Ladies take team title

Larne Athletic Club's Geraldine Quigley.
Larne Athletic Club's Geraldine Quigley.
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Larne Athletic Club celebrated the beginning of the 2013 road racing season with an impressive haul of silverware and personal bests at the Albertville 5 road race in Belfast.

In pleasant conditions, over 120 competitors took part in the five-mile race, hosted by Albertville Harriers. It was James Brown who led the Larne contingent home in 27:29 (11th place). Wayne Morrow (14th place - 27:56) and Greg Lavery (15th place - 27:59) followed close behind - both achieving new personal bests. Craig Hutchinson celebrated his upcoming birthday by winning the Vet50 category in 28:25 (18th place), before Andy Guy broke the 29-minute barrier in 28:56 (22nd place).

Paul Gaskell, one of the club’s experienced marathon men, ran a personal best of 29:41 to finish in 28th place, while another long-distance enthusiast, Paul Tilson, crossed the line in 31:11 (48th place). The club’s leading lady, Geraldine Quigley was the first of the Larne AC ladies to finish in 32:17 (fifth place lady), and picked up the Vet35 award for her efforts. Allan McCullough ran a good race to cross the line in 32:20 (59th place).

Strong-running Kirsty Sharratt continued her excellent form, finishing in 34:06 (8th place lady), while Rhonda Brady (34:49) produced another personal best performance to finish as ninth-place lady, and first Vet40 lady. Dan Magill crossed the line in 35:23 (81st place) before Heather Baxter recorded a personal best of 37:45 (17th-place lady) and picked up the Vet45 lady prize.

The excellent performances were rewarded when the Larne AC ladies were confirmed as the leading ladies’ team in the race, a fantastic win and overall start to the year’s road running season.

Elsewhere, Robin Alexander continued his excellent progress with a new ‘parkrun’ personal best of 25:56 (43rd place) at the ECOS parkrun in Ballymena, a weekly 5km time-trial.