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Ethiopians Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Jemal Yimer clinched repeat victories at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Adding another strong run to her CV, Yalemzerf Yehualaw clocked 1:04:22 to retain her crown at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label Road Race, in Larne, Northern Ireland, on Sunday (28).

Her Ethiopian compatriot Jemal Yimer also became a back-to-back winner at the event, the national record-holder running 59:04 as both athletes set UK all-comers' records.

For Yehualaw, who ran a 1:03:51 half marathon PB in Valencia last October, her performance is the equal fifth-fastest ever women’s half marathon achieved on a record-eligible course. The 23-year-old appeared to have broken the women’s world record with her 1:03:44 run in Larne last year, but the course was later found to have been 54 metres short. That world record has since been taken to a remarkable 1:02:52 by Letesenbet Gidey, who achieved the feat in Valencia last October, and Yehualaw was on pace to challenge that mark in the early stages of Sunday’s race in Larne. On a fast opening section of the course, she was paced through 5km in 14:44, with Gidey having recorded 15:00 for that split in Valencia 10 months ago.

Although that pace couldn’t be maintained, Yehualaw – who set a world 10km record of 29:14 in Castellon in February – still passed the 10km mark in 29:52, running behind pacemaker Roy Hoornweg and alongside Britain’s Callum Hawkins, the two-time world marathon fourth-place finisher who is making a comeback after injury.

Hoornweg stepped aside when the group reached 13km in around 39:10 and there started Yehualaw’s solo run to the finish line, with Hawkins striding ahead. Yehualaw, who ran the fastest ever women’s marathon debut with 2:17:23 in Hamburg in April, went on to pass the 15km mark in 45:27 and reached the finish in 1:04:22. Only she, Gidey, Ruth Chepngetich and Girmawit Gebrzihair have ever gone faster for the distance.

Moving to 12th on the world all-time list was Yehualaw’s compatriot Tsehay Gemechu, who passed 10km in 30:33 and went on to finish in a PB of 1:05:01 for the runner-up spot. Kenya’s Beatrice Chepkemoi Mutai was third in 1:07:37 and Ireland’s Fionnuala Ross fourth in 1:14:00.

“I am so happy to win this race,” Yehualaw said on the live BBC stream. “I was thinking of the world record. The first 10km was fast, the last 5km was slower. I will try it next time. I hope I will be back, I like this race.”

In the men’s race, Yimer was part of a lead group that passed 5km in 14:10 and he broke away a couple of kilometres later to lead by nine seconds at the 10km mark. He clocked 28:16 at that point, ahead of Kenya’s Alfred Ngeno and Shadrack Kimining, plus Ethiopia’s Tesfahun Akalnew.

Yimer had increased his lead to more than a minute by 15km, which he passed in 42:13, and he continued untroubled to reach the finish line in 59:04.

Ngeno held on for second in 1:01:00, while Kimining was third in 1:01:08 and Akalnew fourth in 1:01:44. Britain’s Marc Scott finished fifth in 1:02:58.

(08/29/2022) Views: 96 ⚡AMP
by World Athletics
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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Ethiopians Yehualaw and Yimer look for fast times at Antrim Coast Half

British distance runners Marc Scott and Callum Hawkins are also set to race 13.1 miles while Haile Gebrselassie and Jo Pavey will run the one mile fun run this weekend.

Ethiopian distance running stars Ethiopians Yalemzerf Yehualaw and Jemal Yimer lead a world-class line-up at the ‘Mid & East Antrim’ Antrim Coast Half Marathon in Larne, Northern Ireland, on Sunday (Aug 28). There is plenty of British interest too with Marc Scott and Callum Hawkins among the entries.

The event, which is set to be covered live on BBC online from 8.55am, sees Yehualaw coming into this year’s race having broken the women’s world record over 10km with 29:14 in Castellon, Spain, earlier this year, in addition to running the fastest female debut marathon ever of 2:17:23 in Hamburg in April.

At the Antrim Coast event last year she appeared to break the world record for 13.1 miles with 63:43 but was denied the mark due to the course being found to be 54 metres short.

Yehualaw will be joined at this year’s Antrim Coast event by her training partner Tsehay Gemechu. The 23-year-old Ethiopian comes to this year’s with a personal best of 65:08 and has been winner of the Lisbon Half-Marathon two years in a row and Copenhagen Half-Marathon in 2021.

