AMONG a spate of weekend race action, Greg Roberts at the Berlin Marathon was the high profile event but, unfortunately, the City of Derry Spartan will want to draw a veil over his weekend performance.
Greg (pictured below) clocked a below par 2 hrs. 26 m. 05 sec. for a hugely disappointing 32nd place finish - far behind the impressive winner, Geoffrey Mutai’s 2 hrs 04 mins. 15 secs.
Chasing a sub 2 hrs. 20 mins. clocking, Roberts fell off the pace relatively early and despite the favourable conditions and an acknowledged flat, fast course he struggled in the latter stages and had to settle for a finish time almost five minutes slower than his 2 hrs. 21m 18 secs. personal best from Dublin a few years ago.
So it’s back to the drawing board for the City of Derry man who will take a break before re-grouping for the upcoming cross country season.
Elsewhere Stephen Duncan made it three wins on the trot at Saturday’s Drumragh 10 kms. and another former Spartan, Donal Gallagher, took the honours at another Tyrone race, the Brackville 10 kms. the same day.
Friday night’s Glenswilly 5 kms. was won by Letterkenny A.C.’s Peter Gibbons with a 16 mins. 29 secs. clocking, his clubmate, Kirsty McElwaine, took the female honours in 19 mins. 22 secs.
Saturday’s Ards Forest 5 kms. trail race went to another Letterkenny runner, Paul Toner, whose 17 mins. 41 secs. saw him home just four seconds ahead of Finn Valley’s Dominic Bonner while the female honours went to Dublin visitor, Maura Kearns of Rathfarnham WSAF who posted 20 mins. 44 secs.
Annadale’s Paul Pollock was a convincing winner of the Bangor 10 kms., his 30 mins. 19 secs. easily seeing off Joe McAlister’s 31 mins. 39 secs. with East Down man Brendan Teer third with 33 mins. 02 secs. Gladys Ganiel ran 36 mins. 49 secs. for the top female podium place, ahead of North Down pair, Jessica Craig and Julie Balmer.
Pollock won the National Half Marathon title in Athenry last month with a 64 mins. clocking and travels to Bulgaria this weekend with the Irish team for the World Half Marathon Championships.
Marty’s Run this Sunday
Locally this Sunday’s annual “Marty’s Run” will see the road runners and joggers out in force for the 5 kms. Run/Walk. The Glengalliagh Road-Skeoge Road-Buncrana Road circuit is a decent running course and with the anticipated big turnout good performances could be on the cards for the popular Foyle Valley AC promotion.
Entries will be taken at the Templemore Sports Complex on Saturday afternoon and pre-race, to 10.30 a.m. on Sunday morning. Race start time is 11.00 a.m.
Saturday’s N. Ireland Road Relay Championships in Belfast’s Victoria Park may well also attract some local interest.
And the Donegal Masters’ Cross Country Championships in Castlefin on Sunday may be attractive to the local masters preparing for the upcoming cross country season.