Portaferry 10 Mile and 2 x5 Mile Relay

Sports Centre, Portaferry

19 July 2016 » 19 July 2016

Start Time 7.30pm

Registration will take place in the Sports Centre, Cloughy Road, Portaferry, BT22 1ND from 5:00pm on Tuesday 19th July. You can collect your race number and chip at the Pre-Entry desk at registration.

Refreshments will be provided free of charge for all competitors after the race in the Sports Center. Car parking will be available at the Sports Center with additional parking in the adjacent school grounds. Please follow the direction of stewards to the additional car parking area.

For the relay event there will be transport provided to and from the relay changeover point. To get to the bus turn left after coming out of the Sports Centre and go through the gates to the school grounds and on to the Ballyphilip Road. The bus will be at the turning circle on the Ballyphilip Road. The first relay runner in a team will be given an armband and no number, the second runner in the team will wear the race number and chip. If you are the first runner in the team and decide to run on after the changeover point please do not cross the finish line.

Prizes will be awarded in Male and Female Open (1st, 2nd & 3rd) and all Vets categories to age over 60. Relay team prizes will be awarded to 1st and 2nd Relay teams in the All Male, All Female and Mixed categories. Separate prizes are provided by the Portaferry Gala Committee for the 1st local male and female and the 1st local relay team (local is defined as residing at a BT22 post code address)

For further information contact:

Mags Mathieson 07402785109,  Joe Quinn 07933214894, or Michael Kelly 0775111959

Volunteer at the 2016 Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon

Hello All,

Can you help us?  Has your club got volunteers?  We have a number of local clubs signed up to help us deliver this event for the City, and we hope that you and your members will be able to join them.

On Sunday 18th September 2016, the 4th Deep RiverRock Belfast City Half Marathon will take place.

Over 1000 entries have come in so far, and we hope that there will be over 4,000 people pounding the streets of the city on race day.  We are calling out to you, your friends, your family and your work colleagues to join us in volunteering on race day to ensure the safety of the course for all the race entrants, many of whom will have travelled from as far as the Spain, France, USA and mainland UK.

All volunteer positions will be finished by 1pm, some earlier depending on location on the route, with start times ranging from 7am for the start & finish line team to 8.30am for the route team

For more information CLICK HERE


Newcastle & District AC to host Rio ‘send-off’ for Kerry O’Flaherty

On Friday evening (15th July) from around 8.30pm, Newcastle & District Athletic Club is delighted to host an informal ‘send-off’ for Kerry O’Flaherty.

Kerry ran the Olympic Qualifying Time for the 3k Steeplechase just over a year ago at the International Meeting in Letterkenny posting 9:42.61. On what turned out to be a historic evening 2 other Irish athletes also achieved the time. Exactly one year on, the 3 same athletes raced each other over the Chase in the final of the European Championships in Amsterdam where O’Flaherty came home a very creditable 12th in 9:45.88 (only 0.7 seconds behind 8th place).

The day after the official qualifying window closed for the Rio Olympics, the 12th of July, Athletics Ireland confirmed O’Flaherty’s nomination for the Games to the Olympic Council for Ireland (http://www.athleticsireland.ie/news/rio-olympic-team-nominated-for-selection).

O’Flaherty started her running career 21 years ago at the age of 13 when she competed in Newcastle AC’s 5k Road Race around the town. It is fitting that after many years Bryansford GAC (in association with Newcastle & District AC) revived this race just last weekend. O’Flaherty went on to represent the club in cross-country, on the track and in road races. She has also competed many times for Ireland including winning a team bronze medal at the European Cross-Country in France in December 15 (and other European Cross-Countries in 2008, 2010 & 2011); European Team Cups in Slovakia (3000m, 2009), Hungary (3000m, 2010), Ireland (5000m, 2013), Estonia (3k Chase, 2014) & Crete (1500m, 2015) and in the Steeplechase at the World Championships in Beijing in 2015. She also represented Northern Ireland in the Steeplechase at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

The Sea2Sky 10k race is taking place at 7.30pm on Friday evening with O’Hare’s Lounge as its Race HQ. The informal function will take place from 8.30pm in the Beer Garden at the rear of the complex. All are welcome….

