Thursday night senior training sessions

Departing EDAC Clubhouse at 7:15pm sharp:

27 Oct            4 X 1 mile with 1 minute recovery (Tempo Pace)

3 Nov             1 mile – 2 mile – 1 mile (Tempo pace)

10 Nov           Pyramid – 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1 (minutes)

17 Nov           5K Time Trial

24 Nov           Easy Paced Run (in preparation for Seeley Cup)

1 Dec             10min@10k pace + 15 min@5k pace

8 Dec             6 X 1K with 2 minute recovery

15 Dec           4 X 1 mile with 1 minute recovery (Tempo Pace)

Each training session will begin with a warm up of 15 mins slow jog and finish with a cool down of 15 mins slow jog back to the clubhouse and on the night we will divide into groups of runners of similar ability.

This Week’s News

Anna Gardiner, Kirst Foster, Lauren Madine, Lucy Foster and Emily Burns the Silver Medal winning team in the Girls Under 12 race.

Anna Gardiner, Kirst Foster, Lauren Madine, Lucy Foster and Emily Burns the Silver Medal winning team in the Girls Under 12 race.

The Bobby Rea Memorial Cross Country race on Saturday was the 1st round of this year’s Cross Country League and attracted another record breaking entry and huge spectator interest, Due to ground alterations at the usual venue, the UU campus at Jordanstown, the races were held in the superb setting of Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor, in my opinion the best location for cross country running in NI. The weather was first class with autumn sunshine bathing the firm, fast underfoot conditions, in picnic inducing warmth.

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Exciting Opportunity to train with Kerry O’Flaherty

Kerry O’Flaherty, who has just returned from competing in the Olympic Games in Rio, will be hosting a Cross-Country Training Camp during the Halloween school break – on the mornings of the 3rd & 4th November.

The Camp will be targeted at junior athletes aged 13-17 who have shown talent in endurance running events – for example at County Down, Ulster or Irish Schools level. The key objectives will be to help individuals think about what they want to achieve over the coming winter and how they might go about doing it.

The camp will run between 10:00 and 12:00 on 3rd & 4th November and will be based at Shimna College, Newcastle.

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This Week’s News


To say that the first ever running of the Red High 10K and 2 X 5K Relay Road Race had a baptism of fire on Saturday might be considered something of an understatement, given the torrential downpour which paid a visit to the county town just as the race was about to begin. In fact baptism of total immersion would be a more apt description. Nevertheless the fact that almost 100 turned out in the conditions must augur well for future years, when conditions will, hopefully, be considerably better. The overall view was that it was an excellent production, with everyone happy to have dipped their toes in the newest race on the calendar and enjoyed the refreshments afterwards.

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Training Arrangements

Dear Member

As you are aware EDAC has placed a particular emphasis on encouraging members to become Coaches and Assistant Coach over the last few years. This has paid particular dividends in the Junior section as evidenced by the numbers attending on Mondays and Thursdays.

We wish to replicate this success in the Senior section of the club but appreciate that the event options for seniors range from track to off-road marathons. In addition the road season is still ongoing and members may wish to continue their own training plans until the end of the session.

For several months the Senior sessions offered on Thursdays have been published in advance. The sessions have concentrated on a key element of any training plan, speed endurance. This kind of training is usually easier for runners to perform as part of a group. At a recent coaches meeting it was agreed to publish other coach supported sessions. As a way of assisting members the sessions for the next four weeks have been have been incorporated into a proforma training plan, attached. The plan has been setup using an indicative athlete who can perform a 10k in 45mins, although it can be adjusted to 35, 40, 50, 55 and 60 also. The idea is to show members what each session would require from them so they can decide whether to participate and in time incorporate club training as the core of their training plans.

We plan to hold information sessions for members to assist them in developing their own training plans but in the meantime we would encourage as many Seniors as possible to support Club sessions and make use of the excellent coaching resources of EDAC.

Training Arrangements
Training Planner



This Week’s News


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. 


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!)


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. 


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 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.


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 though entries will be taken on the day from 10.00 am in the School. 


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


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.

Joe Quinn

10 October 2016

This Week’s News


A great day out for all was how Saturday’s Club Relay Championships in Victoria Park in Belfast was described to me and certainly East Down’s performances give rise to considerable optimism for the forthcoming Cross Country League season which kicks off o n 22nd October in Kilbroney Park.

