Race reports provided by NIRunning.co.uk

2018

Gideon Kipsang and Jessica Craig secure victory at Bangor 10k road race!

Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club) edged out Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games hero Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s AC), while Jessica Craig (North Down AC) claimed the ladies title at today’s Bangor 10k road race (Saturday 29th September 2018).

The event, which attracted close to 1,000 competitors, incorporated the Northern Ireland & Ulster 10k Championships.

Belfast City Half Marathon winner Gideon Kipsang retained his 2017 title after an enthralling dual with Kevin Seaward.  In the early stages, the pair had Laganside 10k winner Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) for company as they raced through 5k in 15:00.  Behind, City of Derry AC’s Declan Reed and North Belfast Harriers’ Mark McKinstry were battling it out for the final podium place.

In a sprint finish, it was Kenyan athlete Gideon who emerged victorious, taking the title in 30:21 (1st place).  Kevin followed in exactly the same time (30:21) for 2nd place overall; this was enough to secure NI & Ulster gold for the Northern Ireland and Ireland international on his return from an end of season break.

Declan Reed claimed 3rd place and a Championship silver medal in 30:56, before Mark McKinstry completed the NI & Ulster podium, taking bronze in 31:14 (4th place).

In the ladies race, pre-race favourite Jessica Craig lived up to expectation, adding the NI & Ulster 10k gold to her recent 5,000m title. Jessica went through 5k in 17:46 before going on to break the tape in 36:44 (1st place).

North Belfast Harriers star Gladys Ganiel O’Neill picked up a well-deserved silver medal after crossing the line in 37:10 for 2nd place, while Dromore AC’s Laura Bickerstaff completed the ladies podium in a personal best of 37:58 (3rd place).

In the team competition, North Belfast Harriers took gold in the men’s race with 37 points (1st place).  Victoria Park & Connswater AC claimed 2nd place with 73 points, while Acorns AC’s completed the top three with 76 points (3rd place).

North Down AC won the ladies team gold with 33 points (1st place), ahead of Beechmount Harriers who collected silver with 41 points (2nd place).  Ballydrain Harriers (55 points) secured 3rd place.

Full Results:  Bangor 10k 2018 Results

Stephen Scullion and Pauline Thom secure victory at Larne 10k road race.

Larne 10k 2018:

Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers) and Pauline Thom (Ballymena & Antrim AC) emerged victorious as a record breaking field took on the 3rd annual Larne 10k road race, an increasingly popular event hosted by East Coast AC.

The race, which is part of the Novosco 10k Grand Prix, covered a two-lap route taking in the atmospheric Town Centre and scenic Coastline.  East Coast AC welcomed players from Larne FC Ladies as special guest starters after their recent success in winning the NIWFA North League 2.

In the men’s race, international star Stephen had Laganside 10k and Storming the Castle 10k winner Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) and track star Gareth Hill (Ballymena & Antrim AC) for company early on, with the trio passing through 5k in a group.  Behind, Joe Malone (North Belfast Harriers), Gordy Graham (East Down AC) and Mark Smith (Mallusk Harriers) were all running well.

It wasn’t until there was approximately 1k remaining, that Stephen made what proved to be a race winning move, surging clear to secure a well-deserved victory in 32:29 (1st place) – this bettered Mark McKinstry’s course record of 32:46 from 2016.

Ben made it three podium places in as many weeks when he crossed the line in 32:52 for 2nd place.  Gareth Hill completed the top three in 33:46 (3rd place).

The ladies race was just as closely contested, with Pauline Thom (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Debbie Matchett (Ballydrain Harriers), Patricia Blair (Larne AC) and Geraldine Quigley (Ballymena Runners) all contending the top places in the opening lap.

At half way, Pauline Thom led, with Debbie Matchett and Patricia Blair just behind; nothing separated Debbie and Patricia at this stage.  Ballymena Runners’ Geraldine Quigley was still well within reach of the leading trio.

In the second and final lap, Pauline opened a gap on the chasing pair of Debbie and Patricia, eventually securing top honours in 41:17 (1st place).  In the battle for the runners up spot, Debbie Matchett edged out Patricia Blair to claim 2ndplace in 42:29.  Patricia clocked 42:36 for 3rd place.

Top local prizes went the Larne AC athletes Jordan Heron and Patricia Blair, with Jordan picking up the 1st place Local Male prize after finishing in 39:36 (11th place).  Patricia (3rd place – 42:36) collected the 1st place Local Female prize for her efforts in securing a podium place overall.

