Logan sets the pace for Waterside Half Marathon

YOU may have noticed an increase in the numbers out pounding the pavements in recent weeks, as the city gears up for its annual test of local endurance, the Waterside Half Marathon.

Saturday, 11th August 2012, 8:08 am

And one athlete who first took on the race challenge three years ago hasn’t hung up his trainers since, emerging as a leading figure in local running circles. Noel Logan is now a member of Spartans Athletics Club and has been clocking up some impressive times in local road races and track events, from 5k’s to half marathons.

Having been bitten by the running bug, the 24-year-old is now calling on all budding athletes to just get out there this year and take on the challenge.

“I’ve been running for a few years now, and I got talked into doing the Waterside Half Marathon for the first time three years ago,” he explained.

“I was always into fitness, then I just got hooked on the running and got roped into joining the Spartans.

“The Half Marathon is a favourite event of mine and a lot of local athletes, especially because I’m from the Waterside myself and there’s a bit of a competition for bragging rights here in the Waterside. I’ve noticed more and more people out training, which is brilliant - there should be some real competition this year.”

Last year Noel completed the race in an impressive finishing time of 74 minutes but this year he hopes to shave another few minutes off his run.

“I’ve been in training for the race for a while now and I hope to better my time this year – I did it in 74 minutes last year, and this year I’m hoping to do it in 72 if the conditions are a bit better. Last year’s event was tough - we were well and truly water logged by the finish - and I’m hoping for less wind during this year’s race as that can really affect your performance.”

And while he believes the half marathon is the ideal event for local athletes to test themselves, it’s also an achievable target distance for people just starting out.

“It’s all good fun and it’s a great event for people who are running non-competitively to just get out there and take part,” he stresses. “I would encourage anyone to join in the race, especially the relay which is great for shorter distance runners. And even the ten mile walk is a challenge if you haven’t been out training yet.”

The Waterside Half Marathon, which is organised by Derry City Council with associate sponsors from O2, Seagate and Autobar, is now in its 31st year, and it is expected that over 2,000 people will turn out on September 9 to take part in the 13.1 mile Half Marathon and associated events.

The event kicks off at 10.30am at Gransha grounds and a full programme of family focused activities are planned, from 10.30am until 1pm. Race events include the Half Marathon itself, the three person Relay Event, the 2km Family Fun Run and the Ten Mile Challenge Walk.

The Waterside Half Marathon is organised by Derry City Council with associate sponsors O2, Seagate and Autobar.

For more information and to sign up on-line go to derrycity.gov.uk/watersidehalfmarathon