BEN BRANAGH AND MAEVE LAVERY EXCEL AT CRAIC 10K
17 March 2017
Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) and Maeve Lavery (City of Lisburn AC) excelled as thousands of runners took to the streets of Belfast for the 3rd annual SPAR Craic 10k earlier today (Friday 17th March 2017).
In wet and blustery conditions, the record breaking field made their way from Belfast City Hall to the picturesque Titanic Slipways, covering a truly urban course – the race kicked off a day of St Patrick’s Day events in the Capital City.
Pre-race favourite Ben Branagh, winner of Jimmy’s 10k last weekend, once again lived up to expectation. After taking charge early on, Ben cruised through 5k in 15:06, eight seconds clear of Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC), the man who took second place behind him in Downpatrick.
The St Malachy’s AC athlete then stretched his lead in the second half and despite the adverse weather conditions, recorded an impressive 30:50 for 1st place. Chris Madden claimed 2nd place in a personal best of 31:07, while Chris McGuinness (Foyle Valley AC) saw off some noteworthy opposition to take 3rd place in 32:45.
In the ladies race, Maeve Lavery put in a strong performance to secure a impressive win. The ever-improving City of Lisburn AC lady went through 5k in 18:21 before completing a gun-to-tape victory in 37:39 (1st place); this was just seventeen seconds outside her personal best for the distance. Beechmount Harriers athlete and Northern Ireland masters international Gerrie Short clocked 38:28 for 2nd place, before Dromore AC’s Susan Smyth (39:45) edged out Lagan Valley AC’s Julie Murphy (4th place – 39:51) for 3rd place, with both ladies going under forty minutes for the course.