Local athletes prominent at weekend races

Sparta duo Christy McMonagle and Jackie McGinley who secured National Half Marathon Masters medals at the weekend.

Sparta duo Christy McMonagle and Jackie McGinley who secured National Half Marathon Masters medals at the weekend.

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A busy weekend saw local athletes feature prominently at races in Castlefin, Letterkenny and Dublin where National Half Marathon Masters medals were secured by the Spartans pair of Christy McMonagle and Una Gavin and also by Inishowen AC’s Pauric McKinney.

The overall winner in Dublin on Sunday was Annadale Strider’s Paul Pollock who successfully defended his 2014 title with a late burst to clock a winning 65 minutes and 09 seconds.

Pauric McKinney made his M50 age group debut at National level a successful one posting 72 mins and 26 secs for an easy gold medal.

Christy McMonagle came back from a few months inactivity around the start of 2015 to take his seventh successive age group title, his second at the M70 level and his 93 mins and 45 secs was an excellent effort for the peerless Spartan.

Club mate Una Gavin ran 1 hour 42 mins for the F55 bronze medal as she made her debut in this new age group.

Foyle Valley athletes had a good day at Sunday’s Danny McDaid 15K road race in Letterkenny with Chris McGuinness claiming the Men’s victory and Gemma McGinty the Women’s runners up spot with good runs.

McGuinness ran very well to win easily with a 51 mins and 42 secs effort nearly two minutes clear of runner up Adam Speers of Finn Valley on 53 mins and 28 secs.

In third place however was the leading lady Natasha Adams of the host club, who stormed to a women’s record of 53 mins and 38 secs, simply outstanding!

Gemma McGinty got back on the podium with 65 minutes and 22 seconds for second, easing out Letterkenny’s Sheila Regan on 66 mins and 16 secs.

The Castlefin 5K on Friday night was won by former Waterside Half Marathon kingpin Joe McAlister of St Malachy’s who ran 15 mins and 48 secs for the win, ahead of the Spartans Brendan Murphy’s 16 mins and 25 secs. Joe McCarthy did well for runner up in the M50 age group, not bad for an M55, in 19 mins and 44 secs.

A small group of local Masters athletes including Jackie McMonagle, Danea Herron, Cathal McLaughlin and Robert Bigger travel to Lyon this week for the World Masters Track and Field Championships.

F45 Jackie will go in the 5000m and 10,000m races, Danea goes in the F55 multi-discipline Heptathlon while the Derry City Track Club duo look set to take on the 800m and 1500m in their respective M45 and M55 age groups.

While 18-year-old triathlon sensation, James Walton of the Triangle Club won his third race out of five races in Ireland this year when he won against a strong field at the Tri Lough event organised by the Omagh Triathlon Club.

James blitzed the rest of the field and he ended up with a winning margin of 44 seconds over Bernard McCullagh.