In addition for this World Athletics Elite Label road race there is Gete Alemayehu, who recorded 66:37 for second in Barcelona Half-Marathon in April. Beatrice Chepkemoi of Kenya, who has a PB of 67:29, will make it four women who have run under 67:30.

Three male pacemakers have been lined up and there is Northern Ireland interest courtesy of Emma Mitchell, Fionnuala Ross and Hannah Irwin.

The men’s field is led by Ethiopian record-holder and last year’s winner, Yimer. He is the quickest in the race with a PB of 58:33 but faces fellow Ethiopian Tesfahun Akalnew, who was was runner-up in Larne 12 months ago and has subsequently recorded a 2:06:55 marathon in Amsterdam.

Bethwel Birgen of Kenya is set to set the pace with Scott in particular hoping to be dragged under the 60 minute barrier. The Brit was not at his best in this summer’s track championships but has great pedigree on the roads after having won the Great North Run last year.

Could he get close to Mo Farah’s British record of 59:32 set in Lisbon seven years ago?

Also in the line-up are Shadrack Kimining of Kenya, Huseydin Mahamed of Ethiopia and Gizealew Ayana of Kenya, all of whom have broken the 60-minute barrier in the past.

Northern Ireland’s Stephen Scullion is also due to run plus Omar Ahmed of Birchfield Harriers.

The event has also secured a major coup with the signing of Haile Gebrselassie. The 49-year-old, who won multiple global titles during his career, will run the inaugural Antrim Coast Classic Street Mile for fun with Jo Pavey, young athletes and parents on Saturday evening (Aug 27) before joining race director James McIlroy to commentate on a half-marathon the next day.

(08/26/2022) Views: 137 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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Ethiopian runner Yalemzerf Yehualaw plans to defend her title at Northern Ireland event in August

Ethiopian runner plans to defend her title at Northern Ireland event in August on a course which organizers promise will be accurate this time after the 2021 short-course issue.

Yalemzerf Yehualaw has not enjoyed much luck in road races lately. In the Antrim Coast Half-Marathon last September she set what appeared to be a world record of 63:43 before it transpired the course was 54 meters short. Then, in the Great Ethiopian Run this month, she seemingly clocked an African all-comers’ record of 30:14 at high altitude in Addis Ababa, only to see the time adjusted to 31:17 due to a timing error.

The 22-year-old hopes things will start going in her favor this year and on August 28 she competes again in the ‘Mid & East Antrim’ Antrim Coast Half-Marathon, a World Athletics Elite Label race which organizers this time are sure will see performances properly ratified.

Elite race director James McIlroy said: ‘The one name we wanted back after last year’s unratified world record was Yalemzerf – and to get this news at the beginning of the season means so much. She loves the course, the people and the support she got last year along the route really spurred her on, so to have her confirm that she’s returning to the province is very special.

“As it stands, she has run four of the seven fastest all-time half marathons and just last week she ran the fastest ever 10km at altitude in winning the Great Ethiopian Run against some of the best distance runners in the world. At 22 years old she’s got so much more to come.”

Yehualaw’s ratified half-marathon best is 63:51 set in Valencia last year and she has also won bronze at the World Half-Marathon Championships. Only one athlete has run quicker over the 13.1-mile distance – world record-holder Letesenbet Gidey with 62:52, which was also set in Valencia last year.

When asked about the course being found to be 54 meters short, he said: “It was very disappointing for everyone concerned; the event, the course measurers, who are two of the most experienced in the UK, but most of all the athlete. But we did follow the protocol to the letter, and the main issue was around not having both measurements done at the same time.

“This unfortunately wasn’t possible due to the travel restrictions in place at that time because of Covid. Moving forward in 2022, we will have the course measured, verified and a racing line put down ahead of the race in August.”

McIlroy, a former AW cover star himself during his 800m racing days, added he has a big announcement coming soon in the men’s race, even going as far as to say that it’s as exciting news as you can get when it comes to global distance running.

Also already set to race on August 28 are Great North Run winner Marc Scott and last year’s Antrim Coast runner-up Tesfahun Akalnew.

(01/31/2022) Views: 296 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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Yehualaw smashes world half marathon record in Larne

Ethiopia’s Yalemzerf Yehualaw took 18 seconds off the world half marathon record, running a remarkable 1:03:44* at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon, a World Athletics Label Road Race, in Larne, Northern Ireland, on Sunday (29).

