ANTRIM COAST ROAD MARATHON
MORROW & MCLAUGHLIN CLAIM VICTORY AT ANTRIM COAST ROAD MARATHON
Ballymena Runners’ Ben Morrow and Springwell Running Club’s Karen McLaughlin deservedly stole the headlines as nearly two hundred competitors braved scorching conditions to complete the famous Antrim Coast Road Marathon (Saturday 30th June 2018).
The event, which took the field from Cushendall to Larne, along the famous County Antrim coastline, was originally held back in the 1980’s and was named the Nescafe Coast Road Marathon. Running legend Ron Hill was one of those who took part in what was a prestigious event in its early years.
This year, Larne AC revived the event to mark their 30th anniversary and it proved a resounding success, with athletes already calling for it to be an annual fixture.
After sharing the early miles with pre-race favourite James McIlroy (Wycombe AC) and Mark Smith (Mallusk Harriers), Ben took charge in the second half of the race and emerged victorious, covering the course in an excellent 2:43:55 (1st place). Mark Smith, who led for part of the race, held on for the runners up spot, crossing the line in 2:50:26 (2nd place). Experienced marathoner Chris Denton (Springwell Running Club) came through late on to take 3rd place in 2:53:25.
In the ladies race, respected distance runner Karen McLaughlin dominated, leading the field through half way in 1:36:20 ahead of local athlete Patricia Blair (Larne AC). Karen maintained her relentless pace to break the tape in 3:18:01 (1st place). Patricia ran well to claim 2nd place in 3:20:13, before Linda McDougall (Unattached) completed the podium in 3:28:51 (3rd place).
Thanks to NI Running for the race report.