buncrana poster 2016

Sean Furey Insurances Buncrana 5k 2016

That time of year again and the Sean Furey Insurances Buncrana 5k is set for the 25th may at 7.30pm.  Now in its 13th year the race continues to be the benchmark for quality 5km road races in the NW of Ireland.  The club running fraternity are all very familiar with what the race is but for all those relative newcomers to our wonderful sport a few wee statistics on the race history may be helpful.  See below for a bit of train spotter type analysis on the course and times.

Let’s deal with the myth first, this race is NOT only for club runners!  This race IS FOR EVERYONE!  It is not a walking event, however we do not care if you walk in the middle, it happens to us all!

Registration will take place from 5.30 on Wednesday the 25th May 2016 at Scoil Mhuire secondary school on St Oran’s Road, Buncrana.  Race will start at 7.30 sharp.  Refreshments as always in the school afterwards.  Prizes in all the categories and for the winning male and female teams (4 to score).  In addition there are course record bonuses, 100 euro for any male to break either the Irish course record of 14.34 or the all-comers record of 14.18 or a 200 euro bonus for anyone under 14 mins.  Likewise for the ladies, 100 euro for anyone under 16 min 7 sec or 200 for any lady under 16 mins!

Pre-registration is available by emailing with you name, age and club if any.  We would encourage you all to do this as can reduce the stress on the night and save you queuing. Pre-reg will close on Tuesday 24th at 6pm so if intending to run why not send your email now.

At this stage it is unclear who will be leading the way but weather permitting this event offers all runners/joggers a chance for your own personal victory.  All are welcome.

Check Furey Insurances Buncrana 5k facebook page for tons of photos and finish videos from previous races.


Times and course analysis

Take the 2014 edition of the race for example.  The race was won by Donegal legend Gary Murray (St Malachys AC) in a superb time of 14 mins and 35 sec, this was the 3rd fastest time ever run on the course!  The ladies race was won Finn Valley’s Theresa Doherty (McGloin) in 16 min 17 secs which was a personal pb and her 4th victory at the race. This time puts Theresa at number three on the all-time Buncrana list.

These were not the usual, winner 2 mins ahead of everyone else, which is normally the case with such stellar performances.  Murray had only 12 seconds to spare over Spartan Declan Reed who was 2nd in 14.47!  Similarly, McGloin had 18 secs over Lifford’s Natasha Adams who ran 16.35 for the runners up spot!

This gives you some idea of the quality of the race which for all you doubters out there has been officially measured .  Some of you may think that this is pie in the sky stuff for me, not necessarily so.  The Buncrana course and the competition often gives people the opportunity to run their best time, whatever it may be.  In 2014, the first 99 finishers were under 20 mins (102 -2015).  The race has become a favourite with club runners who normally make up about half of the field. Many use it as one of their target races to try and run their best time of the season.  Realistically, out of the pleathora of 5ks about, only a small number of them are courses where a PB is likely or possible.  There a many reasons why courses are good for times, relatively flat and accurately measured are the two main ones. For those who know it they will be only too familiar with the fact that the Buncrana course is not completely flat.  It starts with the first 300m dropping down slightly and you have until almost the 3km mark which is completely flat and is in a straight line.  This is what we would call very good running and sets the person up for a good time or a lot of pain depending on how they paced themselves. 3-4km is likely to be your slowest with approx. 700m on the flat followed by a short but sharp hill for another 300m.  The “hill” will test you and if you have gotten carried away early on then you will know all about it, however once you crest the hill at Ludden you hit what is arguably secret to Buncrana’s success…  Your last 1km is all either slightly downhill or flat.  What this means is that you dealt with the hill 4/5th of the way through the race when you still had energy to deal with it and are then rewarded with possibly your fastest one km split of the race by running downhill.  On most courses the majority of the runners are slowing down at the end whereas in Buncrana you won’t lose those precious 10-20 seconds that you may have done on another course.  So the course is one of the big reasons why many local club athletes have run their pb here.  The other reason is that many of the club runners take the event seriously and come to race, this means that you have very good competition all around you this may allow you run faster than before.

Below are the top performances that I can remember, apologies if I have forgotten anyone.

Fastest Women

1/ Maria McCambridge – Letterkenny AC – 16.07

2/ Theresa McGloin – Finn Valley AC – 16.17

3/ Anne-Marie McGlynn – Lifford AC – 16.32

=4/ Natasha Adams – Lifford AC – 16.35

=4/ Theresa McGloin – Finn Valley – 16.35

5/ Natasha Adams – Letterkenny AC – 16.37

Fastest men –

1/ Freddy Situk (2012) – 14.18

2/ Ciaran Doherty (2013) – Letterkenny AC – 14.34

3/ Gary Murray (2014) – St Malachys AC – 14.35

4/ Joe McAllister (2010) – St Malachys AC – 14.40

5/ Kevin Seaward (2008) – St Malachys AC – 14.44

6/ Declan Reed (2014) – City of Derry Spartans – 14.47

7/ Declan Reed (2013) – City of Derry Spartans – 14.48

8/ Ciaran Doherty (2011) – Letterkenny AC – 14.59

9/ Scott Rankin – Foyle Valley AC – 15.00



 Danea Is Sport’s Star of the Year!

Congrats to Spartan coach and athlete Danea Herron who received the Sports Star of the year award for track and field at the Derry and Strabane district council awards on Friday. A huge well done!

danea award2

danea award1

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