A busy weekend saw good wins by local stars, Allan Bogle and Connor Bradley, the Spartans duo heading the respective fields at Saturday’s Roe Valley Trail Run and the SSE Airtricity 10K on Sunday.
The latter event, new to the local athletics calendar, attracted close to 400 participants to Ebrington Square with a healthy mix of club and recreational runners, including many budding SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathoners.
Connor Bradley and Lifford AC star Anne Marie McGlynn took the main honours, clocking winning times of 31m 56s and 35m 16s, pretty useful running on what was a testing out-and-back course with several demanding climbs at crucial sections of the 10K course.
Saturday in Limavady saw Allan Bogle easily win the Roe Valley Trail run, the specialist all-terrain runner clocking an impressive 27m 31s as he soloed to victory.
Ballymena’s M45 Matt Wray’s 29m 47s was the next best time on the day as Bogle’s class gave him a comfortable win.
Promoting club Springwell produced the women’s race winner, Karen McLaughlin whose 36m 41s clocking left her well ahead of the opposition.
To Ebrington on Sunday and the first of two warm-up races for the June SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon saw just shy of 370 finishers at the SSE Airtricity 10K.
On a testing out-and-back course flanking both sides of the river, the big field took in the Ebrington site, St Columb’s Park, the Peace Bridge, the Foyle Walkway and a short incursion into Bay Road.
It was mild, mainly dry with a breeze on occasions but thankfully much better than the dismal midweek weather.
From the off the fast men, Connor Bradley, Scott Rankin, Declan Reed, Emmett McGinty and Adrian McGowan took command and went through the 5K turn on Bay Road tightly grouped in 16 minutes dead.
Bradley, Rankin and Reed got away on the return leg before Bradley pushed hard to exit St Columb’s Park in the lead and set-up his victory, 31m 56s, over the fast finishing Rankin 31m 59s, with Reed third on 32m 11s.
McGinty who did a lot of the early pace was next on 32m 32s with McGowan fifth on 32m 49s.
The times would testify to the tough nature of the course, particularly the climbs back up off the Peace Bridge and out of St Columb’s Park but it was a good battle for the honours nevertheless.
Anne Marie McGlynn’s 35m 16s winning effort was, however, a distance PB and the flying Lifford runner actually finished 6th overall with this powerful run.
Her clubmate Natasha Adams also had a good one for the runners-up spot in 36m 31s, and the Donegal club duo were home alone, third placer Ita Kelly of Omagh Harriers was clocked at 44m 19s!
Category Winners and Upcoming 10 Miler
The Male age group winners were Paul McGlinchey, James Crampsey, Seamus McCallion and Cahir Mullan who was the top M16-19 finisher. Henrietta Elves, Grainne Neill, Cecelia Deehan and Laura McGill took the female age group honours.
Karol Doherty spun his Wheelchair round the course to also take a category award while his brother Gareth actually ran the entire 10K backwards in a swift 46 minutes!
The second Marathon warm-up race is on Sunday 27th April, also out of Ebrington and will utilise more sections of the June 26.2 mile course.
Interestingly a jaunt over the Foyle Bridge is expected to be part of the route for the 10 Miler.
There was no joy for the locals who contested the Irish Schools Cross Country championships in Cork last Saturday, Amy Jackson’s 16th place finish in the Senior Girls race the best of the day.
Michael Melarkey was 35th in the Senior Boy’s race and Clodagh Laverty 45th in the Junior Girl’s.
All these three races had around 90 finishers as the best Secondary schools students from across the country went head to head.