There were several significant local performances over the weekend with a big win for Keith Shields at Sunday’s Danny McDaid 15K in Letterkenny where four locals finished in the top seven.
And the City of Derry female squad won the NI Team Trophy at the Mary Peters Track; Freddy Sittu was runner up on Saturday night in the Streets of Galway 5 miler and Michael Surman was in Tullamore where he did well in the National Youth Multi Events championship.
To Letterkenny first and Foyle Valley’s in-form Keith Shields won a good tussle with Cookstown Half Marathon winner, Henry O’Neill at the prestigious Danny McDaid 15K road race on Sunday morning.
O’Neill lined up in a Finn Valley vest and may have fancied his chances after an impressive Cookstown win a week earlier, but the Foyle Valley man was not to be denied and after the pair broke away from Greg Roberts, it was the man in the purple vest who took the honours in a brisk 48m 45s, some 14 seconds clear of the runner-up.
This was a big effort and a PB from Shields who could be the man to beat at both the upcoming Dessies Run and Waterside Half Marathon.
He has been a prominent podium placer all year and with the likes of his clubmate Scott Rankin, the Spartans Declan Reed and Greg Roberts, plus the resident Kenyan Freddy Sittu, all possible contenders, these two imminent major local road races could be real crackers.
Greg Roberts had to settle for third on Sunday with 50m 30s, fellow Spartan Gary Slevin continued his upward curve with 50m 40s, a new PB for fourth, top M45 Pauric McKinney was next with 50m 58s and the top six was completed by the leading M40 Gary Crossan on 51m 41s.
In seventh was James Brown on 51m 50s, not bad at all after his National Half Marathon efforts last Monday in Dublin and he was the second M40 finisher.
The women’s race was won easily by the superb Anne Marie McGlynn of Lifford AC, her 54m 15s clocking actually placing her an excellent 10th overall, with over 10 minutes to spare on the next female finisher.
Freddy loses out in
Freddy Sittu continued his Irish tour with an appearance at the Streets of Galway 5 miler on Saturday night when he had to give second best to one of the top Irish road racers, Mark Kenneally of Clonliffe Harriers.
Mark won with a swift 23m 47s clocking, ahead of Freddy’s 24m 09s. English runner, Neil Burton of Tipton Harriers was third on 24m 13s with Annadale’s Paddy Hamilton next on 24m 29s as a classy field turned out for the prestigious Galway race.
The women’s race was won in an impressive 26m 49s by Irish international Siobhan O’Doherty of Borrisokane AC.