The Larne 10k was sponsored by Curran Court Hotel, The Autodock, CS Sports, Gmac Tyre and Autocentre, Beyond Signage LTD, Perkier Foods, Linwoods, Health Foods, White’s Oats Healthy, Food Guide UK, Maine Lemonade, Tesco and Cotswold Outdoor Belfast.

Full Results: Larne 10k 2018 results

Gladys Ganiel O'Neill and Ben Branagh take top honours at Laganside 10k.

Laganside 10k 2018:

Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) took top honours as over one thousand athletes took on the annual Laganside 10k road race in Belfast (Sunday 2nd September 2018).

The North Belfast Harriers hosted event is part of the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix 2018.

Following on from his win at Storming the Castle 10k last weekend, Ben Branagh set his stall out from the off and always looked as if he would take victory.  By half way, the St Malachy’s AC man had 50 metres on the chasing pair of Conan McCaughey (North Belfast Harriers) and Tony McCambridge (St Malachy’s AC).

As the race progressed, Ben held his lead and ran out out deserved winner, crossing the line in 32:07 (1st place).  Behind, emerging athlete Vincent McKenna (QUB AC / Acorns AC) came through in impressive fashion to claim the runners up spot in a massive personal best of 32:21 (2nd place).  Conan McCaughey took 3rd place in 32:27.

It was a similar story in the ladies race, with Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) dominating throughout.  The Northern Ireland and Ireland international, who was in action at the European Athletics Championships last month, bettered her runners up finish at the event in 2017 when she broke the tape in 37:00 for 1st place.

Laura Bickerstaff (Dromore AC) returned to competitive action with a 38:53 finish for 2nd place, before young Beechmount Harriers athlete Sarah Lavery completed the top three in 39:20 (3rd place).

Ahead of the race, there was a huge hype around the appearance of Marathon World Record holder Paula Radcliffe. The former Sports Personality of the Year took time to speak with fans, support junior runners in their one mile event and complete the 10k in a comfortable 42:35 – Paula’s appearance was a memorable occasion for athletes both young and old.

Full Results: Laganside 10k 2018 results

 

Ben Branagh and Lyndsey Tyro win Storming the Castle 10K!

 

 

Storming the Castle 10K 2018:

Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) and Lyndsey Tyro (Orangegrove AC) were crowned ‘King’ and ‘Queen’ of the castle as nearly one thousand athletes took to the roads of Carrickfergus for the annual Storming the Castle 10 road race, an event organised by Seapark AC (Sunday 26th August 2018).

Ben Branagh continued his return to competitive action with an impressive performance, leading the field 31:54 for 1st place.  North Belfast Harriers team mates John Black and Joe Malone followed in 2nd place and 3rd place respectively, with John running 32:38 (2nd place) and Joe 34:21 (3rd place).

In the ladies race, Lyndsey Tyro (Orangegrove AC) and Debbie Matchett (Ballydrain Harriers) battled it out for the top prize.  After an excellent race, Lyndsey topped the podium after crossing the line in 41:02 (1st place).  Debbie followed just two seconds later in 41:04 for 2nd place, before the host club’s Elisoa Crawford completed the podium in 41:52 (3rd place).

Full Results: Storming the Castle 10k 2018 Results

 

Paddy Hamilton and Susan Smyth lead the way at Bann 10k Road Race!

Bann 10k Road Race 2018:

Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) and Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) claimed top honours as well over three hundred competitors took on the annual Bann 10k road race in Banbridge last night (Wednesday 23rd May 2018).

Commonwealth Games athlete Emma Mitchell was the official race starter, with athletes starting and finishing in the sun-soaked Havlock Park.  The well-organised event was the latest round of the popular Novosco 10k Grand Prix 2018.

At the front of the field, Paddy Hamilton marked his return from injury with a win.  The international athlete saw off a strong challenge from the always impressive Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers) to break the tape in 32:24 (1st place).  Andrew followed just ten seconds later in 32:34 (2nd place), while in-form Mark Smith (Mallusk Harriers) completed the podium in 35:41 (3rd place).

Consistent performer Susan Smyth led the ladies home in 40:10 (1st place), just over thirty seconds clear of Newry AC’s Ciara Coffey, who ran 40:43 (2nd place) for the runners up prize.  Debbie Matchett (Ballydrain Harriers) crossed the line in 41:26 for 3rd place.

Full Results:  Bann 10k 2018 Results

Vincent McKenna and Jessica Craig secure Les Jones Memorial 10k titles!

 

 

 

 

Les Jones Memorial 10k 2018:

Pre-race favourites Vincent McKenna (QUB AC) and Jessica Craig (North Down AC) lived up to expectation as they led a capacity field home at the 27th annual Les Jones Memorial 10k (Friday 18th May 2018).

