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Laura warms up for Berlin with impressive Laganside run


By Brian Hill

Belfast Marathon champion Laura Graham successfully defended her Laganside 10k title yesterday at Ormeau Park and then confirmed she will be taking part in the Berlin Marathon later this month.

In Berlin Laura and North Belfast pair Gladys Ganiel and Breege Connolly will be making last-ditch efforts to achieve the 2 hrs 37 mins qualification mark necessary for next year's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

While this would represent PBs for all three athletes they have little choice but to try for the standard as there is cut throat competition to make the NI team where 13 athletes are already qualified.

Graham and Ganiel prepared for this challenge at Ormeau where they fought a close battle for the entire race, which had another record field of 1,300 competitors.

Graham eventually pulled away in the last kilometre to win in a useful time of 35 mins 22 secs, 17 seconds ahead of Ganiel. North Down's Jessica Craig took third.

A relaxed Graham said she had enjoyed the challenge and would now race in the Larne 10k this week as further preparation for Berlin.

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