Belfast City Marathon 2016

Bank Holiday Monday in Belfast means only one thing if you are a runner, the Deep River Rock Belfast City Marathon. It is not the greatest route, or the easiest, but it is 26.2 miles long and it is a hell of a challenge for those, in particular, who take on the full distance. By the way, it all started in 1982, so this is the 35th running of the Belfast event. The course has changed a few times over the years. Away back in the early 1980s about two thousand runners took to the streets. This year over 17,500 will don trainers on the day and set off, hoping eventually to finish. About 2,200 will attempt the full distance while 1,700 relay teams will split the course into five more easily manageable sections. For the first time this year the relay runners will be individually chipped. Last year Joel Kipsang Kositany won in 2.19.36. You can be a bit lax in your training for most distances, but not for a marathon, and those from our Club who turn out to tackle the full distance will have been at it, in all kinds of weather, for weeks and months. We wish them well and may they reach the finish in Ormeau Park intact, both physically and mentally.

The following Orangegrove members will attempt the full marathon……Sharon Corken, Sile Brennan, Linda Carson-Craig, Kerris Hamilton, Heather Shanks-Miller and Ian Millgate. Best of luck!

The Club has also entered three 5 person relay teams in addition. This year relay runners will be chipped. They are:-

Team 1 Andrew Acheson (6.2 miles), Rodney Corrigan (3.3 miles), Brian Todd (7.2 miles), David Fletcher (4.5 miles), Emma McWilliams (5 miles).

Team 2 Ian Grant (6.2 miles), Ian Wilson (3.3 miles), Kirsty Buchanan (7.2 miles), Alison Hall-Thompson (4.5 miles), Jenny Powell (5 miles).

Team 3 Ian Reid (6.2 miles), Hilary Bradshaw (3.3 miles), Brian McFarland (7.2 miles), Nicola Downey (4.5 miles), Jill Long (5 miles).

I am also aware of a number of OAC members, and friends of OAC, running in other relay teams… Liz Leitch, Thomas Leitch, Eric Fairfield, Anna Rankin, Shona Pryde, Mairead Napier, Reg Sanlon, Judith McCann, Darren Houston, Elaine McAlister and others I may not have picked up. We wish them well. Rachel Woodman was also spotted pushing a pram in full OAC regalia!

And the following times were achieved by OAC members on Bank Holiday Monday, 2016:

Sile Brennan 3.36.42 (378th/2156)
Kerris Hamilton 4.06.30 PB
Ian Millgate 4.20.27 PB
Heather Shanks-Miller 4.20.38 PB
Linda Carson-Craig 4.50.06
Sharon Corken 4.56.08 PB

Relay Teams:

Team 1
3.08.49 (35th/1719)
Team 2
3.41.52 (164th/1719)
Team 3
4.23.30  (936th/1719)

The 2016 Deep River Rock Belfast City Marathon was won by Joel Kipsang Kositany (Kenya) in 2.17.39. Berhan Gebremichael (Ethiopia) was first lady in 2.48.26.

Grateful thanks are extended to our captains, Robin and Eleanor, for all their hard work in organising us for the relays and providing us with hospitality on our arrival at Ormeau.

We are very lucky indeed to have such dynamic people to keep us in order, to answer questions and to keep us informed. Their hard work, patience and good humour are greatly appreciated. We are also very grateful to those who provided food, hospitality and a focal point for us at Ormeau Park.

Particular thanks to those who supported us around the course, who shouted encouragement and took photographs, both those who were static and those who were mobile. I know the full marathon runners also greatly appreciated the one or two relay runners who selflessly continued on after their stint to offer support and encouragement to those from our Club who needed it most. It did make a difference.