Ballyclare’s Christine Murray had a week to remember at the World Police and Fire Games when she won a total of four medals, including an individual gold, two team golds and an individual silver in various events.
Secretary of local club County Antrim Harriers, and representing the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, her first venture was on the Mary Peters Track in the 5,000 metres, where in spite of the humid conditions, she ran extremely well to win the F40 category in 22:02.
Fast forward a few days and Murray was back in action again; this time in the Women’s 4 x 100m relay race, where she ran the last leg and brought the team home in the gold medal position. Given this was Murray’s first-ever track relay race, it was a tremendous result.
A quick dash over to Stormont for the 10k Cross Country race then ensued, where she was again competing for the medals on offer. The four-lap race attracted a huge entry and from the start Murray began strongly and soon found herself as fourth female overall and second F40. She maintained this position over the first two laps and in spite of tiring momentarily on the third lap, still managed to see off a strong challenge from a Canadian girl just behind. Despite a gallant effort when she upped the pace over the final mile, she just couldn’t draw in her rival in front. Murray eventually crossed the line in 46:02 to rapturous applause from the large local support and clinched a well-earned silver in the F40 category.
The icing on the cake came later when it was confirmed that the team gold had been won by the Northern Ireland team comprising the NIFRS’s Paula McAllister and Christine Murray, plus two runners from the Northern Ireland Prison Service.
Post-race, Christine dedicated her medal winning performances to coach Greg Hopkins who is battling cancer, and expressed her grateful thanks to Matt Shields and North Belfast Harriers for the valuable help and support given to her by them at their track sessions at the Boys’ Model Track in Belfast. She also thanked the many members of County Antrim Harriers who came along and supported her at the various events.