Half marathon golds for local duo

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TWO ROAD race results of local significance to report from the weekend athletics action, including Sunday’s National Half Marathon championships in Waterford and last Thursday night’s Run the Bann 5K.

Letterkenny’s Pauric McKinney easily won the M45 age group individual gold down in the South East on Sunday, his 70m 28s clocking for 14th overall was good enough for a comfortable victory in a race won by Sean Hehir of Rathfarnham WSAF who won equally untroubled with 65m 24s.

City of Derry Spartans Masters star, Christy McMonagle also made the long trip a profitable one, bringing home the M65 gold in 87m 03s for a comprehensive win in his category.

He continues to build towards another Dublin marathon and retention of his national crown over the classic distance.

Foyle Valley’s in-form Scott Rankin, fresh from his third place Dessie’s Run PB effort last Tuesday night, showed no ill effects as he won Thursday night’s Run the Bann 5K in 15m 43s.

He was 11 seconds clear of Ballymena runners, Jonny Steede with Ballymena and Antrim M40, Matt Wray third on 16m16s.

City of Derry’s Anne Paul ran 18m 49s to easily take the women’s honours.

Waterside Half Marathon

Staying with road running and a look ahead to this weekend’s Waterside Half Marathon, incorporating the Athletics NI championships, set for Sunday morning in the Gransha grounds.

Entries are still being taken at race HQ in St Columb’s Park Leisure Centre and can be made online at www.derrycity.gov.uk/halfmarathon

One thousand plus runners are expected for this 30th staging of the Waterside, most will tackle the full 13.1 mile distance while others will participate via the three person team Relay format.

The new 10 mile Walk challenge is set to draw over 300 participants and the action also offers a 2K Family Fun Run, on grass, while the runners and walkers are out on the road.

The Walkers go at 10 a.m. Runners at 10.30 a.m. and the Fun Runners at 10.45 a.m. allowing them lots of time to finish their run and get ready to welcome the runners and walkers back to the finish inside the Gransha grounds.

Entertainment will be provided to build up the anticipation for a rousing finish.

Mens winner for the past two years, Omagh Harriers Stephen Duncan, has confirmed his entry over the weekend and will line up with the aim of completing the treble. If he does he will join Paul Rowan and Joe McAlister who each won three in a row between 2002 and 2008.

More news of the up-front men and women’s race later in the week when the entry picture becomes somewhat clearer.