40th Event of the Vitality Membership Lisburn Half Marathon, 10K Road Race and Fun Run 21 June 2023 Over 4000 runners descended on the streets of Lisburn to take part in the 2023 Vitality Membership Lisburn Half Marathon, 10K Road Race and Fun Run. The popular event returned on Wednesday 21 June and was a sell-out. The flat and fast course has become a firm favourite on the sporting calendar with this year marking the 40th event taking place within the Lisburn area. Organised by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, the event saw competitive runners, beginners, families and schools compete for personal bests and for fun whilst taking on the challenge of one of Northern Ireland’s favourite running events. Some of the countries most talented runners crossed the finishing line with the impressive Natasha Adams taking top honours in the women’s Half Marathon, while Gillian McCrory took a well-deserved second spot and Niamh Marrs third. In the men’s Half Marathon, Owen Carleton made it on to the podium in first place, with James Hamilton taking second place and Andrew Tees finishing a strong third. In the Half Marathon Wheelchair race, Karl Doherty finished in first place, with Jayne Bleakley placing first in the 10K Wheelchair race. Emma Mitchell crossed the finish line in first place in the women’s 10K, followed by Anna Gardiner in second and Elisoa Crawford in third place. In the men's 10K, Brandon McKeown finished in first place, closely followed by Eskander Turki in second place and Gareth Lyons in third. The Fun Run was keenly contended with Olivia Douglas picking up first place in the female event, followed by Isla Wiltshire in second and Isla Crooks in third place. The male Fun Run event was proudly won by Ashton Cusiak who excelled to first place. Second place was won by Connor Moran and third place Caleb Lewis. Starting the Half Marathon event, the Deputy Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh, Councillor Gary McCleave said, “The Half Marathon, 10K Road Race and Fun Run have been firm favourites with runners and families for four decades now. I was delighted to see so many people of all ages and levels of running experience at the start line this year. It was particularly pleasing to meet those taking on the challenge of their first Half Marathon. This year, in line with the council’s sustainability objectives, and to mark the 40th event taking place within the Lisburn area, we offered race participants the chance to make a lasting contribution to the environment by opting to plant a tree instead of receiving a race t-shirt. I look forward to seeing the area along Glenmore Parkland Trail flourish with foliage over the coming years. “This council event, along with the many other council sporting events held throughout the year, takes a lot of organisation and aims to provide a positive platform which enthuses people to lead a healthy lifestyle. “I would like to extend my thanks to everyone for supporting this year’s event and for contributions made for the Mayoral Charities”, concluded Deputy Mayor McCleave. The Chairman of the Communities and Wellbeing Committee, Councillor Thomas Beckett added, “The council is pleased to once again organise this great event which continues to be recognised as a key running race within Northern Ireland. It was inspiring to see the crowds of people coming together to take part. From the most experienced of runners striving for a personal best, to those running for fun with friends, family or their school, I was delighted to see so many motivated individuals of all ages out getting active. “I would like to thank the council for supporting the event in partnership with their Vitality Membership package, which encourages individuals and families to continue to engage in a lifetime of physical activity through the many activities offered in the membership.” Starting the Fun Run event, guest speaker Carl Frampton MBE, said: “Fun runs are often the first step for people to get involved in physical activity, which can lead to an interest in new sporting areas and a progression onto other running events. I remember my own first steps in sport, which led to me holding world championships in two boxing weight classes, which just shows where early involvement in sport can lead! I was delighted to be able to run the Fun Run myself with my children. My kids have grown up around sport and know how important it is to keep active, both for our physical health and our mental wellbeing so it’s great to be able to enjoy events like this with them. “I would like to congratulate all those who took part in the events this year. I hope you are beaming with pride following your achievement. May this be the start of many more runs in the future!” To view photographs from the event, please visit www.lisburnhalfmarathon.com or check out the Council’s Sports Development Facebook page, Beactivelisburncastlereagh.