What have the Spartans been up to: August’s highlights

August has been a busy day for our favorite athletes so let’s see what was on their schedules. I think it’s safe to start with the performance of Aileen Reid at the Rio Olympics. She competed in the triathlon and even though she wasn’t close to the podium, the young woman finished on the 21st place. To be able to say that one of your athletes finished a triathlon at the Olympic Games is quite a big deal for the Derry Spartans if not for Ireland as a whole.

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We shouldn’t forget our senior athletes who participated at the National Masters T&F Championships: Danea Herron, Declan Reed, Paul Herron, Michal Murphy, Dermot McElhinney, Eoghan Furey, Aaron Doherty and Kieran Hurley. At the other end of the continuum, our youth is competing at the NI Youth Development T&F Final and at the Ni&Ulster Relay Championships.

It seems that this month is filled with successes. Congratulations are in order for Una Gavin, the national champion at the F55 half marathon and for Joe McCarthy who won a V50 tussle for the City of Derry Spartans with Mark Connoly from Finn Valley. Although the actual 5k race was won by Dermot Mc Elchar in 16 mins 32 secs, our athlete surpasses Connoly to take the V50 prize in 19mins 32 secs with only 13 seconds ahead of his competitor.

In Swansea there were the annual Celtic Games where Dintan Stewart helped the Irish boys U18 win the 3k race. We can say the race was calculated and slow, maybe boring at some point but things changed at the very last lap when the Spartans secured a 9.08 win.

Catherine Whoriskey got a silver medal at the National Half Marathon. The race had many ups and downs both literally and metaphorically. In the meantime, Daclan Reed is back on track after an injury that kept him away for quite some time. He came in 2nd at the Riverine 10K race. Don’t be harsh on him. Considering his condition and the windy weather, it’s safe to say that Reed did the best he could. Scott Rankin was the winner of the race with a time of 30:47. Our Spartan’s performance was 32:50.

At the Dessies Run 10K in Gransha, Kyle Doherty secured the 3rd place for the City of Derry Spartans with a time of 33:11. Scott Rankin from Foyle Valley set a record of 30:39 followed by Neil Johnson of Springwell who got a time of 32:52. Women had a better performance in this race so let’s cheer for Catherine Whoriskey who won with a time of 36:32. She has actually set a record with this time. Judi McCauley from North Belfast Harriers came in 2nd with a time of 39:00 followed by Karen McLaughlin from Spiringwell who got 41:13.

The team’s achievements for this month were not bad at all, wouldn’t you agree? Stay tuned to see what’s up with your favorite athletics team. Well done Spartans!