Stephen Duncan claims huge win at Ballynahinch event

Gold medalist Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (centre) silver medalist Kenya's Stanley Biwott (left) and bronze medalist Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele
Gold medalist Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (centre) silver medalist Kenya's Stanley Biwott (left) and bronze medalist Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele

Stephen Duncan produced a great display of running to win the Ballynahinch Lions 10K Road Race over the spectacular two lap course.

Duncan hit the front early on along with David O’Flaherty and Andrew Agnew.

The trio came out of Montalto Estates at the end of the first circuit in line abreast.

Jonny Steede led the chase twenty one seconds behind with Paul Carroll, Martin Melville and Martin Wilcox following ahead of Bernard Brady and Greg Lucy.

At this stage the Ladies favourite Laura Bickerstaff was almost a minute clear of Geraldine Quigley with Amy Bulman and Kyla Henderson disputing third.

Duncan began to attack after seven kilometres as Agnew dropped out. O’Flaherty never gave up but it was Omagh’s Duncan who crossed the line with a nine seconds advantage over the Newcastle runner.

Steede was an isolated third with former winner Carroll, Melville and Wilcox next. Carroll was top M40, with Brady leading the M50s and Brendan Connolly taking M60.

Laura Bickerstaff kept up her remorseless pace and had over two minutes in hand over Geraldine Quigley at the end. Amy Bulman just took third from Kyla Henderson in a sprint finish.

And William McKee and Diane Wilson came out tops in the second round of the NIMRA Championships. The Fallows Race over 10 miles including 800 metres of climb was in Kilbroney Park.

McKee started hot favourite and fought off a strong challenge from Tommy Simmons before going on to win by four minutes from David Hicks with Simmons third.

Shileen O’Kane the reigning NIMRA champion led early on before Ben Nevis winner Diane Wilson came through strongly on the ascent to win from Shileen with Jacqui Toal in third.

Meanwhile Eliud Kipchoge ran the second fastest time in history to retain his Virgin London Marathon crown in course record time.

The 31-year-old Kenyan left the field trailing as he powered home in two hours three minutes and four seconds.

Kipchoge celebrated by raising his finger as he made the final turn, but appeared to realise as he approached the line just how close he had come to Dennis Kimetto’s world record, his compatriot going just seven seconds quicker in Berlin two years ago.

Kipchoge brought his hand to his forehead as he saw his time, but was soon smiling again as he celebrated a stunning run.

Fellow Kenyan Stanley Biwott was second with a personal best of 2hrs 3mins 51secs, while Ethiopia’s Kenenisa Bekele came in third.

“I realised I ran a world record for 30, but between 30-40km I lost about 20 seconds,” said Kipchoge.

“I knew the record was close. I tried to squeeze it, but it wasn’t possible.

“I’m happy I ran a course record. The crowd is what pushed me, it’s a wonderful crowd in London. In every kilometre, except in the tunnel, they cheer you and keep you moving.

“The support was perfect and it was good to get a PB.”

And Kipchoge’s compatriot Jemima Sumgong ensured a Kenyan double by winning the women’s race, despite banging her head in a heavy fall.

She finished in 2:22:58 as defending champion Tigist Tufa failed to haul her in over the final 600m.