HILL and DALE SERIES
Thursday night saw the start of another Hill and Dale Series – something which I never miss. Well I did on Thursday, as having spent the best part of the day in Crumlin Road Prison, I’m innocent by the way, I was exhausted ( a sort off lag lag?) and by the time I’d had a quick forty winks the almost 300 runners were lining upon the start line in Castlewellan Park. Not that it made any difference to me as I had totally forgotten about the race anyway.
HARD ON THE NAILS
However there was a good turnout from EDAC, proving that not everyone from the Club “slept in” and Deirdre Weatherall, inspired by her experiences in the Cross Country League recently, set out her marker for the Series ahead by clocking 42.26 in her first ever H&D race, finishing in 63rd place overall, and 2nd in her category, despite having to contend with a broken finger nail!!
Next in was another Club New Boy, Niall Gibney who ran impressively to finish in 43.39 just ahead of fellow clubman, Michael Cultra 43.54.
Then it was Jonny Kelly 46.50, a second “debutant” John Taylor, 49.32, who was actually taking part in his first cross country in 10 years, remarking on the near 300 strong entry, that in those days they were lucky to get 80 runners, Paddy McDonald 50.02, Cheryl Denvir 50.28, which gave her 3rd place in the FV/Over 40 category.
BRIAN HAMILTON TAKES No. 1 SPOT
However pride of place this week, goes to Brian Hamilton, who not only remembered the date and time of the race but also what to do with his feet when he got there, by fairly scampering round the route to claim victory in the MV70 category in 50.36. Excellent running Brian.
BEST WISHES FOR LONDON and a WARNING
Completing the East Down contingent were Janine Murray 57.23 and Oonagh Breteche 57.24, though it goes without saying that the East Down numbers will be considerably increased when next weekend’s London Marathon and the Belfast City Marathon 2 week’s later are over.
On the subject of which East Down sends its best wishes to all its members and to all others from the Newry Mourne and Down District Council area who are taking part in either of these events but adds a few words of warning to make sure to hydrate well beforehand, don’t go too fast if you discover that it’s several degrees warmer than it has been for months and take water on board at every opportunity. It is better to keep in mind what happened to Callum Hawkins in the Commonwealth Games marathon on Sunday, whose retirement from the race he was about to win, was in my view, due to dehydration caused by the strong sun and heat, which he was totally unaccustomed to.
MOURNE HIGHLINE MOUNTAIN RACE
On Saturday the NIMRA Mourne Highline Mountain race saw the local challenge almost obliterated by the invasion of high quality athletes from across England, Scotland and Wales in what was the first round of the 2018 British Championships. Neil Andrews was again prominent finishing in 53rd place in 1.53.18, while Niall Gibney, having tasted the action on Thursday came back for more and was rewarded with a 2.37.36 time. Well done to him – that’s what I’d call going in at the deep end!
FIRMUS ENERGY SUPER 5
After the taster at Bangor Track last week some of the junior athletes returned for a second go at stadium racing. It was an equally chilly night but at least the rain stayed away. The event run by Lagan Valley was well drilled and a full range of events was rattled off in quick succession with all on the road home by 9.30pm. Oliver Robinson was the sole male EDAC Junior and took on 3 events with a satisfying rack of results – 4/31 in U13 100m, 6th/20 in U13 800m and 6th/16 in long jump. Job well done!
Lauren Madine took a confident 1st/20 in U13 100m and then took to the track for a second time in the U13 800m. She came 3rd with 4th place going to Lucy Foster. Ella Telford came 12th out of 18 in the same event. In U11 600m we had 3 juniors on the start line and Jodi Foster in a superb finish came 2nd with Kari Foster 6th and Emily Burns 13th out of 20. Iona Bunbury ran doggedly to take 13/25 in a packed field in the U15 100m and also gave the long Jump a rattle. Kirsti Foster ran a controlled 800m to come 3rd/16 in the U15 age group. The last race of the night saw Edie Carroll in the mix and a well judged pace saw her work her way up to 4/12 in U17 1500m. All in all a good night out with the next one due in 2 weeks’ time.
BALLYNAHINCH LIONS 10 AND 5K
On Saturday 21 April the Ballynahinch Lions are hosting their annual 10K race at 1.30pm in aid of Lions Charities. The 5K race, which begins later at 2.30pm is an ideal test for the many Couch to 5K runners in the district who have recently “qualified” A Team trophy is also on offer in the 10K for mixed teams of men and women, the first 3 of each from a club to count for team scores. There are plenty of places still available with online entry at www.athleticsni.org . So if you’re contemplating watching the London marathon, here’s your conscience easer for sitting in on Sunday morning. Please give this event your full support.
DOWNPATRICK LIONS 3 LAKES CHALLENGE ON 12 MAY 2018
The now well established and increasingly popular 3 Lakes Challenge goes ahead this year on Saturday 12 May with 2 options for runners of all abilities, a 7K and 15k. Both races begin at 11.00am at the picturesque Lakeside Inn, on the Drumcullen Rd, near the Ballydugan Mill, just outside Downpatrick. Online registration is open at www.sientries.co.uk and will save time on the day if you can do so in advance. Medals and refreshments to all competitors and refreshments available to purchase for supporters and friends at the Lakeside Inn.
The proceeds are donated by the hard working Lions to charities and in addition to the nominated Downs Syndrome Association it is intended that a donation will also be made to the Cure Parkinson’s Trust this year. I will be opening a Just Giving page soon for those who may wish to support this particular charity but who are unable or unavailable to run.
Joe Quinn & Alison Carroll
16 April 2018