Northern Ireland Running

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North Down AC host successful Open Graded T & F Meet in Bangor:

North Down AC Open Graded Track & Field Meet 3:

On Tuesday 30th July 2013, North Down AC hosted the third round of their popular ‘Open’ Graded Track & Field meetings at the Bangor Sportsplex in County Down.

Regent House athlete Emily Foster won the U-15 girls 75m hurdles Race 1 in 12.71secs, while City of Lisburn AC’s Kate Farrelly was first across the line in Race 2, covering the distance in 12.63secs.  In the (mixed) 80m hurdles event, Cara Burke (City of Lisburn AC) took the ladies prize in 13.8secs and Matyn Quinn (North Down AC) won the male equivalent in 16.2secs.  Christian Robinson completed a hat-trick of hurdles wins for City of Lisburn AC when he won the men’s 110m hurdles in 15.32secs; Clare Robinson (Regent House) won the ladies 100m hurdles in 16.38secs.

On the night, there were three men’s 100m races, all of which were mixed age categories.  Scott McDowell (Lagan Valley AC) was the fastest U-15 athlete of the night, clocking 12.18secs.  In the U-17 age group, Chris Jordan (Sullivan Upper) crossed the line in 11.52secs to top the standings.  In the U-20 section, Neil Martin (Orangegrove AC) won in 12.22secs.  The fastest man of the night over 100m was North Down AC’s Adam McComb (11.09secs); Adam topped the U-23 category, while Conor McLaughlin (Strabane AC) won the Male Open in 11.15secs.

The ladies 100m competition was just as well supported, with two races (covering five age categories) taking place.  Lagan Valley AC’s Anna Colhoun was the quickest U-13 runner, with 15.08secs.  In the U-15 and U-17 age groups, local North Down AC girls Saskia Greer (13.33secs) and Molly Bret (13.28secs) won their respective categories.  Paralympic hero Sally Brown (Springwell Running Club) won the U-20 prize in 13.94secs before Joanna Mullan (Unattached) claimed the F35 top spot in 14.82secs.

Willowfield Harriers’ Andrew Wright won the 1500m race in 4:09.01 and in doing so, the talented youngster won the U-20 category.  Luke Dinsmore (Springwell Running Club) followed in 4:31.40 (4th place), taking the U-17 prize, before local man Reece Simpson (North Down AC) had the honour of being the fastest U-15 participant, crossing the line in 4:56.17 (7th place).  Three categories were also represented in the ladies 1500m race, they were U-17, U-20 and Female Open.  Female Open athlete, Jessica Craig (North Down AC) was the star of the show, securing victory in 4:55.08; Up and coming Willowfield Harriers star Claire Francis recorded 5:19.09 to win the U-17 category, and she (Claire) was followed across the line by U-20 winner Katie Moore (North Down AC), who finished in 5:23.66.

Louis Hagan continued what was an excellent evening for Willowfield Harriers when she won the U-17 ladies 400m race in 61.71secs.  The male 400m competition had to be contested over two races; Ciaran Barnes (City of Lisburn AC) won the U-15 category in 53.80secs, while Craig McDermid (North Down AC) topped the U-17 standings, with a time of 63.56secs.  Lagan Valley AC’s Max Diamond (61.96secs) ran well to win the U-20 event; in the M35 category, Paul McClelland (Unattached) impressed with a 58.98secs finish, thus winning the category.  Frankie Murray (Emmetts GFC) had the pleasure of leading the M50 competitor’s home in 71.66secs.

In one of the most exciting races of the night, the (mixed) 3,000m race, North Belfast Harriers’ Conor Curran put in a late surge to claim victory in 9:19.24. This sealed a new personal best for Conor, as well as the M35 prize.  Mark Wright (Annadale Striders) finished just over a second behind in 9:20.95 (3rd place), taking the M45 category, before North Down AC’s Stephen Wylie (4th place - 9:21:34) crossed the line as first Male Open entrant.  Lagan Valley AC’s Kris Wilson (6th place – 9:48.48) and Orangegrove AC pair Gary Keenan (9th place – 10:00.20) and Ralph Coetzee (13th place – 11:42.30) topped their respective U-23, M50 and M40 categories, while North Down AC star Rachel Gibson won the ladies race in 10:19.30.

Full Results:  North Down AC Open Graded T & F Meet (3) 2013 Results

Paul McCafferty and Gemma Turley win Foyle Valley 5k race:

Foyle Valley AC welcome runners to Race 2 of their  ‘Out the Line’ Series:

On Tuesday 30th July 2013, Foyle Valley AC hosted the second race of their ‘Out the Line’ series, which began last week with a 3k race; on this occasion, competitors were faced with a slightly longer 5k course.

Nearly one hundred runners toed the line for the event, and it was City of Derry AC man Paul McCafferty who followed in the footsteps of his club mate, Gary Slevin, who won last week; Paul just pipped another City of Derry Spartan, Cathal Logue to the line to win, breaking the tape in 16:32 (1st place), while Cathal followed in 16:34 (2nd place).  Stephen Connor (Foyle Valley AC), a second place finisher in last weeks 3k race, claimed 3rd place in 16:39.

The ladies race wasn’t just as close, with the in-form Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club), who won last Friday’s NFU Mutual 5 mile race, securing a comfortable victory in 18:41.  Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC) took 2nd place in 20:37, while unattached athlete Charlene McIntyre crossed the line in 20:50 (3rd place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Paul McCafferty (City of Derry AC) – 16:32, 2nd Cathal Logue (City of Derry AC) – 16:34, 3rd Stephen Connor (Foyle Valley AC) – 16:39

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 18:41, 2nd Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC) – 20:37, 3rd Charlene McIntyre (Unattached) – 20:50

Full Results:  Foyle Valley AC ‘Out the Line’ Series 5k (Race 2) 2013 Results

Athletics NI announce details of annual coaching conference:

Athletics Northern Ireland press-release:

Athletics NI will hold their annual coaching conference on Saturday 21st September at the University of Ulster, Jordanstown.

The conference will be opened by British Athletics Performance Director, Neil Black, with ‘Working with coaches as a Physical Therapist, Lead for Science and Medicine and Performance Director’. This will be followed by event workshops in a number of disciplines including physical preparation, sprints, throws, endurance and jumps.  Key note speakers include, Tom Crick (Coaching Professional Development Manager at British Athletics) and Dave Rowland (National Coach Mentor at England Athletics)

Event group speakers include Laura Kerr (Throws), Steve Fudge (Sprints), Martin Rush (Endurance) Alan Richardson (Jumps), Dave Rowland (Physical Preparation) and Sharon Morris (Mentoring).

Coaching and Club Development Manager Vicki Kennedy said:  "I am delighted that the annual Athletics NI coaching conference will once again provide an environment in which our coaches can learn, develop their skills and network. Athletics NI are thrilled to have such a high calibre of speakers at the conference who will be passing on their knowledge and expertise to our coaches.  The annual event is now in its fourth year and continues to assist us in the creation of coach development opportunities and to build upon existing networking links with UKA. I am looking forward to the conference and to working with all our coaches."

This is an opportunity for all coaches to build upon or refresh their skills set; to keep informed of current coaching methods and more importantly to network with each other. The conference will be delivered between 9.30am – 5.00pm, lunch will be provided during the day.  Note – Interested persons are encouraged to book their place online now!

Key Note Speakers:     

Neil Black – ‘Working with coaches as a Physical Therapist, Lead for Science and Medicine and Performance Director’

Tom Crick – ‘Do you need a General Preparation phase?’

Dave Rowland – ‘Why 'Shape' is Fundamental’

Event Group Speakers:

Laura Kerr (Athletics NI) - Throws - Javelin throwing, techniques and training.

Steve Fudge (British Athletics) – Sprints - The long term management of sprint talent.

Martin Rush (British Athletics) – Endurance -10k to the Marathon, training requirements, alternative approaches to periodisation and the need to long term view.

Alan Richardson (England Athletics) – Jumps - Long term considerations for the developing jumper.

Dave Rowland (England Athletics - Mentor) – Physical Preparation - Movement, Shape and Preparation.

Sharon Morris (British Athletics - Mentor) – Mentoring - Mentoring Workship to Athletics NI Mentors.

For further details about the Coaching Conference please contact Athletics NI.

Athletics Ireland officially name Pollock in World Championships squad:

Athletics Ireland name IAAF World Championships team:

Yesterday, Monday 29th July 2013, Northern Ireland man Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) was officially named in an eleven strong IAAF World Championships team by Athletics Ireland.  Although we (NiRunning) brought you the news of Paul’s inclusion in the team back in May (2013), the official squad to travel to the Moscow, Russia has just been announced.

At the time of his selection for the World Championships Marathon, Paul spoke of his delight and suprise, after what he described as a “disappointing” run at the Virgin London Marathon in April 2013, where he recorded 2:17:10.  

The down to earth and exceptionally talented Belfast doctor had this to say (in May), “I’m just glad the selectors have given me the opportunity to represent my country and compete against the best marathon runners on a world stage.  My plan had been to do Berlin Marathon at the end of September (2013) but I will now need to sit down with my coach Andy Hobdell and work out a plan for the next twelve weeks.  Hopefully I will do myself and Ireland proud.”

Since then, Paul has went on to win the Lisburn Half Marathon (1:07:58) and the Ards Half Marathon (1:07:46), which included the Athletics NI Half Marathon Championships.  The current AAI National Marathon and Half Marathon Champion also won the NI & Ulster 5,000m title (after running 14:48.00) in June 2013.

We would like to wish Paul and the remainder of the Ireland team (listed below) the very best of luck at the World Championships, which will take place between Saturday 10th August 2013 and Sunday 18th August 2013.  The men's marathon will take place on Saturday 17th August 2013.

Ireland Team:  Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) - 50km Walk, Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) - 400m, Mark English (UCD AC) - 800m, Paul Robinson (St Cocas AC) - 800m, Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny AC) – 50k Walk, Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) – Marathon, Jennifer Carey (Dundrum South Dublin AC) – 400m, Rose-Anne Galligan (Newbridge AC) – 800m, Tori Pena (Finn Valley AC) – Pole Vault, Laura Reynolds (Mohill and District AC) – 20k Walk, Maria McCambridge (Dundrum South Dublin AC) – Marathon.

Steve Darby and Hannah Oldroyd win 'Original' Cookstown Half Marathon:

Parkrun podcasters win 'Original' Cookstown Half Marathon:

On Sunday 28th July 2013, nearly one hundred runners toed the line for the ‘original’ Cookstown Half Marathon, an event organised by Tri-Limits.

In warm conditions, it was Steve Darby (Barnsley AC) who impressed most.  The England based runner, who completed his one hundredth different parkrun event at the Waterworks Park, Belfast (where he ran 17:59) on Saturday (27th July 2013), sealed a comfortable win in 1:22:40.  Julian Grimes (Magherafelt Harriers) notched up a notable podium place for his newly formed club, taking 2nd place in 1:25:02, before Aaron Parks (Armagh AC) claimed 3rd place in 1:27:56.

It was a similar story in the ladies race, with Steve Darby’s parkrun friend Hannah Oldroyd (Saltaire Striders) cruising to victory.  Hannah crossed the line in a new personal best of 1:27:44, a full twenty minutes ahead of runner up Louise Hall (Unattached) who recorded 1:47:58 (2nd place).  Lisa Prescott (Unattached) took 3rd place in 1:54:59, completing the ladies top three.

Top 3 Men:  1st Steve Darby (Barnsley AC) – 1:22:40, 2nd Julian Grimes (Magherafelt Harriers) – 1:25:02, 3rd Aaron Parks (Armagh AC) – 1:27:56

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Hannah Oldroyd (Saltaire Striders) – 1:27:44, 2nd Louise Hall (Unattached) – 1:47:58, 3rd Lisa Prescott (Unattached) – 1:54:59

Full Results:  ‘Original’ Cookstown Half Marathon 2013 Results (Photograph used above was taken by Patrick McShane)

Seapark AC pair complete Clonakilty Ultra Marathon:

Gary Connolly and Gillian Cordner complete another long distance event:

Last weekend (Saturday 27th July 2013), Seapark AC duo Gary Connolly and Gillian Cordner took part in the Clonakilty Waterfront Ultra Marathon, a 36 mile event which covered a fast and flat route along the West Cork coastline in Ireland.

The pair, who completed the Clonakilty Back 2 Back Marathon’s earlier this year, as well as many other endurance races, both ran well.   Despite the warm and humid conditions, Gillian managed to claim an excellent 4th place finish, crossing the line in 5:42:44.  Gary followed in 5:56:48 (22nd place); the race was won by Ireland International ultra-runner Keith Whyte (Ennis Track Club AC) in 4:00:04, while Col Conroy (Unattached) took the ladies title in 5:06:40.

Full Results:  Clonakilty Waterfront Ultra Marathon 2013 Results 

NI runners claim titles, personal bests and podium places in Dublin:

Aislinn Crossey claims AAI National title as NI runners perform well in Dublin:

This weekend (Saturday 27th July and Sunday 28th July 2013), a number of Northern Ireland based runners were in action at the Woodies DIY AAI National Senior Track & Field Championships in Santry, Dublin.

In changeable weather conditions, many performed well, with several securing personal bests and podium places.  The outstanding Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC) completed what has been an amazing two weeks with a gold medal winning performance in the 800m; the 17 year old star, who ran an 800m personal best of 2:03.93 to finish fourth at last week’s European Athletics Junior Championships, cruised through her 800m heat on Saturday, winning in 2:13.18.  In Sunday’s final, Aislinn controlled the race, crossing the line to claim the National title in 2:07.49.

In the men’s 10,000m race, Annadale Striders man Eddie McGinley collected a silver medal to add to the bronze he won at the AAI 10k (Road) Championships earlier this year.  Eddie clocked 30:08.24 (2nd place) for the distance; Newcastle AC’s Eoghan Totten ran 31:26.28 (7th place) in the same race, which was won by Irish Olympian Mark Keneally (Clonliffe Harriers) in 29:21.69.  Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) also picked up a silver medal in the 400m hurdles, the Crusaders AC man produced a new personal best of 50.13secs to finish as runner up to Ferrybank AC athlete Thomas Barr (49.78secs).

In the ladies 400m hurdles, NI & Ulster 400m hurdles champion, Mandy Gault (Lagan Valley AC), added to the Northern Ireland medal haul after achieving a new personal best of 58.86secs to take 2nd place behind Jessie Barr (Ferrybank AC), who won in 57.48secs.  Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) recorded 60.37secs to finish in 5th place in the same race.  Lagan Valley AC’s Katie Kirk narrowly missed out on a medal after finishing in 4th place in the 400m competition.  Katie ran 55.65secs to qualify for the final, where she (Katie) then crossed the line in 54.53secs.  Jennifer Carey (DSD AC) won the title in 53.46secs.

Northern Ireland was well represented in the 5,000m race, with no less than four athletes taking their place on the start line.  Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders) led the NI men home in 14:36.01 (4th place), with Athletics NI 5k (Road) Champion Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) following in a new personal best of 14:39.34.  Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) also celebrated a new personal best of 14:52.89 (8th place), knocking approximately six seconds off his previous 5,000m best (which was 14:58.28), while Emmett McGinty (City of Derry AC) crossed the line in 14:39.49 (20th place).  The race was won by Mark Christy (Mullingar Harriers AC) in 14:07.18.

In the men’s 400m race, Ben Maze (Lagan Valley AC) ran 49.94secs (4th place) to finish just outside the podium places.  The race was won by Brian Murphy (Crusaders AC) in 47.14secs.  James O’Hare (Annadale Striders), Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) and Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC) all toed the line in the very close men’s 1500m race; James recorded a personal best of 3:47.41 (4th place), while Conor (3:47.79) and Gareth (3:55.87) claimed 5th place and 10th place respectively.  European Youth Olympic Festival hero Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn AC) took on the 200m and qualified for the final in 24.71secs, then the City of Lisburn AC lady ran a slightly slower 24.83secs to finish in 5th place in the final, which was won by the weekend’s star performer, Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) in 23.64secs.

Full Results:  Woodies DIY AAI National Senior T&F Championships 2013 Results

Michael McKillop continues winning streak:

Further afield, Paralympic star Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) was in competition at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in London, England.  The Northern Ireland man, who won two gold medals at last week’s IPC World Championships in Lyon (France), produced another top performance to win the T36/37 800m race in 1:58.67.

Full Results:  Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games 2013 Results

Anne Haveron (Newry City Runners) wins 26extreme Mini-Marathon:

Ladies enjoy scenic Mini-Marathon (10k):

On Sunday 28th July 2013, 26extreme welcomed nearly three hundred ladies to the stunning Mourne Mountains for their annual Newry & Mourne Women’s Mini Marathon.  The 10k race started at Leitrim Lodge and followed the scenic trails towards the finish area in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.

Newry City Runners’ Anne Haveron, a second place finisher at the Mourne Way 10k, which covered the same course, claimed an excellent victory.  Interestingly, Anne’s winning time of 45:23 was nearly one minute quicker than her Mourne Way finish time (46:34).  Unattached athlete Jemma McGourly followed in 45:39, before St Peter’s AC lady Eileen Stevenson secured a podium place in 46:07.  Alison Dunne (Unattached) crossed the line seven seconds later in 46:14 (4th place), while Patricia Brown (Newry City Runners) finished in 46:35 (5th place).  

Top 5 Ladies:  1st Anne Haveron (Newry City Runners) – 45:23, 2nd Jemma Gourty (Unattached) – 45:39, 3rd Eileen Stevenson (St Peter’s AC) – 46:07, 4th Alison Dunne (Unattached) – 46:14, 5th Patricia Brown (Newry City Runners) – 46:35

Full Results:  Newry & Mourne Women’s Mini Marathon (10k) 2013 Results

Simon Reeve and Naomi Broughton win challenging Divis 10k:

Athletes turn out for worthwhile cause:

On Sunday 28th July 2013, over one hundred runners took on the challenging Divis Mountain 10k road race (and associated 1 mile fun run) in Belfast, an event organised by Action on Hearing Loss NI to raise much needed funds for their very worthwhile charity.

