Lauren Quee and John McManus claim Pb's in Scotland:
On Sunday 9th March 2014, Northern Ireland international cross country runner, Lauren Quee (Glasgow University), claimed an impressive victory at the Balloch-Clydebank Half Marathon in Scotland.
Lauren was joined on the start-line by another athlete from Northern Ireland, East Coast AC's John McManus, as well as nearly five hundred other competitors. John, a 'Comrades Ultra-Marathon' finisher, was representing his Scottish club, Garscube Harriers, and was the first of the pairing to complete the course, crossing the line in a new personal best of 1:21:32 (33rd place). This was just under a minute ahead of Lauren Quee, who also clocked a massive new personal best as she led the ladies home in 1:22:24 (1st place); interestingly, this was nearly three and a half minutes quicker than her previous 13.1 mile personal best of 1:25:52 (2013). The men's race was won by Robert Gilroy (Cambuslang Harriers) in 1:08:21.
Full Results: Balloch-Clydebank Half Marathon 2014 Results
Local athletes compete outside Northern Ireland:
On Sunday 9th March 2014, several athletes from Northern Ireland joined in excess of two hundred and fifty participants at the third race of the Finn Valley AC 5k Series in County Donegal (Ireland). Paul McCafferty (City of Derry AC) and Stephen Connor (Foyle Valley AC) both claimed prizes; Paul won in 16:24 (1st place), with race two podium finisher Stephen (16:29) following five seconds later in 2nd place. Stephen's Foyle Valley AC club mate Matthew McLaughlin finished just outside the top three in 4th place, after completing the course in 17:41.
On the same day (Sunday 9th March 2014), local runners Peter Fleming (Ballymena Runners) and Mark Ramsey (Unattached) were also in action outside the province. Peter travelled to England for the well-known 'Grizzly' 20 mile multi-terrain race in East Devon (England); this event attracts approximately one thousand five hundred participants on an annual basis and is held in the highest regard by the UK running community. Peter completed the tough course in 3:22:12, slashing a massive twenty five minutes off his time from 2013. The race was won by Ceri Rees (Wild Runners) in 2:20:13.
Meanwhile, Mark Ramsey joined 40,000 runners at the ABN AMRO Hague Half Marathon in Holland. In warm and sunny conditions, Mark ran a new 13.1 mile personal best of 1:59:03; this was a personal best and the first time that the Belfast man has ran under two hours for the Half Marathon distance. The race was won by Kenyan athlete John Mwongang in 1:00:26.
Closer to home... North Belfast Harriers' Simon Reeve collected the top prize at the Resolution Run 10k race in Craigavon. The event, which is organised to raise money for charitable causes, saw competitors cover a course around the Craigavon Lakes area; there was also a 5k race. Simon led the 10k field home in 37:19 (1st place). There was also a large representation from Lurgan based club, St Peter's AC. Full results for the event are not available.
Full Results: Finn Valley 5k 2014 Results - ABN AMRO Hague Half Marathon 2014 Results - The 'Grizzly' 2014 Results (Photograph of Stephen Connor used above was taken from the Foyle Valley AC facebook page).
Nearly 200 runners support charity 10k:
On Sunday 9th March 2014, nearly two hundred runners descended on Ormeau Park, Belfast, for the Addiction NI 10k road race; the event is primarily organised to raise worthwhile funds for the charitable organisation, but attracted several well-known local athletes.
East Down AC man Barrie Atkinson produced the performance of the day; having won the Masters race at the IAAF Antrim International XC in January 2014, it was obvious that Barrie was in good form, but he proved that was indeed the case, winning in a new personal best of 33:50 (1st place). North Down AC's Stephen Wylie took 2nd place in 35:04, while Neill Weir (Lunchtime Legends) recorded 35:25 for 3rd place.
In the ladies race, Jennifer Black (BARF), a top ten finisher in the recent Stormont XC, continued her good form. Jennifer looked assured at the front of the pack as she dominated proceedings from the off, before sealing victory in 39:34 (1st place). Triathlete Aishling Allum (Olympian Triathlon Club) and Allyson O'Toole (East Coast AC) also ran well, taking 2nd place and 3rd place respectively; Aishling clocked 42:06, with Allyson finishing just under under ninety second later in 43:34.
Top 3 Men: 1st Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) – 33:50, 2nd Stephen Wylie (North Down AC) – 35:04, 3rd Neill Weir (Lunchtime Legends) – 35:25
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Jennifer Black (BARF) – 39:34, 2nd Aishling Allum (Olympian Triathlon Club) – 42:06, 3rd Allyson O'Toole (East Coast AC) – 43:34
Full Results: Addiction NI 10k 2014 Results
SSE Airtricity Walled City 10k 2014:
On Sunday 9th March 2014, organisers of the SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon officially kicked off the run up to their 26.2m main event this June (2014), with the first of two warm up events, a 10k road race, taking place in Derry/Londonderry.
