White lightening strikes at Newry Half Marathon.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

White lightening strikes at Newry Half Marathon. thumbnailEamon White crosses the line to win the inaugural Newry City Merchants Half Marathon.

EAMON White won the inaugural Newry City Merchants Half Marathon on Sunday.

The local athlete, a former Carnbane League footballer with Finn Harps, scorched into the front after three miles and from then to the finish at the historic Albert Basin, built on his advantage, clocking a stunning 1.12.50.

Eamon was over two minutes quicker than the second runner, Lurgan's Gerard Heaney (1.15.00), while Mallusk's Mark Smith was third in 1.17.57.

First lady home was Sinead Murtagh (Newcastle AC) 1:25:33, second was Susan Smyth (Dromore AC) 1:27:38, while Collette McCourt of Belfast's Dub Runners was third in 1:30:10.

First Newry City Runner over the line was Don Travers in 1:19:42. Other men from the locality who did well were Mark Malone (1.19.42), Brendan Heaney (1.23.03), Martin Fox (1.23.30), Conor Morgan (1:25:24), Paddy Havern (1:25:40) James Loughran (1:26:12), Kevin McArdle (1.27.13) and the visually challenged Andrew Fitzgerald (1.35.13).

While in the female category Deirdre Kelly (1:41:00), Sinead Gallagher (1:42:00), Deborah Loughran (1:44:13: a PB by three and a half minutes) and Andrea McCann (1:59:16) all did superbly.

But in fact everyone, from the fastest to the slowest, were in agreement that it was a great race.

All eyes were on the fast men and women but everyone in the vast field, including gutsy performances from the likes of Dennis Heaney and Matthew O'Hare, deserve great credit for completing the 13.1 miles of the Newry Warrenpoint dual-carriageway in hot conditions.

Speaking to the Democrat Newry City Chairman Damian Mulholland was delighted at how the race went as he said: "The day was a tremendous success. The feedback we got from runners was all positive."

He continued: "The club needed a proper race and now we have it. People loved the race. They loved the flat, fast course. The loved the start at the Albert Basin. It's Newry 's jewel in the crown.

And there were no hiccups on the day. Everything went as planned." Chairman Damian would like to thank all those who contributed to an amazing experience, especially main sponsors Business Improvement District and the Newry Credit Union.

Also the Newry City Runners Club would like to thank all the marshals, pacers, helpers, and of course the whole host of runners who came from far and near and who helped make the day such a successful and memorable one.


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