LARNE Athletic Club runner James McIlroy set a new course record when the club hosted the East Antrim Challenge Road Race.
The invitation race attracted entrants from Ballymena Runners, East Antrim Harriers and Glens Runners. Using the same course as the last two years, descending from Linford carpark along the Feystown Road, those familiar with the route will have known to expect the tough climb over the last mile to the finish. However, with dry conditions and missing the usual strong breeze, fast times were expected.
McIlroy didn’t disappoint, leading from the start over the 5-mile course and smashing the course record in a time of 26:03. Team-mate Paul Herron was runner-up in 27:47, while Justin Maxwell was third a time of 28:13. Ryan Maxwell, Bernard Brady and Phelim McAllister in 4th, 7th and 8th respectively ensured that Larne AC retained the team prize with 25 points. Ballymena Runners were second, with Ian Taggart first to finish in fifth overall and Jonathan McCloy (6th), James Turtle (10th), Kevin O’Boyle (12th), Ray Curran (23rd) and Peter Fleming (30th) completing the scoring.
The ladies’ race was won for the second year in a row by Larne Athletic Club’s Geraldine Quigley in a time of 34:58. Suzanna Allen of Ballymena Runners was second in 39:47, with Lorena of Larne AC third in 40:12. Larne AC were winners in the ladies team race with Heather Baxter, Alex Murphy, Jayne Liddle and Elaine Hall completing the scoring.
All entry donations at the race go to charity and the sum of £311.30 was raised for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.