Waterside Half Marathon success despite delayed start

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The Waterside Half Marathon cemented its reputation as the biggest and best Half Marathon on the local athletics calendar when over 2,000 runners completed the race in front of throngs of spectators on Sunday. Some issues with traffic management resulted in an hour delay to the race start but this was resolved following consultation with the key agencies.

Apologising for any inconvenience caused, the festival and events manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council Jacqueline Whoriskey said the safety of participants was paramount and that despite the delay the race was a great success.

There was huge excitement at the finish line as Freddie Sittuk from Ranheny Shamrock AC battled to claim first place on the Men’s Race just ahead of Scott Rankin while local runner Catherine Whoriskey, from Derry Spartans AC, was the first female home, but there were winners throughout the record field as runners reached, and even surpassed, their individual goals.

Hundreds of supporters lined the scenic race route that hugged the River Foyle, among them Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hillary McClintock, who was on hand to present the winners with their medals at the race finish in St Columb’s Park.

“I’d like to congratulate everyone who was involved in making the Waterside Half Marathon another day to remember for the city and district, and to the hundreds of people who came out to show their support to those taking part,” said the Mayor. “It was a magnificent sight to see the huge field of runners make their way around the course, cheered on by the spectators who surpassed themselves with their vocal support and encouragement. While the various winners will grab the headlines, anyone who puts in the hours of sacrifice necessary to complete the race deserves tremendous praise and I’d particularly like to congratulate those who raised money and awareness for their chosen charities. I was pleased to see so many young runners taking part in the 2k Fun Run as well and the future of athletics in the North West certainly looks bright.”

Gerry Lynch, from Spartans who worked with the Council to co-ordinate the Race was pleased with the feedback he received from runners after the race, among whom were a record female entry of over 700.

“This was the biggest field we have ever hosted but runners enjoyed the course which was retained after last year’s change,” he said.

“We piloted a pacer system this year which we have previously used in the Walled City Marathon and our pacers got their timings spot on and were a big asset in helping runners reaching their personal goals.

“We had our biggest number of runners taking the relay option this year too so extending our capacity for next year’s race is certainly something we will sit down and look at.”

To view the full race results and times click on the following link for results http://www.myrunresults.com/events/whm_derry_half_marathon/502/results