Yehualaw becomes the first woman to break 64 minutes for the half marathon, with her mark improving on the 1:04:02 world record which had been set by Kenya’s world marathon champion Ruth Chepngetich in Istanbul on 4 April.

Yehualaw had been second in that race in Istanbul, running 1:04:40, but this time her dominant performance saw her win the women's race by six minutes ahead of Kenya’s Jane Nyaboke (1:09:45). Britain's Rose Harvey was third (1:10:29) and Georgie Schwiening fourth (1:11:13), with Northern Ireland's Fionnuala Ross (1:13:10) and Ann-Marie McGlynn (1:13:13) fifth and sixth respectively. Yehualaw's time placed her ninth overall.

Paced by Roy Hoornweg and Mohamed Ali, Yehualaw was part of a pack of runners which went through the 5km mark in 15:05 and hit 10km in 30:22. Turning to run back along the coast, Yehualaw passed the 15km mark in 45:24 looking comfortable and continued to push on, eventually crossing the finish line full of emotion, with 1:03:44 on the clock.

“This was a dream come true for me,” said 22-year-old Yehualaw. “I have tried twice before to break the world record but it didn’t happen, but I’m so happy it happened today in Larne.”

The performance would have meant even more to Yehualaw after she finished fourth in the Ethiopian Trials 10,000m and did not make the team for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. She was also left motivated after her third-place finish at the World Athletics Half Marathon Championships in Gdynia last October.

“At the World Half Marathon Championships I was trying to win gold but it didn’t happen,” Yehualaw added. “But today I’m so happy.”

Coached by Tessema Abshero as part of the NN Running Team, Yalemzerf made her international debut in 2019 when she won the Rabat Half Marathon in 1:09:13. Returning to Rabat four months later, she won the African Games title and then finished second at the Delhi Half Marathon.

Her bronze medal win at the 2020 World Half Marathon Championships was followed by victory in Delhi, where her winning time of 1:04:46 was then the second-fastest ever women’s time on a record-eligible course. In Istanbul in April she improved to 1:04:40 which put her third on a world all-time list since rewritten thanks to her 1:03:44 in Larne.

It was an Ethiopian double in Larne as national record-holder Jemal Yimer won a close men's race in 1:00:30 ahead of his compatriot Tesfahun Akalnew (1:00:31) and Kenya's Shadrack Kimining (1:00:32).

A lead group of four had broken away early on and Kimining led Britain's Marc Scott, Yimer and Akalnew through 10km in 28:53. Kimining remained to the fore as the group passed 15km in 43:29 but as the race came down to a sprint finish it was 2017 world 10,000m fifth-placer Yimer who had the strongest kick and he held off Akalnew by a single second, with Kimining just another second behind. Scott finished fourth in 1:00:35 and Nigel Martin fifth in 1:03:22, with Ireland's Ryan Creech sixth in 1:03:26.

"I am happy with my win," said Yimer. "I had prepared for a course record but due to the wind and the circumstances I didn’t make sub-60 but I am happy with the win."

(08/29/2021) Views: 549 ⚡AMP
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Stephen Scullion and Paul Pollock ready for big guns in Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Tokyo Olympians Stephen Scullion and Paul Pollock will spearhead the local challenge against a star-studded international field in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon on Sunday.

Sir Mo Farah - who won the 5,000m and 10,000m double at both London 2012 and Rio 2016 before missing out on Tokyo qualification - is unable to defend the inaugural title he won last year in a time of one hour and 27 seconds due to injury but will be at the event as race starter and will also carry out media and ambassadorial roles. Sir Mo said: "I can't wait to be involved this time around, especially with the kids race.

I aim to be back for another crack at the race next year." Big-race organiser James McIlroy - an 800m semi-finalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and who roomed with Sir Mo on Team GB trips - feels it will be one of the strongest half marathon line-ups ever seen on these islands.

"It promises to be one of the greatest half marathons ever assembled in the UK or Ireland with 53 men and 25 women taking to the start. With three full national teams confirmed, and runners from Africa, America, Europe, UK and Ireland, this year’s first ever World Athletics event in the province promises to be one of the leading road races in the world for 2021," said the Larne man, grandson of Belfast Celtic legend Sid McIlroy.

