Foyle Valley’s Pius McIntyre ran a superb race in very testing conditions on Saturday to win the latest leg of the Sperrin Harriers Winter League at An Creagan Country Park in the foothills of the Sperrins.
A total of 114 runners tackled this testing five mile course on a very cold, windy, and often wet course which served as the fourth instalment of the very successful Sperrin Harriers Winter League.
McIntyre led from start to finish posting an excellent time of 27 minutes and 52 seconds, some 49 secs. in front of second placed Erin McDaid from Armagh AC, with Omagh Harriers’ Connor Moore third in 28 mins. 56 secs.
This now leaves the young Foyle Valley athlete in a very commanding position to take the overall league title following on from his equally impressive victory on the first 10 mile race of the series at Lough Fea back in November.
The two lap course on Saturday really suited McIntyre and he settled into a very steady pace from the outset and even maintained that pace when the very strong wind prevalent on the course almost stopped the majority of runners in their strides!
Two other Foyle Valley athletes tackled the race with mixed fortunes on the day. Ciaran Smith ran a very strong race to finish 22nd in a time of 32 mins and 29 secs, a time that really impressed given the very windy conditions and the increased mileage in Ciaran’s legs as he prepares for the London Marathon this April.
Billy Orr had a flare-up of a previous injury during the race and recorded a time of 35.33 mins. However, Smith and Orr can take heart from the fact that the times they posted on the same course back in October during the first race of the series were significantly quicker than Saturday’s and these will be the times that will be recorded in their overall aggregate time.
Another local athlete, Daniel Quigley, who focuses primarily on the triathlon, travelled to this event with McIntryre and ran an excellent race in 30.55 mins. for ninth place.
City of Derry’s Ann Paul continued her return to full race fitness following injury by taking first place in the overall female category in a time of 32.14 mins.
The next race in the series takes place around Drum Forest, Cookstown, on February 4th. All three Foyle Valley athletes who raced on Saturday need to record times in this 10 Kms. race to be included in the series results and should McIntyre make it “three in a row,” then this year’s title will be very difficult to wrestle from his grasp.
Congratulations again to Sperrin Harriers for another very well run event, including chip timing, and the full results are available on their website.