Larne AC athletes compete in long distance events

This week, runners from Larne Athletic Club have been competing over long distances and tough terrain; the local club where represented at races in Annalong, Belfast, America and a 100k ultra-marathon from Waterfoot to Carrick-A-Rede.

On Saturday, Andy Gregg, Bryan Magee and Corey Urwin took part in the Annalong Horseshoe Mountain Race, one of the toughest events on the NIMRA calendar. The course takes competitors on a 13.1 mile journey through the Mourne Mountains and includes 1,550m of ascended. Andy was first home in 2:37:39 (19th place), with Bryan finishing close behind in 2:41:13 (23rd place). Corey continued his return to competition with a 2:50:00 (31st place) finish.

Also on Saturday, two of the clubs keenest endurance athletes, Amy Beggs and Eddie Finn took on the extremely challenging 26extreme Lost Worlds Causeway Crossing. This was a 100k foot race from Waterfoot, across the Moyle Way and onto the Casueway Coast, finishing at Larrybane Quarry, close to Carrick-A-Rede rope-bridge. Amy completed the gruelling course in 15:46:30, claiming the 3rd place prize in the ladies category. Unfortunately, Eddie had to withdraw at 70k due to a knee injury.

On Sunday, Heather Baxter completed the ‘Flying Pig’ Cincinnati Marathon in America. Despite the hilly course, Heather managed to run a new personal best of 3:48:29, smashing her previous 26.2 mile best by over ten minutes.

Bank Holiday Monday brought the Belfast Marathon, a popular event for local runners. This year, Larne AC had no less than eleven participants on the start line. Andy Guy produced an excellent performance to lead the local athletes home in 2:57:18, finishing well below the infamous three hour barrier, he was followed by the ever consistent Phelim McAllister in 2:58:53 and official Belfast City Marathon three hour pacer Justin Maxwell, who fulfilled his role perfectly, crossing the line as the clock struck 2:59:00, meaning that his followers achieved their sub 3:00:00 finish. Billy Thompson covered the distance in 3:05:49, an excellent achievement considering he has been unwell recently.

The Larne AC ladies relay team, which included Rhonda Montgomery, Rhonda Brady, Trisha Campbell, Bernadette Campbell and Ruth Wilson finished as 3rd place female team in 3:19:21 (37th place overall, out of 1,900 teams). Bert Shaw followed in 3:19:49, with John McManus (3:23:30), who was completing his third marathon in a month, just behind. Kirsty Sharratt ran an excellent race, clocking the second fastest time ever by a Larne AC lady over 26.2 miles. Kirsty crossed the line in an excellent 3:25:33. Paul Tilson battled well through the closing miles to finish in 3:51:59, before Alan Poag (4:14:13), David Noble (4:29:26) and Andrew Carson (4:38:07) completed the course.