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.

Gideon Out On His Own

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


DTC’s young lions tore trough the opposition at the Derry Schools’ Invitational at Oakgrove College.  Sean McIntyre was the winner of the Senior Boys’ race with Sé Heaney, Ben Mellon and Dylan Doherty all impressing on a wet and cold morning.

Kayla McLaughlin ran well for fourth in the girls’ race behind a very impressive Jane McGinley.  The much-improved Lara Smailes was unfortunate to just miss out on a medal by one place in the third year girls’ race.

“I was very impressed by all our juveniles,” said DTC professional Gideon Kipsang. “They all looked very strong – the training is definitely is beginning to show.”


A gutsy run from Kendra McMullan landed her the runner-up spot while a sensational final lap saw Derry Track Club’s women grab team bronze medals at the NI & Ulster Novice and Uneven Age Group Cross Country Championships in Stranorlar.

Kendra McMullan, Elaine Connor and Lisa McLaughlin with DTC coaches.

Kendra, third in 2016, was intent on going even better this year was toward the front from the gun.  Edel Monaghan soon opened a sizeable gap but that did not prevent the Northern Ireland football captain from plugging away in the heavy conditions.

Down the field Elaine and Lisa McLaughlin were running the race of their lives. DTC was a long way off the medal spots with a lap to run but Elaine was consolidating her 14th spot while Lisa was ploughing through the mud like a hot knife through butter.

The six places gained by Lisa proved crucial as she moved through to 19th for a team score of 35.  That saw the ladies lift bronze medals with just five points separating the top four clubs.  Milford  31, Finn Valley 32, DTC 35, Foyle Valley 37 – 10 teams closed in teams.

The U17 boys’ team was effectively denied the services of Dylan Doherty who had to pull out after losing his shoe on three occasions during the opening lap.  In his absence Sean McIntyre (22), Dan Haigney (28), Ben Mellon (60) and Tom McLaughlin (65) ran manfully for seventh in the team listings.  There are many reasons for optimism regarding the future of this squad.

Sé Heaney impressed with a 30th spot in the boys’ U15 race while Conor McIlveen (69th) and David Mellon (73) showed they are wintering well with strong performances in the Novice Men’s contest.

Tomás Haigney was fifth in the Boys’ U15 helping Derry o victory in the Inter-County event.


Run Through History in this Year’s Greencastle “5”

10 November 2017

A Run Through History is the theme for this year’s Greencastle “5” Mile Road Race on St. Stephen’s Day. It’s the 32nd year of the Tyrone classic that has firmly established itself as the top event of its kind over the Christmas holiday period with well over 1500 runners turning out last year.

Greencastle 5 Organisers Oliver McCullagh (left) and Colm Devlin with Kenyan athlete Gideon Kipsang

This year, race director Oliver McCullagh is laying emphasis on the outstanding depth of history associated with the five mile route on the foothills of the Sperrins.  From the start close by an Ogham stone to the finish along an old coach road once terrorised by a notorious local highwayman, the area is steeped in history and prehistory.

The Aghascrebagh Ogham stone is the only of its kind in Tyrone and is overlooked by Dun Ruadh, a large circular burial cairn constructed 4000 years ago, and clearly visible in the opening mile of the race.

As the course enters the second mile Formil Hill come into view.  According to the Annals of the Four Masters, the Cinel Eoghain (O’Neills) routed the Cinel Conaill (O’Donnells) here in 965 after killing the Donegal men’s leader Maelisa O’Cannon and Moriarty O’Taidhg, heir to the kingdom of Connaught.1 comment awaiting moderation

Historic Sites around Greencastle

The two mile marker sees the field turn on to the Crockanboy Road and head back toward the hamlet of Greencastle, formerly known as Sheskinshule (the moving bog) until the mid-nineteenth century.

The three mile point follows shortly afterwards but it is the right hand turn onto the Mullydoo Road when most runners believe they pass through a portal into another world – of pain and punishment – as they climb the steep 800 metre ascent up to the summit of Crockanboy.

From there it’s all the way downhill to the finish along the road once frequented by the notorious local highwayman and used by Hugh O’Neill as he made his way to Rathmullan for his flight to mainland Europe along with Hugh O’Donnell in 1607.

Most of the roads along the course have been resurfaced in the past 12 months and McCullagh is hopeful that he might see a new race record this year.

“We’re hoping Paul Pollock will be back to go for a four-in-a-row,” said McCullagh.  “He ran well in Leeds last weekend and he could go close to his race record of 24:07 he set three years ago. The road has been fixed and should provide good fast going for everyone looking to improve their times for the race.”

The race will start an hour earlier this year at 12:00 midday but no entries will be accepted on the morning of the race.  Race entry is now open to the 2017 Greencastle “5” at and will close at midnight on December 23.

