Ladies take team title

Larne Athletic Club's Geraldine Quigley.
Larne Athletic Club's Geraldine Quigley.

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.