Northern Ireland Running

Click here to edit subtitle

NI track stars compete at events in Watford and Birmingham:

Local runners travel to England for prestigious events:

On Sunday 30th June 2013, runners from Northern Ireland took on talented athletes from around the world at the BMC (British Milers Club) Track & Field meeting in Watford, England.

Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Steven Morrow ran well to win the 1500m ‘F’ race in a new personal best time of 3:54.29.  Annadale Striders duo Eddie McGinley and Andrew Agnew lined up in the 5,000m ‘B’ race; Eddie clocked 14:34.63 (10th place), while Andrew crossed the line in 14:45.38 (14th place).  The race was won by Marius Vedvik (Norway) in 14:14.56.  In the 3,000m Steeplechase, Newcastle AC’s Kerry Harty ran 10:33.93 to finish in 4th place.  The race was won by Charlotta Fougberg (Sweden) in 9:57.10.

Paralympic hero’s Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) and Sally Brown (Springwell Running Club) were also in action in England over the weekend.  The pair were competing at the IPC Final in Birmingham on Saturday 29th June 2013.  Double gold medallist Michael won his T36/37 800m race in 2:00.08, while Sally, who was proudly sporting her Springwell Running Club vest, just missed out on a podium place in a close T43-46 100m race.  Sally finished in 4th place after running 13.87secs, the race was won by Sophie Kamlish (Great Britain) in 13.56secs.

Full Results:  BMC T&F Meet (Watford) 2013 Results and IPC Final (Birmingham) 2013 Results

Athletes from NI enjoy a busy and successful weekend in Tullamore:

Tailteann Games – AAI National Under 20 Championships – AAI Natioanl Under 23 Championships:

Over the course of this weekend (Saturday 28th June and Sunday 29th June 2013), a large number of Northern Ireland based runners have been in action at the Tullamore Harriers Stadium in Tullamore, Ireland. 

On Saturday, Junior athletes represented Ulster (and their schools/colleges) at the Tailteann Games. Top performers on the day were Megan Marrs (Strathern Belfast) and Rosseanna McGuickian (Ballymena Academy). Megan won the 100m in 12.16secs and the 80m hurdles in 11.67secs, while Roseanna also completed an excellent double in the 200m (24.80secs) and 300m (40.23secs).  The Ulster girls 4x100m and 4x300m relay teams also picked up gold medals, winning in 47.81secs and 2:44.76 respectively.

Wallace High School’s Ikenna Nzweni won the boy’s 100m in 11.36secs and finished in 3rd place in the 200m, after clocking 22.98secs in the race won by Sullivan Upper student Chris Jordan (22.89secs).  Martin McGeady (St Columbs) won the 400m race in 51.03secs.  Three NI based runners lined up for the 800m race, with St Columbs Shane McGowan (2:01.15), Wellington College’s Jack McKibbin (2:03.25) and St Columbs Conor Breslin (2:04.54) finishing 5th place, 7th place and 11th place.  The race was won by Jack Reid (SJ R/Bridge) in 1:58.35.

On Sunday, Northern Ireland clubs were just as well represented at the Woodies DIY AAI National Under 20 and Under 23 Championships.  This gave athletes the opportunity to reach the qualification standards and impress selectors for the upcoming European Junior Championships (Italy) and the European Under 23 Championships (Finland).

Despite the poor weather conditions, it was an incredibly successful day for the travelling Northern Ireland contingent, with many achieving podium places. Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) won the U-20 800m event, covering the distance in 1:54.71.  His sister, Katie Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) also picked up a gold medal after winning the U-23 800m race in 2:13.04, while the in-form Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC) topped the U-20 800m standings with another top performance.  Young Aislinn, who achieved a European Junior Championship qualifying standard at the MPT International last week, recorded 2:11.14 on this occasion.

Mark McGarvey (City of Derry AC) and Rebecca McAllister (Ballymena & Antrim AC) also celebrated victory.  Mark won the U-20 110m hurdles in a European Junior Championships qualifying time of 14.77secs, while Rebecca crossed the line in 15.68secs to seal an impressive win in the U-23 100m hurdles. City of Derry AC’s Jenny O’Brien (65.74secs) has been running well recently and collected a bronze medal after finishing in 3rd place in the 400m hurdles race won by Nessa Millet (St Abbans AC) in 60.62secs.  City of Lisburn AC’s Megan Marrs (12.03secs) swapped her the Ulster vest that had brought her a brilliant double success over 80m (hurdles) and 100m the previous day, for her club colours and collected silver after finishing as runner up to Bandon AC’s Patricia Healy (11.80secs) in the U-20 100m race.

In the U-20 ladies 1500m race, Yasmin Wilson (Unattached) claimed 2nd place in 4:53.27, behind race winner Amy O’Donoghue (Emerald AC), who clocked 4:47.41 for the distance.  Paddy Robb (St Malachy’s AC) has enjoyed an excellent season so far, and was rewarded with a new personal best in his U-20 1500m race with a bronze medal, after covering the distance in 4:06.38.  Mark Carey (Clonmel AC) won the race in 4:05.85.  Another St Malachy’s AC star, Ben Branagh (16:29.23) claimed an excellent 2nd place in the U-20 5,000m race, which was won by David Fitzgibbon (Donore Harriers) in 15:59.41.

Ballymena & Antrim AC’s leading lady Christine McMahon ran 62.72secs to take 2nd place in the U-23 400m hurdles.  Gabriel Coveney (DSD AC) topped the podium after winning in 59.89secs.  North Down AC celebrated a double triumph when Mark Patterson and Adam McComb won bronze medals in their respective U-23 800m and 400m races.  Mark ran 1:53.73 in the 800m race won by David McBrearty (Letterkenny AC) in 1:51.73, while Adam (48.58secs) just pipped another NI man, Lagan Valley AC’s Ben Maze (48.59secs), to the post to finish in 3rd place in the close 400m race.  Timmy Crowe (Doonen AC) took gold in 48.42secs.

There were two more medals for local athletes in the U-23 5,000m races; Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) finished in 3rd place in the men’s race, crossing the line in 15:21.83, while Banbridge AC’s Emma Mitchell ran 19:35.71 to take 2nd place in the ladies race.  Liam Brady (Tullamore Harriers AC) and Mary O’Sullivan (Raheny Shamrocks AC) won the races in 15:08.40 and 18:03.24 respectively.

Full Results:  Tailteann Games 2013 Results and AAI National U-20 & U-23 Championships 2013 Results.  Photograph used above was taken from the Athletics Ireland website.

Northern Ireland runners perform well in Mont Blanc events:

McCollam, Evans and Maxwell perform well at Mont Blanc Festival:

This weekend, three Northern Ireland runners performed well in races associated with the Mont Blanc Marathon in Chamonix, France.  As part of the weekend of racing, there was a variety of events to choose from, including the Vertical Kilometre (3.5km with 1,000m of ascending), an Ultra Marathon (77.99km with 6,041m of ascending) and a Marathon (42.195km with 2,511m of ascending).

The action kicked off on Friday 28th June 2013, when four hundred competitors took on the gruelling Vertical Km (otherwise known as the ‘VK’).  Larne AC’s Mervyn McCollam (Larne AC) covered the uphill only course in 1:11:53 (308th place).  The race was won by Saul Antonio Padua Rodriguez (Colombia) in 34:34.

On Saturday 29th June 2013, Dave Evans (BARF) completed the 77.99km Ultra Marathon.  The course included an incredible total ascent of 6,041m and attracted nearly five hundred hardy runners.  Dave battled well to cross the line in 22:58:54 (423rd place).  The race was won by Francois Dhane (Team Salomon) in 9:45:57.

On Sunday 30th June 2013, Justin Maxwell (Unattached) toed the line of the Mont Blanc Marathon, which was part of the World Skyrunning Series.  Up against a quality field of two thousand athletes, Justin put in a quality performance, progressing through the field well to finish in 4:27:31 (38th place).  The race was won by Killian Jornet (Team Salomon) in a new course record of 3:30:41.

Seapark AC duo complete Waterford Viking Marathon:

Seapark AC athletes compete in Waterford Viking Marathon:

On Saturday 29th June 2013, Seapark AC duo Gillian Cordner and Gary Connolly travelled to Waterford, Ireland for the 2nd annual running of the Waterford Viking Marathon; the event also includes a Marathon Relay and Half Marathon.

Both Gillian and Gary completed the infamous Hadrians Wall Ultra (69 miles) last weekend, but that did not deter the pair from taking to the start line for the 26.2 mile race. Gillian achieved a top ten finish in the ladies category after crossing the line in 3:41:40, while Gary completed the course in 3:51:17 (161st place).

The men’s race was won by Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers), a regular competitor in Northern Ireland, in 2:28:05. Another athlete that running fans in NI would be aware of, Pauline Curley (Tullamore Harriers), secured victory in the ladies race after running 2:49:39.

Full Results:  Waterford Viking Marathon 2013 Results

Northern Ireland runners take on opening race of Dublin Marathon series:

Irish Runner 5 mile race kick starts Dublin Marathon race series:

On Saturday 29th June 2013, at least eight Northern Ireland runners joined nearly 3,000 competitors at the Irish Runner 5 mile road race in Phoenix Park, Dublin.  This event is the first of four races organised by the Dublin Marathon in the run up to their main 26.2 mile race, which will take place on Monday 28th October 2013.

In wet conditions, North Belfast Harriers’ Conor Curran excelled.  The Northern Ireland International XC runner covered the course in a new personal best time of 26:40 (15th place).  Orangegrove AC’s Paul Woodman followed in 29:31 (60th place), with City of Lisburn AC athlete Paul Ervine (93rd place – 30:36) just over a minute behind.  Albertville Harriers’ David Allen ran well, clocking 31:26 (120th place); Armagh AC’s Stephen Toal recorded 32:44 (213th place), before Michael McKeown (East Down AC), a competitor at last night’s (Friday 28th June 2013) Ards Half Marathon, completed his second race in less than twenty four hours in 33:52 (309th place).  Anthony Lavery (Albertville Harriers) battled well to finish in 33:44 (534th place).

The men’s race was won by Robbie Matthews (Dunshaughlin AC) in 24:58, while Maria McCambridge (DSD AC) claimed the top honours in the ladies race.  The former Irish Olympian recorded 26:42 (120th place) to win. 

Full Results:  Irish Runner 5 mile Race 2013

Declan Reed and Denise Toner take top honours in Enniskillen:

Record numbers take on Enniskillen 10k:

On Saturday 29th June 2013, nine hundred athletes descended on Lakeland Forum in County Fermanagh, the home of the Enniskillen ‘parkrun’.  However, on this occasion, the runners were not taking on the 5k time trial, but instead they faced an undulating 10k race; the Enniskillen 10k, hosted by Fermanagh District Council and Fermangh Rotary Club.

Athletics NI 5k (Road) Champion Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) was a dominant force throughout, securing victory in 32:15; a good time considering the course.  The battle for 2nd place went right to the wire, with young Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club) and Dublin based runner Tudor Moldovan (Unattached) both crossing the line 32:55; Tudor was awarded the runners up spot, with Conan (32:55) settling for 3rd place.

The ladies race wasn’t just as exciting; Clones AC star Denise Toner worked hard and was rewarded with a win.  The current NI & Ulster Intermediate XC Champion sealed victory in 38:51.  Local lady, Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) continued her impressive rise through the ranks with a 2nd place finish, recording 40:34 for the distance.  The final ladies podium place went to Irish lady Niamh Leonard (Unattached), who ran 43:11 (3rd place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) – 32:15, 2nd Tudor Moldovan (Unattached) – 32:55, 3rd Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club) – 32:55

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Denise Toner (Clones AC) – 38:51, 2nd Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) – 40:34, 3rd Niamh Leonard (Unattached) – 43:11

Full Results:  Enniskillen 10k 2013 Results

Northern Ireland runners compete in Alec Fennell 5k road race:

Dromore AC star just misses podium place in Dundalk:

On Friday 28th June 2013, several Northern Ireland based runners made the short border crossing to Dundalk, Ireland for the Alec Fennell 5k road race, an event that is well known for it’s family orientated theme, with several races for junior athletes before the ‘main event’.

After watching Adam McKibbin (Dromore AC) and Matthew Corbett (Dromore AC) pick up prizes in the boys 600m race, Nigel McKibbin (Dromore AC), Gavin Crilly (Newry City Runners) and Pat Rocks (Newry City Runners) took their place on the start line.

In a field of nearly one hundred and fifty runners, Nigel led the Northern Ireland contingent home in 17:03 (4th place), missing out on a podium place by a mere five seconds.  Gavin Crilly followed in 18:18 (13th place), while his experienced club mate Pat Rocks (29th place – 19:57) crossed the line just under the twenty minute mark.  The men’s race was won by Brian McCluskey (North East Runners), while Denise Murphy (Club Unknown) took top spot in the ladies race in 21:01.

Full Results:  Alec Fennell 5k Road Race Results

Jonny Steede and Gillian Wasson win final Hill & Dale race of 2013:

Steede and Wasson win final race, while Cunningham and O'Kane top overall standings:

On Friday 28th June 2013, Newcastle AC hosted the final race of their extremely popular and well organised Hill & Dale Series 2013. On this occasion, the venue of choice was Donard Park for the Drinahilly 3 mile course, which included approximately 1,080ft of ascending.

Ballymena Runners’ Jonny Steede returned to competition for the first time since his amazing performance in the 26extreme/Lost Worlds 100k race in May (2013) and showed that he is still in top form, despite his well-earned break; Jonny won the race in a new course record of 21:19. Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC), who has won two races in the series, took 2nd place in 21:29. Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), one of the most consistent mountain runners in the country, claimed 3rd place in 21:51.

In the ladies race, the much anticipated duel between Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) did not happen as Diane decided not to race. Anyone would be forgiven for thinking that this left the door open for Shileen to secure her seventh victory in the series; however, Springwell Running Club’s brilliant Gillian Wasson stepped up to the mark, putting in a notable performance to take the top spot in 26:07. Shileen ran well to cross the line in 27:03 (2nd place), meaning that the talented Lagan Valley AC lady has finished on the podium in every Hill & Dale race that she has participated in, in 2013. Another regular podium finisher, Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) claimed 3rd place in 28:40.

In the overall men’s series standings, absentee on the night, Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) won the 2013 series; Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) finished in 2nd place, while Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) picked up 3rd place overall.

Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) dominated the entire series and was rewarded for her efforts with the top prize in the ladies overall standings. Another Lagan Valley AC lady, Anne Sandford collected 2nd place, while Taryn McCoy (BARF) finished in 3rd place.

Drinahilly Race:

Top 3 Men: 1st Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) – 21:19, 2nd Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 21:29, 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 21:51

Top 3 Ladies: 1st Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club) – 26:07, 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 27:03, 3rd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 28:40

Hill & Dale Series 2013 (Final Standings):

Top 3 Men: 1st Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners), 2nd Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC), 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers)

Top 3 Ladies: 1st Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC), 2nd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), 3rd Taryn McCoy (BARF)

Full Results: Hill & Dale Series (Race 11) ‘Drinahilly’ 2013 Results and Hill & Dale Series 2013 Final Standings

Paul Pollock and Julie Balmer claim Athletics NI Half Marathon titles:

Hundreds turn out for Ards Half Marathon:

On Friday 28th June 2013, nearly six hundred athletes took to the streets of Newtownards for the 6th annual running of the Ards Half Marathon, the sixth race in the Pure Running Half Marathon Series.  The event was also the Athletics NI Half Marathon Championships.

In pleasant conditions, if not a little breezy, the runners set off on a 13.1 mile journey that would take them from Newtownards Town Centre and towards Comber, before returning to the finishing area at the Ards Leisure Centre.   Immediately a group of four men, Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), 

Freddy Sittuk (Kenya), Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) and Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) moved to the head of the field and gradually moved clear of the following pack of Francis Marsh (North Down AC), Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) and Don Travers (Newry City Runners).

The ladies race started in a similar fashion, with Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers), Julie Balmer (North Down AC) , Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC), Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers), Gillian Douglas (Unattached) and Diane Watson (City of Lisburn AC) all in close proximity of each other.  There was no change in the men’s race as they went through the 6.1 mile marker, with Paul, Freddy, Keith and Alan running along together.  Meanwhile, the ladies race was starting to take shape; Julie had moved clear of Kelly and Karen, who were split by approximately four seconds.  Gillian was a minute further back, with Roisin ten seconds behind her.

As the men reached 10 miles, Paul Pollock upped the pace significantly, with no real response from the chasing trio.  This surge split the group that has been together from the off; Freddy moved in behind Paul, while Keith bravely attempted to hold onto the pair.  Alan was battling well in fourth, especially taking into consideration his outstanding performance just five days ago in Dunshaughlin (Ireland).

At the finish area, the gathered crowds stared down the long straight, eagerly awaiting the appearance of the first runner, it was Paul Pollock, the current AAI Half Marathon, AAI Marathon and NI & Ulster 5,000m Champion who appeared first.  Paul broke the tape in 1:07:46 to add the Athletics NI Half Marathon title to his growing list of accolades.  Kenyan star, Freddy Sittuk followed in 1:08:48 (2nd place), while Keith Shiels clocked an amazing fourteen minute personal best, crossing the line in 1:09:32 (3rd place).

Julie Balmer was the popular winner of the ladies race, the hometown girl covered the course in 1:25:45, adding the Athletics NI Half Marathon title to the Marathon title she won in May 2013.  Kelly Neely continued her excellent form, taking 2nd place in new personal best of 1:26:46; an excellent time for only her second ever Half Marathon.   Karen Alexander completed the ladies podium in 1:27:17 (3rd place).

In the team awards, North Belfast Harriers picked up both the Men’s and Women’s Athletics NI Half Marathon titles.  North Belfast Harriers ‘B’ team won silver in the men’s category, with Willowfield Harriers collecting the bronze medal.  North Down AC finished 2nd to North Belfast Harriers in the ladies standings, while Orangegrove AC won the bronze medal.

Individual Winners:

Top 3 Men:  1st Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) – 1:07:46, 2nd Freddy Sittuk (Kenya) – 1:08:48, 3rd Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 1:09:32

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Julie Balmer (North Down AC) – 1:25:45, 2nd Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) – 1:26:46, 3rd Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) – 1:27:18

Team Winners:

Top 3 Men’s Teams:  1st North Belfast Harriers ‘A’, 2nd North Belfast Harriers ‘B’, 3rd Willowfield Harriers

Top 3 Ladies Teams:  1st North Belfast Harriers, 2nd North Down AC, 3rd Orangegrove AC

Full Results:  Ards Half Marathon 2013 Results – A full Race/Event Review is now available in our 'Race Review' section, with accompanying race photographs in our 'Photo Gallery'.

Weekend Preview:  Friday is the new Saturday... Ards, Newcastle and more!

Weekend Preview;  Ards, Newcastle, Enniskillen, Dublin, Tullamore and Chamonix:

After a busy and exciting week of racing, which has included quality events at the Mary Peters Track (Belfast), Lisnagelvin (Derry/Londonderry), Limavady and Loughinisland; the attention once again turns to the upcoming weekend races.  

In the coming days, the majority of local attention will be geared towards fixtures on Friday 28th June 2013, with the Ards Half Marathon and the final race of the Hill & Dale Series due to take place.   Northern Ireland runners will also compete in Enniskillen, Dublin (Ireland), Tullamore (Ireland), Waterford (Ireland) and Chamonix (France) over the weekend.

Thousands of athletes and spectators are expected to take to the streets of Newtownards on Friday 28th June 2013 for the annual Ards Half Marathon.  The popular event marks the beginning of the second half of races in the Pure Running Half Marathon Series and will therefore attract some of the provinces top runners.

AAI National Half Marathon Champion Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) is due to participate.  Having won the NI & Ulster 5,000m Championships and the Lisburn Half Marathon, as well as finishing in third place at the prestigious Great North 10k Run within eight days of each other, Paul has shown that he is outstanding form.  Despite his main focus being on his training for the upcoming IAAF World Championships, the Belfast man will prove extremely hard to beat.

Freddy Sittuk (Kenya) and Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) will once again resume battle; the pair matched each other stride for stride at the recent Larne Half Marathon, with Freddy just getting the better of Alan in the end.  Since then, Freddy has won the Lisnagelvin 5k road race in 15:20, while Alan smashed his previous 10k personal best when he clocked 31:03 to finish in third place at last Sunday’s Dunshaughlin 10k road race in Ireland.  Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), Don Travers (Newry City Runners), Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers) and Francis Marsh (North Down AC) will also race, while North Belfast Harriers’ Connor Magill will make a welcomed return from injury.

Both Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) and Brendan Teer (East Down AC) were due to participate, but Gary is now racing in Waterford on Saturday 29th June 2013 and Brendan enjoyed a well-deserved victory in Loughinisland on Wednesday night (26th June 2013), which will more than likely rule him out of this race.  Other top performers will include David Proctor (Willowfield Harriers), Michael McKeown (East Down AC), Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC) and Greg McClure (North Belfast Harriers).

Julie Balmer (North Down AC) will hope to continue her impressive run of performances as she goes into her hometown Half Marathon.  Julie has been in excellent form this year, with wins at the Belfast Marathon (first NI lady) and the Newry, Decathlon and Larne Half Marathons to her name in 2013.  The North Down AC lady will go into the race as favourite.  Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) is another consistently impressive lady, and is always in or around the podium places.  Having finished as runner up to Julie in Larne, Roisin will be keen to improve on her 1:27:21 (Half Marathon) personal best in an attempt to get closer this time around.

Another podium finisher in Larne, International middle distance runner Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) may make use of the late entry system.  Should Kelly take part, she will no doubt play a prominent part in proceedings.  Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) is currently sitting in second place in the overall F35 Half Marathon standings, behind Julie Balmer, and the Ballymena based lady will eager to cement that position after good outings at the Fairhill 5 and the Termoneeny 10k.  Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers), Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC), Anne Haveron (Newry City Runners), Amandy Perry (North Belfast Harriers) and Laura Bateson (Unattached) will all finish well up the field.

Also on Friday 28th June 2013, Newcastle AC will host the final race of their extremely popular and well attended Hill & Dale Series 2013.  On this occasion, Donard Park will be Race HQ as the competitors prepare for the 3 mile Drinahilly course (which includes approximately 1,080ft of ascending).  As a commemorative gesture to mountain running legend Dennis Rankin, who recently passed away, Newcastle AC will not be collecting entry fees from participants, but instead they will be asking for a donation which will go to a charity chosen by the Rankin family.

Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) has been a dominant force in the series so far, winning five of the six races he has entered.  The International mountain runner will once again head the field and will be looking to finish the series with a win.  Another man who has featured at the top regularly is Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC), and having beaten Stephen in Race 6 at ‘Millstone’ Ian will once again push Stephen all the way.  Ian himself has won three races in the series and never finished outside the top three when he has raced.

Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) and Jonny Steede (Ballymena Runners) will also play a part at the front; Allan has won two races in the series so far and always seems to run well over the more trail based courses, while Jonny will make his much anticipated return to racing after his heroics at the Lost Worlds 100k in May 2013, where he sealed an impressive win despite being up against a host of International competitors.   Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC), David Steele (Newcastle AC), Emmett McAlister (Ballymena Runners), Alex Brennan (Ballymena Runners), Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners) and Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) will all compete for top ten spots.

Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) will lead the ladies field in what will be another enthralling duel between the pair.  Shileen has won six of the ten races in the series, with Diane winning three.  Recently, Diane has come out on top when the pair have gone head to head, but Shileen was the first of the duo to cross the line at the Slieve Martin race.  This will be another excellent battle between the friends.

Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC) will also achieve high placings, as will Race 6 (Millstone) winner Patricia McKibbon (Unattached) and Taryn McCoy (BARF).  Violet Linton (LVO), a podium finisher at the Mourne Way Ultra Marathon may return from a well-earned break to compete in the last race of the series.

On Saturday 29th June 2013 runners and fun runners from County Fermanagh and surrounding areas will descend on the home of the Enniskillen ‘parkrun’, the scenic Lakeland Forum, Enniskillen, for the 8th running of the annual Enniskillen 10k, organised by Fermanagh District Council in association with the town Rotary Club.

Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club) and Stephen Prentice (Enniskillen Running Club) will head the field.  Conan has really come to the fore in 2013, showing huge potential and clocking personal bests on an almost race by race basis.  Just this week, he recorded a new 3,000m personal best of 8:48.67 whilst competing at the Belfast International T&F meeting to celebrate the re-opening of the Mary Peters Track.  Stephen has also enjoyed success recently; the local man secured an impressive win in the Jengana 10k, where he ran 34:33 over an off-road course.  Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) put on an outstanding display of front running to win the Dromore 10k last weekend, and although the Omagh Harriers’ man will face much stronger opposition this time around, he will no doubt be in or around the top three.  Other men hoping to place well could include Adam Cooke (Enniskillen Running Club), Fegus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) and Derek Sommerville (Omagh Harriers) 

The ladies race should involve four ladies, Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix AC), Helen Stockdale (Clones AC), Denise Toner (Clones AC) and Tara Malone (Enniskillen AC).  Donna pipped Julie Balmer (North Down AC) to the post at last Wednesday’s Lisburn Half Marathon and also won the recent Craigavon Lakes 10k, so she (Donna) will be going into the race high in confidence and will therefore prove strong opposition.  However, Helen has also been running well since returning to competition after illness.  The Northern Ireland International XC star claimed podium places at two races last week, the Aghyaran 10k (3rd place) and the Dromore 5k (1st place) and should give Donna a good race.  Helen’s Clones AC club mate Denise will be a tough nut to crack, having claimed prizes at the Killyclougher 10k and Sperrin Harriers ‘classic’ 5 mile road races, the southern based lady will take some beating.   Denise is also the current NI & Ulster Intermediate XC Champion.  Despite being the less experienced runner of the aforementioned ladies, Tara is progressively making a good name for herself, with 5th place and 6th place finishes at the Larne and Omagh Half Marathons.  

Also on Saturday 29th June 2013, several Northern Ireland based runners will travel to Dublin for the Irish Runner 5 mile road race, which will be held within the confines of Phoenix Park, Dublin.  North Belfast Harriers duo Conor Curran and Eddie Cooke will toe the line, and should be joined by familiar faces from Northern Ireland.  This could well include Stephen Scullion (Unattached).  Stephen enjoyed his last outing in Dublin, which saw him crowned AAI National 10k Champion after he was the first National runner to complete the SPAR Great Ireland Run (in 30:15) in Phoenix Park.  Annadale Striders duo Eddie McGinley and Patrick Hamilton could also make the trip to Dublin; Eddie was another medallist at the Great Ireland Run/AAI National 10k Championships, collecting bronze after an excellent performance (31:00) in tough conditions.  Patrick has been on fire recently, with notable wins at the Lisburn 10k, Bann 10k and Craigavon 10k within the last four weeks.

In Tullamore, there is a host of events taking place over the weekend (Saturday 29th June and Sunday 30th June 2013).  Jack McKibbin (Dromore AC), Conor Breslin (City of Derry AC) and Shane McGowan (City of Derry AC) will be amongst a large number of Northern Ireland based runners who swap their club vests for Ulster colours as they represent the province at the Tailteann Games.

At the same venue, the Woodies DIY National Junior Championships and Woodies DIY National U-23 Championships will also take place.  The Junior athletes will be hoping to impress selectors before the European Junior Championships in Italy, while the U-23’s will be just as eager to turn the heads of their team managers as the deadline for selection for the European U-23 Championships in Finland looms.

Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC), who achieved a European Junior Championships qualifying standard (for 800m) at Tuesday’s MPT International will once again line up for the 800m, as will Lagan Valley AC’s Conall Kirk.

In the U-23 competition, Mark Patterson (North Down AC) will compete over 800m, while Katie Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) will take on Ireland 4x400m hero’s Sinead Denny (DSD AC) and Claire Monney (Naas AC) in the 400m.  Curtis Woods (Beechmount Harriers) will also face stiff opposition in the 200m race. Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will race in her favourite 400m hurdles event.  Christine is currently 0.16secs away from the required European U-23 standard of 59.30secs for the distance.

In Waterford (Ireland) on Saturday 29th June 2013, Seapark AC runners Gary Connolly and Gillian Cordner will once again lace up their racers for another endurance test.  The pair, who completed the gruelling two day Hadrians Wall Ultra Marathon last week, will join regular competitor in Northern Ireland, Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) on the start line of the Waterford Viking Marathon.  The fast growing event, which also includes a Marathon Relay and Half Marathon, starts within the scenic ‘Mall’ area of the City, before heading out to famous seaside town of Tramore, where competitors turn and head back towards the well supported City Centre based finishing area. 

Further afield, two local athletes will compete in events at the world renowned Mont Blanc Marathon Festival in Chamonix, France this weekend.  On Friday 28th June 2013, Mervyn McCollum (Larne AC) will take on the notorious vertical kilometre, which is 1km of ascending over 3.8km distance.   At the same festival, Justin Maxwell (Unattached) will join the world’s top ultra-runners in the Mont Blanc Marathon (Sunday 30th June 2013), which is part of the Skyrunning World Series.  The 42km course runs from the centre of Chamonix (1,035m) to Planpraz (1,812m) and has an accumulative ascent of approximately 2,511m.

Northern Ireland welcomes it’s twelfth ‘parkrun’ to the province this Saturday (29nd June 2013), with the first ever running of the Derry City event, which will take place along the banks of the River Foyle.  The other eleven parkrun events in Northern Ireland 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. 

Scott Rankin and Helena Crossan excel in 'round the bridges' 10m race:

Scott Rankin smashes personal best to win well organised 10 mile road race:

On Thursday 27th June 2013, Springwell Running Club welcomed nearly three hundred runners to their annual Jude Gallagher ‘round the bridges’ 10 mile road race in Limavady, County Derry/Londonderry.  Good running conditions and the fast, flat course opened the door to the possibility of personal bests.

Pre-race favourite, Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) certainly made the most of the conditions.  In the past twelve months, Scott has picked up silver medals at the NI & Ulster 5,000m Championships and the Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships, and a bronze medal at the Athletics NI 10k Championships.  However, his performance over this 10 mile course was arguably one of his best of the year; he crossed the line in 52:14 to win, this was a personal best by over three minutes.  Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC), a podium finisher at the Fairhill 5 earlier this month, took 2nd place in 55:03, while Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) clocked a personal best of 56:17 to secure 3rd place.

Irish International ultra-runner Helena Crossan (Inishowen AC), who currently holds the Irish 100km record, claimed an impressive victory in the ladies race; recording 1:02:32 for the distance.  Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) was unable to replicate her recent wins at the Stunnerz in Runnerz and Purple Ladies 5k race, but still performed well to take 2nd place in 1:03:45.  Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) ensured the host club were represented on the podium when she finished in 1:07:12 (3rd place).

Top 3 Men:  1st Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 52:14, 2nd Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC) – 55:03, 3rd Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) – 56:17

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Helena Crossan (Inishowen AC) – 1:02:32, 2nd Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) – 1:03:45, 3rd Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) – 1:07:12

Full Results:  Jude Gallagher 'Round the Bridges' 10m Road Race 2013 Results.  Photograph used above was taken from Foyle Valley AC's facebook page.

Springwell Running Club set for their annual 'round the bridges' 10m race:

Springwell Running Club prepare for annual Jude Gallagher 'round the bridges' 10m road race:

On Thursday 27th June 2013, Springwell Running Club will welcome athletes from across the province to Limavady for their annual ‘race around the bridges’, a fast and flat 10 mile race held in the memory of Jude Gallagher.

Local man Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) will toe the line; despite having raced just two days ago at the Mary Peters Track official re-opening, where he clocked a new 3,000m personal best of 8:39.43, Scott will still play a prominent part at the front.  Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) and City of Derry AC duo Richard Johnston and Allan Bogle could also feature, should they make use of the late entry system.  Pius set a new course record of 21:33 when winning the Hillview 4 mile road race last week in Derry/Londonderry.  Talented International mountain runner, Allan finished as runner up to the Foyle Valley AC man (Pius McIntyre) at the Hillview event, crossing the line twenty seconds behind.  Richard won the recent Active Antrim 5 mile road race, and will be another top contender.

Other top finishers could include Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners), a 2:39:26 marathon man (Virgin London Marathon 2013) and his club mate Jack Neeson, a top ten finisher in last Wednesday’s Lisburn 10k.  Local man Stephen Joyce (Springwell Running Club), Aaron Meharg (Sperrin Harriers), Wayne Morrow (Larne AC), Seamus Mac Floinn (Crusaders AC), Noel Connor (Ballymena Runners) and Eric Montgomery (Lagan Valley AC) will all claim high placings.

In the ladies race, City of Derry AC’s Anne Paul will hope to follow on from wins at the Purple Ladies 5k and Stunnerz in Runnerz 5m road race with a similar performance.  Belfast based ladies Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC) and Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) may travel, and could well be rewarded with podium places should the decide to do so.  Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC), a podium finisher at both the Fairhill 5 mile road race and Termoneeny 10k, should also be challenging for a top three place.  Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners), winner of the Newry Marathon and a highly placed finisher in the Belfast City Marathon will also be in the mix, while Springwell Running Club duo Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) and Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) should also finish well up.

Trish McClintock (Springwell Running Club), Cheryl Cardwell (Sperrin Harriers), Caroline Irwin (Springwell Running Club) and Ciara Coyle (Sperrin Harriers) could all make the top ten, while Kate Montgomery (Lagan Valley AC) and East Antrim Harriers pair Carol Annesley and Marian Hayes could pick up category prizes.

Entries for the event are still available on the night, with registration taking place at Limavady Football Club from 6pm.  The race starts on Killan Road at 7.30pm sharp.  Photograph used above was taken from Springwell Running Club facebook page.

Athletes prepare for second half of Pure Running HM Series:

Pure Running HM update by ChampionChip Ireland:

The Pure Running Half Marathon Series has now reached the half way mark and the contenders for the category prizes are now emerging.  Ards Half Marathon this Friday night (29th June 2013) marks the beginning of the second set of races, of which the competitor must complete three to be eligible for the end of Series awards from Pure Running.

Registrations have been flowing in steadily through Athletics NI and the leader board has been changing almost daily as runners register their three best times so far.  To date there are over 80 competitors on the rankings list and of those, 19 have completed all 5 races to date with the hope of getting their hands on the coveted Series jacket for completing all 10.

In the age groups there are clear leads for Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) in the Female Open, Julie Balmer (North Down AC) leads the F35 with the fastest times of any of the ladies and Diane Watson (City of Lisburn AC) holds a clear advantage in the F40 category. Penny Duncan-Lindsay (East Antrim Harriers) and Mary Makin (Dromore AC) are well clear in their respective F45 and F55 age groups, but its closer in the F50 between Claire Forth (Unattached) and Maria McCarter (Unattached) where only one minute and thirty four seconds separate first and second.

In the men’s categories Gary O'Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) leads the M35 category and has the best overall aggregate time.  Nigel Grier (Dromore AC), Sam Hogg (Unattached) and Greg McClure (North Belfast Harriers) all have good leads in their age groups.  However, it’s a lot closer elsewhere, where only one minute and thirty five seconds separates the top three in the Male Open; three minutes and seconds between the top M40 and four minutes and seventeen seconds between the top for M45’s.

Most if not all the main contenders will be in Newtownards for the Ards Half Marathon, and they will be hoping to establish their credentials for the second half and take advantage of what could be a warm and calm evening and post a good time.  The Newtownards Half Marathon starts from the town’s Leisure Centre on Friday 29th June 2013 at 6.30pm.  The up to date rankings list (as of Wednesday 27th June 2013) is available HERE and will also be updated to Athletics NI website after Ards Half Marathon.

Freddy Sittuk and Gemma Turely take top honours at Lisnagelvin 5k:

Sittuk and Turley impress as City of Derry AC host Race 3 of Furey Insurance 5k Series:

On Wednesday 26th June 2013, City of Derry AC hosted Race 3 of their Furey Insurance sponsored 5k series.  On this occasion, Lisnagelvin (Derry/Londonderry) was the venue of choice for the popular and well organised series.

Freddy Sittuk (Kenya), who is currently residing in Northern Ireland, sealed another victory.  Having enjoyed numerous victories of late, most notably a course record at the recent AES Larne Half Marathon, Freddy once again exceled; the Kenyan supremo crossed the line in 15:20 to win.  Emmett McGinty (City of Derry AC), winner of the Dunree 5k seven days ago, took 2nd place in 15:34.  Another talented City of Derry Spartan, Gary Slevin, claimed 3rd place in 15:50.

In the ladies race, Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club), a silver medallist at the Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships and winner of the Jengana 10k, Maghera 10k, Fairhill 5m Road Race and Decathlon 10k, continued her fantastic run of results, recording another win in 18:44.  

Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) returned to serious competition last week and won the Hillview 4 mile road race.  The impressive lady, who was the winner of this year’s Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships in which Gemma Turley finished as runner up, secured 2nd place in 18:58, while triathlete Maeve Maher-McWilliams (NWTC) completed the ladies top three in 19:34.

Top 3 Men:  1st Freddy Sittuk (Kenya) – 15:20, 2nd Emmett McGinty (City of Derry AC) – 15:34, 3rd Gary Slevin (City of Derry AC) – 15:50

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 18:44, 2nd Catherine Whorsikey (City of Derry AC) – 18:58, 3rd Maeve Maher-McWilliams (North West Triathlon Club) – 19:34

Results:  Furey Insurance 5k Series (Race 3) – Lisnagelvin 2013 Results

Brendan Teer and Cheryl Denvir complete East Down AC double:

Brendan Teer continues impressive run of form as Cheryl Denvir takes ladies title:

On Wednesday 26th June 2013, Loughinisland GAC Club and East Down AC welcomed runners and fun runners to the annual running of their Loughinisland 5.05 mile road race.

Current NI & Ulster XC champion Brendan Teer (East Down AC), a man who has won nearly every race he has entered in 2013, once again exceled.  The East Down AC man dominated proceedings, winning by almost two minutes, after breaking the tape in 26:35.  David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), a consistent performer in the ongoing Hill & Dale Series, claimed 2nd place in 28:13.  Unattached athlete Richard Coey, a top ten finisher in last week’s Lisburn Half Marathon, took 3rd place in 28:52.

Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC) finished on the podium at the Leitrim 5 mile road race in April 2013, but the local lady looked in personal best form as she covered the 5.05m distance in 34:44 to win.  Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) finished in 2nd place, clocking 35:21, with North Belfast Harriers’ Athanasia Sevastaki (35:26) taking 3rd place after a close battle Castlewellan AC's Sinead Murtagh (4th place - 35:35) and Murlough AC's Donna McCusker (5th place - 35:54).

Top 3 Men:  1st Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 26:35, 2nd David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 28:13, 3rd Richard Coey (Unattached) – 28:52

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Cheryl Denvir (East Down AC) – 34:44, 2nd Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) – 35:21, 3rd Athanasia Sevastaki (North Belfast Harriers) – 35:26

Simpson and Lemon win Woodburn Forest race and overall EAH series:

David Simpson and Louise Lemon top overall EAH standings:

On Tuesday 25th June 2013, East Antrim Harriers held the final race of their well organised annual forest trail series.  The venue on this occasion was Woodburn Forest, where competitors completed a two lap course, measuring approximately 5 miles in distance.

In warm, humid conditions, it was one of the country’s leading trail runners, David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers) who dominated proceedings.  David, winner of the recent Mourne Way Marathon, put in a strong performance to lead the field home in 25:57.  Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), a consistent performer throughout the series, who has always been in or around the podium places, took 2nd place in 26:39.  Orangegrove AC’s Paul Woodman, competing in the series for the first time, completed the top 3 men on the night, when he crossed the line in 27:01.

One of the outstanding performers of the series has been Orangegrove AC’s Louise Lemon.  Louise has attended every race, and better than that, she (Louise) has won all four races (ladies category) in the series.  On the night, Louise (32:25) maintained her 100% record by winning by just over two minutes; ever improving Shelley Tomlins (Ballymena Runners) sealed 2nd place in 34:38, just ahead of Elizabeth Leitch (Orangegrove AC), who was a podium finisher at the last month’s Belfast One World Run.  Elizabeth completed the tough course in 34:41 (3rd place).

In the overall standings, David Simpson’s trio of wins, two of which were in Woodburn Forest (Race 2 and Race 4) and his initial victory in Ballyboley Forest (Race 1) meant that he was crowned the men’s series winner.  Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) claimed 2nd place in the series, while Larne AC’s James Robinson took 3rd place.  After winning four races out of four, Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) deservedly collected the ladies top prize.  Louise was joined on the ladies (overall) podium by club mates Sarah Steer and Caroline Cavanagh, who picked up prizes for 2nd place and 3rd place respectively.

Andrew Guy (Larne AC) and Sharon Dickenson (Orangegrove AC) topped the Vet35 standings, while Larne AC pair Bert Shaw (Vet40) and Andrew Gregg (Vet45) also won their categories.  Noel Connor (Ballymena Runners) and Bernie Regan (Larne AC) were named as winners of the Vet50 categories, before popular Lagan Valley AC man Francis Boal collected the final trophy of the night, the Vet60 prize.

East Antrim Harriers Forest Trail Series - Race 4 (Woodburn Forest):

Top 3 Men:  1st David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers) - 25:57, 2nd Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) - 26:39, 3rd Paul Woodman (Orangegrove AC) - 27:01

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) - 32:25, 2nd Shelley Tomlins (Ballymena Runners) - 34:38, 3rd Elizabeth Leitch (Orangegrove AC) - 34:41

Results:  East Antrim Harriers Forest Trail Series (Woodburn Forest) 2013 Results (also includes overall standings)

Ben Reynolds stars as NI athletes achieve Pb's at MPT International:

Reynolds and Foster lead Northern Ireland Pb haul:

On Tuesday 25th June 2013, Northern Ireland runners Ben Reynolds (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) stole the show as hundreds of athletes, spectators and invited guests gathered at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track, Belfast for the official re-opening of the top class facility.  

After speeches from the Belfast Lord Mayor, Mairtin O’Muilleoir, BOA Chairman Seb Coe, and the lady of honour Dame Mary Peters, a statue was unveiled to commemorate Mary’s gold medal winning performance at the 1972 Olympics and her contribution to athletics in Northern Ireland.  

Dame Mary Peters then watched as two of the country’s top talents produced fitting performances for the special occasion.  

Ben Reynolds, who secured a new Northern Ireland 110m hurdle record of 13.71secs at the European Athletics Team Championships on Sunday (23rd June 2013), smashed the very same record by 0.22secs when he clocked 13.49secs to win the International men’s 110m hurdles.  This was not only a new Northern Ireland record, but also a qualifying time for both the IAAF World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.  Ben was understandably delighted with his new personal best, and explained to the awaiting media that he felt that a performance of that standard was coming.

Amy Foster also brought the newly built seating area to their feet as she powered to an excellent win in the International women’s 100m race.  Amy, who is currently the joint holder of the Northern Ireland 100m record of 11.49secs (with Anna Boyle), once again equalled that record.  The talented lady crossed the line in 11.49secs to win ahead of Scotland’s Sarah Adams (11.89secs).  

In the International men’s 100m (Race 1), Ireland’s Zac Irwin recorded 11.07secs to beat City of Lisburn AC’s Christian Robinson (11.33secs) and City of Derry AC’s Mark McGarvey (11.38secs) to the line.  In Race 2, City of Derry AC’s Paralympic Champion Jason Smyth showed exceptional strength to lead the field home in the fastest 100m time of the night, 10.50secs.  Oliver Black (Liverpool Harriers) and Leon Reid (Bristol & West AC) followed in 10.77secs (2nd place) and 10.78secs (3rd place) respectively.  Up and coming Mid Ulster AC star Martin Mellon (11.90secs) just pippled North Down AC’s Oliver Wakefield (11.92secs) to the post in the U-15 100m race.

Leading Australian runner Collis Birmingham dominated the International men’s 1500m event; after heading the pack throughout, Collis sealed victory in 3:37.18. Ireland duo Paul Robinson (2nd place 3:37.66) and John Coghlan (3rd place - 3:42.97), both ran well to claim podium places.   The ladies 400m race brought two of Ireland’s European Athletics Team Championships 4x400m relay hero’s, Sinead Denny (DSD AC) and Jennifer Carey (DSD AC) together, and a mere 0.01 seconds split the pair; with Jennifer (54.34secs) just edging out Sinead (54.35secs).  Newly crowned NI & Ulster 400m champion Mandy Gault (Lagan Valley AC) took 3rd place in 54.61secs.

Rory Evans (England) topped the men’s 400m (Race 1) podium after running 46.47secs to win, Kris Robertson (Scotland) followed in 46.91secs while Northern Ireland man Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), another of Ireland’s weekend hero’s in Dublin, claimed 3rd place in 47.68secs; an excellent outing considering his weekend exploits.  In Race 2, Lagan Valley AC’s Ben Maze ran a personal best of 48.50secs to finish in 3rd place; the race was won by Timmy Crowe (Ireland) in 48.39secs.

Finn Valley AC’s Aaron McGlynn (2:08.88) won the U-15 boys 800m, while Shauna Kerley (Carrick Aces) won the girls equivalent in 2:20.85, after leading from start to finish.  Race 1 and Race 2 in the International men’s 800m competition were won by James Kaan (Australia) and Mark Hoy (Ireland), with James running 1:49.23 and Mark 1:52.52.  City of Derry AC’s Pajo Hamilton (1:53.17) came through well to finish 3rd place in Race 2.

The penultimate race of the night was the ladies 800m, during which, Australian 800m champion Kelly Hetherington always looked like the main contender. True to this, Kelly opened up a gap on chasers Elian Periz (Spain) and Claire Gibson (Scotland) to win in 2:04.80.  Elian took 2nd place in 2:05.07, while Clare claimed 3rd place in 2:05.87.  In the same race, up and coming Newry AC star Aislinn Crossey recorded 2:06.43 to finish in 5th place, this was not only a new personal best for Aislinn, but also a qualifying time for this summer's European Junior Championships in Italy.

The final race of the evening was the International men’s 3,000m event.  This brought a wealth of Northern Ireland talent to the track, but it was Victor Corrales (Spain) and Jonny Taylor (England) who impressed most.  The pair, who had Northern Ireland man Stephen Scullion (Unattached) for company in the early stages, raced clear of the field as the race progressed.  Eventually, Victor made his move and won by a six second margin, breaking the beam in 7:57.80 to win.  Jonny followed in 8:03.08 (2nd place), while Stephen crossed the line in 8:13.46 to take 3rd place.  Annadale Striders' Eddie McGinley took 4th place in 8:17.02, before NI runners James O’Hare (Annadale Striders) – 8:17.25 (5th place), Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders) – 8:36.20 (8th place), Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) – 8:39.43 (9th place), Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC) – 8:43.36 (10th place), Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) – 8:44.14 (11th place), Paddy Robb (St Malachy’s AC) – 8:46.14 (12th place) and Conan McCaughey (Enniskillen Running Club) – 8:48.67 all achieved new personal bests

Results:  Mary Peters International T&F Meeting 2013 Results.  A selection of race photographs are available in our 'Photo Gallery'.

International event to mark the official re-opening of Mary Peters Track:

Event preview compiled by Athletics NI (with some alteration from NiRunning):

Today, Tuesday 25th June 2013, many of Northern Ireland’s top runners and a string of international competitors from Ireland, England, Scotland and Australia will take part in the Mary Peters Track International Opening Event organised by Belfast City Council and Athletics NI.

The event marks the opening of the £3m facility, which has already made a significant impact on the local scene with many athletes recording personal best performances on the new 8 lane surface.  Dame Mary Peters and Lord Coe, Chairman of the BOA will be acting as co-hosts for the occasion. This latest development represents the enhancement of a facility which has been graced in the past with household names such as Zola Budd, Steve Ovett, Steve Cram, Ed Moses, Colin Jackson and Linford Christie.

The occasion provides the perfect opportunity for many of the provinces local athletes to compete against international opposition.  Many of the NI runners involved today played a key part last weekend in Ireland’s success in achieving its best ever seventh place in the European Athletics Team Championships in Dublin.  Interest will centre on high hurdler Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) who set Santry Stadium alight two days ago with a new NI record time of 13.71secs which took 0.04secs off his own two year old record.  This time is also within the qualification standards for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.   

Top Irish sprint stars Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) will be aiming to top the podium in the 100 metres events.  The late withdrawal of Britain's Mark-Lewis Francis clears the way for Paralympic Champion Jason to take full advantage of the fast surface and perhaps beat his season's best legal time of 10.36secs which he recorded in Florida.  Jason is fresh from his battling 3rd place in the European Team event.  His Belfast opponents include many of Ireland's top ranked sprinters including Oliver Back (10.77secs), Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Jonathan Browning (10.85secs), City of Lisburn AC’s Patrick Colhoun (10.87secs) and Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Dean Adams. 

The Men's 1,500 metres race will be one of the meeting's highlights with a classy international line up including Australian Collis Birmingham who ran a fast 3:38.44 time in Finland recently and finished a superb eighth against the cream of Africa in this year's world cross country.  The field also includes four times British champion Nick McCormick (Morpeth AC) and John Coghlan (MSB AC), who is the son of former World Champion Eamon.  Also racing will be the top three finishers from the recent NI & Ulster Championships, winner Danny Mooney of Letterkenny AC, runner up Conor Bradley of City of Derry AC and 3rd placed Stephen Scullion (Unattached).