Gideon Wins 83rd McConnell Shield

4 November 2017

Derry Track Club’s Gideon Kipsang, Laura Bickerstaff and Matt Shields were the outstanding competitors at the 83rd McConnell Shield cross country meeting hosted by East Antrim Harriers at Ballyclare. Despite being dropped from the ANI Cross Country League at the eleventh hour, the fixture still drew a healthy entry from northern clubs.

Gideon Bides His Time.

Kipsang was in a group of five that broke away from the main field as early as the first mile lap of five. Recent Masters’ trial winner Allan Bogle was setting the pace while Conor Duffy, Mark McKinstry and Paralympic star James Hamilton were all looking comfortable in his wake.

Nothing changed until the fourth lap when Kipsang made his move taking Duffy with him. The Kenyan kept the pressure on throughout the last lap but the tenacious Glaslough Harrier stuck to his task and kept the Kenyan’s winning margin down to eight seconds at the finish line. The consistent McKinstry took third ahead of Hamilton, Bogle and a strong finishing John Black.

DTC’s representatives acquitted themselves admirably.  Shane McGowan returned from a long spell of inactivity following injury by taking 14th, followed by 16-year-old Sean McIntyre in 43rd and Conor McIlveen in 82nd.

The DTC juveniles also impressed in the under age races.  New recruit Sé Heaney was 3rd in the Boys’ U16 race followed by Ben Mellon in sixth.   Kayla McLaughlin was fourth in the Girls’ U16 contest.

Dromore’s Laura Bickerstaff was a clear winner of the women’s race with Sarah Lindsay and Paula Worthington filling the other podium places.  Derry Track Club’s Elaine Connor had another impressive performance over the country finishing fourth in the F40 category.

Matt Shields was the winner of the Over 60 and above Master’s Men race and the worthy first recipient of the Bertie Grimason Cup in memory of the host club’s president who passed away earlier this year.  DTC’s Mal McCausland picked up the prize for first M65,


McConnell Shield Cross Country

Senior Men: 1 Gideon Kipsang Derry Track Club 26:40, 2 Conor Duffy Glaslough Hrs 26:48, 3 Mark McKinstry North Belfast Hrs 27:27, 4 James Hamilton Ballymena Runners 28:01, 5 Allan Bogle (M35) City of Derry Spartans 29:16, 6 John Black NBH 28:31; M40: Michael Bennett Ballymena Runners 30:16, M45: Eamon White NBH 28:32, M50: Duncan Bell Willowfield 29:49, M55: Noel Connor Ballymena Runners 30:40; Team: NBH

Senior Women: 1 Laura Bickerstaff Dromore 28:15, 2 Sarah Lindsay North Down 18:34, 3 Paula Worthington Ballymena Runners 19:03, 4 Jodi Smith (F35) North Down 19:07, 5 Catherine O’Connor East Down 19:25, 6 Sarah-Jane Guiney (F35) U/A 19:35; F40: Jenny Black VP & Connswater 20:14, F45: Martina McMullen Foyle Valley 19:41, F50: Debbie Matchett Ballydrain Hrs 19:50, F55: Anne Paul City of Derry Spartans 20:21.

Masters Men: M60: Matt Shields NBH 18:29, M65: M McCausland Derry Track Club 21:12, M70: Jim Patterson Newcastle 20:18, M75: Jim Platt Springwell

Spooktacular Night for DTC in Enniskillen.

27 October 2017

Gideon Kipsang was an impressive winner of the Spooktacular 5K in Enniskillen from a field of 1500 plus runners.  DTC’s adopted Kenyan broke the take in a record 14:32 to add to an impressive list of victories this autumn.

Gideon added another victory in Enniskillen

Conán McCaughey  showed he was also getting back into top shape with a fifth place in 15:26 despite being misdirected by a marshall along the route.

Sean McIntyre was an excellent 12th overall in 17:25 to claim the U18 prize with 15-year-old Ben Mellon continuing to improve with an 18:23.  Conor (Big Dawg) McIlveen also broke new ground with a 15:02 clocking.

New recruit Dylan Doherty impressed with a 19:51 posting.  David Mellon was close to his best mark ever with a 20:22 while Mal McCausland picked up the first M60 prize with a 21:26 timing.  Kayla McLaughlin rounded off an excellent evening for the green and blacks with 22:00 clocking for second U18 girl.


Full Results Spooktacular 5K 2017

29 October 2017

John McQuade

John McQuade was the only DTC senior in action at the Bobby Rea Cross Country in Kilbroney.  The Omagh man opned his season with a fine 31st place.  The Haigneys were involved in the NI & Ulster Even Age Groups championships with Dan (U16 Boys) and Enya (U18 Girls) both finishing 13th in their respective races while Tomás made a welcome comeback to competition after an appendectomy with a 24th spot in the U14 Boys’ contest.