion Runners front man Paddy Hamilton once again showed his class; following on from his win at the Newry 10k last week, the former Annadale Striders athlete led the field home in 31:10 (1st place).  Foyle Valley AC's Chris McGuinness showed that he is getting back to full fitness with a 33:39 clocking for 2nd place, while Mayfair 10k podium finisher Desi Foley secured 3rd place in 34:20.


Another member of the Foley family celebrated a prize-winning finish in the ladies race; established triathlete/duathlete Heather Foley, an always impressive performer win she takes to the roads, put in a strong performance to see off the challenge of up and coming Dromore AC star Rebekah Murtagh.  Heather took top spot in 36:48 (1st place), with Rebekah following in 38:18 (2nd place).  Donna Evans (Finn Valley AC) completed the ladies top three in 39:36 (3rd place).


In the associated 5k, which comprised of one lap of the lake, as opposed to the two laps covered by the 10k competitors, it was the in-form Unattached athlete Gavin Campbell who stole the headlines, winning in 18:06 (1st place).  Emma Mulholland (Club Unknown) was the first lady home in 20:20 (1st place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) – 31:10, 2nd Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) – 33:39, 3rd Desi Foley (Unattached) – 34:20


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Heather Foley (Unattached) – 36:48, 2nd Rebekah Murtagh (Dromore AC) – 38:18, 3rd Donna Evans (Finn Valley AC) – 39:36


Full Results:  Craigavon 10k & 5k Road Race 2015 Results

Brian Campbell and Cathy McCourt win well-organised Fairhill 5:

Fairhill 5 mile Road Race 2015:

On Wednesday 3rd June 2015, over five hundred athletes took to the start line of the annual Fairhill 5 mile road race in Ballymena, a well-organised event hosted by Ballymena Runners.


In dull but almost perfect running conditions, the field set off on a reasonably flat and fast two lap route, starting and finishing in the Town Centre.  


As the athletes made their way through the 2 mile marker, it was Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) and Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) who led the way, with Aaron Meharg (Acorns AC), Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers) and Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) amongst the chasing pack.  


In the ladies race, Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) looked a dominant figure at the front, while Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers), Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) and the host clubs Lorna Sibbett and Geraldine Quigley all contesting the remaining podium places.


The second half of the race played out just as it did for Brian Campbell and Mark McKinstry at the Mayfair 10k two weeks ago, with Brian just edging clear and securing victory.  The decorated international athlete clocked 25:58 (1st place) for the win, with Mark following in 26:03 (2nd place). Brendan Grew was rewarded for an excellent second half when he claimed 3rd place in 26:36.


There was no stopping Cathy McCourt in the ladies race; Cathy followed on from a strong performance at Sunday's Women's Mini-Marathon 10k in Dublin, when she broke the tape in an impressive 29:15 (1st place).  Gillian Wasson looked strong as she powered home in 30:25 (2nd place), taking the runners up spot.  Ballydrain Harriers' Denise Logue completed the top three ladies in 31:01 (3rd place).


Top 3 Men:  1st Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers) – 25:58, 2nd Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 26:03, 3rd Brendan Grew (North Belfast Harriers) – 26:36


Top 3 Ladies:  1st Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) – 29:15, 2nd Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) – 30:25, 3rd Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) – 31:01


Full Results:  Fairhill 5 mile Road Race 2015 Results

Remember - If you would like to catch up on our 'News' from May 2015, you can use the navigation banner at the top of the screen (and scroll to May 2015) or click HERE.