Doherty and Whoriskey capture Waterside Half Marathon titles

Kyle Doherty on his way to victory in the Waterside Half Marathon
Kyle Doherty on his way to victory in the Waterside Half Marathon

HOMETOWN favourite Kyle Doherty turned in a virtuoso performance to win the Waterside Half Marathon incorporating the NI & Ulster Championship for the distance in Derry. Catherine Whoriskey made it a double for the City of Derry Spartans club with an equally convincing victory in the women’s race.

The event went ahead after a week of controversy following Derry & Strabane District Council announcing that the Waterside would henceforth, as a cost-saving measure, only be held every second year alternating with the Strabane-Lifford Half Marathon which the local authority also supports.  

Doherty was clear of the field of almost 2000 starters as early as the first mile and was never even mildly threatened after that. He was even able to enjoy a cameo appearance in his home village Strathfoyle at about third distance before getting back to the serious business of winning the race. Doherty stopped the finish clock in Ebrington Square in one hour, eleven minutes and 26 seconds – not bad for a hilly course in a strong breeze – but well outside his best of 67:49.

Roadrunners AC’s Noel McNally impressed with a strong finish to take the silver medal in 73:01 with another Spartan Gavin McGlinchey third across the line in 73:10. Foyle Valley’s Matt McLaughlin (73:54), Spartan Conal McGinley (76:10) and Victoria Park’s Mark Monteith (76:24) made up the top half dozen. Scrabo Strider Norman Mawhinney was one of the more impressive Masters winning the O65 race in an outstanding 85:38. With four finishers in the top 11, Spartans had a comfortable team victory over Victoria Park & Connswater.

Catherine Whoriskey created history by becoming the first woman to notch up five victories in the women’s race, surpassing the late Moira O’Neill and Ann-Marie McGlynn who both won four times. Whoriskey’s time was 78:56 while Roadrunners AC’s Caitlyn Harvey filled the runner-up spot in 82:02. Elaine McGuckin, in third with a time of 85:50, led her Coalisland-based Keep-Er-Lit squad to an emphatic team win over Tafelta Magherafelt. Foyle Valley’s Dolores McLaughlin (89:48), Aine Porter (90:16) and North Down’s Sarah Benton (90:25) completed the leading six females.