20th March 2016- Local Athletes Weekend Tour

Road, Indoors and cross country action over the weekend for local athletes with Olympian and Derry City Track Club members doing very well at the National Masters Indoors championships in Athlone on Sunday; Chris McGuinness of Foyle Valley claiming the runners up spot in Saturday’s Larne Half Marathon and Spartans Aaron Doherty and Fintan Stewart representing NI at the Home Countries XC International in Falkirk the same day.Olympian’s Karen and Martin O’Donnell brought home three Masters medals from the Athlone Arena on Sunday, Karen taking the F35 gold in her 400m championship race while big brother Martin took double bronze in the M40 60m and 200m events.

DCTC’s runners were also in the medals with golds for Tim Shiels ( M40 400m ); Cathal McLaughlin who held off Finn Valley rival Kieron Carlin in a competitive M45 1500m; Robert Bigger in the M55 800m and Malcolm McCausland in the M60 400m.

Bigger went on to add an M55 1500m silver and McCausland topped up with an M60 silver to cap a good return for the DCTC boys.

XC AND ROAD ROUND UPAaron Doherty and Fintan Stewart swapped their normal red vests in Callender Park, Falkirk on Saturday when representing NI in the annual Home Countries XC international. Neither however were at the sharp end of their respective races producing somewhat below par runs on the day.

The Larne Half Marathon saw a record 1900 runners start and a new record of 67m 28s winning effort from the recent SSE Airtricity 10 mile victor, Kenyan Gideon Kimosop. Foyle Valley’s Chris McGuinness battled well for second getting home in a new PB of 73m 36s after a race long battle with Ballymena Runners Ben Morrow, 73m 43s and Willowfields Neil Weir on 73m 54s.

The City of Derry man Kyle Doherty ran well for 6th just losing out to St Peters Lurgan man Kevin Egan’s 75m 35s but Kyle had the satisfaction of posting a PB of 75m 41s.

14th March 2016- Spartan Duo Undaunted- The Warrior’s 5km Run

Two Spartans took up the challenge to compete in The Warrior’s 5km Run today, up to gates of Grianan Fort. Clearly, not a race for the fainthearted, Spartan stalwart Eoghan Fury made it to the top in an excellent time of 22 mins 30 secs, to claim fourth place behind Gavin Crawford with a swift 20 mins 7 secs. Eoghan is definitely, back on track after this gutsy performance. He was followed home by veteran teammate Joe Mc Carthy, in a credible 25 mins 48 sec to take 6th place overall, a good performance given this was Joe’s second race in as many days, having competed in Paula’s Run on Saturday. First lady over the finish line was Inishowen AC’s Anne Doherty, on 30 mins 26 secs. To be fair, there was approximately 450 metres of flat running and 200 metres downhill, but the climbs were both significant and sustained, which led to many runners walking.


warriors 5km run 2016



eoghan warriors 5km run 2016







Well done to our undaunted duo!

13th March 2016- National Bronze For Mc Gahey

A National Juvenile Indoors bronze for sprinter Stephen McGahey, 3rd in the 60m U19 final in Athlone yesterday. A new PB of 7.17s , missing the silver by just one hundredth of a second…….Well done Stephen! He ran the 200m on Sunday but his 23.26s clocking wasn’t enough to make the final.

national juvenile indoors 2016

Oisin Colhoun was in a very competitive U12 600m final, finishing a good 6th with 1m 45.25s, a mere 1.05 seconds off the winning 1m 44.20s. Great running from the talented St Patricks PS pupil.

Fintan Stewart took in both the U18 800m and 1500m in a busy weekend……Saturday saw him place 4th in the 1500m final with a 4m 07.93s finish, literally strides off the medallists, 4m 06.42s, 4m 06.47s and 4m 06.57s.

On Sunday he qualified for the 800m final with 2m 03.76s run and improved to 2m 02.62s in the final, won in 1m 58.20s. The top 3 all ran sub 2mins with Lifford/ Strabane’s Alan McGinley posting 2m 00.45 for fourth.

In the U17 800m Liam George made the final with a 2m 10.26s qualifier and went quicker, 2m 07.18s in the final for 5th place, a good effort indeed.

