It may have been a cool, crisp night but close to 1200 people took the streets of Enniskillen last Friday night to take part in the Spooktacular 5K while hundreds more lined the pavements to watch what is Fermanagh’s largest participation event and the biggest night time race of its kind in Ireland.

From the elite runner to the club runner to families and of course those running in fancy dress, the Spooktacular once again proved to be a massive hit and indeed it is bucking the trend of similar races throughout the country.

“It was a great success again,” said Race Director Dessie Elton.

“All races are down in numbers this year but we have held our numbers, we had 1186 taking part in all, which is great and something that we are delighted with.”

The Spooktacular is now a firm favourites among runners from near and far and Dessie states that it has cemented it’s place in the calendar.

“The Spook is now well established in the calendar. The atmosphere on the night is fantastic, it is something that everybody comments on and there is nothing else like it,” he added.

This year saw the race use a new course and Dessie felt this helped further improve the event.

“I think that played a part in it being a great success once more. The runners seemed to like it,” he commented.

With top class prizes, the race is able to attract some of the best names on the circuit including Gideon Kimosop who retained his crown with another stunning run while there was some excellent local performances from the likes of Stephen Cassidy and Paul McGrath.

“The likes of Gideon, Scott Rankin and Paddy Hamilton are top quality and it is great to see the local runners doing so well,” he added.

And Dessie also thought that the fancy dress was at a new level for the race.

“I definitely thought that the fancy dress was the best I have seen in years.”

One thing that the organisers will look to improve on for next year is the traffic management of the event which for the first time this year was done by an outside organisation because of new legislation.

With runners getting held up because of the roads being closed, the race got put back to allow everybody to get to the starting line in time.

“It is probably something we would have to look at for next year, the roads were maybe closed that little bit early and there was a bit of a backlog in terms of traffic,” said Dessie.

In terms of the race, Gideon Kimosop, running for Derry Track Club, followed up his victory in last year’s Spooktacular by again crossing the line first in a superb time of 15.05mins.

Scott Rankin followed home in second place in a time of 15.23mins while Paddy Hamilton was third in 15.30mins.

The first local runner home was Enniskillen Running Club’s Stephen Cassidy who finished in a superb time of 16.22mins to claim the Martin Dillon Cup while Paul McGrath, running for OMG AC, crossed the line in 11th place in 17.46mins.

In the Female section, Heather Foley, Sligo AC, was the first female home as she produced a great run to cross the line in 18.24mins.

Marina Murphy from Derry Track Club was second in a time of 18.28mins, just ahead of Donagh’s Denise Toner, running for Clones AC, who finished a time of 18.34mins.

In the Junior Section, Aidan McDonnell of St. Michael’s stormed home in a brilliant 18.07mins while Cliodhna Martin was the first Female Junior to finish in 21.59mins.

There was also a superb run by Kenny Boylan in the Male50 category, Kenny coming home in a time of 20.06mins.

“Overall we are very happy with how the night went and we would like to thank everybody who helped out as well as the sponsors,” concluded Dessie.