City of Derry AC men Conor Bradley, Declan Reed and Emmet McGinty, and Foyle Valley AC duo Scott Rankin and Adrian McGowan all played their part at the head of the field, but in the end, it was current Athletics NI 10k (Road) Champion and Commonwealth Games hopeful, Conor Bradley who claimed victory. Conor saw off a strong challenge from Scott Rankin to break the tape in 31:56 (1st place), with Scott following just three seconds later in 31:59 (2nd place); Declan Reed completed the men's podium in 32:11 (3rd place).
As expected, Irish international Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) proved a force to be reckoned with in the ladies race. The Lifford AC star, who was an AAI National 5,000m Silver medallist in 2013, broke the tape in 35:16; not only was this enough to secure the ladies title, but also saw Ann-Marie finish in sixth place overall. AAI National Masters and NI & Ulster Masters 3,000m Champion, Natasha Adams (Lifford AC) also had an excellent run, sealing 2nd place in a massive new personal best of 36:31, before Omagh Harriers' Ita Kelly recorded 44:15 for 3rd place.
Top 3 Men: 1st Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) – 31:56, 2nd Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 31:59, 3rd Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) – 32:11
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) – 35:16, 2nd Natasha Adams (Lifford AC) – 36:31, 3rd Ita Kelly (Omagh Harriers) – 44:15
Full Results: SSE Airtricity 10k 2014 Results
Roe Valley Trail Race 2014:
On Saturday 8th March 2014, Springwell Running Club welcomed athletes to Roe Valley Country Park in Limavady for a day of exciting trail races, which included events for both junior and senior athletes.
After the competitive junior races, it was time for the ladies to take to the start line for their 8k race; during which, the host club, Springwell Running Club featured heavily at the front. Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) ran well, leading the field home in 36:47 (1st place). Fellow Springwell Running Club athletes Kerrie McIlmoyle (37:25) and Rebecca Conlon-Elwood (37:32) followed in 2nd place and 3rd place respectively.
The penultimate event of the five race programme was the Veteran and Junior Men's 8k, which brought an excellent battle between Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Peter Cromie (Unattached). Matt Wray eventually assumed control, breaking the tape in 29:47 (1st place). Peter Cromie finished in 29:51 (2nd place), while Michael Kelly (Armagh AC) secured 3rd place in 29:59.
In the Men's (8k) Open event, pre-race favourite, Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) led from the off, the Spartan athlete progressively opened the gap between himself and the remainder of the field, before crossing the line in 27:31 (1st place). North Belfast Harriers' Simon Reeve recorded 30:04 for 2nd place, before Bruce Lovell (Vegan Runners UK) completed the top three in 30:15 (3rd place).
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) – 36:47, 2nd Kerrie McIlmoyle (Springwell Running Club) – 37:25, 3rd Rebecca Conlon-Elwood (Springwell Running Club) – 37:32
Top 3 Veteran/Junior Men: 1st Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim AC) – 29:47, 2nd Peter Cromie (Unattached) – 29:51, 3rd Michael Kelly (Armagh AC) – 29:59
Top 3 Open Men: 1st Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 27:31, 2nd Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) – 30:04, 3rd Bruce Lovell (Vegan Runners UK) – 30:15
Full Results: Roe Valley Trail Race 2014 Results
Carmen Runners welcome record numbers to annual 10k road race:
On Saturday 8th March 2014, a record number of athletes turned out for the annual Carmen 10k road race is Carrickmore, Omagh; an event hosted by local running club Carmen Runners.
The pre-race talk was focused around the return of former winner, and current NI & Ulster Masters XC Champion Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers), and it was indeed Stephen who stole the show. The Northern Ireland international looked a class above the field as he cruised to victory in 31:57 (1st place), thus regaining the title he won in 2012 and couldn't defend in 2013 due to injury. Armagh AC man, Leroy Brady followed just over two minutes later in 34:13 (2nd place), before Gavin Corey (35:01) led a large contingent from Sperrin Harriers home in 3rd place.
The ladies race produced a similar story, with Sperrin Harriers' Pauline McGurren dominating proceedings. The talented athlete, who really came to the fore in 2013, looked strong as she broke the tape in 39:18 (1st place) to win; interestingly, this was just twelve seconds outside her personal best for the distance (39:06). The host clubs Jenny Algar replicated her 2013 finishing position, when she once again secured 2nd place, sixteen second quicker than last year, in 42:59; Jacqueline Mulligan (Sperrin Harriers) brought her good form from the Sperrin Harriers Winter League Series onto the roads with a 43:15 (3rd place) finish.
Top 3 Men: 1st Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) – 31:57, 2nd Leroy Brady (Armagh AC) – 34:13, 3rd Gavin Corey (Sperrin Harriers) – 35:01
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Pauline McGurren (Sperrin Harriers) – 39:18, 2nd Jenny Algar (Carmen Runners) 42:59, 3rd Jacqueline Mulligan (Sperrin Harriers) – 43:15
Full Results: Carmen 10k 2014 Results
Weekend Preview: Road and Trail events in Omagh, Belfast, Derry/L'Derry...
Last weekend, the Albertville 5 signified the beginning of the road racing season in Northern Ireland; this week, the local running fraternity will have at least three road races and one trail race to choose from, with events taking place in Omagh, Belfast, Derry/Londonderry and Limavady. Junior athletes from NI will also travel south for the Irish Schools XC in Cork (Ireland).