Add Eimear Kelly in U15 60m Hurdles, unlucky to miss out on the final, missed a spot by just 0.03s.

Allan Bogle was a close up second in the annual Glenariff Mountain race in Waterfoot on Saturday losing out by 6 seconds to Mourne Runners William McKee, 43m 13s to 43m 19s.



12th March 2016- Paddy’s Day 5km (Paula’s Run) Gransha Results


Bib Forename Surname Club Mins Secs
1 102 Gary Slevin City of Derry Spartans 15 : 47
2 97 Chris McGuinness Blast 15 : 48
3 118 Dermot McElhinney City of Derry Spartans 16 : 3
4 85 Noel Logan City of Derry Spartans 16 : 10
5 86 Kyle Doherty City of Derry Spartans 16 : 11
6 98 Colin Roberts City of Derry Spartans 16 : 35
7 91 Michael Murphy City of Derry Spartans 17 : 1
8 101 Connor McDowell City of Derry Spartans 17 : 18
9 122 Cathal Logue City of Derry Spartans 17 : 19
10 114 Conor McDevitt Foyle Valley 17 : 26
11 81 Darren Smyth City of Derry Spartans 17 : 50
12 74 Eddie Quigley City of Derry Spartans 18 : 6
13 129 Aron Cole Foyle Valley 18 : 17
14 88 Rachael Gibson North Down AC 18 : 22
15 80 Declan Mccarthy City of Derry Spartans 18 : 24
16 89 Martin Dunleavy Foyle Valley 18 : 25
17 135 Thomas Doherty U/A 18 : 26
18 117 Gary McFadden Foyle Valley 18 : 35
19 141 Peter Lilburn City of Derry Spartans 18 : 38
20 146 Matthew Ferry Blast 18 : 47
21 131 Kevin McFadden Blast 18 : 49
22 73 Jacqueline McMonagle City of Derry Spartans 18 : 55
23 79 Michael Deveney Irvinestown RC 19 : 4
24 119 Philip Donaghy Cit of Derry Sparans 19 : 7
25 137 Pol Og McCafferty City of Derry Spartans 19 22
26 130 Sam Cole City of Derry Spartans 19 : 22
27 123 Joe McCarthy City of Derry Spartans 19 27
28 84 Gavin Stephenson City of Derry Spartans 19 : 36
29 115 Angeline McShane City of Derry Spartans 19 : 40
30 94 Sean McIvor U Turn 19 : 43
31 132 Emmett Grey Blast 19 : 56
32 133 McCourt Blast 20 23
33 148 Katherine Woods Springwell 20 41
34 124 Se Heaney City of Derry Spartans 20 : 41
35 155 Enekoita Badia U/A 20 : 43
36 116 Sammy McAnaney City of Derry Spartans 21 : 1
37 156 Don Carlin Blast 21 : 3
38 138 Gordon Moore U/A 21 : 25
39 154 Gerard McElhinney U/A 21 : 26
40 96 Pat Gamble U Turn 21 40
41 76 Janeen Leese City of Derry Spartans 21 : 52
42 149 Brendan McLaughlin Rise 21 : 53
43 134 Manus Doherty Blast 22 : 0
44 71 Bridgeen Canavan City of Derry Spartans 22 : 12
45 121 Carol-Ann Harkin Foyle Valley 22 : 21
46 152 Gavin Brinkley Blast 22 : 53
47 113 Karen Cutiffe City of Derry Spartans 23 : 5
48 109 Kieran Phelan Foyle Valley 23 : 7
49 136 Rory Mooney Foyle Valley 23 : 16
50 45 Geraldine O’Donnell Reach Running 23 : 22
51 54 Lynn Doherty Reach Running 23 : 22
52 17 Adam Carr Reach Running 23 : 42
53 150 Aidrian Kelly Reach NWTC 23 : 55
54 145 Catherine Hribar City of Derry Spartans 24 : 6
55 90 Raymond Keenan U/A 24 : 8
56 59 Paul Concannon Reach Running 24 : 14
57 56 Joan McGlinchey Reach Running 24 : 15
58 87 Alison Gibson City of Lisburn 24 : 26
59 112 Aidan Cutiffe U/A 25 : 15
60 103 Georgina James Blast 25 : 29
61 70 Fergal Toland Reach Running 25 : 40
62 78 Mark McLaughlin Reach Running 25 : 42
