ATHLETICS: Derry athletes shine at Extreme North Quadrathon challenge

Mark H Durkan MLA making a presentation to Foyle Valley's  Extreme North Quadrathon Challenge 2016 winners at the Templemore Sports Complex.  DER3616GS011
Mark H Durkan MLA making a presentation to Foyle Valley's Extreme North Quadrathon Challenge 2016 winners at the Templemore Sports Complex. DER3616GS011

Athletes from several running clubs took up the ‘Extreme North Challenge’ recently to complete four half marathons in four days across Co. Donegal.

All of the courses were both challenging and scenic in locations such as the tough Mamore Gap and the extremely hilly Kinnagoe Bay. The weather was wet and windy on occasions but this did not deter the Foyle Valley stalwarts from lifting first prize in the male team half marathon category.

Extreme North director and race organiser Harold McGuinness (right) making a presentation to Foyle Valleys Extreme North Quadrathon Challenge 2016 winners John Bonnar, Seamus Doherty and Mickey Clifford at the Templemore Sports Complex on Wednesday evening last. DER3616GS013

Extreme North director and race organiser Harold McGuinness (right) making a presentation to Foyle Valleys Extreme North Quadrathon Challenge 2016 winners John Bonnar, Seamus Doherty and Mickey Clifford at the Templemore Sports Complex on Wednesday evening last. DER3616GS013

The winning team consisted of: John Bonner, Seamus Doherty and Mickey Clifford, backed up by Harry McNulty, Peter Loughery, Hugo Hegarty, Liam Clarke, Matt Doyle & Hugh Hegarty.

All of the competitors were new to this type of extreme challenge, except for Edel McCarthy, who improved upon her time from last year by in excess of 20 minutes.

The fact that this close-knit team took pole position is testimony to their dedication in training and positive attitude.

Added to this was the eye-catching performance of Sandra McKeever, who completed the tremendous feat of four full marathons in four days to win first lady home while both Liam Gallager and Joseph Friel completed the four marathons.

The scene is now set for other locals to take up next year’s challenge, brave the tough hills of Donegal and push themselves to the extreme