The Weekly News – 09/04/2018


At the first North Down AC track meeting of the year held at the Bangor Sportsplex, last Thursday night, a few EDAC junior athletes put their toe to the line. As the races are run as time trials and athletes enter in mixed age categories, the results are not easily reported but suffice to say it was a useful exercise for those who attended in terms of trying various distances and getting the feel of the track. The following took part; Iona Bunbury and Lauren Madine both did long jump and 150m. Lauren also ran the 600m as did Kirsti Foster, Lucy Foster and Edie Carroll. Laura Gardiner on a visit home from university gave the 3k a go. It was a cold night and breezy to boot so here’s hoping that the temperatures rise a bit before the first of the series at Mary Peter’s Track next Thursday.


Dermot Cahill returned to Omagh last Saturday the scene of his previous pb for the Half Marathon distance and despite it not being the most user friendly route in the calendar, he improved his pb by over one minute his 1.29.27 comparing very well the with his 2017 time of 1.30 28.

There was a new pb 1.55.01also for the only other East Down AC athlete to take part, Carmel Tumelty, who week in week out, continues to chisel away at those times and gets her just rewards for her relaxed, unflappable attitude to running. She always enjoys it and has a smile for everyone.  Well Done Carmel

Carmel Tumelty - Omagh half Marathon

Carmel Tumelty – Omagh Half Marathon

Pictured Dermot Cahill EDAC and Gerard McAuley, Newcastle & District after Saturday's Omagh Half Marathon showing how international peace is always possible.!!

Pictured Dermot Cahill EDAC and Gerard McAuley, Newcastle & District after Saturday’s Omagh Half Marathon showing how international peace is always possible.!!

Chris Smith also ran in this event clocking a respectable 1.45. This is an achievement after his recurrent niggles. His son Aaron who has recently rejoined EDAC ranks gave it a go too. Somewhat of a challenge with lack of preparation but it is obvious that he is going to throw himself into club membership with enthusiasm! Good to see.



Clare Carson, Kevin Kelly and Stephen Heasley all flew the EDAC flag in the Paris marathon this weekend. Clare discovered that the EDAC colours mimic the Spanish Flag and hence she got more support than she might expected which was a welcome surprise indeed. The route takes in many iconic sights and the atmosphere was uplifting according to the feedback. The warm weather that the rest of us are jealously craving was declared a little warm for running but they all finished in one piece albeit with slower recorded times than they might have initially targeted. However given that marathon training is a long and weary road and each in turn had time out with injury they did well to persevere and get the job done. It appears that they would all recommend this event to anyone thinking of an away marathon in the future.

Stephen Heasley, Clare Carson and Kevin Kelly - Paris Marathon April 8th

Stephen Heasley, Clare Carson and Kevin Kelly – Paris Marathon April 8th


At the Castlewellan Spring Lakes Challenge hosted by Castlewellan GAA on Sunday a couple of our younger members Matthew Taylor (30th out of 77) and William Taylor (57th) romped round the 5k loop in perfect Spring like conditions. Mum and dad, John and Nuala did the 10k and declared it a pleasant route. Well done the Family Taylor!


Sunday morning was a beautiful one for running and almost 1000 men and women gathered in the Titanic Quarter for the annual 10K road race.  Stephen Scullion, representing Clonliffe Harriers, was undoubtedly the class act in the race and by the time he passed my marshalling point at around 7K he was well clear of the field, led by Chris Madden, City of Lisburn with Mark Long City of Derry Spartans in third. This order was maintained until the end, with Scullion  crossing the finish line in 30.29, almost one minute ahead of Madden.


The Ladies race was more competitive, for the minor placings as no one could hold a candle to Mourne Runners Laura Graham who won in 35.27, with North Belfast’s Gladys Ganiel 36.50 holding onto second place by  a mere 7 seconds from North Down’s fast finishing Rachel Gibson.


The first of the East Down vests to cross the line was worn by Mark Milligan, who clocked 35.51 to claim 25th place overall.

The next East Down runner to appear was Davy Foster 38.24 in 56th  place followed by Paul Burns 39.06 in 66th place and Joanne Foster 41.41 looking in great shape and taking an excellent 125th place overall.

Mark O’Connor 44.13 and 156th went past complaining about someone having forced him to eat too many chocolate Easter eggs, a complaint too many of us seem to suffer from at this time of year, and Tracey McCaughey 54.24 timed her run to perfection to claim 500th place.

Well Done to all who took part in any of the venues mentioned.


The Downpatrick Lions Club annual 3 Lakes races take place this year on Saturday 12th  May beginning at 11.00am to raise funds for the Down’s Syndrome Association but additionally is hoping to help promote the needs of another charity, the Cure Parkinson’s Trust. It is aiming to attract a good turnout from local clubs. The races are promoted strongly by East Down Athletics Club and organised by Atlas Running. For more information please contact Adrian Daye on 07876560015, or alternatively via email:


I have a particular interest in any attempts to raise funds for the Cure Parkinson’s Trust (CPT) and its primary aim of finding a cure for this particular illness so by way of me taking a greater interest in the Charity’s operations, I have agreed to become a sort of unofficial ambassador for the Trust in NI.  As the 3 Lakes event this year will be my first official duty in this capacity, though whether “official” and “duty” are appropriate words to use in the context of  the  “unofficial, ambassadorial” nature of the role I don’t know. Anyway be that as it may, I am opening a Just Giving page for any of my friends in the running fraternity, who may wish to support the races but are unable to get to them and indeed for anyone who wants to wish me well in this position or who has a soft spot for this particular charity.