63 60 Cara McCartney Reach Running 26 : 54
64 58 Bronagh McLaughlin Reach Running 27 : 2
65 19 Jack garfield Reach Running 27 : 3
66 8 Kevin Boyle Reach Running 27 : 5
67 139 Joanne Moore U/A 28 : 16
68 92 Steve Charters Reach Running 28 : 16
69 51 Veronica Griffiths Reach Running 28 : 22
70 2 Sinead McClay Reach Running 28 : 27
71 120 Colm Furey U/A 28 : 44
72 126 Jade McLaughlin Blast 29 : 21
73 125 Joanne McLaughlin Blast 29 : 23
74 147 Helen Reid Foyle Valley 29 : 27
75 77 Joanne Bowen U Turn 29 : 28
76 142 Eoin Taylor NWTC 29 : 34
77 83 Karl Brennan Reach Running 29 : 40
78 14 Colly Dornan Reach Running 30 : 17
79 36 Bernadette Brown Reach Running 30 : 17
80 95 Aine McIvor U Turn 30 : 54
81 99 Rachael Arbuckle U Turn 30 : 56
82 5 Fiona Hillen Reach Running 30 : 57
83 16 Denise Carr Reach Running 31 : 0
84 108 Clare O’Kane Termoneeny 31 : 17
85 105 Orla O’Kane Rise 31 : 17
86 152 Gavin Brinkley Blast 31 : 18
87 4 Shauna McElhinney Reach Running 31 : 30
88 13 Paul Doherty Reach Running 31 : 34
89 140 Nicola Breslin U Turn 31 : 35
90 53 Oliva Curran Reach Running 31 : 36
91 1 Jackie Logue Reach Running 31 : 39
92 27
Sarah Louise
O’Neill Reach Running 31 : 57
93 30 Leslie Kennedy Reach Running 32 : 2
94 144 Gary McDonald Reach Running 32 : 2
95 26 Girainne McKeever Reach Running 32 : 23
96 40 Margaret Barrett Reach Running 32 : 27
97 6 Lisa McGeady Reach Running 32 : 33
98 7 Catherine Brown Reach Running 32 17 34
99 22 Bridgeen Campbell Reach Running 32 : 43
100 43 Cara O’Donnell Reach Running 32 : 44
101 48 Stephen Doherty Reach Running 32 : 44
102 127 Caroline King Reach Running 32 : 45
103 18 Rachael Faulkener Reach Running 33 : 0
104 128 Margaret Duddy U Turn 33 : 21
105 29 Marie Doherty Reach Running 33 : 29
106 31 Nigel McConnellogue Reach Running 33 : 30
107 32 Nichola Ewing Reach Running 33 : 30
108 55 Leanne McGeady Reach Running 33 : 30
109 24 gary McCamphill Reach Running 34 : 14
110 37 Jennifer McElhinney Reach Running 34 : 19
111 57 Gabriel Duddy Reach Running 34 : 19
112 3 Erin O’Kane Reach Running 34 : 31
113 42 Moira McCarthy Reach Running 34 : 41
114 44 Shauna Mullan Reach Running 34 : 41
115 107 Noeleen Beattie U/A 35 : 16
116 104 Tina Knox U Turn 35 : 20
117 39 Gerry Mullan Reach Running 35 : 26
118 28 Catheryn Doherty Reach Running 36 : 3
119 100 Eamonn McBride U Turn 36 : 9
120 61 Ailéin O’Clúmháin Reach Running 36 : 26
121 72 Theresa Johnstone U Turn 37 : 11
122 21 Joan Molloy Reach Running 37 : 36
123 82 Claire McGilligan Reach Running 37 : 36
124 15 Edele harkin Reach Running 37 : 41
125 151 Caelainn Brinkley Blast 38 : 51
126 25 Sinead Faulkener Reach Running 38 : 52
127 28 Catheryn Doherty Reach Running 40 : 1
128 35 Bernie McMullan Reach Running 40 : 37
129 33 Natasha McClay Reach Running 40 : 38
130 50 David Hughs Reach Running 40 : 46
131 46 Una Quigley Reach Running 40 : 46
132 34
Sarah Louise
McMullan Reach Running 42 : 13
133 41 Mary Diamond Reach Running 42 : 40
134 47 Leona Cunningham Reach Running 42 : 40
135 93 Patsy Carlin Reach Running


