26 November 2016

Derry Track Club are Northern Ireland & Ulster 10K Champions!

A sensational final lap saw JP Williamson snatch a late, late victory in the Seeley Cup 10K at Ormeau Park in a race that carried NI & Ulster championship status for the distance.

JP Williamson produced a big finish to take the NI & Ulster 10K title.
JP Williamson produced a big finish to take the NI & Ulster 10K title.

The Derry Track Club runner was in a group of three, along with clubmate Conan McCaughey and Springwell’s Neil Johnston, which was fighting out the minor places with less than three kilometres to run.

Up front Scott Rankin had a lead of at least 100 metres after leading from the gun and looked set for a comfortable win. However, the Foyle Valley man started to falter on the long straight along the Ormeau Embankment giving the chasers a new burst of energy.

He still led entering the park for the last time but Williamson caught him with as they entered the final kilometre. The Derry man’s appearance first on the home straight was met with gasps of disbelief before i crossing the line in 31:05.

“This was my 10k debut today and it was very long and tough haul,” said Williamson who returned in May from an athletics scholarship in the US. Thankfully, I managed to grab the victory and help the team secure the title also. Good day at the office!”

Rankin finished five seconds later but was pushed all the way to the line by McCaughey. With two in the top three, the seeds were laid for a facile team win by Derry Track Club and ending the dominance of the event by in recent years by runners-up North Belfast Harriers.

The jubilant Derry Track Club squad with team manager Lucy Appleton

Paul Barbour (32:25) moved through well in the later stages to 11th, three places  ahead Conor Doherty (32:38) who was enjoying his best run of the year.

Marty Cox (32:53) played a captain’s part with a sound 18th spot while 19-year-old Matt Doherty (33:30) sealed the victory with a more than creditable 29th place of the 1000 participants.

Chris Millar (36:40) provided valuable support and was rewarded with a new personal best by two minutes.

Derry Track Club have now taken silver medals in the NI & Ulster 5K Road as well as both Novice team cross country champs and gold medals in both the men’s road relay and now 10K road.  The club also won the NI & Ulster 4 x 400m relay championship.

The women’s race also produced a surprise result for many with Emma Mitchell easily defeating national half marathon and marathon champion Laura Graham. But close followers of the sport will have seen the steady improvement of the Ballynahinch athlete in recent years under the guidance of Eamon Christie and another step forward in the coach’s plan toward the 5000m at the Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Mitchell’s time of 33:57 was more than encouraging in her first serious race at the distance while Graham was happy with her 34:30; a personal best by almost a minute. City of Lisburn’s Judith Lonnen was third in 36:40 and first lady Master to finish.

1 Derry City Track Club 76
2 North Belfast Harriers 148
3 City of Derry Spartans AC 182
4 Willowfield Harriers 275
5 Acorns AC 290
6 Armagh AC 372
7 Annadale Striders 482
8 North Down AC 517
9 Ballymena Runners AC 539
10 Dromore AC 573
11 PACE Running Club 588
12 East Antrim Harriers 718
13 Newcastle & District AC 763
14 North Belfast Harriers 777
15 1zer01 Athletes 964
16 Orangegrove AC 1041
17 East Down AC 1061
18 Lagan Valley AC 1232
19 VP and Connswater 1264
20 Belfast Running Club 1341
21 Larne AC 1344
22 Sperrin Harriers 1366
23 Ballydrain Harriers 1532
24 Albertville Harriers 1934
25 Dub Running Club 2056
26 BOLT Running Club 2207
27 Jog Lisburn Running Club 2929
28 Mallusk Harries 3263
29 Club Pulse Runners 3872

