DTC’s Gideon Kipsang and Emma Mitchell had waltzed off with the top prizes at the Joe Seeley 10K Road Race that incorporated the NI & Ulster championships for the distance.
Foyle Valley’s Scott Rankin was the early leader in the men’s race but had been hauled in by the Kenyan before the halfway mark. The pair appeared to run together for a while before Kipsang moved away for an easy victory in 30:40.
Rankin finished 16 seconds in arrears but had the consolation of picking up the provincial title. Springwell’s Neil Johnston continued to impress by prevailing in a tight contest for third in 31:11 with Letterkenny miler Danny Mooney showing new-found endurance to grab fourth spot another five seconds back.The women’s race was a classic speed versus stamina encounter.
Emma Mitchell with her fastest ever 3000m in her legs from the previous Thursday night played the waiting game to perfection before running away from marathon queen Laura Graham in the latter part of the race. The QUB athlete crossed the finish line in 34:00 with Graham also pleased with her 34:21 clocking in second spot.
For many the outstanding performance in the women’s race came from 39-year-old mother of two Kelly Neely. Distinguished as a track runner with appearances at two Commonwealth Games, the City of Lisburn athlete recorded a lifetime best of 35:51 to take the bronze medal. North Belfast Harriers lifted both men’s and women’s team titles.
Seeley Cup 10K Road Race inc. NI & Ulster Championships
Men: 1 Gideon Kipsang Derry Track Club 30:40, 2 Scott Rankin Foyle Valley 30:56, 3 Neil Johnston Springwell 31:06, 4 Danny Mooney Letterkenny 31:11, 5 Declan Reed M40 City of Derry Spartans 31:14, 6 Andrew Annett North Belfast Harriers 31:18, 7 Christopher Madden City of Lisburn 31:19, 8 Mark McKinstry NBH 31:26, 9 Eoghain McGinley Letterkenny 31:28, 10 Lindsay Gordon NBH 31:30;
Women: Emma Mitchell Queens University 34:00, Laura Graham Mourne Runners 34:21, 3 Kelly Neely F35 City of Lisburn 35:51, 4 Gladys Ganiel F40 NBH 36:21, 5 Ciara Toner F35 Springwell 37:06, 6 Caroline O’Hare East Down 37:22, 7 Fionnula Diver F35 Letterkenny 37:38, 8 Denise Toner F35 Clones 38:03, 9 Laura Bickerstaff Dromore 38:11, 10 Kerry Balmer Ballymena Runners 38:20