The Seeley Cup 10k (inc NI & Ulster 10k Road Championships) at the end of November saw the culmination of the inaugural Novosco 10k Grand Prix, a thirteen race series hosted by ChampionChip Ireland in partnership with Novosco.
The unique and exciting Age Graded running competition incorporated thirteen well-respected and established 10k races in Northern Ireland. Commencing in March with Jimmy’s 10k, followed by Titanic 10k, then Run Armagh 10k, Les Jones 10k, Bann 10k, Enniskillen 10k, Lisburn 10k, Comber 10k, Tandragee 10k, Storming the Castle 10k, Laganside 10k and Bangor Aurora 10k and concluding with the competition finale at Seeley Cup 10k.
The not for profit Grand Prix, which offered generous prizes for both individual athletes and teams, was the brainchild of ChampionChip Ireland’s Glenn Grant and was brought together with the assistance of a steering group which included NiRunning’s Ryan Maxwell, former Athletics NI President John Glover and Novosco employee, keen runner, and Tandragee 10k Race Director Lee Glover.
Northern Ireland based company Novosco, a leading provider of Cloud Technologies, Managed Services and Consulting, provided headline sponsorship for the Grand Prix along with finish line arch and branding. Forestside Shopping Centre was the official retail partner.
A total of 374 athletes registered for the Grand Prix (registration was free) and 9,618 competitors crossed the finish line in the thirteen races, with 94 completing the required 6 races to stamp their place on the Grand Prix leaderboard.
The athlete’s average age-grading over their best 6 races was used and after the Seeley Cup 10k, Ballydrain Harriers’ Vet55 athlete Ruth Perioli was crowned champion, with an age-grading of 89.17% (1stplace). Dromore AC’s Mary Mackin (Vet60) claimed 2nd place with 88.12%, while North Down AC’s Francis Marsh (Vet50) was the leading men’s competitor, taking 3rd place overall with 88.08% - a mere 1.09% split the top three finishers on the overall leaderboard.
There were prizes for the top fifteen competitors on the leaderboard and this is how the final standings looked:
- Ruth Perioli (Ballydrain Harriers) – 89.17%
- Mary Mackin (Dromore AC) – 88.12%
- Francis Marsh (North Down AC) – 88.08%
- Laurence Johnston (North Belfast Harriers) – 87.27%
- David Clarke (North Belfast Harriers) – 87.14%
- Terry Eakin (North Down AC) – 86.96%
- Ann Terek (City of Lisburn AC) – 86.51%
- Debbie Matchett (Ballydrain Harriers) – 85.22%
- Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) – 85.16%
- Patricia Brown (Newry City Runners) – 85.08%
- James Wallace (North Belfast Harriers) – 84.98%
- Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) – 84.84%
- Brigid Quinn (Ballymena Runners) – 83.99%
- Norman Mawhinney (Ballydrain Harriers) – 83.93%
- Nigel Grier (Dromore AC) – 83.76%
Three runners, Anne Donnelly (Jog Lisburn), Michael Kelso (Unattached) and George Morrow (Jog Lisburn) completed all 13 of the races in the Grand Prix. Vet60 Anne’s age-grading of 74.75% was the best of the three, with Vet50 Michael following in 68.55% and Vet75 George, who featured in a very popular video aligned with the Grand Prix, notched 66.39%.
The only two athletes who topped the podium overall and made it into the top fifteen of the final Grand Prix leaderboard were Laura Graham (Mourne Runners) and Louise Smith (North Belfast Harriers) – Laura won the Laganside 10k, Bann 10k and Bangor Aurora 10k and finished in 12th place on the GP leaderboard, while Louise won Run Armagh 10k and Tandragee 10k and claimed 9th place on the GP leaderboard. The fastest times clocked during the 13 race GP was 30:40 by Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) at Bangor Aurora 10k. Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) was the quickest lady, running 34:20 at the Titanic 10k
In the TEAM LEADERBOARD, North Down AC led the way with 274 points (1st place), with Dromore AC and Ballydrain Harriers battling it out for the runners up spot. Eventually, Dromore AC took 2ndplace with 322 points and Ballydrain Harriers completed the top three in 347 points (3rd place).
Championchip Ireland and Novosco are delighted to announce that an awards ceremony for the top 15 prize winners and the Club prizes will be held on the 19th of January 2017 at Stormont Parliament buildings. This event will be held over lunch time and invitees, you should know who you are, should aim to arrive no later than 12pm. Further details will be issued by way of the formal invitation which will follow soon.
In summary we would like to thank each and every runner that took part in the competition and congratulate you all for making the Grand Prix such a resounding success in the first year. We very much look forward to seeing you all again at the starting lines of the 2017 races and wish you and yours a merry and relaxing Christmas.