There will be a strong Australian presence in both the male and female 800 metres races.  Current Australian Champion Kelly Hetherington won her title with PB of 2:01.22 and Selma Kajan from New South Wales who also set new figures recently of 2:03.64.  17 year old Newry AC star Aislinn Crossey will have an opportunity to improve on her personal best of 2:07.87.  Also racing is Scottish international Clare Gibson (Kilbarchan AC).  Australian 1,500 metres champion James Kann is favourite for the two lap event as he has a best time of 1:46.74. However, he will face new NI & Ulster title holder Michael Dyer (North Down AC) and his club mate Mark Patterson.

Belfast's Jason Harvey (Crusaders) and Ireland's Dara Kervick were members of the winning Irish 4x400 metres relay team in Dublin.  They will be up against Scotland's Kris Robertson (Shaftesbury Barnet AC) and England's Rory Evans (Stockport Harriers) who have both broken 47secs recently.  In the Women's 400 metres, British U23 hurdles bronze medallist Christine McMahon of Ballymena & Antrim AC faces Australia’s Tamsyn Manou who has run 53.70secs this year and Ireland number two Sinead Denny (DSD AC) who ran well at the European Athletics Team Championships.

It’s sure to be a fantastic day of events and NiRunning will be there, we will provide updates when we and if we can, and have a summary, results and photographs online as soon as possible after the event.  

*Note* The above event preview was taken from the Athletics NI website and altered to suit a Northern Ireland based running audience, please visit the Athletics NI website to view their full preview (which includes field events).

Northern Ireland ultra-runners complete gruelling challenges in England:

Mathers completes challenge of a lifetime, while Connolly and Cordner beat 'the wall':

Last weekend (Saturday 22nd June 2013), well-known and highly respected Northern Ireland mountain runner Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) embarked on “one of the most demanding challenges in England”, the Bob Graham Round.  The gruelling challenge, see’s competitor’s attempt 42 peaks over the Lake District (England) fells, starting and finishing in Moot Hall, Keswick.  The course can be run clockwise or anti-clockwise and covers 74 miles, with a total ascent of approximately 28,500ft.

The aim of any participant who takes on the Bob Graham Round is to break the infamous 24 hour barrier for the challenge; despite the tough conditions, with strong winds and rain, Dale completed the course in 22:45:00 (provisional time).

Dale described the experience and achievement as an “honour” and stressed that without the help and assistance of his invaluable support crew, which included his wife Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), who ran the first and last legs of the route with him, the prestigious finishers title would not have been possible.  For an insight into the epic challenge, check out the Bob Graham Round website HERE.

Also last weekend, Seapark AC ultra-runners Gary Connolly and Gillian Cordner took on Hadrians Wall Ultra in England.  The 2 day event (Saturday 22nd June and Sunday 23rd June 2013) runs from Carlisle Castle to the Millennuim Bridge in Gateshead and covers a 69 mile multi-terrain course, with 32 miles on Saturday and 37 miles on Sunday.  On Saturday, the duo, who were running together, completed the distance in 5:39:21.  On Sunday, Gary and Gillian ran well to complete the last leg of the challenging course in 6:47:21.  This gave the long distance specialists a total finish time of 12:26:42, which secured an excellent 4th place in the team standings.  

Paul Pollock claims podium spot at Great North 10k Run:

Northern Ireland star performs well in England:

On Sunday 23rd June 2013, Northern Ireland man Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) travelled to Gateshead, England for the BUPA Great North 10k Run; an event that attracts in excess of 5,000 competitors on an annual basis.

Paul, who won the NI & Ulster 5,000m Championship last Saturday (15th June 2013) and then the Lisburn Half Marathon on Wednesday (19th June 2013), performed to his usually high standard in what was a classy field.  In a close race, the exceptionally talented Belfast man recorded 30:37 to finish in 3rd place.  The race was won by Great Britain XC runner Ryan McLeod (Tipton Harriers) in 30:28.

Local doctor, Paul is currently training hard as he focuses on this summer’s IAAF World Championships in Russia, where he is due to represent Ireland in the marathon.

Results:  BUPA Great North 10k Run 2013 Results

Ben Reynolds smashes NI record at Day 2 of Euro Team Championships:

Reynolds, Foster, Harty and Harvey all represent Ireland in Santry:

Sunday 23rd June 2013, three Northern Ireland athletes represented Ireland on Day 2 of the European Athletics Team Championships in the Morton Stadium, Santry, Dublin (Ireland). The ‘1st League’ fixture, which started yesterday (Saturday 22nd June 2013), saw an Ireland team, which included six Northern Ireland based runners, take on strong teams from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.

After an excellent Day 1, hopes were high that the team could continue their impressive points haul.  In better conditions than those experienced by athletes on Saturday, expectations were once again high in the well packed and atmospheric Morton Stadium.

North Down AC’s Ben Reynolds was the first NI based athlete to step onto the track for his 110m hurdles event (Heat 1) and he received a loud reception from the appreciative crowd.  Ben got the day off to an exceptional start, powering out of the blocks and over the hurdles to claim an outstanding victory in 13.71secs; this time not only beat his current Northern Ireland 110m hurdles record, but it is also a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard.  Ben finished in 3rd place overall whenever the times from the two 110m hurdles heats/races were combined, the overall winner was Hungarian Baji Balazs (13.45secs).

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) enjoyed a good run in the 100m competition yesterday (Saturday) when she finished in fifth place overall (11.97secs). Thankfully, the conditions were better today when Amy toed the line for the 200m race (Heat 1); over the distance, Amy produced another solid run, clocking 24.25secs to take 3rd place in the race.  This left her (Amy) in 9th place overall, the competition was won by Angela Morosanu (Romania) in 23.48secs.

In the ladies 5,000m event, Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) started very well, leading the quality field through 1,000m and also 3,000m, before distinguished Portuguese athlete Anna Dulce Felix upped the pace and moved clear with Jip Vastenburg (Netherlands) and Roxana Barca (Romania).  Despite tiring, Kerry (16:52.54) battled well to gain a valuable five points for the team, finishing in 8th place overall.  Jip Vastenburg (16:12.88) won the race in an exciting finish.

Local man Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) played his part in one of the stand out Ireland performances of the weekend, which saw the 4x400m relay team win Heat 1 and the 4x400m competition overall in 30:08.12.  The team, which also included yesterday’s 400m winner Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers), Dara Kervick (Carrick on Suir AC) and Richard Morrissey (Crusaders AC) gradually moved clear of the remainder of the field as the race progressed and eventually won by over two seconds.

This is how the Northern Ireland runners’ team mates performed:

The 4x400m ladies relay team won Heat 1 in an impressive 3:38.43, this was enough to secure a 3rd place overall.  Heat 2 winners Romania took the overall title in 3:40.77.  Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) finished 5th in the Heat 2 of the 100m hurdles after recording 13.54secs (6th place overall).  The 100m hurdles overall winner was Rosina Hodde (Netherlands) in 13.17secs.  Tallaght AC’s Anthony Liego (1:53.05) claimed two points for the team when he finished in 11th place in his 800m race, which was won by Tomas Kazi (Hungary) in 1:50.96.

Rose-Anne Galligan (Newbridge AC) was called up to the 1500m race after Claire Tarplee (DSD AC) was withdrawn because of illness.  Rose-Anne, who ran well in the 800m on Saturday, put in another good performance, finishing in 6th place after clocking 4:26.04 in the race won by Maureen Koster in 4:22.66. Rose-Anne finished in 6th place in the overall standings as well.  Thomas Cotter (Dunleer AC) just missed a top three finish when he recorded 8:56.31 (4th place) in the 3000m steeplechase.  This was enough for 4th place overall, with Mitko Tsenov (Bulgaria) taking top honours in 8:45.16.  Another man who secured nine points for the team was David McCarthy (West Waterford AC), the well-known star finished in 4th place in the 3000m race, crossing the line in 8:20.08.  The race was won by Niclas Sandells (Finland) in 8:17.78.  Marcus Lawlor (St Laurence O’Toole AC) ran 21.71secs (5th place) in Heat 2 of the 200m competition, this meant he was 6th overall.  Pavel Maslak (Czech Republic) won the event in 21.20secs.  In the overall team standings, Ireland finished in a very credible seventh place, with Czech Republic topping the final points table.

In other European Athletics Team News:  In Gateshead, England; the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team were in competition in the ‘Super League’ of the European Athletics Team Championships.  The team, which included no runners from Northern Ireland, finished in third place in the overall team standings, with Russia lifting the top prize.

Results:  European Athletics Team Championships (Santry, Dublin) Day 2 Results

Alan O'Hara achieves podium place at Dunshaughlin 10k:

O'Hara runs Pb in Dunshaughlin, while Sperrin Harriers complete midnight marathon:

On Saturday 22nd June 2013, North Belfast Harriers’ Alan O’Hara travelled south to Dunshaughlin, County Meath (Ireland) for the 34th annual running of the Michael Manning Memorial 10k road race, an event organised by Dunshaughlin AC.

Alan has been running extremely well this year, and has clocked new personal bests over 5k (15:14), 10k (31:43) and most recently, Half Marathon distance, when he finished as runner up to Freddie Sittuk at the Larne Half Marathon earlier this month, running 1:08:38.  Up against a quality field of nearly seven hundred athletes, Alan produced yet another notable performance, smashing the aforementioned new 10k personal best by forty seconds when he crossed the line in 31:03 to finish in 3rd place.  The race was won by Irish Olympian Mark Kenneally in 29:46.  Armagh AC legend Dermot Kerr also ran well, topping the Vet55 category in 35:09 (49th place).

Also in the south, NICSAC athlete Trevor Denton and Sperrin Harriers’ Darren Warnock, Steven Morrison and Eamon Sheehan took on the Le Cheile AC organised midnight marathon on Saturday 22nd June 2013.  The 26.2 mile event was held on a grass track in Leixlip, Kildare and was won by Graham McGrath (Eagle AC) in 3:17:01.  Trevor led the Northern Ireland contigent home in 4:07:37 (20th place), while Darren, who was completing his fifth marathon in ten weeks, crossed the line in 4:15:43 (24th place).  Steven followed in 4:38:29 (31st place), but unfortunately Eamon, who completed a double ironman just three weeks ago was forced to withdraw at half way.  This was down to fatigue relating to his amazing ironman achievement.

Results:  Dunshaughlin 10k 2013 Results – Le Cheile Midnight Marathon 2013 Results (Currently Unavailable)

Barbour, Butler, Speight and Stockdale impress in Dromore (Co. Tyrone):

Dromore Coummunity 10k and 5k Road Race:

On Saturday 22nd June 2013, runners braved wet and windy conditions as they took on the Dromore 10k road race and associated 5k race in County Tyrone.  The event, which covers an undulating rural course is now in its 5th year and offers something for everyone, with a 5k walk also part of the programme.

In truth, Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) was a cut above the remainder of the field; having placed well at several local events this year, a victory was always coming and today proved to be that day.  Paul covered the 6.2 mile course in 34:16 to win comfortably.  Sperrin Harriers’ Jonathan Dempsey took 2nd place in 37:50, before the leading lady, Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) finished in third place over all, thus taking the female title just outside the forty minute mark – 40:02.  

Eddie Molloy (Unattached) completed the men’s podium in 40:22, while experienced road and mountain runner Angela Speight (Finn Valley AC) secured 2nd place in the ladies race, crossing the line in 41:16.  Mairead McCann (Omagh Harriers), a regular podium finisher in 2013, was the next lady to finish, after recording 42:55.

In the 5k race, Finn Valley AC’s James Speight, held onto the title he won impressively last year, clocking 18:41 for the course.  Consistent performer Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) took 2nd place in 18:48, before Brendan Collins (Omagh Harriers) finished in 19:25 (3rd place).  The ladies race was an interesting affair, with junior international Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) leading the field in the early stages.  Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) was always in contention and at the half-way point, she (Helen) made what would prove to be a race winning decision, the Northern Ireland international XC runner surged clear and held the lead until the line, winning in 21:07.  Sara claimed a well-deserved 2nd place in 21:54, while Sara’s sister Toni Moore, another future Northern Ireland star, took 3rd place in 22:59.


Top 3 Men:  1st Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) – 34:16, 2nd Jonathan Dempsey (Sperrin Harriers) – 37:50, 3rd Eddie Molloy (Unattached) – 40:22

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Julie Butler (Omagh Harriers) – 40:02, 2nd Angela Speight (Finn Valley AC) – 41:16, 3rd Mairead McCann (Omagh Harriers) – 42:55


Top 3 Men:  1st James Speight (Finn Valley AC) – 18:41, 2nd Fergus McGirr (Enniskillen Running Club) – 18:48, 3rd Brendan Collins (Omagh Harriers) – 19:25

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) – 21:07, 2nd Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers) – 21:54, 3rd Toni Moore (Omagh Harriers) – 22:59

Results:  Dromore Community 10k and 5k 2013 Results

In other news:  On Friday 21st June 2013, Helen Stockdale (Clones AC), winner of the Dromore 5k race, also enjoyed a podium finish at the Aghyaran 5k road race (County Donegal), close to the border village of Castlederg, County Tyrone.  Helen (19:15) finished in 3rd place, behind race winner Teresa McGloin (Finn Valley AC), who ran 16:45.  In the same race, City of Derry AC’s James Brown clocked 16:44 (7th place), while Foyle Valley AC’s Darragh McNulty just missed a sub 20 minute finish, when he crossed the line in 20:03.  The men’s race was won by Gerard Gallagher (Finn Valley AC) in 15:38.

Results:  Aghyaran 5k Road Race 2013 Results

NI runners perform well on Day 1 of Euro Athletics Team Championships:

European Athletics Team Championships... Update after Day (Saturday 22nd June 2013):

Saturday 22nd June 2013 brought Day 1 of the much anticipated European Athletics Team Championships in the Morton Stadium, Santry, Dublin (Ireland).  The ‘1st League’ fixture saw an Ireland team, which includes six Northern Ireland based runners, take on strong teams from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.

On Saturday, Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) and Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC) were all in action, with Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) and Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) running on Sunday.

Jason Harvey was the first NI athlete into the blocks for his 400m hurdles event; having recently clocked a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard and new personal best of 50.27secs for the distance, much was expected of the young star.  True to form, Jason produced a gritty performance in what was described as “awful running conditions”, finishing in 4th place in a time of 51.86secs.  This was enough to secure 5th place overall when the times for Heat 1 and Heat 2 were combined.  The overall 400m hurdles winner was Magi Rasmas (Estonia), who clocked 51.07secs in Heat 2.

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) received the same loud welcome as Jason, from the vocal Morton Stadium crowd, when she lined up in Heat 2 of the 100m competition.  Amy came out of the blocks and led for approximately 60 metres into the strong headwind (-5.5m), but tired slightly towards the end.  In a blanket finish, which saw the third to sixth placed ladies finish within 0.02secs of each other, Amy took 5th place in 11.97secs.  Amy also finished in 5th place overall, with Ivet Lalova (Bulagria), winner of Heat 2 being crowned overall winner in 11.79secs.

Heat 2 of the men’s 100m event, which included City of Derry AC’s Jason Smyth, proved to be even closer than the aforementioned ladies 100m.  Like Amy, Jason was up against a strong headwind (-3.6m), but battled well to claim 3rd place in 10.78secs; he just pipped three other athletes who finished in exactly the same time to the finish, which proved important, as his overall 3th place ranking gained a further 10 points for the Ireland team.  The men’s overall 100m winner was Churandy Martina (Netherlands), who recorded 10.46secs.

Unfortunately the men’s 4x100m relay team, which included Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Dean Adams dropped the baton, which meant instant disqualification for the four men. 

This is how the Northern Ireland runners' Ireland team mates performed:

Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) was the teams top performer of the day, winning the 400m race in 46.32secs, thus gaining a maximum 12 points for the team. Jessie Barr (Ferrybank AC) achieved a top three finish in the 400m hurdles, clocking 57.50secs for the distance. This was enough to seal 3rd place in the race and also the overall competition, which was won by Donisa Rosolova (Czech Republic) in 55.34secs.  Sinead Denny (DSD AC) recorded 54.74secs to take 2nd place in Heat 1 of the ladies 400m, this was good enough for 7th place in the overall 400m standings topped by Zuzana Hejnova (Czech Republic) who won Heat 2 in 51.90secs.

Rose-Anne Galligan (Newbridge AC) and Shane Quinn (Ferrybank AC) both performed well for the team; Rose-Anne covered the 800m in 2:04.26 (5th place), the race was won by Mirela Lauric (Romania) in 2:03.44.  Shane missed out on a top three spot in the 5,000m by the shortest of margins, but still collected nine valuable Championship points for the Irish team when he finished in 14:56.09.  Abdi Bashir (Belgium) took maximum points (12 points) when he finished in first place after clocking 14:52.78.  

The action continues tomorrow (Sunday 23rd June 2013), when Northern Ireland based runners Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) and Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) will be in competition over 5,000m and 110m hurdles respectively.

In other European Athletics Team Championships news:  In Gateshead, England; the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team were in competition in the ‘Super League’ of the European Athletics Team Championships.  The team, which included no runners from Northern Ireland, finished Day 1 in third place in the overall team standings.  They lie behind Russia and Germany going into Day 2.

Results:  European Athletics Team Championships (Santry, Dublin) Day 1 Results

Stewart and Burns claim excellent double for Dromore AC in Ards:

Michael Stewart and Gillian Burns win Ards 5m Challenge:

On Friday 21st June 2013, Ards Lions Club took the reins of the Ards 5 mile Challenge for the first time and were supported by the Northern Ireland running community.  The charitable organisation took over control of the event from the Ards and District Charity Committee.

On an undulating course, it was Dromore AC’s Michael Stewart who impressed most.  The County Down man produced a strong performance to seal victory in a new personal best of 28:54.  Ballydrain Harriers’ Ryan Andrews, an undoubted talent, more used to the track, took on the five mile distance for the first time.  Unfazed, the junior athlete, still classed as an U-17 ran well and just missed out on the infamous sub 30 minute barrier when he crossed the line in 30:25 (2nd place).  Unattached athlete Gerry Cox completed the top three men in 30:44 (3rd place).

In the ladies race, Dromore AC’s Gillian Burns was a dominant force; Gillian set the pace throughout, before taking a well-deserved victory and completing an excellent double for Dromore AC in 31:33.  North Belfast Harriers’ Amanda Perry claimed 2nd place in 33:38, while Fiona Johnston (Unattached) showed no signs of fatigue from a good run at the Lisburn Half Marathon, just 48 hours earlier, to take 3rd place in 34:38.

Top 3 Men:  1st Michael Stewart (Dromore AC) – 28:54, 2nd Ryan Andrews (Ballydrain Harriers) – 30:25, 3rd Gerry Cox (Unattached) – 30:44

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) – 31:33, 2nd Amanda Perry (North Belfast Harriers) – 33:38, 3rd Fiona Johnston (Unattached) – 34:38

Results:  Ards Lions 5m Challenge 2013 Results

Eddie McGinley and Gladys O'Neill excel in Belfast City Centre 5k:

Hundreds of runners turn out to support new Belfast Solstice 5k race:

On Friday 21st June 2013, nearly three hundred runners took over the streets of Belfast City Centre as they participated in the first ever running of the Belfast Solstice Run.  The 5k course was flat and fast, and included two City Centre based loops before finishing in front of the iconic Belfast City Hall.

In wet conditions, Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) showed his class; the Belfast man, who recently won the prestigious Highgate Harriers 10k in England, left the field in his wake as he cruised to victory in 15:27.  Behind, Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC) and Justin Maxwell (Unattached) battled it out for the runners up spot until the 3k mark, when Ryan showed his track speed and edged clear of ultra-runner Justin.  This proved to be a decisive move, with Ryan holding his lead to take 2nd place in 16:07.  Justin claimed the final podium place in 16:17.

Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), a second place finisher at last weekend’s IMRA European Mountain Running Championship trials, secured an impressive victory in 17:17.  City of Lisburn AC’s Judith Lowry performed brilliantly, especially considering that she finished fourth in the Lisburn 10k just two days ago.  The talented triathlete, who also excels at running, covered the course in 18:05 (2nd place).  Pre-race favourite, Hannah Oldroyd (Saltaire Striders), who is currently in Northern Ireland running all of the provinces parkrun courses, took 3rd place in 18:33.

Top 3 Men:  1st Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) – 15:27, 2nd Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC) – 16:07, 3rd Justin Maxwell (Unattached) – 16:17

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) – 17:17, 2nd Judith Lowry (City of Lisburn AC) – 18:05, 3rd Hannah Oldroyd (Saltaire Striders) – 18:33

Results:  Belfast Solstice Run 2013 Results

Lagan Valley AC welcome hundreds to 'Super 5' Series (Meet 4):

Lagan Valley AC host ‘Super 5’ Series (Meet 4) at Mary Peters Track:

On Thursday 20th June 2013, hundreds of athletes descended on the Mary Peters Track, Belfast, for the fourth instalment of the Power NI ‘Super 5’ Series, organised by Lagan Valley AC.

The biggest fields of the night were the U-11 boys and girls 100m races, with eighty one entrants in total, meaning that a heat format was used and the winner decided by the fastest time from all the heats.  The boy’s race was won by Zac Moraghan (North Down AC) in 14.86secs, who beat Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Ryan O’Kane (14.90secs) by 0.04secs.  Megan Drummond (North Down AC) won the girls race in 15.92secs.

The U-13 100m boys race was won by Ryan Carmichael (Newry AC) in 14.53secs, while Scott Doherty (Ballymena & Antrim AC) won the U-15 equivalent in 12.45secs.  Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn AC) just edged out Elizabeth Little (Banbridge AC) in the U-13 100m girls race, with Anna covering the distance in 13.87secs and Elizabeth in 13.97secs.  Four U-15 girls finished within 0.02secs of each other in their 100m event, Emma Smith (East Down AC) ran 13.38secs to win, while Saskia Greer (North Down AC), Caitlin Maguire (North Belfast Harriers) and Alanna Wilson (Dromore AC) clocked 13.39secs, 13.39secs and 13.40secs respectively.

City of Lisburn AC starlet Ciaran Barnes (11.85secs) won the U-17 boys 100m, while Heather Carson (Ballymena & Antrim AC) topped the standings in the U-17/Senior Women 100m race, after running 12.98secs.  Heather’s club mate Lydia Mills (13.34secs) won the U-17 category, with Orangegrove AC’s Emma Smith taking the Vet35 prize in 14.78secs.  Newry City based club 3 Ways AC celebrated as Odhran Hamilton (4:12.16) won the U-11 boys 1200m race; Ben Gracey (Dromore AC) took the U-13 title in 4:22.15.  Aoife Farrell (East Down AC), a consistent performer in the McGrady Financial XC Series through the winter, won the U-13 girls 1100m race in 4:01.98; Tara Breen (Newry AC) won the U-15 event in 4:05.03.  Up and coming Lagan Valley AC star Rachel Scott won the U-11 girls 1200m race in 4:26.28.  

There was a plethora of categories in both the male and female 1500m races.  Ryan Carmichael (Newry AC) followed on from his 100m win earlier in the evening with a brilliant win in the U-13 category, recording 5:04.83.  James Edgar (City of Derry AC) won the U-15 boys race in 4:38.88.  The U-17/U-20/Senior and Veteran Men all toed the line at the same time, with Willowfield Harriers’ Andrew Wright (U-20) leading the field home in 4:12.47.  Newry AC’s Oisin O’Callaghan (4:16.67) continued his good run of form to take the U-17 title, before Mark Wright (Annadale Striders) claimed the Vet45 category in 4:17.42.  Unattached athlete Lee Maginnis was the next veteran winner, taking the Vet35 prize in 4:23.27; Barrie Atkinson (East Down AC), who was in the senior men’s category, followed in 4:28.06.  In-form Nigel McKibbin (Dromore AC) missed a sub 4:30.00 finish by the narrowest of margins when he crossed the line in 4:30.01, but a win in the Vet40 category will make up for that.

Talented Beechmount Harriers lady Lorna Fitzpatrick (U-20) led the U-17/U-20/Senior/Veteran ladies field home in 4:50.53, closely followed by Amy McDaid (City of Derry AC), who achieved a new personal best of 4:55.23.  Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) won the senior women’s category in 5:10.21, while Balmoral Harriers’ Ciara McKillop (5:14.28) and City of Lisburn AC’s Jamie Rose (6:02.99) claimed the U-17 and Vet40 titles respectively.

Full Results:  Lagan Valley AC ‘Super 5’ Series (Meet 4) 2013 Results

Weekend Preview:  Euro Team Championships, Soltice 5k and more...