Top 30 Individuals
1 John Paul Williamson Derry City Track Club 00:31:05
2 Scott Rankin Foyle Valley AC 00:31:10
3 Conan McCaughey Derry City Track Club 00:31:12
4 Neil Johnston Springwell Running Club 00:31:24
5 William McKee Mourne Runners 00:32:07
6 Eoghain McGinley Letterkenny AC 00:32:07
7 James Hamilton Ballymena Runners AC 00:32:12
8 Lindsay Gordon North Belfast Harriers 00:32:16
9 Emmett McGinty City of Derry Spartans  00:32:16
10 Jonny Steede Glens Runners 00:32:18
11 Paul Barbour Derry City Track Club 00:32:25
12 Gareth Hill Ballymena & Antrim AC 00:32:35
13 Andrew Annett North Belfast Harriers 00:32:37
14 Conor Doherty Derry City Track Club 00:32:38
15 Philip Goss North Belfast Harriers 00:32:41
16 Kyle Doherty City of Derry Spartans AC 00:32:47
17 Conor McCauley Leevale AC 00:32:48
18 Martin Cox Derry City Track Club 00:32:53
19 Gerard Heaney St Peters AC 00:33:04
20 Dermot McElhinney City of Derry Spartans AC 00:33:08
21 John Craig VP and Connswater 00:33:09
22 Andrew Considine North Belfast Harriers 00:33:10
23 Gavin Corey Sperrin Harriers 00:33:11
24 Christopher Devine Newry City Runners AC 00:33:13
25 Michael Crawley Unattached 00:33:19
26 Darrell Mc Kee Acorns AC 00:33:21
27 Stephen O’Gorman Dromore AC 00:33:23
28 Paul Carroll Annadale Striders 00:33:29
29 Matt Doherty Derry City Track Club 00:33:30
30 Glenn Donnelly Acorns AC 00:33:32
101 Christopher   Millar Derry Track Club 00:36:40


19 November 2016

Marina Murphy continued a rich vein of form when she was fourth in the Acorns AC Cross Country picking up the prize for first in the F35 age group.

Marina Murphy was a fine fourth at Mighty Oaks Cross Country meeting.
Marina Murphy was a fine fourth at Mighty Oaks Cross Country meeting.

Marina’s performance inspired team mates Kendra McMullan (8th), Amy McDaid (11th) and Elaine Connor (20th) to combine impressively for second place in the team competition.

Elaine’s 20th spot also saw her take runner-up in the F40 category while outside the scoring four Deirdre Haigney showed she is getting back to form with a fighting 31st of the 119 finishers.

Paul Barbour had his best run to date by taking the silver medal position in the men’s race.  Marty Cox also finished strong to take fifth with Brandon Connolly (30th) and Conor McIlveen (81st) showed improved endurance to complete the DTC scoring quartet.

The juveniles were also in top form.  Ben Mellon and Dean Quigley were sixth and eleventh in the U15 race while Sean McIntyre and Ben Bradley finished fifth and seventh in the U17 contest.

A number of DTC athletes took part in the Derry City parkrun with Gary McGee (19:55) leading the contingent home in fifth place overall.

Gary McGee was first DTC finisher at Derry City parkrun.
Gary McGee was first DTC finisher at Derry City parkrun.

Lily Toorish (21:56) was first lady and followed by Lisa McLaughlin (22:08), Anna Boyle (22:54), Kayla McLaughlin (23:03) and Lara Smailes (24:54).

NB: Would those in bold please update their club affiliation – there is a link to do this in the weekly email you get from parkrun.


14 NOVEMBER 2016

Marina Murphy turned in another storming performance to grab a podium place at the Donegal Senior Cross Country Championships in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal.


Marina battled through the mud to finish third behind Olympic marathon runner Catriona Jennings and only losing out on the silver medal on the homestraight to newly-crowned Ulster Novice champion Nakita Burke.

The Waterside woman had earlier taken runner-up spot in the Donegal Novice on her winter season debut.   Amy McDaid also took the opportunity for a run out and after a strong start ended up in a top ten place.

DTC Chairman David Mellon with Marina and Amy.
DTC Chairman David Mellon with Marina and Amy.

Further down the card, Ben Bradley, Ben Mellon, Sean McIntyre and Dean Quigley combined well to take second spot in the U16 4 x 500m relay to a very good Inishowen squad.

Boys U16 Quartet (Ben Mellon, Ben Bradley, Dean Quigley and Sean McIntyre.
Boys U16 Quartet (Ben Mellon, Ben Bradley, Dean Quigley and Sean McIntyre.

Cathal McLaughlin brought a long season on the international scene to an end with a solid run at the British & Irish Masters’ Cross Country International in Glasgow.

Cathal on his way to a team bronze at the M40 Cross Country in Ancona, Italy.
Cathal on his way to a team bronze at the M40 Cross Country in Ancona, Italy.

It has been quite a year for company director with British and Irish titles (outdoor and indoors) as well bronze medals at both European Cross Country and Non Stadia championships.

Elsewhere Shane McGowan, Chris Millar and Marty Cox all had impressive outings at various parkrun events while Paul Barbour showed he is getting back to form with a runner-up spot on the roads.


6 November 2016

Derry Track Club athletes amassed an impressive haul of two individual bronze and two team silver medals at the Ulster Novice Cross Country Championships held at the Finn Valley Centre in Stranorlar, Co. Donegal.

