Inishowen Half Marathon Wins for Africans
Two African athletes associated with the Omagh based Project Africa enterprise strolled to an emphatic one,two in the Men’s race at Sunday’s Inishowen Half Marathon staged in hot sunny conditions on a new lap course in Buncrana.The African duo were well clear of the opposition led home by Marty Gallagher of Foyle Valley and City of Derry’s Mark Mullan, as the Women’s race was dominated by locals, Sandra McKeever of Foyle Valley, taking the honours from the Spartans Jackie McMonagle and the host club’s Sarah Marie Doherty.
Given the conditions and the repeated climbing in the lap course, times not surprisingly were down on expectations, the top two Dan Tanue and Eric Keogh posting 78m 12s and 78m respectively, six minute mileing and in truth it looked just like a long training run for them. Gallagher ran a gutsy 80m 39s, Mullan 81m 18s, with Inishowen pair David Porter 81m 48s and Philip Callaghan 83m 40s completing the top six men home.
Up front in the women’s race Sandra McKeever proved too strong for Jackie McMonagle in the later stages and came home alone in 84m 46s. McMonagle followed in 96m 49s with Sarah Marie Doherty completing the podium placers on 98m 35s
Mark Mullan was the first Spartan across the line at today’s Buncrana half marathon. In very hot and humid conditions were faced with a 3 lap route taking in a few hills throughout. Mark will have been disappointed with his 81.18 run but had the consolation of a 4th place finish. A good effort considering the conditions. Next Rob Stewart who looked strong throughout finished 11th in 89.16. Conor Mc Dowell jogged around in a training run in 91.22 and Badia Enokitz followed in 92.03. Emmet Deery helped pace Jackie Mc Monagle who was 2nd lady home in 96.49.
Jackie has been suffering in recent weeks with a hip injury and paid that price today. Brendan Connor 99.42 Dara Furey 1.41.56 and Paula Mc gilloway 1.42.43 and Peter O Donnell 1.45.42 all performed well on a difficult day for long distance running.
Well done folks!
Good performances by more Spartans today. Stephen McGahey who is such a committed young lad ran 11.45 for 100m. Paul og Mc Cafferty had a breakthrough run over 800m running 2.11 while Liam George also continues to improve with a 2.07 run. Niomi Morgan ran well over 100m hurdles in far from ideal conditions.
Spartan men run well in local 5kms
Congrats to Spartan Micheal Murphy who produced a big run at tonight’s Ballyshannon 5k. Micheal lost out for the victory by just 1 second but had the consolation of a big PB with a 16.15 run. Well done! Spartan Christopher McPeake also made a welcome return to action winning the Holy Family 5k in 16.45. Good to see him back and great runs from both of our Spartan warriors!
Peter Tops at Northwest 10km
Peter Lilburn’s reputation as a class act in the veteran category was further enhanced on Sunday past when he lifted the M60 Award in the Northwest 10km at Letterkenny.
His winning time of 39 mins 37 secs is indicative of another top class season, in the highly competitive masters’ category. Peter’s dedication to both training and the nurturing of young talent is testimony to his willingness to put time and effort into the talent of tomorrow and he is an excellent role model and mentor for all Spartans.
Ciaran Doherty of Letterkenny AC led the field home on 31mins 59 sec ahead of Danny Mooney 33mins 27 sec s, also Letterkenny AC with Finn Valley’s Mark Mc Paul on 33mins 30 secs. Foyle Valley’s Gemma Mahon ran a strong 41 mins 58 secs and no doubt will lower this time as the season progresses.
Big Weekend Birthday Boost for Fintan in Belfast.
Fintan Stewart ran strong in his City of Derry Spartans colours at the Mary Peters Track on Saturday afternoon when he clocked a massive new 1500 metres PB of 3mins 57.31s at the Belfast International T&F meeting.
His first time going sub 4mins for the metric mile and on his 17th birthday for good measure!
Its a qualifying time also for the upcoming European Youth Games and he is now in the frame for selection for that prestigious competition…….Very well done to Fintan and his coach Sean Laverty !!
EUROPEAN YOUTH QUALIFICATION STANDARD FOR STEWART
It was a birthday present to remember today for Spartan Fintan Stewart who was competing at the IMC event in Belfast. A late decision to change Fintan into the A race proved key and he didn’t disappoint. The 17 year old followed up on his brilliant run over 3000m in Lifford on Monday today smashing his 1500m PB by over 10 seconds to post 3.57.31. For good measure the unassuming Spartan achieved the European Youth Qualification stand of 3.58.50 in the process. A quite magnificent achievement. Special mention must go to his coach Sean Laverty who like Fintan goes about his business quietly yet continues to prove time after time that he’s the top junior middle distance coach around now and has been for years. Well done to both!
At Lifford AC’s track meet Spartan Fintan Stewart produced a top drawer performance to underline his quality as an athlete. Running the 3000m in what can only be described as horrendous conditions the Spartan front ran from start to finish to post 8.56. The fact he solo ran the entire race and the windy conditions shows the Spartan can no doubt go much quicker this season as he highlighted he’s the top junior at present in the city. Angeline McShane also performed brilliantly well running low 65 secs in her first 400m. Liam George performed well in the 400 and 800.
Well done to all!
SPARTANS MAKE IT A 1,2,3 AT LISBURN RELAYS
The Spartans had three senior male teams in Lisburn on Sunday for the Wallace Park Relays and filled the top three finishing places. A 2 mile leg awaited each of the runners run over a very undulating two 1 mile loops.
Kyle Doherty set the A team up with the quickest leg run of the day smashing the first lap and holding on strong in the 2nd. Emmett McGinty made a welcome return to action to increase the Spartans lead before handing over to Michael Murphy who looked very strong throughout. He handed to Paul McCafferty for the glory leg. Incidentally Paul did think he had the run of his life but results showed him to be by far the slowest of the 4. His day will come! The B team of Colin Roberts, Connor McDowell, Eoghan Furey and young prodigy Darren Smyth combined well for 2nd. Kyle Doherty turned out again to complete the third paced squad alongside Philip Donaghy, Declan McCarthy and Eneko Badia. Great job Lads!
It was a worthwhile bonding trip for the mix of Masters, Seniors and teenagers making up the teams and we look forward to more spring and summer road races as well as putting together male and female squads for the upcoming National T&F League.
Some good performances from the Spartans at both the Young Athletes Development League T&F in Antrim on Saturday and the Lisburn Road Relays today. Well done to all and the club officials who attended.
The early results show Individual YDL wins for a bunch of our U13′s…….Oisin Colhoun 800m, Nathan Fitzpatrick High Jump, Callum Spain and Lily Surman, Discus and Amy Spain in the Girls B High Jump.
In the U17 age group our winners were……Sean Melarkey 3000m, and two B grade winners in Carla Perez 800m and Mary Cait Byrne 3000m.
A couple of more Spartans were at the YDL meet in Antrim and competed in the Open events.
Sprinter Stephen McGahey ran 11.46s in the 100m for the runners up spot behind winner Michael McAuley of Ballymena&Antrim who clocked 11.32s.
Daniel Reid ran 12.32s and Jack McConnell 13.09s.
In the 400m won in 49.48s by Finn Valley’s Aaron McGlynn, good to see Shane McGowan back in action with a 4th place finish on 52.34s and Daniel Reid posted 55.21s
Also a terrific 3hrs 04m 13s London Marathon clocking today for Rob Stewart—–well done ROB!!