Black and Ganiel ONeill take the title at the NI and Ulster Lisburn Half Marathon Road Race Champs
22 June 2017
Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers) led the way as scorching conditions greeted a record number of athletes at last night’s Run Lisburn Half Marathon, which also incorporated the NI & Ulster Half Marathon Road Race Championships (Wednesday 21st June 2017).
Freddy was first across the finish line in 1:11:35 (1st place) but it was North Belfast Harriers duo John Black and Gladys Ganiel O’Neill who deservedly claimed the headlines – John took 2nd place overall, securing the Lisburn Half Marathon title in 1:12:19, while Gladys won the ladies race outright in 1:20:15 and with it, picked up Championship gold.
Belfast based John battled well from the off – for much of the race he was in pursuit of club mate Mark McKinstry, who in turn, was chasing leader Freddy. However, when Mark withdrew from the race close to the 10 mile mark, the ever improving John rose to the challenge, pushing the pace to cement his status as Lisburn Half Marathon Champion. He crossed the line exhausted, crumbling to his knees, but having achieved his place in the history books with an excellent performance. Victoria Park & Connswater AC athlete John Craig produced the run of his life to take 3rd place and NI & Ulster silver in 1:14:04. Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) crossed the line in 1:14:13 for 4th place overall and 3rd place on the local podium.
Commonwealth Games star Gladys looked a class act in the ladies race, leading through half way and further increasing her lead in the second half, before breaking the tape in 1:20:15 (1st place). Willowfield Harriers’ Amy Bulman was rewarded for her efforts with a Championship silver medal after clocking 1:22:12 for 2nd place, before Scotland North District 10k Champion Jenny Bannerman (Inverness AC) completed the podium in 1:25:25. Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) was the next local athlete to finish, crossing the line in 1:26:04 for 4th place overall and 3rd place in the Championship race.
Paul Hannon (Torque Racing) claimed the local Wheelchair top prize with a 1:04:43 (1st place) finish, while Jim Corbett (Torque Racing) followed just one second later in 1:04:44 (2nd place).
In the associated 10k race, recently crowned NI & Ulster Senior 5,000m Champion James Edgar (City of Lisburn AC) celebrated his first competitive outing over 10k with a win; he broke the tape in 32:49 (1st place). Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) and Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers) recorded 32:54 (2nd place) and 33:03 (3rd place) respectively.
Monaghan Town Runners’ Donna Mone led the ladies home in 38:57 (1st place), while Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) continued her recent good form with a 39:14 finish for 2nd place. Another in-form athlete, Sarahjane Guiney (Unattached) completed the top three in 39:24 (3rd place).
In the men's team competition, North Belfast Harriers took 1st place, with Victoria Park & Connswater AC claiming 2nd place. Willowfield Harriers completed the top three teams in 3rd place.
North Belfast Harriers (1st place) achieved an impressive double with gold medals in the ladies team competition, with Willowfield Harriers and Orangegrove AC taking 2nd place and 3rd place respectively.
Full results for the Run Lisburn Half Marathon and 10k are available HERE