The Athletics NI hosted event is a popular annual fixture, organised in memory of late athlete, team manager and Athletics NI Chairman Les Jones, who sadly passed away in 1992.

For the event, Athletics NI worked alongside Action Mental Health as part of the Mental Health Awareness week, which began on 14th May 2018. A donation will be made to the charity from the race entries.

The race started at the Mary Peters Track and took competitors onto the Lagan Towpath towards Shaws Bridge.  Athletes negotiated the infamous climb in Barnetts Demesne on their way back to the finish line on the Mary Peters Track.

The fast improving Vincent McKenna impressed yet again, leading the field home in 34:54 (1st place).  Mark Smith (Mallusk Harriers), who performed well at the recent Larne Half Marathon, claimed the runners up spot in 35:20 (2ndplace).  University track star James Smyth (St Malachy’s AC), making his 10k debut, completed the top three in 36:07 (3rdplace).

In the ladies race, Northern Ireland international Jessica Craig took top honours in 37:25 (1st place), approximately ninety seconds ahead of in-form Newcastle AC athlete Sinead Murtagh, who recorded 38:57 for 2nd place.  Melissa Eccles looked back to her best with a sub-40 finish for 3rd place, crossing the line in 39:11.

Full Results:  Les Jones Memorial 10k 2018 Results

Gerard Heaney and Louise Smith win Run Armagh 10K!

 

 

 


Run Armagh 10k & 5k 2018:

St Peter’s AC man Gerard Heaney and North Belfast Harriers’ Louise Smith excelled as hundreds of athletes descended on Armagh for the annual Run Armagh 10k & 5k (Sunday 22nd April 2018).

The event is part of the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix.

The race starts close to the City Centre and takes in an undulating rural route, before coming back into the City and finishing on the historic Mall.

Gerard Heaney saw off Armagh AC’s Gary Henderson to secure victory in the men’s race.  After going through the half way mark in 16:23, fifteen seconds ahead of Gary, Gerard further increased his lead to win in 33:49 (1st place).  Gary took 2nd place in 34:11.  Just under four minutes later, James Walton (Unattached) completed the men’s podium in 38:09 (3rd place).

In the ladies race, veteran athlete Louise Smith edged out Newry AC’s Ciara Coffey to secure top spot.  Louise broke the tape in 40:27 (1st place), with Ciara following sixteen seconds later in 40:43 (2nd place).  Armagh AC’s Noreen Fegan crossed the line in 41:02 for 3rd place.

Provisional Results:  Run Armagh 10k & 5k 2018 PROVISIONAL Results

Stephen Scullion and Laura Graham secure TQ10K titles!

 

 

 

 

Athletics NI host TQ10K 2018:

Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Harriers) and Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) secured top honours as a 1,000 strong field took on the annual TQ10K road race in Belfast, an event organised by Athletics Northern Ireland (Sunday 8th April 2018).

The flat and fast course covered a 6.2 mile route around the iconic Titanic Quarter and race day conditions were perfect for those chasing personal best times.

Less than 24 hours after claiming victory at the Omagh Half Marathon in 1:07:01, Northern Ireland and Ireland international Stephen Scullion again topped the podium.  The Belfast man produced a strong front running performance to secure the top prize in 30:29 (1st place).

Like 2017, Chris Madden claimed the runners up spot, but this year the City of Lisburn AC man was twenty one seconds quicker, running 31:28 for 2nd place.  After an exciting battle between Mark Long (City of Derry AC), Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) and Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers), it was Spartan Mark who came out on top, completing the podium in 31:47 (3rd place).

In the ladies race, it was third time lucky for Laura Graham.  After finishing third in 2016 and second in 2017, the Mourne Runners star was crowned TQ10K Champion after leading from start to finish.  Laura broke the tape in 35:27 (1st place).

Behind, Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) continued her recent good form, holding off the fast finishing Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) to take the runners up prize in 36:51 (2nd place).  Rachel clocked a personal best of 36:58 for 3rd place.

In the associated TQ1K, Matthew Lavery of North Belfast Harriers and Eimear McBrien of Lagan Valley AC led the way.

Full Results:  TQ10K 2018 Results

Mark McKinstry and Catherine O'Connor secure Jimmy's 10k titles!

Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) proved to be popular winners as nearly one thousand athletes took on the re-scheduled Jimmy’s 10k road race (Sunday 25th March 2018).

The East Down AC hosted event is part of the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix 2018.