Three days of racing lies ahead for Northern Ireland runners:

As the weekend approaches, athletes from Northern Ireland will be preparing for events in Belfast, Newtownards, Lisnaskea, Dromore (County Tyrone), Dublin (Ireland) and Carlisle (England); and that’s only the races we know about!  Once again, racing will be over three days, with events due to take place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

On Friday 21st June 2013, the first ever Belfast Solstice 5k road race will take place in the heart of Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast.  The course will start at Wellington Place and cover two laps, before finishing at the iconic Belfast City Hall.  

The flat and fast course should attract several high profile entrants, which may include the likes of Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC), Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) and Belfast based men Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) and Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC).  

All four have been in good form recently; this year, Scott has achieved silver medals at both the Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships and also the more recent NI & Ulster 5,000m Championships.  The Foyle Valley AC speedster is a regular podium finisher and has a personal best of 14:43 for the 5k distance.  Richard will also go into the race in good spirits, having put in an impressive performance to win last Friday’s Active Antrim 5 mile race.  The City of Derry Spartan also won a bronze medal at the Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships earlier this year.  Alan O’Hara is another man who has enjoyed a successful 2013, the popular North Belfast Harriers athlete has recorded personal bests over 5k (15:14), 10k (31:43) and Half Marathon (1:08:38); young Ben clocked 15:20 at the Armagh International 5k in February 2013 and has been going well on the track recently, his 8:51 over 3000m back in May 2013 was particularly impressive. 

The aforementioned men will be joined on the start line by Justin Maxwell (Unattached), Frank Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC) and North Belfast Harriers’ Paul Blaney, John Patience, Paul Jenkins, Greg McClure and Jim Newberry as well as up and coming stars Ryan Sharkey (Lagan Valley AC), Christy Conlon (Beechmount Harriers), Connor McQuillan (North Belfast Harriers), Niall McIlhatton (Beechmount Harriers) and Conal McCambridge (North Belfast Harriers). 

Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) and Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) all produced notable performances last week; should they decide to rest this weekend, the ladies race will see Hannah Oldroyd (Saltaire Striders) take on Lyndsey Pronger (Unattached), Sarah Steer (Orangegrove AC) and Heather White (County Antrim Harriers).  Hannah is from Yorkshire (England) and is in Northern Ireland with fellow parkrun podcaster, Steve Derby, whilst they run each of the Northern Ireland parkrun courses.  She (Hannah) has really progressed through the ranks over the past few years and this year Hannah has stepped onto the podium on a regular basis (including the Cork City Marathon) and clocked 5:22 for the mile at the recent Westminster Mile event.  Lyndsey had a good run at the Runher Coastal Challenge 10k, where she finished just outside the top ten, in what was a talented field.  Sarah has finished in third place in all three of this year’s East Antrim Harriers trail races and will hope to keep up that kind of form, while Heather is a consistent performer whenever she races.  North Belfast Harriers’ Claire Connor was brilliant over 5km at the Queen’s Sport ‘race around the river’ earlier this year, a race she (Claire) won in 18:17.  If Claire opts for a late entry, she will achieve a podium place.  Kate Montgomery (Lagan Valley AC), Carol Annesley (East Antrim Harriers) and Marian Hayes (East Antrim Harriers) should be category winners.

Also on Friday 21st June 2013, Ards Lions Club will host their annual Ards 5 mile Challenge in Newtownards, County Down.  The course has received mixed reviews from former participants but that won’t deter any newcomers.

After having completed the Lisburn Half Marathon on Wednesday night, this race may come a few days early for East Down AC front man Brendan Teer; however, North Down AC’s Francis Marsh and Dennis Scott may well enter on the night.  Francis has been racing sparingly on the roads this year, but if he brings his performance from last Saturday’s NI & Ulster Championships 5,000m race, where he finished in 15:58, onto the tarmac, the experienced coach will prove hard to beat.  Dennis has gone from strength to strength this year and ran a nine minute personal best at the Virgin London Marathon (2:46:13) in April 2013.

Neil McCartan (East Down AC) has been running very well on the track this year, but may feature on the roads this weekend; should that be the case, the NiRunning Mile winner will finish well up the field.  Stephen Wylie (North Down AC) will also be a top finisher, while newly elected North Down mayor Andrew Muir (North Down AC) will hope to begin his rein with a personal best, should he decide to participate.

The ladies race is a hard one to predict, but could include accomplished triathlete Kerry Speers (North Down AC).  Kerry is especially impressive off-road but has the quality to transfer that onto the road.  Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC), winner of the Castle Ward 10k and a podium finisher at the Downpatrick Lions 14km last month, could be another on the night entry.  North Down AC’s Nikki Heywood could also take part and may be joined by club mate Rachel Gibson, should she decide to test her current track speed over a longer distance.

The third and final event on Friday 21st June 2013 is the Lisnaskea 10k in County Fermanagh; with the G8 summit been and gone, residents will line the streets for runners instead of world leaders, and the event should prove popular with locals, with it being part of the town’s annual festival.

Stephen Prentice (Enniskillen Running Club) will head the field; the local man secured an impressive win in the Jengana 10k, where he ran 34:33 over an off-road course.  Stephen’s Enniskillen Running Club team mate Adam Cooke will be another podium finisher, while their ERC friends David Somerville and Craig Phair will also hope for high placing’s.

The ladies race should include Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) and Denise Toner (Clones AC); despite being the less experienced runner of the pair, Tara is progressively making a good name for herself, with 5th place and 6th place finishes at the Larne and Omagh Half Marathons.  However, Denise will be a tough nut to crack, having claimed prizes at the recent Killyclougher 10k and Sperrin Harriers ‘classic’ 5 mile road races.   Denise is also the current NI & Ulster Intermediate XC Champion.

On Saturday 22nd June 2013, the action moves to Dromore (County Tyrone), where the town’s annual 10k road race will take place.  The event, which covers an undulating course, is now in its fifth year and will attract a good mixture of club runners, fun runners and walkers because of the associated 5k race and 5k walk.

As last year’s winner, Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) is unlikely to participate, his crown will be up for grabs.  However, it is unlikely that the aforementioned crown will leave the Omagh Harriers trophy cabinet, as Omagh Harriers’ Paul Barbour will start as pre-race favourite.  Having won the Killyclougher 10k in May 2013 and taken the runners up spot at the Tattyreagh 5 mile road race more recently, Paul has shown that he has winning credentials.   Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC), winner of this week’s Hillview 4 mile road race, may be another notable contender, as will Bryan Young (Unattached) and Michael Kerr (Carmen Runners).  Meanwhile, regular performers Damian Cox (Omagh Harriers), Connor Moore (Omagh Harriers) and Derek Somerville (Omagh Harriers) will place well.

Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers), winner of the Cooley Legends Half Marathon, Lost Worlds 25k and the Mourne Way Marathon, amongst other recent races, will win if she toes the line.  The Sperrin Harriers lady has been unbeatable of late and despite the good opposition that should turn out, such as Michelle Sturm (Omagh Harriers), Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) and Sara Moore (Omagh Harriers), it’s hard to look any further for a possible winner.  Other ladies who should race include Miread McCann (Omagh Harriers), Caroline Miller (Omagh Harriers) and Patricia Campbell (Omagh Harriers).

Further afield on Saturday 22nd June 2013, Seapark AC endurance enthusiasts Gillian Cordner and Gary Connolly will take on the 69 mile Hadrians Wall Ultra Marathon in England, the testing, multi-terrain course takes competitors from Carlisle to Newcastle/Gateshead.

On Saturday 22nd June and Sunday 23rd June 2013, six Northern Ireland based runners will be amongst the fifty strong Athletics Ireland team taking part in the European Athletics Team Championships, in Santry, Dublin (Ireland).  The local athletes will be up against teams from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) will take on both the 100m and 200m races, while Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) will race over 5,000m.  Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), who recently clocked a new 400m hurdles personal best (50.27secs) whilst also achieving a Commonwealth Games qualification standard, will line up in the 400m hurdles and also the 4x400m relay.  Paralympic gold medallist Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) will race over his speciality 100m race, while North Down AC’s Ben Reynolds will race in the 110m hurdles.  Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will be part of the 4x100m relay team.  This event will be broadcast live on Setanta Ireland.

Northern Ireland welcomes it’s eleventh ‘parkrun’ to the province this Saturday (22nd June 2013), with the first ever running of the Ormeau Park event in Belfast at 9.30am.  Steve Derby and Hannah Oldroyd, co-producers of the parkrun podcast, will join competitors as they cover the first 5km time trial to be held in the popular Belfast park.  The other ten parkrun events in Northern ireland 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. 

Cunningham and O'Kane win penultimate Hill & Dale Series race:

Stephen Cunningham and Shileen O’Kane impress in Hill & Dale Series:

On Thursday 20th June 2013, over one hundred and fifty runners turned out for the penultimate Hill & Dale race of the year.  On this occasion, the course for the Newcastle AC hosted event covered the ‘Hen & Cock’ mountain summits.

After his absence last week, Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) announced his return with a dominant performance.  Having won Saturday’s Flagstaff to Carlingford race, Stephen sealed his second victory in five days, completing the 3.5 mile, three summit route (with 1,600ft of ascending) in 28:03.  The ever impressive Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC), winner of last weeks ‘Rocky’ race and a regular on the Hill & Dale podium finisher took 2nd place in 28:41, while Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) claimed 3rd place in 29:40.

Shileen Kane (Lagan Valley AC) notched up another series race win, bettering her second place finish in the Cooley Mountains at the weekend, with a top spot in 35:15.  Another Lagan Valley AC athlete, Anne Sandford, covered the tough course in 39:05, before Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) completed the top three ladies in 40:59.

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 28:03, 2nd Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) – 28:41, 3rd Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 29:40

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 35:15, 2nd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 39:05, 3rd Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) – 40:59

Results:  Hill & Dale Series (Race 10) ‘Hen & Cock’ 2013 Results

McIntyre, Whoriskey and McGinty enjoy victories:

Dunree 5k and Hillview 4 mile Road Race round-up:

On Wednesday 19th June 2013, Northern Ireland runners picked up top honours in races north and south of the border; the Hillview 4 mile road race in Derry/Londonderry and the Dunree 5k in County Donegal (Ireland).

In the Dunree 5k race, City of Derry AC’s Emmett McGinty sealed victory in 15:31.  Emmett was followed by Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) in 15:38 (2nd place) and Paul Caffrey (City of Derry AC), who recorded 16:37 (3rd place). City of Derry AC men Benny Mullan (17:12) and Eoghan Furey (17:59) followed in 5th place and 8th place respectively. Alan Orr (Foyle Valley AC) crossed the line in 18:27 (13th place), before Michael Collins (City of Derry AC) recorded 19:08 (18th place).

Details on the Hillview 4 mile road race are still minimal; however, we can tell you that Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) broke the course record when he won in 21:33 and established road and mountain runner, Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) secured 2nd place in 21:53.  In the ladies race, Catherine Whoriskey (City of Derry AC) returned to competition in style, winning in 25:17.  Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC), racing for the first time since her notable performance in the Walled City Marathon, showed that she has lost none of her speed; the talented lady ran 26:46 to take 2nd place.

Results:  Dunree 5k Road Race 2013 Results – Hillview 4 mile Road Race 2013 Results (Currently Unavailable) 

*Note* We apologise for the delay in this article; however, we can not upload an article until we have at least the top three male/female finishers (with their times).  Full race results for the Hillview 4 mile race are still outstanding, they will be added whenever they become available.

'Pure Running' Half Marathon Series update:

Pure Running HM Series update, courtesy of ChampionChip Ireland:

The Lisburn Half Marathon, on Wednesday 19th June 2013, attracted its usual high turnout with a large number of runners needing to complete the race to register their third time/race of the Pure Running/ChampionChip Ireland Half Marathon Series and establish themselves on the leaderboard.   

Julie Balmer (North Down AC) was second over the line in Lisburn and has leapt to the top of the women's rankings, Julie now leads the F35 category ahead of Larne AC’s Geraldine Quigley.  Diane Watson from City of Lisburn AC found time to help with the pack collection before running in Lisburn as well; Diane went on to record an excellent 1:36:26 and now leads the F40 category, while Penny Duncan-Lindsay (East Antrim Harriers) now heads the F45 group.  Up & Runners’ Catherine Fearon and Dromore AC’s Mary Mackin currently top their respective FO and F55 categories.

In the male categories, Don Travers (Newry City Runners) has emerged as the nearest challenger to Gary O'Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) in the M35 and Gareth Grew (North Belfast Harriers) leads the F40 from John McConnell (Up & Runners).  John decided not to run Lisburn and save himself for the forthcoming Ards Half Marathon.  The closest contest is in the MO category, with only five seconds separating Kent Swann (North Belfast Harriers) and Peter Williams (Unattached) in Lisburn; In the Series, Kent leads the section by nineteen seconds after five races.  This category looks set to go right to the wire in the second half of races.

The tough conditions in Lisburn took its toll and reduced the number of runners who have taken part in all five of the races to eighteen, this still includes Michael McKeown (East Down AC) and Angus McCready (Up & Runners) who have been ever present since the Series began.  Michael is currently third in his M45 category, while Angus sits in sixth place in the M40 standings.  The next race in the Pure Running/ChampionChip Ireland Half Marathon Series is the Ards Half Marathon, which takes place in Newtownards on Friday 28th June 2013.

Current standings:  Pure Running/ChampionChip Ireland Half Marathon Series 2013 

*Note* Our Lisburn Half Marathon and 10k summary (and results) are below this article.

Pollock and Evans win Lisburn HM, as Hamilton and Pearson win 10k:

Annadale Striders celebrate double victory as Pearson seals impressive win:

On Wednesday 19th June 2013, over 2,500 runners turned out for the Lisburn Half Marathon, 10k and Fun Run events.  A sun soaked Lisburn LeisurePlex was the race HQ and the popular Leisure Centre was bustling hours before the planned race start times, creating an excellent atmosphere, which was further heightened by the upbeat music from radio broadcasters U105.

The Half Marathon entrants were the first to toe the line in the warm, humid conditions.  Immediately, the three obvious front runners, Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), Brian McMahon (Clonliffe Harriers) and Brendan Teer (East Down AC) came to the fore; Don Travers (Newry City Runners), James Brown (Unattached), Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers), Richard Coey (Unattached), Nigel Greer (Dromore AC), Darren McAllister (East Antrim Harriers) and Gareth Grew (North Belfast Harriers) were amongst the chasing pack.

The Ladies race was always going to be close between Julie Balmer (North Down AC) and Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix AC), and there was no splitting the pair in the early stages.  Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers), Gillian Douglas (Unattached), Ruth Hill (Unattached) and Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) also looked good and appeared to be dealing with the heat well.  As the race progressed towards the half-way point, man of the moment, Paul Pollock was showing his class and had forged a two minute gap between himself and the pursuing pair, Brian McMahon and Brendan Teer.  Don Travers had dropped off the leading men but was still running strongly.  In the ladies race, Donna Evans had the upper hand on Julie Balmer as they went through 6.2 miles, with the southern based lady having a forty second lead.  Behind, Roisin Hughes had firmly stamped her authority on third place.

As the crowds gathered at the impressive finishing area, it was Moscow (World Championships) bound Paul Pollock who entered the winding final section first; the AAI National Half Marathon champion cruised towards the line, breaking the tape in 1:07:58 to win.  Irish International mountain runner Brian McMahon followed in 1:12:56 (2nd place), with current NI & Ulster Senior XC champion Brendan Teer taking 3rd place in 1:13:34.  The closely fought ladies race came to a head in the final meters; Julie Balmer had produced an excellent second half to demolish the forty second advantage of Donna Evans, but it was Donna who just pipped Julie to the finish line.  Donna’s final surge took her across the line in 1:24:51, with Julie just three seconds behind in 1:24:54.  Roisin Hughes, a very consistent performer, claimed 3rd place in 1:31:31.

The 10k field was just as full of talent, with the likes of Patrick Hamilton (Annadale Striders), Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers), Eamon White (North Belfast Harriers), Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers), Anne Paul (City of Derry AC), Ciara Coffey (Club Pulse AC), Judith Lonnen (City of Lisburn AC), Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC), Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) and Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) on the start list.

At the front, it was Patrick Hamilton and Keith Shiels, two men in amazing form at the moment, who appeared most hungry for the win.  The talented duo gradually isolated themselves from the chasing pack, which included Eamon White, Andrew Considine, Conor Curran and Fionnbharr Toolan (Club Unknown). In the ladies race, Rachel Pearson (Unattached) was creating somewhat of a surprise.  The relatively unknown lady was leading the field, ahead of more experienced athletes Ciara Coffey, Anne Paul and Judith Lonnen.

In the end it was Patrick Hamilton, winner of the recent Banbridge 10k and Craigavon Lakes 10k who claimed a well-deserved victory in 31:03.  Keith was forced to settle for his second runner up spot in a week, after crossing the line in a new personal best of 31:49 (2nd place).  Eamon White secured the final podium place in 33:11.  Rachel Pearson proved her worth, holding on to her lead and sealing an excellent victory in 38:30, before Ciara Coffey (39:27) edged out recent Sperrin Harriers ‘Stunnerz in Runnerz’ winner Anne Paul for 2nd place.  Anne (39:35) finished eight seconds behind in 3rd place.

Half Marathon:

Top 3 Men:  1st Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) – 1:07:58, 2nd Brian McMahon (Clonliffe Harriers) – 1:12:56, 3rd Brendan Teer (East Down AC) – 1:13:34

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix AC) – 1:24:51, 2nd Julie Balmer (North Down AC) – 1:24:54, 3rd Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:31:31

Top 3 Men:  1st Patrick Hamilton (Annadale Striders) – 31:03, 2nd Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 31:49, 3rd Eamon White (North Belfast Harriers) – 33:11
Top 3 Ladies:  1st Rachel Pearson (Unattached) – 38:30, 2nd Ciara Coffey (Club Pulse AC) – 39:27, 3rd Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) – 39:35

Results:  Lisburn Half Marathon 2013 Results and Lisburn 10k 2013 Results - We will be uploading photographs from the Lisburn Half Marathon and 10k events to our 'Photo Gallery' on Friday (21st June 2013) afternoon.

Northern Ireland clubs well represented outside the province:

Round-up of some recent performances by NI runners outside the province:

Last weekend, a large number of Northern Ireland runners were in competition outside the province, with events taking place in Lifford (Ireland), Wicklow (Ireland), Horwich (England) and Winchester/Eastbourne (England).

On Friday 14th June 2013, Northern Ireland clubs were well represented at the Lifford 5k in County Donegal, Ireland.  Kenyan supremo Freddie Sittuk, a podium finisher at the Belfast City Marathon and winner of several other events, including the Strawberry Half Marathon and the Larne Half Marathon, won the race in 15:17.79.  Foyle Valley AC’s Keith Shiels continued his impressive run of form, crossing the line just three seconds later to take 2nd place in 15:20.64.  The next NI based runner home was City of Derry AC’s Gary Slevin, who clocked 15:48.39 (4th place); Gary was followed by his club mates Colin Roberts (15:58.39) and James Brown (16:07.24), who finished in 6th place and 9th place respectively.  

Chris McGuiness (Foyle Valley AC) completed the top ten finishers in 16:08.18, while Sperrin Harriers’ Pierce McCullagh took 12th place in 16:51.85.  Conor Doherty (City of Derry AC) and Michael Murphy (City of Derry AC) also ran well, with Conor finishing in 16:56.28 (14th place) and Michael in 17:35.30 (22nd place).  Foyle Valley AC’s Paul Slavin nipped under the eighteen minute mark, recording 17:56.81 (29th place) before his team mate Darren Wallace (40th place – 18:29.56) led a string of NI runners across the line, these included City of Derry AC trio Declan McCarthy (41st place – 18:31.81), Dermot Connolly (43rd place – 18:36.38) and Peter Lilburn (51st place – 18:53.13).  

Martin Dunleavy (Foyle Valley AC) clocked 19:30.89, before Jackie McGinley (City of Derry AC) led the NI based ladies home in 19:37.25.  This was enough to secure 2nd place in the ladies race for Jackie, after talented Lifford AC athlete Natasha Adams had won in 17:38.04.  Michael Gallagher added to the Foyle Valley AC finishers when he crossed the line in 20:08.16, while City of Derry AC ladies Ciara Fraser (21:14.37), Paula McGilloway (21:25.21) and Janeen Leese (21:29.38) took 10th place, 12th place and 14th place in the ladies final standings.  The Spartan ladies were closely followed by Omagh Harriers’ Ita Kelly who ran 21:31.25 (15th place lady) and City of Derry AC’s Camilla McGranaghan – 22:18.99 (19th place lady).  Another trio of City of Derry AC ladies, Catherine Hribar (24th place lady – 23:11.70), Brigeen Canavan (27th place lady – 23:21.74) and Grainne Kearns (29th place lady – 23:24.09) completed the Northern Ireland participants.

On Saturday 15th June 2013, several Northern Ireland runners travelled to the infamous Wicklow Mountains in County Wicklow (Ireland) for the IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association) European Championships trial race.  Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners) returned to competition in impressive fashion, finishing in 5th place in the senior men’s 7.3km race (which included 643m of ascending); Andrew covered the distance in 38:56, while race winner Ian Conroy (Raheny Shamrock AC) clocked 35:34.  In the ladies 6.5km race (which included 643m of ascending), Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (39:39) followed on from her brilliant win at the Mourne Way Half Marathon a week earlier with a 2nd place finish behind Raheny Shamrock AC’s Kate Cronin who crossed the line in 37:39.

Also on Saturday 15th June 2013, North Belfast Harriers’ Martin Rea took on the incredibly difficult SDW100 Ultra in England.  The 100 mile course (with a total ascent of 12,700ft) covers the scenic South Downs Way National Trail, between Winchester and Eastbourne.  Ireland International, Martin started the race brilliantly, with some extremely good splits up until the 60 mile mark.  However, after beginning to struggle in the latter stages Martin decided to withdraw at 91 miles.  

On Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June 2013, Northern Ireland runners Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Aislinn Crossey (Newry AC) were in competition at the U-20/U-23 British Championships (and European trials) in Bedford, England.  Christine, who recently set a new 400m hurdles personal best of 59.52secs (Namur - May 2013) bettered that by 0.06secs when she took 3rd place in 59.46secs.  The race was won by Abigail Fitzpatrick (Sale Harriers) in 58.93secs.  Up and coming star Aislinn raced in the 800m, where she recorded 2:09.87 for the distance.  This was enough to secure 4th place in the heat won by Katie Snowden (Herne Hill AC) in 2:09.73.

On Sunday 16th June 2013, North Belfast Harriers’ Paul Jenkins and Jim Newberry took part in the British Masters Athletics Federation 5k (Road) Championships in Horwich, England.   Jim lead the duo home in 18:48 (68th place), with Paul just behind in 18:54 (70th place).   

*Note* At present, we have no further information on the BMAF or IMRA events, but any other Northern Ireland runners will be added as soon as we receive the official results.

London 2012 medallists set for MPT International event:

Article courtesy of Athletics NI:

Two London 2012 Olympic Relay medallists will be competing next Tuesday (25th June 2013) in the Mary Peters Track International Opening Meeting organised by Belfast City Council and Athletics NI.

World class Ukranian sprinters Mariya Ryemyen and Olesya Povh were members of their national team who took bronze in the sprint relay in the Olympic Stadium last August when they set a National record of 42.04secs.  They were in illustrious company as the winning USA team broke a 27 year old world record to set new figures of 41.37secs.  The Jamaican team which took silver also set a new national best.  Both women are currently in top form and will test top Irish sprinter Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC). 

Mariya Ryemyen ran a personal best time of 11.06secs in Yalta 2 weeks ago which ranks her 11th in the World. Last week Mariya who is the current European 200m champion finished 3rd in the Oslo Games in 11.07secs.  Team mate Olesya Povh finished 4th in Oslo and has a season's best time of 11.15secs, both women are also bronze relay medallists from the 2011 World Championships in South Korea.  Newly crowned Northern Ireland champion Amy Foster will have a busy four days ahead, competing at this weekend's European Athletics Team Championships in Dublin, where she races over both 100m and 200m.

The male and female 800m races will have strong Australian representation.  In the Women's event Kelly Hetherington set a classy personal best of 2:01.22 recently when taking the Australian title.  She faces New South Wales opponent Selma Kajan who also set a personal best a month ago of 2:03.64.  These two women should provide perfect opposition for 17 year old up and coming Newry AC star Aislinn Crossey who broke 2 minutes 8 seconds this month when taking silver in the Irish Schools Championships.  Also racing is Scottish international Clare Gibson.

In the Men's 800m event, current Australian 1500m champion James Kaan steps down to the shorter distance where he starts as favourite with a best time of 1:46.74.  Scotland's Jack Walker should also feature along with new NI title holder Michael Dyer and North Down AC team mate Mark Patterson. 