In addition to boasting 11 Olympians, headlining the men’s race will be Ethiopian record holder Jemal Yimer. Yimer won his last half marathon outing at the Houston half marathon in 2020 and has also achieved the fastest ever debut half marathon in 59:00 achieved in R’as al Khaimah in the UAE back in 2019.

He will be joined by countryman Tesfahun Akalnew, who has a personal best of 59:22, previously finished second in the African Games and comes to the Antrim Coast with strong runs in 2020, finishing fifth in the Barcelona Half Marathon and sixth in New Delhi. Completing the African trio will be Shadrack Kimining, winner of the 2016 Cardiff Half Marathon and in Gothenburg in 2018 and 2019.

Leading the UK and Ireland challenge will be Tokyo Olympians Scullion, Pollock and Marc Scott, the latter the two-time European record holder and second fastest all-time Briton behind Sir Mo over 10,000m. On Sunday Scott will seek to become only the second Briton to break the 60-minute barrier.

Belfast ace Scullion finish fourth in last year’s race on the way to setting a new Northern Ireland record of 61.12. Pollock, fresh from his second Olympics, will make his debut on the fast scenic course and should also threaten the top positions.

Barcelona Olympian and multiple World record holder Tommy Hughes will have huge crowd support as he makes his latest bid on the Vet +60 World record, which he smashed at last year’s race in a time of 71.09. McIlroy added: "With full strength teams from Ireland, England and Northern Ireland, we may well see the first ever sub-60-minute half marathon in Ireland." The women’s race is headlined by Ethiopian sensation Yalemzerf Yehualaw.

The 22-year-old finished third in last year’s World Half Marathon Championship after tripping on the finishers mat, and has targeted the Antrim Coast's fast course since lthe inaugural event last September. The elite race starts at 8.00am in Larne with the mass participation event - cancelled last year due to the Covid pandemic - starting at 9.30am. There will be live coverage on the BBC.

(08/28/2021) Views: 513 ⚡AMP
by Frank Brownlow
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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Star-studded field 2021, announced for Antrim Coast Half Marathon

With over 100 runners in the International elite race, over 400 in the sub-elite and with record numbers entering the mass race, this year’s Antrim Coast Half Marathon will be arguably one of the best half marathons in Europe, and one of the greatest ever in the United Kingdom.

The men’s race has seven men confirmed who have run under the 60-minute barrier.

Headlining the African contingent will be Jemal Yimer – winner of the Valencia Half Marathon in 2018. The current 6th fastest man of all time, Ethiopian record holder and ranked second in the world for the last two years, with a PB of 58:32 will be looking to better his own personal best on the super-fast route.

Joining Yimer will be fellow countryman Tesfahun Akalnew, the 21-year-old sensation, with a personal best time of 59:22 from the New Delhi Half Marathon will also look to better his time at this year’s event.

Shadrack Kimining, one of three Kenyans confirmed in this year’s race, twice breaking 60 minutes last year, placing third in Houston and running a PB in New Delhi with a time of 59:27 is also a confirmed starter.

Abrar Osman the Eritrean Olympic finalist and bronze medallist is looking to better his personal best of 59.47 set at the Lisbon International Half Marathon. A former winner of the African Games, he was seventh in the World Half Marathon championships in Cardiff in 2016.

Kenya’s latest star Daniel Mateiko, part of the postponed 2021 Kenyan World Cross Country team will be competing in his first ever half marathon after his world-class 10,00m debut in Hengelo last month, recording a time of 27:03, the fastest ever debut 10,000m.

With hopefully one global superstar still to announce, the British challenge will come from last year’s second place finisher, two-time European record holder and second fastest Briton all-time over 10,000m Marc Scott, looking to break the 60-minute barrier for the first time, returning fresh from the 5000m/10,000m double at the Tokyo Olympics.

British Olympian and Berlin Marathon fifth placer Scott Overall will also return to this year’s race.

The Irish contingent in the men’s race will be headlined by four Olympian’s young and old.

Belfast native Paul Pollock, post Tokyo Olympics will be looking to better his 62:09 and reclaim his Northern Ireland record broken at last year’s race by Stephen Scullion.

