BRITISH AND IRISH MASTERS INTERNATIONAL CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
It had been my intention to travel to Gransha Park in Derry on Saturday to watch the British and Irish Masters International Cross Country Championships. But I suppose to do that it required some degree of pre-planning, such as the very basic, arranging a lift with someone who was prepared to drive there and back. So come Saturday morning around 7.30am and the realisation that the aforementioned requirement had not been met, nor was the next one, to be up fed watered and dressed inside the next hour, likely to be, meant that I had no option but to succumb to the pull of gravity and sink back into the sheets again!
When Joe Quinn in his usual enthusiastic manner suggested that EDAC should celebrate 30 years in existence, the committee turned to the current Social Secretary and the party girl that is Janine Murray swung into action. She enlisted the help of Alison Carroll and the planning began. The date was set for 11th November and the venue of the Burrendale Hotel, Newcastle was confirmed by popular demand. Fast forward 8 months and a fantastic night of entertainment unfolded. Almost 80 guests arrived in full finery to a room
decorated with red and yellow balloons, a commemorative cake and photo boards with pictures of the early days. A slide show produced by Tom McClean ran throughout the
26 EXTREME TOLLYMORE TRAIL MARATHONS
Is it really that time of year again? When the ever increasing band of the tough as teak runners descend on Tollymore Forest Park to undertake the 40 mile slog that is the 26 Extreme Trail Ultra Marathon, which kicks off at 8.00am in the morning while the “less ambitious” have an extra 2 hours to consider whether to begin the shorter Marathon distance, not to mention those who can change their minds several times before setting off
McCONNELL SHIELD AT BALLYCLARE
Saturday’s trip to Ballyclare for the 83rd McConnell Shield cross country races organised by East Antrim Harriers was a somewhat surreal affair as the decision by the host club not to pay the entry fee necessary for inclusion in this season’s Cross Country League meant that there were no points on offer for participation. Apparently the tone of the demand for payment ruffled some feathers in the East Antrim nest and they decided not to “pay under threat”? Be that as it may, the feeling amongst neutrals was that the entry would suffer accordingly. And so it proved with I reckon at least 100 fewer runners than last year
KILBRONEY PARK IN THE SUN
The Bobby Rea Memorial Cross Country race on Saturday was the 2nd round of this year’s Cross Country League and was held in Kilbroney Forest Park in Rostrevor, in my opinion the best location for cross country running anywhere in Ireland, in conjunction with the NI & Ulster Evens Age Group Championships
RED HIGH 10K AND 2 X 5K RELAY
The first renewal of the Red High 10K on Saturday luckily avoided the torrential rainfall of last year’s event, the rain having fallen the day and night before in sufficient volumes to turn some of the country roads if not into rivers then mudbaths would be an apt description. In spite of the ominous looking clouds which hovered above the start line the race itself saw the sun emerge from its mid term break and raise the temperature to
The big decision for runners last weekend was not so much what to wear but where to wear it. The dilemma was caused by the unfortunate clash of dates which saw the Gr8 Dundrum Run pitched in direct conflict with the first round of the Cross Country League in Comber, exacerbated by the double whammy of both being right on our doorsteps.
The cross country was superbly hosted by Balllydrain Harriers at the Billy Neill Centre near Dundonald and proved to be an ideal setting, though underfoot conditions were very soft in places and as the result of recent hedge removal, rough and uneven with cloying mud in others.