Lisburn Half Marathon: McKinstry and Ganiel in the running

The Lisburn Half Marathon takes place tonight
The Lisburn Half Marathon takes place tonight

Mark McKinstry and Gladys Ganiel can be king and queen of the roads in tonight’s Coca Cola Lisburn Half Marathon which includes the Northern Ireland and Ulster Championships.

The event is sponsored by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council and local businesses is expected to attract over 6,000 competitors in the Half Marathon, 10K and Fun Run.

McKinstry from North Belfast followed his win at Larne over tonight’s distance with successes at Ballymena and Buncrana. The three times senior cross country silver medallist is very determined and will be hard to oppose.

John Black was just behind McKinstry at Larne before recording a marginally faster time when winning at Newry and he will be in the medal hunt along with Don Travers, the improving John Craig, Eddie Cooke, Gary Morrow, Ben Caughers and Martin Willcox.

Commonwealth marathon star Gladys Ganiel, the former Northern Ireland champion, had good victories in the Carlingford Half Marathon and Ballyclare 10K and will probably start favourite although Amy Bulman will run her close.

Amy, the Northern Ireland Masters champion, has won at Ballybeen, Lough Neagh and Crawfordsburn recently and came third at Larne.

Last year’s runner-up Karen Alexander and former Newry winner Diane Watson will challenge along with present Newry Marathon champion Louise Smith while there is still a chance that holder Laura Graham will enter on the night.

Last year’s winner Chris Madden will be favourite if he starts the 10K, he came second in both the Craic and Jimmy Murray Races and is in form.

Keith Shiels the former Waterside winner and James Edgar will go close. The Foyle runner is in good shape while Edgar from the host’s club followed his Ulster and Irish Schools’ Golds with victory in the Senior track 5,000.

Susan Smyth from Dromore will be fancied in the Ladies 10K.

The action starts at 6.45pm.