STEPHEN Scullion and Aileen Reid gave top class exhibitions of running to win at the inaugural Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon which attracted a huge field of 3,500 runners.
Scullion started hot favourite and soon opened a 20 metres advantage over his main challengers which he extended as he entered the Mary Peters Track to a great welcome finishing in 66:57. Eddie McGinley gave a hint of his potential over longer distances in runner-up spot with 68:22.
Brendan Teer was a good third with Connor Magill just out-sprinting Paul Barbour for fourth ahead of Conor Curran and Andrew Considine who had another photo finish. Stephen Wylie came eight.
Scullion had enjoyed a good solid run and now looks forward to going into winter training which will hopefully lead to the 5,00 and 10,000 at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Aileen Reid had a start to finish victory just eight days after taking the silver medal in the World Triathlon Championships in London.
Aileen, whoran with international cyclist Tommy Evans for the first half of the race, had a four minute advantage over Julie Balmer who was 55 seconds in front of Kelly Neely. Judith Lonnen was next with Lauren Quee, Gerrie Shortt, Tara Malone and Victoria Hunter making up the top eight.
The winner was delighted to come first in Belfast. “There was a great atmosphere,” she said. She will compete in one more triathlon in France before finishing her season. She will also have an eye on the Commonwealth Games.
The inaugural event was a tremendous success. The nominated charity was Cancer Focus NI.
KEITH Shiels and Karen Alexander triumphed over classy fields to take the major honours in the ninth Felix McCullough Memorial 10K Race which was sponsored by Dungannon and South Tyrone Council.
North Belfast runner Alan O’Hara put the pressure on right from the start and came through two kilometres with only Foyle Valley pair Shiels and Scott Rankin for company.
The trio were still together at half distance with Shane Kerr an isolated fourth ahead of Donal Gallagher and Chris McPeake.
At this stage the ladies race was very close with Karen Alexander, second last year, Cathy McCourt returning from injury, Julie Butler and Heather Foley disputing the medal positions.
O’Hara was still pushing the pace but it was Waterside winner Shiels who came away in the last kilometre to take his second victory in six days. O’Hara was well clear in second position with Rankin, Kerr, Gallagher, Eirin McDaid and Paul Blaney following.
Karen Alexander running very smoothly came home to win the ladies from the impressive Heather Foley with Cathy McCourt, Julie Butler, Gillian Wasson and Gemma Turley making up the top six.
The benefitting charity was Lupus NI.