Ireland European Athletics team member Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) races again over the high hurdles, while fellow hurdler Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) competes over the flat 400m.  Jason, who has already met the qualifying standard for next year's Commonwealth Games recently ran a personal best of 47.15secs. He will need to be at his best to get the better of Scotland's Kris Robertson and England's Rory Evans who have both dipped under 47secs recently. Newly crowned NI champion Adam McComb (North Down AC) is also in the line-up.  The Men's 1500m race is shaping up to be a top quality race which now includes four times UK title holder Nick McCormick. 

Kerry Harty added to Ireland Euro Athletics Team Championships squad:

Harty joins Foster, Harvey, Smyth, Reynolds and Adams in Ireland squad:

Last night (Monday 17th June 2013), Athletics Ireland announced that top Northern Ireland runner Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) has been added to the Ireland squad for this weekend’s European Athletics Team Championships, which take place in Santry, Dublin (Ireland) on Saturday 22nd June and Sunday 23rd June 2013.

Kerry was a surprise omission from the original squad listings, which included Northern Ireland runners Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC), Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) and Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC), but will now replace Double European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton in the 5,000m race after the Kilcoole AC star was forced to withdraw due to a chest infection.

Current Northern Ireland 5,000m (15:58.67) and 3,000m (9:09.50) record holder, Kerry has been in top form this year.  Just last weekend the Newcastle AC lady won the NI & Ulster 1500m title at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.  Kerry has also topped the podium at Loughborough, Birmingham, Glaslough and Athlone in 2013.

Northern Ireland & Ulster Track and Field Championships 2013:

Athletics NI host NI & Ulster Track and Field Championships:

On Saturday 15th June and Sunday 16th June 2013, Athletics NI hosted the annual Northern Ireland & Ulster Track and Field Championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.  Even Saturday’s weather conditions didn’t dampen the spirit of spectators who had the opportunity to see some of the provinces top athletes.

The ‘top athletes’ did not disappoint, with pre-tournament favorites Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) and Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) collecting gold medals in their respective 100m (11.88secs), 200m (21.57secs) and 1500m (4:22.50) races.  AAI Games gold medallist Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC) also produced a notable performance in the 100m where she was second to Amy Foster in 12.13secs.

In one of the most eagerly anticipated races of the day, the senior men’s 5,000m, Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) proved once again why he is Northern Ireland’s top distance runner.  The current AAI National Half Marathon and Marathon Champion crossed the line in 14:48.00 to add the NI & Ulster Championship to his already bulging trophy cabinet.  Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) and Declan Reed (City of Derry AC), who both hold Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championship medals (with Declan being the title holder), took 2nd place and 3rd place after recording 14:53.95 and 14:55.69 respectively.   Banbridge AC’s Emma Mitchell (18:55.54) won the senior ladies 5,000m race.

North Down AC duo Michael Dyer and Mark Patterson put the photo-finish system to the test in their 800m race, with Michael (1:52.63) beating Mark (1:52.66secs) by a mere 0.03.  City of Derry AC hero Connor Bradley (1:53:63) took 3rd place.  Conor also lifted a medal in the 1500m race, where he crossed the line in 3:48.17 to take 2nd place.  The race was won by the impressive Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) in 3:47.51.  Youngsters Lauren Hutchinson (Newry AC) and Aoife Laverty (City of Derry AC) both put in good performances to finish in 2nd place and 3rd place in the senior ladies 800m race, which was won by the in-form Anne Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) in 2:13.92.  Lauren ran 2:15.52 (2nd place), while Aoife covered the distance in 2:21.15 (3rd place).

Jenny O’Brien (City of Derry AC) ran a new outdoor personal best in the senior ladies 400m; the up and coming star finished in 59.80secs (2nd place), in a race won by Leeds City AC’s Marie Dobson in 58.70secs.  Also in the 400m, North Down AC duo Andrew McCombe (48.44secs) and Andrew Mellon (50:01) won their senior men’s and U-19 titles, while City of Derry AC’s Martin McGeady won the U17 race in 50.86secs.  Lagan Valley AC celebrated as Ryan Sharkey (9:24.30) and Harry Speers (10:25.68) won their 3,000m and 3,000m steeplechase events, while Ben Reynolds (WSEH) won the men’s 110m hurdles in 13.96secs.  Pre-race favorite Mandy Gault (Lagan Valley AC) won the ladies 400m in 59.74secs.

Alongside the senior competition, there were also age-group races; this brought some exceptional racing, with some of Northern Ireland’s future stars showing off their skills.  Ballymena & Antrim AC duo Emma Hutchinson and Rachel Brown battled it out for the U-14 1500m title, with Emma (5:00.09) just pipping Rachel (5:01.90) to the post.  City of Lisburn AC’s Rebekah Douglas (4:59.62) won the U-15 1500m before Unattached athlete Amy Hamil 4:56.12) and City of Lisburn AC’s Zoe Carruthers (4:56.60) won the U-16 and U-17 1500m titles.  Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC) continued her winning ways with victory in the U-17 100m hurdles, after clocking 14.32secs.  In the girls 200m races, North Down AC’s Olivia Cumming (27.30secs) and City of Lisburn AC’s Roseanna McGuckian (24.67secs) picked up gold medals in their U-16 and U-17 races.

City of Lisburn AC enjoyed further success in the boy’s age group races, with Ciaran Barnes (U-16 200m – 24.44secs), Matthew Dalton (U-16 100m – 14.43secs) and Jonny Whan (U-17 1500m – 4:20.05) all winning in impressive fashion.  Oisin O’Callaghan (Newry AC) followed on from his podium finish at the recent All Ireland Schools competition with a brilliant win, taking the U-16 1500 gold medal in 4:23.79.  Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC) won the U-17 200m race in a new personal best of 23.62secs.

Provisional Results:  NI & Ulster Senior Track & Field Championships 2013 ResultsNI & Ulster Age Group Championships 2013 Results

Cunningham and Wilson win Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race:

Impressive performances at Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race:

On Saturday 15th June 2013, almost 50 mountain runners from across the province made their way to Carlingford for the popular Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race.  After registration, the competitors were bussed to the Flagstaff start line, where they began their 11 mile journey (with 3,000ft of ascending) back to Carlingford.

Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) was out to defend his title after winning last years race, and started off the race looking as determined as ever to do just that.  Stephen, a familiar face at the Newcastle AC organised Hill & Dale races, was faced with competition from the other Hill & Dale regulars.  These included Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC), Clive Bailey (Mourne Runners), Jonathan McCloy (Ballymena Runners), and Emmet McAlister (Ballymena Runners).

As athletes progressed along the 11 mile course, Stephen Cunningham was challenged by Deon McNeilly, who led during the early stages to the 'Windy Gap' and was still leading by a small margin as they crested the ridge and disappeared into the Slieve Foy wilderness.   

The turning point came at Slieve Foy, where Stephen had an excellent downhill dash which ensured he was crowned winner once again in 1:35:10.  Deon McNeilly wasn’t too far behind Stephen, and claimed second place in 1:37:06.  The final podium place was battled for between Neil Carty and Seamus Lynch throughout the race, however Neil just made it to the line a mere fourteen seconds ahead of Seamus, sealing third place in 1:41:56.

As expected, the ladies race would involve an exciting battle between International athletes, Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC).  The two ladies were chased by Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), and Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC).

At the finish line it was Diane Wilson who was the first lady into view.  Diane had raced strongly over the course and completed the 11 miles in an impressive 1:57:53, taking almost five minutes off her time in last year’s race, and making her fourteenth place overall.  Diane was shortly followed by Shileen O’Kane who showed no signs of tiredness after winning Thursday’s (13th June) Hill & Dale Rocky race, claiming second place in 2:03:98.  Shileen’s Lagan Valley club mate and consistent performer, Anne Sandford completed the top three ladies in 2:16:18. 

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 1:35:10; 2nd Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) – 1:37:06; 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:41:56

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 1:57:53; 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 2:03:18; 3rd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 2:16:18

Full Results:  Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race 2013 Results

Anne Paul excels at Stunnerz in Runnerz 5 mile race:

Ladies take to Magherafelt for Sperrin Harriers' Stunnerz in Runnerz event:

On Saturday 15th June 2013, female running enthusiasts from all over Northern Ireland descended on the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt for the second annual running of the increasingly popular Sperrin Harriers Stunnerz in Runnerz 5 mile road race.

Almost 200 walkers, joggers, novice runners and experienced athletes alike all braved the harsh conditions and took to the start line.  As the race commenced, the leading group of ladies began to take shape, with experienced athlete Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) heading the field. Anne kept this position throughout the 5 mile course and took first place in a well-deserved 31:27.  

Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) was leading the chasing pack, and as the race progressed, she created a gap of approximately one minute from her nearest rival.  Karen produced a good performance at the Fairhill 5 mile race earlier in the month, which obviously put her in good stead for this race, as she was second to cross the line in a time of 33:19.  

Orangegrove AC’s leading lady and winner of all the East Antrim Harriers’ trail races this season, Louise Lemon kept Karen in sight throughout the 5 mile course and claimed third place in 34:18.

Top 5 Ladies:  1st - Anne Paul (City of Derry) – 31:27; 2nd Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club) – 33:19; 3rd Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) – 34:18; 4th Laura Hassan (Springwell Running Club) - 34:37; 5th Linda Gillen (Springwell Running Club) - 34:44

Full Results:  Sperrin Harriers Stunnerz in Runnerz 5 mile 2013 results

Richard Johnston and Kelly Neely win Active Antrim 5 mile race:

Antrim Stadium hosts Active Antrim 5 mile race:

On Friday 14th June 2013, almost 100 runners took part in the annual Active Antrim 5 mile road race.  The race started and finished at the Antrim Stadium Athletics Track and covered a relatively fast and flat course, with a 2 mile off road section.  The event also included a fun run for children.

In blustery conditions Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) made his intentions clear from the start.  The Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships bronze medal winner was the early leader on the course, keeping his distance from City of Derry AC team mate Allan Bogle.  Allan headed the chasing pack which included Ballymena Runners’ duo Jack Neeson and Michael Bennett, and Dromore AC’s Michael Stewart.  Michael was closely followed by Greg Lavery (Unattached), Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), Oliver Cooke (Ballymena & Antrim AC), and Ian Barrett (Ballymena & Antrim AC).

The ladies race started off slightly differently from the men’s, with the top three runners all close together during the first half of the race.  Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC), Gemma Turley (Springwell RC) and Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) led the ladies, keeping a distance of almost two minutes infront of their nearest female rivals.  

Richard Johnston powered on throughout the race and crossed the finish line in an impressive 25:53, claiming the top prize.  Allan Bogle was the next competitor into view, and took second place in 27:20.  The final podium place was hotly contested for over the 5 mile course, however Jack Neeson kept up the pace and was the third man to cross the line in 27:30.

In the ladies race, Kelly Neely bettered her debut half marathon position in Larne last week and claimed first place in 30:50.  Top performer Gemma Turley, an athlete who is no stranger to the podium, followed in 31:10 (2nd place).  Gillian Burns completed the top trio and crossed the line in 31:41.

Top 3 Men:  1st Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) – 25:53; 2nd Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) – 27:20; 3rd Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners AC) – 27:30

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) – 30:50; Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) – 31:10; 3rd Gillian Burns (Dromore AC) – 31:41.

Full Results:  Active Antrim 5 (mile) Road Race 2013 Results

Ian Bailey and Shileen O'Kane win Hill & Dale 'Rocky' race:

Hill & Dale Series continues with Race 9 - 'Rocky':

On Thursday 13th June 2013, Newcastle AC hosted the ninth race of their popular Hill & Dale Series.  This week, nearly 150 competitors took on the 4.25 mile ‘Rocky’ course, which included 1,600ft of ascending.

Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) replicated his Millstone performance (Race 6) and was first to cross the line in 32:17.   Newcastle AC team mate and regular podium finisher, Seamus Lynch claimed second place in 32:48.  Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) was the next participant into view, claiming third place for the third consecutive week, in a time of 33:12.

In the ladies race, Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) led the way from the off.    After a strong climb and fast finish, Shileen claimed first place in 41:34.  Patricia McKibben (Unattached), a previous winner of Millstone (Race 6) took second place in 45:01.  Newry City Runners athlete Denise Mathers completed the top trio of ladies crossing the line in 46:24.

Top 3 Men:  1st Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) – 32:17; 2nd Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 32:48; 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 33:12

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 41:34; 2nd Patricia McKibben (Unattached) – 45:01; 3rd Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) – 46:24

Full Results:  Hill & Dales Series (Race 9) ‘Rocky’ 2013 Results

Weekend Preview:  NI & Ulster Championships, Active Antrim 5 and more...

Another busy weekend ahead for Northern Ireland runners:

As another weekend approaches, runners in Northern Ireland are once again blessed with an array of events to choose from; with mountain, road and track races all on offer.   This includes the much anticipated Northern Ireland & Ulster Senior Track and Field Championships at the Mary Peters Track, Belfast on Saturday and Sunday.  The Championships will see many of the provinces best athletes race in the newly refurbished stadium for the first time.

The action begins on Friday (14th June 2013) in Antrim, where hundreds are expected to turn out for the Active Antrim 5 mile road race.  The event will start and finish at the home of the NiRunning Mile, Antrim Stadium at Antrim Forum, and will cover a fast and flat course.  

Patrick Hamilton (Annadale Striders), Jarlath Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) and Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners) are likely contenders.  Patrick has really shown his class during 10k wins in Banbridge and Craigavon in the last four weeks, while Jarlath and Richard (along with Foyle Valley AC’s Keith Shiels) headed the pack at the last weeks Fairhill 5 mile road race in Ballymena.  This week, Jarlath won the lower key Greenlough 10k, but despite racing there just two days ago, it is still anticipated that the local man will toe the line here.  Richard is in top form at the moment, having picked up a bronze medal at the Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships and also a podium place at the Les Jones Memorial 10k last month; he also beat Jarlath to the line at the aforementioned Fairhill 5.  Ben Morrow has enjoyed an incredible year, with new personal bests over 26.2 miles (2:39:25), 13.1 miles (1:15:53) and 5 miles (26:46); he will be in or around the top three here, should he decide to compete.

Other top men are likely to include Vilius Pakalnaskies (Unattached), winner of the Maghera 10k and Randalstown 10k races; Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners), who finished in second place at the EAH trail race in Tardree on Tuesday (11th June 2013); Paul O’Callaghan (Sperrin Harriers), a top ten finisher at the Fairhill 5; Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), a consistent performer and regular podium finisher at the ongoing EAH trail series, and Matthew McCooke (Ballymena Runners), who clocked 27:17 to finish fourth in the Fairhil 5.  Matt Wray (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC), James Turtle (Ballymena Runners) and Noel Connor (Ballymena Runners) will all finish well up the field should they attend.

Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) will prove extremely difficult to beat in the ladies race.  The talented athlete has been on fire over the past few months, winning nearly every race she has taken part in.  This has included victories in the Maghera 10k, Decathlon 10k, Jengana 10k, Sperrin Harriers 5m Classic and the Fairhill 5; Gemma also picked up a silver medal at the Athletics NI 5k (Road) Championships in April 2013.

Paula McAllister (Ballymena Runners) will be another top lady if she races; Paula has returned to competition recently and enjoyed an excellent outing at the Runher Coastal Challenge (10k) last month, where she finished in a very credible fourth place, running 40:05 on a tough course.  Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) could be another lady chasing honours, after starting the year in fine fashion, Claire seemed to reduce the number of races she was doing, but returned last week with a brilliant 39:06 to take the runners up prize at the Craigavon Lakes 10k.  Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) will hope to reproduce the kind of performance that led her to victory in the Greenlough 10k earlier this week, should she manage that; Geraldine will once again find herself in the prizes.  Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) and Shelley Tomlins (Ballymena Runners) will also be amongst the leading ladies.

Also on Friday 14th June 2013, Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) will lead a group of Northern Ireland athletes as they aim for success at the Lifford 5k road race in Lifford, County Donegal (Ireland).  Based on Keith’s current form, it is hard to expect anything less than a victory from the man who won three races last week (Fairhill 5, Tattyreagh 5 and Buncranna 10k).

On Saturday 15th June 2013, the first Northern Ireland runner to lace his racers will be North Belfast Harriers’ well-respected ultra-runner Martin Rea.  Martin will take on the SDW100 Ultra in England.  After a podium finish at the SDW50 in April 2013, the Irish International will return to the scenic South Downs Way National Trail, this time completing the entire 100 mile route (with a total ascent of 12,700ft) between the Saxon capital of Winchester and Eastbourne. 

Sperrin Harriers will welcome in excess of two hundred ladies to the second running of their annual Stunnerz in Runnerz event, which starts at the Meadowbank Sports Arena in Magherafelt.  Alongside the 5 mile race, which attracts walkers, joggers, ladies new to running and athletes right through to International standard, there will be a host of stalls with tempting treats and an excellent goody bag for every competitor.  The first two hundred and fifty entrants will also receive a commemorative t-shirt.

Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) will hope to continue her successful return to racing, just last week the North Belfast Harriers lady recorded 31:20 for 5 miles (in Ballymena), proving that she (Cathy) is getting pack to her best.  Cathy will be joined on the start line by a number of ladies who will be looking to be amongst the prizes; Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club), a top ten finisher in the ladies category at the Fairhill 5, will be in the chasing pack; as will Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC), who this week completed a trio of race wins in the East Antrim Harriers forest trail series.  Louise’s club mate, Elizabeth Leitch (Orangegrove AC), who had a good runs at the One World Run (Belfast) and Edinbrugh Marathon (Scotland), should also be in the thick of the action. Rosemary Hargan (Sperrin Harriers), Paula Taggart (Springwell Running Club), Julie McKimm (Orangegrove AC), Carol McIlvor (Springwell Running Club), Linda Gillen (Springwell Running Club), Niamh Devlin (Unattached) and Catherine Pinkerton-Moore (Springwell Running Club) will all be aiming for high placings.

Northern Ireland mountain runners will also be in action on Saturday 15th June 2013, when they take on the popular Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race, an event organised by Armagh AC.  The 11 mile course (which includes 3,000ft of ascending) follows the ridge of the Cooley Mountains to Slieve Foye and onwards to Carlingford and attracts some of Ireland’s top mountain running specialists.

Last years champion Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) will return to defend his title, and based on his most recent showings in the Hill & Dale Series, where he has won the last two races at Meelberg/Meelbeg and Loughshannagh, Stephen is in the shape to do just that.  However, the Mourne Runners’ star may have to fend off a stiff challenge from Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) and Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC).  Ian has been one of the most impressive performers on the mountains this year, with several Hill & Dale victories under his belt as well as a notable display at the Slieve Donard ‘Classic’ last month. Allan has also turned a few heads this term, achieving wins at the Glenariff Mountain Race and Castlewellan Hill & Dale race.  Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners), David Steele (Newcastle AC), Simon Reeve (North Belfast Harriers) and Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) will all feature prominently in the race.

Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) will battle it out for the top spot in the ladies final standings.  The International women have pretty much swept the board this year, with Diane winning one week and Shileen the next; this has led to some epic encounters, which will no doubt be reproduced here.  However, having got the better of Shileen in the most recent races, Diane may go into this one as slight favourite.  Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC), Gillian Wasson (Springwell Running Club), Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) will also be there or there abouts.  Hazel won the Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast Hills race in May 2013 and is always amongst the leaders, while Gillian’s consistent performances led to an International appearance at the Skiddaw Mountain Race last month.  Like Gillian, Denise and Anne are consistent athletes and will always finish well up the pack, it will just be a case of who performs better on the day.

Saturday (15th June) and Sunday (16th June 2013) will also bring the weekend’s biggest event, the Northern Ireland & Ulster Track and Field Championships, which will be held at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.  A plethora of talent will take to the new ‘mondo’ surface, with just too many potentially amazing races to mention.  

Arguably the ‘main event’ on the two day timetable will be the men’s 5,000m race; this will see the in-form Stephen Scullion (Unattached), winner of the AAI National 10k Championships, take on Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), the current AAI National Half Marathon and Marathon Champion, who has also just had confirmation that he will represent Ireland at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow (Russia) this summer.  Not only will Stephen and Paul grace the track, but the duo will be joined by an exceptional line-up, which will include Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC), Declan Reed (City of Derry AC), Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders), Shane Kerr (Armagh AC), Brendan Teer (East Down AC), Eoghan Totten (Newcastle AC), JP Williamson (City of Derry AC), Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers), Ryan McDermott (Annadale Striders), Ciaran Doherty (Letterkenny AC), Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC), Gary Slevin  (City of Derry AC), Francis Marsh (North Down AC), Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) and Emmett McGinty (City of Derry AC).

Stephen Scullion and Andrew Agnew will also line up in the 1500m race, which will feature recent Highgate Harriers 10,000m winner Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) and one of the provinces’ hottest prospects, Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) as well as Paralympic double gold medallist Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC), James O’Hare (Annadale Striders) and Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC).  The ladies 1500m will match up Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC), who will be eager to race after her surprising omission from the Irish Euro Team Championships squad, and young Springwell Running Club starlet Alexandra Kirk.  Anne-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC) is another notable lady in this race, the Lifford AC athlete has been in outstanding form recently.

Conor Bradley will also race in the 800m, alongside Mark Patterson (North Down AC), Pajo Hamilton (City of Derry AC), Neil McCartan (East Down AC) and Michael Dyer (North Down AC).  Up and coming NI stars Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC), Conor Breslin (City of Derry AC), Jack McKibbin (Dromore AC), Conor Christie (Springwell Running Club) and Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers) will race over 800m as well.  The 400m will be an interesting spectacle, with Mark Patterson (North Down AC), Ben Maze (Lagan Valley AC), Adam McComb (North Down AC) and John Houston (Ballymena & Antrim AC). Conall Kirk (Lagan Valley AC) will again go in one of the age category races, as will City of Derry AC’s Jack McCloskey.

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), who was this week named in the Ireland squad for the upcoming European Team Athletics Championships, will double up in the 100m and 200m.  The Northern Ireland 100m and 200m record holder (100m record is joint with Anna Boyle), will face AAI Games 110m hurdles gold medallist Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC), Chloe Boomer (Lagan Valley AC) and Sally Brown (Springwell Running Club) in the 100m, and Chloe (Boomer) again in the 200m.  Paralympic hero Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) will be up against Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Jonathon Browning (Ballymena & Antrim AC) in the 100m, while Dean and Jonathon will take on Curtis Woods (Lagan Valley AC) and Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) in the 200m.  Jason will be on a high, having recently achieved a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard and a new personal best (50.27secs) over 400m hurdles.

Ben Reynolds (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC) will compete in the 110m hurdles, an event in which he is the current Northern Ireland record holder. Meanwhile, in the ladies 400m hurdles, Lagan Valley AC’s Mandy Gault will hope to claim victory.

Northern Ireland’s ten 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. 

Jarlath Falls and Geraldine Quigley win Greenlough 10k road race:

Club runners and fun runners enjoy local race:

On Wednesday 12th June 2013, Greenlough GAC hosted their annual Greenlough 10k road race in Clady, County Londonderry.  The event also included a less competitive fun run and attracted approximately one hundred competitors in total, with a good mixture of running enthusiasts and club runners.

In breezy conditions, Jarlath Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC) continued his fine form.  Having finished in third place at the Fairhill 5 mile road race exactly seven days earlier, Jarlath bettered that position on this occasion; the talented local clocked 33:26 to win.  Kevin O’Boyle (Ballymena Runners) continued his impressive return from injury, taking 2nd place in 35:45, while Niall Higgins (Magherafelt Harriers) sealed 3rd place in 37:10.

In the ladies race, Larne AC’s Geraldine Quigley claimed top spot in 41:04, beating her daughter Catriona Quigley (Ballymena Runners) to the line.  Catriona (46:46) took 2nd place ahead of Karen McElroy (Unattached), who completed the podium places in 49:19.

Top 3 Men:  1st Jarlath Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC) – 33:26, 2nd Kevin O’Boyle (Ballymena Runners) – 35:45, 3rd Niall Higgins (Magherafelt Harriers) – 37:10

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) – 41:04, 2nd Catriona Quigley (Ballymena Runners) – 46:46, 3rd Karen McElroy (Unattached) – 49:19

Full Results:  Greenlough 10k Road Race 2013 Results.  Picture used above was taken from the Ballymena Runners facebook page.

NI runners selected for Ireland's Euro Team Championships squad:

European Athletics Team Championships:

On Wednesday 12th June 2013, several Northern Ireland runners were named in a fifty strong Athletics Ireland team for the upcoming European Athletics Team Championships, which are set to take place in Santry, Dublin (Ireland) on Saturday 22nd June and Sunday 23rd June 2013.  The local athletes will be up against teams from Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) will take on both the 100m and 200m races and will be Northern Ireland’s only female representative in the squad, after Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) was surprisingly over looked in the 3000m.  Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), who recently clocked a new 400m hurdles personal best (50.27secs) whilst also achieving a Commonwealth Games qualification standard, will line up in the 400m hurdles and also the 4x400m relay.