Marshals Needed – Shore 10K (11th July)

The Club needs a few volunteers to help marshal at The Shore 10K (Killough) on 11th July from 6.45 pm. Race HQ is in the Community Hall, opposite the Square. It would be appreciated if you could indicate your willingness in advance to Mags Mathieson (07402785109), Mags is very kindly looking after the race in Joe’s absence but we need a few EDAC members to help her out.  It will only take about 45 minutes of your time in most instances. Thank you.

This Week’s Report


The last Wednesday night in June has been the date for the Loughinisland 5.05 miles race  since it began in 2007 so it was no surprise to find it making its tenth appearance on Wednesday past. And it was appropriate as the event began its second decade of life that one of the new kids on the block, Newcastle’s star Hill & Daler Zak Hanna who, though barely out of Junior ranks finished 2nd overall in the 11 race Series, took the opportunity to show he is no slouch on the roads either by flying home in 26.63, at which time I was being overtaken by Pat O’Driscoll, just at halfway!!  Zak had one and a half minutes to spare over his clubmate Patrick Higgins at the line and Francis Tumelty made it an all Newcastle podium just 11 seconds behind Patrick.  Beechmount’s Colin Drain was 4th  and claimed the Over 35 prize, with Ballydrain’s Mark Earney and Norman Mawhinney taking the Over 45 and Over 55 prizes respectively.


Amy Bulman, surprisingly unattached, ran splendidly to take overall 11th place and 1st Lady with North Belfast’s Mary Margaret Meade in second and Newcastle’s Mari Troeng taking 3rd place. Dromore’s Susan Smyth and Mary Mackin  took the Over 35 and over 55 prizes respectively, while Co Antrim Harrier Christine Murray was the Over 45 winner.

In the Fun Run, the clear winner was Kirsty Foster, from the host club’s Andrew Boyd with Mackenzie Murray in 3rd.


Following the usual comments on the hilly course, consideration is being given to running the race the opposite way round next year, but returning via the lough side road to cut out the climb through the village.  Needless to say some original thought will have to be put into next year’s complaints, which should be entertaining but will not be entertained!


The Comber 10K on Saturday was a very different affair, billed as flat and fast in comparison to last year’s slanted and slow, it had a whole variety of features, including humidity, wind, rain, great crowd support, T-shirts, medals and a feast of tray bakes, cakes and buns to suit every palate. It was easy to see where Norman’s couch to 5K and Beyond group, get rid of their supplies of once jealously guarded chocolate. The only thing missing was a class in Lace Tying which would be more appropriate for some of us than the pre-race warm up, which I missed anyway.


The reason for this unusual request is, like a lot of today’s ills, drug related. Having left home in perfect time to comfortably make parking, registration, meeting with friends and key disposal a laid back, pleasant experience I discovered 2 miles into my journey that I had forgotten to take my tablets I had reminded myself not to forget barely 2 minutes before I left the house.  Why do memories work like that? Surely if they can do it 10 minutes after the deadline they can do it before it? Anyway, retracing my route back home, downing the medication and getting back to where I was before I remembered, or at least to where I think I was, my memory isn’t too reliable you know, cost me 15 minutes and when I had to sit behind a slow moving line of traffic all the way from Killyleagh to Comber, I was lucky to make the registration in the Leisure Centre, with ten minutes to spare before the race was due to begin at 2.00pm. Having hastily put on my running shoes before I left the car, with the firm intention of checking and tightening laces before the race started, I totally forgot all about them until the hooter sounded to start the race – just as I arrived at the back end of the almost 500 strong field of runners – and then of course the memory activated again, telling me scornfully “ You’ve forgotten to tighten your laces and to tuck in the ends”  Every runner who has taken part in 2 or more races knows this is part of the deal – always tuck the lace ends and bows in below the cross laces – to keep them from coming undone!! But the choice of stopping to do it and lose time or carry on and hope they wouldn’t, resulted in another bum decision. I carried on but then had to stop and re-tie not once but 3 times, during the course of the race, because under pressure and a deluge of rain, fingers become thumbs and laces take on a life of their own.  The overall result was that I eventually made it to the finish line having lost at least a minute.  But what odds – I was faster than last year and had learnt a valuable lesson in the process. Whether my memory has learnt it too, remains to be seen.


The race itself was extremely well organised, as one has come to expect from any event involving Ballydrain Harriers, and with over 500 entries, very well supported by the local clubs.