In warm conditions, Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) used his notable hill running experience to claim a well-deserved victory in 38:01.  Consistent performer, Richard Coey (Unattached), crossed the line exactly one minute later in 39:01 (2nd place), before experienced mountain runner Jim Brown (BARF) completed the men’s podium in 39:09.

Naomi Broughton (Unattached) produced a pleasant surprise in the ladies race; the unattached and with respect, relatively unknown athlete ran well to win in 45:32.  Helen Weir ensured that North Belfast Harriers were represented on the ladies podium, claiming 2nd place in 45:54, while Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) completed the hilly course in 46:25.

Top 3 Men:  1st Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) – 38:01, 2nd Richard Coey (Unattached) – 39:01, 3rd Jim Brown (BARF) – 39:09

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Naomi Broughton (Unattached) – 45:32, 2nd Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers) – 45:54, 3rd Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) – 46:25

Full Results:  Divis Mountain 10k 2013 Results - Race photographs for this event are available on the 'Fundraising Hearing Loss NI' facebook page.

Glenn Phair and Denise Toner impress in Lisbellaw 10k:

Glenn Phair and Denise Toner enjoy comfortable wins:

On Saturday 27th July 2013, nearly one hundred runners took part in the annual Lisbellaw 10k road race (and associated fun run) in County Fermanagh.

Enniskillen Running Club’s Glenn Phair, a student at Leeds University, claimed victory.  The 22 year old, who finished second in the Sheffield 10k in April (2013) crossed the line in 35:24; Adam Cooke (Enniskillen Running Club) just edged out last year’s winner, Omagh Harriers’ Derek Somerville (3rd place – 37:01) to take 2nd place in 36:58.

Denise Toner (Clones AC) continued her fine run of form, which has included podium finishes at the Irvinestown 5k and the Enniskillen 10k, with another win.  The Clones AC star clocked 39:45 to win by nearly six minutes; Mary Rutledge (Club Unknown) completed the course in 45:20 (2nd place), before Helen Flanagan (Unattached) recorded 47:19 (3rd place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Glenn Phair (Enniskillen Running Club) – 35:24, 2nd Adam Cooke (Enniskillen Running Club) – 36:58, 3rd Derek Somerville (Omagh Harriers) – 37:01

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Denise Toner (Clones AC) – 39:45, 2nd Mary Rutledge (Club Unknown) – 45:20, 3rd Helen Flanagan (Unattached) - 47:19

Full Results:  Lisbellaw 10k 2013 Results

Stephen Cunningham and Diane Wilson win Commedagh Chase:

Stephen Cunningham and Diane Wilson continue good form:

On Saturday 27th July 2013, Northern Ireland mountain runners took on the newly resurrected Commedagh Chase Mountain Race, an event that used to take place on an annual basis many years ago; it has now been added to the NIMRA calendar and is part of the NIMRA Grand Prix.

The 13k course, which took competitors up the Trassey Track to Hare’s Gap, where they then took the ridge to the top of Slieve Commedagh which included Slievenaglogh and Slieve Correy.  At the top of Commedagh, the athletes retraced their steps along the ridge over Slieve Correy and Slievenaglogh. This time the course did not return to Hare’s Gap, but took the stile halfway down Slievenaglogh, taking the runners straight back to the downhill sprint finish along the Trassy Track (course description provided by NIMRA).

Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) was amongst the leading group throughout and eventually sealed another impressive victory; the strong mountain runner, who won the Donard Downhill race in a record breaking time crossed the line in 1:02:03 to win.  David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), who repreresented Northern Ireland at last weekend’s Snowdon International, claimed 2nd place in 1:04:07, while his Newcastle AC team mate Seamus Lynch clocked 1:04:30 to take 3rd place.

Another impressive performer from last week’s Donard Downhill race, Diane Wilson (Dromore AC), dominated the ladies race, winning comfortably in 1:16:04. Newry City Runners’ Denise Mathers, who recently completed the 'Mourne 500 Challenge', followed in 1:23:18 (2nd place), before Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) completed the top three in 1:32:58 (3rd place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) - 1:02:03, 2nd David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) - 1:04:07, 3rd Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) - 1:04:30

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) - 1:16:04, 2nd Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) - 1:23:18, 3rd Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) - 1:32:58

Full Results will be added as soon as they are available.  Photograph used above was taken from the NIMRA website, please visit their website for a more detailed race report.

City of Lisburn AC win Youth Development League:

Youth Development League report by John Glover:

City of Lisburn AC will represent Northern Ireland in the National Finals of the UKA Youth Development League to be held in Birmingham in early September 2013.  In the fourth and final round of the local competition on Saturday 27th July 2013, they cemented the already comfortable lead they have held throughout the competition.  In truth, despite some strong individual performances, the meeting was a lacklustre affair which was a pity given some of the best weather conditions of the season.

The new format imposed by UKA on what was, for many, a highly successful and enjoyable Young Athletes League has not proven to be a great success judging from any comments expressed not just locally but in the letters pages of Athletics Weekly.  Here, the absence of a local final has detracted from the excitement of the competition although it has to be said that such was City of Lisburn AC’s dominance throughout that there was never any doubt about which team would win whatever the format.

It was one of Lisburn's youngest stars who produced the only record of the day when Ulster Schools' 100m champion Anna McAuley ran a brilliant 10.44secs for the 75 metres adding to her victory in the High Jump.  There were other standout performances from several of her club mates, including a gun to tape victory for Madison Bowyer in the 1500 metres, a High/Long double for Phoebe Tan and a decisive sprint victory from Ikenna Nzewi.

City of Lisburn AC did not have things all their own way however, with several of the other clubs contributing to the individual honours.  Martin Mellon (Mid Ulster AC) finished strongly in the U-15 boys 100m topass North Down AC’s Ollie Wakefield in the closing stages.  City of Derry AC's Shane McGowan produced a 440m / 1500m double and North Down AC's Saskia Greer pulled off the same feat in the Under 15 girls 100m / 200m.

There was a larger than usual turn out for the Senior open events and Adam McComb (North Down AC) dominated a strong men's 400m field to break 49 seconds and returned later to be equally impressive in the 200m.  Having contributed to the meetings smooth running as officials during the day, City of Derry AC ladies Jennifer O'Brien and Tamara Boyle finished in the top two positions in a very competitive 200 metres.  In the field Lagan Valley AC's Lynsey Glover produced a seasons best when she exceeded 40 metres in the first event of the day the women's hammer.

Full Results:  Youth Development Legure (Round 4) 2013 Results

Greg Roberts and Gemma Turley impress at NFU Mutual 5m Race:

Athletes enjoy well organised Springwell Running Club event:

On Friday 26th July 2013, well over two hundred runners descended on the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney for the well organised NFU Mutual 5 mile road race (and associated children’s races), hosted by Springwell Running Club.

After a short delay due to a thunderstorm, the athletes set off on the downhill start; at the front, Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) had company in the form of Springwell Running Club men Connor Christie, Phillip Tweddie, Paul Thompson and Stephen Joyce as well as Kevin O’Boyle (Ballymena Runners), Richard Agnew (Unattached) and Phelim McAllister (Larne AC).  

The host club were well represented in the ladies race, with Gemma Turley leading the ladies as they went through halfway.  Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC), Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC), Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) and Sonia Knox (Springwell Running Club) followed.

Greg Roberts gradually increased his lead at the front, before coming into the atmospheric finish area to break the tape, claiming a well-deserved victory in 26:25.  Connor Chiristie, racing over 5 miles for the first time, completed the course in 27:38 (2nd place), while his Springwell Running Club team mate Phillip Tweedie sealed 3rd place in 27:59.

In the ladies race, Gemma Turley once again showed her class, breaking well clear of the chasing ladies to finish in 31:22 (1st place).  Julie Murphy also ran well, recording a new personal best of 32:08 to take 2nd place; Larne AC’s Geraldine Quigley held off the challenge of local lady Karen McLaughlin (4th place – 33:00) to seal 3rd place in 32:49.

Top 3 Men:  1st Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) – 26:25, 2nd Connor Christie (Springwell Running Club) – 27:38, 3rd Phillip Tweedie (Springwell Running Club) – 27:59

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 31:22, 2nd Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) – 32:08, 3rd Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) – 32:49

Full Results:  NFU Mutual 5m Road Race 2013 Results

Weekend Preview:  A weekend with plenty of choice for NI runners...

Ballymoney, Newcastle, Belfast, Lisbellaw, Dublin, Clonakilty, London...

After an exciting week, which has saw Northern Ireland runners Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) and Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) claim two gold medals each at the IPC World Championships in Lyon (France), Newry AC star Aislinn Crossey absolutely demolish her 800m personal best at the European Junior Athletics Championships in Rieti (Italy) and Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn AC) perform well at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht (Holland), it is now time to focus on another busy weekend, with big events due to take place on both the local and national stage.

As with most summer weekends, the action kicks off on Friday night; the popular Springwell Running Club organised NFU Mutual 5 mile road race will take place in Ballymoney; with hundreds expected on the night, athletes are encouraged to arrive early for registration.

Jarlath Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC), Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) and Neil Johnston (Springwell Running Club) could be the front runners in the men’s field.  Jarlath finished as runner up to Joe McAlister (St Malachy’s AC) here last year and should enter on the night, if so, he’ll be hoping to better that position this time around, and after his 55:03 clocking at the recent Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race, Jarlath has proved that he is in the form to do just that.  

Richard has been in excellent form throughout 2013 so far, with regular podium places as well as a brilliant win at the Active Antrim 5 mile road race, where the City of Derry Spartan recorded a personal best of 25:33.  Should Richard achieve a similar time in tonight’s race, he will almost certainly claim a podium spot. Allan and Neil are very consistent performers, on his day Allan is more than capable of challenging for honours, while young Neil has been very impressive over track, road and cross country terrain this year.  Although his best road performances have been at 5k (he has a Pb of 16:01), the extra distance should not trouble the local star.  Matthew McCooke (Ballymena Runners), Noel Connor (Ballymena Runners), Stephen Joyce (Springwell Runners), Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners), Kevin O’Boyle (Ballymena Runners), Chris Denton (Springwell Running Club) and Larne AC duo Bernard Brady and Craig Hutchinson will all be hoping for high placings.

Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club), Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC), Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners), Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC), Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) and Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) could be the main contenders in the ladies race.  Should Gemma and Kelly both race, this will make for a very exciting battle.  Both ladies are class acts; Gemma has won nearly every race she has entered since returning to competition this year, this has included notable victories at the Fairhill 5, Sperrin Harriers 5 mile Classic, Decathlon 10k, Baliniskea 5k and last week’s Dervock 10k.  Meanwhile, Kelly has been a real addition to the Northern Ireland distance running fraternity since stepping up from middle distance track racing.  The former International lady got the better of Gemma at the Active Antrim 5 mile road race in June and has since won the Portaferry 10 mile road race; this month, Kelly also bettered her Half Marathon personal best when finishing as runner up to Julie Balmer (North Down AC) in Ards (1:26:45).  Like Gemma, Paula McAllister has recently returned to competitive racing, and has shown her class with an impressive win at the Dalriada Festival 5k and a fourth place finish at the Runher Coastal Challenge, which was made all the more notable because of the sheer strength in depth of the field.

Julie Murphy has been performing well in the triathlon world recently, and has also won the Les Jones 10k and finished in the top three at the Bann 10k and Castleward Half Marathon.  Julie’s most recent 5 mile time is 32:09 (2012), so statistically should finish behind both Kelly and Gemma, but anything is possible on the night.  Both Geraldine Quigley and Karen McLaughlin enjoyed good runs in Dervock last weekend.  Geraldine finished third in the 10k, while Karen claimed second place in the Half Marathon; both should be in the chasing pack here.  Other ladies that could make the top ten should include Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club), Linda Gillen (Springwell Running Club), Caroline Irwin (Springwell Running Club), Kirsty Sharratt (Larne AC) and Rhonda Brady (Larne AC).

On Saturday 26th July 2013, Northern Ireland’s mountain runners will take on the newly resurrected Commedagh Chase Mountain Race.  The 13k course follows Trassey Track from the bottom up to Hare’s Gap.  Here, runners will take in the ridge to the top of Slieve Commedagh which includes Slievenaglogh and Slieve Correy.  At the top of Commedagh, runners will retrace their steps along the ridge over Slieve Correy and Slievenaglogh.  This time however, the course does not return to Hare’s Gap, but takes the stile halfway down Slievenaglogh and from here, it is a straight out downhill sprint to the finish at the bottom of the Trassey Track (course description taken from NIMRA website).

Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners), Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) and David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) should head the field.  Stephen has won the major Flagstaff to Carlingford and Annalong Horseshoe events as well as the Hill & Dale series.  Last week the Mourne Runners man broke the Downhill Donard Course record, showing that he is in good shape going into this race.  Deon and Neil are regular prize-winners and two of the most consistent performers within the mountain running scene, I have absolutely no doubt that both will play a prominent part in proceedings here should they toe the line.  David McNeilly represented Northern Ireland at last weekend’s Snowdon Mountain Race and should take that form into this race, where he will hope to challenge for a podium place.  David O’Flaherty has been running well on the roads and trails of late, securing runners up spots at the Ballykinlar 10k race and the Sea 2 Sky 10k races over the last three weeks.  His speed could be useful on several sections of this course, particularly around the Trassey Track.

Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) will be considered as the front runners in the ladies race.  Both have been running fantastically well recently, with Diane achieving a course record whilst winning last week’s Downhill Donard race.  Interestingly, Shileen opted for a good outing on the roads of Dervock.  The 2013 Hill & Dale series champion put in a strong performance to claim third place in the Half Marathon.  Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) and Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), who all braved the searing heat to run well for Northern Ireland in Wales last Saturday, will also feature well should they decide to participate.  Patricia McKibbin (Unattached), Violet Linton (LVO), Sinead Murtagh (Castlewellan AC) and Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) could also be top ten finishers as well.

Also on Saturday 27th July 2013, runners in the vicinity of County Fermanagh will turn out for the Lisbellaw 10k road race.  Although information on this event is sparse, we expect the likes of Henry O’Neill (Unattached), Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club), Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) and Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) to be amongst the prize-winners.  Whilst, Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers), Miread McCann (Omagh Harriers), Denise Toner (Clones AC), Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) and Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) should be the top ladies.

Seapark AC endurance enthusiasts Gillian Cordner and Gary Connolly will travel south this weekend for the Clonakilty Waterfront Ultra Marathon in West Cork (Ireland) on Saturday 27th July 2013.  The race, which starts and finishes in the seaside village of Courtmacsherry, covers a 36 mile “fast and level” course.  Athletes will be treated to some of the most stunning scenery in Ireland as they make their way along the coastal course.

Saturday 27th July 2013 will also see the Youth Development League return to the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.  The event, which has been dominated by City of Lisburn AC will be the final major contest to take place at the newly refurbished stadium before the World Police & Fire Games bandwagon rolls into town. This will be Round 4 of the U-17 to U-20 competition ant it will kick off at 10am, spectators are welcome.

Over Saturday 27th July and Sunday 28th July 2013, a large number of Northern Ireland’s top athletes are expected to take part in the Woodies DIY AAI National Senior Track & Field Championships at the Morton Stadium, Santry, Dublin (Ireland).

Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) will line up in the 10,000m race, while Northern Ireland 100m and 200m record holder Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) will take on both of the aforementioned distances.  After a good outing in Germany last week, Amy will be hoping to challenge her own records.  Ireland 4x400m star Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) will compete in his favourite 400m hurdles race, while Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Mandy Gault (Lagan Valley AC) will race in the ladies 400m hurdles.  European Junior Athletics Championships hero Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC) will hope to run something close to the 2:03.93 that she produced in Italy when she takes on the 800m.  Kerry Harty will not race, despite reports elsewhere that the Newcastle AC lady is due to compete in the 3,000m Steeplechase.

Other Northern Ireland runners taking part in the AAI National Championships could well include Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers), Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), Patrick Hamilton (Annadale Striders), Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim), Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC), Declan Reed (City of Derry AC), Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC), Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders), Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders) and Katie Kirk (Lagan Valley AC).

On Sunday 28th July 2013, Action on Hearing Loss will host an interesting fundraising event on Divis Mountain, Belfast.  The event will feature a 10k road race and a 1 mile fun run.  Although online entries have closed, entry is still available on the day (please contact [email protected] for more information).

Experienced mountain runner Simon Reeve will be one of the men challenging for honours; Simon’s strength on the hills could well be useful on this course.  The location and time of the event could attract several more of Simon’s North Belfast Harriers club mates, many of whom train in the area.  Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Gary Keenan (Orangegrove AC) may also enter on the day and will be in or around the podium places should they do so.  Mark has progressed at a notable rate and is particularly strong on the tough courses, while Gary’s experience always makes him a hard competitor to deal with. Kent Swann (North Belfast Harriers), Kilian Woods (North Belfast Harriers) and Conor Diver (Unattached) will also finish well up the pack if they race.

Orangegrove AC will definitely be represented in the ladies race, with Louise Lemon due to compete.  Louise excelled at the East Antrim Harriers trail series, winning every race (in the ladies category), which eventually saw the talented lady crowned series champion.  The strength gained from these trail races will definitely improve Louise’s chances over this course.  Unattached runners Maria Dobrska, Orla Waide, Aileen Waide and Rachel Maguire will also be on the start line; the ladies will more than likely be joined by several other well-known club runners on the day.

Also on Sunday 28th July 2013, 26extreme will welcome hundreds of competitors to their Newry & Mourne Women’s Mini Marathon.  The ladies only 10k race, which starts at 12pm, will follow the stunning route from Leitrim Lodge to Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.

Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) will go into the race as pre-race favourite.  The International long distance runner has recorded numerous wins in 2013; these have included victories at the Lost World 25k, Cooley Legends Half Marathon, Downpatrick Lions Three Lakes 14k, Castle Ward Half Marathon and more recently the Mourne Way Marathon.  Karen will prove difficult to beat, so Ciara Coffey (Club Pulse), Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC), Anne Haveron (Newry City Runners), Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC), Caroline Wade (Newry City Runners) and Monica McCrickard (Leitrim Ladies) may well concentrate on claiming the remaining podium places.

Paralympic hero and now double IPC World Championship gold medallist Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) will race at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games in the Olympic Stadium in London on Sunday 28th July 2013.  Michael will compete in the T36/37 800m race and will be hoping to add to his wins over 800m and 1500m at this week’s IPC World Championships in Lyon, France.

Sunday 28th July 2013 will also see the 5th annual running of the ‘Original’ Cookstown Half Marathon.  The 13.1 mile race, which used to be the main Half Marathon in Cookstown has always been well organised by Tri-Limits.  The race starts at Garden World, Cookstown at 12pm.   Although online entries have closed, interested persons can still enter on the day from 9am.  We have very little information on the event but will bring you a summary (and results) in relation to the race as soon as we receive the official results.

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

Note – There may be a slight delay in Saturday’s summaries as our entire team will be unavailable.  We apologise in advance, but we will try to get as much information out via facebook (NiRunning – Northern Ireland Running) and twitter (@NiRunning) as possible (signal permitting).  All reports, results etc will then be added on Sunday 28th July 2013.

Jason Smyth secures second IPC World Championships gold medal:

Jason Smyth brings home two gold medals:

On Thursday 25th July 2013, Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) completed a hugely successful IPC World Championships for Northern Ireland runners.  Representing Ireland, Jason had already picked up a gold medal in the (T13) 200m competition.

Yesterday (Wednesday 24th July 2013), Jason cruised through his (T13) 100m semi-final to earn his place in today’s final.  In truth, it was once again the Jason Smyth show, as the exceptionally talented City of Derry Spartan powered to victory in 10.61secs.  His nearest competitor, Jonathan Ntutu (South Africa) followed in 11.12secs.  This means that Jason comes home with two gold medals, matching that of fellow Northern Ireland man Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC), who topped the podium in the (T37) 800m and (T38) 1500m events.

Full Results:  IPC World Championships 2013 Results

Brendan Teer and Catriona McCorkell win Downpatrick RGU 10k:

Impressive performances in Downpatrick:

On Wednesday 24th July 2013, nearly one hundred and fifty running enthusiasts turned out for the annual Downpatrick RGU 10k road race, an event jointly hosted by East Down Athletic Club.

In good running conditions, local man, Brendan Teer continued his impressive winning streak, which has included first place finishes at the recent Ballykinlar 10k and Portaferry 10 mile races.  Brendan broke the tape in 33:17 to win.  Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) took 2nd place in 34:53, while unattached athlete Brian Young completed the top three men in 35:36 (3rd place).

Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC), winner of last week’s ‘Sea 2 Sky’ 10k in Newcastle (County Down) won the ladies race in 39:23, with East Down AC lady Cheryl Denvir taking 2nd place in 42:22.  Sperrin Harriers’ Cheryl Cardwell, a top performer in the Sperrin Harriers trail series, claimed 3rd place in 43:43.

Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 33:17, 2nd Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) – 34:53, 3rd Brian Young (Unattached) – 35:36

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC) – 39:23, 2nd Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC) – 42:22, 3rd Cheryl Cardwell (Sperrin Harriers) – 43:43

Full Results:  Downpatrick RGU 10k 2013 Results

McKillop and Smyth continue to do Northern Ireland proud in Lyon:

McKillop adds to his medal haul as Smyth progresses to 100m final:

On Wednesday 24th July 2013, local men Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) and Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) continued to do Northern Ireland proud whilst representing Ireland at the IPC World Championships in Lyon, France.

Michael added to his (T38) 800m title with a gold medal winning performance in the (T38) 1500m race, the St Malachy’s AC man overtook early leader Dean Kenzie (Australia), before going through 800m in 2:18.88.  Michael crossed the line in 4:10.17 to win by just over two seconds.  The decorated Paralympic star comes home with two gold medals to match his haul from the London 2012 Paralympics.

Earlier in the day, Jason Smyth, who landed the (T13) 200m title earlier this week, lined up in the semi-final of the (T13) 100m competition.  Jason progressed through Heat 2 in the fastest time of the day, winning in 10.72secs.  The final will take place on Thursday (25th July 2013) evening.

Full Results:  IPC World Championships 2013 Results

NiRunning prepare for World Police & Fire Games 2013:

NiRunning plan for upcoming WPFG:

As Northern Ireland prepares for an influx of competitors, family members and officials for the upcoming World Police & Fire Games 2013, plans are well under way for the running events, which include a Half Marathon, 5k and 10k Cross Country races and a Mountain Race.  There will also be Track races at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track.

The World Police & Fire Games is a biennial event for serving and retired police, fire, prison and border security officers.  The WPFG is the third largest international multi-sport event in the world (behind the Olympics and Commonwealth Games) and is the largest ever sporting event to take place in Northern Ireland. There will be 56 sports held in 41 venues across Northern Ireland.  The registration figures are nearing the expected 7,000 and there will be up to 3,500 volunteers helping to deliver what the organising committee describe as “the friendliest games ever”.

NiRunning were invited to a press conference on Tuesday 23rd July 2013, where details of all the events were presented to the media.   As the WPFG is taking place within Northern Ireland and will include runners from the province, who will represent Team Northern Ireland, we have developed a plan to facilitate our coverage of the WPFG, but in a way that it does not flood our ‘News’ page and take away from local events and news.

We will set up a new page under the ‘More’ heading on our navigation bar, this will be named NiRunning @ WPFG, within this section we will post summaries and results from the World Police & Fire Games running events as well as any other interesting news from the games.  We will also set up one Gallery in our ‘Photo Gallery’ and this will be named ‘WPFG 2013’, all of our photographs will be added to this page.

Notable dates for running events at the World Police and Fire Games 2013 are as follows:

Friday 2nd August 2013 – Tuesday 6th August 2013 - Track & Field (Mary Peters Track, Belfast)

Saturday 3rd August 2013 – Mountain Race (Donard Park, Newcastle)

Sunday 4th August 2013 – Half Marathon (Mid Ulster Sports Arena, Cookstown) 

Tuesday 6th August 2013 – Cross Country Races (Stormont Estate, Belfast)

Further details on each event are available with our ‘NiRunning @ WPFG’.  Organiser’s stress that members of the public are encouraged to come along and watch the event, entry is free and were applicable spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 

Detailed information can be found at the official website: (Photograph used above is courtesy of Harry Marcus -

Gary Slevin and Anne-Marie McGlynn open FVAC Series with wins:

Foyle Valley AC host the first race of their annual ‘Out the Line’ Series:

On Tuesday 23rd July 2013, nearly one hundred runners turned out for the first race of the Foyle Valley AC hosted ‘Out the Line’ Series.  This race, which took place on the Foyle Cycle path, measured 3k in distance. 

City of Derry AC’s Gary Slevin, a man who has set new personal bests for 1500m, 3000m, 5000m, 5k and 5 mile in 2013, further improved his 3k personal best after breaking the tape to win in 9:20.  The host clubs Stephen Connor (Foyle Valley AC) followed in 9:31, before Michael Finnegan (City of Derry AC) took 3rd place in 9:39.

The ladies race brought Lifford AC’s leading ladies Ann-Marie McGlynn and Natasha Adams together.  As expected, it was a very close race; however, Ann-Marie edged it, clocking 10:11 (1st place) to beat Natasha (2nd place - 10:13) by just two seconds.  Clones AC’s Helen Stockdale (11:07) continued her run of podium places, which have included top three finishes at recent events in Irvinestown and Rathmullan, with a 3rd place finish.

Top 3 Men:  1st Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC) – 9:20, 2nd Stephen Connor (Foyle Valley AC) – 9:31, 3rd Michael Finnegan (City of Derry AC) – 9:39

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Ann-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) – 10:11, 2nd Natasha Adams (Lifford AC) – 10:13, 3rd Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) – 11:07

Full Results:  Foyle Valley AC ‘Out the Line’ 3k Series (Race 1) 2013 Results

Cunningham and Wilson break Donard Downhill course records:

Stephen Cunningham and Diane Wilson claim new records:

On Saturday 20th July 2013, mountain running enthusiasts from all over the province turned out for the annual Donard Downhill race at Slieve Donard, Newcastle, County Down.  The race started at the Great Cairn (at the top of Slieve Donard), the runners then made their descent towards the finish line at the entrance of the Donard Car Park.

Despite soaring temperatures, the mountain running fraternity continued the trend of record breaking performances throughout the weekend, with both the male and female course records being smashed.  In the men’s race, Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) broke his own course record when he crossed the line to win in 14:37.  Newry City Runners’ Pete Grant followed in 16:18 (2nd place), while Gary Bailey (Unattached) claimed 3rd place in 16:58.

Not to be outdone, Dromore AC’s brilliant Diane Wilson broke the ladies record; Diane continued her excellent run of form, completing the downhill course in 18:27 (1st place).  Paulette Thompson (Murlough AC) took 2nd place in 24:48.  Diane and Paulette were the only ladies in the race, so there was no third place prize presented.

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 14:37, 2nd Pete Grant (Newry City Runners) – 16:18, 3rd Gary Bailey (Unattached) – 16:58

Top 2 Ladies:  1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 18:27, 2nd Paulette Thompson (Murlough AC) – 24:48 *Only two ladies completed the course*

Full Results:  Donard Downhill 2013 Results

Pure Running Half Marathon Series update:

Pure Running Half Marathon Series update from ChampionChip Ireland:

The 7th race in Pure Running Half Marathon Series was held in soaring temperatures in Dervock on Saturday 20th July 2013.  Most of the main Series contenders turned out to record their first or second time in the second half of the Series and thus stay in contention for a category or garment prize at the end of the 10 race Series.

The scorching heat took its toll on many of the runners and very few were close to their times posted previously.  Mark Walker (Unattached) bucked the trend by coming home in third place and also post his second fastest time so far.  

Julie Balmer (North Down AC) shook off her jet lag to romp home almost ten minutes clear of her nearest challenger.  There are still eighteen runners who have covered the distance in all seven races to date and thus will be in line for one of the highly coveted garments at the end, as long as they complete the Cookstown, Groomsport and Waterside Half Marathon’s between now and September 2013.

Please note the Cookstown race is part of the World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) event and there will be NO entries will be taken on the day.  The closing date is Friday 26th July 2013 and you can enter through the Athletics NI website.

Also, the Groomsport Half Marathon will now take place on Friday 16th August 2013, online entry for this race will be available on the Athletics NI website from Monday 22nd July 2013.

McKillop and Smyth secure gold medals at IPC World Championships:

Jason Smyth and Michael McKillop do Northern Ireland proud yet again:

On Sunday 21st July 2013, Northern Ireland men Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) and Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) produced world record breaking performances whilst representing Ireland at the IPC World Championships in Lyon, France.

Michael raced first in his (T37) 800m final, and demolished the field to win.  Having gone through 400m in 57.99secs, Michael held the relentless pace to finish in a new Paralympic world record time of 1:57.17; this was a full five seconds ahead of his nearest rival.  

Just over an hour later, Jason lined up in the (T13) 200m final.  On Saturday (20th July 2013), the City of Derry Spartan cruised through his heat in 21.27secs, he bettered that today, matching his own Paralympic world record of 21.05secs to win.

Both Michael and Jason will be in action again later this week; Michael will compete in the 1500m final on Wednesday24th July 2013, while Jason will begin his 100m campaign on the same day (Wednesday 24th July 2013).

Full Results:  IPC World Championships 2013 Results

Scullion wins Fingal 10k as O'Neill and Hamilton claim podium places:

Northern Ireland well represented at Fingal 10k:

On Sunday 21st July 2013, at least eight Northern Ireland runners travelled to Swords, Dublin (Ireland) for the Fingal 10k, the second race of the Dublin Marathon series, which culminates with the main 26.2 mile event on Monday 28th October 2013.

Stephen Scullion wore the colours of Clonliffe Harriers as he led the field home in an excellent 30:14, this adds to several other notable performances recently, his podium finish in last weekend’s Great Edinburgh 10k Run in Scotland.  Patrick Hamilton (Annadale Striders) ensured that Northern Ireland athletes dominated the men’s podium; having returned to competition after his win at the Lisburn 10k last month, the Annadale Striders man recorded 30:57 (2nd place) to take the runners up prize.  

Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) ran a personal best of 33:18 (16th place), while his North Belfast Harriers club mate Conor Curran (18th place – 33:28) recorded his second fastest 10k time ever.  Eddie Cooke followed up his podium place at Portaferry earlier this week with a very credible 34:07 (25th place).  

Another North Belfast Harriers athlete, Gladys Ganiel O’Neill marked her return to the roads with a 2nd place finish in the ladies race, crossing the line in 34:42. Interestingly, this was Gladys’s quickest 10k in fifteen years, an excellent achievement.  Orangegrove AC’s Paul Woodman clocked 36:08 (51st place), before Gerard McClenaghan (Beechmount Harriers) completed the course in 48:20.  The ladies race was won by Letterkenny AC’s Maria McCambridge in 33:29.

Full Results:  Fingal 10k Race 2013 Results

Records tumble as Energia 24hr Race returns to Mary Peters Track:

Endurance specialists brave heat to break numerous records:

In the 24 hours between 6.45pm on Friday 19th July 2013 and 6.45pm on Saturday 20th July 2013, no less than six Ultra-Running records were broken at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast, as the Energia 24 hour race returned to its newly refurbished home.  The event, which is now in its fourth year, was also the AAI National 24hour (Track) Championships.

Irish ultra-running star Eoin Keith claimed the men’s title, breaking the event/course record, the Irish 100 mile (track) record and the Irish 24hr (track) record on his way to notching up an amazing 244.6k (152 miles).  This sealed an incredible victory for the decorated Dublin man, who was “ecstatic” at not only having broken the new records, but also because he reached his personal target of 240k.  

John O’Regan, winner of the event in 2011 and 2012, surpassed his previous best of 213k to claim 2nd place.  John, who has represented Ireland on every continent, covered 221.0k (137 miles).  Another Ireland International, Eddie Gallen, who is now based in Madrid, completed the top three men, running 215k (133 miles) in the allotted time.  This meant that all three men had exceeded the previous course record of 213k, which was set by John O’Regan in 2011.

Ruthann Sheahan was the outstanding winner of the ladies race; the current Irish 24hr road record holder added the 24hr track record to her ever growing CV, after finishing on 225.5k (140 miles); this also beat the previous course/event best nearly fifty kilometres (181k set by Deirdre Finn in 2011).  Susan McCartney, winner of the recent Mourne Way Ultra in June 2013 and a third place finisher here last year, improved on that position.  The mainland based Northern Ireland lady ran 197.1k (122 miles) to take 2nd place.  The final championship medal went to Donna McLoughlin; Donna had concentrated on her own race early on, when Aine Gallagher had went off with the leaders, this proved to be a good tactic.  As Aine tired, Donna moved into 3rd place and further cemented her position as the race progressed, eventual clocking 166.0k (103 miles).

Aidan Blake broke the course/event 12hr record after running 115.9k (72 miles) to win; the previous record was 111k, set by Sean McCormack in 2011.  North Belfast Harriers’ Robert Irvine took 2nd place with 108.5k (67 miles), while Joe Moran (95.5k – 59 miles) claimed 3rd place.  There were no female participants in the 12 hour race.  In the 24 hour relay race, Donadea Runners’ Ollie Kearney, Charlotte Kearney, Enda O’Carolan and Orna Dilworth retained their title with 244.6k (185 miles), while the event sponsor’s team, Team Energia (Desmond George, Tom Gillen, Sarah Gilmour and John King) took 2nd place, having run 223.6k (138 miles).

An astonishing twenty two participants broke the 100 mile barrier in the 24 hours; these included Eoin Keith, John O’Regan, Eddie Gallen, Ruthann Sheahan, Susan McCartney, Tim Brownlee, Patrick Quinn, Vilnis Pleite, Brian O’Kelly, Carl Laffan, Pat Staunton, Donna McLoughlin, Robin Alexander, David Noone, Noel Brick, John Coleman, Eric Hewston, Frank McDermott, Gerard McCann, Greame Whittaker, Caroline McLoughlin and Michael Cultra.

24hr Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Eoin Keith – 244.6k, 2nd John O’Regan – 221.0k, 3rd Eddie Gallen – 215.0k

Top 3 Ladies: 1st Ruthann Sheahan – 225.5k, 2nd Susan McCartney – 197.1k, 3rd Donna McLoughlin – 166.0k

12hr Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Aidan Blake – 115.9k, 2nd Robert Irvine – 108.5k, 3rd Joe Moran – 95.5k

Top 3 Ladies:  None

24hr Relay Race:

Top 2 Teams:  1st Donadea Runners (Ollie Kearney, Charlotte Kearney, Enda O’Carolan and Orna Dilworth) – 298.5k, 2nd Team Energia (Desmond George, Tom Gillen, Sarah Gilmour and John King) - 223.6k

Full Results:  Energia 24hr Race 2013 Results - A full ‘Race/Event Review’ is available within our ‘Race Review’ section.  Race Photographs will be added to our 'Photo Gallery' in the coming days (Monday 22nd July or Tuesday 23rd July 2013).

Northern Ireland athletes compete in France and England:

Jason Smyth progesses, while Katie Kirk achieves personal best:

On Saturday 20th July 2013, runners from Northern Ireland were in action at the IPC World Championships in Lyon, France as well as the BMC (British Milers Club) Track & Field meeting in Oxford, England.

