WALLED CITY MARATHON: Whoriskey wins on home ground

City of Derry Spartan Catherine Whoriskey crosses the finish line to line the Women's race at the SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon on Sunday.
City of Derry Spartan Catherine Whoriskey crosses the finish line to line the Women's race at the SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon on Sunday.

CIty of Derry Spartan Catherine Whoriskey had the home crowd behind her as she ran to victory in the 2017 SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon, beating former winner and Irish Olympian Pauline Curley.

The two women were within six seconds of each other as the race reached half way but home favourite Whoriskey took control over the final miles, finishing in 2:50:38, more than two minutes ahead of the Tullamore Harriers runner Curley.

The winner of the 2017 SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon Dan Tanui pictured with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock and Andrew Greer, General Manager, SSE Airtricity, sponsors of the event.

The winner of the 2017 SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon Dan Tanui pictured with the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock and Andrew Greer, General Manager, SSE Airtricity, sponsors of the event.

Whoriskey has previously won the Waterside Half Marathon and, just last month, won the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon. Her first step up to the full 26.2 miles came earlier this year in Seville.

Salome Kumtai from Project Africa finished in third place in a time of 2:56:39.

The men's race was a Kenyan 1- 2 - 3, with three experienced and talented runners pushing each other to the very end. The winner, in a time of 2:25:26 was Dan Tanui, who, like Whoriskey, won the Strabane Lifford Half Marathon last month. Tanui made up for the disappointment of missing out the top stop last year, when he was beaten in a sprint finish by Eric Koech.

The man Tanui had to beat this year was two time SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon winner and course record holder, Freddy Sittuk (Reheeny Shamrocks), who finished in 2:26:14. Completing the Kenyan trio on the winners' podium was Emmanuel Melly (Project Africa) who ran the race in 2:28:55.

Carndonagh athlete Karol Doherty added to his win at the Belfast City Marathon by winning the wheelchair race in a time of 2:42:07.

A total of 1,500 runners made their way through the streets of Derry top the finish line in Guildhall Square.

SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon 2017 Winners:

Male

1 Dan Tanui Project Africa - 2:25:26

2 Freddy Keron Sittuk Raheeny Shamrocks - 2:26:14

3 Emmanuel Melly Project Africa - 2:28.54

Female

1 Catherine Whoriskey City of Derry Spartans AC - 2:50:38

2 Pauline Curley Tullamore Harriers - 2:23:08

3 Salome Kumtai Project Africa - 2:56:39