Eskander Turki was the first finisher in Sunday morning’s Belfast Half Marathon which started 15 minutes late due to crowd congestion on Ormeau Embankment.
However, once started the runners made light of the drizzle and slight wind to record creditable times right down the field although there was mixed reactions to the new course, particularly through east Belfast.
The Ethiopia-born Annadale Strider crossed the line in 69 minutes and 10 seconds after an epic dual with North Belfast Harrier Conon McCaughey. Just two seconds separated the pair, with Turki gaining a narrow advantage close to the finish.
Foyle Valley’s Gary Slevin filled the final place on the presentation podium recording a time of 70:52.
Strive AC’s Gavin Corey and another Foyle Valley runner Scott Rankin were next across the line.
Pre-race favourite Ann-Marie McGlynn was the first woman to finish, stopping the clock at an impressive 74:53.
The Letterkenny AC athlete, who has lived in Strabane for years, had well over a minute to spare over North Belfast Harrier Gladys Ganiel (76:17) with Belfast Road Runners club woman Caitlyn Harvey taking third in 78:45.