Record breaking field of 4,000 set for Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon 2018
21 September 2018
Letterkenny AC's Danny Mooney and Dub Runners' Claire Tonry will lead the charge for honours as a 4,000 strong field take on the 6th annual Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon this weekend (Sunday 23rd September 2018).
Record numbers will take to the streets of Northern Ireland's capital city for the popular event, which will start and finish at Ormeau Park. The route will cover all parts of the city, from Victoria Park to Cornmarket, the Ravenhill Road to Botanic Avenue; a running tour of Belfast's picturesque landscape.
Northern Ireland and Ireland international Danny Mooney, who represented Team NI over 1500m at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, will return to action after a Summer injury. Despite this, he should still play a major part in proceedings.
The Letterkenny AC man ran 31:09 for 10k at the back end of 2017, picking up an NI & Ulster 10k (Road) bronze medal at the Seeley Cup. This year he clocked 14:43 at the Armagh International 5k and more recently, ran 3:45.63 over his favourite 1500m distance at the BMC Gold Standard GP in Manchester.
The chasing pack could include fellow Donegal men and club mates of Danny, Karol Duggan and Raymond Birch. After returning to running after nearly 20 years away from the sport, Karol impressed in the cross country scene, performing well at the Antrim International XC and taking the Donegal XC title. Meanwhile, Raymond had a strong run at the recent SSE Airtricity 10 mile road race, crossing the line in 56:41.
Gary Henderson (Armagh AC) and Pierce McCullagh (Sperrin Harriers) will be aiming for well under the 75-minute mark, while Andrew Considine (North Belfast Harriers), Gordy Graham (East Down AC), Wesley McDowell (Dromore AC) and young Jarlath Hughes (Termoneeny RC) should be amongst the top finishers.
In the ladies race, Claire Tonry will hope to continue what has been an eye catching year as she starts as favourite. Claire impressed with a personal best of 1:27:49 at the Omagh Half Marathon earlier this year before going onto win the gruelling Rathlin Run 10 mile race in a notable course record of 1:08:07; that performance would suggest that the Dub Runners athlete could significantly reduce her 13.1 mile best here.
Gerrie Short (Beechmount Harriers) will be another athlete worth watching at the head of the ladies field, after strong outings at the Carlingford Half Marathon and the Omagh Half Marathon, during which the Northern Ireland international finished around the 74 minute mark.
Monica McGranaghan (Letterkenny AC), Denise Ward (Foyle Valley AC) and Natalie Hall (Armagh AC) should all go well under 90 minutes, which will bring them into contention for a podium place.
Other ladies capable of claiming a podium spot include Paula Worthington (Ballymena Runners), Amanda Perry (Ballydrain Harriers), Jana Ross (County Antrim Harriers) and the returning Pauline Thom (Ballymena & Antrim AC).
Information in relation to potential traffic disruption and an amendment to the route in Belfast City Centre can be found HERE.