THERE was double joy for Kilkerley man Gary O’Hanlon at Wednesday’s half marathon as he retained the prize he had won in the inaugural event 12 months earlier.
The Clonliffe Harriers runner held off stiff competition from Eamon White and Karl Kildea to come home in an impressive time of one hour, 12 minutes and 30 seconds.
That might have been 12 seconds slower than last year’s winning time of 1:12:18 but afterwards O’Hanlon insisted he was “delighted” with his performance.
He said it was a real honour to have retained the title in his home town and explained that the victory was even more special to him as he had had very little time to prepare for this year’s race due to a niggling injury that had kept him sidelined for several months.
There was a new winner of the 10k this year, with Freddy Kiprotich beating Martin Quinn’s winning time of 32 minutes last year with a new course record time of 00:31:10.
Speaking afterwards the Kenyan said he was “delighted” with the result.
He said: “I had planned to run better than 29 minutes but overall I’m delighted to have win.
“I’ll definitely be back next year and I’ll be trying to improve my time.
“The conditions were good but it was very windy by the river,” he said.
Freddy was also full of praise for the event in his first year entering it.
“It was very well organised and the fans were very good. They were cheering me and everyone else on right from the off,” said race winner Kiprotich.