Fresh from his Belfast Marathon fifth place run on Monday, visiting Kenyan runner Freddie Keron Sittuk turned out at Wednesday’s Lisnagelvin 5K to lead home a large field of local runners with a 15m 04s winning effort.
The free-striding African had to work hard, however, to shake off the attentions of Foyle Valley’s Scott Rankin who pressed relentlessly for a 15m 19s runners-up spot with Noel Logan of promoting club City of Derry posting 15m 36s in third place.
The in-form Marina Campbell ran 18m 32s to take a thrilling women’s race ahead of Spartans clubmates, Catherine Lilburn on 18m 44s, her first ever sub-19m clocking and third placer, Anne Paul who ran 19m 02s.
On a dry but blusterly night, the second in the Furey Insurances 5K series attracted an impressive 119 finishers and a very appreciative crowd of spectators who were treated to some terrific individual battles on the three lap Lisnagelvin course.
Appropriately sponsored by the nearby Longs Super Valu store, the race showcased the classy Kenyan who is staying with City of Derry’s Greg Roberts after they met in Kenya last year when the Spartan spent some time training in Africa.
Sittuk’s run, just two days after a tough Belfast Marathon where he clocked 2hrs 21mins, was impresssive and his presence certainly added significantly to the occasion.
He had to work really hard to shake local star, Scott Rankin, who boosted by the home support, produced a brave effort to keep the Kenyan under pressure for most of the distance.
Third placer and fellow Waterside man Noel Logan, was another who performed strongly at the front of the large field.
In fourth place and claiming the M35 prize was Paddy Mhor Doherty with 15m 46s; Springwell teenager Neil Johnston ran 15m 55s for fifth and the M20 award; Pius McIntyre completed the top six with 16m 13s while Cathal McLaughlin, 8th in 16m 35s was the leading M40 finisher. Martin Dunleavy ran 18m 24s for the M45 honours; Springwell’s Jim Breen took the M55 prize with 18m 33s and Billy Orr was the leading M50 on 19m 50s.
After the top three females came the F35 category winner Letterkenny’s Noreen McGettigan on 19m 10s; Jackie McGinley ran 20m 02s to take the F40 age group; on 20m 53s Hannah McGowan was the first F20; Bridgeen Byrne and Una Gavin were the F45 and F50 winners on 20m 49s and 22m 39s. The M60 and M65 titles went to Moville man, Seamus McElhinney and Buncrana’s Condy Doherty.
Another feature of the race was the number of first timers to the series and with the Buncrana 5K next one up on Wednesday, May 30th the Series organisers have announced a 500 entry limit will apply for the super popular Innishowen race venue.
Pre online entry can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org Simply forward name, date of birth, age on race day and club, if any and you can then pay your entry fee when you pick up your race pack on race night.
The full race results can be viewed on www.sparta-athletics.co.uk
UK School Games News
The athletics finals of the UK School Games were staged in London’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday and the nine young local athletics competing for the NI selection fully enjoyed their experience on the brand new track, soon to host the summer Olympic Games.
Best efforts appear to have come from Claire Dougherty, 4th in the Girls Triple Jump with a 10m 90cm leap and in the 4x100m Girls Relay, Ciara Armstrong and Megan Devine were on the 4th placed N.I. squad.