Paralympic gold medallist Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) will return home from the USA and travel south for the 100m race, while North Down AC’s Ben Reynolds will race in the 110m hurdles.  Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC) will be part of the 4x100m relay team.

Full European Athletics Team Championship squad (Ireland):  Ireland Men's Team and Ireland Ladies Team.  Athletics Ireland FULL story.

Brian Young and Louise Lemon win EAH Tardree Forest Race:

Brian Young seals victory as Louise Lemon completes an impressive hat-trick:

On Tuesday 11th June 2013, East Antrim Harriers welcomed athletes to Tardree Forest, close to Antrim, for the third race of their annual Forest Trail Series.

The 3.5 mile event brought a host of series debutants to the start line, which increased competition at the front of the pack.  Brian Young (Unattached) announced his presence in the series with a brilliant performance; sealing victory in 18:46.  Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners), who has returned home from University for the summer, took 2nd place in 19:01.  Jack’s club mate Jonathon McCloy (Ballymena Runners), a respected mountain runner, completed the top three in 19:34 (3rd place).

The men’s podium was full new faces, but the ladies race was won by the dominant Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC). Louise, who won the first two races of the series in Ballyboley and Woodburn, completed a hat-trick of victories, recording 24:27 for the distance.  Shelley Tomlins (Ballymena Runners) claimed 2nd place in 25:04, before Sara Steer (Orangegrove AC) made it three 3rd places in three races when she crossed the line in 26:16.

Top 3 Men:  1st Brian Young (Unattached) – 18:46, 2nd Jack Neeson (Ballymena Runners) – 19:01, 3rd Jonathon McCloy (Ballymena Runners) – 19:34

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Louise Lemon (Orangegrove AC) – 24:27, 2nd Shelley Tomlins (Ballymena Runners) – 25:04, 3rd Sara Steer (Orangegrove AC) – 26:16

Northern Ireland runners pick up medals at Woodie's DIY AAI Games:

NI runners achieve personal bests and podium places at AAI Games:

On Sunday 9th June 2013, a number of runners from Northern Ireland were in competition at the Woodie’s AAI Games at the Morton Stadium in Dublin.  In warm and sunny conditions, many produced outstanding performances, with several picking up medals.

Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) and Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn AC) both claimed gold medals after running personal bests in their respective 1500m and 100m events.  Conor clocked 3:43.39, while Megan crossed the line in 12.07secs.  Conor’s club mates Pajo Hamilton (5th place – 3:57.18) and JP Williamson (9th place – 4:07.88), and Annadale Striders’ Ryan McDermott (6th place – 3:57.70) were also competing in the 1500m race.

Megan followed her win with another podium place in the 110m hurdles, taking 2nd place in 14.55secs.  The race was won by Emerald AC’s Sarah Lavin in 13.82secs.  In the 5,000m race, Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) achieved an excellent 3rd place after crossing the line in 15:16.62.  City of Derry AC duo Emmett McGinty (15:45.41) and Gary Slevin (16:13.38) also lined up in the 5,000m alongside Declan, taking 5th place and 6th place respectively, the race was won by Irish Olympian Mark Kenneally in 14:28.91.

Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Christine McMahon (2nd place – 64.15secs) finished as runner up to St Lawrence O’Toole AC’s Clare Murphy (1st place – 59.73secs) in the ladies 400m hurdles, while Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC) also collected silver in his 100m race.  Dean recorded 10.97secs, finishing behind David Hynes (Menapians AC), who covered the distance in 10.60secs.  Beechmount Harriers' Curtis Woods (49.24secs) took 2nd place in the 400m, a race won by Timmy Crowe (Dooneen AC) in 48.85secs.

Paralympic star Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) ran 1:55.94 (4th place) in the 800m event, and was followed across the line by fellow Northern Ireland runners Neil McCartan (East Down AC) and Cathal Logue (City of Derry AC); Neill achieved a new personal best and his first ever sub two minute time (for 800m) when he finished in 1:59.78secs, while Cathal followed in 2:02.16.  The race was won by Brian Kelly (St Abbans AC) in 1:54.18.  Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) narrowly missed a top three finish after clocking a new personal best of 4:42.98 in the 1500m, which was won by Anne-Marie McGlynn (Lifford AC), a regular competitor in NI, in 4:29.65.

Further afield, current Northern Ireland 100m record holder Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC) was in action at the Star Athletics 'Sprints Meet' in Montverde (USA).  Jason came through his 100m heat in 10.30secs, before running 10.24secs in the final.  This was enough to secure 5th place in the race, which was won by Adrian Griffith (Bahamas) in 10.16secs.

Full Results:  Woodie’s DIY AAI Games 2013 Results

Keith Shiels and Caroline Miller win Tattyreagh 5m Road Race:

Athletes turn out to support local event:

On Saturday 8th June 2013, nearly 250 runners turned out for the Tattyreagh 5 mile road race, organised by Tattyreagh GAC.  The event, which took place in beautiful weather, also had a 5k Fun Run alongside the main event.

Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) is a man on top form at the moment, smashing personal bests on a regular basis, and winning races just as frequently.  Keith, who won the ‘Fairhill 5’ last Wednesday (5th June 2013), cruised to victory in 26:05.  Local man Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) took 2nd place in 26:43 with Pete Neill (Unattached) completing the top three finishers when he crossed the line in 27:51.

In the ladies race, Caroline Miller (Omagh Harriers) picked up a well-deserved win.  Caroline is a regular on the podium; mostly taking silver or bronze, but it was gold on this occasion, she (Caroline) recorded 36:51 to finish just ahead of club mate Patricia Campbell (Omagh Harriers) who clocked 37:00.  Maria McCarter (Unattached) covered the distance in 38:11 (3rd place).

Omagh Harriers celebrated a double victory in the associated 5k Fun Run, with Brendan Collins winning the men’s race in 19:40 and Niamh Heaney topping the ladies standings with a finish time of 25:46.

Top 3 Men:  1st Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 26:05, 2nd Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) – 26:43, 3rd Pete Neill (Unattached) – 27:51

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Caroline Miller (Omagh Harriers) – 36:51, 2nd Patricia Campbell (Omagh Harriers) – 37:00, 3rd Maria McCarter (Unattached) – 38:11

It didn’t stop there for Keith Shiels….

Northern Ireland clubs represented at Buncrana 10k:

In other news, Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) completed a fantastic double on the evening of Saturday 8th June 2013.  After winning the aforementioned Tattyreagh 5 mile road race, Keith joined several other Northern Ireland runners in Buncrana, County Donegal (Ireland) for the Buncrana 10k.

Once again, the purple vested athlete showed his class, completing the course in 33:01; winning by almost two minutes.  Another Foyle Valley AC man, Pius McIntyre (34:57) took 2nd place, while Paul McCaffrey (City of Derry AC) ensured a clean sweep of the men’s podium by Northern Ireland clubs, when he crossed the line in 35:07 (3rd place).  City of Derry AC duo Gavin Stevenson (36:15) and Conor Doherty (36:57) secured top ten places, finishing in 6th place and 7th place respectively.  Their Spartan friend Peter Lilburn clocked 40:22 (24th place) before Michael Gallagher (Foyle Valley AC) covered the distance in 41:54 (38th place).  

Denise McElhone (Foyle Valley AC) picked up 3rd place in the ladies race when she crossed the line in 43:07; the ladies race was won by Inishowen AC’s Kim McLaughlin (40:43).  Paul Coyle, also of Foyle Valley AC, recorded 43:57 (51st place) for the distance, while experienced athlete Christy McMonagle (City of Derry AC) completed the course in 45:03 (59th place).

Full Results:  Tattyreagh 5 (mile) Road Race 2013 Results and Buncrana 10k 2013 Results (Currently Unavailable)

Athletes and spectators enjoy 26extreme Mourne Way spectactular:

Keith, McCartney, Simpson, Alexander, Hicks and James all enjoy success:

On Saturday 8th June 2013, thousands of athletes and spectators swarmed the sun soaked Mourne Mountains for the annual 26extreme Mourne Way Marathon series, the event included a race for everyone; with Ultra Marathon (52 miles), Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k distances were all on offer to the enthusiastic participants.

There was a nip in the air and dew on the ground as the hardy ultra-runners exited Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor at 6am.  The biggest field of ultra-runners in the events history set off on a 52 mile journey that would take them to Donard Park, Newcastle and back; during which they would experience the best scenery the Mourne Mountains has to offer.  On the sound of the starting horn, Eoin Keith (Boards AC) and Kevin Doyle (Kimberworth AC) moved sharply to the front, and in truth, this was the last the pack seen of the pair.

Eoin and Kevin ate up the opening miles and passed through Spelga Dam running side by side, deep in conversion.  Sean Brosnan (Ireland), Toben Dahl (Crusaders AC), Cathal McGreevy (Newry City Runners), Ivan Sadlier (Unattached), Noel Thomas (Unattached) and Nicki McPeake (Springwell Running Club) were all looking like possible contenders for third place.  The ladies race was a much closer affair, with Jolene Mellon (Setanta Triathlon Club/North East Runners) and Susan McCartney (Unattached) coming into the Spelga Dam aid station together, Violet Linton (LVO) was a bit behind but was having a good race and looked strong.  

As the leading men descended towards Donard Park, Newcastle; where they would re-fuel and head back towards Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, Eoin and Kevin were still neck and neck.  However, the turning point did indeed turn out to be ‘the turning point’.  As Eoin and Kevin entered the 26.2 mile aid station, Kevin began to re-fuel; Eoin picked up a bottle of fizzy drink (Coca-Cola), said his goodbyes and disappeared back into the forest.  Despite the temptation to follow, Kevin stuck to his re-fuelling strategy and let the record breaking Irish man go.

Marathon de Sables finisher Sean Brosnan was the next athlete into the turning point, closely followed by Cathal McGreevy, who was running a very composed and well paced race.  A tiring Toben Dahl then appeared, and said that he was not coping well with the heat.  Ivan Sadlier, William McMillan (Unattached), Noel Thomas, Timothy Brownlie (Unattached), David Gamble (Seapark AC) and David Turtle (Seapark AC) weren’t far behind, neither were the front running ladies Susan McCartney and Jolene Mellon.  Susan reached half way first, but took time to re-hydrate; this allowed Jolene to extinguish the gap.  Violet Linton was the third lady into Donard Park, with Amy Beggs a fair distance behind in fourth place.

The relentless Eoin Keith powered his way across the rough, but mostly dry terrain and had built a twelve minute lead as he reached the 38 mile point.  A high spirited Kevin Doyle passed next, saying that the heat was beginning to affect him; around the same time in the ladies race, Susan McCartney had broken clear of the talented Jolene Mellon and was looking as dominant as her male counterpart.  In the closing miles, Eoin continued to increase his lead, before entering Kilbroney Park and crossing the line in an excellent 7:39:26.  After the race, the Irish International said that the warm weather suited him.  A tired, but jubilant Kevin Doyle followed; he finished in 8:05:13 (2nd place).  Incidentally, this is the first time in four visits to the Mourne Way event that Kevin has not celebrated victory, having won the last three marathons at the event.  Sean Brosnan claimed the final men’s podium place in 8:55:40.  Cathal McGreevey was the first Northern Ireland runner to complete the course, after he put in a fantastic performance to finish in 9:10:28 (4th place).  Susan McCartney completed a brilliant performance, and over-turned last years standings, when she finished as runner up, taking the title in 9:13:15.  Last year’s winner, Jolene (10:19:16) had to settle for 2nd place, while Violet Linton battled through cramp to secure a well-deserved 3rd place in 11:07:11.  

The Marathon proved to be just as exciting, Don Travers (Newry City Runners) and David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers) joined approximately two hundred competitors on the Donard Park start-line; and it was these two men who battled hard right up until the latter stages.  The pair went through 8 miles side by side at a blistering pace, but by 13.1 miles Don had opened up a lead of approximately thirty seconds on David.  At the same stage, Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) was well clear in the ladies race and was looking like a comfortable winner; but there was still another 13.1 miles to cover.  Behind Karen, Joanne Bolton (Kimberworth AC) and Michelle Ryan (Unattached) were also well positioned and didn’t look overly strained.

In the closing stages, David caught and passed Don, who may well have been feeling the effects of the recent Newry City Marathon, where he picked up a second place prize.  Strong running David covered the remaining miles with ease, sealing an impressive win in 3:16:03.  Don followed in 3:19:32, before his Newry City Runners club mate Ian Stephenson recorded 3:34:36 to claim 3rd place and a position on the podium beside two of the country’s most respected athletes.  The ladies race remained as separated as it had been throughout, with the exceptional Karen Alexander celebrating a comfortable win in 3:36:42.  Joanne Bolton, who had travelled over from England, took 2nd place in 4:19:34 before Michelle Ryan completed the course in 4:43:06.

Chris Cotton (Kimberworth AC), a runner up in last year’s Half Marathon, returned this year in the hope of bettering that placing; the friendly Englishman shared the Half Marathon start line with five bus loads of fellow running enthusiasts.  Straight from the off, Chris, Connor Kamm (Unattached), Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) and Dermot Mathers (Newry City Runners) made their intentions clear; after 800m the four had put approximately 80m-100m between themselves and the chasing hundreds.  Gladys Ganiel O’Neil (North Belfast Harriers) was just behind the lead group as they passed the nearby Spelga Damm and went off-road. 

Several of the early podium chasers tired on the more undulating part of the course, but early front runners Connor Kamm and Chris Cotton did not, they pressed ahead of the group and by the 5k race start point it was obvious that the eventual winner would come from the talented pairing.  This proved to be correct; with Connor crossing the line in 1:24:48 to win.  Chris replicated his finishing position from 2012, taking 2nd place in 1:25:05; Newcastle AC’s Seamus Lynch claimed 3rd place in 1:27:05.

The ladies race was based around one person, North Belfast Harriers’ Gladys Ganiel O’Neill, who was returning to competition after a well-earned rest post London Marathon.  As expected, but still deserved, Gladys romped to victory in 1:28:41.  Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) made it two podium finishes in three days after a third place finish at Thursday night’s Hill & Dale ‘Meels’ Race, taking 2nd place on this occasion, after running 1:52:51.  Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers) completed the course in 1:56:27.

The 10k race started in Leitrim Lodge, an absolutely stunning setting.  Allan Johnston (Murlough AC) went into the race as favourite, and did perform well, but it was late entrant Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC) who impressed most.  Andrew’s good performance at the Craigavon Lakes 10k on Wednesday night obviously did not slow him, as the County Down man raced clear to win in 36:43.  Allan Johnston notched up another admirable performance, taking 2nd place in 37:03 before 26extreme regular Barry McConville finished in 38:16 (3rd place).

In the ladies race, Samantha James (Kimberworth AC) completed a successful day for the Yorkshire based club to which she is attached.  Last year, Samantha finished as runner up in the Mourne Way Half Marathon, but after stepping down a distance this year, she stepped up a place on the podium; winning the (ladies) race in 45:19.  Anne Haveron (Newry City Runners) was next home in 46:34 (2nd place), with Unattahced athlete Samantha McNally (48:12) in 3rd place.

Ultra Marathon (52.4m):

Top 3 Men:  1st Eoin Keith (Boards AC) – 7:39:26, 2nd Kevin Doyle (Kimberwoth AC) – 8:05:13, 3rd Sean Brosnan (Ireland) – 8:55:32

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Susan McCartney (Unattached) – 9:13:15, 2nd Jolene Mellon (Setanta Triathlon Club/ North East Runners) – 10:19:16, 3rd Violet Linton (LVO) – 11:07:11


Top 3 Men:  1st David Simpson (Ballydrain Harriers) – 3:16:03, 2nd Don Travers (Newry City Runners) – 3:19:32, 3rd Ian Stephenson (Newry City Runners) – 3:34:36

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) – 3:36:42, 2nd Joanne Bolton (Kimberworth AC) – 4:19:34, 3rd Michelle Ryan (Unattached) – 4:43:06

Half Marathon:

Top 3 Men:  1st Connor Kamm (Unattached) – 1:24:48, 2nd Chris Cotton (Kimberworth AC) – 1:25:02, 3rd Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 1:27:05

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:28:41, 2nd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 1:52:51, 3rd Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers) – 1:56:27

10k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Andrew Hicks (Dromore AC) – 36:43, 2nd Allan Johnston (Murlough AC) – 37:03, 3rd Barry McConville (Unattached) – 38:16

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Samantha James (Kimberworth AC) – 45:19, 2nd Anne Haveron (Newry City Runners) – 46:34, 3rd Samantha McNeilly (Unattached) – 48:12

Provisional Results:  Mourne Way Marathon (Ultra, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k) 2013 Results

Freddy Sittuk and Julie Balmer win at AES Larne Half Marathon:

New course record set at scenic Larne Half Marathon:

On Saturday 8th June 2013, Larne Athletic Club hosted their re-scheduled AES Larne Half Marathon, and conditions could not have been more different to those that led to the postponement of the original event in March.

In glorious sunshine, over 1,500 runners took to the start line, which was situated on the picturesque Antrim Coastline with views reaching as far away as Scotland.  Initially, the runners veered inland where they completed a lap of the town centre, before returning to the Coast Road; by which time the podium places were already becoming apparent.  

As athletes raced up the stunning Coast Road, Freddy Sittuk (Kenya), a third place finisher in the recent Belfast City Marathon, Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) and Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) all appeared to be running together.  Late entrant Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) was on his own along the long stretch of road, however the recent Walled City Marathon winner was showing no signs of tiredness in the extreme heat.  

In the ladies race, it was Julie Balmer (North Down AC) who confidently led along the Coast Road and into the village of Cairncastle.  Julie was chased by impressive City of Lisburn AC athlete, Kelly Neeley (nee McNeice) who was in turn approximately 400m in front of Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers).  

By half way, there was still no separating the top three men.  Freddy Sittuk, Alan O’Hara and Gary O’Hanlon all passed the 6.5 mile marker in 34:16.  Tommy Hughes was still holding on to fourth place at this stage, although he had some company along the way from the Ballymena Runners men’s relay team.  Tommy was pursued by Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners), Paul Moran (Rathfarnham WSAF AC), and Stephen Joyce (Springwell Running Club) who were all relatively close together.  James Brown (Larne AC) and Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers) looked strong and keen to keep up the pace.

In the ladies race at half way, things were hotting up (no pun intended) as Kelly Neely had caught up with Julie Balmer and the two were fighting for first place, passing 6.5 miles in around 41:22.  Roisin Hughes crossed the half way mark approximately two minutes behind the leading ladies, still in third place.  The chasing pack included Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club), Gillian Douglas (Unattached), and Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC), who were battling it out for a top five finish.  These three were closely followed by Ali Robinson (North Down AC), Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC), and Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club).  As the miles progressed along the Antrim Coast, the gaps between the ladies increased and those athletes about to achieve podium places was becoming apparent.

After a small uphill section, runners were directed back to the Coast Road via Ballygalley where they entered the final stages of the 13.1mile route.   The finish area was located on the promenade and provided a fantastic ‘finishing straight’ for competitors; the first athlete to experience the cheers of the waiting crowds was none other than Kenyan athlete, Freddy Sittuk.  Freddy crossed the line in 1:08:20 which not only secured first place, but also broke Joe McAlister's course record of 1:10:37 (2012), which was especially impressive given the uncomfortable racing conditions.  North Belfast Harriers’ Alan O’Hara wasn’t far behind, achieving 2nd place in 1:08:38, a new personal best by just over two minutes.  Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) glided over the line to take 3rd place in 1:09:29.  After an anxious wait to see who would be the next man home, the North Belfast Harriers vest in the distance confirmed it was the remarkable Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers), Tommy completed the final yards to the sound of loud applause, crossing the line in 1:13:54 to take 4th place.  Ballymena Runners’ Ben Morrow achieved a new personal best and completed the top five finishers in an impressive time of 1:15:53.

In the ladies race, it was in-form Julie Balmer who was crowned the winner, claiming the top prize in 1:24:29.  Julie had powered on during the second half of the race and had gained almost a three minute lead on her nearest rival, Kelly Neely.  Former international track star, Kelly had a fantastic race in what was her debut half marathon, taking 2nd place in 1:27:22.  The consistently impressive Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) completed the podium places in 1:28:07. Catriona McCorkell (Lagan Valley AC) crossed the line amongst the runners hoping for a sub 1:30 finish, this was achieved with one second to spare, taking 4th place in 1:29:58.  Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) was close behind and claimed 5th place in 1:30:13.

Top 3 Men:  1st Freddy Sittuk (Kenya) 1:08:20; 2nd Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) 1:08:38; 3rd Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) 1:09:29

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Julie Balmer (North Down AC) 1:24:29; 2nd Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) 1:27:22; 3rd Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) 1:28:07

Full Results:  AES Larne Half Marathon 2013 Results

Weekend Preview:  Mourne Way Marathon, Larne HM and more...

Athletes prepare for a weekend of racing and sunshine (fingers crossed!)...

As the province prepares for a weekend of sunshine and BBQ’s, runners will once again be gathering their racing kit for a weekend of competition, in Larne, Omagh, Antrim, Dublin and of course the Mourne Mountains.  Arguably, the two biggest local events will be the re-scheduled AES Larne Half Marathon and the 26extreme Mourne Way Series (which includes; Ultra Marathon, Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k and 5k events).

The 26extreme Mourne Way Marathon action starts at 6am in the Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, where the Ultra Marathon participants will begin their 85km return journey to Donard Park, Newcastle and back, passing through many of the most popular Mourne Mountain haunts, including Spelga Dam, Leitrim Lodge, Trassy Track, Hen Track and Donard Forest.  Irish International ultra-runner Eoin Keith, a multiple 26extreme event winner and winner of this event last year, will go into the race as a strong favourite. The Irish 24 hour (235.9km), 48 hour (342.9km) and 72 hour (483.1km) record holder knows the course extremely well and will prove exceptionally hard to beat.  

Another man who knows the course is Kevin Doyle (Kimberworth AC); he has travelled over from England and won the Mourne Way Marathon for the last three years, and true to his word on the finish line last year, he has stepped up to the Ultra this year.  In his build up to the event, Kevin completed a 24 hour race at the back end of last year, covering a credible 217.8km in the allotted time.  In truth, it will probably take Eoin to withdraw for Kevin to win, but he will definitely play a prominent part in proceedings and deserves to do well.  

Torben Dahl (Crusaders AC), Nicki McPeake (Springwell Running Club) and Ivan Sadlier (Unattached) will also be in or around the top places.  Torben is well known within the IMRA scene and has proved to be a tough gritty competitor, something that will definitely be needed in the forecasted heat.  Torben was a podium finisher in last years Cooley Legends Half Marathon, this is significant as the terrain there is similar to that of the Mourne Way course.  Nicki McPeake and Ivan Sadlier are experienced ultra-runners, with the pair finishing in fourth place and fifth place respectively at the Lost World’s Causeway Crossing in May 2013.  Nicki completed the Mourne Way Ultra course in 9:42:59 last year, finishing in 8th place; Ivan was a mere two minutes behind in 9:44:04 (10th place), so it will be an interesting battle between the pair.  Other runners hoping to make the top ten will include Paul Nesbitt (Unattached), Aleksander Pyzio (Poland) and David Gamble (Seapark AC).

The ladies race will prove to be an exciting battle, with last years top three finishers, Jolene Mellon (Setanta Triathlon Club), Susan McCartney (Unattached) and Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) set to recommence battle.  Jolene won last time in 9:45:58 and will hope to defend her title, and based on current form, she (Jolene) is more than capable of doing so.  Jolene won the recent Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing 50k race and also took a podium place at the Cooley Legends Half Marathon in April 2013.  Susan has shown her class as well, having taken the runners up spot last year she (Susan) went on to achieve a podium place at the very well respected NDW50 in May this year (2013).  The Belfast lady is a steely character, she collapsed during a 24 hour race a few years ago, but refused to withdraw; having rested for a few hours she got back onto the track and covered 86 miles!  This is a lady worth watching!

Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) won the Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing 100k last month and finished seventh in the Walled City Marathon last weekend, some might say that’s a perfect build up to an Ultra race, but covering 26.2 miles in 3:26:15 will have taken its toll on the City of Derry Spartan.  Will she have recovered sufficiently in time? We will see, as 85km is a long way.  Violet Linton (LVO) will also finish well up in the ladies category.  Violet has been in decent form over the mountains this year, placing well in several Hill & Dale races and taking second place at the Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast Hills race; this all bodes well for a strong performance.  Jessamyn  Fairfield (Unattached) is another lady to look out for, she (Jessamyn) has travelled the world to participate in ultra-distance events, with her most impressive outing being a twelfth place finish at the notoriously difficult ‘Hells Hills’ Ultra Marathon (50km) in America, where she ran 6:55:01. 

