The prolific road racer Joe McAlister made his trip from Belfast worthwhile, with a runaway victory at Sunday’s NW 10K in Letterkenny, posting a creditable 30m 57s to easily win the tough Donegal race.
Finn Valley’s Teresa McGloin, however, had a less convincing victory in taking the women’s honours in 36m 38s, ahead of Letterkenny’s Fionnuala Diver on 36m 53s.
The St Malachy’s athlete led home a monster field of over 1,000 finishers, coasting to victory with almost three minutes to spare over Letterkenny duo Patrick Brennan and Chris Johnston who filled the minor places in 33m 02s and 33m 17s.
Foyle Valley’s Keith Shields again ran well for fourth in 33m 23s, Letterkenny masters ace, Pauric McKinney was next on 33m 32s with Finn Valley’s James Speight sixth with 33m 44s.
Michael Black of Letterkenny finished seventh on 33m 51s ahead of local duo, Foyle Valley’s Pius McIntyre and City of Derry’s James Brown who were separated by just one second in 33m 56s and 33m 57s.
Another Foyle Valley man, Chris McGuinness completed the top 10 with a 34m 20s clocking.
Teresa McGloin maintained her premier position among North West female runners with a 36m 38s winning run but Letterkenny’s improving Fionnuala Diver was close enough with a good 36m 53s run and Kelly Ann Speight of Finn Valley took third in 38m 40s.
City of Derry’s Marina Campbell was fourth in 39m 28s, another sub 40m effort from the Spartan.
Among the other local finishers in the well supported event Sammy McAnaney’s 36m 40s run for 31st place overall was perhaps the stand-out performance, not bad at all for the competitive M55!
Allan Bogle didn’t start in the Slieve Donard mountain race on Saturday, it was won by the talented junior international Andrew Annett of Mourne Runners so the Letterkenny action was the weekend highlight.
The nine young Spartans in London for the UK School Games have yet to grace the new Olympic track as we go to press but hopefully we’ll have good news to report on their progress soon.
on Wednesday Night
Race two in the Furey Insurances 5K series is in Lisnagelvin tomorrow night (Wednesday) at 7.30 p.m. and should attract another decent turnout.
With individual sponsorship from the adjacent Longs Super Valu franchise the £400 plus prize fund will draw the top local club runners as well as the regular input of joggers and fun runners who support the popular local race series.
The three lap Lisnagelvin course is tailor made to maximise spectator input and the action right throughout the field should be well worth catching.
Scott Rankin made his local race debut at Lisnagelvin a few years ago and is expected to be in the line up again on Wednesday with another much improved Waterside athlete, Noel Logan also out to impress.
Catherine Lilburn and Jacqueline McGinley could be among the leading females, Marina Campbell may sit this one out and who knows who else may turn up to spice up the women’s race action.
Entries as usual will be taken on the night from 6 p.m. at the Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre and online entry can be made to email@example.com up to 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon.
Simply send name, age on race day, date of birth and club if any and you can pay your entry fee £7/E8 when you pick up your race pack at Lisnagelvin.
There will also be a special Kids Fun Run of approx 1K starting at 7.20 p.m. Entries will be taken at Lisnagelvin Leisure Centre from 6 p.m. and each finisher will be rewarded with a commerative ribboned medal as they cross the line.
The Sports Complex grounds hosts the Tesco Great Schools Run on Wednesday with lots of local Primary schools signed up for the day long event and in what appears to be a classic clash of dates the WELB schools cross country event is set for the same venue on Thursday.