LAST Friday evening all roads led to Eskra for the third race in the Paul Murray Grand Prix 5K Series.
On a warm evening 337 runners and walkers were faced with another challenging route round the country roads.
Once again the crowd were treated to top class road running with the impressive Matthew Neill (Omagh Harriers) taking control of the race, winning in a superb time of 15.22, taking his second victory in the series. In second place was the ever consistent Martin Cox in a fast time of 15.49, followed by Brian Taggart (Sperrin Harriers) in a time of 16.38, who finished third.
In a closely contested female race, it was Aisling Murray (Carmen AC) who clinched her third victory in the series and crossed the line in a excellent time of 18.42. Aisling was pushed all the way to the line by local athlete Grainne O’Hagan (Knockmany Running Club), who was second in a time of 18.45 and in third place was upcoming local athlete Eimear McCarroll in a time of 19.01. Young Eimear continues to impress, giving the seniors a run for their money.
For the second time in the series, Oisin McGuigan (Omagh Harriers) won the Under-18 category, breaking 18 minutes in a time of 17.37. Cora McNamee (KC Runners) won the Under-18 Female section with a time of 23.13. There were excellent performances in the Under-12 categories which were won by Cillian Kynch (Knockmany Running Club) and Cora Scullion.
The Grand Prix Series is really heating up and today’s final race should prove very exciting.
The final Series’ male winner is dependent on who competes at the final race and qualifies for the standings. In-form athlete Neill (Omagh Harriers) is in pole position after claiming his second victory, however other athletes in contention include Cox (Carmen Runners), Taggart (Sperrin Harriers), Vincent McAlister (Acorns AC), Oisin McGuigan (Omagh Harriers), Adrian Scullion (Knockmany Running Club) and Colm McGrath (KEL).
Whilst in the female series, Murray (Carmen AC) has edged ahead in the standings with local athletes O’Hagan (Knockmany Running Club) and Eimear McCarroll also in contention.
Everyone is reminded that the unique Paul Murray Grand Prix finisher medals will be presented after the final race to those who complete the series.
The other category winners were Ian Davis (Knocks Running Club) Male O40, Pat McCrory (Omagh Harriers) Male O50 and Tommy Gartland (Knockmany Running Club) Male O60.Arlene Donnelly Female O40, Aravon McCann (Maguiresbridge RC) Female O50 and Pauline Donnelly (Knockmany Running Club) Female O60.
Once again organisers Knockmany Running Club were overwhelmed with the turnout and thank everyone for supporting the third race in the series and thank all who helped contribute to the success of the race.
The final race is a fast course and presents runners with the chance to achieve PB times. The finale is at Eskra Community Centre at 7.30pm. All proceeds from the Paul Murray 5K Grand Prix Series are going to the Air Ambulance Northern Ireland charity.
Registration is from 6pm-7.15pm in Eskra Community Centre. Entry Fee for individual race is £7 with refreshments served afterwards.