Northern Ireland international Mark looked a class act in the men’s race as he led the field home in 31:45 (1st place).  Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers), a podium finisher at the Larne Half Marathon yesterday, clocked an impressive 32:53 for 2nd place, before Gerard Heaney (Club Unknown) completed the top three in 32:58 (3rd place).

There was a home town win in the ladies race, with Catherine breaking the tape in 38:16 (1st place).  Behind, there was a close battle for the runners up spot, with Tracey Atkinson (Albertville Harriers) edging out Susan Smyth (Dromore AC).  Tracey crossed the line in 39:40 (2nd place), with Susan, another athlete who impressed in Larne yesterday, recording 39:44 for 3rd place.

Full Results:  Jimmys 10k Road Race 2018 Results

Philip Goss and Gladys Ganiel O'Neill lead the way at Spar Craic 10K

Pre-race favourites Philip Goss and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill, both of North Belfast Harriers, emerged victorious as nearly 1,300 competitors took to the streets of Belfast for the St Patrick’s Day SPAR Craic 10k road race (Saturday 17th March 2018).

The event saw athletes race from Belfast’s City Hall to the famous Titanic Slipways, were they finished in the shadows of the Titanic Building, having covered a scenic urban course.

Men’s Champion Philip was embroiled in an interested three-way battle with Noel McNally (Beechmount Harriers) and early leader Steven McAlary (Springwell Running Club), for much of the race.  However, in the final stages, the North Belfast Harriers athlete surged clear, breaking the tape in 33:10 for 1st place.  Noel followed seven seconds later in 33:18 (2nd place), before Steven completed the top three in 33:37 (3rd place).

In the ladies race, Northern Ireland and Ireland international Gladys dominated proceedings.  The 2014 Commonwealth Games star raced through 5k in 17:44 and went on to secure top honours in 36:34 (1st place).  Talented QUB AC student Sinead Sweeney impressed with a 37:01 clocking for 2nd place, before recent Carlingford Half Marathon winner Gerrie Short came through in the second half to secure 3rd place in 37:29.

2017

Gideon Kipsang and Laura Graham secure top honours at Bangor Classic 10k!

Bangor Classic 10k Road Race 2017 (in association with Belfast City Airport):

On Saturday 30th September 2017, in-form duo Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club) and Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) claimed top honours as well over one thousand competitors took to the streets of Bangor (County Down) for the annual Bangor Classic 10k road race, an event hosted by North Down AC in association with Belfast City Airport.

The course took competitors from Castle Park, through the atmospheric Town Centre and onto the picturesque North Down coastline, where they negotiated a flat but harsh promenade section before turning and making their way back towards the town and the well-supported finish area in Ward Park.

After the fast start, Belfast City Half Marathon winner Gideon Kipsang settled at the head of the pack.  Behind, Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) followed, with Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) and Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) side by side, just behind.  Gideon went through half way in 15:05 – Paddy followed in 15:31 and nothing separated Chris and Mark as they reached 5k in 15:42.

In the ladies race, Laura showed no signs of fatigue from her impressive 2:37:05 clocking at the Berlin Marathon last week as she led through half way in 16:56.  The host club’s Jessica Craig (North Down AC) followed in 17:49, while Cathy McCourt (Unattached) and Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) contested the final podium spot – at 5k, Cathy (18:43) had a nine second lead on Kelly (18:52).

As the race progressed, Kenyan star Gideon increased his lead, making short work of the final climb towards the finish line.  He turned into Ward Park to break the tape just outside the 30 minute barrier in 30:02 (1st place).  Northern Ireland international Paddy Hamilton crossed the line in 31:30 for 2nd place, while Chris Madden saw off Mark McKinstry in the second half to secure the final podium place in in 32:04 (3rd place); Mark took 4th place in 32:34.

It was a similar story in the ladies race, with Laura Graham building on her early lead to emerge victorious in 34:35; this was just seven seconds outside of her personal best for the distance.  Jessica Craig ran well to claim the runners up prize in 36:07 (2nd place), before Cathy McCourt recorded 38:04 for 3rd place – this was just ahead of Kelly Neely, who crossed the line in 38:11 for 4th place.

Top 3 Men:  1st Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club) – 30:02, 2nd Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) – 31:30, 3rd Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) – 32:04

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) – 34:35, 2nd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 36:07, 3rd Cathy McCourt (Unattached) – 38:04

Full Results:  Bangor 10k 2017 Results

Mark McKinstry and Laura Graham retain Pure Running Laganside 10k titles!

On Sunday 3rd September 2017, well over one thousand competitors turned out for one of Northern Ireland’s most popular running events, the Laganside 10k road race, sponsored by Pure Running and hosted by North Belfast Harriers.  The race was also part of the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix.