The action kicks off on Saturday 8th March 2014, when Carmen Runners host their annual Carmen 10k road race in Carrickmore, Omagh (County Tyrone), an event that always seems to attract a decent crowd and several 'high profile' names.
Last years winner, Gary O'Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers), should return to defend his title; despite the fact that one of the pre-race favourites, Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) has had to withdraw, the recently crowned AAI National 50k Champion (Gary) will still have battle on his hands if he wants to retain his trophy, this will come in the form of Northern Ireland man Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers).
Stephen is a previous winner of the event and has returned to racing, after almost a year away from the sport, in fine fashion, with convincing wins at the NI & Ulster Masters XC Championships and the Enniskillen XC. Stephen has run 30:51 on this course before (2012), which must surely put him at the top of the list when it comes to potential winners. Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) and Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) should also play a part at the front; Paul hasn't featured in 2014 so far, but the locality of this race will provide the perfect opportunity for him to lace up the racers and hopefully improve on his fourth place finish last year. Fergus McGirr has started the year well, with a podium place at the Enniskillen XC and a win at the recent Omagh CBS 10k; based on this form, the Enniskillen RC man should finish well up the field, as will Dermot Kerr (Armagh AC), Stephen Prentice (Enniskillen Running Club), Michael Kerr (Carmen Runners), Eoin Mullan (Annadale Striders), Aaron Parks (Armagh AC) and Michael Crawley (Sperrin Harriers).
NI & Ulster Intermediate XC Champion Michelle Sturm (Omagh Harriers) may make a rare appearance on the roads; the cross country specialist rarely takes to the tarmac, however, considering the likelihood of a strong Omagh Harriers turn out, Michelle may well join her club mates on the start line. Should she (Michelle) do so, the talented lady will prove hard to beat. That will not stop fellow Omagh Harriers athletes Julie Butler and Patricia Campbell from having a go, Julie had a superb outing at the recent Stormont XC, where the cross country international took a few 'scalps', including the aformentioned Michelle Sturm, to win. Meanwhile, Patricia Campbell showed good strength throughout the Sperrin Harriers Winter Trail Series, ultimately winning her Vet45 category. Other top performers in the Sperrin Harriers Series, Nuala Kelly (Sperrin Harriers), Caroline Miller (Omagh Harriers), Jacqueline Mulligan (Sperrin Harriers), should all race, and will be amongst the top finishers if they do; Ciara Coyle (Carmen Runners), Mairead McCann (Omagh Harriers) and Mairead Mc Aleer (Carmen Runners) will all have similar ambitions.
Also on Saturday 8th March 2014, Springwell Running Club will welcome athletes to Roe Valley Country Park in Limavady (County Derry/Londonderry), for their popular Roe Valley Trail Races. The event programme includes something for everyone, with the Senior/Veteran races covering 8k within the scenic country park.
Established mountain/trail runners, Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) and Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) could race; with the event taking place seven day's before the Glenariff Mountain Race, it would be the perfect opportunity for the duo to 'test' themselves. Both enjoyed a good cross country season but most recently, Allan won the Sperrin Harriers 10m trail race at Lough Fea (Saturday 1st March 2014), while Jonny won the NiRunning 5m trail race three weeks ago (Sunday 16th February 2014). Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) could also enter on the day; the ever-consistent North Belfast Harriers athlete seems to be at home on the trails, with some of his best performances coming over the terrain. Mark was a regular on the podium at the Sperrin Harriers Winter Series, winning three of the five races, he also claimed a medal at the NiRunning Trail Race. Other men to look out for could include Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC), Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC), Andy Gregg (Larne AC) and Ballymena Runners' Kevin O'Boyle, Ben Morrow and Mark Alexander.
Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) will be the stand out performer in the ladies race, the Sperrin Harriers star has been pretty much unbeatable recently, winning all five races in the Sperrin Harriers Trail Series, as well as the Moira XC and the Dungiven 10k road race. Several ladies who will be hoping to stop Karen defending her 2013 crown, could be Springwell Running Club duo Gemma Turley and Gillian Wasson. Both ladies played a major part in their clubs success in the Athletics NI XC League; individually, Gemma took fifth place at the Albertville 5 last weekend, against a top quality ladies field, adding to a podium place at the Dungiven 10k in January 2014. Gillian's last race was the Enniskillen XC, where she was a top ten finisher; over this terrain, the Northern Ireland international mountain runner will be a tough competitor.
Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) may return to action, the same could be said for City of Derry AC's Anne Paul, who took the runners up spot behind Karen Alexander at the Sperrin Harriers 5m trail race in An Creggan last month (February 2014). Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club), Hannah Su (Sperrin Harriers), Sharon Harvey (Ballymena Runners) and Shelley Tomlins (Ballymena Runners) will all be looking for high placings.
Further afield, on Saturday 8th March 2014, a large number of junior athletes from Northern Ireland will travel south to Cork (Ireland) for the Irish School's and Varsity XC Championships. Conal McCambridge (North Belfast Harriers) and Madison Bowyer (City of Lisburn AC) are just two of the runners who will make the trip. The NiRunning team wish each and every one of the up and coming stars the very best of luck for the competition.
