Waterside Half Marathon Closing Date 21st August, Dessie’s Race Heating Up!- 20th August 2015


The first closing date for this years Waterside Half Marathon is today Friday 21st August and race HQ at the Foyle Arena has reported a big surge in both online and paper entries this week.

The numbers have gone beyond 1200 as we go to press and we understand entries will still be accepted pending reaching the 1700 entry limit. There is an established tendency here for a late rush and the organisers will have a special entry desk at the Dessies Run road race in Gransha this coming Tuesday evening, from 6pm to 9pm.

That could well be the last chance to sign on so take action now to ensure your entry. Go along to either the Foyle Arena or Templemore Sports Complex where you can enter or go online at www.WHM15.com

The 3 Person Team Relay format continues to be popular and with an 100 team entry limit, any trio still not registered should also get the finger out!



The aforementioned Dessies Run, the annual 10K road race in memory of a former Sparta AC captain Dessie McNulty has a 7 15pm start next Tuesday evening in Gransha and entries will be taken in race HQ the U3A Foyle building from 5 30pm to 7pm.

The pre entries have gone over 100 and with race T Shirts guaranteed for the first 150 entrants perhaps its time to bang in your online entry now! Simply send your Name, Gender, Age on race day, Club if any and T Shirt size to dessierun@gmail.com

The usual mix of good club runners and others is expected to pull over 200 to the new course in the Gransha grounds and the St Columbs Park greenway so some red hot action right down the field is certain!


Both Waterside Half and Dessies Run new courses were officially certified today Thursday 20th August by the peerless John Glover for the doubters out there so HAVE YOU ENTERED YET???

NI Youth Development League Final-15th August

NI Youth Development League ROUND UP

5th NI Youth Division League

Details of the NI Youth Development League results from last Saturday’s, the 15th August, Final at the Mary Peters Track show the local Spartans Juvenile squad finishing in 5th place jut six points off 4th placed North Down AC. The club mentors had targeted the Bangor based club who headed them after the three preliminary rounds and almost made it. The lack of numbers to cover the full range of events across all the U13, 15 and 17 age groups was the weakness.

However well done to all athletes and coaches who participated and particularly well done to the following athletes who won their respective events: Fintan Stewart U17 800m and 1500m; Luke McCarron and Liam George U17 3000m; Jessica O’Hare and Erin McDevitt U17 100m and 200m; Cara Laverty U13 800m and Katie Devlin U13 70m Hurdles.

Athletes Set for a Busy Weekend- Upcoming 22nd/23rd August 2015


Another busy weekend for athletes with a selection of road races from 5K to the full Marathon 26.2 miles and championship Track&Field thrown in for good measure.

The annual Brockagh Festival 5K kicks it off tonight Friday with a busy Saturday offering the Aran Mor Island 5K, the Dambusters Half Marathon and the Downhill Demense 5 mile Trail Run.

The Mary Peters Track will be busy both weekend days hosting the annual NI Team Trophy meeting on Saturday and the NI Combined Events championship on both Saturday and Sunday.

The second annual Donegal Marathon and Half Marathon is set for Letterkenny on Sunday and the Moneymore 10K offers an alternative, in a weekend packed with options.

Local clubs City of Derry Spartans and Derry City Track Club are expected to field athletes in the end of season NI Team Trophy meeting on Friday in Belfast. The Mary Peters track action also includes the NI track 10,00m championships and day one of the NI Combined Events championships which should feature locals Danea Herron, just back from the World Masters in France, Emma McCay, Naomi Morgan and Michael Surman.

The 10,000m championship is tagged on mid afternoon tomorrow but usually fails to spark much interest and there is little interest likely from local distance men and women. However both local clubs may figure in the other Team Trophy events, a full range of sprints, throws, jumps and middle distance on offer.

Ramelton 5km-19th August 2015

Young Spartan PB at Ramelton

ramelton 5km 2015

At Wednesday nights Ramelton 5k Young Spartan Christopher Crampsey had his first major breakthrough in senior running winning with a PB of 17.55. Rich rewards for a dedicated young man who is coached by top athlete Gary Murray. Hopefully the first win of many! Well done!

Riverine 10km, Extreme North Half Marathon Challenge and upcoming Dessies-18th August 2015

Spartans’ Success Continues

joe riverine 10km 2015

In recent weeks City of Derry athletes have traveled wide and far achieving great success on both road and track, highlighting once again the range and depth of quality across all age groups and over every distance.