In Lyon, City of Derry AC’s Paralympic gold medallist Jason Smyth cruised through his (T13) 200m semi-final. Jason started strongly, opening up a lead quickly, this allowed him to comfortably finish in 21.57secs; this was the fastest qualification time from the three semi-final’s. Jason will now look forward to the 200m final as well as his upcoming 100m heats; we (NiRunning) will keep you updated with his progress throughout the Championships.

Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) is also at the IPC World Championships and is scheduled to compete in the (T37) 800m final later today, Sunday 21st July 2013 at approximately 4pm.

In Oxford (England), Michael Dyer (North Down AC), Mark Patterson (North Down AC) and Katie Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) were competing over 800m at the BMC event. Katie’s new personal best of 2:07.37 in the Ladies 800m ‘A’ race was the highlight of the evening, this gave the Belfast based lady a 5th place finish in the race won by Katie Snowden (Herne Hill AC) in 2:05.52.

In the 800m ‘B’ race, Michael recorded a time of 1:52.11 (3rd place), while in the 800m ‘C’ race, Mark crossed the line in 1:54.25. Kilkenny City Harriers’ Eoin Everard (1:51.41) won the ‘B’ race and Liverpool Harriers’ Jamie Webb (1:52.54) was victorious in the ‘C’race.

Full Results:  IPC World Championships 2013 Results and BMC Track & Field Meet (Oxford) 2013 Results

Northern Ireland mountain runners perform well at Snowdon International:

Strong performance by NI runners at Snowdon International Mountain Race:

On Saturday 20th July 2013, a strong team of mountain runners represented Northern Ireland at the 38th Snowdon International Mountain Race in Llanberis in Wales.

The 10 mile race, which includes 1,085m of ascending, is well-known within the mountain running scene as one of the toughest races in Europe; because of this, the event always attracts a quality field and reaches its entry limit very quickly.

Gavin Mulholland (Calder Valley Fell Runners), Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners), Iain Whiteside (Carnethy HRC) and David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) made up the men’s team, while Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) and Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) were the NI representatives in the ladies race; Ballymena Runners’ Mark Alexander also took part in the race, as an individual entry.

Andrew Annett returned to competition from injury last month to run well at the IMRA trials for the European Championships, and the Mourne Runners man produced another notable performance here, leading the team home in a very credible 13th place, in a time of 1:14:22.  Mainland based NI men, Gavin Mulholland (1:15:32) and Iain Whiteside (1:20:08) followed in 18th place and 26th place respectively, before David McNeilly completed a strong performance by the team in 1:25:53 (44th place).  

The ladies ran equally well; Gillian Wasson was the first of the trio to finish, crossing the line in 1:43:19 (17th place).  Hazel McLaughlin followed in 1:47:10 (21st place), before Anne Sandford recorded 1:52:56 (38th place) for the tough course.

Mark Alexander (Ballymena Runners) also had a good run, finishing in 1:37:52 (129th place).  Individual entrant Andi Jones (Stockport AC) won the race in 1:08:50, while the first International man home was Scotland’s Murray Strain in 1:10:14.  The ladies race was won by Ireland’s Sarah Mulligan in 1:26:25.  In the team competition, England won the men’s race, while Scotland were victorious in the ladies category.  At present, we have no final finishing positions for the Northern Ireland team; however, we can tell you that despite their brilliant performances, both teams missed out on podium places.

Full Results:  Snowdon International Mountain Race 2013 Results.  Photograph used above was kindly provided by Mark Alexander (Ballymena Runners).

Crossey smashes personal best at European Junior Championships:

Crossey, Foster and Harty in action outside Northern Ireland:

On Saturday 20th July 2013, Newry AC’s Aislinn Crossey once again represented Ireland at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Rieti, Italy.

After qualifying from Thursday’s (18th July 2013) semi-final in a personal best time of 2:05.50, you may have been forgiven for thinking that it was ‘job done’ for the young up and coming star.  However, not only did Aislinn match that effort, but the Newry AC lady produced the performance of her life in the 800m final, clocking a massive personal best of 2:03.93 to finish in 4th place.

The race was won by World Youth 800m Champion and pre-tournament favourite Anita Hinriksdottir (Iceland) in 2:01.14.  This performance must surely give Aislinn enormous belief that she can get close to the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard on 2:03.50

Also this weekend, Northern Ireland ladies Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) were also in competition on the track, at the Bottrop Gala in Germany on Friday 19th July 2013.

Amy lined up in her favourite 100m event and qualified from Heat 1 (of 3), where the joint Northern Ireland 100m record holder achieved a (wind assisted - +2.5) personal best of 11.45secs to win.  Unfortunately, due to the wind reading, this cannot be counted as a new Northern Ireland record.  In the final, Amy crossed the line in 11.52secs, securing a 3rd place finish.  The race was won by Franciela Kiasucki (Brazil) in 11.24secs.  In the 3,000m Steeplechase, Kerry battled well to finish in 5th place finish, after clocking 10:16.70 for the distance.  The race was won by Katarzyna Kowalska (Poland) in 9:43.35.

Full Results:  European Athletics Junior Championships 2013 Results and Bottrop Gala T&F Meet 2013 Results

Neeson, Balmer, McCooke and Turley celebrate in Dervock:

Crowds brave intense heat to complete Kennedy Kane McArthur events:
On Saturday 20th July 2013, hundreds of athletes and spectators braved the searing heat to participate in the Kennedy Kane McArthur 10k and Half Marathon in the County Antrim village of Dervock.  

As scheduled, the 10k runners set off first and made their way towards the village before turning left onto rural undulating roads.  Despite the tough conditions, Ballymena Runners’ Matthew McCooke, who won the event last year, put in a strong performance to retain his title in 36:11.  Fellow Ballymena Runners athlete Noel Connor took 2nd place in 37:45, while Larne AC’s Bernard Brady (38:20) ran well to secure 3rd place.

In the ladies event, it was pre-race favourite Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) who took the honours, the Springwell RC lady won the final race in City of Derry AC’s Furey Insurance Series earlier this week and continued her excellent run of form to break the tape in 40:58.  Unattached athlete Laura Hassan claimed the runners up spot in 42:21 (2nd place), ahead of Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC), who made sure Larne AC were represented on both the male and female podiums after crossing the line in 43:01.

Numerous front runners in the ongoing Pure Running Half Marathon Series toed the line for the 13.1 mile race.  However, it was a young man attempting the distance for the first time who stole the headlines.  Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners) made it a fantastic male double for Ballymena Runners, following on from Matthew McCooke’s success in the 10k.  Jack broke the tape in 1:20:14 to seal victory.  The host club’s Paul Thompson (Springwell Running Club) followed in 1:22:13 (2nd place), while unattached athlete Mark Walker covered the course in 1:22:19.

Julie Balmer (North Down AC), who currently leads her category in the Pure Running Half Marathon Series, dominated the ladies race, winning in 1:26:54 before Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) entered the finishing straight to loud cheers from the local crowd and just edged out Lagan Valley AC’s Shileen O’Kane (3rd place – 1:36:35) to 2nd place, after clocking 1:36:21.

10k Race:
Top 3 Men: 1st Matthew McCooke (Ballymena Runners) - 36:11, 2nd Noel Connor (Ballymena Runners) - 37:45, 3rd Bernard Brady (Larne AC) - 38:20
Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) - 40:58, 2nd Laura Hassan (Unattached) - 42:21, 3rd Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) - 43:01

Half Marathon:
Top 3 Men:  1st Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners) - 1:20:14, 2nd Paul Thompson (Springwell Running Club) - 1:22:13, 3rd Mark Walker (Unattached) - 1:22:19
Top 3 Ladies:  1st Julie Balmer (North Down AC) - 1:26:54, 2nd Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) - 1:36:21, 3rd Shileen O'Kane (Lagan Valley AC) - 1:36:35

Full Results:  Kennedy Kane McArthur (Dervock) 10k and Half Marathon 2013 Results.  We will also be uploading a selection of race photographs from this event in the coming days, this will probably by Monday 22nd July 2013.

Don Travers and Catriona McCorkell win Sea 2 Sky 10k Race:

In excess of 300 athletes turn out for Sea 2 Sky event:

On Friday 19th July 2013 Born 2 Run events welcomed over three hundred runners to the 2nd running of their annual Sea 2 Sky 10k race, which takes competitors from the promenade in Newcastle, County Down to the top of Donard Forest and back again.

In very warm conditions, it was Newry City Runners’ Don Travers who impressed most.  The last time Don was in Donard Park/Forest it was for the start of the Mourne Way Marathon, where he finished as runner up.  On this occasion, the International athlete went one better, winning the race in 36:39.  Local man, David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) followed closely, taking 2nd place in 36:45; Paul Carlin (St John’s GAC) claimed 3rd place in 37:33.

The top two in the ladies race were just as close, with Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC) just edging out Northern Belfast Harriers’ Claire Prenter.  Catriona crossed the line in 42:28, while Claire recorded 42:40 for the distance.  Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC), a winner in the last Born 2 Run event in Castle Ward, completed the top three ladies in 45:43.

Top 3 Men:  1st Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 36:39, 2nd David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) – 36:45, 3rd Paul Carlin (St John’s GAC) – 37:33

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC) – 42:28, 2nd Claire Prenter (North Belfast Harriers) – 42:40, 3rd Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) – 45:43

Full Results:  Sea 2 Sky 10k 2013 Results (Photograph used about courtesy of Mark Ramsey)

Roseanna McGuckian secures medals at European Youth Olympic Festival:

City of Lisburn AC star collects medals in Holland:

On Friday 19th July 2013, City of Lisburn AC’s Roseanna McGuckian enjoyed further success whilst representing Ireland at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht, Holland.  

Roseanna recorded a (wind assisted) new personal best of 24.52secs to qualify for today’s 200m final, where she (Roseanna) produced another outstanding performance to claim a well-deserved bronze medal, after crossing the line in 24.42secs, another new personal best.  The race was won by Tasa Jiya (Netherlands) in 24.10secs.

Just over an hour later, Roseanna joined Ireland team mates Niamh McNichol, Laura-Anne Costello and Phoebe Murphy in the 4x100m final.  The girls, who set a new Irish Youth Record of 46.22secs whilst qualifying for the final, put on another superb display, winning the race and claiming their gold medals in 46.55secs.

Full Results:  European Youth Olympic Festival 2013 Results

Weekend Preview: NI runners to compete across Europe this weekend:

Busy weekend ahead for Northern Ireland athletes:

After a successful week for Northern Ireland runners, which has saw some outstanding efforts by local athletes; this included excellent performances by Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) at the British Championships, Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) at the European U-23 Championships and Stephen Scullion (Unattached) at the Bupa Great Edinburgh 10k Run, as well as Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn AC) and Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC) at the ongoing European Youth Olympic Festival and European Junior Championships respectively; focus once again turns to the weekend and upcoming local, national and international competition.

On Friday 19th July 2013, Born 2 Run events will host the 2nd edition of their Sea 2 Sky race, an event that starts on the promenade in Newcastle, County Down and takes competitors on a 10k course through Donard Forest before finishing back on the Promenade.

Richard Coey (Unattached), Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) and Michael King (Newcastle AC) will start and should be amongst the front runners.  Richard has been in good form of late, with top ten finishes in both the Ards Half Marathon and Lisburn Half Marathon.  Just this week the talented unattached athlete broke the infamous 60 minute barrier for 10 miles in Portaferry, showing that he is good shape.  Alan has really came to the fore in 2013, with podium finishes at the Ballynahinch 10k and more recently the Kilmore Rec 5m road race and the Burrendale Hotel 7m race.  He (Alan), actually finished behind Richard Coey at the Kilmore Rec race, so he’ll be hoping to overturn that this time around.  

Michael King (Newcastle AC) was third in this race last year and he will therefore hope to at least match that placing again; however, should local men David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC), Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) and Brendan Quail (Newcastle AC) make use of the late entry system, they will all be chasing podium places.

Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) will return to defend the title she won last year, but will face strong opposition from the very lady she beat to the top spot in 2012, local Northern Ireland Junior Mountain Running International , Dearbhla Magee.  A year on, Dearbhla could be a lot tougher to beat after showing great strength in local races such as the Mill Hill Mile, where she (Dearbhla) not only finished as second place lady but finished well up the field.  Seapark AC’s leading lady Gillian Cordner will also be there or there abouts; having excelled at longer distances this year and taking prizes at the Newry Marathon and Connemarathon, Gillian has shown that she has the strength required to conquer this hilly multi-terrain course.

Also on Friday 19th July 2013, two Northern Ireland ladies will be competing further afield.  Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn AC) will continue her assault on the 200m title at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht, Holland when she lines up in the final.  Roseanna qualified from the heats with a (wind assisted) personal best of 24.52secs and looks to be in top form going into the final.  In Germany Newcastle AC’s Kerry Harty will compete in the 3,000m Steeplechase at the 19th Bottrop Gala, a Track & Field Meeting that attracts some of the world’s best athletes. 

Last but not least, the Energia 24 hour race will return to the new refurbished Mary Peters Track on Friday 19th July 2013.  Top entries include Eoin Keith, John O’Regan, Dan Doherty and Susan McCartney.  A full preview of the event is available a little further down our ‘News’ page, please have a read at it.

On Saturday 20th July 2013, Springwell Running Club and the Dervock Community Association will welcome hundreds of runners to the village of Dervock, County Antrim for the annual Kennedy Kane McArthur ‘Festival of Running’, which will include a 10k race as well as a Half Marathon.

The 10k event may interest the likes of Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers), Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) and Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC). Should these men enter on the day, it will make for an exciting race.  Alan clocked a new personal best of 31:03 last month to finish in third place at the Dunshaughlin 10k in Ireland, he has also featured prominently in several Half Marathon’s, claiming a win at the Decathlon HM and a runners up spot at the Larne HM.  Scott smashed his 10 mile personal best when he recorded 52:14 at the Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race in Limavady three weeks ago, the Foyle Valley AC man also won a bronze medal at last year’s Athletics NI 10k Championships.  Like the aforementioned men, Richard rarely finishes outside the top three, and the last time he raced over 10k he finished in 32:31 (his Pb); recently Richard has won the Active Antrim 5 mile road race and finished in second place and third place at the Fairhill 5m road race and Les Jones 10k respectively.

Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) is the stand out lady on the 10k start list; just this week the Springwell Running Club lady won the Ballineska 5k and was subsequently crowned as the ladies champion of the City of Derry AC hosted Furey Insurance 5k Series.  Gemma will prove extremely difficult to beat, but that will not stop Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) and Larne AC duo Kirsty Sharratt and Geraldine Quigley trying.

Accomplished triathlete Julie always runs well when she features on the roads; Julie won the Les Jones 10k in May 2013 and more recently finished in third place at the Bann 10k in Banbridge.  Kirsty Sharratt enjoyed a personal best at the Belfast City Marathon in May and should feature at the front here, as should Kirsty’s Larne AC club mate Geraldine.  Geraldine is doing well in the Pure Running Half Marathon Series, but has opted for the 10k race here and having taken wins at the Fairhill 5m road race and the Sperrin Harriers 5m Classic, International XC runner Geraldine will no doubt be amongst the ladies chasing Gemma Turley.

In the Half Marathon event, Kenyan athlete Freddy Sittuk, who won the Larne Half Marathon and finished as runner up to Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) in the Ards Half Marathon, will start as pre-race favourite should he turn out on the day.  Stephen McGrory (Annadale Striders) was runner up here last year and may return despite having raced in Portaferry on Wednesday night, where he also finished in second place.

Athletes who will race include Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners), Nigel Greer (Dromore AC), Chris Denton (Springwell Running Club) and David Proctor (Willowfield Harriers).  Jack has never raced over the 13.1 mile distance before, but finished the Jude Gallagher 10m road race in 56:43 last month, taking fourth place.  On his day, the Newcastle University student has the potential to play a prominent part in proceedings.  Nigel, Chris and David have much more Half Marathon experience, with the trio having clocked up thirteen Half Marathon’s between them this year alone!  Nigel’s best came at the Decathlon HM, where he crossed the line in 1:18:24. Chris ran a 1:19:35 personal best in Omagh, while ever consistent David ran 1:22:26 at the same Decathlon event as Nigel.  

Julie Balmer (North Down AC) will be the main contender for the ladies title; Julie has had an extremely successful 2013 so far, with wins at the Belfast City Marathon (first NI lady), the Larne HM, Ards HM, Decathlon HM and the Newry HM to her name.  Other top ladies should include Gillian Douglas (Unattached), Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) and Diane Watson (City of Lisburn AC).

Gillian and Roisin had an excellent battle in the Ards Half Marathon, with Roisin just getting the edge on that occasion.  The consistent North Belfast Harriers lady is a regular face on the podium and finished second to Julie Balmer at the Newry Half Marathon.  Gillian has impressed in the ongoing Pure Running Half Marathon Series and her 1:31:35 finish in Ards really put her amongst the top ladies, where we expect Gillian to be again in Dervock.  Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners), Fiona Johnston (Unattached), Janice White (Forge Harriers), Caroline Irwin (Springwell Running Club) and Linda Gillen (Springwell Running Club) will also hope for top ten places.

Further afield on Saturday 20h July 2013, three Northern Ireland athletes will begin their medal hunt at the IPC World Championships in Lyon, France.  Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC), Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) and Sally Brown (Springwell Running Club) will all hope to replicate their performances from the London 2012 Paralympic Games.  We (NiRunning), will keep you up to date with their progress throughout the competition.

Also on Saturday 20th July 2013, mountain runners Gavin Mulholland (Calder Valley Fell Runners), Iain Whiteside (Carnethy HRC), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) and Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) will represent Northern Ireland at the infamous Snowdon International Mountain Race in Llanberis, Wales.

In Oxford, England on Saturday 20th July 2013, there will be an influx of Northern Ireland based runners in the BMC (British Milers Club) 800m races, held as part of their prestigious Track & Field Meeting.  Michael Dyer (North Down AC), Mark Patterson (North Down AC), Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) and Katie Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) are all set to compete in the eighteen scheduled 800m races.

Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC) will be competing in the 200m final at the European Athletics Junior Championships in Rieti, Italy on Saturday 20th July 2013. Aislinn produced a personal best of 2:05.50 to qualify from Thursday’s semi-final.  The 200m final is scheduled to take place at 4.15pm (GMT).

A special mention must also go to the forty plus Sperrin Harriers who have made the long journey to Killarney, Ireland for the Run Killarney 10k, Half Marathon and Marathon events, which all take place on Saturday 20th July 2013.  The popular club have decided to make the weekend of it and we (NiRunning) wish them well.

In Ireland, Northern Ireland clubs will be well represented at the Woodies DIY AAI National Juvenile Championships in Tullamore, County Offaly on Saturday 20th July and Sunday 21st July 2013.  Ballymena & Antrim AC, St Malachy’s AC, City of Lisburn AC, North Belfast Harriers and City of Derry AC should be amongst the NI clubs sending strong squads.

On Sunday 21st July 2012, at least six Northern Ireland runners are expected to join thousands of competitors at the Fingal 10k in Swords, Dublin (Ireland).  The event is the second race of the popular Dublin Marathon series.  Stephen Scullion (Unattached), Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers), Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers), Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers), Paul Woodman (Orangegrove AC) and Gerard McClenaghan (Beechmount Harriers) will all make the trip south of the border.

Saval GAC will also hold their annual 10k road race and associated fun run on Sunday 20th July 2013.  Although we have very little information on the event and possible participants, it is expected that the field will be mainly made up of local runners and players attached to the club.  The event will start at 11am and registration will take place at the Saval Sports & Leisure Complex, Newry.

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

Aislinn Crossey qualifies for European Junior Championships 800m final:

Newry AC star represents Ireland at European Athletics Junior Championships:

On Thursday 18th June 2013, Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC) was in action for Ireland at the European Athletics Championships in Rieti, Italy.  Aislinn, who has won the Irish School’s 400m and 800m, the AAI National Juvenile 800m and the AAI National Junior 800m titles this year, has established herself as one of the country’s top up and coming talents under the watchful eye of her coach Francis ‘Kookie’ O’Hagan and his team.

After a delay in the start of the afternoon session, due to the weather conditions (rain and thunderstorms); Aislinn lined up in Heat 2 of the 800m alongside a plethora of talent, which included recent IAAF World Youth 800m Champion Anita Hinriksdottir (Iceland), but the 17 year old appeared unfazed as she (Aislinn) battled it out with German lady Katharina Trost at the head of the chasing pack, behind strong championship favourite Anita Hinriksdottir, who lead from the gun.  After an exciting dual, Aislinn crossed the line in a new personal best of 2:05.50 to finish in 3rd place.  This was enough to seal qualification for the final, which will take place on Saturday 20th July 2013 at approximately 4.15pm (GMT).

Results:  European Athletics Junior Championships 2013 Results - Note:  There appears to be an issue with the RESULTS page of the Rieti 2013 website, but hopefully the results will appear there shortly.

Energia 24hr Race returns to Mary Peters Track, Belfast tomorrow:

Energia 24hr Race – Mary Peter Track, Belfast – 19th July 2013 to 20th July 2013:

Bruce Springsteen may be the big name playing Belfast on Saturday 20th July 2013 - but there will also be plenty of stars who were ‘Born to Run’ at the refurbished Mary Peters’ track for the 4th edition of the Energia Belfast 24-Hour Race.

Topping the bill will be Cork based man Eoin Keith.  The Irish record holder has unfinished business at the 24-hour where he dropped out 12 months ago in atrocious weather with an upset stomach.  Eoin celebrated the New Year in Phoenix, Arizona (USA) where he ran a mind-boggling 300 miles in 3 days - only the fourth person in history to achieve that; and, given favourable conditions, he’ll be chasing the £500 first prize, the bonuses that go with an Irish and track record and the title of Irish 24-Hour champion.

He anchored the Irish team at the World 24-Hour Championships in the Netherlands in May.  Indeed, the whole Irish team is in Belfast.

They include ultra-running guru John O’Regan, from Kildare, bidding to win three Irish titles in a row; the remarkably consistent Belfast man Eddie Gallen, who will be flying in from Madrid (Spain), having completed 24 round-the-clock races in a stellar ultra career; and the talented Donegal runner Dan Doherty.  Dan, who will travel from his Hampshire (England) base, may have on his mind the Irish 100km record.  It has stood since 1978; but he came within 7 seconds of it after finishing in 8th place at the European Championships in France.

And, they will all have to watch out for GB international Matt Moroz, from Norwich.  He has targeted 235kms (146 miles) - and that is just shy of the Irish record! All eyes too will be on Ruthann Sheahan. The Cork woman took everyone by suprise at the World 24-Hour Championships in 2012 in Katowice, Poland where she finished seventh and smashed the Irish record by almost 23km’s, running 229kms(143 miles).  She is returning from injury, but showed no signs of it winning the Portumna 100k last month.

Some seven nations and thirteen Irish counties will be represented at the race:

Carl Laffan has flown in from Lower Hutt, New Zealand; Dubliner Frank McDermott will have done 10 marathons in 10 days the week before; and Don Hannon, from Bray (Ireland) will be hoping his blisters have healed from a 260km (161 miles) attempt on the Wicklow Way which just failed three weeks ago. Achill Island sisters Caroline and Donna McLoughlin will be trying a 24-hour for the first time and hoping they don’t lose any toe nails.  And, there’s also a brother and sister taking part: Tim Brownlee and Susan McCartney, who last month won the Mourne Way Ultra.

Simon Bucken and fiancee Louisa Rodriguez are travelling from Leeds to take part and highlight Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - the Belfast race is part of a huge two-year fund-raising effort of big challenges.  There’s nothing like a sponsor getting involved and that’s exactly what Energia’s Group Managing Director Tom Gillen is doing, as he has assembled a company team to take part in the 24-hour relay.  And, the race has backing from Belfast City Council through their ‘Support for Sport’ initiative, and the Lord Mayor Mairtin O’ Muilleoir, who has a 3hr 40 min marathon to his credit, says he will run the last hour.

Race Director Ed Smith says: “Some of the very best long distance men and women are here. I have a feeling we are going to see some remarkable feats of mind and matter to grace the new-look Mary Peters track - for what they’re about to do - they deserve loads of support.  So, I only hope people will come along to cheer them on through dusk and dawn and on to the finish.”

The race begins on Friday 19th July 2013 at 6.45pm and will be started by Dame Mary Peters.  And, the Springsteen reference at the start - Aine Gallagher from Ballindine, County Mayo (Ireland), is only taking part because she has tickets for his concert.

NiRunning will be at the event, and we will provide as many updates and race photographs as possible.  After the event, a race summary and all of our photographs will be uploaded to our website.

Northern Ireland athletes perform well at prestigious Morton Games:

NI athletes achieve podium places and personal bests in Dublin:

On Wednesday 17th July 2013, a number of Northern Ireland based athletes travelled to Dublin, Ireland for the prestigious Morton Games International Track & Field Meet, which is held at the Morton Stadium in Santry.  The well organised event attracted athletes from as far away as USA, Australia, Mexico, Spain, Canada and Romania.

City of Derry AC’s Jason Smyth lined up in Heat 1 of the 100m event, and the decorated Paralympic star showed his class, winning the heat in 10.61secs.  Despite qualifying for the final, Jason chose not to race it, possibly because he is travelling to Lyon (France) for the IPC World Championships this morning (Thursday 18th July 2013).  The eventual winner of the 100m event was Rae Edwards (USA) in 10:51.

Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), a member of Ireland’s recent European U-23 Championships squad, took on his favourite 400m hurdles event.  After hitting several hurdles, Jason recovered very well to finish in 2nd place, recording a time of 52.00secs.  The race was won by another of the Ireland Euro Championships squad, Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) in 50.04secs.

Two Northern Ireland men were in competition in the very close 400m ‘B’ race; Curtis Woods (North Down AC) claimed a podium place after crossing the line in 48.54secs (3rd place), just ahead of Lagan Valley AC’s Ben Maze (48.96secs) who took 4th place in the race won by Andrew Barnes (RSA) in 48.25secs. St Malachy’s AC club mates Paddy Robb, Conor Gallagher and Ronan O’Fril all ran in the men’s Junior Mile race.  Conor recorded an excellent 4:33.54 (10th place) to lead the trio home, Paddy followed in 4:40.43 (14th place), with Ronan just behind in 4:45.15 (15th place).  The race was won by St Laurence O’Toole AC’s Danny Lawler in 4:16.23.

Northern Ireland clubs had no less than seven representatives in the three 800m races of the night.  In the ‘A’ race, Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC), an impressive winner at the recent IMC event in Santry, led the NI men home in 1:52.36 (5th place).  City of Derry AC’s Pajo Hamilton followed in 1:54.00 (9th place).  The race was won by Joe Warne (Doheny AC) in 1:51.42.  The very competitive ‘B’ race was won by Darragh Lynch (Ennis Track Club AC) in 1:53.27, with St Malachys AC’s Michael McKillop (1:54.63) and Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Gareth Hill (1:54.88) taking 2nd place and 3rd place respectively. Both Michael and Gareth’s times were season’s best performances; Ryan McDermott (Anandale Striders) clocked a new personal best of 1:56.41 (5th place) to finish just behind the aforementioned pair.  

There were more personal bests in the 800m ‘C’ race, where Neil McCartan (East Down AC) recorded 1:57.85 (5th place) and Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders) broke the two minute barrier for the first time in 1:58.19 (6th place).  The ‘C’ race was won by Kevin Chesser (Ennis Track Club AC) in 1:55.85.  In the much anticipated Morton Mile event, an amazing nine athletes broke the infamous four minute clocking, with USA’s Cory Leslie winning in 3:55.85. Although just missing a sub 4:00.00 finish, City of Derry AC man Conor Bradley achieved a new personal best of 4:01.83 (13th place).

Full Results:  Morton Games 2013 Results

Freddy Sittuk and Gemma Turley win Furey Insurance Series finale:

City of Derry AC host Furey Insurance 5k Series finale:

On Thursday 17th July 2013, City of Derry AC hosted the fourth and final race of their Furey Insurance sponsored 5k Series in Ballineska, Derry/Londonderry.

Kenyan star Freddy Sittuk, winner of Race 3 in the series at Lisnagelvin, dominated proceedings once again and sealed a well-deserved win 14:58.04.  Freddy’s sub 15 minute finish was the fastest winning time of this year’s series.  Current Athletics NI 5k (Road) Champion Declan Reed (City of Derry AC), another previous series race winner, claimed 2nd place in 15:14.27, while young Springwell Running Club athlete Neil Johnston matched his current personal best for the distance when he crossed the line in 16:01.40 (3rd place).

The anticipated battle between talented ladies Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) and Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) did take place; on this occasion it was Gemma who edged it, sealing victory in 18:10.03.  Catherine took 2nd place in 18:23.67, before Inishowen AC’s Theresa Doherty finished in 19:23.65 (3rd place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Freddy Sittuk (Kenya) – 14:58.04, 2nd Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) – 15:14.27, 3rd Neil Johnston (Springwell Running Club) – 16:01.40

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 18:10.03, 2nd Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) – 18:23.67, 3rd Theresa Doherty (Inishowen AC) – 19:23.65

Full Results:  Furey Insurance 5k Series 2013 (Race 4 – Ballineska) Results

Overall Furey Insurance 5k Series category winners (best 3 from 4 races):  Male Open - Declan Reed (City of Derry AC), Female Open - Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club), Male Masters - Laurence Johnston (North Belfast Harriers), Female Masters - Jackie McGinley (City of Derry AC), Male U-20 - Zach McGowan (City of Derry AC)

Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn AC) qualifies for EYOF 200m final:

Roseanna McGuckian starts EYOF (European Youth Olympic Festival) campaign in style:

On Wednesday 17th July 2013, City of Lisburn AC’s Roseanna McGuckian kicked off her 200m campaign at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht, Holland.

Up against some of the world’s most talented junior athletes, Roseanna, who is representing Ireland, put her pre-race nerves to the side and produced an excellent personal best of 24.52secs (2nd place) for the distance.  This was enough to see Roseanna qualify from Heat 1, which was won by Melinda Ferenczi (Hungary) in 24.46secs.  Interestingly, Roseanna’s time would have won any other heat.  The 200m final will take place on Friday 19th July 2013.

Full Results:  European Youth Olympic Festival 2013 Results

Keith Shiels and James Brown claim podium places in Raphoe (Ireland):

Foyle Valley AC and City of Derry AC represented across the border:

On Wednesday 16th July 2013, Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) and James Brown (City of Derry AC) joined over one hundred and twenty competitors at the Raphoe 5k road race in County Donegal, Ireland.  The event is hosted by Raphoe FRC in conjunction with Lifford AC and is part of the ongoing Donegal 5k Grand Prix.

In humid conditions, both men ran well.  Keith continued his good run of form, which has included a win at last week’s St Johnston Carrigans 5k, with an excellent victory here.  The Foyle Valley AC athlete broke the tape in 15:19 to win, with just under a minute separating him and Finn Valley AC’s Colin Watson (16:12), who took 2nd place.  City of Derry Spartan James, who has also been a regular on the podium recently, followed in 16:20 (3rd place).

Full Results:  Raphoe 5k Road Race 2013 Results – Please Note:  The attachment shows the race date as January 2013, this is an error.  The race was on Wednesday 16th July 2013.

O'Neill and Butler win Irvinestown 10k, while Toner excels in 5k event:

O'Neill and Butler win 10k, as Brody and Toner take 5k titles:

On Wednesday 16th July 2013, well over two hundred runners took part in the annual Irvinestown 10k and 5k road races in Irvinestown village, County Fermanagh.

On the sound of the starting horn, Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club), Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) and Henry O’Neill (Unattached) immediately took up prominent positions at the head of the field.  Young Conan, who has been performing well on the track recently, led throughout.  This was until Henry, a Northern Ireland man who has recently returned home from living America, made a late surge with approximately 800m to go.  This notable increase in pace proved to be a race winning move, as Henry crossed the line in 32:49 to seal victory.  Conan battled well to hold on to 2nd place, recording 32:56 to finish ahead of Paul, who clocked 33:03 (3rd place).

Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers), a comfortable winner at the recent Dromore 10k, notched up another good win, after leading from start to finish, claiming a well-deserved victory un 39:07.  Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) continued her rise through the ranks, taking 2nd place in 41:15, while Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club) took the final place on the ladies podium in 42:17 (3rd place).

Although Shane Brody (Unattached) won the associated 5k race in 17:28, Denise Toner (Clones AC) stole the show.  The Clones AC lady ran a new personal best time of 17:49, taking second place overall and winning the ladies race.  Colm Kirk (Unattached) secured 2nd place in the men’s race after crossing the line in 18:39, just ahead of the next two ladies, Finn Valley AC’s Angela Speight (18:51) and Clones AC’s Helen Stockdale (19:00), who claimed 2nd place and 3rd place respectively in the ladies race.  Michael Penrose (Finn Valley AC), who finished in exactly the same time as Helen Stockdale (19:00), completed the top three male finishers.

10k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Henry O’Neill (Unattached) – 32:49, 2nd Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club) – 32:56, 3rd Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) – 33:03

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) – 39:07, 2nd Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) – 41:15, 3rd Karen Dolan (Enniskillen Running Club) – 42:17

5k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Shane Brody (Unattached) – 17:28, 2nd Colm Kirk (Unattached) – 18:39, 3rd Michael Penrose (Finn Valley AC) – 19:00

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Denise Toner (Clones AC) – 17:49, 2nd Angela Speight (Finn Valley AC) – 18:51, 3rd Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) – 19:00

Full Results will be added as soon as they are available.  Times above are PROVISIONAL only.  Photograph of Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) used above was taken from Dromore 10k facebook page.

Northern Ireland endurance athletes compete in Ireland:

Northern Ireland endurance athletes compete in Ireland:

Last weekend, Northern Ireland endurance athletes Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) and Amy Beggs (Larne AC) took on the Stone Mad Multi-Day Ultra Marathon in Ireland.  The event saw competitors cover 61.9km on Day 1 (Saturday 13th July 2013) and 52km on Day 2 (Sunday 14th July 2013).

On Day 1, the ladies started in Athy, County Kildare (Ireland) and made their way along the banks of the River Barrow to Graiguenamanagh in County Kilkenny (Ireland).  Experienced ultra-runner Hannah, who was interviewed last week on BBC Newsline in relation to the upcoming 26extreme TQ101k Ultra, led the ladies home in 6:35:14.  Amy, well-known for her ‘never give up’ attitude finished as 4th place lady, crossing the line in 9:41:52.

On Day 2, competitors started in Graiguenamanagh, County Kilkenny (Ireland) where they faced a shorter but much tougher course, which took them on a looped route over the Blackstairs Mountain and past notable scenery such as Borris House and the ‘nine stones’ view point en-route to the summit of Mount Leinster, before they returned to Graguenmanagh via the river bank from Clashganny and Graguemanagh.  Mount Everest conqueror Hannah once again impressed, crossing the line in 6:51:25 to secure the win and an overall victory (over the two days).  Amy (9:26:43) also ran well, claiming another 4th place on the day and also in the final standings.

Full Results:  Stone Mad Ultra Marathon 2013 Results

10 marathons in 10 days:

Also in Ireland, Steven Gibson (Unattached) and Seapark AC duo Gary Connolly and Gillian Cordner were in competition in Sixmilebridge, County Clare. Detailed information (and full results) on the event are hard to find, but we can tell you that Steven and seventeen other runners completed an amazing 10 marathons in 10 days, around the roads of Sixmilebridge, Killmurry and New Market, from Thursday 4th July 2013 to Saturday 13th July 2013.  Despite the extreme heat, which reached in excess of 30oc, Steven performed very well, taking 3rd place in the final standings.

