Scott Rankin and Emma Mitchell Crowned NI and Ulster 10K Road Champions
27 November 2017
Scott Rankin (Foyle Valley AC) and Emma Mitchell (QUB AC) were crowned Northern Ireland & Ulster 10k (Road) Champions as a capacity field of 1,000 runners took on Willowfield Temperance Harriers’ Seeley Cup 10k road race in Belfast (Saturday 25th November 2017).
In bitterly cold conditions, two quality races raised the temperatures in Northern Ireland’s capital city. In the men’s race, Kenyan star Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club) saw off early leader and local man Scott Rankin to secure victory.
Scott took the race on from the off, moving to the front of the seemingly endless field. Despite his brave efforts, the Northern Ireland international was forced to take the runners up prize as Gideon broke the tape in 30:39 (1st place). Scott claimed 2nd place and with it the Northern Ireland & Ulster title in 30:56 – Neil Johnston followed in 3rd place, crossing the line in 31:05 – Danny Mooney (Letterkenny AC) completed the NI & Ulster podium in 31:09 (4th place).
In the ladies race, two of Northern Ireland’s best emerging talents went head to head and delivered a race which lived up to expectation. Nothing separated NI 10,000m and 5,000m record holder Emma Mitchell (QUB AC) and Belfast Marathon winner Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) until the final kilometre. As the ladies entered Ormeau Park for the final time, Emma surged clear to retain her NI & Ulster 10k title in 34:00 (1st place).
Laura followed in a new 10k personal best of 34:19, taking 2nd place, before Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) secured the final podium place and bronze medal in 35:49 after an excellent battle with fellow Commonwealth Games athlete Gladys Ganiel O’Neill (North Belfast Harriers), who followed in 36:19 (4th place).
In the team competition, North Belfast Harriers secured top honours in the male category, with City of Derry AC and Springwell Running Club picking up silver and bronze medals respectively. In the hotly contested ladies race, provisional results would suggest North Belfast Harriers completed a male / female double, with Beechmount Harriers securing silver and Ballymena Runners taking bronze.
Note: Ladies team results currently under review.
Elsewhere this weekend…
Northern Ireland’s Kevin Seaward secured an impressive victory at the Wolverton 5 mile road race in Milton Keynes, in England.
The Rio Olympic Games marathoner broke the tape in 24:04 (1st place); this was enough to see the St Malachy’s AC athlete finish 40 seconds ahead of runner up Ryan Burling (2nd place – 24:44) of Luton AC.
Expressions of Interest for Upcoming XC Internationals
A reminder that Athletes wishing to be considered for selection for the upcoming Antrim and Celtic International XCs need to register their interest with Athletics NI by 16th December.
Source: NI Running