Jarlath Falls wins Race Over The Glens for ninth time

James  McIlroy, Jarlaith  Falls, Mark  McKinstry and Stephen Wylie
James McIlroy, Jarlaith Falls, Mark McKinstry and Stephen Wylie

Jarlath Falls scored an amazing ninth victory in the Race Over The Glens at Glenraffe Forest Park. The race promoted by the Ballymena Runners Club attracted a record field of 423 runners.

From the start Mark McKinstry set a blistering pace. The North Belfast athlete came to two miles clear of Jonny Steede with Seamus Lynch, Falls, James McIlroy, Stephen Wylie, Matthew Hewitt and Michael Crawley in the chase group.

McKinstry still led at half distance but ominously Falls had now moved into second ahead of Lynch and Steede with the quartet now well clear of the rest.

Falls had timed his enough to perfection as he hit the front to claim the title of “King of the Glens” by thirty three seconds over McKinstry who kept on well to the end.

Seamus Lynch and 2012 winner Jonny Steede followed with Matthew Hewitt and former track star McIlroy, another former champion, next ahead of Wylie and Crawley.

Lynch was joined by Luke McMullan, David Steele, Paul Carolin, Deon McNeeley and Eamon McCrickard as Newcastle retained their team title.

The Ladies race appeared to be wide open with the non-appearance of Sharon Trimble and Claire McAuley but Shalene McMurray had other ideas.

The former winner of the Tullymore Trail Race led for every step of the way. She was on her own by two miles with reigning champion Shileen O’Kane second ahead of Aisling Allen with Sharon Leetch, Fran McFadden and Penny Lindsay following.

Shalene kept her relentless progress and came to the uphill finish with over three minutes in hand as she claimed the “Queen of the Glens” title. Shileen O’Kane and Penny Lindsay held second and third with Fran McFadden, Aisling Allen and Sharon Leetch making up the top six. North Belfast took the team prize.

Meanwhile Stephen Prentice and Breege Connolly took the major honours at the Lough 5 Miles Road Race in County Tyrone.

Prentice came in sixteen seconds before Paul Barbour with Brendan Murphy third while Breege led all the way to win from Omagh Juniors Toni Moore and Caelainn McQuaid.