Seven secure spot in international Cross Country race

Craig Hutchinson, Bernard Brady and Davy Clarke running for Larne Athletic Club
Craig Hutchinson, Bernard Brady and Davy Clarke running for Larne Athletic Club

After last week’s success in the Northern Ireland Road Relay Championships, it was hard to see how Larne Athletic Club could have reached a similar high at the weekend, writes Ryan Maxwell.

However, the club’s dedicated athletes have done just that. Ten Larne AC runners took part in Saturday’s ‘Masters Open XC Races’ in Belfast, with seven securing international selection for Northern Ireland in the upcoming British and Irish Masters Cross Country Championships in November.

In the men’s 8km event, Craig Hutchinson led the red and white vests home in 29:09, securing fourth place in the Vet 50 category. Greg Lavery (29:15) and Andrew Guy (29:22) finished close together, taking seventh and eighth place in the Vet35 category.

Davy Clarke continued the ‘train’ of Larne AC runners, crossing the line in 29:28 (6th Vet50), with Bernard Brady (29:31 – 5th Vet45) just three seconds behind. Wayne Morrow, the club’s only representative in the ‘male open’ race finished in seventh (29:46).

Andy Gregg put in another impressive display, running 31:07, enough to secure ninth place in the Vet45 category.

In the ladies’ race, ever-consistent Geraldine Quigley completed the 6km course in 25:28, taking third place in the Vet35 category. In a very competitive Vet40 race, Rhonda Brady (28:17) and Ruth Wilson (28:26) finished in 11th and 13th place respectively.

Bernard Brady, Nat Glenn, Craig Hutchinson, Davy Clarke and Geraldine Quigley were all rewarded with Northern Ireland vests for the upcoming International at Stormont Estate, while Greg Lavery and Andrew Guy were placed on the reserve list for the event.

Meanwhile, Phelim Mc Allister celebrated victory at the ECOS Parkrun, Ballymena. He completed the 5km time trial in an impressive 18:25.

On Sunday, the club’s leading distance runner, Justin Maxwell, travelled to Armagh for the Adidas Armagh 10-Mile Road Race. In a line-up that included top quality athletes from North and South of the border, Justin produced a strong, disciplined performance, crossing the line in 57:27 to secure an excellent 11th place.