 

Blustery conditions reduced the chances of fast times, but it took nothing away from an excellent race.  Both the male and female races went to the wire – in the end, reigning Champions Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) and Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) successfully defended their titles.

 

For much of the race, Mark had Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC), Lindsay Gordon (North Belfast Harriers) and Conan McCaughey (Derry Track Club) for company, but in the latter stages, the Glenwherry man moved clear and battled his way uphill onto the finishing straight, close to the heart of Ormeau Park.  The assembled crowd welcomed him home in 32:01 (1st place).  Chris took 2nd place in 32:11 with Lindsay following in 32:12 (3rd place).

 

The ladies race played out in a similar manner, with very little (or nothing!) separating Laura Graham and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) until the final stages.  Laura powered into Ormeau Park towards the finish line and this surge was enough to see off Gladys – Laura therefore claimed victory in 35:26 (1st place).  Gladys took 2nd place in 35:37, before North Down AC’s Jessica Craig (36:59) continued her return from injury with a strong performance for 3rd place.

 

Prior to the Laganside 10k, hundreds of junior athletes enjoyed the Laganside 1 mile Race, with North Belfast Harriers duo Matthew Lavery and Holly Diamond winning their respective races.

 

Top 3 Men:  1st Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) – 32:01, 2nd Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) -32:11, 3rd Lindsay Gordon (North Belfast Harriers) – 32:12

 

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) – 35:26, 2nd Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) – 35:37, 3rd Jessica Craig (North Down AC) – 36:59

 

Full Results:  Laganside 10k 2017 Results

Stephen O'Gorman and Louise Smith lead the way at Tandragee 10k!

On Sunday 20th August 2017, nearly one hundred athletes toed the line for the increasingly popular Tandragee 10k road race.  The event is the tenth race in the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix 2017.

 



It was a day when pre-event favourites lived up to expectation, filling the podium places.  In the men’s race, Dromore AC’s always improving Stephen O’Gorman, an NI & Ulster 10,000m bronze medallist, was the first competitor to reach the finish line – Stephen broke the tape in 33:35 for 1st place.  North Down AC duo Dennis Scott and Francis Marsh battled it out for the runners up spot, with Dennis eventually edging it in 34:21 (2nd place).  Francis claimed 3rd place in 34:26.

Louise Smith dominated the ladies race – the North Belfast Harriers star won in 38:35 (1st place).  The remaining podium places were fiercely contested, with Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) and Ballydrain Harrier pair Amanda Perry and Debbie Matchett all crossing the finish line within ten seconds.  It was Susan who took 2nd place in 40:28 and Amanda claimed 3rd place in 40:33.

 

Full Results:  Tandragee 10k 2017 Results

 

North Belfast Harriers pair John Black and Gladys Ganiel O'Neill crowned NI & Ulster HM Champions

Run Lisburn Half Marathon, 10k and 3k 2017:
On Wednesday 21st June 2017, Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC), Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), James Edgar (City of Lisburn AC) and Donna Mone (Monaghan Town Runners) led the way as scorching conditions greeted a record number of over 6,000 athletes at the annual Run Lisburn Half Marathon, 10k and 3k races.

The 13.1 mile event also incorporated the prestigious NI & Ulster Half Marathon Championships and is part of the ongoing Pure Running Half Marathon Series, while the 10k is part of the Novosco 10k Grand Prix.

NI & Ulster HM Championships – Ladies Podium

North Belfast Harriers pair John Black and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill crowned NI & Ulster HM Champions:

Raheny Shamrock AC’s Freddy Sittuk led the half marathon field home in 1:11:35 (1st place) but in truth, it was North Belfast Harriers duo John Black and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill who will deservedly claim the half marathon headlines – John took 2nd place overall, securing the NI & Ulster Half Marathon title in 1:12:19, while Gladys won the ladies race outright in 1:20:15 and with it, picked up Championship gold.

Belfast based John battled well from the off – for much of the race he was in pursuit of club mate Mark McKinstry, who in turn, was chasing leader Freddy. However, when Mark withdrew from the race close to the 10 mile mark, the ever improving John rose to the challenge, pushing the pace to cement his status as NI & Ulster Half Marathon Champion. He crossed the line exhausted, crumbling to his knees, but having achieved his place in the history books with an excellent performance. Victoria Park & Connswater AC athlete John Craig produced the run of his life to take 3rd place and NI & Ulster silver in 1:14:04. Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) crossed the line in 1:14:13 for 4th place overall and 3rd place on the local podium.

