Allan Bogle’s excellent win at Saturday’s Glenariff Mountain race was the leading local performance of a busy weekend as a mix of trails, cross country and road race action which saw several eye catching performances.
Mountain running specialist Bogle took the Glenariff honours comfortably ahead of seasoned campaigners Deon McNeilly and Neil Carthy, with a strong run over the six miles or so mountain course at Waterfoot village in the heart of the Glens.
And Letterkenny’s Patrick Brennan was first home in the Bundoran 10 mile road race, also on Saturday. He was chased home by Gary Slevin, returning to competition after a long absence and posting a respectable 56 mins 58 secs. behind the winners 54.17 mins.
Letterkenny native, Catriona Jennings and North Belfast Harrier Breege Connolly produced top runs, finishing fourth and eight overall with times of 57m. 34s and 58m. 02s to take the leading female prizes.
Not far behind Slevin in fifth spot was the top M40 finisher, another red vest, James Crampsey with 57m 35s and in 20th place was another clubmate Gerry Duddy whose 59m 58s clocking was good enought for the top M50 award.
The Spartans produced yet another age group winner as Christy McMonagle ran an impressive 66m 55s to lift the M60 prize.
Meanwhile, the Carmen 10k in Cookstown continued a busy Saturday and old rivals Stephen Duncan and Greg Roberts lead the field home in fine style. The prolific Omagh Harrier won in 30m 51s followed on 31m 41s by the Spartan, making his return to competition after a short break.
Moving on to cross country and mention of Declan Reed’s run in Birmingham at the UK Inter Counties 12K race. The Spartan was part of a small N. Ireland squad which was led home by the recently crowned National Senior Champion Eddie McGinley in 18th place. Reed was next N. I. man home in 55th with Andrew Agnew 70th and David Morwood 74th as the red hot Birmingham event came right at the end of a long and demanding season for the local man. Not surprisingly he will take a few weeks break from hard training now in advance of the Spring-Summer season.
Galway was the final Saturday venue and the event was the All-Ireland Secondary Schools’ Cross Country Championships with several locals in the action.
Best on the day was Thornhill College’s Aoife Laverty who finished an excellent sixth in the very competitive Junior Girls Championship race. This was a significant step up on her ‘Ulsters’ run last month and indicates she may be close to regaining the form and confidence she has been unable to find in recent months.
The St. Columb’s College Intermediate boys squad were Ulster team silver medalists, beaten only on count-back by Sullivan Upper in February but they were unable to find that sort of form in Galway and finished in sixth place. Their Ulster conquerers did really well to finish runners-up on Saturday as Shane McGowan 15th, Matthew Folland 29th, Daniel Cosgrove, Ben Doherty and Connor Breslin just found the weekend race one test too many after a long and demanding season.
Olympian Aileen Set For Paddy’s Weekend 5K
Paddy’s Weekend 5Kms. race organiser, Paula McGilloway, has just confirmed the participation of the London Olympics bound Aileen Morrison at this Saturday morning’s race in the Gransha grounds. The international triathlete and female Spartans runner will line-up for the 11.00 a.m. start this weekend with a view to test her fitness as she works towards that important summer appointment in London.
A good test over 5 kms. will be ideal for her and she is looking forward to striding out on home ground this Saturday.
Some of the local male runners can look forward to a serious challenge as she hones her preparations!
A reminder that although entries will be taken on race day from 9.45 at the U3A Foyle Building, it is possible to enter online. Simply send your name, age on race day and club if any, to email@example.com
Race pack can be picked up at the same venue on Saturday.