LOCAL road runners were spoiled for choice with last Wednesday evening’s Lisnagelvin 5K followed swiftly by Thursday’s Limavady “round the bridges” and a Friday night double header of the Enniskillen 10K and the Ards Half Marathon.
And thre was an excellent brace of local wins as Scott Rankin set a new record in Limavady with Declan Reed victorious in Enniskillen and these were complemented by the performanes of Freddy Sittuk and Keith Shields’ second and third finishes in the 2013 Northern Ireland Half Marathon Championships in Newtownards.
Rankin’s terrific ‘Two Bridges’ 10 mile victory saw a new course record and a personal best time of 52 mins. 14 secs., the flying Foyle Valley athlete was a class apart, winning by almost three minutes from Ballymena & Antrim’s Jarlath Falls with Foyle Valley clubmate, Chris McGuinness, posting 56 moms. 17 secs. for a fine third place finish.
Rankin ran a sub 8 mins. 40s track 3,000m on Tuesday and with that kind of pace he wasn’t threatened in Limavady 48 hours later.
Top ten Limavady places were also secured by Kieran Hurley 5th and Noel Logan 9th, with 57m 19s and 58m 51s while the women’s race honours went to Inishowen’s Helena Crossan whose 62m 32s clocking gave her the win ahead of the Spartan’s Anne Paul’s 63m 45s. In third was Springwell runner Ciara Toner on 67m 12s and Foyle Valley’s Denise McElhone impressed with 68m 18s for fifth.
Declan Reed ran 32 mins. 15 secs. to win Friday night’s Enniskillen 10k, more comfortably than the 40 seconds margin back to the next finishers suggested.
Pollock in command
The N. Ireland Half Marathon Championship was staged on Friday night and victory went to Paul Pollock, the reigning National Marathon and Half Marathon champion, the Annadale athlete getting away from the opposition from the 10 mile mark to post a winning 67m 45s.
The silver and bronze championship medals went to Freddy Sittuk and Keith Shields.
The 2012 Waterside Half Marathon champion, Julie Balmer of North Down, took the women’s title on 85 mins. 45 secs., ahead of Kelly Neeley’s 86 mins. 46 secs. and Karen Alexander was the bronze medallist on 87m. 18s. North Belfast Harriers claimed both the male and female team championship titles.
Rounding up the other recent action Allan Bogle took in the final race in the Hill & Dale Series, the Drinahilly Three Miler out of Donard Park in the Mournes on Friday night.
The Eglinton man ran well to finish second behind winner Johnny Steede (Ballymena Runners) whose 21 mins. 19 secs. gave him a 10 seconds margin over the City of Derry Spartan.