The Marathon starts in Donard Park, Newcastle at 12.30pm and will take competitors on an enjoyable 26.2 miles journey to Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.  One of the many highlights of this route is the view over Newcastle as the runners reach the top of Donard Forest and turn right, it is spectacular.  Barry Fitzpatrick (Unattached), Stuart Paulin (Unattached), Billy Reed (East Antrim Harriers) and Terry Horsfield (Unattached) will all be amongst the front runners.  Barry had a brilliant run over this course last year, just missing out on a podium place in the Ultra event when he finished in fourth place behind three quality opponents (Eoin Keith, Don Travers and Barry Murray).  Stuart will play a part at the head of the field; the regular 26extreme race participant is a consistent high finisher and enjoyed success over the marathon distance at the Causeway Coast in 2012, where he finished in second place.  

Billy Reed is a notable starter, the EAH man is often found in the top ten when looking through trail race results and finished second in the Causeway Coast Ultra Marathon (65km) 2012; without doubt, he will be there or there abouts once again.  Billy has the potential to be amongst the top finishers, but will come through the field late and undetected.  Terry Horsfield is a 3:17:37 marathon runner (on the road) and finished just outside the top three in the Causeway Coast Marathon two years ago.   On his day, Terry could be well inside the top ten.  Martin Francis (Unattached), Clive Coffey (Physio & Co), Morten Nobaek (Denmark) and Chris Collins (East Antrim Harriers) will all be hoping for a high placing.

Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) is the stand out entry in the ladies marathon; having won the Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing 25k, the Cooley Legends Half Marathon, the River Moy Half Marathon and the Downpatrick Lions 14k within the last eight weeks, Karen is in top form going into this race.  However, there will be a strong group of ladies chasing the Sperrin Harriers lady, just waiting to pounce.  This will include Helen Cassidy (Unattached), Orlagh McElroy (Murlough AC), Gillian Cordner (Seapark AC), Maike Juergens (UCD AC) and Megan Yuhas Stetka (Unattached).

Helen Cassidy (Unattached) finished third in this event last year and will return hoping to improve on that placing, while Orlagh was one of the Mourne Way Marathon 2012 surprise packages.  The Murlough AC lady came through the field well to take fifth place.  Gillian is steadily becoming a quality ultra-distance athlete, with podium places at the Clonakilty Back2Back Marathons, Connemara Marathon and Newry Marathon to her name within the last twelve months.  Maike is more known for her exploits over shorter distances, but stepped up to the marathon distance last year in Dublin, where she just missed a sub four hour finish.  Information suggests that the UCD student has been working on her long distance stamina over rough terrain, so she may well be one to keep an eye out for.  Megan finished will up in the Belfast Marathon in 2011, covering the 26.2 mile course in 3:42:14.

Northern Ireland International long distance runner, Don Travers (Newry City Runners) will be the man to beat in the Half Marathon (2pm start), which will take competitors from Spelga Dam to Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.  Two weeks ago, Don had a real battle with Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) in the Newry City Marathon.  Unfortunately, on that occasion he came off second best, but that will further fuel his desire to win here.  Newcastle AC’s ‘find of the year’, Seamus Lynch will be Don’s closest rival.  Seamus has been running well in the ongoing Hill & Dale Series and finished fifth in the most recent race last night (Thursday 6th June 2013) at Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Meelbeg.  Maurice Harte (Unattached), Jerome McCrickard (Newcastle AC) and Chris Cotton (Unattached) will also place well.

The Half Marathon will also see a return to competition for North Belfast Harriers’ Gladys Ganiel O’Neill.  The talented lady ran 2:42:35 at the Virgin London Marathon in April, and having enjoyed a short break from racing, she (Gladys) will be eager to get back on the start line.  We have no doubt that Gladys will finish well up the field, and may well be amongst the first Half Marathon runners to finish.  Helen Weir (North Belfast Harriers), who enjoyed a good run at the Chain Reaction Cycles Belfast Hills race, will be in the chasing pack; this will also include Orangegrove AC duo Louise Lemon and Sarah Steer, both of whom have finished in first place and third place respectively at the first two races in the East Antrim Harriers Trail Series.  Nicola Mathers (Murlough AC) and Debbie Kendall (Murlough AC) will also run well.

Alan Johnston (Murlough AC) will head the male challengers in the 10k race, which will start at Leitrim Lodge (at 3pm) and finish in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor. Alan produced good performances in the Ballynahinch Lions 10k (3rd place) and the Downpatrick Lions 14k (5th place) and looks to be in good shape to challenge for the title.  Declan Magee (Newcastle AC) and Barry McConville (Unattached) will also be aiming for high finishes.  Samantha James (Unattached), a third place finisher in the Mourne Way Half Marathon in 2012, looks like the top female contender but she (Samantha) will have to fend off a strong challenge from Joy McAleer (Orangegrove AC) and Judith Spence (Murlough AC) if she wants to win.  Interestingly, Joy claimed a top ten spot at the ‘Svalbard Turn Spitbergen Half Marathon’ in Norway last weekend.  Unattached athletes Declan McErlean, Neil Young, Andrew Lambie, Mary Davis, Leonie Corcoran and Orla McErlean will be amongst the 5k competitors who will join in with the 10k runners as they go through 5k enroute to Kilbroney Park, Rostervor.

Also on Saturday 8th June 2013, thousands of runners and spectators will descend on the coastal town of Larne, County Antrim for the 20th running of the Larne Half Marathon, sponsored by AES Ballylumford.

Amongst the 1,400 field, some of the provinces most talented athletes will toe the line.  This should include recent Connemara Marathon, Kildare Marathon and Newry Marathon winner Gary O’Hanlon (Clonliffe Harriers) and arguably Northern Ireland’s top female distance runner, Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers), who achieved a Commonwealth Games marathon qualifying standard when she clocked 2:39:23 at the Virgin London Marathon in April 2013.

In the men’s race, Gary O’Hanlon is likely to be joined by three time winner of the event, Joe McAlister (St Malachy’s AC), as well as Alan O’Hara (North Belfast Harriers) who boasts a 13.1m personal best of 1:10:56.  Local man Brian Campbell (Willowfield Harriers), another former winner of the Larne Half Marathon, was due to participate in the postponed event (on the 23rd March 2013), but it is unclear as to whether he will take on the challenge having recently completed the Belfast City Marathon; however, if he does race, Brian will play a prominent part in proceedings.  Other top competitors will include, Stephen Wylie (North Down AC), Michael Fitzpatrick (North Belfast Harriers), Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners), Graham Barr (Unattached), Paul Woodman (Orangegrove AC), Dennis Scott (North Down AC) and local men Ryan Stewart (Larne AC) and Phelim McAllister (Larne AC).

The battle for the podium places in the ladies race will be exciting, with Breege considered as strong favourite, it will leave Julie Balmer (North Down AC), Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club), Roisin Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) and Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) to contest second and third place.  Julie was the first Northern Ireland lady to finish the Belfast Marathon last month, while Ciara Toner finished as runner up in the prestigious Inishowen Half Marathon in May 2013; Roisin Hughes is a consistent performer and finished second to Julie Balmer in Belfast Marathon, and more recently at the Newry Half Marathon.  Kelly is a former Northern Ireland and Ireland international middle distance runner, who despite having retired from competitive running, still possesses the class to finish well up the field.

Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC), a third place finisher at the Fairhill 5 mile road race this week, will spearhead the host club’s challenge, while talented ladies Nikki Heywood (North Down AC), Roisin Rocks (Newry City Runners), Lyndsey Pronger (North Down AC) and Janice White (Forge Harriers) will all finish well up the field.

Elsewhere, on Saturday 8th June 2013, Tattyreagh GAC will host their annual Tattyreagh 5 mile road race, just outside Omagh, County Tyrone.  It is expected that the good weather conditions will encourage a record turnout for the race.

Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), winner of the Fairhill 5 mile road race in Ballymena on Wednesday night (5th June 2013) will head the field, and going by his red hot form, the Foyle Valley man will prove hard to stop.  Stephen Duncan (Omagh Harriers) may return from a lay-off, but his lack of race sharpness may mean that the popular local athlete has to settle for second spot.  Other podium chasers may include Paul Barbour (Omagh Harriers) and Damian Cox (Omagh Harriers).  Last years ladies winner, Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers), will not return to defend her title.  This will leave the door open for Anne Paul (City of Derry AC) to challenge for honours.  Anne will be pursued by Omagh Harriers trio Julie Butler, Caroline Miller and Sara Moore.  

Antrim Stadium will host the Northern Ireland & Ulster Age Group Championships on Saturday 8th June 2013.  This is likely to attract many of the country’s top up and coming stars as well as hundreds of family, friends and interested spectators.  Further details on this event can be found on the Athletics NI website.

Further afield on Saturday 8th June 2013, Pius McIntyre (Foyle Valley AC) and James Brown (City of Derry AC) will be amongst the runners attached to Northern Ireland clubs who travel to Buncrana, County Donegal (Ireland) for the Buncrana 10k road race

On Sunday 9th June 2013, Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) will be one of a host of Northern Ireland based runners competing at the Woodies DIY AAI Games in the Morten Stadium, Dublin (Ireland).  Conor may be joined by City of Derry AC club mates Gary Slevin and Pajo Hamilton.

Northern Ireland’s ten 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. 

Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) wins prestigious Highgate event:

Northern Ireland man makes his mark in the presence of a legend:

On Thursday 6th June 2013, one of Northern Ireland’s top distance runners, Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders), was competing in the Highgate Harriers 10,000m race at the Parliament Hill Athletics Track in London (England).  As part of the prestigious event, former 10,000m world record holder Dave Bedford, who was also the race director for the Virgin London Marathon until this year, was invited as a special guest.

There was a host of talent on the start line; but Eddie stepped up to the mark, showing his class in a late surge to lead the field home in 29:53.32, finishing seven seconds ahead of Bedford & County AC star Darren Deed (2nd place - 30:02.38) and Serpentine AC’s Nick Torry (3rd place - 30:02.52).

After several notable performances recently, which included a massive new 5,000m personal best of 14:07.60 at the BMC Sport City Grand Prix (England) last weekend, the Annadale Striders man looks set to enjoy a successful season.

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

Stephen Cunningham and Diane Wilson win Hill & Dale 'Meels' race:

Mountain runners turn out for Hill & Dale Series 'Meels' race:

On Thursday 6th June 2013, Newcastle AC welcomed runners to the eighth race of this years Hill & Dale Series. Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Meelbeg were the summits of the ‘Meels’ course, which covered 3.5 miles and included a total ascent of 1,800ft.

In perfect conditions, the runners set off from the Happy Valley Car Park towards Slieve Meelmore, and it was last week’s winner Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) who moved to the front, with Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) and Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC) leading the chasing pack.  Stephen reached the top first and his strong descent off Meelmore put some breathing space between himself and the aforementioned men.  The ladies race was proving to be a good old fashioned “ding-dong” between Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) and Diane Wilson (Dromore AC), with Shileen climbing strongly and Diane descending at such a rate that she was able to close the gap on her International team mate.

As the leading men hit the top of Slieve Meelbeg, Stephen Cunningham was looking strong; Ian Bailey and Deon McNeilly were behind, as was Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers), David McNeilly (Newcastle AC) and Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC).  Shileen O’Kane reached the final summit first and began the long descent before Diane Wilson.  Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) and Patricia McKibbin (Unattached) followed.

In the end, it was the start to finish leader, Stephen Cunningham who sealed his second Hill & Dale victory in as many weeks, crossing the line in 28:44 to take top spot.  Ian Bailey (29:28) secured yet another series podium place, taking 2nd place in 29:28, while Neil Carty (30:15) just beat David McNeilly (4th place – 30:15) to 3rd place.  The two were so close that they were rewarded the same finish time.

Diane Wilson’s descending skills once again proved invaluable in the ladies race; the Dromore lady passed Shileen O’Kane on the long downhill section off Slieve Meelbeg to win in 35:12, Shileen followed in 35:36.  Anne Sandford made sure that this week’s ladies top three read identical to last week’s race when she crossed the line in 40:00 (3rd place). 

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Cunningham (Mourne Runners) – 28:44, 2nd Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) – 29:28, 3rd Neil Carty (North Belfast Harriers) – 30:15

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Diane Wilson (Dromore AC) – 35:12, 2nd Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) – 35:36, 3rd Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC) – 40:00

Full Results:  Hill & Dale Series (Race 8) ‘Meels’ 2013 Results

Patrick Hamilton and Donna Evans impress at Craigavon Lakes 10k:

Partick Hamilton continues his good form in Craigavon:

On Wednesday 5th June 2013, athletes descended on the sun soaked Craigavon Watersports Centre in County Armagh for the annual Craigavon Lakes 5k and 10k races.  The races start and finish close to the Watersports Centre, with the 5k participants covering one lap of the lake, while the 10k competitors complete a second loop of the relatively fast course.

On a night when so many suffered because of the searing heat, Annadale Striders’ Patrick Hamilton showed no signs of temperature related fatigue as he cruised to an excellent victory in 31:15.  This was Patrick’s second win in as many weeks, after his notable performance at the Bann 10k two weeks ago.  Eamon White (North Belfast Harriers), who has enjoyed good runs at Jimmy’s 10k and the Titanic 10k this year, took 2nd place in 32:48.  Armagh AC’s Stephen Kerr, who has recently returned home from America for the summer, looked to have overcome a recent injury as he just pipped Annadale Striders’ Paul Carroll (4th place – 33:33) to 3rd place in 33:31.

The ladies race was a close affair, with Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers), Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix AC) and Ruth Hill (Unattached) all in contention throughout.  In the end, it was the more experienced Donna who just got the edge, winning in 38:55.  Claire took 2nd place in 39:06, while the relatively unknown but always impressive Ruth Hill secured 3rd place in 39:15.

In the associated 5k, City of Lisburn AC’s James Edgar led the participants home in 17:58, with Unattached athletes Peter Murray (19:52) and Andrew Johnston (20:36) taking 2nd place and 3rd place respectively.  Kate Mulholland (Unattached) was the first lady to cross the line, recording 22:07.  Sharon Williamson (Unattached) claimed 2nd place in 23:45, while Tara Grimes (Unattached) completed the top three ladies in 23:59.

10k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Patrick Hamilton (Annadale Striders) – 31:15, 2nd Eamon White (North Belfast Harriers) – 32:48, 3rd Stephen Kerr (Armagh AC) – 33:31

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Donna Evans (Monaghan Phoenix AC) – 38:55, 2nd Claire Connor (North Belfast Harriers) – 39:06, 3rd Ruth Hill (Unattached) – 39:13

5k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st James Edgar (City of Lisburn AC) – 17:58, 2nd Peter Murray (Unattached) – 19:52, 3rd Andrew Johnston (Unattached) – 20:36

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Kate Mulholland (Unattached) – 22:07, 2nd Sharon Williamson (Unattached) – 23:45, 3rd Tara Grimes (Unattached) – 23:59

Full Results:  Craigavon Lakes 5k and 10k Races

International event arranged to mark the official re-opening of MPT:

Belfast International - Tuesday 25th June 2013:

Competitors from England, Scotland, Wales and the Republic of Ireland are in the running for the elite international opening event at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track in Belfast later this month (Tuesday 25th June 2013).

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, Lord Sebastian Coe, Chairman of the British Olympic Association, and Dame Mary Peters are hosting the event which follows the £3m refurbishment of the track as part of Belfast City Council’s £150m Investment Programme.  A specially commissioned bronze statue of Dame Mary, an Olympic Gold Medallist in the decathlon, will be unveiled to mark the occasion.

Among the athletes confirmed for the event is Jason Smyth, a London 2012 Paralympic double gold medallist who is travelling from his training base in the United States to compete.  The fastest Paralympian in history, Jason, from Eglinton in Derry is the reigning Paralympic champion and also holds the world record in the T13 100m and 200m categories.


The Lord Mayor, Councillor Ó Muilleoir, said: “This is a fantastic event for everyone involved and a demonstration, ahead of this year’s World Police and Fire Games (WPFG) of how important this track is going to be in attracting high level competition.  “The facilities are world class standard, but are also being used by school children and local athletes still striving to reach international level.  This competition is an inspiring opportunity for everyone in the city, not just those directly involved in sport,” he added.  It is hoped that this opening event, which is serving as forerunner for the WPFG in Northern Ireland, will succeed in attracting thousands to the newly refurbished stadium on the Upper Malone Road, Belfast by showcasing international and local talent and all the new facility has to offer.

John Allen, Secretary of Athletics NI, commented: “Athletics NI is delighted to have the Mary Peters Track re-opened and serving athletes of all ages.  The upgraded facility will provide a foundation on which the sport of athletics can build upon in the future.  “The Mary Peters Track International Opening Event will provide local athletes an opportunity to compete against top athletes from around the World.  “Children from across Northern Ireland will be given the chance to take to the Track participate in a variety of events in front of family and friends and play their part in one of Northern Ireland’s biggest ever Athletics events.”

Dame Mary Peters said she was delighted that the track named in her honour would continue to serve Belfast and Northern Ireland. “I congratulate and thank the Belfast City Council for their investment which I am sure will contribute to the future sporting success of athletes from Belfast and Northern Ireland,” said Dame Mary.  “I am delighted that Belfast has a truly world-class facility that will serve both current and future generations of young athletes for many years to come,” she added.

Keith Shiels and Gemma Turley win Ballymena Runners' Fairhill 5:

Ballymena Runners host successful Fairhill 5 mile Road Race:

On Wednesday 5th June 2013, nearly three hundred runners participated in the Ballymena Runners organised Fairhill 5 mile road race and associated Fun Run.  The fast and flat 5 mile course consisted of two laps, which covered the town centre streets and a small section in the Ecos Park.

Despite the earlier rain, conditions were perfect when the athletes took to the start line. As the town’s newly appointed mayor sounded the starting horn, three men immediately took up prominent positions at the front; these were Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC), Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) and Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC).

By half way, it was Keith who had managed to put a gap between himself and Richard, who in turn had Jarleth on his tail.  The chasing pack was made up of Paul O’Callaghan (Sperrin Harriers), Matthew McCooke (Ballymena Runners), Eoin McQuillan (North Belfast Harriers), Craig Hutchinson (Larne AC), Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers), Michael Bennett (Ballymena Runners) and Glenn Donnelly (Sperrin Harriers).  Gemma Turley (Springwell Running Club) and Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) went through 2.5 miles together, setting things up nicely for an exciting finish in the ladies race.  Meanwhile, Karen McLaughlin (Springwell Running Club), Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC), Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) and Sonia Knox (Springwell Running Club) were battling it out for the final ladies podium place.

As the crowds made their way from the half way view point to the nearby finish, they had the opportunity of watching young North Belfast Harriers’ star Conor McQuillan win the Fun Run in 14:52.  It wasn’t long before the first of the ‘main event’ runners came into view, this turned out to be the ever impressive Keith Shiels, who sped down the finishing straight to break the tape in 25:21, a time not far off his current personal best of 25:09.  Another man in top form, Richard Johnston was next to finish, claiming 2nd place in 25:33; local man Jarleth Falls took 3rd place in 26:41.

As the runners continued to stream towards the finish, with many claiming excellent new personal bests; loud cheers indicated the arrival of the leading lady, Gemma Turley.  Gemma made it three wins from three outings (following wins at the Jengana 10k and Maghera 10k) when she crossed the line in 31:11.  Cathy McCourt followed close behind in 2nd place, clocking 31:20, while Ballymena based Larne AC lady Geraldine Quigley (3rd place – 32:24) was rewarded for an excellent second half with a well-deserved podium finish.

Top 3 Men:  1st Keith Shiels (Foyle Valley AC) – 25:21, 2nd Richard Johnston (City of Derry AC) – 25:33, 3rd Jarleth Falls (Ballymena & Antrim AC) – 26:41

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Gemma Turley (Springwell Runners) – 31:11, 2nd Cathy McCourt (North Belfast Harriers) – 31:20, 3rd Geraldine Quigley (Larne AC) – 32:24

Full Results:  Fairhill 5 (mile) Road Race 2013 Results

North Down AC hold the second of their 'Open' Track & Field meetings:

North Down AC Open Track & Field Meet 2:

On Tuesday 4th June 2013, North Down AC hosted the second of their summer ‘Open’ Track & Field meetings at the Bangor Sportsplex in County Down. The meetings attract a good mixture of Junior and Senior athletes and always provides and exciting night of racing.

In the ladies 200m event, U-15 athlete Saskia Greer (North Down AC) won Race 1 in 27.84secs, with Willowfield Harriers’ Georgia Hamill (30.58secs) winning the U-13 category. Race 2 saw Nicola Moorehead (Lagan Valley AC) claim victory in 27.41secs, while Willowfield Harriers’ Joanna Wright (30.81secs) and Orangegrove AC’s Emma Smith (31.40secs) were first home in their respective U-15 and Vet35 categories.

Andrew Wright continued an excellent night for Willowfield Harriers, with a win in the men’s 200m Race 1, after recording 24.67secs. North Down AC’s Oliver Wakefield (25.03secs) took the U-15 category prize. In Race 2, Kenny Elliot (North Down AC) led the field home in 22.50secs, with his club mate Roger Sexton (23.79secs), Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Philip McKinney (25.79secs) and Annadale Striders’ Mark Wright (26.63secs) winning the Vet40, Vet35 and Vet45 categories.

The ladies 3000m was won by local lady Stephanie Hambling (11:37.08); Willowfield Harriers duo Sophie Rea (11:45.64) and Jessica Scott (12:12.40) followed in 2nd place and 3rd place, this secured the U-15 title for Sophie and the U-13 for Jessica. North Down AC celebrated an excellent double 3000m win when James Budde continued his good track form by sealing a well-deserved victory in 9:14.71. North Belfast Harriers’ Conor Curran returned from a chest infection to claim 2nd place in 9:24.75, this was enough to secure top spot in the Vet35 category; before Brian Barron completed the top three in 9:51.62 and with it, the U-23 prize. Willowfield Harriers Amando Bamisile (10:14.36) won the U-17 category, while Ballydrain Harriers’ Ryan Andrews (10:34.95) took the U-20 equivalent. East Down AC pair Stephen McCartan (11:16.60) and Peter Morgan (11:17.95) were victorious in their Vet50 and Vet40 age groups.

U-13 Mollie Brown (North Down AC) sealed victory in the girls 800m race, clocking 2:34.52 for the distance, before Willowfield Harriers’ Sophie Rea claimed her second U-15 category win of the night in 2:41.76. The ‘mixed’ 800m race brought a host of talent to the track, with Fionbarr Toolan (Balmoral Harriers) crossing the line first in 2:04.48. Paul O’Neill (Lagan Valley AC) followed in 2:04.49, taking the U-20 category; young U-17 man Oisin O’Callaghan (Newry AC) completed an excellent week, which saw him finish on the podium at the All Ireland Schools, with a 3rd place finish and a category victory in 2:06.09. Unattached athlete Lee Maginnis (2:07:41) won the Vet35 category, finishing just ahead of Annadale Striders’ Mark Wright (2:07.63) who collected the Vet45 prize. Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) won the ladies race in 2:18.95, while Craig McMeechan (North Down AC) claimed the U-15 title in 2:23.66.

The 400m event brought two ‘mixed’ category races, with Strabane Triathlon Club’s Conor McLaughlin (50.49secs) leading the field home and Andrew Wright (Willowfield Harriers) winning the U-20 category in 53.02secs. Male Open, U-20, Vet35 and Vet40 categories were all represented in Race 2, with Vet40 Roger Sexton (North Down AC) winning in 54.96secs. Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Philip McKinney (Vet35) crossed the line in 56.25secs, while Unattached athlete Michael Kelly (Male Open) broke the beam in 57.63secs. U-17 man Craig McDermid (North Down AC) completed the category winners when he finished in 63.46secs.

The next ‘Open’ meet of the series is to be held on Tuesday 30th July 2013, this will once again take place at the Bangor Sportsplex. Please visit the North Down AC website for full details.

Full Results: North Down AC ‘Open Graded’ Meet (2) 2013 Results

Stockdale, Armstrong, Prentice and Toner enjoy Ballinamallard 5k and 10k:

On Monday 3rd June 2013, well over one hundred runners turned out for the Ballinamallard 5k and 10k road races, organised as part of the village’s week long annual festival.  