Kendra McMullan made a sensational debut to the sport running an incredible race to take  third place in the women’s championship.

The Newbuildings woman followed club captain Amy McDaid out in the early stages  and looked comfortable in the leading bunch of six.

When Letterkenny’s Nakita Burke and Noeleen Scanlon went to the front, Kendra was the only one able to follow them.

Kendra McMullan is cheered home by her mother Rosie.
Kendra McMullan is cheered home by her mother Rosie.

With 600m to run, she was still in a position to win but the two Letterkenny girls were just too strong and pulled away to take the top two positions.

Behind her the DTC girls ran the race of their lives to ensure they brought home in a medal place.  Amy played a captain’s part to take sixth while another newcomer Elaine Connor held on to 13th and seal the silver medals.

The splendid Derry Track Club girls.
The splendid Derry Track Club girls.

The rest Lisa McLaughlin battled her way through the mud for 32nd followed by Aoife Wilson (44th) and former Irish sprint champion Anna Duffy (45th).

The DTC men lined up next and were prominent from the gun as Shane McGowan, Matt Doherty and David Gormley joined the lead pack.  Chris Millar followed shortly ensuring all four scorers were in the top dozen.

It was soon very clear that it was going to be a direct shootout between the Derry boys and Finn Valley who had lost out on the team title by just two points 12 earlier at the same venue.

The battle raged throughout the opening lap before Finn  Valley’s Mark McPaul and Dermot McElchar took up the initiative.

Matt Doherty showed true grit to lead Derry TC men to silver team medals and taking the individual bronze himself.
Matt Doherty showed true grit to lead Derry TC men to silver team medals and taking the individual bronze himself.

Only Matt Doherty was able to respond. While some may have questioned his attitude in the past, he answered his critics admirably with the most tenacious performance of his career to date.

The 19-year-old Bogside man never faltered and still looked as though he could snatch the individual gold well into the last lap of the six-kilometre test.

The fighting third place was well earned by Doherty who promises to make a big impact over the winter season.

David Gormley chases after Finn Valley athlete on his way to fourth place.
David Gormley chases after Finn Valley athlete on his way to fourth place.

David Gormley also ran out of his skin to finish a close up fourth while Shane McGowan overcame the treacherous underfoot conditions to squeeze into the top ten with an excellent seventh.

Seventh heaven for Shane McGowan.
Seventh heaven for Shane McGowan.

Chris Millar, as solid and dependable as ever, held on to take 15th and ensure silver team medals behind a very impressive Finn Valley squad.

Chris Millar completes the DTC scoring quartet.
Chris Millar completes the DTC scoring quartet.

Adrian Boyle (34th), Conor McIlveen (56th) and David Mellon (72nd) played valuable roles in backing up the four scorers.

Lily Toorish had the best result of the DTC juveniles at the Ulster Uneven Age Groups Championships taking 8th in the U15 Girls’ race.  Kayla MCLaughlin (35th) and Lora Smailes (59th) performed well further down the field.

Sean McIntyre was 34th in the U17 Boys’ race ahead of Ben Bradley (55th).  Ben Mellon showed improvement with a 39th placing in the U15 Boy’s contest.



28 October 2016.

John-Paul Williamson was the leading finisher as Derry Track Club athletes made their presence felt at the Spooktacular 5K Road Race in Enniskillen.

JP Williamson was in top form at Spooktacular 5K.
JP Williamson was in top form at Spooktacular 5K.

The former US college athlete showed he is settling back in local competition with a fine runner-up spot in 15 minutes and eight seconds.

Winner of the race was Foyle Valley’s Scott Rankin who set a race record of 14:55 on a new one lap course around the centre of Enniskillen.

The next three finishers were all from Derry Track Club with Conán McCaughey (15:13) grabbing the final podium place from Conor Doherty (15:58) and Matt Doherty (16:17).

Marina Murphy (19:08) was second lady across the line in 19:08 with a number of other DTC athletes recording impressive times and category prizes.

Details: David Gormley (16:34), Cathal McLaughlin (3rd M40/17:35), Sean McIntyre (1st U18/18:05), Brandon Connolly (18:55), Kevin Connolly (19:01), Conor McIlveen (19:05),  Marina Murphy (19:08), Ben Mellon (19:18), Ben Bradley (20:48), David Mellon (21:02), Lily Toorish (1st U18/21:34), Kayla McLaughlin (3rd U18/21:34), Malcolm McCausland (3rd M60/22:10) and Dean Quigley (22:17).