Commonwealth Games star Gladys looked a class act in the ladies race, leading through half way and further increasing her lead in the second half, before breaking the tape in 1:20:15 (1st place). Willowfield Harriers’ Amy Bulman was rewarded for her efforts with a Championship silver medal after clocking 1:22:12 for 2nd place, before Scotland North District 10k Champion Jenny Bannerman (Inverness AC) completed the podium in 1:25:25. Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) was the next local athlete to finish, crossing the line in 1:26:04 for 4th place overall and 3rd place in the NI & Ulster Championship race.

In the men’s team competition, North Belfast Harriers took 1st place, with Victoria Park & Connswater AC claiming 2nd place.  Willowfield Harriers completed the top three teams in 3rd place.

North Belfast Harriers (1st place) achieved an impressive double with gold medals in the ladies team competition, with Willowfield Harriers and Orangegrove AC taking 2nd place and 3rd place respectively.

James Edgar and Donna Mone impress with 10k wins:
In the associated 10k race, recently crowned NI & Ulster Senior 5,000m Champion James Edgar (City of Lisburn AC) celebrated his first competitive outing over 10k with a win; James broke the tape in 32:49 (1st place). Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) and Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers) recorded 32:54 (2nd place) and 33:03 (3rd place) respectively.

Monaghan Town Runners’ Donna Mone led the ladies home in 38:57 (1st place), while Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) continued her recent good form with a 39:14 finish for 2nd place. Another in-form athlete, Sarahjane Guiney (Unattached) completed the top three in 39:24 (3rd place).

Full Results:  Run Lisburn HM & 10K 2017 Results

David O'Flaherty and Amy Bulman win record breaking Comber 10k road race

On Friday 16th June 2017, Ballydrain Harriers welcomed a record number of nearly 700 athletes to the 3rd annual running of their Comber 10k road race in County Down.  This was the second year of the new flat and fast course, which athletes enjoyed.   The race was also the eight round of the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix.

At the head of the pack, Newcastle AC’s David O’Flaherty and North Belfast Harriers’ Lindsay Gordon battled their way through the two lap route and ultimately, tested Ben Branagh’s course record of 32:16.  In the end, it was David who emerged victorious, breaking the tape in 32:30 (1st place), with Lindsay following in 32:35 for 2nd place.   In a close finish, Ben Morrow of Ballymena Runners saw off Paul Rowan (Willowfield Harriers) and Paul Carroll (Anadalde Striders) to secured 3rd place in 34:10.

As expected, Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) was the most impressive performer in the ladies race.  The Northern Ireland international cross country runner led the way in 37:07 (1st place).  East Down AC’s Catherine O’Connor crossed the line in 39:14 for 2nd place, while in-form Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) recorded 39:26 for 3rd place.

Top 3 Men:  1st David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) – 32:30, 2nd Lindsay Gordon (North Belfast Harriers) – 32:35, 3rd Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners) – 34:10

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) – 37:07, 2nd Catherine O’Connor (East Down AC) – 39:14, 3rd Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) – 39:26

Full Results: Comber 10k Road Race 2017 Results

 

Seamus Lynch and Susan Smyth excel at annual Bann 10K

On Wednesday 24th May 2017, well over four hundred athletes took on the annual Bann 10k road race in Banbridge. The popular event was also the sixth race of the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix.

At the head of the pack, Newcastle AC’s international runner Seamus Lynch showed his class as he cruised to victory in impressive fashion.  Despite running solo, Seamus clocked an excellent 33:36 for 1st place.  Dromore AC duo Stephen O’Gorman and Nigel McKibbin followed in 2nd place and 3rd place respectively, with Stephen running 35:21 and Nigel 36:17.

There was further success for Dromore AC in the ladies race, with Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) topping the ladies podium.  The consistent athlete cover the course in 41:05 for 1st place.  Lagan Valley AC’s Julie Murphy clocked 42:25 for 2nd place, while Newcastle AC’s Patricia McKibbin ran 43:11 for 3rd place.

Top 3 Men:  1st Seamus Lynch (Newcastle AC) – 33:36, 2nd Stephen O’Gorman (Dromore AC) – 35:21, 3rd Nigel McKibbin (Dromore AC) – 36:17

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) – 41:05, 2nd Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC) – 42:25, 3rd Patricia McKibbin (Newcastle AC) – 43:11

Full Results:  Bann 10k Road Race 2017 Results

 

Dan Tanui and Judith Lonnen take top honours at Les Jones Memorial 10k:

Athletics NI welcomed over 300 hundred competitors to this year’s ChampionChip Ireland sponsored Les Jones Memorial 10k this weekend (Friday 12th May 2017).  The event is part of the ongoing Novosco 10k Grand Prix 2017. Despite the wet conditions, the atmosphere proved a fitting tribute to the late Athlete, Team Manager and Athletics NI Chairman who passed away in 1992.