On Sunday 9th March 2014, organisers of the SEE Airtricity Walled City Marathon, will begin the official run up to their 26.2 mile event (on Sunday 1st June 2014), with a 10k road race in the host city, Derry/Londonderry. The course, which will cover some of the marathon route, will be prominently based around the banks of the River Foyle, and will start and finish in Ebrington Square in the City Centre.
Local man, Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) will be seen by most as the pre-race favourite. This is perfectly justified when looking at the Spartans recent record, which includes top honours at the AAI National Masters XC Championships as well as a 25:46 clocking at the Raheny 5 mile road race. Declan could be joined on the start line by Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC), Emmet McGinty (City of Derry AC), Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) and Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers). Like Declan Reed, Emmett McGinty was part of the strong City of Derry AC squad who won the Athletics NI XC League, and the 31:57 10k man crowned off the season with a second place finish at the Stormont XC two weeks ago. The man he (Emmett) finished behind that day, won in impressive fashion, before going on to record a speedy 14:54 at the Armagh International 5k, so he should be high in confidence going into this race.
As will his Foyle Valley AC team mate, Chris McGuinness, who ran well at the NI & Ulster Junior XC Championships, finishing just outside the top ten (in thirteenth place). Since then, he has run 15:59 and 15:47 for 5k, with the 15:59 securing victory at the Lifford AC 5k road race. The 15:47 5k came at the Armagh International; at the same race, Belfast man Conor Curran also ran a new personal best. Conor covered the Armagh course in a new personal best of 16:00 and looks to be in good form. Just last week, he (Conor) finished in fourth place at the Albertville 5, running 26:40 for the distance. A week prior to that, the AAI National 5,000m medallist claimed second place at Born 2 Run's Minnowburn 10k in Belfast. Recent Finn Valley AC 5k winner, Adrian McGowan (Foyle Valley AC) may also toe the line, where he could be accompanied by Noel Logan (City of Derry AC), Adam Boyd (North Belfast Harriers), Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC), Mark Mullan (City of Derry AC) and Benny Mullan (City of Derry AC) amongst others.
Irish International Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC) could toe the line; the all-terrain specialist was one of Northern Ireland's top performers throughout 2013, with just two highlights of a glittering twelve months being selection for Ireland at the European Cross Country Championships and a win at the Waterside Half Marathon, where she ran 1:19:47. Lifford AC ladies, Natasha Adams and Claire McGuigan will also be contenders should they decide to enter; current NI & Ulster and AAI National Masters 3,000m Champion, Natasha Adams finished fourth in last week's Cara Bundoran 10 mile road race, crossing the line in 1:00:44. In the same race, Claire McGuigan ran 1:04:52 for eighth place, this followed a good win at the Lifford AC 5k in County Donegal (Ireland) two weeks ago, where she ran 18:46.
Marina Campbell (City of Derry AC) and Sarah Lindsay (Foyle Valley AC) may also be among the leading ladies. Marina showed real potential throughout the Athletics NI XC League, in particular, her performance at the McConnell Shield XC in November 2013, caught the spectators attention. Since then, Marina has produced good performances at the 'Run in the Dark' in Belfast and the Malcolm Cup XC. Current NI & Ulster Novice XC Champion and NI & Ulster Intermediate XC medallist, Sarah Lindsay has really came to the fore in the last few months, and taking into consideration her fast improvement, the Foyle Valley AC athlete should be in or around the podium place. If fit, Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC), Trish McClintock (Foyle Valley AC), Jackie McGinley (City of Derry AC) and Paula McGilloway (City of Derry AC) should all finish within the top ten.
Also on Sunday 9th March 2014, athletes from across the province will descend on Ormeau Park, Belfast, for the Addiction NI 10k road race; the race, although aimed at raising funds for charity, should attract some notable entries.
Amongst these are experienced and competent performers, Stephen Wylie (North Down AC), Brian Young (Unattached) and Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC). On paper, Stephen Wylie would be the most obvious choice if you were tasked to pick a winner. His 10k personal best of 33:47 is the quickest of the bunch, alongside this, he (Brian) recorded a thirty second 3,000m personal best of 9:18 at the Armagh 3k recently. Brian Young is best known for his outstanding displays on the the local trail running scene, just last week the unattached athlete took a podium place at the Sperrin Harriers 10 mile trail race at Lough Fea; last summer, he looked in good shape at the East Antrim Harriers Forest Series and the Crawfordsburn Trail Race.
On the other hand, Barrie Atkinson's track speed and strength over cross country could give him the edge on the roads. The East Down AC man grabbed an excellent win in the Masters race at the IAAF Antrim International Cross Country at the turn of the year, were his aforementioned strength and speed were evident in the latter stages. It will therefore be an excellent battle should all three men race. Paul Woodman (Orangegrove AC), David Noble (Larne AC), Paul Horan (North Belfast Harriers) and James Robinson (East Coast AC) will also be worth watching.
