20 September 2016

Derry Track Club claimed a hat-trick of wins at its own 2nd Annual Invitational Road Relays on a fast 2.6km circuit around the Craigavon and Peace Bridges .

Marina Campbell brings home the DTC Master Ladies in first place at the end of leg one.
Marina Campbell brings home the DTC Master Ladies in first place at the end of leg one.

The Master ladies kicked off the night in style with Marina Campbell opening up with the fastest leg of the race.  Debutante Lisa McLaughlin and Deirdre Haigney completed a fine all round effort.

Cathal McLaughlin set the DTC Masters off to a solid start with the fastest time of the evening although Darrell McKee impressed on the first leg for the Acorns Senior team.

The Senior men were probably the most impressive  with our six fastest runners all finishing up in the seven fastest times of the evening.  JP Williamson showed he had lost none of his speed after a quiet summer with a scintillating effort on the second leg of the B team.

It would have been probably a DTC 1-2 but for Foyle Valley’s Darragh Crossan taking a shortcut on the exit from Ebrington.  In the spirit of sportsmanship no disqualification was imposed by the hosts.  However, that did not prevent this post.

The type of posting we have come to expect from this person.
The type of posting we have come to expect from this person.



Masters Women
1 Derry Track Club 30:27  ( M Murphy 9:34#, L McLaughlin 10:18, D Haigney 10:35)
2 Foyle Valley 30:34 (M McMullan 9:41, L McGuigan 10:50, G Neill 10:03)

Senior Women
1 Sperrin Hrs 32:28 (T Quinn 10:30#, L Mitchell 10:53, N Gillespie 11:05)
2 Foyle Valley (E McGilloway 10:48, O Moran 11:17,  A Mullan 10:59)

Masters Men
1 Derry Track Club 34:59  (C McLaughlin 8:17#, A Boyle 8:44, T Shiels 8:32,  K Connolly 9:26)
2 Acorns AC 37:07 (K Bigmore 8:33, C Mullan 8:55, N Hassan 9:46, D Murphy 9:53)
3 Sperrin Hrs 40:29 (A Devlin 9:15, M Thom 10:14, M McCullough 10:18,  A Rea 10:42)

Senior Men
1 Derry Track Club 31:59 (M Cox 7:44 , M Doherty 7:51,  S McGowan 7:53, C Millar 8:31)
2 Foyle Valley 32:41 (S Connor 8:13 , D Crossan 8:05*, O Gartland 8:10, M McLaughlin 8:13)
3 Derry Track Club B 32:43 (P Barbour 7:58, JP Williamson 7:36#, C Doherty 7:51, C McIlveen 9:18)
4 Acorns AC 33:09 (D McKee 8:00, G Donnelly 8:13, F McDaid 8:26, M Loughran 8:30)
5 Sperrin Hrs 34:07 (G Corey 7:56, B Taggart 8:24, M McDermott 8:52, S O’Gara 8:55)
6 Foyle Valley B 35:30 (T Murphy 8:32, M Hockley 8:44, R Mooney 9:59, M McGowan 8:30)
7 Sperrin Hrs Mixed (S Henry 13:23, T Gourley 10:49, L Smailes 11:42,)

# Fastest leg.
* D Crossan covered shorter course by running up grass banking in Ebrington.


Marty (The Fox) Cox in control as he approaches the finish line.
Marty (The Fox) Cox in control as he approaches the finish line.

17 September 2016

Marty (The Fox) Cox showed all his experience to win the inaugural Remembrance 5K at Templemore Sports Complex.  

Despite many months of hard graft by organiser Joe McCarthy, the race failed to capture the public imagination attracting a field of only 160-170 starters.

Cox stayed off the early pace cut out by clumate Shane McGowan and City of Derry’s Emmett McGinty and Noel Logan.

However when the chips were put on the table after three kilometres, it was the 34-year-old Omagh who was holding all the trump cards.

Cox quickly built himself a comfortable 30 metres lead which he comfortably held until the finish line at Templemore Sports Complex.  His time of 15:57 reflected the difficulty of the out and back course.

Shane receives the shield for first U20.
Shane receives the shield for first U20 from race organiser Joe McCarthy.

Shane McGowan was in touch with the leaders until 3K and held on well for fourth in a personal best 16:20 (unofficial).

Derry Track Club athletes and supporters.
Derry Track Club athletes and supporters.

DTC’s other representative David Mellon also set new personal figures of 22:01 as he pursues a sub 20 clocking before the end of 2016.


