Russell White and Emma Mitchell take the Title at the Dale Farm Protein Milk TQ10K

11 April 2017

Russell White and Emma Mitchell take the Title at the Dale Farm Protein Milk TQ10K

Over 1100 athletes took to the roads at the famous Titanic Quarter of Belfast for the annual Dale Farm Protein Milk TQ10K (Sunday 9th April 2017), an event hosted by Athletics NI and sponsored by Dale Farm.

David Seaton, Chairman of Athletics Northern Ireland said,

“I am delighted that the 11th running of the Dale Farm Protein Milk 10K Road Race went off so well. This long-established event, used by many as a build up to the annual Belfast City Marathon, once again attracted a large field of Club athletes, fun runners and joggers happy to take on the 10K challenge in the shadow of the famous Harland and Wolff cranes, Samson and Goliath.  Well done to all who contributed to the overall success of the day.”

Caroline Martin, Head of Marketing at Dale Farm, added:

“Well done to all of the runners who competed in the Dale Farm Protein Milk TQ10K. As the producer of the UK’s first fresh protein milk, Dale Farm is committed to supporting both professional athletes and sports enthusiasts though events such as this.

“Providing 25g of protein per 500ml serving, Dale Farm Protein Milk is ideal for those aiming to increase their protein intake quickly and conveniently both pre and post workout with 50% more natural milk protein than regular milk – and it was great to see so many runners enjoying Dale Farm Protein Milk at the finish line!”

The family fun run was the first race of the day, with Dale Farm Ambassador Tiffany Brien (Miss NI 2012) and Dale Farm mascot, Bella, on the line to start the 12.30pm race. Young Dylan McBride of Willowfield Harriers took the title as 1st boy to cross the finish followed by brother Nathan and Ballydrain’s Joel Chambers. Eimear McBrien of Lagan Valley took the 1st girls title followed by BASFC’s Hope McBride and fellow Lagan Valley club mate Khara Edgar.

Mark McCallion, Titanic Quarter said:

“After the fantastic turn out this year’s Titanic Quarter 10k, Titanic Quarter continues to prove its reputation as a major sporting venue, and we are delighted to have once again sponsored the prestigious event which this year started outside the iconic Titanic Belfast building, once again proving to be a big draw with both local athletics and spectators. A great atmosphere could be felt across the course starting with the junior mile and leading into the senior race. With great performances from all the participants, we are already looking forward to 2018.”

In warm and blustery conditions, there was a great atmosphere amongst runners and spectators at the ever-popular Titanic Quarter Arch Area. With vendors, sponsors, spot prizes and a brand-new start for the 10K event at the iconic Titanic Building it was a race everyone wanted to be a part off. Head of Marketing at Dale Farm, Caroline Martin, started the 10K race alongside Athletics Northern Ireland President, Pamela Brown.

Pamela Brown, President of Athletics Northern Ireland, stated:

“It was fun being in the middle of such a well-supported and well organised event. My congratulations go to all the runners from the first three to the last three - I hope there were many personal goals met. Thanks to all those who provided support, the sponsors, the police and the staff and volunteers of Athletics NI.”

In the end, it was Team NI Commonwealth Games star Russell White (Dromore AC) and Northern Ireland and Ireland international Emma Mitchell (QUB AC) who secured top honours. Elite triathlete Russell White, who boasts a 10k personal best of 31:00, was always going to be a contender, but it was the manner of his victory which caught the eye.  Almost immediately after the seemingly endless field set off from the new Titanic Building start line, Russell moved to the head of the pack and pushed the pace – despite battling a notable headwind at times, he held firm, claiming victory in 31:45 (1st place). 

Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) tried his upmost to close the gap in the final yards and despite being unable to do so, he was rewarded with 2nd place in 31:49.  Former TQ10K winner Conor Duffy (Glaslough Harriers) completed the men’s podium in 31:52 (3rd place).

In the ladies’ race, a late entry from NI & Ulster 10k Champion Emma Mitchell (QUB AC) added to an already strong field, which included AAI National Marathon and Half Marathon Champion Laura Graham (Mourne Runners). 

Nothing separated the headlining duo until the final stages, when Queen’s University student Emma moved clear to take the win in 34:12 (1st place).  Laura narrowly missed a personal best when crossing the line in 34:30 (2nd place), before Amy Bulman (Willowfield Harriers) covered the distance in 37:28 for 3rd place.

Caroline Martin of Dale Farm and mascot, Bella held the finishing tape for the 1st male and 1st female finisher, and provided each finisher with a bottle of Dale Farm Protein Milk as participants passed the finishing area, before heading back to the Arch Area to receive their commemorative medal. 

Banbridge native Russell White, who will now travel to Banyoles in Spain for the Summer, could not hide his delight at winning on home soil – he told Athletics NI, “it was great to come away with the win today and I'm so happy that today's race coincided with the short window I have had at home. Today was mainly about getting a good hard hit out and a check of my fitness before I start my triathlon racing for the season.”

Russell added, “I just wanted a good time and wasn't focused by going for the win today, that's why I went off and ran my own pace and didn't care that nobody came with me, it was apparent after the first turn around that a fast time wasn't on the cards today due to the strong winds and nobody to use for shelter at any point, so I just kept my head down and tried not to get caught.  It started to get close on the last straight but I was super happy to have done enough to hold everyone off and to have done it on my own.”

Ladies Champion Emma was just as happy, explaining that she was “delighted to win today.  The only plan was to win so to do that was great!”