HOT ON the heels of last weekend’s magnificent Waterside Half Marathon and last night’s “Jog in the Bog,” road runners will be out in force again this Sunday in Letterkenny for the Donegal 5 Kms. Road Championships.This will be race number 48 in the summer long Donegal Athletics Board’s Grand Prix Series while five young local stars will be in Sheffield representing N. Ireland in the UK Schools’ high profile Track & Field Games.But to Letterkenny first and the Donegal Championship 5 Kms. which starts at the Aura Leisure Centre at 11.30 a.m. and the event should attract much interest from runners all across the North-West area.Race 48 in the 50 strong Donegal Grand Prix, it is widely viewed as a ‘must do’ event and usually produces good competition and fast times. Hopefully conditions will be favourable for all those taking part. Across the Channel it’s the “steel city” of Sheffield for five young City of Derry Spartans - Aoife Laverty, Naomi Morgan, Shane McGowan, Martin McGeady and Martin Melarkey.They will be wearing the Northern Ireland vests in the prestigious UK Schools’ Games, all five selected after convincing the selectors with some significant performances during recent months at Ulster and National level.However, this level is particularly high at this annual Secondary Schools competition and here’s hoping the locals can produce their best efforts on the Sheffield Track.
Hannah gets through tough test
Hannah Shields (on right), gave up the 13.1 miles of Sunday’s Waterside Half Marathon to contest the gruelling Extreme Titanic 101 Kms. Challenge, a 63.5 miles trek from Belfast’s Titanic Quarter to Ballywalter in Co Down and back, no half measures for the local lady! Her recent training badly hampered by injury Hannah, nevertheless, finished a good runner up to Helena Dornan of Ballycastle Runners who ran 9 hours 41 minutes to Hannah’s 10 hours 28 mins.
Helena had won the Newry Marathon in late May and is a seasoned ultra runner but Hannah, although disappointed, was pleased to get through the tough test and will take time to recover before concentrating on the upcoming cross-country season with her Spartans club mates.