This weekend saw the return of the ‘Rathlin Run’ - a race in which Larne Athletic Club members have enjoyed success in recent years.
Organisers, Belfast Activity Centre, decided to change things this year. In addition to the notorious 10.8-mile challenge course, a half-marathon was added.
Four Larne AC athletes made the boat trip from Ballycastle to Rathlin Island before taking their places on the start line of what can only be described as an extremely challenging course, with constant undulations, zapping the runners’ legs of energy, with the fast downhill sections leading straight into long hills.
All four Larne AC members opted for the half-marathon distance. Phelim Mc Allister’s recent achievements and strong running on the mountains meant he was always going to be a front-runner. Phelim did not disappoint. Always in contention and running strongly, he was the first runner to cross the finish line in 1:21, claiming his second successive victory on Rathlin Island!
David Noble, a promising addition to the Larne AC ranks was the next club member home, in a fantastic time of 1:41. Ever-consistent Amy Beggs just missed a sub two-hour finish time, crossing the line in 2:00.
Elaine Hall, ever-present at the Rathlin events, whether marshalling, providing support or running decided to take on the new course and had an excellent run, finishing in 2:03.
Elsewhere Justin Maxwell travelled to Rostrevor on Saturday’s for a 10k Trail Race, with 539m of climbing and being an ‘uphill only’ event, this proved perfect training for Justin who is preparing for his International Race in September. In a field of top-quality mountain runners, Justin produced a strong performance to finish in fifth place in a time of 52:42.
Ian Brennan was Larne’s sole representative at the Ballinderry 10k Road Race. After achieving personal bests in recent races, Ian is in good form and running with confidence. In warm conditions he completed the tough rural course in 44:15.
‘Team Baxter’, consisting of Larne AC’s Heather Baxter, husband Colin completed the 5km time-trial in Ballymena in 33:53. An excellent time, at the extremely well organised weekly event by Ballymena Runners.
Larne man David Clarke was in action this weekend at the Donadea Duathlon. The event, consisting of a 5.2km run, 22km cycle and a 5.3km run took place just outside Dublin on Saturday.
David, currently training for the upcoming World Duathlon Championships in France this September, where he will be representing Northern Ireland alongside fellow Larne AC athletes Jenny Magill and Adele Neill, came into the first transition area in second place, running 19:58.
He then produced the quickest cycle of the day (35:57), ensuring an exciting finish in the final run as the top three competitors came into the second transition area within 40 seconds of each other.
After a slightly longer transition than he had hoped, David started the second run in third place, he turned out another strong performance (20:21), holding on to the well deserved third place, ensuring a podium finish in a total time of 1:17:40. This was an outstanding achievement for David, in what was a highly competitive field.