Gary and Gillian, who have completed numerous multi-day races this year, ran 2 marathons in 2 days.  This was on two of the warmest days, Day 9 (Friday 12th July 2013) and Day 10 (Saturday 13th July 2013) of the event.  Unfortunately Gary was forced to withdraw at the half way point on the Saturday, while Gillian completed the 26.2 miles in 3:57:10.  On the Sunday, Gary and Gillian ran together, and crossed the line in 4:28:23.

Brendan Teer and Kelly Neely set new personal bests to win in Portaferry:

Personal Best galore in Portaferry:

On Tuesday 16th July 2013, well over two hundred athletes descended on the coastal town of Portaferry for the annual Portaferry 10 mile road race, organised by the Northern Ireland Civil Service Athletic Club and East Down AC as part of the town’s popular Gala Week.

Despite the undulating nature of the course, this race always seems to produce personal bests and this year was no different.  In warm and humid conditions, East Down AC’s in-form Brendan Teer added to his recent victories in Loughinisland and Ballykinlar, sealing victory in 54:55.  Annadale Striders’ Stephen McGrory, a previous podium finisher at the event (in 2010) claimed 2nd place in 56:39, before Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) secured 3rd place in 57:39.

Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) continued her impressive introduction to longer distance events with another excellent performance and win; the former International middle distance track star produced notable performances at the Larne Half Marathon and Ards Half Marathon, claiming podium places in both, on this occasion Kelly sealed victory in 1:05:37.  Jessica Craig (North Down AC), a fourth place finisher in this race last year, clocked a new personal best of 1:07:41 to take 2nd place.  Orangegrove AC’s Trudy Brown also set a new personal when crossing the line in 1:10:44 (3rd place) to complete the ladies top three.

Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 54:55, 2nd Stephen McGrory (Annadale Striders) – 56:39, 3rd Eddie Cooke (North Belfast Harriers) – 57:39

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) – 1:05:37, 2nd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 1:07:41, 3rd Trudy Brown (Orangegrove AC) – 1:10:44

Full Results:  Portaferry 10m Road Race 2013 Results

City of Derry AC set for Furey Insurance 5k Series finale:

City of Derry AC all set for Furey Insurance sponsored 5k Series finale:

The fourth and final race in this year's Furey Insurance 5k race series is set for Derry/Londonderry’s Baliniska circuit next tomorrow evening, Wednesday 17th July 2013.

The popular local series should finish in fine style with a big turn out and competitive action right down the field. Up front it looks like a straight shoot out for overall honours in both the male and female open categories, with defending champion Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) in a head to head with Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) and in the women’s section, it will be Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) facing Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) for the top spot.

The Masters and U-20 categories will also produce interesting tussles and down the field, we'll also see many personal battles with runners looking for bragging rights and perhaps new course and distance personal best in the series finale for 2013.

Race HQ as always will be Templemore Sports Complex, Buncrana Road, where entries will be taken on the night from 6pm, in advance of the 7.30pm start.  It is also possible to enter online, simply send name, age on race day and club, if any to [email protected]  by the evening of Tuesday 16th July 2013.  The race pack can be collected at Templemore on race day from 6pm and the entry fee of £7 or €9 handed over.

The awards presentation for all age groups and overall winners will follow back at the Complex with the post-race refreshments at approximately 8.30pm.  Full details are available on the City of Derry AC website.  Race preview courtesy of City of Derry AC.

Mark McKinstry and Paula McAllister win Dalriada Festival 5k Run:

Excellent turn out for well organised local event:

On Monday 15th July 2013, nearly one hundred runners turned out for the well organised Dalriada Festival 5k Run in Glenarm, County Antrim.  The free event was hosted by organisers of the popular week long Festival, with the assistance of Larne AC.

In humid conditions, runners set off on a 3.1 mile course that would take them through Glenarm Forest and into the grounds of the scenic Glenarm Castle, before they returned to the village and the well supported finish area on Altmore Street.

Nat Glenn (East Coast AC) and Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) had battled it out at the front throughout, but it was the ever improving North Belfast Harriers athlete Mark who reached the finish first, taking victory and the unique specially crafted winner’s medal in 17:39.  Nat followed in 17:45 (2nd place), before Larne AC’s Phelim McAllister (3rd place – 18:10) completed the men’s podium in what was has his ‘home town’ race.

Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners), an impressive performer at the recent Runher Coastal Challenge, led the ladies home in 20:40, a very good time considering the undulating course.  Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) took 2nd place in 21:17, while Allyson O’Toole (East Coast AC) finished strongly, securing 3rd place in 22:04.

Top 3 Men:  1st Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 17:39, 2nd Nat Glenn (East Coast AC) – 17:45, 3rd Phelim McAllister (Larne AC) – 18:10

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners) – 20:40, 2nd Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) – 21:17, 3rd Alison O’Toole (East Coast AC) – 22:04

Full Results:  Dalriada Festival 5k Run 2013 Results.  Race photographs are available within our ‘Photo Gallery’.

Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers) continues excellent form:

North Belfast Harriers man runs well in Dunleer:

On Sunday 14th July 2013, North Belfast Harriers athlete Conor Curran travelled to Dunleer, County Louth (Ireland) for the annual Dunleer 4 mile road race, hosted by Dunleer AC.

Just under three hundred participants toed the line for the long established event, which was won by Mark Hoey (Star of the Sea AC) in 19:55.  Conor continued his run of good form, which has included a new 5 mile personal best (26:41) at the recent Irish Runner event in Dublin, crossing the line in 21:13 to claim 4th place in what was a quality field.

Full Results:  Dunleer 4 mile Road Race 2013 Results

Kendall and Scullion claim podium places in Ireland and Scotland:

Northern Ireland men perform well in Ireland and England:

This weekend, Northern Ireland runners Mark Kendall (Newcastle AC) and Stephen Scullion (Unattached) claimed podium places at top quality events in Ireland and Scotland.

On Saturday 13th July 2013, Mark Kendall and at least ten other Northern Ireland based runners joined two thousand Half Marathon and 5 mile road race entrants at the 5th annual running of the extremely popular Clontarf Half Marathon (and associated races) in Dublin, Ireland.

Mark, who was making a return to competition after damaging his collarbone in a mountain bike accident earlier this year, produced an excellent performance to take 3rd place.  The Newcastle AC man covered the course, which included a tricky beach section, in 1:21:16.  Norman Smyth (Newcastle AC) followed in 1:31:59 (56th place), while popular mountain runner Jerome McCrickard (Newcastle AC) crossed the line in 1:33:31 (65th place); East Down AC men Philip Vent (74th place - 1:34:34) and Michael McKeown (84th place - 1:35:03), and Newry City Runners' Damian Murphy (95th place - 1:35:54) all finished in quick succession.

Niall Carson (106th place - 1:37:16) just pipped his Newcastle AC club mate Paul Rodgers (108th place - 1:37:27) to the post, before Canal Court's Nicky Gracey (1:37:35) and Newry City Runners' Paul Gorman (1:48:21) took 113th place and 315th place respectively.  Helen Vint (East Down AC) ran well to cross the line in 1:56:48 (80th place lady).  The men's race was won by Brian Leahy (Raheny Shamrocks AC) in 1:14:55, while Aisling Jordan (Unattached) took the ladies title in 1:25:20.

On Sunday 14th July 2013, AAI National 10k Champion Stephen Scullion took on the prestigious Bupa Great Edinburgh 10k Run in Scotland.  The City Centre based course, which starts and finishes in the historic and scenic Holyrood Park is well-known to be tough, but enjoyable, taking in many of the City’s top tourist attractions.  Despite having missed some training last week due to a thigh injury, Stephen performed to his usual high standard, clocking 30:57 for the distance.  The race was won by Team GB Olympian and newly crowned British 10k Champion Andrew Lemoncello in 30:18.

Results:  Clontarf Half Marathon 2013 Results and Great Edinburgh 10k Run 2103 Results 

Harvey and Ireland team mates exit 4x400m event despite brilliant run:

European Athletics U-23 Championships update:

On Saturday 13th July 2013, Northern Ireland man Jason Harvey (Crusaders) once again represented Ireland at the European Athletics U-23 Championships in Tempere, Finland.

Having exited his 400m hurdles competition on Friday 12th July 2013, Jason was keen to impress in the 4x400m relay, where he lined up alongside Ireland team mates Dara Kervick (Carrick On Suir AC), Richard Morrissey (Crusaders AC) and Mark English (UCD AC).

In an exciting and close race (Heat 2), the Ireland men were in contention throughout, with all four athletes putting in outstanding performances to finish in 3:07.71 (6th place).  Despite the excellent finish time, which would have won Heat 1, the Ireland team failed to qualify for the next round.  The race was won by Italy in 3:06.98.

Full Results:  European Athletics U-23 Championships 2013 Results

Whoriskey secures win as McGuinness and Stockdale also claim prizes:

Northern Ireland athletes claim personal bests and podium places in County Donegal:

On Friday 12th July 2013, a number of athletes attached to Northern Ireland running clubs took part in the Rathmullan 5k road race in County Donegal, Ireland.  The event, which is organised as part of the town’s annual festival, attracted in excess of two hundred participants.

The competitive men’s race was won by Finn Valley AC’s Gerard Gallagher in 15:26, with Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) leading the Northern Ireland contingent home in 3rd place, after recording a new personal best of 15:34.  City of Derry AC athlete Paul McCafferty followed in 16:35 (9th place), before young Conal McCambridge (North Belfast Harriers) crossed the line in a new personal best of 17:07.  

Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) then claimed her second podium place in three days; the City of Derry AC lady finished as runner up in Tuesday’s St Johnston Carrigans 5k but went one better here, topping the podium after leading the ladies home in 18:05.  Peter Lilburn (City of Derry AC) and Gerry Gribbon (North Belfast Harriers) then finished in 18:28 (32nd place) and 18:38 (36th place) respectively.  NI International XC runner Helen Stockdale continued her run of good form, claiming 3rd place in the ladies race, with a new 5k personal best of 19:05.

Marina Campbell (City of Derry AC) crossed the line just six seconds later in 19:11 (4th place lady), while Foyle Valley AC’s Michael Gallagher clocked 19:54 (56th place).  Camilla McGranaghan (City of Derry AC) took nearly thirty seconds off her St Johnston Carrigans 5k time (22:20) when finishing in 21:46, this secured 11th place in the ladies race.  City of Derry AC legend Christy McMonagle ran 21:53 (79th place) to finish just ahead of his club mate Stephanie Campbell (12th place lady - 22:25), while Ita McCambridge (North Belfast Harriers) completed the course in 22:55.  City of Derry AC duo Andrea Furey and Dara Furey finished together, with Andrea crossing the line just before Dara in 27:52 (44th place lady), Dara’s official time was 27:53 (147th place).  Fiona Baylis (City of Derry AC) battled well to finish in 30:20.

Full Results:  Rathmullan 5k Road Race 2013 Results

Eddie McGinley smashes 10,000m personal best at British Championships:

Annadale Striders star produces outstanding performance in Birmingham:

On Friday 12th July 2013, Annadale Striders star Eddie McGinley was in competition at the prestigious Sainsbury’s British Championships in Birmingham, England.  The event also incorporated the British trials for the upcoming World Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Eddie lined up in a strong 10,000m race which included well known British Olympians Andrew Lemoncello (Fife AC) and Scott Overall (Blackheath & Bromley AC).  AAI National 10k bronze medallist, Eddie produced an outstanding performance, clocking a massive new personal best of 29:32.51 to take a brilliant 4th place in a very close race, which was won by Team GB’s American based Andrew Lemoncello in 29:28.72.  Eddie’s new personal best slashed an amazing fifteen seconds off his previous 10,000m best of 29:47.96.

Full Results:  Sainsbury’s British Championships 2013 Results

Harvey exits Euro U23 Championships 400mH competition in cruel fashion:

European Athletics U-23 Championships update:

On Friday 12th July 2013, Northern Ireland based athlete Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) exited the European Athletics U-23 Championships 400m hurdles competition in Tempere, Finland in cruel fashion.

Having put in a strong and confident performance to qualify from Round 1 (Heat 3) in 50.65secs yesterday (Thursday 11th July 2013), Jason was disqualified after a false start in today's Semi Final (Heat 1), which was won by Emir Bekric (Serbia) in 49.83secs.

We have no doubt that Jason will be absolutely gutted with his disqualification; however, when considering the brilliant season the talented 22 year old has had, which has so far seen him record a new 400m hurdles personal best of 50.27secs; play a major part in helping the Ireland 4x400m relay team to victory at the recent European Athletics Team Championships and also pick up numerous regional, national and university titles, Jason should be extremely proud of his achievements.  There is a lot more to come from this young man!  

Jason will now look to make ammends for today's disappointment when he runs in the 4x400m relay event tomorrow (Saturday 13th July 2013).

Full Results:  European U-23 Championships 2013 Results

Jason Harvey begins European Athletics U-23 Championships in style:

European Athletics U-23 Championships update:

On Thursday 11th July 2013, Northern Ireland man Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) kicked off his assault on the 400m hurdles title at the European Athletics U-23 Championships in Tempere, Finland.

The competition will put Jason up against some of Europe’s best athletes, including Great Britain’s Niall Flannery, who interestingly, ran the quickest time in today’s heats (49.97secs).   Current AAI National 400m Champion, Irish University 400m hurdles Champion and NI & Ulster 200m Champion, Jason qualified from Heat 3 after crossing the line in 50.65secs (2nd place).  The Heat was won by Serbian athlete Emir Bekric in 50.48secs.  

The Semi-Finals will take place tomorrow (Friday 12th July 2013).  We (NiRunning) will of course keep you updated in relation to Jason's progress.

Full Results:  European U-23 Championships 2013 Results

Holiday/Weekend Preview:  Attention focused on events outside NI:

NI runners gear up for races in England, Scotland, Finland and Holland...

As we approach the holiday weekend, all appears quiet within the local running scene.  There are no officially recognised fixtures on the Northern Ireland calendar for Friday, Saturday or Sunday; however, should you wish to put a competitive edge to your weekend running, Northern Ireland’s twelve ‘parkrun’ events will all take place on Saturday 13th July 2013 as usual.  If you would like full details of these events, or want to find your nearest parkrun, please visit our special ‘parkrun’ section within our ‘Fixtures’ page.

There are also ‘low key’ events in Castlewellan and Cushendun.  The Castlewellan ‘Relay’ consists of four 2.5km laps around Castlewellan Lake (within Castlewellan Forest Park, County Down).  Teams can range from one person to four people; the event takes place on Saturday 13th July 2013 and starts at 1pm.  On Friday 12th July 2013, the ‘Cushendun King of the Ring’ 10k will take place in County Antrim.  The race is part of the annual village festival and will start in the Cushendun GAA field at 3pm.

Further afield, Northern Ireland runners will be competing against top quality opposition at the Birmingham (England), Edinburgh (Scotland), Utrecht (Holland) and Tempere (Finland) over the weekend.

Annadale Striders’ Eddie McGinley will take on top Team GB stars such as Andrew Lemoncello and Scott Overall in the 10,000m race at the Sainsburys British Championships in Birmingham on Friday 12th July 2013.  Eddie, who won the prestigious Highgate Harriers 10,000m race last month (after running 29:53.37), finished in third place at the AAI National 10k Championships in Dublin April 2013; the talented Belfast man will be aiming to improve his current 10,000m personal best of 29:47.96, and with such a strong field due to participate and his recent form, Eddie has every chance of doing so.

Stephen Scullion (Unattached) will be amongst 8,000 participants at the annual BUPA Great Edinburgh (10k) Run in Scotland on Sunday 14th July 2013. Stephen won the AAI National 10k title at the Great Ireland 10k Run in Dublin (April 2013) after running 30:15 in difficult conditions.  More recently, the London based man collected bronze medals at the NI & Ulster Championships (1500m) and the Belfast International (3,000m).  Despite part of the Great Edinburgh 10k course taking in the hilly, but scenic Holyrood Park, Stephen will once again be hoping to be in or around the podium places.

City of Lisburn AC starlet and Irish School’s 200m Champion, Roseanna McGuckian will compete in the 200m at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht, Holland from Sunday 14th July 2013 until Friday 19th July 2013.

Current NI & Ulster 200m Champion, AAI National 400m Champion and Irish University 400m hurdles Champion, Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) will take on some of Europe’s top talent when he lines up in the 400m hurdles at the prestigious European U-23 Championships in Tempere, Finland from Thursday 11th July until Sunday 14th July 2013.  Jason’s first race will be today (Thursday 11th July 2013).

Northern Ireland runners perform well at Dublin Open Graded Meeting:

Northern Ireland well represented in Dublin:

On Wednesday 10th July 2013, at least six Northern Ireland based athletes travelled to the Morton Stadium, Santry for the Dublin Open Graded Track & Field Meet.  The running schedule included 400m, 800m and 5,000m races for the men and 400m, 800m and 3,000m races for the ladies.

In the men’s 400m ‘D’ race, Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Philip McKinney clocked a new personal best of 56.08secs to claim 2nd place.  The race was won by Niall Finegan (Ratoath AC) in 54.43secs.  Junior athlete Oisin O’Callaghan (Newry AC) produced an excellent performance in the men’s 800m ‘D’ race, winning in a new personal best of 2:00.56.

City of Derry AC duo Declan Reed and Emmett McGinty both lined up in 5,000m events.  Declan took 5th place in the ‘A’ race won by Donore Harriers AC’s John Travers (13:56.99) after crossing the line in 14:51.21.  Emmett finished in 4th place in the ‘B’ race after covering the distance in 15:39.05, the race was won by Robbie Matthews (Dunshaughlin AC) in 15:27.54.

Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC) continued her build up to the European Junior Championships with an emphatic victory in the ladies 400m race.  Aislinn won the ‘A’ race in 56.44secs; this was the fastest ladies 400m time of the night.  North Belfast Harriers’ Claire Connor also had an excellent run in the ladies 3,000m race, taking 2nd place in the ‘B’ race after running 10:43.20.  The race was won by Grace O’Rourke (DSD AC) in 10:40.31.

Full Results:  Dublin Open Graded Meet (Meet 6) 2013 Results

Peter Cassidy and Cheryl Denvir win in Crossgar:

Athletes participate in local event:

On Wednesday 10th July 2013, well-known local football team Kilmore Rec FC hosted a 5 mile road race in Crossgar, County Down.  The event attracted a mixture of club runners, fun runners and several of the local team’s players.

In warm conditions, it was Beechmount Harriers’ Peter Cassidy who crossed the line first.  Peter, a twelfth place finisher in this year’s Belfast City Marathon recorded 29:01 to win.  Unattached athlete Richard Coey continued his impressive run of performances, claiming 2nd place in a new personal best of 30:00; a mere one second away from the coveted sub 30 minute 5 mile finishing time.  Another man who has come to the fore this year, Alan Johnson (Murlough AC) took 3rd place in 30:06.

In the ladies race, East Down AC’s Cheryl Denvir continued her recent prize haul after winning comfortably in 36:21.  However, the race for the remaining podium places was a lot closer, with East Down AC pair Betty McCartan and Oonagh Bretche, and Unattached athlete Pauline Blair all in contention.  In the end it was Pauline (41:52) and Betty (41:59) who secured 2nd place and 3rd place respectively.

Top 3 Men:  1st Peter Cassidy (Beechmount Harriers) – 29:01, 2nd Richard Coey (Unattached) – 30:00, 3rd Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) – 30:06

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC) – 36:21, 2nd Pauline Blair (Unattached) – 41:52, 3rd Betty McCartan (East Down AC) – 41:59

Results:  Kilmore Rec FC 5m Road Race 2013 Results

Shiels wins as Brown and Whoriskey also secure podium places in Lifford:

Northern Ireland clubs well represented in Lifford:

On Tuesday 9th July 2013, a large number of runners attached to Northern Ireland based clubs made the short cross border journey to Lifford (Ireland) for the Lifford AC hosted St Johnston Carrigans 5k Road Race.

After an exciting battle at the front, in-form Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) successfully retained the title he won so impressively last year.  Keith was embroiled in a duel with Letterkenny AC’s Chris Johnston, but the Foyle Valley AC man managed to hold off the local athlete to win in 15:33.26.  Chris took 2nd place in 15:34.85, while City of Derry AC’s James Brown crossed the line in 16:07.09 to secure 3rd place.  City of Derry AC duo JP Williamson (5th place – 16:50.29) and Noel Logan (9th place – 17:10.63), and Foyle Valley AC men Cathal McLaughlin (6th place – 16:57.58) and Stephen Connor (7th place – 17:02.27) also made the top ten.

The ladies race was won by Lifford AC’s Natasha Adams, who improved on her runners up spot from last year, sealing victory in 17:41.94.  City of Derry AC’s leading lady, Catherine Whoriskey ran well to take 2nd place in 18:52.90.  Sara Marie Doherty (Inishowen AC) completed the ladies top three in 20:15.63 (3rd place).  City of Derry AC’s Camilla McGranaghan (5th place – 22:20.58) also finished in the ladies top ten.

Top 3 Men:  1st Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 15:33.26, 2nd Chris Johnston (Letterkenny AC) – 15:34.85, 3rd James Brown (City of Derry AC) – 16:07.09

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Natasha Adams (Lifford AC) – 17:41.94, 2nd Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) – 18:52.90, 3rd Sara Marie Doherty (Inishowen AC) – 20:15.63

Full Results:  St Johnston Carrigans 5k 2013 Results

Amy Foster performs well in World University Games 100m Final:

Amy runs well in World University Games 100m Final:

On Monday 8th July 2013, City of Lisburn AC athlete and joint Northern Ireland 100m record holder, Amy Foster was in competition at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia.

In very poor conditions, so bad that the organisers had to hold up proceedings for fifteen minutes due to torrential rain, Amy produced an excellent performance to claim 5th place in the final.  The University of Ulster student came through very strongly to cross the line in 11.50secs, just 0.01secs outside her personal best for the distance.  The race was won by well-known USA lady Aurieyall Scott in 11.28secs.

Amy had earlier cruised through the Heats and Semi-Final, recording a time of 11.60secs in Sunday’s Heats and 11.61secs in today’s (Monday) Semi-Final, which was run approximately one hour before the final.  

Amy was due to race the 200m at the World University Games, but has decided to withdraw from the event to allow some recovery time before her upcoming races.  However, Amy's performances in the 100m bode well for the remainder of the season as the City of Lisburn AC lady attempts to make the Northern Ireland 100m record her own. 

Full Results:  World University Games 2013 Results

Success for NI runners at AAI National Championships in Tullamore:

Young Northern Ireland runners secure medals at AAI National Championships:

On Saturday 6th July and Sunday 7th July 2013, a host of young Northern Ireland runners were in competition at the Woodies DIY AAI National Juvenile Track & Field Championships in Tullamore, Ireland.

Newry AC star Aislinn Crossey was once again amongst the top performers; the 17 year old, who is preparing for the upcoming European Junior Championships in Italy, was a comfortable winner in the U-19 800m race.  Aislinn won in 2:07.70, finishing eight seconds ahead of West Muskerry AC athlete Rachel O’Shea (2:15.60).  In an exciting U-16 250m hurdles race, City of Lisburn AC’s Ciaran Barnes was awarded joint 1st place with Simon Essuman (Dublin Striders AC), after the pair crossed the line together in 33.20secs and could not be separated.

Jenny O’Brien (City of Derry AC) also collected national gold and bronze medals; Jenny won the U-19 400m hurdles in 68.19secs, before taking 3rd place in the U-19 400m race (61.35secs) won by Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers) in 56.65secs.  Another City of Derry AC lady, Naomi Morgan, ran 14.79secs to claim 2nd place in the U-18 100m hurdles race, which was won by St Joseph’s AC’s Shannon Dawkins in 14.43secs.

In the U-15 100m, North Down AC rising star Oliver Wakefield recorded 11.73secs (2nd place) to secure the runners up spot behind gold medal winner Luke Moris (Newbridge AC), who ran 11.70secs.  Lauren Hutchinson (Newry AC) ran well to take 2nd place in the U-17 800m event, a race won by Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) in 2:17.99.  City of Lisburn AC celebrated as two of their athletes, Bradley Mulholland and Ben Fisher picked up medals in their respective U-14 75m hurdles and U-16 100m races.  Bradley clocked 12.03secs to finish behind Ennis Track Club’s Tony Odobote (11.58secs), while Ben crossed the line in 14.08secs in the 100m race won by Leevale AC’s Jack Murphy (13.75secs).  Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC) completed the Northern Ireland medal haul with an impressive display in U-18 3,000m race.  Ryan covered the distance in 9:15.45 to take 3rd place, the race was won by Andrew Coscoren (Star of the Sea AC) in 8:49.20.

Full Results:  Woodies DIY AAI National Track & Field Championships 2013 Results.  Photograph used about was taken from the City of Derry AC facebook page.

In other Track & Field news:  City of Lisburn AC’s Amy Foster successfully made it through her first 100m heat at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia on Sunday 7th July 2013.  Amy crossed the line in 11.60secs to take 2nd place in Heat 6, which was won by Lina Grincikaite (Lithuania) in 11.52secs. Amy will run in Round 2 of the 100m later today (Monday 8th July 2013).

Useful Link:  World University Games 2013 (Fixtures and Results)

Brendan Quail and Donna Daley win inaugural Burrendale Hotel event:

Burrendale Hotel host 7 mile and 3.5 mile events:

On Sunday 7th July 2013, running enthusiasts from the County Down area gathered at the Burrendale Hotel, Newcastle for the inaugural running of the hotel’s 7 mile road race and associated 3.5 mile fun run.

In summery conditions, it was local man Brendan Quail (Newcastle AC) who impressed most.  Brendan, well-known for his versatility over both road and mountain terrain, broke the tape in 40:01 to win.  Ever improving Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) was the next man home in 41:17 (2nd place), just over a minute ahead of his club mate Michael King (Murlough AC), who recorded 42:21.

Donna Daley (Unattached) was a comfortable winner in the ladies race, crossing the line in 53:19 to finish over five minutes ahead of her nearest rival, Maura King (Club Unknown) who clocked 58:51 for the distance.  Monica McCirckard (Leitrim Ladies) finished just under the one hour mark in 59:34 (3rd place) to complete the top three ladies.  The 3.5 mile event was won by Eamonn Mallon (Unattached) and Ciara Burns (Unattached); Eamonn ran 26:32, while Ciara completed the course in 31:16.

Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Quail (Newcastle AC) – 40:01, 2nd Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) – 41:17, 3rd Michael King (Murlough AC) – 42:21

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Donna Daley (Unattached) – 53:19, 2nd Maura King (Club Unknown) – 58:51, 3rd Monica McCrickard (Leitrim Ladies) – 59:34

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

NI ladies represent Ireland at European Mountain Running Championships:

Gladys O’Neill and Sara Moore represent Ireland in Bulgaria:

On Saturday 6th July 2013, Northern Ireland ladies Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) and Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) represented Ireland at the European Mountain Running Championships in Borovets, Bulgaria.  

Gladys, who was making her International Mountain Running debut, lined up in the Senior Women’s 8.6km race.  This was an uphill only course, with approximately 1,027m of ascending.  In warm conditions, Gladys ran well, completing the tough course in 1:02:11 (41st place).  The race was won by Austria’s World Mountain Running Champion Andrea Mayr in 51:49.  The Ireland team, which also included Kate Cronin (Raheny Shamrock AC) – 25th place in 58:40, Claire McCarthy (Leevale AC) – 35th place in 1:01:05 and Sarah Milligan (DSD AC) – 48th place in 1:04:47 finished in 10th place overall, with Italy being crowned as European Champions.

In the Junior Women’s race, Omagh Harriers’ Sara Moore put in a strong performance.  The up and coming star led the Ireland team home, after covering the 3.5km uphill only course (with 530m of ascending) in 33:49 (33rd place).  Westport AC’s Ellen Moran (34:51) and Tullamore Harriers’ Emily Grennan (35:50) followed in 34th place and 36th place respectively.  The race was won by Melanie Albrecht (Germany) in 25:49, while Russia won the team award; Ireland finished in 9th place overall.

Full Results:  European Mountain Running Championships 2013 Results.  Photograph used above was taken from the IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association) website.

Brendan Teer and Louise Lemon win tough Ballykinlar 10k:

Nearly 100 runners complete "leg sapping" coastal 10k:

On Sunday 7th July 2013, nearly one hundred runners took part in the Ballykinlar 10k (and associated 5k fun run).  The sunny and warm conditions added to the beauty of the tough coastal course, which included nearly 7k on sandy beaches.

Despite the difficult course and warm weather, East Down AC’s Brendan Teer continued his exceptional form which has saw him win no less than nine races this year.  The current NI & Ulster XC Champion used his strength on the leg sapping course to lead the field home in 38:25.  Local man David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) also produced an excellent performance, taking the runner up spot in 39:07 (2nd place).  Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) claimed the final podium place in 41:45.

In the ladies race, Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) enjoyed further success.  The Orangegrove AC lady, who  won the East Antrim Harriers ‘Forest Trail Series’ after winning all four of the ladies races, claimed yet another notable race win, breaking the tape in 50:18.  Susan Smyth (Dromore AC), a prize-winner at the Ballynahinch 10k in April 2013, secured 2nd place in 51:40, while Dromore AC’s Helen McCartan (52:58) just edged out East Down AC’s Lisa Milligan (4th place – 53:09) for 3rd place.

Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 38:25, 2nd David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) – 39:07, 3rd Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) – 41:45

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) – 50:18, 2nd Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) – 51:40, 3rd Helen McCartan (Dromore AC) – 52:58

Full Results:  Ballykinlar 10k 2013 Results

Northern Ireland runners perform well at IMC event:

Northern Ireland runners travel south for IMC event:

On Saturday 6th July 2013, a host of Northern Ireland's top track runners travelled to the Morton Stadium, just outside Dublin for the IMC (Irish Milers Club) – Crusaders GV Ryan Track & Field Meet.  It was a worthwhile trip for many of the Northern Ireland based athletes, with a number coming home with personal bests and podium places.

Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) and older sister, Katie Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) were two of the star performers on the night, with both winning their 800m races.  Conall won his ‘B’ race in a personal best time of 1:51.63, while City of Derry AC’s Pajo Hamilton also had a good run in the same race, finishing in 1:53.29 (5th place); Katie also ran a personal best of 2:07.55 to win the ladies race, which also included City of Lisburn AC’s Erin McIlveen (4th place - 2:09.04), City of Derry AC’s Amy McDaid (7th place - 2:23.05) and Lagan Valley AC’s Emer Magee (9th place – 2:29.00).  

Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) has been running extremely well recently, and continued that form in his 800m ‘D’ race, topping the podium in new personal best time of 1:56.78.  In the same race, Paul O’Neill (Lagan Valley AC) and Cathal Logue (City of Derry AC) ran 2:01.46 (4th place) and 2:05.48 (9th place) respectively.  East Down AC’s Neil McCartan clocked 1:58.43 to finish in 5th place in the 800m ‘C’ race won by Dermot McDermott (Unattached) in 1:56.03.

North Down AC man Kenny Elliot enjoyed two podium finishes, taking 2nd place (11.13secs) in the 100m race won by Paul Whelan (Clonliffe Harriers) in 11.03secs, and 3rd place in the 200m (22.60secs) won by Patrick Whelan (Unattached) in 22.06secs.  Conor McLaughlin (Strabane AC) also competed in two events; in his 200m race, Conor finished just outside the top three in 24.36secs (4th place).  The race (as previously mentioned) was won by Patrick Whelan (Unattached) in 22.06secs.  In his more favourable 400m race, Conor claimed 2nd place in 49.27secs; Eoin Mulhall (Crusaders AC) won this race in 48.14secs.

James O’Hare (Annadale Striders) and Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC) lined up in the 1500m ‘A’ race, with James achieving a 2nd place finish in a new personal best of 3:48.33.  Gareth recorded 3:52.69, finishing just outside the medal positions in 4th place.  The race was won by Donore Harriers front man John Travers in 3:47.61.  In the ladies 1500m, North Down AC star Rachel Gibson ran a new personal best of 4:42.43 (6th place).  Ciara Durkan (Skerries AC) won in 4:25.22.

In the men’s 3,000m, Northern Ireland was well represented.  Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders) ran a seasons best of 8:27.63 to take 4th place, with Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) following in 8:36.43 (7th place).  European Junior XC star Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC) recorded 8:45.37 (11th place) for the distance, while Emmett McGinty (City of Derry AC) crossed the line in 9:00.10 (13th place).  The race was won by John Byrne (Unattached) in 8:19.56.

Full Results:  IMC – Crusaders GV Ryan Track & Field Meet (Morton Stadium) 2013 Results

Paul Barbour and Anne-Marie McGlynn enjoy success in Strabane:

Barbour wins close men’s race, while McGlynn excels in ladies event:

On Saturday 7th July 2013, nearly two hundred runners toed the line for the annual Strabane 10k road race in County Tyrone, an event organised by the Strabane and District Council.

In warm conditions, the crowds were treated to a close and exciting men’s race, with Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers), Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) and James Brown (City of Derry AC) battling it out for top spot.  In the end, it was Paul who edged it.  The Omagh Harriers man who has enjoyed success at the Dromore 10k and Killyclougher 10k recently, won in 33:18.  James followed in 33:29 (2nd place), with Chris (33:38) just nine seconds behind in 3rd place.

The ladies race wasn’t just as close, but still produced some notable performances.  Anne-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC), winner of the Omagh Half Marathon and a lady who has been running well on the track over the last few months, claimed the honours; Anne-Marie clocked 37:22 to win, while Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers), who won the Dromore 10k two weeks ago, secured 2nd place in 39:04.  Unattached athlete Jacqueline O’Donnell completed the podium finishers in 45:04 (3rd place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) – 33:18, 2nd James Brown (City of Derry AC) – 33:29, 3rd Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) – 33:38

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Anne-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) – 37:22, 2nd Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) – 39:04, 3rd Jacqueline O’Donnell (Unattached) – 45:04

Full Results:  Strabane 10k 2013 Results

Northern Ireland athlete helps WSEH AC to UK Athletics League match win:

Kerry Harty wins Steeplechase event at Sports City:

On Saturday 6th July 2013, Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) represented Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC at the UK Athletics Women’s (Premier) League fixture at Sports City, Manchester.

Kerry lined up in the 2,000m Steeplechase event and produced a personal best performance, taking a massive six seconds off her previous best for the distance after crossing the line to win the race in 6:35.50.  This time was a Women’s League record for the distance and Kerry’s podium topping performance also added valuable points to Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC’s overall standings; they went on to win the match, which was the second of three.

Kerry was understandably happy with the outing after what she described as a “disappointing” performance at last weekend’s BMC meet in Watford.  Things are looking positive for the talented Newcastle AC lady as she prepares for upcoming races, the next of which will be a 3,000m Steeplechase in Germany in two weeks.

Full Results:  UK Athletics Women’s League (Sports City) 2013 Results

David Simpson and Shalene McMurray win Tollymore Trail Race:

Athletes enjoy well organised Mourne Runners event:

On Saturday 6th July 2013, Mourne Runners welcomed athletes to a very warm and scenic Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle for their Tollymore Trail Race.  

The tough course, which measured approximately 8.5 miles, started at ‘Monument’ before heading into the depths of the tree’s and through the forest towards Iveagh Bridge, where runners would then move onto the ‘black route’ forest trail.  The athletes then re-appeared from the forest to finish below the main car park, close to where they started.

