Locals Eye National Half Marathon Honours-30th July 2015



Road races once again dominate the weekend action with events with two Donegal Athletics Board 5K’s in Castlefin Friday 31st July and in Cranford Saturday 1st August and on Sunday its the annual Danny McDaid 15k which should attract a big entry to Letterkenny for the 11 30am start.
There is also the Milk Run 5 miler in Ballymoney Friday 31stJuly, the Cookstown Half Marathon at 12 noon on Sunday and then its the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Dublin on Monday the 3rd. The latter once again hosts the National Half Marathon championships and should see local Spartans Christy McMonagle and Una Gavan and Inishowen AC star Pauric McKinney chase honours in their respective Masters age group categories.
McMonagle will attempt to continue his long streak of National Half Marathon age group wins and is expected to go well in the M70 group while McKinney too has a long history of success and will chase his first M50 individual title over the distance, having recently reached the half century. Gavan is new to the F55 age group and would be delighted with a podium finish.
Among the huge entry is the double Walled City Marathon winner Freddy Sittu who will run as part of a strong Raheny Shamrock squad while Annadale Strider Paul Pollock may start as favoutite to defend his title.


whm banner 2015
The Danny McDaid 15K on Sunday will pull out many local and NW distance runners with many of them looking ahead to the Donegal Marathon in three weeks time and of course the 34th staging of the Waterside Half Marathon a few weeks later on Sunday 6th September.
At just five weeks away now the Waterside’s return to its origins in St Columbs Park and boasting a brand new course, taking in both sides of the River Foyle, is expected to have 1500 runners on the road on race day and entries are pouring in. Online entry is at www.WHM15.com or you can download an entry form and register in person at either the Foyle Arena or Templemore Sports Complex
Early entry is advised as the 21st August closing date is fast approaching so get on the ball now! Email enquiries can be made to halfmarathon@derrycityandstrabanedistrict.com


For those not quite up to the full 13.1 mile distance there is the ” bite size chunks ” option of entering the 3 Person team Relay format. Each runner will complete a 4miles plus leg of the course, making it very accessible indeed while soaking up the whole Half Marathon experience. Up to 100 Relay teams are expected on race day—-why not join them —-just follow the entry process indicated above!


The annual Dessies Run will be staged in Gransha on Tuesday 25th August with the usual 7 15pm start time and pre entry can be made now by emailingdessierun@gmail.com
Simply send your Name, Gender, Age on race day, Club if any and T Shirt size and you can then collect your race pack on race day between 5 45pm and 7pm at race HQ the U3A Foyle building in the Gransha Park grounds.
Entries will also be taken in person at U3A Foyle between the above times on race day but with T Shirts guaranteed only to the first  150 entrants the email option is advised.

National Masters Tullamore and Multievent in Hexham-26th July2015




Masters Track Tullamore July 2015 -2 Masters Track Tullamore July 2015




The National Masters T&F championships in Tullamore on Sunday provided rich pickings for the contingent of talented local athletes  with both City of Derry Spartans and Derry City Track Club in the medals.



Pride of place has to go to the Spartans Frank Stewart who took double gold in the M75 age group with wins in the 200m and Javelin. Coached by Danea and Jim Herron the Oak Leaf High Jump star of the 1960′s returned to competition last year and looks like he never really went away. Well done Frank!

Jackie McMonagle took double silver in the F45, 1500m and 3000m behind Bandon AC star Carmel Crowley and will renew that rivalry next week in Lyons at the World Masters; City of Derry newcomer Dermot McElhinney made his first National level appearance a big one with 5000m silver in the M45 category and Discus thrower Paul Herron did very well to snatch a M55 bronze.

DCTC athletes were also very prominent with star man Cathal McLaughlin once again top of the pile in the M45 800m and 1500m, double gold his reward with impressive efforts. M55 Robert Bigger was also in the frame with double silver in the same distances, M35 Adrian Boyle took 800m bronze as did Malcolm McCausland in the M60 1500m and the DCTC Relay squad did very well to close the meeting with bronze in the 400m Relay with a battling collective effort.

A number of these athletes plus the Spartans Danea Herron will travel next week to Lyon in France for the World Masters championships, a big step up in class certainly but one that can be bridged by some of them. Watch this space!



Meanwhile in Hexham Naomi Morgan improved her Heptathlon PB score to a decent 4449 points as she represented NI in the UK Combined Events championships and the teenage Spartan looks to have found her niche in the demanding multi event challenge.

Busy weekend to come-24th, 25th, 26th July

As the summer sun struggles to impose itself there is another mix of road, trail and track&field action on this weekend’s competitive agenda with Dublin, Belfast, Davagh Forest, Malin, Tullamore and Hexham venues likely to see local and North West athletes in action.
The annual Morton Games gets the action under way this evening–Friday–in Dublin with the second fastest man in the world Yohan Blake the star attraction in the Men’s Invitational 100m.  The Morton Mile is another big attraction, worth recalling that Spatra star Bobby Farren won that one back in 1992, and Letterkenny man mark English is thought to be in the 800m field.
Tullamore hosts the National Masters T&F championships on Sunday with the usual significant local  contingent travelling in search of medals. Athletes from Olympian, City of Derry Spartans and Derry City Track Club will make the trip with Martin O’Donnell, Mary Devlin, Frank Stewart, Jim and Paul Herron, Jackie McMonagle, Dermot McElhinney, Robert Bigger, Malcolm McCausland, Tim Shields and Adrian Boyle among them.
Sunday also sees the Malin Festival of road races with the programme covering both the Mile and 5K distances. First race is at 11am and entries will be taken on the day.
Saturday ‘s action is at the Mary Peters track where round 3 of the NI Young Athletes League should see more competition for the Juvenile Spartans and at Davagh Forest where the latest in the O’Brien Challenge races takes place at 12 noon.
Finally the City of Derry Spartans all rounder Naomi Morgan will be representing NI at the Home Countries Combined Events championships on both weekend days in Hexham. A tough two days for the promising combined eventer who did well in Grangemouth a fortnight ago in the Scottish championships, when she picked up an U20 silver medal despite failing to finish her 1500m race due to a foot injury. An improved points total is the target for the Spartan.