Fionnuala Ross Claims Scottish Half Marathon Gold with Podium Spot at Great Scottish Run
02 October 2017
Scotland based Northern Ireland international Fionnuala Ross (Shettleston Harriers / Armagh AC) continued her recent good form with a Scottish National Half Marathon gold medal after securing 3rd place at the Great Scottish Run, which included the Scottish Athletics Half Marathon Championships (Sunday 1st October 2017).
Against top quality competition, and in less than favourable conditions, Fionnuala recorded a new 13.1 mile personal best of 1:14:26 for 3rd place - the race was won by Kenya's Flomena Daniel in 1:10:17, with Great Britain's Charlotte Purdue taking 2nd place in 1:12:18.
After the race, when asked about her victory by Scottish Athletics, Fionnuala said "I'm absolutely delighted, really pleased with it." She put her recent good form down to consistent structured training over the last few years.
Fionnula's new half marathon best slashes just under 90 seconds off her previous best time of 1:15:47, which she recorded whilst taking 2nd place overall and 1st place in the ladies race at the Isle of Mull Half Marathon in August. The Armagh AC athlete, who represented Northern Ireland at the Antrim International XC, has also clocked a personal best over 10k this year, running 33:57 to win the Stirling 10k last month (August 2017).
Fionnuala will now focus on the Frankfurt Marathon later this month, where she will be aiming for a sub 2:40 finish time.
Elsewhere this weekend…
Donegal Cross Country Championships:
The cross country season kicked off in County Donegal this weekend with the Donegal Cross Country Championships (Sunday 1st October 2017). In the Masters events, Derry Track Club’s current NI & Ulster 10,000m Champion Marina Murphy won the ladies 3k in 11:17 (1st place). In the men’s 5k equivalent, Letterkenny AC’s Karol Duggan won in 15:09 (1st place) – Foyle Valley AC’s Chris McGuinness ran well to secure the runners up spot in 15:25 (2nd place).
The event included the Donegal Even Age Group Championships. In the Under 10 category, there was a double victory for Letterkenny AC, with Emma Bonar and Harry Shields winning their respective races. It was a similar story in the Under 12 competition, with Cranford AC duo Miah Fletcher and Caolan McFadeh leading the way.
In the Under 14 groupings, Niamh Carolan (North Leitrim AC) won the girls race, with Oisin Kelly (Cranford AC) winning the boys event. Omagh Harriers’ Ella Quinn claimed victory in the Under 16 girls race, with Sean McGinley (Olympian) securing top honours in the boy’s race. In the Under 18 age group, Sarah Kelly (Inishowen AC) and Ben Carr (Finn Valley AC) won the girls and boys races respectively.
Gideon Kipsang and Laura Graham win Bangor 10k road race:
At the Bangor 10k road race (Saturday 30th September 2017), Kenyan star and winner of the recent Belfast City Half Marathon, Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club) led the 1,000 strong field home in 30:02 (1st place). Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) took 2nd place in 31:30, with Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) completing the top three in 32:04 (3rd place).
Mourne Runners star Laura Graham followed up her excellent performance at the Berlin Marathon with a 34:35 clocking for 1st place in the ladies race. Jessica Craig (North Down AC) followed in 36:07 (2nd place), with 3rd place going to Cathy McCourt (Unattached) in 38:04.
Ian Bailey and Shileen O’Kane win NIMRA Championship finale – Commedagh Chase:
In the Mourne Mountains, Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) and Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) won the final race of the Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championship, and the penultimate race of the mountain running season, the Commedagh Chase Mountain Race (Saturday 30th September 2017).
The event, hosted by Mourne Runners, covered a 13k course starting and finishing on the Trassey Track.
After a close race between Newcastle AC club mates Ian Bailey and Seamus Lynch, Ian ran out victorious in a new course record of 57:46 (1st place). Seamus took 2nd place in 58:22, before the host club’s Timothy Johnston (Mourne Runners) crossed the line in 1:02:32 (3rd place).
Northern Ireland international Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) won the ladies race in 1:15:36, with Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) claiming 2nd place in 1:20:03. Bethany Haugh (Mourne Runners) recorded 1:20:28 for 3rd place.
Peter Cromie secures podium place at famous Grand 2 Grand Ultra:
Springwell Running Club athlete Peter Cromie, a respected ultra-runner, claimed 2nd place in one of the world’s top ultra-distance events, the Grand 2 Grand Ultra.
Starting at the Grand Canyon (at 5344ft) on Saturday 23rd September 2017, runners covered 170 miles (273km) in six stages, finishing on the summit of the Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase at an altitude of 8698 feet.
After winning six stages out of six, former World Trail Champion Erik Clavery won overall in a time of 29:34:16 and similarly, with six second places out of six stages, Northern Ireland man Peter secured 2nd place in 32:17:59.