DAMIEN McGinty belied his M50 status to see off all challengers with a 17m 12secs winning time to claim top honours in the latest Furey Insurances 5K race at a very wet Carndonagh on Wednesday night.
Not a night for quick times as the rain started minutes before the gun went and the 100 plus participants sloshed their way round the testing Carn course.
The 51 year-old let younger rivals Tim Shields and Mark Long make the early pace before coming through around half way to finish eight seconds clear of Long with another golden oldie, M40 James Crampsey clocking 17m 25s for third.
Benny McDaid ran 17m 32s for fourth as Shields faded to fifth on 17m 38s. Jim Harkin kept the Inishowen flag flying with a 17m 48s effort as he completed the top six finishers.
The local road race gurus reckon that McGinty is the oldest man to win a Furey Series race and this was confirmed by Declan McCarthy of the race sponsors Atlanfish, himself a series race winner a few years ago in his forties.
Catherine Lilburn claimed another Series women’s victory with an impressive 19m 17s effort, ahead of Martina McMullan on 19m 40s, with Miriam Bridge and Sarah Mahon producing an exciting duel as Bridge got home third by just three seconds, 19m 49s to 19m 52s. These may well have been pb’s, excellent results on the wet and tough Carn course.
Jackie McGinley ran 20m 10s to claim the F40 award, Hannah McGowan took another U20 prize with 20m 42s and Bridgeen Byrne on 21m 16s was the top F45. Sinead McDermott was the leading F35 0n 23m 02s, picking up her first age group prize just as she moves into a new category!
Tim Shield got some compensation by lifting the M35 award, Ronan Whoriskey and Paul McNamee were the top M40 and M45, top M50 was Michael Gallagher, Sammy McAnaney ran 18m 03s for the M55 category prize and Moville man, Seamus McElhinney claimed another M60 prize.
Triathlete Emmett Mullan won the U20 age group and Karol Doherty pushed hard in the rain to win the wheelchair category.
Despite the miserable wet conditions there were 103 recorded finishers as the Series continues to attract good numbers.
Final Series Race At Baliniska
The 2012 series concludes on Wednesday, July 18th, out of the Sports Complex and as ever will use the Baliniska/Branch circuit.
This lap course is always popular and with the overall Series awards still up for grabs in the Open, Masters and U20 categories and many runners still to complete their fourth race to claim the coveted series t-shirts, a big turnout is anticipated.
Early entry can be made online by sending, name, age on race day, date of birth and club, if any to email@example.com
Anyone likely to have completed a minimum of four Series races is also asked to email their t-shirt size to the above address as soon as possible to facilitate a representative range of sizes.
Road race action continues tonight (Friday) with the Aghyaran 5K at 7.30 p.m. and the Ards Half Marathon which has a 6.30 p.m. start.
Bangor hosts the N.I. Masters track championships tomorrow (Saturday) with a strong local challenge set to travel to the seaside venue.