Familiar victors as Whoriskey and Sittuk lead home record WHM field

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolosa McHugh pictured with Waterside Half Marathon female winner, Catherine Whoriskey,  Deborah Gray, who was second female home while City of Derry Spartans' Jacqueline McMonagle finished third in the ladies race.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolosa McHugh pictured with Waterside Half Marathon female winner, Catherine Whoriskey, Deborah Gray, who was second female home while City of Derry Spartans' Jacqueline McMonagle finished third in the ladies race.

THE WINNERS' podium at the 36th Waterside Half Marathon had a familiar look to it as Kenya's Freddy Sittuk and City of Derry Spartans runner, Catherine Whoriskey retained their respective senior men's and women's titles.

Sittuk, who runs out of the Raheny Shamrocks Club in Dublin, was involved in a thrilling sprint finish to pip City of Derry Spartans' Declan Reed to the title on the line as Foyle Valley's Scott Rankin achieved another podium finish at this event by finishing third.

Whoriskey's win is her third successive WHM title, a remarkable achievement in another breakthrough season that has included her first Walled City Marathon win and a new Half Marathon Personal Best of 76 minutes and 52 seconds in Omagh.

The Derry woman was followed by Deborah Gray, while her club mate Jacqueline McMonagle completed a memorable day for the Spartans by claiming third spot.

In the wheelchair section, Inishowen's Karol Doherty continued his dominance of this event to break the winners' tape at St Columb's Park running track.

Despite the damp weather conditions, runners and spectators turned out in their thousands for the Derry City and Strabane District Council event that attracted its biggest ever field of over 2,000 runners.

City of Derry Spartans' Catherine Whoriskey crosses the finish line to make it three Waterside Half Marathon titles in a row.

City of Derry Spartans' Catherine Whoriskey crosses the finish line to make it three Waterside Half Marathon titles in a row.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, congratulated everyone involved in making it another successful day for one of the longest established and most popular athletics events on the island of Ireland.

"Well done to everyone who took part in the Waterside Half Marathon and the Family Fun Run that ran alongside it," he said.

"There was a real feel good factor around the route as hundreds of people lined the streets to give their support to the runners as they weaved their way around both sides of the river.

"It is easy to see why people return to this event year after year, it offers a packed field, a scenic route around the historic city and is efficiently and effectively organised by Council in conjunction with City of Derry Spartans."

Festival and Events Manager at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Jacqueline Whoriskey, thanked everyone who took part in the Half Marathon and the Family Fun Run that was held during the main event.

"Congratulations to all the runners, no matter what your level, running in a half marathon is a significant achievement and I hope everyone achieved their personal goals," she said

"We were delighted that this year's race attracted a record field and that more teams than ever took advantage of the relay option which represents a huge vote of confidence in the event.

"Thanks in particular to Gerry Lynch and the City of Derry Spartans Club, without their expertise this event wouldn't be possible."