Joe McAllister is runaway winner in Larne half marathon

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Joe McAllister scored his second win in six days with a runaway success in the AES Larne Half Marathon ahead of 1500 competitors in cold but surprisingly good conditions.

The St Malachy’s athlete was already in the lead as they turned into the centre of the town in the first mile. Andrew Annett was leading the chase with David Graham, James Brown, Francis Marsh, Dennis Scott and Stephen Wylie all well placed.

By half distance McAllister was fifty two seconds up on Annett with Graham, Wylie, Scott, Brown, Barrie Atkinson and Marsh a further minute and a half behind with Conor Curran and Andrew Considine next.

McAllister was on his own through Ballygally and Cairncastle and was able to cruise home along the Coast Road for a popular fourth victory in the race in front of the big crowd.

Annett looked good in second with the North Down trio of Wylie, Scott and Marsh covered by just five seconds in the battle for bronze. Atkinson, Graham, Curran, Brown and Considine made up the top ten.

There was record breaking in the Ladies race as Fiona Stack and Heather Foley went under the old time. Reigning champion Julie Balmer was spectating owing to injury.

The pace was fast from the gun as former Waterside champion Stack and Foley, winner of the first round of the Pure Running/ChampionChip Ireland Series at Dundalk/Newry six days before, went head to head.

Fiona Stack from Raheny went through half distance well under the record schedule with a twenty second advantage over Heather Foley with Bristol visitor Julia Belyavin third ahead of Gerrie Shortt and Marina Campbell.

The pace was unrelenting as Fiona stormed home in 79:47 to destroy the former record as she crossed the line over three minutes in front of Heather who was also under the old standard.

Julia held third with Marina Campbell improving to fourth ahead of Gerrie Shortt and Ann Fitzpatrick.