The women’s race will be headlined by Ethiopian sensation and third fastest ever Yalemzerf Yehualaw targeting the World Record on the super-fast course, a feat only ever achieved by Khalid Kannouchi and Paula Radcliffe in the UK, on both occasions set at the London Marathon.

After posting personal bests earlier in the year over the half marathon distance in Istanbul, with a time of 64:40 and running her first ever 5,000m in Paris last month, in a sensational debut of 14:53 her preparation has been perfect for an assault on the women’s world record.

Ethiopian stablemate Tsehay Gemechu will arrive fresh from her assault at the Olympic 10,000m in Tokyo, where she will be looking to better her two fourth place in the World Championships and sixth in the World Cross Country.

Gemechu will attack her own personal best of 66 min 0 sec, which she set winning the New Delhi Half Marathon in 2019.

Two-time World Half Marathon medallist Mary Ngugi is also confirmed and will look to get back to her form of 2016 which saw her take the silver medal at the World Half marathon championships in Cardiff, before targeting one of the major city marathons in October.

The British contingent will be headlined by last year’s fourth placer Becky Briggs, Tracey Barlow, and Ellie Davis with Irish distance stars Ann Marie McGlynn and Marie McCambridge also confirmed to start.

Last year’s winner Lily Partridge has had to pull out of defending her title due to an operation on her ankle, but has confirmed she will still make the journey to the province to support on the day.

(07/02/2021) Views: 441 ⚡AMP
by The Newsroom
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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World records could be the order of the day at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon as Ethiopia star Yalemzerf Yehualaw confirms spot

World records could be the order of the day at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon with four-time Olympic gold medallist and defending champion Sir Mo Farah set to be joined by Ethiopian distance sensation and second fastest woman of all time Yalemzerf Yehualaw.

Elite race organiser James McIlroy - who himself reached the 800m semi-finals at the 2000 Sydney Olympics - has swooped to sign up Yehualaw for the August 29 showpiece and the athlete's agent has made clear that the opportunity to break the world record of 64 minutes 31 seconds on what is a very fast course is one of the main attractions drawing her there.

The 21-year-old boasts a PB of 64.46 and the Antrim Coast Half Marathon will be one of only four events she will contest this year and the first after the Tokyo Olympics.

Yehualaw's agent Daan van den Berg said: "Yalemzerf will only do two half marathons this year - Istanbul and the Antrim Coast Half - along with two 10,000m before the Olympic Games.

"The Antrim Coast coming three weeks after the Olympics is perfect timing, and we know if the Irish crowd get behind her she can break the world record as last year's race looked brilliant, with 35 out of 62 runners recording personal bests."

Yehualaw finished third at last year's World Championship after leading for most of the race before tripping on the finishing straight mat, and will be joined at the Larne event by Ethiopian team-mates Yitasyish Mekonnen and Tsehay Gemechu.

The African stars will be joined by early confirmed British internationals Jo Pavey, Sam Harrison, Tracy Barlow and Kirsty Longley.

The men's race will be one of the greatest half marathon fields ever assembled in the UK or Ireland. Race organisers have made no secret of attacking the 60-minute barrier and already have a strong international line-up, with four sub-60 runners already confirmed.

Making their first appearance ever in Ireland will be the African quartet of Tesfahun Akalnew (59.22), Victor Kiplangat (59.26), both from Uganda, Abrar Osman (59.47) of Eritrea and up and coming Kenyan Daniel Mateiko, all of whom will be attacking Sir Mo's course record 60.27 from last year.

It is hoped Sir Mo - coached by Larne-born Gary Lough, who is married to distance legend Paula Radcliffe - could be coming to Larne with Olympic gold number five tucked safely away after Tokyo.

(03/13/2021) Views: 624 ⚡AMP
by Frank Brownlow
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

more...
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Mo Farah set to defend Antrim Coast crown as Half Marathon granted elite world status

Sir Mo Farah will be back to defend his Antrim Coast Half Marathon title - that is the bold prediction of elite race organiser James McIlroy after the contest was granted elite world status.

Former Olympian McIlroy is confident the four-time Olympic gold medallist will return for another crack at the title he won in stunning style last September - hopefully with gold No.5 in his back pocket if the Tokyo Games go ahead.