Gary Slevin won the St Patricks 5K in Gransha with 15m 47s, a second ahead of Chris McGuinness and Dermot McElhinney clocked 16m 03s for third.

Jackie McMonagle got a 18m 55s PB behind North Down winner Rachel Gibson on 18m 22s with Angeline McShane making the podium with a good 19m 40s for third.

A good turn out of red vests at this one, racing and helping out!!

5th March 2016- All Ireland Schools XC- Sligo

Five junior Spartans competed in the all Ireland Schools Cross Country championships, held at the race course, Sligo. First to run in the minor girls race was Aela Stewart finishing a respectable 19th. Next to go in the intermediate girls was Mary Cait Byrne who finished 48th. In the Senior Girls, Aoife Laverty and Ciara Boyle finished 37th and 62nd respectively helping their Thornhill College team to 7th place overall – Eva Spencer also running for the Thornhill team finished 66th. Last to run, hoping to round off the season with a strong run was Fintan Stewart in the senior boys, but it wasn’t to be his day and after a strong start to the 6.5km race he fell back finishing a disappointed 18th.

6th March- Kenyan Romps To SSE Airtricity 10 Mile Win

A brilliant 50m 04s front running effort from Kenyan Gideon Kipsang, saw the Omagh based Project Africa Athletics runner lead home the 313 finishers at Saturday’s SSE Airtricity 10 miler and Letterkenny’s Masters Internationa Natasha Adams, was equally impressive in 8th place overall to convincingly take the women’s race honours with a fluent 57m 51 clocking.

catherine 10 miler 2016

Despite the recent inclement weather and the old adage about the Ides of March, much to the relief of all involved,the race start in Ebrington Square saw a short lived shower but dry conditions prevailed thereafter, with only the strong breeze on the Foyle Bridge, the riverbank section back towards the city centre and the Peace Bridge, issues for the runners.
Late entry Kipsang was in the small lead bunch from the gun but quickly went clear to post a very impressive victory, failing by just 4 seconds to smash the 50 minute barrier. He said Saturday’s race was an important preparation for the upcoming Bath Half Marathon and the absence of company for most of the race was a factor in finishing just shy of 50 minutes. However he was delighted with his run and with a Half Marathon PB of 63m 09s he will run in Bath with high hopes of a high place finish.

Behind the runaway Kenyan it was North Belfast Harrier Andrew Annett who made the move away from the chasing group to claim the runners up spot in 53m 35s, as his clubmate John Black just held off the strong challenge of Foyle Valley’s 2014 winner Chris McGuinness, the NBH man clocking 54m 45s to the local man’s 54m 47s.

McGuinness had the consolation of picking up the M35 age group prize and also of taking around a full minute off his winning time in the 2014 race. The top six were completed by NBH man Eddie Cooke on 55m 56s and Donegal man Ciaran Mc Gonagle of Rosses AC on 56m 50s.

connor 10 miler2016



Natasha Adams had a great run to take the female honours, her 8th place overall finish leaving her well clear. Her 57m 51s clocking took the winning race time below the hour mark for the first time and showed the Letterkenny AC athlete to be in great shape as the spring and summer road racing season looms.

Despite missing the start with her Spartans teammate Jackie McMonagle, Catherine Whoriskey ran well for the runners up spot, her 62m 08s a good return and a top 20 spot in her first ever 10 mile road race, and she was well clear of Acorn’s Karen Alexander who posted 64m 32s to complete the female podium places.

Another NBH athlete Martsje Hell with 65m 52s and Jackie McMonagle on 68m 23s completed the top six females home with Jackie compensating somewhat by netting the F45 age group prize with a strong run.


