The annual Belfast city marathon took place on Mayday in terrible weather conditions with large numbers of harriers taking part both in relay and full marathon duties.
In the team relay Connor Magill went toe to toe from the start with the favourites giving the team a significant gap over the next team up. Connor Magill, Alan Ritchie, Darryl Blair, Eddie Cooke and Conor Curran made up the team who finished an impressive 2:23 with the runners up trailing 4 minutes behind. In the womens relay Claire Prenter, Claire Connor and Judi Graham were part of the 3rd girls team in and a mixed team finished third with John Patience, Cathy McCourt, Philip Goss and Paul Jenkins running along with a runner from another club.
In the mens race Tommy Hughes went out hard from the start to win the local mens race by 5+ minutes in 2:29 – this placed him 8th overall. Stephen Scullion started of pacing the elite women for 2:39 and with his job done at 21 miles pushed on to finish 2nd local in 2:34. Next up was Andrew Considine who ran a massive 15 minute PB to finish 19th (4th local) in 2:42. Michael Fitzpatrick ran a solid 2:44 for 22nd while Davy Brady made his comeback to the marathon for 23rd in 2:46:05.
Simon Reeve broke 3 hours for the first time in 2:55 and took 41st place with Paul Blaney also breaking the 3 hours in 2:56.
Barry Reid ran his first race in a while running 3:04:06 while Travis Todd knocked well over an hour of his time from last year for 3:04:25 closely followed by Gerard McNamara who knocked another large chunk of his PB for 3:04:42.
Greg McClure bettered his London time from 2 weeks ago for 3:09 ahead of John McGuigan, who was running in his first marathon, who ran 3:12. Mark Shields ran his 2nd marathon of the year beating his previous time well for 3:18.
Rosie Daly finished well up in the local women placings with 3:22 – Amanda Perry next up for the girls finishing in 3:36. Nuala Muldoon ran her first marathon in 3:54 and Frankey McGivern ran 4:31.
Joe Norney had a good race for 3:32 with Paul Williams running a large PB in 3:44:53. Killian Woods and John Burns both ran their first marathon together and finished together in 4:04.
Special mention should also go to the pacers. Martin Rea helped pace the 3 hour group finishing in 2:59. Jim Benson and Gareth Grew took the 3:15 group both finishing in 3:14 and Stevie Walker helped with the 4 hour group finishing in 3:58.
Cathy McCourt finished 2nd girl on a difficult course on sunday finishing in 36:55 leaving her 18th overall.
With the marathon and the 1st birthday at victoria parkrun the waterworks still managed 130+ finishers. Simon Reeve in his first outing of the day finished in 1st place with 18:18, Jim Newberry next harrier in 3rd with 18:34. John Murphy was next up for 6th in 19:30 while Greg McClure warmed up for the marathon to finish 9th in 19:42. Joe Beattie, Billy Mol and Jack Carberry all broke their PBs for 23:03, 23:07 and 23:12 respectively.
Jim Clinton finished in 24:58,Mannix McAllister 25:13 and Darragh McNairney, on the day he became the 1st junior to pick up the 50 t-shirt at the waterworks, finished in 25:43. Coach John Marquess ran 28 minutes dead, young Aaron McCann 30:33 and Killian Woods stretched his legs for Monday in 30:42.
Over at Queens Martin Rea prepared for pacing duties winning in 18:30, Mark Sturgeon continued his comeback for 7th in 20:19, Damien Gill finished 17th in 21:30, Kevin Lavery 22:02 and Stuarty Kennedy 49th in 28:25.
Slieve Donard mountain race
Neil Carty and Simon Reeve both took part in the annual Slieve Donard race on Saturday having solid races with Neil finishing 6th and Simon 39th.