Fast times in Greencastle, Stranorlar 5k Road Races

Runners at Sainsburys on Christmas Day. From left, Andy Griffin, Joe Stainsby, Gerard McCarron and Jack Millar
Runners at Sainsburys on Christmas Day. From left, Andy Griffin, Joe Stainsby, Gerard McCarron and Jack Millar

As expected, both the St Stephen’s Day holiday road races in Greencastle and Stranorlar attracted big entries and saw some excellent competitive action despite the challenging conditions, especially in snowy Greencastle.

Annadale Strider, Paul Pollock sped to a stunning 24 minutes and 06 seconds victory at the testing County Tyrone 5 miler while in Stranorlar it was Thomas Hayes of Kilkenny City Harriers who took the honours with 15 minutes and 09 seconds for the 5K distance.

Teresa Doherty of promoting club Finn Valley (16m 40secs) and City of Derry’s Aileen Reed (17m 14secs) impressed at the head of the Women’s field in Stranorlar while Scott Rankin and Brendan Murphy grabbed top six spots in Greencastle as local runners showed their paces.

The Greencastle classic first and a storming effort from the very talented Pollock who saw off his closest challenger Martin Fagan of Mullingar Harriers for a stunning victory in the snowy hills of Tyrone.

The Belfast man did the damage mid-race, breaking clear of Fagan to clock 24m 06secs at the line, the Mullingar man finishing on an equally impressive 24m 40secs and this pair well ahead of a small chasing pack which included Foyle Valley’s Scott Rankin.

The Valley man matched strides with another Annadale man Eddie McGinley and the emerging Connor Duffy of Glasslough Harriers for much of the 5 miles but had to give best at the line to Duffy’s 25m 27s and McGinley’s 25m 31s.

He was timed at 25m 40s, a very decent effort in fifth with the Spartan Brendan Murphy in sixth posting a new personal best of 26m 41s.

Two other locals were among the top finishers, Michael Murphy 13th in 28m 07s and his Spartans club mate John Lenehan 14th on 28m 12s.