Belfast Telegraph

Laura and Gideon set Bangor 10k alight

 

By Brian Hill

Mourne Runners' Laura Graham and City of Derry's Gideon Kipsang were in dominant form in the weekend's Belfast City Airport sponsored Bangor 10k which registered over 1,000 finishers, the largest number since 1986.

Graham (31) wasted little time in resuming her winning ways on the local scene just a week after her eye catching run in the Berlin Marathon where she finished just five seconds short of the 2 hrs 37 mins qualification mark for next year's Commonwealth Games in Australia.

The mum of four showed no ill effects from Berlin as she stormed round the difficult course in the company of good male runners.

Her fast even paced running was rewarded with one of the fastest ever winning times for the event of 34 mins 37 secs for a commendable 15th overall and first female home. Laura's time was her third fastest over the distance and only nine seconds outside her Personal Best.

Laura said afterwards: "Berlin was a dream as everything went right for me. I didn't even know I was so close to the Games qualification mark. I accept that I probably won't be picked for the Games but I would love to go back to Berlin to compete in the European Marathon Championship next summer.

"I now intend to defend my Dublin Marathon title at the end of the month."

Behind Graham, North Down's Jessica Craig took the women's runner up spot in 36.09 followed by Cathy McCourt (38.06) and Amanda Perry of Ballydrain (39.11).

In the Men's race, Belfast Half Marathon champion Gideon Kipsang continued his red hot form with effectively a solo run in which he had a 30 second lead at the half way mark.This gap then lengthened with the 29 year old Kenyan crossing the line in one of the fastest ever event winning times of 30 mins 3 secs.

He commented: "I felt good and the weather helped. I am here for two months when I will be training with Derry City. This has really helped me and I plan to run some cross country races now I have now fully recovered from my injury in last year's Dublin Marathon."

Sleive Gullion's Paddy Hamilton was an isolated second in 31.30, the 36 year old just getting back to fitness after a debilitating virus.

Lisburn's Chris Madden took third in 32.04 ahead of Laganside 10k winner Mark McKinstry (32.35). Craig McMeechan of North Down (32.51) and Derry's Emmet McGinty (33.01) completed the top six.

Belfast Telegraph

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