Derry athletes impressed at two weekend venues as Catherine Whoriskey and Scott Rankin strode to impressive individual wins in the NI & Ulster 10,000 metres track championships at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast.
And Gary Slevin, Gemma McGinty and Grainne Neill were to the fore at the Strabane-Lifford Half Marathon.
City of Derry Spartan star, Whoriskey was imperious in winning the women’s 10,00 metre title in Belfast on Sunday, posting an impressive 36m 51s track PB clocking as she lapped all the opposition for the win. Dromore AC ‘s Laura Bickerstaff and Acorns AC’s Natalie Hall were a long way behind in the minor medal positions.
Foyle Valley man, Rankin was equally impressive with a brilliant 30m 17s PB to win easily from Newcastle AC’s David O’Flatherty and Gary Henderson of Armagh AC. Another big run from the in-form Valley runner and both he and Whoriskey will be worth watching at the classy Buncrana 5K on Wednesday evening 25th May next!
Another Spartan, Kyle Doherty had a good run posting a PB by five seconds in his 4th place finish in the men’s race, perhaps a little less than he expected but nevertheless not too shabby in his first 10,000 metres on the track where concentration is essential. The 34m 01s for the distance, however, is not bad but he is better than that!
KENYANS KINGS AT STRABANE-LIFFORD HALF MARATHON
Sunday also saw the revamped Strabane-Lifford Half Marathon and with over 1,000 finishers it was a success. The Kenyan duo who strolled to an easy one-two at the previous Sunday’s Buncrana Half Marthon, Dan Tanui and Eric Koech, again topped the finishing order but this time were seriously quicker posting 66m 09s and 67m 22s respectively.
Their Buncrana times of 78m 12s obviously were of the long easy Sunday run variety and Tanui who is entered for next month’s Walled City Marathon is clearly one to watch and a real threat to defending champion and fellow Kenyan, Freddy Sittuk.
The evergreen Omagh Harrier, Stephen Duncan back after injury, ran a good 69m 47s for third and the Spartan, Gary Slevin clocked 73m 47s for fourth.
In the Women’s race Natasha Adams again impressed, ninth overall in an eye catching 75m 21s. The Strabane based Letterkenny AC runner is flying at present and was a class apart on the day. Claire McGuigan of Lifford-Strabane AC was the runner up in 85m 51s with the Foyle Valley duo, Gemma McGinty 92m 37s and F50 Grainne Neill 92m 40s fighting it out for the final podium spot.