"Fingers crossed Mo will be back this year. The 2021 race really will be amazing when you think we will have the best runners in the world running on one of the most beautiful roads in the world while also welcoming the masses back, who not only will get to race with some of their heroes returning from the Tokyo Olympics but, due to the out and back nature of the course, they'll also get a great view of the elite race - which we hope will be a record-breaking race like last year," said McIlroy, close friends with Sir Mo - who is coached by Larne man Gary Lough - since their time together in Team GB.

"We also should be in a position to welcome the American and African competitors confirmed for last year's race but who unfortunately, due to restrictions, were unable to travel."

The race is the first in Ireland to be elevated to the prestigious series of IAAF Road Race Label events, and only the third in the UK - joining the London Marathon and Cardiff Half Marathon.

The Antrim Coast Half Marathon now sits alongside events in Barcelona, Rio, Houston, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Seville, Valencia, Dubai, Istanbul, Naples and Shanghai on the prestigious roster. The IAAF have already indicated they will be sending a delegate to the race.

Sir Mo won the first ever Antrim Coast Half

Marathon - a revamped version of the long-running and highly-successful Larne Half Marathon - in a time of one hour and 27 seconds, while Lily Partridge took the women's race in 71.36, both all-comers records.

Larne man McIlroy is sure the race will be the first ever sub-60-minute men's and sub-70 women's half marathon in Ireland.

The event, which starts and finishes in Larne, had been scheduled to take place last March but due to the pandemic was postponed until September - with no mass participation race and spectators urged to stay away due to Covid - and this year's showdown will take place on August 29. Around 10,000 runners are expected to take part.

(01/22/2021) Views: 638 ⚡AMP
by Frank Brownlow
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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Antrim Coast Half Marathon has been added to World Athletics' Road Race Label series

This year's Antrim Coast Half Marathon added to World Athletics' series of Road Race Label Events.

Won last year by Sir Mo Farah, which will take place on August 29, it is the first time an Irish race has been included in the series.

It joins the London Marathon and the Cardiff Half Marathon as the UK's only three races on the global schedule.

Four-time Olympic champion Farah won in one hour and 27 seconds last year, with Lily Partridge the women's winner.

Farah headed the entry over a scenic course in and around Larne in last year's inaugural event which had to be confined to elite athletes because of the Covid-19 pandemic, .

Race organiser 2000 Sydney Olympian James McIlroy said this year's race promises to be an "amazing" event.

"We will have the best runners in the world running on one of the most beautiful roads in the world, whilst also welcoming the masses back," said the former 800m star.

"We also should be in a position to welcome the American and African competitors confirmed for last year's race but unfortunately due to restrictions were not able to travel."

Other cities to have a race on the Road Race Label Events calendar include Dubai, Tokyo, Istanbul, Barcelona, Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

(01/21/2021) Views: 604 ⚡AMP
by Athletics
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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Tommy Hughes has won the prestigious Athletics Weekly World Masters Athlete of the Year award.

The 60-year old former Maghera man has had a remarkable year of running achievements, despite a much reduced programme due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Back in October, he set a record-breaking time for athletes aged over 60 when he clocked 1.11.09 at the Antrim Coast Half Marathon. 

Commenting on that performance, the judges said: “Tommy set a stunning world masters half-marathon record of 71:09 at Larne to even overshadow Mo Farah’s victory. 

“He also set a world indoor M60 3000m record of 9:41.24 and wins the world masters male award.”

It is a remarkable time for someone entering his seventh decade. However, Tommy says he is nothing but thankful to running for even getting him this far.

At the peak of his powers Tommy was ready to compete at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992.

He had qualified after running 2:13:59 in the Marrakesh Marathon in Morocco, but a stress fracture in his foot significantly affected him in Barcelona.

The men’s marathon was the last event and because of the closing ceremony taking place that night, anyone with a finishing time longer than 2:45 would redirected to a finish outside the stadium. As he soldiered around the streets, he was determined to finish inside the stadium. He managed to do it, finishing 72nd in 2.32.55.

Tommy got married at 21, moved to Maghera, and in his own words began ‘piling on the pounds.’

To counteract that, he played Gaelic football and went for runs on his own. That provided him with something of a revelation, a passion and a huge talent, for running.

At the Rotterdam Marathon in April last year, he ran 2:30:15, and in Frankfurt in October, 2019 he teamed up with his eldest son, Eoin, to become the fastest father-son marathoners of all time. Tommy ran an over-55s world record of 2:27:52, while Eoin clocked 2:31:30 for a combined time of 4:59:22.

