- This event has passed.
SPAR Craic 10k Belfast
March 17, 2015 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
Date: St Patrick’s Day, Tuesday 17th March 2015
Start time: 9:00am
Start line Location: City Hall Belfast
Finish line location: The Paddock at Titanic Slipways.
Download Craic 10k map | See the route in detail
The 2015 St Patrick’s day craic started early in the morning as over 1300 runners took part in the inaugural SPAR Craic 10K.
Ed McGinley of Annadale Striders was first across the line in 31:40, followed by junior runner Conal McCambridge from North Belfast Harriers and Niall Farquharson from Beechmount Harriers. Geraldine Branagh from Dromore AC was first female home in 41.34.
The SPAR Craic 10K saw runners leave City Hall at 9am before running up Divis Street and the Falls Road before turning down Broadway and heading back into the city centre via the Westlink. The route then passed through the Cathedral Quarter and crossed over into East Belfast before finishing on the paddock at Titanic Slipways.
“It was definitely one of the races I wanted to do” said a delighted Ed McGinley afterwards.
“It says it in the name – the SPAR Craic 10K. I wasn’t taking it too seriously, it was just about enjoying it. I hadn’t raced in a while so it was good to get the legs stretched and see where I was at. I have to credit the organisers – Aisling Events and Athletics NI, for the way the race was organised, the marshalling, everything was just great. For a first-time event I think a lot of other races could learn from it.”
“Belfast has changed so much and St Patrick’s Day should be a day for everyone and I think that race was a race for everybody, and I really enjoyed it.”
Former Irish cross-country champion Ed has competed all over the world, and has recently switched from 10K racing to marathons. He has come second in the last two Belfast half marathons and, despite originally planning a trip to Germany in April, his thoughts are now closer to home.
“It was good to get the win,” said Ed afterwards. “I was originally thinking of doing the Hamburg Marathon in April, but I think I’ll do Belfast now. I got a real taste for racing in Belfast during the half marathon, and the SPAR Craic 10K definitely didn’t change that view. I got a real buzz from running round the streets I know so well and where so many people know you. I really enjoyed the SPAR Craic 10K, going down the Falls, past the Beehive – places I know so well, coming back in through the city centre, and taking in all parts of Belfast – that’s hard to beat, and that’s what runners want. You don’t want to be sent out through industrial estates. For road races you want people to be out supporting you, giving you a shout, your family around the course, and that’s what we got today. Today had everything.”
“The Belfast Marathon has had its critics but its an event I’ve always wanted to do. We’re expecting our second child here in May so for me it’s a bit of a ‘last hurrah’ and then I’ll just be running for fun.”
Organisers of the event were delighted with how the race passed off.
“We wanted to put a smile on the face of Belfast and we certainly achieved that,” said organiser Connla McCann. “The inspiration for our run came from St Louis, Missouri, where up to 15,000 take part in the pre-march fun run on St Patrick’s Day. We aren’t at those numbers yet but I have no doubt the SPAR Craic 10K is now part of the civic calendar and will grow in the time ahead.”
Sponsors SPAR were also pleased to lend their name to such a successful event.
“As keen supporters of active lifestyles we are absolutely delighted to see over 1300 people turn out today to participate in the first ever SPAR Craic 10K. It’s a fantastic sight to see new runners alongside the more experienced ones, while the youngsters brought the fun element to the day,” said Bronagh Luke, Head of Corporate Marketing at Henderson Group, owners of the SPAR franchise in Northern Ireland.
“A massive well done to all the runners, the volunteers who play such an important role and not forgetting all those who have participated in fundraising for charity partner NI Hospice. We are excited to hear what has been raised for a very worthy charity. With such fantastic community spirit present, we are proud to be associated with what we hope will become an iconic event for Belfast.”
Every runner who took part in the SPAR Craic 10K helped the final fundraising push for the Northern Ireland Hospice’s rebuild of Somerton House. The organisation, which is the official event charity partner, are currently building the new facility that will meet the end of life care needs of the next generation.
SPAR Craic 10k – Pics & Videos
Photos taken near The Beehive
Photos taken on the M1 pedestrian footbridge and at start line
Photos taken at the Finish Line
What people thought of SPAR Craic 10k – 2015…..
*Myself and my husband ran the 10K on St. Patrick’s day. We travelled up from Galway, spending the weekend in Belfast. This was one of the best races I have taken part in. From registering through to the finish line, it was so well organised.
So, a big thank you to you, and all involved, we loved every minute of it! Well done to all & will hopefully we ‘ll get to run in another of your events in the future.*
*Great well organised run. Goodie bags were brilliant for a 10k race and it’s always nice to get a medal. Thank you to the organisers and Marshalls hope you are all enjoying a well deserved pint as I am sure most of the runners are.*
*Fantastic event today. Very well organised and should be an annual event. It started promptly. Course measured accurately (lots of other 10ks seem to measure short!). Definitely enough provisions for water stations. Enjoyable course with lots of atmosphere. A great tour of Belfast with the turns taking in lots of interesting scenery.
Marshalls helpful too! I would gladly be back next year if it’s run and I am sure many others would agree it was a success. It was certainly craic! Well done to the organisers. You should be very proud of today as all your hard work shone through!*