A bright yellow sea of runners and walkers took to the streets of the Carnhill and Buncrana Road areas of the city last Sunday morning in the annual Foyle Valley A.C. organised “Marty’s Run and Walk.”
Staged in memory of the club’s late colleague, Marty Gallagher, a much loved and high respected member, this was the third year of the event and given the number of participants taking part, those wishing to remember Marty has not diminished.
A total of 519 athletes registered for the run and they were joined by another 200, representing all ages, who took on what was a glorious sunny Autumnal morning.
Indeed, the conditions could not have been better for both the serious athlete and those out for a less strenuous trip around the 5 kms course.
And with no wind to contend with on the Skeoge Road - unusual for that stretch when running towards the Buncrana Road, the pundits predicted a sub 15 minute time for the course and they were proved right.
First home was last year’s male winner, Connor Bradley, representing City of Derry Spartans who took 52 seconds off his winning time of last year to dip under the 15 minute mark with a 14.52 mins. clocking.
Connor, a convincing winner, was followed home by Faughan Valley’s Scott Rankin in 15:28 mins. and Pajo Hamilton, City of Derry Spartans, in third place on 16:32 mins.
Category prizes in the male event were won by - Garvin Doherty, Foyle Valley, O-35, 19:21 mins.; Paddy Doherty, City of Derry, O-40, 18.08 mins.; James Crampsey, City of Derry, O-45, 18:08; Damian McGinty, City of Derry, O-50, 17.25; Peter Lilburn, City of Derry, O-55, 21.04; Malcolm McCausland, City of Derry, O-60, 20.04; Shane McGowan, City of Derry, U-18, 16.40.
Meanwhile, in the ladies race, Ann-Marie McGlynn, Lifford A.C, set a new women’s best time for the 5 kms having recorded a time of 18 mins. 22 secs.
Last year’s winner, Catherine Whoriskey, finished a credible second in 19:13 mins., the City of Derry runner had recently taken time out to get married and is not long back from honeymoon while third place was filled by Foyle Valley member, Martina McMullen, in 19:42 mins.
Category prizes in the women’s race were secured by - Janeen Leese, City of Derry, O-35, 21:57 mins.; Sandra McKeever, Foyle Valley, O-40, 24:33; Lorraine Carlin, unattached, O-45, 22:54; Catherine Moran, Foyle Valley, O-50, 22:37; Annette McIvor, unattached, O-55, 28:22; Roisin Lynch, City of Derry, O-60, 23:49; Laura Connolly, unattached, U-18, 24:46.
Sincere Thanks to Sponsors
Foyle Valley A.C. and Marty’s family wish to extend their sincere thanks to all those who continue to make this annual event possible.
To the main sponsors, Paul’s Butchers and The Three Flowers Bar, A&A Systems Ltd., Four Star Pizzas, C.B. Motors, The Furniture Factory, Campsie, Celtic Bar, Glassagh Taxis, Prime Decor, Iron Work, Fix & Fit Windows, Jennifer’s Boutique, O’Reilly’s, The Sweet People, Qualivend, Friendly Financial, City of Derry Branch-MUFC, Chill-C, Myra’s Shop, Total Golf, ARC, Cityprint, Hugo Hegarty and Michael Clifford.
Special thanks to the St. John’s Ambulance, the Staff of Templemore Sports Complex and those from outside of the Foyle Valley club who generously gave of their time to help marshall the event.
And well done to all those who took part in what was yet another memorable occasion.
World Half Marathon
Elsewhere the national Half Marathon champion Paul Pollock of Annadale Striders finished a gutsy 34th in the World Half Marathon championships in Bulgaria over the weekend. The sole Irish representative clocked a respectable 65m 38s in the hot and humid conditionds and was the fifth European finisher behind the winner Zersenay Tadese of Eritrea who ran 60m 14s. Annadale Striders took the senior mens team honours at the NI road relays in Belfast’s Victoria Park on Saturday, clocking a winning 40m 22s for the four stage championship. North Down and Willowfield chased them home while North Belfast Harriers took the senior womens title ahead of Lisburn and Dromore.
This weekends action begins in Belfast on Saturday morning with the NI Masters Open cross country meeting. This one is significant as it incorporates the trials for the NI squads to contest next months Masters Home International in Stormont. A big contingent of local masters athletes will travel for this one. Sunday next its the annual Armagh 10 mile road race and should attract widespread attention.