(12/10/2020) Views: 762 ⚡AMP
by The Down Recorder
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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Tommy Hughes sets half marathon world record for M60

All eyes were on Mo Farah on Saturday at the Antrim Coast Half-Marathon, but the most impressive result of the day came from 60-year-old Tommy Hughes, who shattered the M60 half-marathon world record, finishing in 1:10:09. The previous record was held by Martin Rees who ran 1:10:26. 

Hughes, the Irish runner who turned 60 in January, has run a 2:27:52 marathon, also a world record for his age. While Hughes’ times continue to be extremely impressive, he has a long history in the sport and even competed in the marathon at the 1992 Olympics, where he finished 72nd. His lifetime personal best is 2:13:15 from the Marrakech Marathon. 

With his son Eoin Hughes, he broke the Guinness World Record for fastest marathon by a father and son at the 2019 Frankfurt Marathon. Tommy ran a blazing 2:27:52 and Eoin ran 2:31:30 for a combined time of 4:59:22, two minutes and 50 seconds better than the previous record of 5:02:12, set in 2015 by Graham and Ben Green. 

 

(09/14/2020) Views: 988 ⚡AMP
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

more...
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Mo Farah and Lily Partridge were the winners at Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Mo Farah takes first as Marc Scott, Ben Connor, Stephen Scullion and M60 Tommy Hughes impress, while Lily Partridge enjoys women’s win

Mo Farah was first across the line in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon on Saturday (Sept 12) in 60:31 but the most eye-catching performances came from those following in his slipstream.

Runner-up Marc Scott was close behind with 60:43 on his debut at the distance to go No.3 on the UK all-time rankings. In third, London Marathon-bound Ben Connor took 16 seconds off his PB with 60:59 to go equal fourth with Steve Jones in fourth on the UK all-time lists.

Stephen Scullion, in fourth, smashed the Northern Ireland record by a big margin with 61:12. Like Connor, the Belfast man is set to run the London Marathon on October 4 too as the popular local athlete took more than two minutes off his best.

Lily Partridge, another London Marathon-bound Olympic hope, impressed as well as she broke away from Sam Harrison to win the women’s race in a Northern Ireland all-comers’ record of 71:36 – around a minute outside her PB but 23 seconds ahead of Harrison (71:58) as Clara Evans was third 72:21 and Becky Briggs, in fourth, ran a UK under-20 record of 72:54.

Perhaps most impressive of all, though, was masters sensation Tommy Hughes, who broke Martin Rees’ world half-marathon record for an M60 with 71:09 (even quicker than the 71:26 originally publicised shortly after he finished).

An Olympian in the marathon back in 1992, the Irish runner Hughes has been on a record-breaking spree recently and continued his great form here.

Ordinarily Farah and others might have been racing in the 40th Great North Run this weekend but with the event cancelled due to coronavirus he came to Northern Ireland instead to run in an event organised by his old friend and fellow athlete from his student days, James McIlroy.

McIlroy put together a fine domestic field for the event and Farah certainly did not have it all his own way as he only broke away from the in-form Scott in the final mile.

Scott has broken the UK 5km road record this summer and took the British 5000m title last week. He was leading in the closing stages but had no answer to Farah’s breakaway surge in the final mile.

A lead quartet of Farah, Scott, Connor and Scullion broke away early and ran together for much of the distance. Behind, Kevin Seaward was fifth in 63:09 followed by Josh Griffiths (63:12), Tom Evans (63:19), Adam Craig (63:28) and Adam Hickey (64:37).

There had been talk of Farah potentially attacking his UK record of 59:32 from Lisbon in 2015 but during media interviews on Friday he said winning the race was the main goal and he did not want to underestimate his rivals and treat it as a time trial.

Runners in this elite-only event, which was sponsored by P&O Ferries, enjoyed decent weather on a picturesque course that proved a great advertisement for athletics in Northern Ireland. The only frustration for fans was the poor quality of the live stream, which made following the race difficult after organisers had, ironically, encouraged spectators to stay at home instead of supporting from the side of the road.