First East Down man home was Martin Willcox, 36.07 for 17th overall and winner of the Over 45 prize, followed by Paul Burns in 37.10 and the only other East Down runner to break 40 minutes.  Not that there was anything wrong with not doing that of course and several of their number posted excellent pbs, the most notable of those being David Smith’s 41.42, Clare Forster’s 51.47, (52.59 in 2015) Janine Murray’s 52.08 ( 54.05 in 2015)  Oonagh Brétéché’s 51.05 remarkable in that it comes a mere few weeks after surgery, Roisin Gaffney 53.58 and good to see the return of Simone Prenter again with the as ever supportive Eithne McGrattan. Lisa Laird while initially disappointed can have no reason to be unhappy with 45.19 and Elaine McAuley completed her first ever 10K in fine style, clocking 61.07 and no doubt is already challenging husband Gerard for the bragging rights.


At last weekend’s Masters Track and Field Championships at Mary Peters track, Liam Keenan posted a highly respectable 5.08 in the Over 50’s 1500 metres to lift the Silver medal, a feat he repeated in the 800  metres, clocking  2.29.10, showing there’s “speed” in them legs yet.    This is not connected to the earlier comments about drugs!


On Friday night the “local” race is in Greyabbey where both 5 and 10K distances are on offer and then the Shore 10K in Killough is on Monday 11th July at 7.30pm. After that the action switches across  Strangford Lough for the Portaferry Gala 10 Miles with 2 X 5 Miles Relay,  beginning at 7.30pm on Tuesday  19 July.

And to complete July, the RGU 10K and 2 x 5K Relay takes place on Wednesday 27th beginning at 7.30pm from the Ardglass Rd with registration beforehand in the RGU Clubrooms

On Tuesday 12 July, Richard who organises  the duathlons in Victoria and Bishopscourt  is putting on  a 5K running race in Victoria Park, and all are invited to support this event as  warm up for a spot of marching later in the day.

Joe Quinn

Loughinisland 5.05 mile4 July 2016

Motivational Talk – Thursday 28th July – EDAC Clubrooms

Gerry Duffy will be coming to the EDAC Clubrooms on Thursday 28th July to deliver a motivational presentation.

“Gerry Duffy is a professional motivational speaker, goals setting coach and writer. His sporting CV is filled with accomplishments such as running 32 marathons in 32 days as well as winning the 2011 UK DECA Enduroman Iron distance challenge, an event dubbed ‘The toughest ten day endurance challenge in the World’.

Back in 1995 Gerry Duffy dropped over 4 stone in weight as he recognised he had a significant weight problem. This resulted in him taking up running at the age of 27. His sporting CV is now filled with accomplishments that many deem impossible. Gerry Duffy firmly believes that human beings can do far more than we give ourselves credit for and is keen on leading by example. Gerry Duffy’s first book, WHO DARES, RUNS went into the Top 4 list of Best Selling Books in Ireland within 6 weeks of its release in 2011 and was nominated for the WILLIAM HILL Sports Book of the year.”

Gerry Duffy


Athletics NI Summer StarTrack 2016


Get set for StarTrack – Learn to Run, Jump and Throw with expert coaching, and have great fun!

The scheme is Athletics NI’s flagship grassroots programme, which aims to introduce young people aged 8 to 15 years old to the sport and help them to develop their skills.

Did you know?

  • Jessica Ennis-Hill started her Athletics career taking part in StarTrack as a 10 year old!
  • StarTrack schemes are run locally, organised by a range of bodies including local authority development units, clubs, schools and partnerships.
  • Each scheme is led by qualified coaches and they take place right across the UK.
  • Every year more than 20,000 children take part in StarTrack schemes.
  • StarTrack is a great way of helping young athletes in transition from school to club athletics.
  • StarTrack is a fun athletics experience in a safe and enjoyable environment.

All StarTracks are multi-events: sprints, hurdles, jumps (high & long), throws (shot & javelin), endurance, orienteering and games.

Scheme 1: 2 Day Summer Startrack

Dates: Monday 18 July – Tuesday 19 July 2016

Times: 10:00 – 14:00

Venue: Down High School Pitches, Mount Crescent, Downpatrick, Co-Down, BT30 6EU

Contact Information: Dean Adams (dean@athleticsni.org)

Enter online

Scheme 2: 2 Day Summer Startrack

Dates: Wednesday 20 July – Thursday 21 July 2016

Times: 10:00 – 14:00

Venue: St Colmans College Track, 46 Armagh Road, Newry, BT35 6PP

Contact Information: Adam McMullen (adam@athleticsni.org)

Enter online