A special report from the Laganside 10k by Bogusboy
In 2014 a then record 881 runners completed the Laganside 10k, establishing it firmly as one of the most popular event of its type in the NI athletics calendar. The race was won by Eddie McGinley in a speedy 31 minutes and 23 seconds. The Annadale Strider had opened up a 20+ second gap by 5k and was able to cruise to a reasonably comfortable victory. An impressive 140 athletes dipped under the 40 minute barrier, the benchmark deemed by many to differentiate between the very good and the average performer. This year the 1000 limit on entries was reached well in advance and many were left to rue the fact that they had not registered before entries had to be closed. Newcastle AC had 23 registered, continuing the trend of big turn-outs at races in the last number of weeks. Of the 23 most were hopeful of achieving a time under the 40 minute mark and the Prophet in his infinite wisdom had declared that 21 of the 23 would make the mark. Over a cup of tay and a few pretzels, he and the road sergeant compiled the list that would become the source of much discussion, debate and argument at the post race debrief. How well would the road soldiers fare? Could O’Hare live up to his pre-race billing as one of the favourites? With predictions calculated using the ‘McMillian Bible’ – a hitherto unheralded version of a good book – it was up to the athletes to prove the pundits wrong. Paul Rodgers, assistant to the assistant road captain threw his tuppence worth in. The road captain devised an elaborate scoring system and to cut a very long saga short, the Prophet emerged as the winner with 91 points, Rodgers second on 83 and the road captain a disappointing third on 80 points. The conclusion is simple – the Prophet is an apposite name for this erudite man!
A record turnout
To eclipse the 2014 participation, 944 athletes completed the course this year. In a closely contested race, Gary Murray (30:35) was the winner, with paddy Hamilton (30:53) second and Stephen Scullion 31:07) third. Top three for NAC were Seamus Lynch in 13th overall, David O’Flaherty 25th and Brendan Quail 37th. Quail overcame the disappointment of losing to O’Hare and took over a minute and a quarter out of his nemesis who was still very impressive in running a PB. In fact, such was the quality of O’Hare’s performance that he received many messages of congratulations from club members within an hour of the finish. The NAC team performed admirably on the day and are now setting their sights on the NI Road Relay Championships on October 3 and the Seeley Cup in late November, where undoubtedly these times can be improved further.
|Position||First name||Last Name||Category||First half||Second half||Finish||Chip time|