Jason Smyth shrugged off the pressure of being red-hot favourite to win his third consecutive 100m title at the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Smyth’s time of 10.64 seconds was almost one-fifth of a second outside his seasonal best and slower than his 10.46 winning mark in London.

Jason takes gold in Rio (Photo: BBC)
Jason takes gold in Rio (Photo: BBC)

However, championships are not about times but about winning and the 29-year-old Eglinton man delivered again to make it five Paralympic gold medals since arriving on the Paralympic scene ten years ago.

The defending champion had looked nervous the previous night in the semi-final as he was pushed all the way to line by Namibia’s Johannes Nambala. Unusually for one so dominant in the T13 category, only five hundredths of a second separated a relieved Smyth from his opponent at the line.

And it was Nambala, the reigning World 200m champion, who again provided the opposition in the final but it was a more composed Smyth who shot out of the blocks and into an early lead.

Although the Derry Track Club athlete’s transition was not as good as it could have been, it still gave him a crucial metre of advantage which, despite the Namibian’s best efforts, he was able to hold to the finish line.

Nambala took a deserved silver medal in an African record of 10.78 and will contest the 400m later in the Games while Australia’s Chad Perris also set an Area Record of 10.83 seconds in third place.

“I was just glad that I was the first person to cross the line. It’s just incredible,” said Smyth after the race. “This is my third Paralympic Games and my fifth gold medal. It’s a bit like a fairytale. I keep coming to these championships wondering when the fairytale is going to end.

“I knew the other guys were going to step up so I had to step up. I knew I was capable of a faster time. I have run quicker than these guys and I should be beating them if I can put things together. Thankfully I was the first man across the line.”

The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins was among the first to send his congratulations to the triple champion.

“Winning another gold medal, his fifth, is an extraordinary achievement for Jason Smyth, who has already established himself as a world class athlete,” said the President.

“On behalf of the people of Ireland, I want to congratulate him on this success, and to thank him for being such a positive role model.”


Aaron Carlyle anchored an impressive Derry Track Club quartet to victory in the Northern Ireland 4 x 400m Championship.

The victorious Derry Track Club quartet L-R: Matt Doherty, Tim Shiels, Shane McGowan and Aaron Carlyle.
The victorious Derry Track Club quartet L-R: Matt Doherty, Tim Shiels, Shane McGowan and Aaron Carlyle (Photo: Bob Given).

The win capped a fine summer season for DTC athletes with almost everyone re-writing their personal record books.

Tim Shiels gets the squad off to flying start before handing over to Shane McGowan.
Tim Shiels gets the squad off to flying start before handing over to Shane McGowan (Photo: Bob Given).

Master athlete Tim Shiels opened on the first leg for the DTC boys leading them home well clear of the opposition.

In the absence of official splits, the 40-year-old who goes to Australia next month for the World Masters’ in Perth, estimated that he had run close to 51 seconds for his lap.

Next up Shane McGowan added to to the DTC lead before handing over to another 19-year-old Matt Doherty who kept the forward momentum going.

Shane sends Matt Doherty on his way.
Shane sends Matt Doherty on his way (Photo: Bob Given).

It was appropriate that the  doyen of DTC’s one-lap runners Aaron Carlyle should have the honour of clinching the club’s first NI Senior relay title.

Aaron Carlyle on the "glory" leg.
Aaron Carlyle on the “glory” leg (Photo: Bob Given)

Incidentally both Shiels and Doherty had run in DTC’s first venture into this race when they had finished second at a wild and windy Templemore Sports Complex.

The splits on that day were: Shaun Deery 57.8, Tim Shiels 52.8, Adrian Adrian Boyle 55.6, Matt Doherty 55.4.  Saturday’s splits work out at a 52.6 average!

Coach’s comment: ” This is an area I’d like to look at next year with a view to fielding a squad in the Irish championship.

I don’t think 3:20.00 is out of the question.  Tim just gets better with age while there’s plenty of improvement in the two young bucks, Shane and Matt.

“Given how Martyn Rooney and David Gillick have competed this season, and they’re older than Aaron, I don’t see why he can’t get down to below 50 seconds next year.

“I could see Brandon Connolly coming into the picture too with another year’s development,” said club coach Mal McCausland.

4 x 400 Metres Men NI Champs
1 Derry Track Club 3:30.55
2 City of Lisburn 3:36.20
3 City of Derry 3:36.62
4 City of Lisburn Masters 4:32.74