East Coast Atheltic Club’s Matthew Hewitt produced a remarkable performance to win Saturday’s 26extreme Mourne Way Half Marathon in what was his debut over the distance.
Hewitt was always a contender in what was arguably the performance of his life, but as the field reached the half-way mark, his fearless descent allowed him to move clear, before winning in 1:24:14 (1st place).
Murray Deller narrowly missed a top-10 finish in 1:38:42 (13th place), while Phil Smyth timed 1:55:29 (52nd place). A smiling Kelly Deller, alongside daughter Maggie, finished in 2:28:24 (187th place).
In the marathon, Chris Davis could not have picked a tougher 26.2-miler to celebrate his birthday, but he worked hard alongside club-mate Mark Jordan to cross the line in 5:06:16 (70th and 71st place).
At the Fairhill 5-mile road race in Ballymena, Murray Deller led the ECAC contingent home in 30:11. Mark Jordan followed in 32:40, before four black and yellow vests finished within 20 seconds:Drew Girvin (34:16), Brian Maltman (34:33) and James Robinson (34:33) crossed the line before John Steele, Alan Glover and Alex Robertson recorded 35:03, 35:31 and 35:32 respectively.
East Coast Cheetahs also had the opportunity to participate in the event, with at least three taking part in the 2.5-mile run associated with the 5-mile race. Rhys McManus claimed second place, with fellow Cheetahs Hannah Clements and Harry Plumb following close behind.
In the 10k race, Philip Greer looked strong as he cruised across the line in 48:09 (25th place). Nicola McNeill also ran well and negotiated the tough terrain to finish in 57:27 (87th place), just ahead of club-mate and friend Sharon Kirkpatrick, who clocked an excellent 59:13 (98th place).
In England, Peter McManus took part in the Black Pear Athletic Club 1-mile time-trial event, recording a time of 6:41.
On Sunday, Danny Hylands and Roy McMullan took part in the Crooked Lake Triathlon in Camlough. Hylands completed the course in 1:15:25 (114th place) and McMullan crossed the line in 1:27:39 (297th place).
At the Larne parkrun, John Steele finished in 22:51 (12th), with Paul Clements following in 22:54 (14th). Sandy Plumb returned to the Drainsbay start/finish area in 23:56 (19th), just ahead of son Harry Plumb, who recorded an excellent 24:26 (20th).