Kenyan athlete Dan Tanui (Project Africa Athletics) did enough to edge out friend and training partner Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners) in the men’s race, while Judith Lonnen (City of Lisburn AC) dominated the ladies event.

The tough course took competitors from the start line at Mary Peters Track, out onto the Upper Malone Road an onwards to the Lagan Towpath and Shaws Bridge, before guiding them back towards the finish line on the Mary Peters Track, via the infamous climb in Barnetts Demesne.

At the half way mark, nothing separated the lead group, with Dan Tanui, Ben Morrow, Gareth Lyons (Ballydrain Harriers) and Stephen O’Gorman (Dromore AC) running side by side.   Little changed in the second half, until the men descended towards the finish inside MPT – moving quickly downhill, Dan turned onto the track and lengthened his stride, surging clear of Ben to seal victory in 34:20 (1st place).  Ben followed in 34:27 (2nd place), with Gareth taking the final podium place in 34:35 (3rd place).

In the ladies race, pre-race favourite Judith Lonnen lived up to expectation.  The international triathlete led through half way, with Natalie Hall (Acorns AC), Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC), Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) and Sarah Lavery (Beechmount Harriers) in tow.  As the race progressed, Judith increased her lead, before taking top honours in 39:02 (1st place).  Natalie continued her recent good form with a runners up place in 39:34 (2nd place), while Denise narrowly missed a sub-40 minute finish when claiming 3rd place in 40:02.

Prior to the Les Jones Memorial 10k taking place, junior and senior athletes enjoyed the newest addition to the evening’s event programme, a 1k Fun Run within the confines of the Mary Peters Track.  Joel Chambers (Ballydrain Harriers) and Ava Diver (Beechmount Harriers) impressed with front running performances.

Top 3 Men:  1st Dan Tanui (Project Africa Athletics) – 34:20, 2nd Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners) – 34:27, 3rd Gareth Lyons (Ballydrain Harriers) – 34:35

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Judith Lonnen (City of Lisburn AC) – 39:02, 2nd Natalie Hall (Acorns AC) – 39:34, 3rd Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) – 40:02

 

Titanic 10k 2017:

Thousands of athletes took to the roads of the famous Titanic Quarter of Belfast for the annual TQ10K (Sunday 9th April 2017), an event hosted by Athletics NI and this year sponsored by Dale Farm Protein Milk.

 

In warm and blustery conditions, it was Team NI Commonwealth Games star Russell White (Dromore AC) and Northern Ireland and Ireland international Emma Mitchell (QUB AC) who secured top honours.

 

Elite triathlete Russell White, who boasts a 10k personal best of 31:00, was always going to be a contender, but it was the manner of his victory which caught the eye.  Almost immediately after the seemingly endless field set off from the new Titanic Building start line, Russell moved to the head of the pack and pushed the pace – despite battling a notable headwind at times, he held firm, claiming victory in 31:45 (1st place).  Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) tried his upmost to close the gap in the final yards and despite being unable to do so, he was rewarded with 2nd place in 31:49.  Former TQ10K winner Conor Duffy (Glaslough Harriers) completed the men’s podium in 31:52 (3rd place).

 

In the ladies race, a late entry from NI & Ulster 10k Champion Emma Mitchell (QUB AC) added to an already strong field, which included AAI National Marathon and Half Marathon Champion Laura Graham (Mourne Runners).  Nothing separated the headlining duo until the final stages, when Queen’s University student Emma moved clear to take the win in 34:12 (1st place).  Laura narrowly missed a personal best when crossing the line in 34:30 (2nd place), before Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) covered the distance in 37:28 for 3rd place.

After the race, Banbridge native Russell White, who will now travel to Banyoles in Spain for the Summer, could not hide his delight at winning on home soil – he told Athletics NI, “it was great to come away with the win today and I'm so happy that today's race coincided with the short window I have had at home. Today was mainly about getting a good hard hit out and a check of my fitness before I start my triathlon racing for the season.”

 

Russell added, “I just wanted a good time and wasn't focused by going for the win today, that's why I went off and ran my own pace and didn't care that nobody came with me, it was apparent after the first turn around that a fast time wasn't on the cards today due to the strong winds and nobody to use for shelter at any point, so I just kept my head down and tried not to get caught.  It started to get close on the last straight but I was super happy to have done enough to hold everyone off and to have done it on my own.”

