Normally Jonny Steede’s sub four hour run and second fastest ever Seven Sevens time would have received most of the attention in the race report, but the ladies record was smashed by a towering performance from Dromore athlete Diane Wilson. In conditions which were close to ideal, warm, with light winds and firm under foot conditions, Diane was soon flying with a good smooth rhythm which she maintained throughout the race to become the first lady to dip beneath the five hour mark. In fact she dived way past that mark to beat Shileen O’Kanes record of last year by half an hour. Second lady Denise Mathers also ran a personal best for a finish time of 5hrs- 13 min- 6 seconds, which only a few short years ago would have been a record performance.
Jonny Steede was ahead of the pack after just 100m and continued to extend his advantage as he cruised to victory in convincing fashion. Seamus Lynch was second; just failing to break the four hour mark despite a magnificent effort, while Dale Mathers and Clive Bailey were involved in their annual Seven Sevens duel with Dale just about getting the honours of third place this time.
There were many other very good performances throughout the field with many athletes obtaining personal bests. They were helped a bit by the course being slightly shorter due to the relocation of the start, finish area to the YMCA centre at Greenhill, but I think the main reason for their successes can be attributed to good weather conditions, combined with plenty of serious training and practice runs to suss out the best routes.
Many thanks to the staff of Greenhill for allowing us to use their facilities, and to all the aeroplanes for the noisy entertainment they provided in the skies above the course and at the finish line. Also a big thanks to all the marshals and helpers for their great work. Sandra at the Ben Crom Dam told me that she was over whelmed with compliments and even hugs from appreciative runners so thanks everybody for listening to my little speech at the start line. It’s always tight getting enough marshals for this event.