Sports

Lifford Strabane athletes help make half-marathon a success

Thursday, 18 May 2017

IN another busy week for Lifford Strabane ACm Denise Langan started off the action on Thursday at the Colaiste Ailigh5K in Letterkenny.

Denise was among the 248 athletes that took to the start line, running her fastest 5K time to date with a personal best of 30:56.

Friday, Gemma's 5K took place in Aghyaran, where 402 runners/walkers toed the starting line. Lifford Strabane AC was represented by six club athletes. First to the finish line for the club was young Brandon McGrinder. Brandon finished fourth overall to take third senior male place in a superb time of 17:26. Geoff Sproule was next to the line in 19:39. Michael McGrinder took on a pacing role to finish in 24:39, Jay Walsh 26:08, Lorraine McGrinder 26:24 and Stephen Kerlin 26:40.

Then on Sunday, 65 club athletes take on the much anticipated Strabane Lifford Half Marathon, with 12 athletes taking part in the 5K road race. The races started off with the sun breaking through the clouds and the temperature quickly heating up, whilst windy at times. In the 5K road racem Lifford Strabane AC athlete Oliver Barrett was the only senior male representative for the clubm finishing 5th overall in a super time of 21:14. The first three club senior ladies to the finish line was Olivia Cuskelly 26:04, Jacqueline Neeson 29:01 and Karen Carlin 32:05. Mark McCurdy was the first of the club's junior males to finish in a great time of 23:06, placing ninth overall and first junior male finisher. Cormac Carlin was next in 23:58 placing 3rd junior male finisher, and third was Odhrán Hoynes with 26:13. Ellie McCurdy was the club's only junior female athlete to finish in a fine time of 30:34.

In the half marathon, for the senior male athletes, the ever consistent Paul Dillion was first club finisher running a personal best in an outstanding time of 1:22:48. Second was Garreth McCullagh, who had another strong run to finish in a superb time of 1:25:12. Michael McGrinder was the next club finisher. He too ran a personal best to finish in a great time of 1:25:35.

For the ladies, it was personal bests all around. Dympna Houston produced the goods running another personal best in a fantastic time of 1:41. Second was Linda McGrath, who just gets better with every run she does ran 1:42:11 to also give her a personal best in this distance. Third was Veronika McGillion with the terrific time of 1:45:50 for a personal best.

Unfortunately a few athletes picked up injuries on Sunday. All at the club extend their best wishes and wishing them all a speedy recovery.

The committee of Lifford Strabane AC would like to take this opportunity to thank all of their club members and their families for helping out over the course of the preparations of the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon and on the day of the event.

Club members aided in various duties such as number and t-shirt collection, race pacers, marshalling and water stations. A special mention to Brendan O'Donnell who worked tirelessly alongside members of Derry & Strabane District Council to ensure that the event was as successful as it was and always looking to improve on it every year.

Training continues for juvenile athletes Monday and Wednesday 6:30pm. Adult training Tuesday and Thursday 6:45pm.

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