On Saturday 20th September 2014 three runners from Larne AC made the short journey to Ballymena to run in the Slemish Challenge. Father and daughter duo, Eddie and Brommely Finn opted for the 10k distance while Andy Beattie tackled the even more challenging Half Marathon.
The events started and finished at the Michellin Athletic Club. The first mile was a challenging climb up the Woodside Road before turning along the Caherty Road and then onto the Lisnamurrican Road in the direction of Slemish mountain. The 10k runners turned at Lisnamurrican Primary School while the Half Marathon runners carried on before a futher challenging climb along the Carnalbanagh Road and the Carnstroan Road before turning at the Slemish car park.
Brommely Finn finished strongly with her trademark sprint piping her dad by three seconds. Brommely’s time was 1:11:24 with Eddie finishing in 1:11:27. Andy finished the Half in twentieth place in 1:55:27, a bit slower than his time in last week’s Belfast Half but still very respectable given the hilly nature of the course.
The event was organised by Ballymena Runners in conjunction with the North West Mountain Rescue Team (NWMRT) with all proceeds going to the NWMRT. It was an extremely well organised event with plenty of NWMRT trained volunteers on hand to assist. Given that it was for such a worthwhile charity and over such a scenic course it was disappointing that not more athletes attended the event with only 27 runners tackling the 10k and 40 running in the Half Marathon.