Chris McGuinness and Jackie McMonagle were joined by other Category winners as follows:

M40 Colly Doherty; M45 Bill Duncan, Lifford AC; M50 William Thompson, Larne AC; M55 David Clarke, NBH; M60 Kevin Kiely, Letterkenny AC; M U20 Ciaran Gallagher, U Turn RC

chris 10 miler 2016

F35 Kerrie McIlmoyle, Springwell; F40 Alison O’Sullivan; F50 Carol Clarke, NBH; F55 Bernie Regan,Larne AC; F60 Anne Hutton, BOLT RC.


Saturday’s race was a warm up event for many in the field who will be well into their preparations for the Walled City Marathon on Sunday 5th June next and Saturday’s course took in significant sections of the Marathon route. It also was tweaked significantly from the first two years and this was warmly welcomed by all the participants who delighted in finishing on the St Columbs Park track and thus losing the testing climbs which in 2014 and 2015 took them back into the Ebrington site.

Online entry for the Walled City Marathon has now closed but any inquiries should go to info@thewalledcitymarathon.com

2nd March 2016- Champions Return for the 2016 SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon

With just over 13 weeks to go to the Sunday 5th June SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon in Derry, both 2015 winners Pauline Curley and Freddy Sittuk have confirmed their intentions to defend their crowns!

freddy walled city marathon 2016

Tullamore Harrier and former Irish Olympian over the classic 26.2 mile distance, Pauline ran a new female WCM course record 2hrs 47m 29s last year and also has two Waterside Half Marathon wins from previous trips to the North West in 2007 and 2009. Her 2007 77m 18s clocking was the quickest.

pauline walled city marathon 2016 2


pauline walled city marathon 2016






Part time Irish resident Freddy Sittuk will be chasing three WCM wins on the spin in June, the affable Kenyan posting winning times of 2hrs 25m 44s in 2014 and a new male course record of 2hrs 22m 34s last year.

This is great news for the WCM organisers who have built the iconic WCM into a top class event since it was inaugurated back in 2013 during the City’s City of Culture celebrations.

The online closing date is looming, it is Sunday 13th March next so interested participants should move quickly and get on board asap.

Full information is on www.thewalledcitymarathon.com

28th February 2016- Morgan and Stewart Impress and Success in Stormont

An action packed weekend of athletics from Athlone to the Ness Woods, via Stormont, and the Foyle riverbank on a beautiful bright sunny Sunday morning provided plenty of race opportunities for locals and they took full advantage.


A significant showing by Foyle Valley on Saturday as they confirmed their crowning as NI XC League champions at Stormont, their men led by Chris McGuinness and the Martina McMullan led females, doing the business at the Civil Service races to complete the nine race 2015-16 League programme and claim both the Male and Female overall League team titles.

Well done indeed to the purple vests who targeted the League from the Comber Cup victory back in October and threw both quantity and quality at all the subsequent races to deservedly claim the honours on Saturday.

Derry City Track Club’s Chris Miller took the Valley AC’s 5K Challenge series opening race honours at Ness Woods on Saturday with Eglinton Road Runners teenager,Anya Hockley the leading female finisher. Young star Fintan Stewart of the local Spartans led home club mates Luke McCarron and Mark Mullan at the front of the NW Tri Club’s 5K along the riverbank course with Springwell’s Katherine Woods an impressive female winner. Stewart continues to shine and is a big talent for the future.

In Athlone over the weekend Scott Rankin, fresh from supporting his Foyle Valley team mates at Stormont on Saturday finished in eighth spot over 3000m in the National Indoors championships at Athlone on Sunday with an 8m 27s clocking. The Spartans Naomi Morgan saw action on both days with a big PB today . Naomi smashed the 9 sec barrier with a best of 8.87 to take a well deserved 5th spot in the sprint hurdles, adding to yesterday’s PB of 9.40m in the Shot. Congratulations:)
Thank you to Stephanie, Marty & Paddy of Peak Physio Clinic who looked after her during the Championships.

peak physio

From the wider North West Mark English won the Mens 800m comfortably, Anne Marie McGlynn was 4th in the 1500m and 5th in the 3000m, Newcastle’s Kerry O’Flatherty taking 3000m gold and 1500m silver on a good weekend for the county Down woman.