Last week three City of Derry Spartans participated in Lifford AC’S Riverine 10km race run over a good course and in rain free conditions. Gavin Stevenson continued his comeback from a recent back injury to post a credible 39 mins 11secs ahead of Joe Mc Carthy on 41mins 6 secs and the evergreen Christy Mc Monagle on 46mins 57 secs and in addition taking second place in the V60 category.

Mc Carthy upped his performance two days later at the Convoy 5km posting 19mins 23 secs taking second in the V50 category and not content with this he took up the Extreme North Half Marathon Challenge a few days later finishing in pole position in the V45 category, despite the warm conditions and arduous route.  As the name suggests, the Extreme North events are a series of four back to back marathons and half marathons run over scenic, but particularly hilly terrain and are definitely not for the faint hearted.

All eyes turn to Dessie’s Run next Tuesday (25th) where a large crowd is expected for the ever-popular and highly entertaining event and no doubt there will be some top class performances from City of Derry athletes. The event has been targeted by several of the new running clubs and groups as one not to be missed and will no doubt feature some quality running over the new spectator friendly course.

Youth Development League Final-Upcoming August 2015


The weekend action of 15th and 16th August will focus on the NI Youth Development League final tomorrow Saturday, at the Mary Peters track with the City of Derry Spartans juveniles flying the local flag. The young red vests finished fifth in the three round League, hampered by a failure to turn out the requisite numbers across all three age groups but hope to field more quality and quantity for the final.

Defending champions City of Lisburn, Ballymena& Antrim and North Down led the League standings and look set to battle it out again tomorrow but the Spartans can seriously challenge fourth placed Lagan Valley if they travel with anything resembling full strength in their U13/15 and 17 squads.

Edwin May Nissan 5 Miler Coleraine-12th August


The ubiquitous Kenyan Freddy Sittuk and Foyle Valley’s Scott Rankin went head to head at Wednesday night’s Nissan Coleraine 5 mile Classic with the double Walled City Marathon winner just holding off the determined local man, clocking a swift 24m 36s to take a seven second victory at the line.

Excellent runs from both athletes, they were the real quality in the big field and a pair of sub 25m performances and a genuine up front battle underlined that. Mark McKinstry of NBH led home the chasing pack in a distant 26m 16s with City of Derry’s M35 Michael Murphy completing the top six on 27m 25s.

Gemma Turley of the promoting club Springwell, was an impressive female winner in 29m 54s, chased home by Orangegrove’s Jenny Black on 30m 02s and another Springwell runner, Ciara Toner on 30m 31s. Local athletes Denise Ward of Foyle Valley ran 33m 29s and the Spartans Janeen Leese posted 33m 59s, decent efforts from the local women.
Action photos from the night available from: Jameshislop.zenfolio.com


Lifford 10km, Glenmore 5km- 7th, 9th August

Red Vests Everywhere!

The Lifford 10k on Sunday 9th August won by our very familiar Kenyan Freddy Sittuk in 30m 39s, also featured a few Spartans.Gavin Stevenson ran 39m 11s for 24th, Joe McCarthy clocked 41m 06s ( 3rd M50 )  for 40th and Christy McMonagle strolled around in 46m 49s ( 2nd M60 ) and probably top M70, not bad after his previous Sunday’s M70 National Half Marathon gold!

Freddy was the common denominator at last Friday nights Glenmore Co Louth 5K. He won a tight race in 14m 46s with our own Eoghan Furey, holidaying in Dundalk, posting a 17m 52s finish for 37th .

Well Done all and the moral of the story is…….always pack your racing shoes and red vest!

World Vets Championships Lyon, France- 8th, 9th, 10th August 2015


Meanwhile in excessively hot Lyon, Danea Herron posted a new Heptathlon PB of 4189 points to claim 8th place in the 19 strong W55 World Championships multi event. The championships were staged in temperatures hovering above the mid 30 degrees Centigrade, too warm to do one athletics event, let alone the full eight of the Heptathlon!

national competitors in lyon franceDanae

It was so hot and humidt that husband and Coach Jim , reported that Danea had consumed three litres of water during the second day of the demanding event which culminated with a lung bursting 800m run.


Danae and her three litres of water in the humid air of Lyon France

Earlier Jackie McMonagle had also to battle the hat in her W45 5000m final, where she placed 12th in the large field. Time were immaterial but she did beak 20minutes and finished just six seconds or so behind Carmel Crowley who beat her for the Irish title a few weeks ago in Tullamore.


Jackie 5000m lyon

 Results for her 10,000m can be found below. 7th place on the World Wide stage- an impressive 42 minute run! An amazing effort and we’re all so proud of her achievements! Well done Jackie!



Jackie signpost 41 minutes 10000m nationals lyon