CLOHISEY CANTERS HOME AND CATHERINE MAKES WHM HISTORY
Just four shy of 1600 finishers conquered the brand new and much lauded Waterside Half Marathon course on Sunday with Dubliner Mick Clohisey and history making local woman Catherine Whoriskey, impressive male and female individual winners, as the race took in both sides of the Foyle for the first time since its inception in 1981.
The Waterside truly lived up to its title, as the new course hugged the banks of the river for all of the 13.1 miles and afforded spectators a real close up and personal view of the action for most of the race between the Ebrington site start and the St Columbs Park finish.
The weather played its part too, despite a bit of early drizzle it was mild and with little wind the runners could concentrate on performing. Raheny Shamrock star Clohisey, Freddy Sittuk and Scott Rankin made the early pace out of Ebrington with Declan Reed a little off the pace in fourth as the leaders hit the Limavady Road . This quartet stayed away for the full distance with Clohisey, just back from altitude training in France proving best on the day with a superb 65m 08s winning run, comfortably ahead of the popular Kenyan’s 67m 54s with Reed clawing back his local rival Rankin before going clear to claim third place in 69m 28. to Rankin’s 71m 11s.
Clohisey spoke for all the big field when post race he said ” the course was brilliant, just the right mix of terrain, the climb on the Foyle Bridge was challenging but most of the course was downhill or flat, a really runnable course, and I am delighted with my time”
So too was his coach Dick Hooper who won the 1987 Waterside in 64m 33s–not the same course—and travelled North to see his runner deliver a master class as he fine tunes for the Berlin Marathon in three weeks time, when he will be joined by Decalan Reed and Sunday’s M50 winner Inishowen’s Pauric McKinney who posted 74m 32s for seventh overall.
Foyle Valley easily beat local rivals Spartans in the men’s three to score team race, Pius McIntyre 5th and Chris McGuinness 6th running very well to combine with Rankin for the victory and there was another M70 win for Christy McMonagle with a sub 1hr 40m effort.
CATHERINE MAKES WHM HISTORY
History was made in the Women’s race as Catherine Whoriskey ran a seven minute PB of 83m 08s to comprehensively claim the top honours and become the first ever Derry City lady to take the Waterside female individual title. The flying Spartan has been producing PB’s over various distances all summer long and was absolutely thrilled with her performance and her new status as a history maker in the annals of the Waterside Hal Marathon which had its 34th outing on Sunday.
A good winter’s training and racing regime with coach Dara Furey is the backdrop to her spring / summer success with the NI&Ulster 5000m track championship, a rush of 5K road PB’s and an eye catching 36m 37s 10k PB at the recent Dessies Run giving her the confidence to take on and win the Waterside. Watch out for her over the country this autumn and winter!
Clubmate Jackie McGinley had her best ever WHM finish in second spot with a 92m 09s clocking and with Janeen Leese completing their scoring trio the red vests pipped Inishowen AC for the female team prize.
In summary, another brilliant event, runners of all ages and all abilities putting on an absorbing show on a well received new course, in front of throngs of cheering spectators and some real quality up front performances. The Waterside has won the hearts and minds and in its 34th year looks set to notch up many more!
Check out more about Catherine and her incredible race here:
Check out the video below from Local Derry Sport of the first stretch of the course up Limavady Road: