Sports

70 club members compete in Larne Half Marathon

Thursday, 23 March 2017

70 club members compete in Larne Half Marathon thumbnailA selection of the large group of Ballymena Runners who took part in the 2017 AES Larne Half Marathon last weekend - GB1206saP44

LAST weekend saw one of the largest events on the local running calendar take place with Larne AC staging the 2017 AES Larne Half Marathon 2017.
The race traditionally marks the start of the local road running season.
It had looked set to be a wet and windy day for the East Antrim Coast event leading up to the race however weather conditions were favourable on the day for the organisers who were promoting the race for the 25th time.
As has been the norm over the last few years the race had reached the entry limit well before the race with almost 2,000 runners competing on the day.
The race had a slightly different route this year taking in Larne town itself before heading north out the coast road towards Cairncastle and the turn at Ballygally before finishing in its usual spot on the promenade behind the leisure centre.
Mark McKinstry of North Belfast Harriers led the field right from the start with John Black (North Belfast Harriers), Francis McDaid (Acorns AC) and Neill Weir (Willowfield Harriers) all chasing behind.
McKinstry continued his dominance throughout and finished in 1:11:32 (1st place). John Black followed in 1:11:56 (2nd place), before Neill Weir completed the top three in 1:12:16 (3rd place).
The ladies race followed a similar pattern with AAI National Marathon and Half Marathon Champion Laura Graham well ahead in 1:16:59 for 1st place - therefore retaining the title she won in 2016. Gladys Ganiel O'Neill claimed a well-deserved 2nd place in 1:19:12, while Amy Bulman clocked 1:21:16 for 3rd place.
As usual Ballymena Runners took a huge crowd to the race with over 70 members competing over the 13.1 mile race.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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