Strong performance from Clarke at Dundalk duathlon

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East Coast Athletic Club was well represented at the weekend with local athletes donning club colours at events in Larne, Belfast and Dundalk. Many personal bests and notable performances were recorded.

A busy weekend of competition began on Thursday (February 6), when the in-form Lee Stirling joined hundreds of runners in the grounds of Belfast’s Parliament Buildings for the 26extreme Winter Trail Race. Using headtorches for guidance, competitors completed two laps of an undulating off-road course, measuring 10k; Lee covered the distance in 50:44 (115th place).

On Saturday 15 East Coast AC members took on the local Larne parkrun. James Brown looked strong as he led the field home in an excellent new course record of 17:29 (1st place); he was followed by friend and club-mate Justin Maxwell, who recorded 18:10 (2nd place). Corey Urwin ran well, with buggy in tow, to claim fourth place in 22:29, before Janice Plumb won the ladies’ category in 23:01 (1st place lady).

The fast-improving Karen McConnell secured third place in the ladies’ category in 27:21 - just ahead Chris Harkin (18th place, 28:28). Karen Monaghan (28:57, 6th lady) and Jacqui McLoughlin (29:11, 7th place lady) both enjoyed personal best performances. Martin Taylor (21st, 29:21) and Mel Milligan (8th place lady, 29:28) made it five East Coast AC members in a row, before Amanda Clements ran a massive new personal best of 29:54 to claim ninth place in the ladies’ category. Paul Cunningham cruised to a 32:01 (27th place) finish, while Cyndy Hay (11th place lady, 33:00), Angela Burns (12th place lady,35:06) and Dan McGuckin (30th place, 36:06) completed the East Coast contingent.

On Sunday, David Clarke, Danny Hylands and Drew Girvin, alongside Stephen Withers completed the Sportsman Duathlon in Dundalk. International duathlete Clarke was first home in 56:34 - enough to take 16th place overall and firstst place in the Vet50 category. Danny Hylands followed in 58:30 (26th place), with Drew Girvin (1:01:15) and Stephen Withers (1:06:08) taking 42nd place and 69th place respectively.

In other news, East Coast AC is proud to announce that club members Nat Glenn and James Brown have been chosen to represent County Antrim at the prestigious Irish Masters Athletics Association Cross Country Championships in County Cavan (Ireland) later this month.