HILL & DALE RACE 10
Some of the East Down squad in KIlbroney Park after completion of various distances in the Mourne Way Marathons. L to R Stephen McCartan, Neil Andrews, Raymond Milligan, Joanne Foster, Davy Foster, Helen Vint, Phillip Vint , Charlie Ataliotis, Mickey Cunningham, Cathy Burke and Clare Carson.
HILL & DALE 10
Are we nearly there? Yes you are – race 10 of the 11 in the 2016 H&D Series saw a somewhat reduced field on Thursday for the Meels. Not Meels on Wheels, more Meels on Heels or even worse. Neil Andrews continued his excellent season with 15th place and Gavin Hynds just as consistent in 25th. Niamh Kellett 43rd was again our top lady, coming home just two places ahead of Stephen Heasley while Mickey Cunningham broke the run of finishing with a high 5, by taking 86th after Tom McMeekin had attempted to resume the sequence again in 55th place. The others took no notice of such niceties with Wendy and John Findlay 101st and 104th respectively while Paddy McDonald 109th could be excused for getting his sums wrong after his injury ravaged season and Oonagh Brétéché and Janine Murray in137th and 138th never had much time for maths anyway.
The reason I draw attention to the efforts of Neil, Stephen, Mickey and Oonagh at all are simply because they had completed in the Mourne Way Ultra and Full Marathon races the previous weekend., so the Meels must rank as their recovery runs. The others seemingly are under different guidance. Strangely though none of them had taken part in H&D 9, on the Thursday night prior to that.
MOURNE MOUNTAIN ULTRA MARATHON (52.4 MILES)
Anyway the Ultra Marathon was tackled by the usual suspects Linda Cunningham, Oonagh Brétéché, Simon McGrattan and Michael Cultra with Stephen Heasley obviously influenced by the bad company he keeps, but keeping well clear of it on race day, making an eyecatching debut and finishing in 50th place in 11.33.05. Great effort Stephen. Meantime the aforementioned 4 were cutting over 1 hour off their 2015 times, crossing the line together in 14.31.
MOURNE MOUNTAIN MARATHON (26.2 MILES)
It was in the marathon however, East Down runners made their marks, Neil Andrews taking a superb 3rd place in 3.32.42, a time most would be envious of in a road marathon, and no doubt his H & D experiences stood him in good stead. Neil had some very classy ultra runners behind him and only the two top rated runners in this genre, Clive Bailey and Marty Rea were ahead of him. Dee Murray could also be well satisfied with his 12th place in a time of 3.51.42, one of only 15 in the 171 runner field to drop under 4 hours. Just pipped for that honour were Joanne and Davy Foster 4.07 with Phillip Vint 4.15 and Raymond Milligan 4.19 simply enjoying themselves. Stephen McCartan is also well into his comeback and claimed a top 50 spot in 4.38, while Mickey Cunningham was well inside the 5 hour barrier in 4.54. Charlie Ataliotis clocked 5.45 and seems to have found his ideal environment.
The Ladies too were well represented in the marathon, for as well as Joanne Foster, Clare Carson posted 5.13 for 102nd place, Cathy Burke 5.24 in 121st place and Helen Vint 5.48 in 144th. If you had asked any of these young women a year ago if they could see themselves doing a Mountain marathon, they would probably be doing time for murder just now.
Anyway the half marathon attracted a field of over 350 participants and the East Down squad were led home by Liz O’Hagan in 2.26.07 from Patricia Galloway 2.26.24, with Joanne Carson clocking 2.31 alongside the very welcome returning Kim Surginor. Catherine Gilchrist posted 2.47 on her first attempt of the distance.
And perfectly happily a little further back, came the two club stalwarts Bernice McCann and Eithne McGrattan, who see the whole thing as an adventure to be enjoyed by everyone and act accordingly.
So Well Done to everyone who participated in any of the events. Take a well deserved bow – after checking that you’re able to straighten up again afterwards!
NI and ULSTER SENIOR and AGE GROUP CHAMPIONSHIPS
On Sunday James Smyth, Paddy Erskine, Edie Carrroll, Hannah Gilliland, Elisha Surginor and Laura Gardiner all competed in 800 metres in the Age Group Championships at Mary Peters Track though it was in the shorter 400 metres sprint that Laura had her greatest success.
LAURA and PADDY STAR
Having placed 2nd in her heat in 1.00.23 to international Katie Kirk, Laura smashed the 60 second barrier in the final to lift the Under 19 title in 59.39, leaving Kirk in her wake in the process. She added further glory in her more favoured 800 metres final, won by Rio bound Ciara Mageean, taking 5th place overall but first Under 19 to claim yet another title. Elisha Surginor took 11th place in this race, and free from studies will now have time to improve on that in the coming months.
In the Under 15 Girls 1500 metres final Hannah Gilliland and Edie Carroll were only separated by one second at the finish line, in 4th and 5th places respectively, and Hannah was only pipped for the Bronze medal by half a second, losing out to Lagan Valley’s Downpatrick girl Libby Maloney.
James Smyth was disappointed not to have done better in his 800 metes heat, though Paddy Erskine must be very pleased to have picked up the Men’s Under 20 Silver medal and coming within 4 tenths of a second from breaking the 2 minute barrier with his final time two seconds faster than his heat.
Well Done to everyone who took part.
LISBURN HALF MARATHON AND 10K
Surprising as it might seem, Neil Andrews and his fellow EDAC ultra participants must have been unaware of the Lisburn 10K, Half marathon and Fun Run on Wednesday night, for how else would they have missed out on another chance to warm down. Have they turned into wimps?
Anyway the results do not show Club names against finishers – one has to ask what’s the point of supplying all this information on entry forms if it is not used where it would be most beneficial? – so apologies to any EDAC runners who I have failed to trace. I only tracked down three, Kristoffer Fegan who had a great run in the 10K clocking 42.48, Sheena Quinn who proved a point to herself with a 1.13.17 time off practical no training, and the ubiquitous (it means he’s everywhere) Michael McKeown who clocked 1.38.34 in the Half Marathon.
20 June 2016