In warm and sunny conditions, Northern Ireland international cross country runner, Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) continued her return to action with an impressive display in the 5k race.  Helen, who has been out through illness, led the entire field home in 20:28 to win.  This was Helen’s second race win in four days, after she won the Donegal 5k road race last Friday (31st May 2013) evening.  Ryan Armstrong (Unattached) followed in 21:25, winning the male race by a mere one second ahead of Craig Humes (Unattached), who crossed the line in 21:26 (2nd place).  Ciaran McCaffrey (Unattached) completed the top three men in 22:40 (3rd place).  Unattached athletes Rita Reid (32:30) and Joanne O’Donnell (33:19) took 2nd place and 3rd place respectively in the ladies 5k.

In the 10k race, Enniskillen Running Club’s Stephen Prentice followed on from his recent win at the Jengana 10k with another victory.  Stephen showed his class, breaking the tape in 34:45, over two minutes ahead of his nearest rival; Adam Cooke (Enniskillen Running Club), who took 2nd place in 36:58.  Omagh Harriers’ Derek Somerville claimed the final podium place in 38:37.  Denise Toner (Clones AC) was just as dominating in the ladies category, sealing victory in 40:33. Ever improving Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) completed the course in 42:33 (2nd place), while Mary Rutledge (Enniskillen Running Club) finished in 46:07 (3rd place).

5k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Ryan Armstrong (Unattached) – 21:25, 2nd Craig Humes (Unattached) – 21:26, 3rd Ciaran McCaffrey (Unattached) – 22:40

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) – 20:28, 2nd Rita Reid (Unattached) – 32:30, 3rd Joanne O’Donnell (Unattached) – 33:19

10k Race:

Top 3 Men:  1st Stephen Prentice (Enniskillen Running Club) – 34:45, 2nd Adam Cooke (Enniskillen Running Club) – 36:58, 3rd Derek Somerville (Omagh Harriers) – 38:37

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Denise Toner (Clones AC) – 40:33, 2nd Tara Malone (Enniskillen Running Club) – 42:33, 3rd Mary Rutledge (Enniskillen Running Club) – 46:07

Full Results:  Ballinamallard 5k and 10k Road Race 2013 Results

Northern Ireland runners impress in Ireland, Norway and South Africa:

Woodman, Stockdale and McCafferty on the podium, while McManus and Curran completes 86.96km race:

Over the weekend, Northern Ireland runners have been in competition outside the province; at the Comrades Ultra Marathon in South Africa, the Svalbard Turn Spitbergen Marathon (and Half Marathon) in Norway and also the Donegal 5k in Ireland.

On Sunday 2nd June 2013, John McManus (Larne AC) and Joanne Curran (BARF) took on the notorious Comrades Ultra-Marathon in South Africa, a hilly race which covers the 86.96km journey between Durban and Pietermaritzburg.  Each year, the event start and finish points switch, meaning that some years it’s an uphill course (if it starts in Durban) and the next year it’s a downhill course (if it starts in Pietermaritzburg). On this occasion, John and Joanne faced the uphill route.  Despite this, both covered the gruelling distance in very credible times; Joanne crossed the line in 10:26:48 and John finished in 10:50:24.  The race, which attracted 15,000 competitors, was won by South African runner Claude Moshiywa in 5:32:09.  This was the first time in 21 years that a local athlete has won the ‘uphill’ course.  The ladies race was won by Elena Nurgalieva (Russia) in 6:27:09.  Interestingly, Elena's twin sister Olesya took 2nd place in the ladies race, fnishing just under a minute behind in 6:28:07

On Saturday 1st June 2013, Orangegrove AC athletes Paul Woodman and Joy McAleer completed the Svalbard Turn Spitbergen Marathon and Half Marathon, with both achieving excellent finishing positions.  In tough conditions, Paul covered the 26.2m route in 3:02:30, securing a very well-deserved 2nd place behind race winner Manu Kapuppila (Finland), who recorded 2:47:05.  The ladies category was won by Hilde Solland Plassen (Norway) in 3:11:17.  Joy crossed the Half Marathon finish line in 2:04:13, claiming 6th place in the ladies race.  This was won by Mia Emaneulsson (Sweden) in 1:54:19.  The men’s category was won by Rolf Traberg (Denmark) in 1:24:32.

A little closer to home, on Friday 31st May 2013, Northern Ireland lady Helen Stockdale (Clones AC) returned from a long period on the side-lines to win the Donegal 5k (ladies category) in 19:11.  In the men’s race, City of Derry AC’s Paul McCafferty picked up a podium place when he finished in 16:32 (3rd place). Paul was followed across the line by Omagh Harriers trio Martin Cox (4th place – 16:44), Ciaran Collins (7th Place 17:13) and Brendan Collins (8th place – 17:22).  The men’s race was won by Gerard Gallagher (Finn Valley AC) in 15:41.

Full Results:  Comrades Ultra-Marathon 2013 Results - Svalbard Turn Spitbergen Marathon and Half Marathon 2013 ResultsDonegal 5k 2013 Results

Tommy Hughes completes hat-trick of 26.2m wins in Derry/Londonderry:

Tommy Hughes and Jacqui Boyle take Walled City Marathon titles:

On Sunday 2nd June 2013, thousands of athletes and spectators from all over the world descended on the 2013 City of Culture, Derry/Londonderry for the Walled City Marathon, which was organised as part of a year of celebrations in the city.  After a 28 year absence, the maiden city residents obviously appreciated the return of marathon running to the area, as they lined the streets and provided huge vocal support for each and every participant.

In perfect running conditions, nearly 1,300 runners embarked on the 26.2 mile journey, which would take them through the city centre, over the city’s three bridges and along the banks of the River Foyle before finishing in the historic Guildhall Square.  

Almost immediately, it was obvious that the race was going to be between two men; local hero Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) and winner of the last two marathons ever to be held in Derry/Londonderry, Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers).  The pair had opened up a gap of approximately one hundred metres on the remainder of the field after just one mile.  At the 6 mile point, this had increased to nearly two minutes; Pauric McKinney (Inishowen AC) followed, with a group containing James Crampsey (City of Derry AC), Eddie McEntee (Sportsworld AC), Daniel Hannigan (Lifford AC), Ryan Snodgrass (Foyle Valley AC), Conor McCarroll (Knockmany Running Club), Dermot Logue (Coolquill AC) and Brian O’Connor (Team 26.2) just behind him.  Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC) was the comfortable leader in the ladies race, with Jacqui Boyle (Tallaght AC), Andrea Kennedy (Enniskillen Running Club), Martina McMullan (Team 26.2), Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners), Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC), Katherine Woods (Springwell Running Club) and Julie Doherty (Unattached) in pursuit.

As the leading men passed through the half-way point, there was still no separating Tommy and Greg, and it looked as if the pair were going to battle it out for the entire distance.  Behind, Pauric had managed to open a gap on the chasing pack, of which, some were starting to falter.  Miriam Bridge was also showing signs of tiredness at the head of the ladies field, this allowed strong running Jacqui Boyle to reduce the time between the two, with only four seconds separating the two ladies as they entered the second half.  Orla McGinnis (Springwell Running Club) and Athanasia Sevastaki (North Belfast Harriers) had worked their way through the field well, while experienced runners Helena Dornan and Hannah Shields were also looking good.

The newly constructed Peace Bridge marked the 20 mile point and the roaring crowds who watched the runners cross the iconic structure were treated to the first sight of the potential race winner, as Tommy Hughes crossed the bridge ahead of Greg Roberts, having opened up a lead of approximately 600-800 metres. As this news filtered back to the loud, atmospheric Guildhall Square finish area, it was greeted with mixed emotions, with many of Greg Roberts' followers hoping he would claw back the lost seconds, while the neutral spectators were routing for a sentimental Tommy Hughes win, which would see him complete a hat-trick of victories over the marathon distance in the city.

Further updates suggested that Tommy was increasing his lead in the final miles, this proved to be correct when the North Belfast Harriers legend entered the packed, intimate finishing straight, breaking the tape in 2:30:32 to win by almost five minutes; this sealed an incredible three Derry/Londonderry marathon wins in a row for Tommy, after he won the last two events in 1984 and 1985.  Greg Roberts completed the tough course to loud cheers from the home support, taking 2nd place in 2:35:29; Pauric McKinney claimed the final podium spot in 2:38:15, a well-deserved prize after the Inishowen AC man had run an isolated race. Another local athlete, James Crampsey battled to an excellent 4th place finish, recording 2:45:12 for the distance.  Foyle Valley AC’s Ryan Snodgrass completed the top five finishers in 2:47:12 (5th place).

The ladies race was also decided in the latter stages, when Tallaght AC’s Jacqui Boyle passed Miriam Bridge and progressively built an uncatchable lead. Jacqui crossed the line in 3:14:10 to seal an impressive victory.  Despite tiring in the second half, Martina McMullan managed to hold on to 2nd place, finishing in 3:21:47.  Orla McGinnis (3:22:03) was rewarded for her excellent display of disciplined running and notable negative split with a massive twenty three minute personal best, this secured 3rd place for the exhausted but happy looking lady.  Marah Boyle (Unattached) took 4th place in 3:22:41, while Fran McFadden recorded 3:23:17 (5th place).

Top 10 Men:  1st Tommy Hughes (North Belfast Harriers) – 2:30:32, 2nd Greg Roberts (City of Derry AC) – 2:35:29, 3rd Pauric McKinney (Inishowen AC) – 2:38:15, 4th James Crampsey (City of Derry AC) – 2:45:12, 5th Ryan Snodgrass (Foyle Valley AC) – 2:47:12, 6th Daniel Hannigan (Lifford AC) – 2:48:03, 7th Dermot Logue (Coolquill AC) – 2:48:19, 8th Edward McEntee (Sportsworld AC) – 2:49:42, 9th Paul Thompson (Springwell Running Club) – 2:50:34, 10th Ciaran McGonagle (Unattached) – 2:51:24

Top 10 Ladies:  1st Jacqui Boyle (Tallaght AC) – 3:14:10, 2nd Martina McMullan (Team 26.2) – 3:21:47, 3rd Orla McGinnis (Springwell Running Club) – 3:22:03, 4th Marah Boyle (Unattached) – 3:22:41), 5th Fran McFadden (Springwell Running Club) – 3:23:17, 6th Helena Dornan (Ballycastle Runners) – 3:25:56, 7th Hannah Shields (City of Derry AC) – 3:26:15, 8th Katherine Woods (Springwell Running Club) – 3:28:03, 9th Athanasia Sevastaki (North Belfast Harriers) – 3:28:04, 10th Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC) – 3:29:33

Full Results:  Walled City Marathon 2013 Results - We will be uploading a selection of race photo's from the Walled City Marathon, please check our 'Photo Gallery' in the coming days.  As there are so many photographs, they will more than likely be uploaded in stages.

Young NI stars represent their schools at All Ireland Championships:

All Ireland titles for Robb, McGuckian and Marrs as NI runners impress in Tullamore:

On Saturday 1st June 2013, a large number of Northern Ireland’s future running stars travelled to the Woodies All Ireland Schools Track & Field Championships in Tullamore, Ireland to represent their respective schools.  Whilst their more senior friends were clocking personal bests and Commonwealth Games qualifying times, the up and coming youngsters showed that the future of athletics in Northern Ireland is bright, with some excellent performances.  

Junior Section:

Rebecca Douglas (Huntershouse Belfast) took silver in the girls 800m final, after clocking 2:20.29 to finish just behind race winner Stephanie Cotter (Coachford College).  Ballyclare High School’s Emma Hutchinson (4:59.10) missed a podium place when she finished in 4th place, in the girls 1500m event; a race won by Siobhan O’Flaherty (St Leos Carlow) in 4:41:00.  The Friends’ School (Lisburn) 4x100m relay team collected bronze medals after crossing the line in 52.54secs (3rd place), Methodist College, Belfast recorded 53.32secs to finish in 6th place.  The race was won by St Marys Newport in 51.42secs.

Ciaran Barnes (Belfast High School) impressed in the boy’s 200m final, covering the distance in 24.18secs to claim 3rd place.  The race was won by Jack Manning (St Kierans School) in 23.60secs.  In the boy’s 1500m race, St Marys Belfast student Conor Magee (4th place - 4:19.98) finished just outside the medals, as Fearghal Cartin (Midleton CBS) romped to victory in 4:12.98.  Matthew Dalton (Belfast Royal Academy) and Cameron Kelly (Methodist College) both ran well in the very competitive boy’s 80m hurdles race; Matthew took 2nd place in 11.56secs, with Cameron clocking 12.17secs to take 6th place.  Talented Thurles CBS athlete Daniel Ryan won in 11.50secs.  In the boy’s 4x100m relay, Belfast High School (47.80secs) and Coleraine AI (48.20secs) finished in 4th place and 5th place respectively, with Newbridge College winning in 46.10secs.

Intermediate Section:

Ballymena Academy’s Roseanna McGuickian (also of City of Lisburn AC) achieved an excellent double, winning the 200m (24.54secs) and 300m (39.40secs) races; incidentally, the record for the 300m race is held by Lagan Valley AC’s Katie Kirk, who ran 38.55secs for Sullivan Upper in 2010.  Another young lady attached to City of Lisburn AC, but representing Strathearn College (Holywood), Megan Marrs, enjoyed a successful day; Megan won the 80m hurdles in 11.68secs and also collected a silver medal in the 100m race, after crossing the line a mere 0.04secs behind race winner Laura Ann Costello (Dunmore CS) who recorded 12.31secs.  Northern Ireland were well represented in the girls 1500m race, with Victoria College’s Ella Davis (2:21.92), Thornhill College’s Aoife Laverty (2:22.53) and Ballyclare High School’s Anna Lawther (2:27.52) taking 6th place, 7th place and 8th place respectively.  Alanna Lally (Pres Athenry) won in 2:10.84.  Glenola College (Bangor) claimed silver in the girls 4x100m relay, after completing the distance in 50.57secs.  This was just over a second behind Abbey Vocational (Donegal) who won in 49.29secs.

The Intermediate boy’s also brought home several medals, with St Malachys’ Paddy Robb producing one of the performances of the day in the boy’s 1500m race.  Paddy ran 4:14.19 to take the title, while his team mate Ronan O’Fril achieved a new personal best of 4:23.37 (10th place).  In the 400m event, St Columb’s (Derry/Londonderry) Martin McCready (50.96secs) took bronze behind Davis College athlete Brendan Array (50.25secs).  In the 800m race, St Columb’s Conor Breslin (2:01.56) just missed a podium spot when he finished in 4th place; in the same race, which was won by St Pat’s (Navan) student Brian McGrath (1:57.92), Dromore AC’s Jack McKibbon (representing Wellington College) ran a personal best of 2:02.93.  The Belfast Royal Academy 4x100m team picked up bronze medals after finishing in 45.16secs; Grosvenor Grammar, Belfast (45.55secs) claimed 5th place in the same race.  Belvedere College (Dublin) won in 44.62secs.

Senior Section:

Sacred Heart Newry athlete Aislinn Crossey (2:07.57) secured a 2nd place finish behind well-known Irish lady Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (Col Losagain, Dublin), who won the girls 800m race in 2:03.81.  Up and coming Ballyclare HS lady, Yasmin Wilson, took on the 1500m and 3000m races; Yasmin clocked 4:57.70 (5th place) in the 1500m event, won by Crescent CC’s Jessica Coyne in 4:49.20.  In the 3000m race, Yasmin put in an excellent performance to win a silver medal, recording 10:36.11 for the distance.  The race, which was won by Soifra Ni Mhaolmhuire (Col Losoagain, Dublin) in 10:25.24, also included Sacred Heart Omagh student Sara Moore (4th place – 10:55.41).  

Clare Robinson (Regent House) continued the NI medal haul with a silver in the girls 100m hurdles, finishing in 15.85secs behind winner Lily Ann O’Hara (Crescent CC), who crossed the line in 15.35secs.  In the girls 4x100m relay, Grosvenor Grammar (50.74secs) and Thornhill College (52.70secs) took 2nd place and 4th place respectively.  The relay was won by Loreto Letterkenny in 50.50secs.  Sacred Heart Omagh’s Toni Moore (3rd place - 5:30.75) and Caelinn McQuoid (8th place – 5:56.98), and ML Enniskillen’s Edel Monoghan (5th place - 5:38.55) all achieved sub 6 minute times in the U-16 girls Mile, which was won by Ballinrobe CS’ Aisling Joyce in 5:16.87.

Mark McGarvey (St Josephs, Derry/Londonderry) made sure the senior boy’s continued the success of the senior girls, when he won bronze in the 110m hurdles.  Mark ran 14.95secs, finishing  just behind race winner Garvhan McKenna (Beechill, Monaghan) who crossed the line in 14.79secs.  Belfast Royal Academy’s Alan Curtis and St Columb’s Andrew Bolster lined up in the 400m hurdles, with Alan taking 3rd place in 57.12secs and Andrew claiming 5th place in 60.61secs.  The race was won by Midleton CBS’s Daniel Colbert in 54.83secs.  In an epic 100m final, Methodist College’s Paddy Colhoun ran 11.00secs to secure a silver medal, Marcus Lawler (CBS Carlow) won in 10.59secs.  

Grosvenor Grammar’s Andrew Wright has been in good form recently, and lined up in the 800m and 1500m races.  In the 800m, Andrew was joined by Sullivan Upper’s Conall Kirk.  Andrew clocked 1:55.48 (5th place), while Conall crossed the line in 2:02.39 (8th place).  The race was won by Sean Tobin (HS Clonmel) in 1:50.65.  Talented Irish XC star Sean Tobin again beat the NI men in the 1500m race, Andrew Wright ran 4:05.76 for 4th place, while C&P Ballycastle student Conor Christie and St Malachys’ Conor Gallagher recorded 4:10.25 (7th place) and 4:10.68 (8th place) respectively.  Ryan Sharkey (Methodist College) smashed his personal best in the 5,000m race, won by Ian Guiden (St Aidens CBS) in 15:15.60.  Ryan ran 16:02.25 (5th place); Maxi Walmsley Pledl also toed the line in this race, he finished in 16:05.25 (6th place).  In the senior 4x100m relay, Bangor Grammar (44.25secs) and Methodist College (44.29secs) took 2nd place and 3rd place behind winners CBS Carlow (43.26secs).  Oisin O’Callaghan (Abbey CBS Newry) completed an excellent day for NI runners, with a 3rd place finish in the U-16 boy’s Mile.  Oisin covered the classic distance in 4:44.97, with St Malachys’ Darryl McNicholl (5th place – 4:53.86) just behind.  Jack O’Leary (Clongowes Wood) won the race in 4:41.42.

IMC races at All Ireland Schools:

In the men’s 800m race, City of Derry AC athlete Pajo Hamilton claimed 3rd place after recording 1:54.91.  The race was won by Darragh Lynch (Ennis Track Club) in 1:53.93.  Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Michael McKillop (St Malachy’s AC) both lined up in the 1500m race, which was won by John Coughlan (MSB AC) in 3:47.63.  Gareth (3:53:32) ran his second quickest time for the distance this year, to take 5th place; while Paralympic hero Michael ran 4:11.38 (12th place).

Full Results:  Woodies All Ireland Schools T&F Championships 2013 ResultsIMC 800m and 1500m (at the Irish Schools, Tullamore 2013) Results

NI runners produce outstanding performances outside the province:

Northern Ireland athletes produce outstanding performances in England, Belgium and Switzerland:

On Saturday 1st June 2013, a number of Northern Ireland based runners were in competition at the Flanders International Track & Field Meeting in Belgium, the BMC Sport City Grand Prix in England and the Meeting International de Geneve in Switzerland, with personal bests being the order of the day. 

At the Flanders International Track & Field Meeting in Ooredgem, Belgium; the highlight of the day and possibly the weekend, was a fantastic performance by Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC), who not only smashed his 400m hurdles personal best, but in doing so, the popular athlete achieved a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard.  Jason clocked an excellent 50.27secs for the distance, taking 0.38secs off his previous best of 50.65secs. The race was won by South African athlete LJ Van Zyl in 49:83secs.

Conor Bradley (City of Derry AC) continued his amazing run of form, which has included a 4:02.67 mile effort earlier in the year; the City of Derry Spartan crossed the line in 3:45.19 to take 4th place, this was two seconds quicker than he ran for the same distance last weekend (in Greystones, Ireland).  The race was won by James Brewer (Cheltenham AC) in 3:41.22.

Another athlete who has been in top form recently, Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) needed hospital treatment after she took a nasty knock caused be a faulty barrier in her 3,000m steeplechase; despite this, Kerry managed to finish the race in 10:26.60 (5th place).  The race was won by Fabienne Schlumpf (Switzerland) in 9:48.45.  Incidentally, the men's steeplechase was cancelled because of the dangerous barrier.  Curtis Woods (Lagan Valley AC) continued his consistent start to the season, with a 48.67secs (6th place) clocking in the 400m race, which was won by local athlete Seppe Thys (Belgium) in 47.06secs.  Ben Maze (Lagan Valley AC) paced the 800m event and covered 400m in 48.55secs.  Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) was in the line-up for the 400m hurdles, but unfortunately, is listed as DNF on the results.

In England, at least six Northern Ireland runners were in competition at the BMC Sport City Track & Field Meeting in Manchester.  Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers/North Belfast Harriers) and Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) both lined up in the 5,000m ‘A’ race.  Stephen achieved an excellent podium place, recording a massive new personal best of 13:58.55 to take 3rd place.  Eddie also enjoyed an outstanding run, crossing the line in a new personal best of 14:07.60 (11th place).  The race was won by Jonathan Taylor (Morpeth AC) in 13:55.80.

In an extremely close 5,000m ‘C’ race; Newcastle AC’s European Junior XC star Eoghan Totten (14:52.82) finished in 3rd place.  The race was won by Victoria Park - City of Glasgow AC man Sean Fontana in 14:46.88.  In the 5,000m ‘B’ race, Andrew Agnew (Annadale Striders) was a prominent figure at the front and was looking like a possible winner, until Brighton & Hove AC athlete William Gray surged clear to win in 14:25.15.  Andrew finished with a seasons best time of 14:27.34.

Mark Patterson (North Down AC) and Steven Morrow (Ballymena & Antrim AC) lined up in the 800m 'C' and 'D' races respectively.  Mark produced a seasons best time of 1:52.17 to claim 2nd place behind race winner Greame Oudley (Dundee University), who ran 1:51.82.  Steven completed the distance in 1:55.65 (9th place).  His race was won by Luke Betts (Sale Harriers) in 1:52.24.

Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC) found himself on a world class 100m start list at the Meeting International de Geneve in Switzerland.  Names such as Dwaine Chambers, Craig Pickering and Conrad Williams were included in the seven heats.  Dean lined up against the well-known Team GB athlete Conrad Williams, who is coached by Linford Christie, in Heat 5 and just missed qualification for the final after running 10.94secs; just 0.04secs off the required standard. The heat was won by the aforemention Conrad Williams in 10.75secs, but the overall 100m competition was won by Joel Fearon (Loughborough University) in 10.24secs.

Full Results:  Flanders International T&F Meeting 2013 ResultsBMC Sport City Grand Prix 2013 Results - Meeting International de Geneve 2013 Results

*Note* On Monday 3rd June 2013, we will also upload a separate summary in relation to the All Ireland Schools Track & Field Championships (including the IMC races), which took place in Tullamore (Ireland) today (Saturday 1st June 2013).  At present, we can tell you that St Malachy AC’s Paddy Robb picked up the Inter-Boys 1500m title, while his club mates Ronan O’Friil and Conor Gallagher enjoyed new personal bests over the same distance.

Date announced for first ever NiRunning 'Injury Clinic' with Apex Clinic:

One Hour Live 'Injury Clinic' on Thursday 6th June 2013 - 8.15pm to 9.15pm:

Recently, NiRunning (Northern Ireland Running) announced the forthcoming introduction of the Physio Room @ NiRunning and our exciting new partnership with highly respected physiotherapy and sports injury practice, Apex Clinic (

We are now in a position to advise you further on what this exciting new partnership and related Physio Room and Injury Clinic will bring to the NiRunning website.  On the first Thursday of every month from 8.15pm to 9.15pm, starting on Thursday 6th June 2013 an experienced physiotherapist from Apex Clinic will host an ‘Injury Clinic’ on our facebook page.  During this one hour ‘live’ chat, runners will have the opportunity to ask questions relating to running injuries, injury prevention and recovery.

As well as this, Apex Clinic will provide a monthly article (around the middle of each month) within our ‘Physio Room’ page, which will be located under the ‘More’ menu on the website.  This article will focus on running related matters and will include current, interesting and topical content covering anything from injury prevention to the findings regarding the latest running products on the market.

The addition of the Physio Room and ‘live’ Injury Clinic is something we are extremely proud of, as we truly believe that it will benefit the running community in Northern Ireland.  We would really appreciate your support and/or feedback in relation to both.

*Note* News from MAY 2013 is available HERE; alternatively, you can scroll down the News options to May 2013 on the navigation bar above.

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.