*All photos courtesy of Steven Donegan
The sun shone, conditions were just about perfect and after three years away, the Bangor 10k (in association with George Best Belfast City Airport) provided a spectacle worth waiting for, as both the men’s and women’s course records fell in quick succession.
Ben Branagh (St Malachys) delivered something of an upset, denying Gideon Kipsang Kimosop a fourth victory in a row, with a stunning time of 29:54, the first sub 30 in the 17 year history of the most recent Bangor course.
Having moved through halfway as a pack of seven, the lead group was broken up by the powerful St Malachys man, who proved himself the class of the field, taking the NI & Ulster Championship with Gideon Kimosop (1Zero1) second overall in 30:12 and Eskander Tukri (Annadale) third in 30:29. Craig McMeechan was first of the local contingent, 30:46 good enough for an excellent new PB, and sixth overall.
The ladies title came down to a two way battle between Jessica Craig of the host club and Natasha Adams (Letterkenny AC). After tracking each other for much of the race, it was the North Down lady who had the extra kick on Shandon Drive and along College Avenue, before breaking the tape in a new course record of 34:39. Adams followed close behind in 34:48, while Sarahjane Cooke (Annadale) took third spot on the podium, in 37:46. Annadale’s strength in depth delivered the team prize, from North Belfast Harriers and North Down, whilst Victoria Park & Connswater were rewarded for travelling in big numbers, by claiming the ladies title, North Down ‘a’ and ‘b’ teams completing the podium.
As ever, there were personal battles across the field, times and places fought and won, but as a club we were just glad to be back after three long years. North Down AC would like to thank all our sponsors for helping make the event happen, the local residents for their patience and of course the runners, for making it a day to remember. See you all next year