Dan Tanui and Judith Lonnen take Top Honours at Les Jones 10K
12 May 2017
Athletics NI welcomed over 300 hundred competitors to this year’s ChampionChip Ireland sponsored Les Jones Memorial 10k this weekend (Friday 12th May 2017). Despite the wet conditions, the atmosphere proved a fitting tribute to the late Athlete, Team Manager and Athletics NI Chairman who passed away in 1992.
Kenyan athlete Dan Tanui (Project Africa Athletics) did enough to edge out friend and training partner Ben Morrow (Ballymena Runners) in the men’s race, while Judith Lonnen (City of Lisburn AC) dominated the ladies event.
The tough course took competitors from the start line at Mary Peters Track, out onto the Upper Malone Road an onwards to the Lagan Towpath and Shaws Bridge, before guiding them back towards the finish line on the Mary Peters Track, via the infamous climb in Barnetts Demesne.
At the half way mark, nothing separated the lead group, with Dan Tanui, Ben Morrow, Gareth Lyons (Ballydrain Harriers) and Stephen O’Gorman (Dromore AC) running side by side. Little changed in the second half, until the men descended towards the finish inside MPT – moving quickly downhill, Dan turned onto the track and lengthened his stride, surging clear of Ben to seal victory in 34:20 (1st place). Ben followed in 34:27 (2nd place), with Gareth taking the final podium place in 34:35 (3rd place).
In the ladies race, pre-race favourite Judith Lonnen lived up to expectation. The international triathlete led through half way, with Natalie Hall (Acorns AC), Julie Murphy (Lagan Valley AC), Denise Logue (Ballydrain Harriers) and Sarah Lavery (Beechmount Harriers) in tow. As the race progressed, Judith increased her lead, before taking top honours in 39:02 (1st place). Natalie continued her recent good form with a runners up place in 39:34 (2nd place), while Denise narrowly missed a sub-40 minute finish when claiming 3rd place in 40:02.
Prior to the Les Jones Memorial 10k taking place, junior and senior athletes enjoyed the newest addition to the evening’s event programme, a 1k Fun Run within the confines of the Mary Peters Track. Joel Chambers (Ballydrain Harriers) and Ava Diver (Beechmount Harriers) impressed with front running performances.