 

Ladies Champion Emma was just as happy, explaining that she was “delighted to win today.  The only plan was to win so to do that was great!”

 

The family focused event also included a 1 mile Run, with Dylan McBride (Willowfield Harriers) and Eimear McBrien (Lagan Valley AC) leading winning in 5:21 and 5:56 respectively.

 

Top 3 Men:  1st Russell White (Dromore AC) – 31:45, 2nd Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) – 31:49, 3rd Conor Duffy (Glaslough Harriers) – 31:52

 

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Emma Mitchell (QUB AC) – 34:12, 2nd Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) – 34:30, 3rd Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) – 37:28

 

Full Results:  Titanic Quarter 10k 2017 Results and Titanic Quarter 1 mile Race 2017 Results

 

SPAR Craic 10k:

Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) and Maeve Lavery (City of Lisburn AC) excelled as thousands of runners took to the streets of Belfast for the 3rd annual SPAR Craic 10k earlier today (Friday 17th March 2017).

 

In wet and blustery conditions, the record breaking field made their way from Belfast City Hall to the picturesque Titanic Slipways, covering a truly urban course – the race kicked off a day of St Patrick’s Day events in the Capital City.

 

Pre-race favourite Ben Branagh, winner of Jimmy’s 10k last weekend, once again lived up to expectation.  After taking charge early on, Ben cruised through 5k in 15:06, eight seconds clear of Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC), the man who took second place behind him in Downpatrick.

 

The St Malachy’s AC athlete then stretched his lead in the second half and despite the adverse weather conditions, recorded an impressive 30:50 for 1st place.  Chris Madden claimed 2nd place in a personal best of 31:07, while Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) saw off some noteworthy opposition to take 3rd place in 32:45.

 

In the ladies race, Maeve Lavery put in a strong performance to secure a impressive win.  The ever-improving City of Lisburn AC lady went through 5k in 18:21 before completing a gun-to-tape victory in 37:39 (1st place); this was just seventeen seconds outside her personal best for the distance. Beechmount Harriers athlete and Northern Ireland masters international Gerrie Short clocked 38:28 for 2nd place, before Dromore AC’s Susan Smyth (39:45) edged out Lagan Valley AC’s Julie Murphy (4th place – 39:51) for 3rd place, with both ladies going under forty minutes for the course.

 

Top 3 Men:  1st Ben Branagh (St Malachy's AC) - 30:50, 2nd Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) - 31:07, 3rd Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) - 32:45

 

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Maeve Lavery (City of Lisburn AC) - 37:39, 2nd Gerrie Short (Beechmount Harriers) - 38:28, 3rd Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) - 39:45

 

Full Results are on NIRunning.co.uk:  SPAR Craic 10k 2017 Results

Jimmy’s 10k 2017:

Record numbers of close to one thousand took to the start line of the annual Jimmy’s 10k road race in Downpatrick on Sunday 12th March 2017 and it was pre-race favourites Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) and Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) who stole the headlines with strong front running performances.

 

The East Down AC organised event was the first race in the 2nd annual ‘age graded’ Novosco 10k Grand Prix.

 

At the front, Ben Branagh led the way early on, moving through half way in 15:52, almost twenty seconds ahead of City of Lisburn AC’s Chris Madden (16:11), who in-turn had seven seconds on Newcastle AC’s David O’Flaherty (16:18) and Willowfield Harriers’ Neill Weir (16:18) who were running shoulder to shoulder. In the ladies race, London Marathon bound Laura Graham cruised through 5k in 17:49, with Willowfield Harriers’ Amy Bulman (18:33), North Down AC’s Rachel Gibson (18:55) and Ballydrain Harriers’ Denise Logue (19:17) in pursuit.

 

Despite a heroic effort from Chris Madden in the second half, the always impressive Ben Branagh proved unstoppable as he powered to victory in 31:33 (1st place). Chris followed in 31:47 (2nd place), before David O’Flaherty (32:03) saw off Neill Weir (4th place – 32:10) for 3rd place.

 

Laura Graham continued her relentless pace in the second half and slashed 72 seconds off her time on this course in 2016 to win in 34:59 (1st place). NI & Ulster Masters XC Champion Amy Bulman crossed the line in 36:50 (2nd place), while Rachel Gibson clocked 37:46 for 3rd place.

 

Top 3 Men:  1st Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) – 31:33, 2nd Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) – 31:47, 3rd David O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) – 32:10

 

Top 3 Ladies:  1st Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) – 34:59, 2nd Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) – 36:50, 3rd Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) – 37:46

 

Full Results are available on the NI Running website:  Jimmy’s 10k 2017 Results

 

View images from the race here.