It was a lonely trot for Kenya’s Gideon Kimosop as he claimed his third victory in five years at yesterday’s Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon. Gerrie Short was the first woman home as the continued popularity of road running locally was reflected in over 4000 participants taking to the starting line up for the event.
Kimosop, unlike many of his compatriots who prefer to play a waiting game, was already well clear of the pack when he passed the 5K mark with Karol Duggan and Vincent McKenna heading up the spirited but ultimately forlorn chase.
The Derry-based Kenyan had increased the margin to over two minutes as he passed by 10K sign in 32:07 with Acorns AC’s McKenna and Duggan from the Letterkenny club coming through shoulder to shoulder in 34:10. Further back Sperrin Harrier Pierce McCullagh and Willowfield’s Brian Kinsella were prominent at the head of the main field another 200 metres back.
Little changed until the finish with the 30-year-old from the Rift Valley crossing the line in 67:45, his slowest winning time in the race to date. Behind him McKenna dug deep to get the better of Duggan on the homestraight for second place by just two seconds in 71:09.
Adrian Bell ran strong in the latter part of the race to take fourth place ahead of clubmate Kinsella with both timed at 74:11. Foyle Valley’s Craig Simpson completed the top half dozen with a 74:47 timing.
Dub Running Club’s Collette McCourt was the early leader in the women’s race but was overtaken by Gerrie Short when she stopped to take a gel around the 15K mark. The Beechmount Harrier never looked back after that to score what she described herself as an “unexpected” win in 85:32.
Ballymena Runners’ Paula Worthington was always prominent in the women’s field and finished strongly to take the runner-up spot in 86:33. The game McCourt was rewarded for her early efforts with the final place on the podium after recording 87:11 to hold off Ciara McKay by six seconds. Armagh’s Natalie Hall (87:44) and Foyle Valley’s Denise Ward (87:47) rounded off the top six female finishers.
Jim Corbett was given the decision in the wheelchair race after a photo finish with Torque Racing Club colleague Paul Hannan as both men were timed at 67:30.
Gideon was also in action the previous day when he took part in the Omagh Parkrun. It was the first day of autumn training for the DTC squad who used the parkrun as an AT run followed by a short session.
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