As expected Foyle Valley runners did the business at Stormont on Saturday clinching their NI XC League male and female team titles with competent performances on the testing East Belfast terrain. In third place overall Chris McGuinness led the Valley men to a team win ahead on North Down, Newcastle and Acorns while Martina McMullan also claimed a third place individual podium finish to spur the Foyle women to the runners up spot behind Ballydrain Harriers, bur more than enough to clinch the overall League title.

McGuinness was ably supported by Roy McGilloway 8th, Marty Gallagher 8th and Darren Wallace 21st in the four to score team format and for the females it was McMullan 3rd, Sarah Lindsay 5th, Gemma Mahon 19th and Grainne Neill 24th who fronted the Valley win.


The Male 60+ runners ran in the Womens 3.2mile race and the City of Derry Masters duo Peter Lilburn, third M60 finisher and Gerry Lynch, top M70 home showed well. Clubmate Una Given was third F55 behind Ruth Magill and Foyle Valley’s inform Catherine Moran, significant runs from both local women as they stayed on track to take podium places in the NI Masters ongoing age group League competition.


20th February 2016- Determined Doherty Delivers NI& Ulster Senior Mens XC Title in Style!

City of Derry Spartans Aaron Doherty strode to a very impressive victory at Saturday’s NI&Ulster senior men’s cross country championships in Lurgan, replicating his injured team mate Declan Reed’s 2015 success. A terrific surge at the 8K mark broke the challenge of nearest rivals Mark McKinstry and Seamus Lynch, and he moved away for a famous victory in the strength sapping 12K race.


aaron doherty ni and ulster mens champion 2016

Neither the North Belfast nor Newcastle athletes could respond and had to settle in the end for the minor podium places as the man in the red vest glided smoothly through the last two laps for his most significant ever success. Disappointing runs in this race in recent years were finally wiped away by Saturday’s magnificent effort and it was a smiling Doherty who crossed the finish line, arms aloft, to claim a well deserved Provincial senior cross country title, to make the trip back home from his teaching job in Madrid a richly rewarding one!

Arnie as he is known, knew he was in good shape, his performances in his Spanish training group and races all pointed to something significant and he duly delivered on Saturday.


” It was a long time coming ” he said post race, ” and I am delighted that all the hard work finally paid off ” He added that he was ” really looking forward to some decent road and track competition in spring and summer ”


There was disappointment too however as a badly depleted Spartans squad surrendered their team title to impressive new champions Newcastle AC. North Belfast took team silver for the second successive year and the Spartans settled for bronze as their hopes of a historic three in a row was never a goer with several key men missing from their line up.

Allan Bogle 11th, Colin Roberts 23rd, Dermot McElhinney 28th, John Lenehan 32nd and Kieran Hurley 41st, completed the City of Derry scorers and in 10th spot was Scott Rankin, individual bronze medallist last year, leading his Foyle Valley squad to a battling fourth team finish. Roy McGilloway, Jonathan Canning, Martin Gallagher, Aidan McGowan and Matthew McLaughlin were the other Valley scorers.

They too were below full strength but their gritty performance looks good enough to keep them clear at the top of the ANI XC League despite Newcastle clawing back some points with their win. Another notable run came from the National M50 Masters champion Pauric McKinney of Inishowen AC, his 7th place finish a great effort indeed!

In the Women’s championship 6K there was a runaway win for Newcastle’s Shalene McMurray and the female Foyle Valley squad did well for fourth place behind Beechmount Harriers, Dromore AC and Lagan Valley. That was good enough to consolidate their lead in the Women’s League standings as closest rivals Acorns AC and North Down both performed poorly on the day.

The Valley scoring quartet were Martina McMullan, Gemma Mahon, Sarah Lindsay and Denise Ward, good packing delivering important League points. With the final League race this weekend in Stormont it looks like a well deserved Foyle Valley double is on the cards.

Pictures courtesy of Keith McClure