Belfast Telegraph

Belfast Telegraph Runher: Wet and windy, but just a brilliant day for coast run

1,500 women defy the North Down rain for Runher 10K and 5K events

By Linda Stewart

Almost 1,500 women battled wet conditions to complete this weekend's Runher challenge on the North Down coast.

Around 350 runners took part in the 5K race, setting off from Rockport school and winding their way to Crawfordsburn Country Park.

The tough 10K route from Seapark to Crawfordsburn proved the most popular, attracting more than 1,000 runners.

Judith Lonnen won the 10K with a time of 38 minutes and 52 seconds, followed by Cathy McCourt around a minute later. Lyndsey Tyro came in third.

The winner recently became a mother, and both she and the runner-up were returning from injury.

Judith said: "It was a tough wee course. I've done it a couple of times. Last time I did it, it was lovely sunshine, so this was a different scenario. It's brilliant. There's always lots of girls that you know."

Cathy added: "I really enjoy it. I am really, really happy with my run today.

"It was well organised."

Jessica Craig won the 5K race with a time of 18 minutes and 46 seconds.

5k results

10k results

She said: "It was really good. The wind was a bit too strong for me coming in, but the weather was all right. It's Northern Ireland - what do you expect!"

The race organisers said the course was demanding despite the flat conditions, as it can be rough underfoot with a number of rocky outcrops to negotiate. A spokesman said: "It rained most of the night, but it didn't seem to deter anyone.

"There's a sense of co-operation and helping each other and there is always a lovely community atmosphere to it."

Third-placed Lyndsey said conditions were perfect for running.

"It was just a bit drizzly but the winds didn't pick up too much. But at the start we had the wind at our backs - it was perfect," she said.

Michael Jenkins of Pure Running said: "It's been windy, it's been wet, it's been cold.

"But we've had 1,400 women running the 5-10K down by the coast - it's been an amazing evening.

"We expected the sun and we didn't get it, but almost one-and-a-half-thousand women did turn out.

"There are actually a few tears at the finish line and that is what running is all about. It's about community, friendship and people celebrating goals together."

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