Don Travers retains Newry City Marathon

Don Travers
Don Travers

Don Travers regained his title at the 8th Newry City Marathon which was sponsored by Newry Credit Union and local businesses in cold but perfect conditions.

Travers the winner in 2010 and runner up for the last three years was always near the front at the field were sent on their way by Councillor Naomi Bailie the Chairperson of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

It was Travers from Ronan Hartnett, Chris Denton and Jonathan Godfrey at half distance and the former cycling international increased his advantage over Hartnett to over four minutes at the end. Jonathan Godfrey was third and Niall Mooney next.

Gillian Cordner ran well to take the Ladies race. She was in control throughout and came in eight minutes before runner up Lillian O’Hanlon.

Jonny McKee back from Australia showed his class with a start to finish win in the half marathon. Eamon White maintained his great Newry record in second with Gary Henderson third. Michelle McGee had a good Ladies win from Teresa Duffy and Laura Graham.

Paddy Hamilton looked classy as he took the 10K in a useful 31:51 Brian McCluskey and Derek Mathers followed. Jacqui Craig was top lady.

Jim Corbett came first in the wheelchair competition.

Brian Campbell came out on top of a dramatic duel with Mark McKinstry to win the inaugural Ballyclare Mayfair Race promoted by County Antrim Harriers.

The event sponsored by Charles Hurst Renault, Mallusk and local businesses was in memory of club chairman Greg Hopkins and was appropriately started by his son Chris.

Triple Northern Ireland champion Campbell and this year’s runner up Mark McKinstry quickly moved to the front as the big field moved on to the Doagh Road.

McKinstry was a couple of strides ahead for most of the way but Campbell attacked in the ninth kilometre to open a gap which grew to sixteen seconds by the finish at the Rugby Club.

Desi Foley, Thomas Simmons, David Turtle, Colin James and Wayne Morrow followed with top M55 Laurence Johnston next.

Springwell pair Gemma Turley and Sonia Knox dominated the Ladies race. It was Gemma who came up the long finish straight in the lead to win by forty two seconds. Lorna Sibbett and Geraldine Branagh made up the top four.

There were good performances by local athletes at the Flanders meeting in Belgium. Kerry O’Flaherty was just outside her record with 9:53.05 for fourth in the steeplechase, Ben Reynolds won the 110 hurdles in 13.79, Leon Reid placed seconds in both sprints with 10.39 and 20.53 while Jason Harvey was third with 51.16 in the 400 hurdles won by Thomas Barr of Ferrybank in 49.50.

There was great competition in the Beechmount and IMC meeting at the Mary Peters Track. Niall Tuohy 1:49.37 just beat Anthony Leigho in the A800 as five athletes broke one minute fifty. Alexandra Bell took the Ladies 800 with Katie Kirk third and Aislinn Crossey seventh. Kelly Neely set a new Irish F35 record.

James Edgar took the 3000 with 8:32.81 a best, Emma Mitchell also had a best of 4:24.01 in second in the 1500. Andrew Wright slashed his best with 3:50.25 in the Mens 1500.