READY FOR THE HILLS?
The Gr8 Dundrum Race has always been quite a challenge for most runners, even when as on Saturday conditions were well-nigh ideal. Nevertheless you have to be reasonably fit to get round, given the multi terrained facets of the course, which include the infamous “beach bit”. However I think you have to be even fitter just to register for it!! There is now a substantial hill up to the well known Aquinas Hall, which never was there when the venue was host to all the leading showbands in the 60s and 70s – or at least I don’t remember it. Now, for me, it’s almost a choice between registering or running. Perhaps next year I might have to hire a runner, no pun intended, to pick up my number while I conserve my energy for the race by waiting at the bottom. Unless of course an escalator could be installed before then?
The race was a personal triumph for Newcastle’s David O’ Flaherty who showed a clean pair of heels to everyone as he romped home in a new race record time of 44.12, over 4 minutes ahead of 2nd placed David McKee Mourne Runners with Dub Runners James Trainor in 3rd.
EAST DOWN MEN
Davy Foster was the first East Down 52.01 man home with Dee Murray next in 53.01. Stephen Heasley 55.01improved his 2015 time by almost 3 minutes and his placing by over 50 as he warms up for a stint on the other side of the fence at next Saturday’s Red High 10K. Jonny Kelly 57.40 made an impressive debut in club colours, making it into the top 100 in a field of over 850 finishers. Who said go faster stripes don’t work?
James Maginess 61.19 was happy to finish just outside last year’s time and Keith Reilly was similarly pleased to finish in 67.20.
Gareth Amos was over the moon to post 68.58 in his first assault on Murlough beach and Gary Small equally so to dip under 70 minutes, clocking 69.50. My 83.50, though better than last year, was a reflection of too much pre-race hill climbing, which should be improved on in 2017 if the escalator arrives in time. (See Opening paragraphs!)
LADIES COMPETE WELL and LINDA CELEBRATES “GOLD”
Lest you think it was all about the men, the East Down Ladies performed with considerable aplomb, led home by Joanne Foster in 60.40. She was followed by Linda Cunningham in 75.05, sporting her specially commissioned Club vest denoting her tremendous recent achievement of completing her 50th marathon, Carmel Tumelty in 76.14, Roisin Gaffney 76.41, a tremendous effort as she targeted 80 minutes, and Karen McFall whose 88.28 knocked almost 2 minutes off her 2015 return.
The reason for the smaller than usual turnout from East Down was that many of the usual suspects are winding down their training for the Dublin Marathon, taking place this year on Sunday 30 October, and had longer runs to complete over the weekend, plus of course the wish to avoid the risk of injury. Good Luck to all East Down, Murlough AC, Crossgar Harriers and Newcastle AC runners who will be taking part in the Fair City’s marathon especially those for whom it will be their debut at the classic distance and indeed to everyone from the area.
NI MASTERS CROSS COUNTRY TRIALS
Just 2 East Down runners travelled to Belfast on Saturday for NI Masters Cross Country championships which double as the pre-selection races for the British and Irish Championships Martin Willcox was 5th in the M45 Category and may well be selected as first reserve. Liam Keenan was 11th in the ultra competitive M50 category and is unfortunately unlikely to make the team this year.
LAUREN SIGNS OFF WITH DOUBLE
Lauren Madine brought a tremendous season to a successful end with a Double Gold performance in the final round of the Firmus Energy series at Mary Peters Track last Tuesday night, winning the Girls 600 metres and Long Jump. She can now put her feet up and relax before the Cross Country season opens in Kilbroney Park on 222nd October. Well done to her.
RED HIGH 10K and 2 X 5K RELAY
Another super local race in prospect next weekend with the first staging of the Red High 10K and 2 x 5K Relay Race at 12.00 noon from the school on the hill. Strangely and honestly, despite its location this will probably be the flattest 10K ever held in the Downpatrick area, so this will be a fast course. If you’re looking for a PB then this would be the one to do. Online entry is open until midnight tonight, Wednesday 12 October, at www.atleticsni.org though entries will be taken on the day from 10.00 am in the School.
GRIDDLE RACE – ONLINE ENTRY
In contrast the Griddle 10k and 5K Fun Run on Sunday 4 December beginning at 12 noon is described, with justification as Co. Down’s most challenging 10K. Entries will be taken on the day from 10.00am onwards but Online Entry is now available at www.athleticsni.org
HOMESTART SANTA 5 and 10K on SUNDAY 27 NOVEMBER
In between these 2 very different challenges there will be a much more light hearted, fun event where the emphasis will focus on the newcomer to the running world, with both 5 and 10K distances on offer to suit the latest group of Couch to 5K runners and those who are slowly progressing to the next level, their first 10K. All will be encouraged to wear festive garb, Santa suits, hats or whatever and online entry will be available in the next week. Further information will be given in next week’s papers.
10 October 2016