(09/12/2020) Views: 887 ⚡AMP
by Jason Henderson
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Mo Farah has asked for pacing assistance in this weekend's P&O Antrim Coast Half Marathon

Four times Olympic champion Mo Farah has asked for pacing assistance in this weekend's P&O Antrim Coast Half Marathon which is shaping up to be the highest quality road race ever in the province.

The 37-year-old is planning for the Larne event on the back of his weekend one hour World track record in Brussels.

Farah ran a total of 21,330 metres, which beat Haile Gebrselassie's 2007 record by 45m, to seal his first ever outdoor world record.

Farah was so focused that he appeared not to realise when the hour was up and kept running before being told he could stop.

There was also a world record in the women's event as Holland's Sifan Hassan set a new best of 18.93km.

Farah has made it clear that, in Larne, he is hoping to beat his own British Half Marathon record of 59 mins 32 secs set five years ago.

In order to do so, however, he has requested help to maintain the hectic pace.

This has created an issue for the organisers as there is no-one in the current list of runners who is capable of maintaining the tough sub one hour pace alongside Farah. GB's Ben Conor is the fastest athlete with a personal best of 61.11.

A possible compromise is simply for Farah to be paced by someone for as much of the race as possible.

Either way, a new NI All Comers record is certain. The current record stands to the Klimes twins, who were joint winners of the 1986 Belfast Half when they ran 62.22.

World Championship 1,500 metres finalist Ciara Mageean will, meanwhile, race tomorrow in the Golden Spike meeting in Ostrava, in the Czech Republic.

The 28-year-old Portaferry woman will be trying to repeat her recent top form which has produced Irish records at 800 and 1,000 metres.

Elsewhere, around 400 competitors took part in the latest Eikon road races at Down Royal.

Victory in the 5k event went to Willowfield's Aaron Woodman in 15 minutes, 31 seconds. He was followed by Peter Donnelly (15.42), who was a second ahead of Foyle Valley's Darragh Crossan.

In the ladies race, North Down's Jessica Craig was a comfortable winner in 16.18. She was followed by Finn Valley's Natasha Kelly (17.46) and Omagh's Lauren Molloy (17.52).

The 10K race went to Derry's Stephen McAlary (31.50) followed by North Belfast's David Hamilton (32.47).

Lagan Valley's Caitlyn Harvey took the ladies prize in 38.00 from Newcastle's Anne Gosling (39.57).

60-year-old Tommy Hughes, of Strive Racing, dominated in the 10 miles race with a time of 54.40.

Second went to team mate Eoin Hughes (55.09), followed by Edward Cooke of Victoria Park (55.45). Sperrin's Karen Alexander won the Ladies race by four minutes in 63.49.

(09/08/2020) Views: 773 ⚡AMP
by Brian Hill
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

more...
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Sir Mo Farah will be targeting a new record in Larne on September 12

Athletics legend Sir Mo Farah will race in the upcoming P&O Antrim Coast Half Marathon.

The four-time Olympic champion has confirmed his entry for the race in Larne on September 12.

It is another major coup for the organizers who have assembled a stellar line-up of runners to compete in Northern Ireland.

The field also includes two-time world champions Aly Dixon and Iraitz Garro who will be joined by European champions Marc Scott, Jo Pavey and Gemma Steel.

"Hi guys, really looking forward to taking part in the Antrim Coast Half Marathon in Larne on September 12," Farah said in a video confirming his entry.

"One of my good friends James is organizing it and I said 'yes, I'll do it'. We have some great history. I am just really looking forward to it. I can't wait.

"Hopefully it is a fast course. It is really exciting."

Elite race organizers James McIlroy believes next month's field is one of the best ever assembled in Ireland or Britain.

"It is a brilliant line-up and we have a course to match; a very fast course which the runners will love," McIlroy said.

"We are looking forward to Sir Mo and the other elite runners coming over for a great race."

McIlroy added: "I have known Mo for over 20 years. We were room-mates when we were with Team GB, and before that at the UK Athletics High Performance Center.

"It is brilliant that Mo has cleared his diary to come here and race."

(09/01/2020) Views: 797 ⚡AMP
by Gareth Fullerton
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MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

MEA ANTRIM COAST HALF MARATHON

The MEA Antrim Coast Half Marathon 2022 has been approved by World Athletics as an Elite Event. The World Athletics certified course takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Europe, combined with some famous landmarks along the route. With it's flat and fast course, the race is one of the fastest half marathons in the world. Starting...

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