Whoriskey wins on home ground in SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon 2017

Laura Graham, 2017 Belfast Marathon winner and Killkeel native, firing the starter pistol at this year's SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon

Around 1,500 runners took to the streets of Derry City on Sunday 4 June for the fifth annual SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon.

As always, the 26.2 mile route took the runners through buzzing neighbourhoods, along the banks of the River Foyle and over the city’s iconic bridges, before finishing up in the historic Guildhall Square.

Local athlete Catherine Whoriskey had the home crowd behind her as she ran to victory, seeing off a strong challenge from former winner and Irish Olympian Pauline Curley.

The two women were within six seconds of each other as they reached the halfway mark, but Whoriskey, of City of Derry Spartans AC, took control over the final miles, finishing in 2:50:38, more than two minutes ahead of the Tullamore Harriers runner. Salome Kumtai from Project Africa finished in third place in a time of 2:56:39.

The mens race was a Kenyan 1-2-3, with three experienced and talented runners pushing each other to the very end. The winner, in a time of 2:25:26 was Dan Tanui, who made up for his disappointment of missing out the on top stop last year, when he was beaten in a sprint finish by Eric Koech. 

The man Tanui had to beat this year was two-time SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon winner and course record holder Freddy Sittuk (Raheny Shamrocks), who finished in 2:26:14. Completing the Kenyan trio on the winners podium was Emmanuel Melly (Project Africa) who ran the race in 2:28:55.

Carndonagh athlete Karol Doherty added to his win at the Belfast City Marathon by winning the wheelchair race in a time of 2:42:07.

Speaking after the race, SSE Airtricity’s Vicky Boden commented: “We were hugely proud to once again sponsor the SSE Airtricity Walled City Marathon, which seems to go from strength to strength every year. The hard work and commitment of the organisers and volunteers paid off with another brilliant event. As always it was a special day, with a great atmosphere created by the spectators who lined the race route and cheered on the athletes. A huge congratulations to the winners and all those who took part.”