Results as follows with fastest Leg runner shown in bold type

The Senior Men’s Team finished 18th of 37 in a time of 47.07 

Paddy Erskine 11:02

Ciaran Denvir 11:41

Andrew Telford 12:00

Michael Cultra   12:25

The Club also fielded 3 Master’s Teams

Masters Men Team A Team finished 10th of 54 in a time of 46.01 

Barrie Atkinson 10:27

Martin Willcox 11:27

Michael Cultra 12:20

Davey Foster   11:49

Masters Men Team B Team finished 24th of 54 in a time of 49.56

Liam Keenan 12:23

Dee Murray 12:11

Stephen Heasley 12:48

Declan Teague 12:35

Masters Men Team C finished 41st of 54 in a time of 54.23

Gavin Hynds 12:53

Mark O’Connor 13:57

Gareth Amos 14:51

Mark McDowell 12:42

And No you’re not seeing double nor is there a typing error. Michael Cultra really did run in both the Senior Men’s and Master’s races in order to make up teams and remarkably ran faster in the Master’s category than the Open!! Our thanks to him for his exemplary team spirit and also to Tom Dowey who was a reserve and turned up on the day to cheer everybody on even though he knew he wasn’t going to get a run. I’m going to enter an Old Codgers team next year for Tom and Robert Miskelly, Brian Hamilton and possibly me, just to keep the Over 70s in the picture, though I’m not sure we’d be finished in time for the picture anyway. 


The Ladies too were by no means also rans in the Senior Ladies Race fielding 2 teams which finished in 7th and 16th place respectively.

Senior Ladies Teams Team A finished 7th of 20 in 40.25**

Cheryl Denvir 13.22

Joanne Foster 14.07

Niamh Kellett 12.57

** 15 seconds faster would have given them 5th place

Senior Ladies Team B finished 16th of 20   in 45.33

Janine Murray 15.16

Alison Carroll 15.31

Clare Carson 14.47


In the Junior races over a 1 mile distance Hannah Gilliland was a notable 3rd in 5.47, just 12 seconds behind the winner, while Mackenzie Murray continues to be the Boys most prolific athlete, taking a mere 6.22 to finish the Under 13 Mile and to take 11th place against many much older opponents.


The second Jog Around the Bog for the Guide Dogs for the Blind charity also took place on Saturday in the beautiful Peatlands Park near Dungannon and attracted over 170 runners. This multi – terrain race over a 10K distance benefitted from the lovely sunny weather and was a hugely enjoyable event, made all the more attractive by the super post race refreshments.


After the Gr8 Dundrum Race on Saturday afternoon everyone is invited to the grand Charity Nigh promoted by East Down AC and Loughinisland GAC in the latter’s clubrooms, in aid of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust, beginning at 8.00pm with music by Red Biddy.


Full bar facilities are available and admission is by donation at the door. With a charity raffle on the night a great night’s craic is anticipated.  Please come along and support this worthy cause. Everyone is invited, Runners, Non – runners and  Dissenters.  Parkinson’s doesn’t discriminate in terms of its victims and neither do we in terms of accepting your donations.


For those of you who don’t know, Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological condition which means it causes problems in the brain and gets worse over time. It affects around one person in every 500.  Although there is currently no cure there are a range of medicines and treatments available to manage and treat the symptoms. The symptoms are many and varied but the most common are tremor, stiffness and slowness of movement.  These three symptoms can manifest themselves in a variety of ways and also vary from individual to individual.  For some it can mean speech impediments or writing difficulties or a tendency to lose one’s balance and fall over or indeed to experience the feeling that their feet are stuck to the ground, thus making slight adjustments to correct unsteadiness impossible. Often this is mistaken for drunkenness and people who have the illness are encouraged to  carry a little information card explaining the common conditions and advising outsiders what the effects are and what to do for the patient if necessary.


On their own none of these are particularly distressing but when several are present at any given time it can make movement and the general pursuit of everyday life much more difficult. So the search is on to find a Cure.  Apart from the effects on individual quality of life which a Cure would bring it would also free up millions of pounds currently spent in managing the conditions and providing drugs to reduce the worst of the symptoms.


And on the running front the following Saturday sees the birth of the Red High 10K and 2 x 5K Relay beginning at 12 noon. I shouldn’t really say this but it is a relatively flat course! Honest!  If you don’t believe me come and try it out and then you can make your arguments to me from a point of knowledge – though I don’t think you’ll have a leg to stand on, especially if you run it hard enough!  Online entries are open at

Joe Quinn

3 October 2016