Nakita Burke and Ben Branagh take the lead at the 2018 Podium 4 Sport Seeley Cup 10k
03 December 2018
Nakita Burke (Letterkenny AC) and Ben Branagh (St Malachys AC) took the top positions at what was a highly competitive Podium 4 Sport Seeley Cup 10k, on Saturday 1st December 2018. The pair led a capacity field of 1,000 runners in the Willowfield Temperance Harriers annual race, which, in damp conditions, proved to be a fast-paced race with a number of runners collecting personal best times over the 10k distance.
In the hotly contested Men’s Open competition, Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) took 1st position in a PB time of 30:29, followed by Christopher Madden (City of Lisburn AC) in 3rd place overall and 2nd in his age category in a time of 31:16, another new PB. In 3rd position in the category was Conall Kirk (Annadale Striders) in a time of 31:22.
The British & Irish Masters International Champion, Mark McKinstry (North Belfast Harriers) took 2nd place overall, with 1st in the Male 35 age category in a PB time of 30:38. Steven McAlary (City of Derry Spartans AC) came in 2nd in a PB time of 32:24 and Glenn Donnelly (Acorns AC) came in 3rd place in another PB of 32:40. The Male Junior category was won by Craig McMeechan (North Down AC) in a time of 32:03, with Peter Gracey (Beechmount Harriers) 2nd in a time of 32:16 and Isaac McCollum (Ballymena & Antrim AC) in 3rd in a time of 34:10.
Gareth Lyons (AthleticsNI Unattached) took 1st place in the Male 40 category in a PB time of 33:26 with Conor Curran (North Belfast Harriers) taking 2nd place in 33:30 and Wesley McDowell (Dromore AC) taking 3rd place in another PB time of 33:57. The Male 45 category was won by Gary Henderson (Armagh AC) in a time of 33:44, while Mark Smith (Mallusk Harriers) was in 2nd place in a time of 34:49 and Paul Carroll (Annadale Striders) was in 3rd place in a time of 34:51.
In the Ladies Open race Nakita Burke ran to victory in a time of 34:57, followed by North Down AC’s NI & Ulster 5,000m and 10k Champion, Jessica Craig in 2nd place with a personal best time of 35:36 and in 3rd place Sinead Sweeney in a PB of 35:44.
The Female 35 category was won by Caitriona Jennings (Letterkenny AC), who was 3rd lady overall, in a time of 35:43, closely followed by Ciara Toner (Springwell Running Club) in 2nd place with a PB time of 36:30 and in 3rd place, Jodi Smith (North Down AC) in a time of 38:38, beating her personal best of 38:41.
Double Masters Word Champion, Kelly Nelly (City of Lisburn AC) took 1st place in the Female 40 category in a time of 36:52 with Catherine Diver (Beechmount Harriers) taking 2nd place in 38:49 and Geraldine Quigley (Ballymena Runners) in 3rd place in a time of 41:38.
Beechmount Harriers athlete Gerrie Short took 1st place in the Female 45 competition in 38:52, with Willowfield Harriers’ Jennifer Hamilton in 2nd in 39:40 and North Belfast Harriers’ Louise Smith in 3rd in 40:34. The Female 50 category was taken by Lagan Valley athlete Shileen O’Kane in 39:20, with Ballydrain Harriers’ Debbie Matchett in 2nd in 40:46 and Armagh AC’s Noreen Fegan in 3rd place in 40:59.
In the team competitions, the returning winners, North Belfast Harriers took the lead in the Men’s competition while Acorns AC finished in 2nd place and Foyle Valley AC finished in 3rd place. North Down AC claimed the 1st place in the Ladies team competition, followed by Beechmount Harriers in 2nd place and Letterkenny AC in 3rd place.