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Ann-Marie doubles up with Belfast win

ANN-MARIE McGlynn followed up her victory at the Waterside Half Marathon on September 1 with an emphatic win at the Belfast City Half Marathon exactly three weeks later.

The Strabane woman claimed victory in the ladies race by over five minutes from Gladys Glaniel in an impressive time of 1:12.58, while Joanne McCandless was third more than a further two minutes adrift.

That win is all the more impressive given her victory in Derry in 1:16.54 three weeks earlier and because she’s currently training for the Dublin City Marathon.

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“It’s nice to take the two wins,” beamed the Letterkenny AC runner.

“The Waterside one I used as a training session. My coaches decided that I’d do six miles before it, do the half marathon at just under marathon pace and then three miles after it, so it was more of a training session.

“Then in Belfast I was racing and I was happy with the time because I thought I’d do 72-something depending on who was around me and what kind of guys I could latch on to.

“It was a good hard run. I’m in marathon training, so I’m not as fresh as I’d like to be, but it was a good day.”

Having made her marathon debut in Holland in the Spring, Ann-Marie is targeting a stronger performance in Dublin in just over four weeks time, but she’s playing her cards close to her chest regarding her goals.

“The bulk of he training is done, so it’s just a matter now of remaining healthy and staying injury free,” she added.

“I ran my debut in Rotterdam in April and it didn’t all go to plan, with cramping and stuff and I ran 2.39, so I’m definitely looking to go quicker than that – that’s all Im saying!”

While pleased with her own current form, Ann-Marie is also delighted by her Letterkenny AC team-mate, Conor Gallagher, who she has been coaching for five years.

The Tober man finished a stunning 10th in Belfast, just behind McGlynn in a superb PB time of 1:12.24.

“It hasn’t happened overnight for Connor,” Ann-Marie explained. “I’ve been coaching him for five years and he’s starting to reap the rewards for his hard work.

“In the past year he’s had a consistent block of training and this year he’s got his PB at 5K down to 15.35, 10K to 32.57 and half marathon on Sunday he took 4.56 minues off his time to 72.24, so he’s come on hugely.

“Top 10 for him is huge – it’s an unreal time. He did the Omagh half two years ago and ran 78.20, and that was a huge PB, so to come away nearly five minutes quicker on Sunday is unreal.

“It’s great to see how much fitter and how he’s come on race wise.

“There’s definitely more to come because he’s now quicker than me over 5K and 1OK, so I might need to slow him down!,” she joked.

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The Strabane Chronicle is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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