04 September 2016

New long distance star Laura Graham made light work of the opposition in yesterday's Laganside 10k where  a record 1,200 field   enjoyed warm windless conditions over a new course tracking both sides of the Lagan at  Ormeau.

The 30 year old mother of 4 was never troubled from the gun though Commonwealth Games athlete Gladys Ganiel made valiant efforts to stay in touch in the early stages. However the Mourne Runners athlete was not to be denied and she crossed the line for victory   in a respectable time of 35 mins 36 secs.

This was 14 secs quicker than fast finishing runner up Rebecca Henderson of Dromore who edged ahead of Ganiel who was timed at 35.57.  The top 6 were completed by Sharon Barlow of Darlington (37.28), Cathy McCourt (37.50) and Willowfield's Amy Bulman (37.57).

The highly talented Graham has won all of her 8 half marathons this year including the Irish Championship. She is famously known for running a PB time in this year's London Marathon of 2 hrs 48 mins only 8 days before finishing 2nd in the Belfast Marathon. She commented on her latest win;

"I just ran my own race today.  I was happy though 10k is a bit short for me as I really prefer half marathons. I will be racing in the Belfast Half this month in preparation for the Dublin Marathon".

North Belfast's Mark McKinstry took the spoils in the Men's race after an early tussle with a determined Eoghan Totton of Newcastle. The North man crossed the line in 31 mins 54 secs with Totten just securing second in 32.13.

Totten's team mate Seamus Lynch was just 3 secs back in 32.16 with North's Lindsay Gordon also only 3 secs slower in 32.19. Conal McCambridge of North was 5th in 32.27 followed by North Down's Craig McMeechan (32.32). Winner Mark said;

"I am really pleased with that as I am only building up after a 3 weeks summer break. While I probably prefer cross country I am putting the miles in for the Belfast Half Marathon ".  


Meanwhile 2014 Belfast Marathon winner Freddy Sittuk won a titanic battle with Foyle Valley's Scott Rankin in the 35th Waterside Half Marathon.

An in form Rankin refused to be intimidated by former winner Sittuk and only lost out narrowly to the African a sprint finish. Sittuk was timed at 67 mins 37 secs with Rankin one sec back in 67.38. City of Derry's Kyle Doherty was 3rd in 74.24.

The Women's race was a triumph for title holder Catherine Whoriskey who sliced a huge 3 mins off her PB to cross the line in 77.52. Lifford's Claire McGuigan was 2nd in 82.53 followed by Enniskillen's Tara Malone (91.45)