There should be a strong Orangegrove AC representation in the ladies race, with Julie McKimm, Sharon Dickenson and Jacqueline Maxwell all set to start. This trio will finish well up the field, but out of the pre-entries, the lady to watch is East Coast AC's Allyson O'Toole. Allyson has progressed well in the last twelve months, and secured a prize at the Runher 5k event in 2013. Three weeks ago, the Larne based athlete finished as runner up to Jessica Craig (North Down AC) a the NiRunning 5m Trail Race. Grainne Keenan (City of Lisburn AC), Stephanie Irvine (North Down AC) and Lindsay Doulton (North Down AC) will be aiming for personal bests and highly placed finishes.
Northern Ireland’s sixteen parkrun events will also take place this weekend, for more information on these, or to locate your nearest event, please visit our dedicated ‘parkrun’ section within our fixtures page.
NiRunning and BMC announce details of 2014 'mile' event:
Since the NiRunning (Northern Ireland) website was set up in August 2012, our NiRunning Mile has been a prominent event in our annual schedule, it is something that we are extremely proud of. It is therefore with great pleasure that we announce that this years 'Mile' will be a combined event, a 'Festival of Miles', in conjunction with the world renowned British Milers Club (BMC) and sponsored by our good friends at ChampionChip Ireland.
The 'Festival of Miles' will take place on Tuesday 6th May 2014 and will celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first ever sub four minute mile, run by Roger Bannister on the 6th May 1954. It is only fitting that the event will take place at the home of athletics in Northern Ireland, the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track in Belfast. The exciting race programme will kick off at 7pm and will include mile events for runners of all abilities, after all, EVERYONE needs a mile time!
BMC's Northern Ireland Secretary, John Glover commented, "The British Milers Club is delighted to be working in association with NiRunning in promoting the 'Festival of Miles' to commemorate the 60th anniversary of perhaps the most momentous event in the history of our sport, the breaking of the four minute barrier for the one mile.
Despite the fact that the athletics world has long since gone metric, the imperial mile still holds a certain magic among runners and although Sir Roger Bannister's magnificent achievement seems to come from another era, the ability to put together four laps taking less than a minute each is still a worthy target and has only been accomplished by thirteen Northern Irish men in the six decades since.
Interestingly, this year is also the 60th anniversary of the first woman to run under five minutes. This was Britain's Diane Leather just twenty three days after that wonderful night in Oxford in 1954. The 'Festival of Miles' however, is not about breaking four or five minutes, although we would be delighted if this were to be achieved, rather it is a rare opportunity for everyone to test themselves over the magic mile, 60 years, almost to the hour when history was made."
NiRunning's Ryan Maxwell echoed John Glover's comments, adding “for us (NiRunning), the NiRunning Mile is something that we have grown from the website's first days. To watch it grow and now to run it in conjunction with the BMC, whilst celebrating such an important event in the history of running, is an incredibly proud moment for me personally. I would love to see runners of all abilities come along and make the night one to remember.”
Entry will cost £3; pre-entry is encouraged, please email your Name, Club (if applicable), Date of Birth and Target Mile Time to John Glover at firstname.lastname@example.org and then pick up your race number on the night (on payment of registration fee); further details or enquires can be sent to the same address or email@example.com
NI duo selected for IAU World and European 24hr Championships 2014:
Northern Ireland ultra-runners Susan McCartney (Unattached) and Eddie Gallen (Unattached) have been selected to represent Ireland at the IAU World and European 24 hour Championships in Pilzen, Cech Republic on the Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd June 2014.
This is further excellent news for the Northern Ireland running community, after Annadale Striders' Paul Pollock was named in the Ireland team for the upcoming IAAF World Half Marathon Championships. Susan, who will be making her international debut, is now living in Berkshire (England), but competes locally on a regular basis. She claimed top honours at the 26extreme Mourne Way (52.4 mile) Ultra, as well as a runners up spot at the Energia 24 hour Race at the Mary Peters Track last Summer (2013). In the Energia 24 hour event, Susan covered an excellent 197.1k, finishing just behind Irish 24 hour record holder Ruthann Sheahan (Athenry AC), who will also travel to the Czech Republic.
Belfast born Eddie Gallen, who now lives in Madrid (Spain), has represented Ireland at the last six IAU 24 hour World Championships and has completed twenty five 24 hour races, including all four of the Energia 24 hour races, where he has claimed two second place finishes and two third place finishes. Eddie's last outing over the time period saw him cover 215k.
The energetic pairing will be joined by the aforementioned Ruthann Sheahan, as well as two familiar and friendly faces to ultra-runners in Northern Ireland, namely John O'Regan (Le Cheile AC) and Eoin Keith (Boards AC). NiRunning would like to wish Susan, Eddie and the entire Ireland team the very best of luck at the IAU World and European 24 hour Championships.
AAI select Paul Pollock for IAAF World Half Marathon Championships 2014:
Northern Ireland man Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) has been selected to represent Ireland at the upcoming IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark on Saturday 29th March 2014.
The well-deserved selection follows Paul's personal best of 1:03:52 at the Bath Half Marathon (England) yesterday (Sunday 2nd March 2014), which was enough to secure 3rd place at the prestigious event.
Speaking about his selection, Paul explained “I'm delighted that Athletics Ireland have selected me for what will be my 2nd World Half Marathon Championships. It's disappointing that there won't be a full Irish team competing but I'll try my best and hopefully will come back with a better outcome than my 34th placing two years ago”
NiRunning would like to wish Paul, and the entire Ireland team the very best of luck at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships.
Foyle Valley AC athletes claim podium places in County Donegal (Ireland):
On Sunday 2nd March 2013, nearly three hundred runners turned out for the second race of the Finn Valley AC 5k Series in County Donegal (Ireland); there were several Northern Ireland based athletes amongst the large field, and two claimed podium finishes.
Adrian McGowan (Foyle Valley AC), who won the Letterkenny 5m road race in County Donegal in January 2014, continued his impressive start to 2014 with another fine performance. The Foyle Valley AC man broke the tape in 16:02 (1st place); he (Adrian) was followed into the finish area by Foyle Valley AC club mate Stephen Connor, who recorded 16:29 (2nd place) for the distance.
The next NI runner home was another Matthew McLaughlin (Foyle Valley AC), who took 8th place in 17:53. Derry City Track Club's Conor McCullagh just missed a top ten finish when he claimed 11th place in 18:07, this was just under a minute ahead of another Foyle Valley AC competitor, Michael McGowan, who ran 19:02 for 16th place. The ladies race was won by Eimear McDermott (Finn Valley AC) in 21:07.
Full Results: Finn Valley 5k Series (Race 2) 2014 Results
Born 2 Run 'Run Forest Run' Rossmore Forest 10k 2014:
On Sunday 2nd March 2014, nearly three hundred particpants took part in the Born 2 Run Events 'Run Forest Run' Series event in Rossmore Forest, Monaghan (Ireland). As Born 2 Run are a Northern Ireland based company, it was anticipated that a large number of local athletes would make the journey to compete.
This did prove to be the case, and it was Don Travers (Newry City Runners) who led the Northern Ireland contingent home in 36:30; this was enough to secure 2nd place behind race winner Caoimhin Kelly (Club Unknown), who broke the tape in 35:23 (1st place). Born 2 Run events regular Stuart Paulin (Unattached) narrowly missed a podium place as he finished in 38:04 (4th place), just ahead of another local athlete, Stephen O'Connor (Banbridge AC), who recorded 40:04 for 6th place.
After a short gap in familiar faces, it was Seapark AC's endurance specialist Bobby Irvinne who appeared next; Bobby crossed the line in 44:47 (20th place), with Unattached athlete (and NI resident) Sebastian Wisniewski (45:06) and Banbridge AC's Eugene O'Gorman (46:14) taking 22nd place and 27th place respectively. Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC) then added to her podium place at the East of Ireland Marathon Series event last weekend, after securing 3rd place in the ladies race, with a time of 46:25.
Glenn Smart (County Antrim Harriers) followed a mere six second later in 46:31 (31st place), with Seapark AC's Gary Connolly (32nd place - 46:32) just one second behind him. Janice Reid, who was part of a strong Dromore AC group who made the short border crossing, completed the course in 48:50 (7th place lady), with only City of Lisburn AC athlete Chris Madden (48th place – 48:18) seperating her (Janice) from her club mates, Wendy Fleming (49:52) and Jeanette Bailie (50:40), who also sealed top ten finishes in the ladies category, with Wendy finishing in 8th place and Jeanette 9th place. The ladies race was won by Emma McKenna (Club Unknown) in 45:20.
Excellent performances by local runners at Half Marathon's in England, Scotland and France:
On Sunday 2nd March 2014, a number of athletes from Northern Ireland took part in several of Europe's best supported Half Marathon events, the Reading Half Marathon (England), Bath Half Marathon (England), Stranraer Half Marathon (Scotland) and the Paris Half Marathon (France).
Despite a few notable performances, it was former AAI Marathon and Half Marathon Champion, and IAAF World Championship marathoner Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) who stole the headlines, after an excellent display at the Bath Half Marathon (England). Paul, who went into the race seeking the IAAF World Half Marathon Championship qualifying standard (of sub 1:05:00), produced the performance of the day. The England based athlete crossed the line in a new personal best of 1:03:52; this was enough to secure 3rd place and the honour of being the first European finisher. The race was won by Kenyan athlete Nicholas Kirui in 1:03:13. North Down AC's Francis Marsh was also in competition, he covered the distance in 1:13:47 (30th place).
Magherafelt Harriers were also out in force at the event, with Alvin Taylor (317th place - 1:26:31), Francis Stewart (445th place - 1:28:39), Kevin Murphy (577th place - 1:30:55) and Paul McErlain (930th place - 1:35:33) all representing the relatively new club.
In Reading, at least two local athletes joined nearly 16,000 competitors on the start-line of the very popular Reading Half Marathon (England). Many of the elite field were aiming for IAAF World Half Marathon Championship qualifying times, but the windy conditions made this almost impossible. However, despite their disappointment, Joe McAlister (St Malachy's AC) and Gladys O'Neill (North Belfast Harriers) still performed well, with Joe clocking 1:08:26 (23rd place) and Gladys 1:16:40 (14th place lady). The men's race was won by Team GB's Scott Overall in 1:04:44, while Susan Partridge (Leeds City AC) took the ladies title in 1:12:20.
