Local athletes were to the fore at a variety of venues in recent days with success at the N.I. Masters Track & Field Championships in Bangor on Saturday and an Ultra run podium finish for Hannah Shields in England.
And not forgetting last Thursday’s excellent individual wins for Keith Shields and Marina Campbell at the annual Jude Gallagher 10 mile road race in Limavady.
Lets start with Hannah Shields and her battling performance at the prestigious South Downs Way, Centurion 100 mile Ultra Race in Southern England on Saturday.
The local dentist once again displayed her impressive endurance and tenacity with a joint second place finish in one of the longer established ultra distance races on the calendar.
100 miles, yes, 100 miles, in 22 hours six minutes, with the second half a real struggle for Hannah as she fought hard to combat cramps and an inability to take on fuels inside the final 40 miles.
However as befits a lady who has conquered Everest, she dug in to make it all the way to the finish, shattered but elated at achieving a podium place in such an illustrious ultra race. Well done Hannah!
Bangor was Saturday’s other venue where locals excelled. The NI Masters track & field championships attracted a healthy turnout with several local athletes impressing.
Danea Herron took double F50 gold in the Triple Jump and Javelin; Olympian’s Martin O’Donnell did well for M35 100m and Discus gold plus 200m silver and Philip Donaghy caught the eye with M40 400m gold and 800m silver.
The windy conditions affected the performance levels but the local medal haul continued with Eoghan Furey’s M35 800m gold; Foyle Valley’s Cathal McLaughlin M45 5,000m gold and the Spartans James Brown, impressing with the M40 gold in the same event.
Indeed James has been in good form since returning after injury and posted a runners-up finish earlier last week in the Raphoe 5K road race.
Staying on the road and last Thursday’s Jude Gallagher 10 miler in Limavady where Foyle Valley’s Keith Shields and City of Derry’s Marina Campbell took the individual men’s and women’s honours.
Shields clocked a tasty 55m 19s to continue his recent run of good form and Campbell ran 66m 46s for an emphatic victory.
Pius McIntyre chased his clubmate home in 56m 56s with Ballymena runners, Ian Taggart third on 57m 21s.
The Spartans Paul McCafferty was fourth and top M40 on 58m 19s, Valley’s Chris McGuinness took fifth with 58m 59s and the top six was completed by Springwell’s Stephen Joyce with 59m 09s.
In eighth was Gerry Duddy and his 60m 15s was easily good enough for the M50 prize. M65 Christy McMonagle was once again top dog in his age group with 70m 16s and Una Gavin won the F50 category to cap a good outing for local runners. 230 finishers were recorded as the popular Limavady race yet again pulled in the crowds.