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.
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.
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