Further afield, Larne AC's Ian Brennan took on the Paris Half Marathon in France, alongside 40,000 other participants. In decent conditions, Ian ran well. The Larne man recorded a new 13.1m personal best of 1:37:40. There was an Ethiopian double at the head of the field, with Mulle Wasihon (1:00:08) and Yebrgual Melese (1:09:24) securing the impressive wins in their respective male and female categories. In Stranraer (Scotland), Lagan Valley AC's David Wright and Ballymena Runners' Susanna Allen enjoyed good outings at the Stranraer Half Marathon, an event which always attracts participants from Northern Ireland. David completed the distance in 1:24:57 (16th place), while Susanna ran a new personal best of 1:39:47 (6th place lady). The race was won by Robert Gilroy (Cambuslang Harriers) and Jennifer Emsley (Arran Runners) in 1:08:29 and 1:18:20 respectively.
Carlingford Half Marathon 2014 - Initial Summary and PROVISIONAL results:
On Saturday 1st March 2014, Northern Ireland based events management compnay 26extreme hosted the annual Carlingford Half Marathon (and associated 10k race), just across the border in County Meath, Ireland; as expected, the well-organised event, which is run in aid of St Brigid's School (Dundalk), attracted quite a few local athletes.
In fact, in the Half Marathon, Northern Ireland runners secured the top places, with well-known triathlete David Graham (Club Unknown), of David Graham Fitness – Hydro Run, leading the field home in 1:13:29 (1st place), this was over two minutes ahead of Unattached Irish athletes David Brady (2nd place - 1:15:53) and John Courell (3rd place - 1:16:24). Alan Ritchie (North Belfast Harriers) and Nigel Grier (Dromore AC) also ran well, recording 1:17:44 (5th place) and 1:18:41 (6th place) respectively.
Enniskillen Running Clubs David Somerville (16th place – 1:22:44), North Belfast Harriers' Gerard McNamara (23rd place – 1:24:59) and Ballymena Runners' Ryan Armstrong (27th place – 1:25:25) all finished just ahead of the leading lady, who was Northern Ireland based Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club). Tara secured top honours in an impressive new personal best of 1:26:45 (1st place lady). Lagan Valley AC's Jonathan Irvine crossed the line just behind Tara Malone, but his official chip time read 1:26:43 (29th place). Omagh Harriers man Martin Cox followed in 1:27:04 (31st place), while Janice White (Unattached) claimed 3rd place in the ladies race, after finishing in 1:31:43. NI man Andy Leathem ran 1:32:42 (83rd place), before Eileen Stevenson (St Peter's AC) and Tina Davies (Dromore AC) claimed top ten places in 1:33:15 (6th place lady) and 1:37:34 (10th place lady) respectively.
Provisional Results: Carlingford Half Marathon (and 10k) 2014 Results. Please Note – The above summary is based on PROVISIONAL results and is subject to change as soon as official/full results are available.
Northern Ireland well represented at County Donegal event:
On Saturday 1st March 2014, a large number of Northern Ireland based athletes made the short border crossing to Bundoran in County Donegal (Ireland) for the annual Cara Bundoran 10 mile road race. The popular event, which also includes 5k and 10k races is part of a weekend of sporting action in the town.
There were several notable performances by local stars, with six claiming top ten finishes; however, the performance of the day came from Foyle Valley AC man Keith Shiels, who secured victory in a new personal best of 51:31 (1st place). There was also a podium finish for NI man Glenn Phair (Annadale Striders), after he covered the distance in a speedy 52:26 (3rd place); North Down AC's Dennis Scott took 10th place in a massive new personal best of 57:48.
North Belfast Harriers' Breege Connolly battled it out with Fiona Stack (Raheny Shamrock AC) at the head of the ladies field; despite a brave effort, the Commonwealth Games qualifier was forced to settle for the runners up spot, with Fiona winning in 59:34 (1st place) and Breege crossing the line in 59:46 (2nd place). There were also top ten places for Northern Ireland XC international's Heather Foley (Unattached) and Danielle Fegan (Armagh AC), with Heather recording 1:00:57 (5th place) and Danielle 1:01:17 (6th place). There were numerous other impressive performances by Northern Ireland athletes, for full results (including the 10k), please follow the link below.
Full Results: Cara Bundoran 10m (and 10k) Road Races 2014 Results
Sperrin Harriers Winter League Trail Series – Race 4: Lough Fea (10 miles)...
On Saturday 1st March 2014, nearly one hundred runners turned out for the final race of the Sperrin Harriers Winter League Trail Series 2014; on this ocassion, athletes faced a 10 mile course around Lough Fea, just outside Cookstown.
City of Derry AC man Allan Bogle, winner of Race 1 in the Series, returned and retained his 100% record. The multi-terrain specialist, who is also an international Orienteer, led the field home in 56:23 (1st place). Allan was followed just over one minute later by one of the most impressive Series participants, Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), who took the runners up spot in 57:44 (2nd place). Brian Young (Unattached), a podium finisher in Race 1, replicated that position when he crossed the line in 59:17 (3rd place).