As the masses set off down the hill and into the forest, a strong group of men had taken up position at the front, this included David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners), Don Travers (Newry City Runners), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), Emmett McAlister (Ballymena Runners), Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners) and Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners).  Within the crowds, ex-Mourne Runners star Shalene McMurray (nee Ward), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC) appeared to be the leading ladies.

Around the half-way point, David Simpson had taken up a position at the head of the field and was being pursued by Don Travers, Neil Carty, Stephen Cunningham and David McNeilly; there was a gap between the men but not enough to be comfortable.  Shalene McMurray was leading the ladies race, with a fairly decent gap between herself and the in-form Gillian Wasson.  East Down AC’s Cheryl Denvir was behind Gillian, while Anne Sandford and Ballymena Runners’ Shelley Tomlins were also running well in fourth and fifth place.

As the sun bathing spectators peered into the trees for the first signs of the leaders, it was the Mourne Way Marathon winner David Simpson who appeared first.  The talented Ballydrain Harriers man, who had already completed a morning training session (consisting of a 25 mile cycle and a run up Slieve Donard), moved into the finishing straight and covered the remaining yards quickly to cross the line in 53:10.  Don Travers took a well-deserved 2nd place in 53:25, while regular podium placer Neil Carty claimed 3rd place in 53:39.

In the ladies race, Shalene McMurray celebrated her return to competition with a comfortable victory in 59:33, before Gillian Wasson was rewarded for another top performance; the Springwell Running Club athlete clocked 1:02:53 to secure 2nd place.  Cheryl Denvir, a lady who has impressed on the roads recently, showed her versatility to take 3rd place in 1:09:26.

Top 3 Men:  1st David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers) – 53:10, 2nd Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 53:25, 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 53:39

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Shalene McMurray (Unattached) – 59:33, 2nd Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) – 1:02:53, 3rd Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC) – 1:09:26

Full Results:  Tollymore Trail Race 2013 Results.  A selection of race photographs have been uploaded to our ‘Photo Gallery’.

Connor Magill and Maeve Lavery win Greyabbey 10k road race:

Connor Magill returns to competition in style:

On Friday 5th July 2013, running enthusiasts from across the province descended on the County Down village of Greyabbey for the weekend ‘curtain raiser’, the Greyabbey 10k road race, an event hosted by the Northern Ireland Civil Service Athletic Club (NICS AC).

In good running conditions, it was North Belfast Harriers man Connor Magill, who was returning to competition after a long spell out through injury, who took the top honours.  Connor put on an excellent display of controlled front running to seal victory in 33:51.  Experienced distance runner, Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers), took 2nd place in 36:11, while Gary Keenan (Orangegrove AC) claimed the final podium place in 36:58.

Regular Queen’s parkrun winner, Maeve Lavery (DUB Runners) won the ladies race in 40:17, before Amanda Perry made sure that North Belfast Harriers were represented on the female podium; having enjoyed a top ten finish at the Ards Half Marathon seven days ago, Amanda continue her good form to cross the line in 41:58 (2nd place).  Jodi Smith (North Down AC) completed the ladies top three in 44:56.

Top 3 Men:  1st Connor Magill (North Belfast Harriers) – 33:51, 2nd Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers) – 36:11, 3rd Gary Keenan (Orangegrove AC) – 36:58

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Maeve Lavery (DUB Runners) – 40:17, 2nd Amanda Perry (North Belfast Harriers) – 41:58, 3rd Jodi Smith (North Down AC) – 44:56

Full Results:  Greyabbey 10k 2013 Results

Weekend Preview:  A busy weekend ahead for Northern Ireland runners:

Plenty of races to choose from for running enthusiasts in Northern Ireland:

As Northern Ireland awaits the much anticipated weekend ‘heat wave’, runners from across the province will be preparing themselves for another busy three days of competition.  There are at least six races (not including parkruns) across Northern Ireland from Friday 5th July 2013 to Sunday 7th July 2013, with two notable events also taking place in Ireland.  

Three of the aforementioned events, the Tollymore Trail Race, Ballykinlar 10k and the Burrendale Hotel 7 mile road race all take place within close proximity to each other in County Down, begging the question (or thought), would the organisers have attracted more participants had they of selected alternate weekends?  Anyway, we hope all the races get good support!

The action once again begins on Friday night (5th July 2013), with two events taking place.  The first race we will look at is the Greyabbey 10k, an event hosted by the Northern Ireland Civil Service Athletic Club.  

Brendan Teer (East Down AC) is a likely starter and will prove difficult to be beat should he toe the line.  The local man has been in excellent form this year, and currently holds the NI & Ulster Junior XC title.  Brendan has also won the Ballynahinch 10k, Albertville 5, Les Jones 10k, Loughinisland 5.05m and Castlewellan 10k in recent months.  Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers), Richard Coey (Unattached), Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers) and Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) all enjoyed impressive outings at last week’s Ards Half Marathon and will hope to come off the back of those performances with high placings here, should they run.  Willowfield Harriers’ David Proctor and Larne AC duo Craig Hutchinson and Bernard Brady will also run well.

East Down AC club mates Cheryl Denvir and Catherine O’Connor will be considered as pre-race favourites.  Cheryl just pipped Catherine to the post to win the Loughinisland 5.05 mile race last week, but Catherine has been consistently good throughout 2013, picking up podium places at the Castle Ward 10k, Downpatrick Lions 14k and the Loughinisland 5.05m race.  Should both ladies turn out, it will make for an interesting dual.  Mary Mackin (Dromore AC), Gillian Douglas (Unattached), Diane Watson (City of Lisburn AC) and North Down AC trio Jill Aiken, Sarah Benton and Helen Ryan should be in or around the top ten should they decide to compete.

Also on Friday 5th July 2013, Ballyhegan Davitts GAC club will hold the 2nd annual running of their Ballyhegan Park ‘n’ Stride 10k (and associated 5k) in County Armagh.  This event was originally intended to be a one off race in 2012, but because of the positive feedback the Loughgall based club received, they decided to make it an annual event.

It is expected that the majority of participants will be local fun runners and players attached to Ballyhegan Davitts; however, there should be a number of club athletes on the start line.  This may well include last year’s winner, Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC).  The City of Derry AC man won two of the Newcastle AC hosted Hill & Dale races and is well used to the podium; unless local men Stephen Kerr (Armagh AC) and Richard Turkington (Armagh AC) make use of the proximity of the event and race, Allan should retain his trophy.  Brian Young (Unattached) and Geoff Smyth (Unattached) could also be front runners if they enter on the night.

There is little information available on the ladies field, but Ciara Coffey (Club Pulse), Anne Killen (Unattached), Joan Melonophy (St Peter’s AC), Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) and Sharon Williamson (Unattached) may be possible contenders.  Ciara and Gillian would be the two stand out performers; Ciara is a very talented lady but races sparingly, she (Ciara) very rarely fails to make the podium when she competes, while Gillian would be the more ‘well known’ of the pair. The Dromore AC lady is a regular winner of the Craigavon ‘City Park’ parkrun.

On Friday 5th July 2013, there will be another notable event taking place in County Armagh.  Local man and well respected endurance athlete, Paul Nesbitt (Unattached) will take on a 100 mile challenge in Gosford Forest, just outside Armagh.  Paul will start his charity challenge at 6pm and run fourteen 7 mile loops of Gosford Forest Park, which will take him to the 100 mile mark.  If you are in the area, stop off and give Paul some moral support.

On Saturday 6th July 2013, Mourne Runners will welcome Mountain, Road and Trail running enthusiasts to their Tollymore Trail Race, just outside Newcastle (County Down).  The event is the sixth race in this year’s NIMRA Grand Prix Series.

The 14k course will start at ‘Monument’ and take competitors around the trails of Tollymore Forest Park, it is expected that a large number of participants will turn out for the race.  David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers), Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners), David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) and Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) will head the field.  David was crowned the winner of the East Antrim Harriers ‘Forest Trail Series’ and also won the Mourne Way Marathon last month.  The faster running terrain will also really suit the Newcastle AC men; however, both Andrew and Neil are known for their speed on the trails, which sets things up nicely for a close contest.  Other men likely to be close to the front are Emmett McAlister (Ballymena Runners), David Steele (Newcastle AC), Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers), Luke McMullan (Newcastle AC) and recent ‘Bob Graham Round’ hero Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners).

As ever, the ladies race will be hugely competitive; recently we have continually put the emphasis on the exciting battles between friends Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC).  However, just last week, Springwell Running Club’s Gillian Wasson produced an excellent performance to win the final Hill & Dale Race of 2013 in Drinahilly, beating Shileen in the process.  Although her talent was never in doubt, this was a ‘step up’ from Gillian and a win that shows that she is well capable of challenging for honours on a regular basis.  Should all three of the brilliant ladies start the race, this will be an excellent spectacle and one worth watching! 

It’s not only about the top three though, with excellent runners such as Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), Violet Linton (BARF), Joanne Curran (BARF) and Virginia Ervine (Mourne Runners) in pursuit; Shileen, Gillian and Diane will know that they will have to continue their good form to stave off any challenge.

Also on Saturday 6th July 2013, athletes from across the province will descend on Strabane, County Tyrone for the annual Strabane 10k, organised by Strabane District Council.

City of Derry AC’s Richard Johnston could be joined on the start line by Foyle Valley AC trio Keith Shiels, Scott Rankin and Pius McIntyre.  All four men have been running well of late, Richard won the Active Antrim 5 mile road race last month and has enjoyed podium places at the Fairhill 5 and Les Jones 10k, as well as a bronze medal at the Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships.  Scott finished one place ahead of Richard at the ANI 5k (Road) Championships, taking the silver medal; but it was Scott’s performance at the Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race last week that showed how far he has progressed this year, he won the race in an incredible 52:14, demolishing his previous personal best for the distance by three minutes.

Keith is another man smashing personal bests for fun; he took an amazing fourteen minutes of his previous Half Marathon Pb, when collecting a bronze medal at the Athletics NI Half Marathon Championships in Ards seven days ago.  Pius secured a new course record when winning the Hillview 4 mile road race in 21:33 two weeks ago, showing that he is well and truly back to his best.  Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC), Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers), Damian Cox (Omagh Harriers) and Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) will all be hoping to finish well up the pack.

The ladies race may be dominated by ladies from just over the border.  Last year’s champion, Teresa McGloin (Finn Valley AC), who has impressed at the SPAR Great Ireland Run, the Bristol 10k and the Manchester 10k, where she finished in or around the top ten against some of the world’s best female competitors, will be a strong contender should she attempt to retain her prize.  Anne-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC), Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix AC), and Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) could be joined at the head of the field by Omagh Harriers pair Julie Butler and Miread McCann.

On Saturday 6th July and Sunday 7th July 2013, a number of up and coming Northern Ireland athletes will travel south for the Woodies DIY AAI National Juvenile Track & Field Championships in Tullamore, County Offaly (Ireland).

There is a wealth of talent from Northern Ireland due to compete, this includes Paddy Robb (St Malachy’s AC), Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC), Martin Mellon (Mid Ulster AC), Emer Magee (Lagan Valley AC),  Christie Conlon (Beechmount Harriers), Conor Magee (Beechmount Harriers), Ryan Carmichael (Newry AC), Aoife Laverty (City of Derry AC), Jenny O'Brien (City of Derry AC), Alan Curtis (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC), Jack McKibbin (Dromore AC), Anna Lawther (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Connor McQuillan (North Belfast Harriers), Shane McGowan (City of Derry AC), Jack McCloskey (City of Derry AC), Bridie Magee (Balmoral Harriers), Oisin O'Callaghan (Newry AC), Jake Harbinson (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Rachel Brown (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Ben McKeown (Ballymena & Antrim AC) amongst others.

A large number of Northern Ireland based runners will also travel to the Irish Milers Club (IMC) organised Crusaders GV Ryan Track & Field Meet at the Morton Stadium, Santry, Dublin (Ireland) on the evening of Saturday 6th July 2013.

North Down AC’s Kenny Elliot will take on the 100m and 200m events, while Conor McLaughlin (Strabane AC) will race in the 400m competition.  There is a host of familiar names due to compete in the men’s and ladies 800m races, these include:  Michael Dyer (North Down AC), Pajo Hamilton (City of Derry AC), Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC), Neil McCartan (East Down AC), Paul O’Neill (Lagan Valley AC), Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders), Cathal Logue (City of Derry AC), Amy McDaid (City of Derry AC), Katie Kirk (Lagan Valley AC), Erin McIlveen (City of Lisburn AC) and Emer Magee (Lagan Valley AC).

Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will be joined in the 1500m by Annadale Striders pair James O’Hare and Owen Carelton, while Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) and Emma Mitchell (Banbridge AC) will compete in the ladies race.  The 3,000m event will include current Athletics NI 5k (Road) title holder Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) and his club mates Gary Slevin, Emmet McGinty and Noel Logan.  Jordan Stokes (North Down AC), Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders) and Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC) will also compete.

On Sunday 7th July 2013, there are two notable events in County Down; the Ballykinlar 10k and the Burrendale Hotel 7 mile road race.  The close proximity of the events and the fact that the Tollymore Trail Race is listed for the Saturday (6th July 2013) makes it difficult to predict who will turn out for the races.

The Ballykinlar 10k will start from the Ballykinlar GAC playing fields and takes the runners on a 6.1 mile journey along the East Down Coastline.  Several of the Newcastle AC members who complete the Tollymore Trail Race could well turn out for this as well, as could any Greyabbey 10k participants, who will have had an extra 24 hours rest.  Brendan Teer (East Down AC) may decide to race, if so, he could face competition from the likes of David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC), Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) and David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), who will all excel over the tough sandy terrain.  Other top ten hopefuls will be Conal Stewart (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Thomas Leitch (Orangegrove AC) and Declan Trainor (Unattached).

Should Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) enter, she will go into the race as strong favourite.  After winning nearly every race she has entered in the last six months, Karen was forced to settle for third place at the Ards Half Marathon, so the talented International lady will be keen to get back to winning ways. Winner of the East Antrim Harriers ‘Forest Trail Series’, Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) will also be amongst the leading ladies.  Having won all four of the EAH races, Louise will go into this race high in confidence, but will still need to be at her best to fend off the likes of Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) and Patricia McKibbin (Murlough AC).

In Newcastle, the Burrendale Hotel will be the race HQ for the Burrendale Hotel 7 mile road race, which also incorporates a 3.5 mile race.  This race is expected to attract local fun runners, but may tempt a few well-known club runners; the unique 7 mile distance may appeal to those wanting to incorporate the race as part of a longer Sunday run.  Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) should be amongst the leaders if he decides to take part; while the ladies race could include Alan’s club mate Donna McCusker, who will place well.  Niamh Kellet (Unattached) and Jade Lavery (Unattached) should also finish well up the field.

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

Pure Running Half Marathon Series overall standings now taking shape:

Pure Running Half Marathon Series update from ChampionChip Ireland:

The latest rankings have been released following the sixth race in the Pure Running Half Marathon Series in Ards (last Friday, 28th June 2013).  Nineteen runners have completed all six races to date and are on course for the special garment at the awards in October 2013.  They are all listed on the rankings table (link available below) along with the category leaders.

There has not been much change in the overally standings since our last update, since it will take the next two races in Dervock and Cookstown before anyone has completed the requisite six to see who has staked a claim to a category prize.  The closest category became even closer after Ards Half Marathon when Gareth Grew (North Belfast Harriers) came home over 3 minutes ahead of M45 leader Mark Walker (Unattached), thus overturned the 27secs advantage Mark had held.  Gareth now leads the category by just under 3 minutes with John McConnell (Unattached) also closing on Mark.

Dervock Half Marathon, which is part of the Kennedy Kane McArthur ‘Festival of Running’, is the next venue to be visited on Saturday 20th July 2013, with the Cookstown Half Marathon to follow on Sunday 4th August 2013, this race is also part of the prestigious World Police and Fire Games.  The newest race this year will be the Groomsport Half Marathon on Sunday 18th August 2013.  Entry to this race will be open through Athletics NI soon.

Full Details:  Pure Running Half Marathon Series Overall Standings (updated 2nd July 2013)

Northern Ireland runners set for events in Wales, Finland, Italy and Russia:

NIMRA and Athletics Ireland names teams for events in Wales, Finland, Italy and Russia:

A host of Northern Ireland runners have been informed of their selection to represent Northern Ireland and Ireland at events in Wales, Finland, Italy and Russia.

On Tuesday 2nd July 2013, NIMRA (Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association) have announced the male and female teams to represent Northern Ireland at the upcoming Snowdon International Mountain Race in Wales on Saturday 20th July 2013.

The four person men’s team is made up of Gavin Mulholland (Calder Valley Fell Runners), Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) and Iain Whiteside (Carnethy HRC), while Justin Maxwell (Unattached) will be a non-travelling reserve.  The ladies team will include Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) and Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC), with Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) being the non-travelling ladies reserve. Anne Sandford will be the team captain.  

In other news, Northern Ireland man Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) will represent Ireland at the European Under 23 Championships in Tampere, Finland between the 11th and 14th July 2013.  Jason, a member of the winning Ireland 4x400m relay team at the recent European Athletics Team Championships, will compete in the 400m hurdles.  The full Ireland team is available HERE.

Up and coming Newry AC star Aislinn  Crossey will also represent Ireland at the European Junior Championships in Rieti, Italy between the 18th and 21st of July 2013.  Aislinn has been in outstanding form of late, achieving the qualification standard for these Championships at the recent MPT International, and winning the U-20 AAI National 800m title just last Sunday in Tullamore, Ireland.  Aislinn will compete over 800m at the Championships.

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) will be part of the Ireland team at the World University Games in Kazan, Russia (between the 6th and 17th July 2013).  The joint Northern Ireland 100m record holder will compete in both the 100m and 200m events.  Full details of the Ireland team are available HERE.

You can see news articles from June 2013 HERE, or by using the website navigation bar at the top of the screen.

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