In the ladies race, Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) looked back to her best after a disappointing outing at the Stormont XC last week, as she continued her domination of the (ladies) Series. Karen made it five wins from five races as she cruised to victory in 1:04:30 (1st place). Jacquline Mulligan (Sperrin Harriers) followed in 1:12:29 (2nd place), before Ballymena Runners' Sharon Harvey completed the course in 1:15:57 (3rd place).
Top 3 Men: 1st Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 56:23, 2nd Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 57:44, 3rd Brian Young (Unattached) – 59:17
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) – 1:04:30, 2nd Jacqueline Mulligan (Sperrin Harriers) – 1:12:29, 3rd Sharon Harvey (Ballymena Runners) – 1:15:57
Albertville 5m Road Race 2014:
On Saturday 1st March 2014, hundreds of athletes descended on the Duncrue Industrial Estate, Belfast, for the Albertville 5 mile road race, an event which signifies the beginning of the road racing season in Northern Ireland.
The annual race caused quite a stir amongst the Northern Ireland (and wider) running community, with the unexpected appearance of esteemed Irish International and double European Cross Country Champion, Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC).
Although Fionnuala's appearance has attracted most of the attention, it was last years winner Brendan Teer (East Down AC) who dominated proceedings. The former NI & Ulster Junior XC Champion made his intentions clear from the off, powering clear of the field in the early stages. Despite good performances from the likes of Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers), Darryl Blair (North Belfast Harriers), Paul Rowan (Willowfield Harriers) and James Brown (East Coast AC), it was the East Down AC man who crossed the line first, retaining his title in 25:47 (1st place). Experienced athlete Paul Rowan showed that he is returning to his best after recording 26:07 (2nd place) for the distance, before East Coast AC's in-form James Brown completed the men's top three in a new personal best of 26:34 (3rd place).
Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) was amongst the pack in pursuit of Brendan Teer throughout the race, and although she was unable to 'hold on' towards the end, the exceptionally talented star clocked an excellent 26:43 (1st place) to win the ladies race comfortably; interestingly, Fionnuala claimed fifth place overall. Newcastle AC's Kerry O'Flaherty, another top quality participant, showed that she is in good form in the run up to a trip to America, as she took 2nd place in a personal best of 28:46. North Belfast Harriers' Claire Connor (29:53) followed up a good run at the Armagh International 3k last week with a 3rd place finish.
Top 3 Men: 1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 25:47, 2nd Paul Rowan (Willowfield Harriers) – 26:07, 3rd James Brown (East Coast AC) – 26:34
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) – 26:43, 2nd Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle AC) – 28:46, 3rd Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) – 29:53
Athletes enjoy NIMRA season opener:
On Saturday 1st March 2014, mountain running enthusiasts from across Northern Ireland travelled to Slieve Gullion mountain, just outside Newry, for the opening fixture of the 2014 NIMRA (Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association) calendar, the Slieve Gullion Mountain Race, hosted by Armagh AC.
A crisp, sunny morning welcomed the athletes, most of whom seemed quite excited about the return of regular local races. As they set off on the 3.9 mile course, which included 340 metres of ascending, the in-form Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) took up position at the head of the back.
However, as they reached the tough climb, Seamus was joined by club mate Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), with Paul McAnespie (Armagh AC), John Kelly (Newcastle AC), Colum Campbell (Newcastle AC), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), Eddie Hanna (Mourne Runners), Richard Bell (Mourne Runners) and Justin Maxwell (East Coast AC) all forming the chasing pack. In the ladies race, 2013 NIMRA Champion Diane Wilson was leading the way, from Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC), Sarah Graham (Mourne Runners), Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Mary Mackin (Dromore AC).
As the athletes reached the summit and began to descend, it was Seamus Lynch who assumed control; the Ticknock Winter Mountain Race winner gradually opened a gap on the consistent Deon McNeilly, and by the time he had reached the fast final section towards the finish line, the aforementioned lead had grown. Despite this, Seamus continued his relentless pace, covering the final yards quickly to break the tape in 31:58 (1st place). Deon McNeilly followed in 32:27 (2nd place), before the host clubs Paul McAnespie claimed the final podium place in 32:55 (3rd place).
Diane Wilson continued her unbeatable form from the last campaign, finishing well to secure 1st place in 38:07. Interestingly, Diane is one of very few ladies to have broken forty minutes on the course. The ever impressive Shileen O'Kane took 2nd place in 40:14, while Sarah Graham (43:30) stamped her mark on the new season with an excellent run for 3rd place.
Top 3 Men: 1st Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 31:58, 2nd Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 32:27, 3rd Paul McAnespie (Armagh AC) – 32:55
Top 3 Ladies: 1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 38:07, 2nd Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 40:14, 3rd Sarah Graham (Mourne Runners) – 43:30
Full Results: Slieve Gullion Mountain Race 2014 Results. Photo's from the Slieve Gullion Mountain Race will be added to our 'Photo Gallery' on Sunday 2nd March 2014.