Joe Quinn & Alison Carroll

9 April 2018

The Weekly News – 26/03/2018


What a difference a week makes!! Just 7 days after the gloom that had descended on East Down AC following the postponement of Jimmy’s Ten last Sunday, came the joy at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. Relief as well was another palpable emotion felt by everyone involved at the actual staging the race. A week’s intensive work by East Down members and the good offices of a wide range of outside bodies led to the event taking place just one week late.  The advent of a beautiful Spring morning greeted the organisers as they took advantage of the extra hour’s sunlight to stage what was described by some as a “miraculous turnaround”.


Of course putting on an event like Jimmy’s Ten can cause inconvenience at the best of times and even more so when it has to be rearranged at short notice. East Down AC wish it to be known that they apologise to anyone who did not hear of the re-arranged details or was affected in any way by the road closures and hold ups brought about by Sunday’s race. Every effort was made by the Club and other bodies to highlight the new arrangements but we acknowledge that not everyone heard. We sincerely hope that you were not delayed in either reaching your place of worship, the horse racing at Downpatrick Racecourse or indeed any other destination on Sunday morning.

IN the absence of any of the previous winners in either the Men’s or Women’s races there was always going to be new names to be inscribed on the winners Shield. In the event, despite the difficulties caused by last week’s postponement, the delay enabled several runners who were not due to take part , because of other commitments, to enter and to contribute to the contest at the front. Although Mark McKinstry, North Belfast Harriers, eventually ran out the clear winner, his time of 31.45 giving him a 68 second advantage  over Willowfield’s Neil Weir, less than 24 hours since he took 3rd place in the Larne Half Marathon, with another 5 second gap between him and 3rd placed Gerard Heaney unattached. Emmett McGinty 4th from City of  Derry Spartans just held off the challenge of East Down’s Aaron McGrady, a runner who has improved out of all recognition this year and who is targeting Jimmy’s Ten next year as his No. 1 priority. I wouldn’t bet against him achieving his goal.

Jimmy's 10K Men's Podium

Jimmy’s 10K Men’s Podium

Not all that far behind Aaron came the tough as teak and ever dependable Martin Willcox 36.07, in 9th place and 1st Male Over 45, followed by another to look out for in the coming months Ciaran Denvir 37.04 in 15th place.


The next East Down vest to appear was worn by Catherine O’Connor 38.15, in overall 19th place, who thanks to last week’s postponement was prevailed on to run this time and set her place in the history of the race by becoming the first East Down AC member to win the Ladies race.


Out of the 596 finishers there were 36 runners under the 40 minute barrier, a pretty good percentage by today’s standard.

And continuing the good cross country form he has shown all year Dee Murray 39.24 was comfortably inside that number claiming 25th place, while young Callum Kent 39.33 was right behind, as the second leg runner in the winning Relay duo formed with another East Down man James Savage. Tracey Atkinson Albertville  39.37  and Susan Smyth Dromore AC 39.43 won the 2nd and 3rd Ladies prizes in 29th and 30th places respectively while Dermot Cahill 39.48 was the last EDAC man to cross the line in sub 40 minutes, setting a new pb in the process, having taken his lead from the 40 minute pacer, East Down’s Paul Burns, an excellent spot on run in 39.53. Perhaps he’ll get it spot on next year!!

Liam Keenan was not particularly pleased with posting 42.18, just behind clubmates Colin Shields and Deirdre Weatherall, though he should be pleased as punch given his lack of proper training I recent months. The first All Female Relay Team, East Down’s Lauren Madine and Anna Gardiner 41.24 finished just ahead of this group, which also comprised the second all Female Relay team of Lucy and Kirsti Foster 41.58.

My postman, Neil Young, did extremely well to finish in 42.55, so customers on his round can expect a first class delivery tomorrow – but no bills for me please! East Down debutant Niall Gibney looked comfortable with his 43.34, while Edie Carroll simply cruised in at 43.37, to claim the Female Junior prize followed by Aoife Cochrane in 44.16. Another debutant in Club colours was Garry Walsh in 44.31, with Cheryl Denvir, Paddy McDonald, Michael Morrissey, Michael Robinson, Conor Findlay another promising Junior making his debut at the distance and John Manley all in close proximity. Conor’s Mum Wendy made it into the top 200 finishers taking 197th place . Marguerite Robinson led the next squad of EDAC men and women comprising Seaus Savage, Liz O’Hagen, Tracey McCaughey, Roisin Gaffney, Ian McCracken, Alison Graham, Cathy Burke, Gavin McConvey, Joanne Carson, Catherine Gilchrist, Janine Murray, Cathy Flinn and Laura Smith who all crept in under the 60 minute mark while Sean Sealey and Mags Flynn were only slightly beyond it.

However the prize for he most appropriate placing goes to Karen McFall, running number 541, who finished in 541st place. She’s gong looking for number 1 next year!


East Down athletes were also busy at two other venues during the week, with several doubling up with 2 races including Jimmy’s Ten on Sunday. Half Marathon performances as shown in attached spreadsheet. Details of Queen’s & Larne performances to follow next week.


Joe Quinn

26 March 2018

The Weekly News – 05/02/18

On Saturday both East Down seniors and Juniors were in action at Stormont, one of the most popular venues in the cross country season and happily reinstated as a Cross Country League fixture.

East Down juniors contributed significantly to the huge numbers in the primary school races which set the programme of races in motion. With 106 boys in the Boys race Ollie Robinson did well to take 19th place, while still recovering from a bout of flu, with younger brother Alex and Kieran Trainor providing excellent support in 28th and 36th places respectively.


Erin Moore, Kari Foster and Jodi Foster - Primary Girls’ Team - (missing Emily Burns)

Erin Moore, Kari Foster and Jodi Foster – Primary Girls’ Team – (missing Emily Burns)

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5K Time Trial – 17th December 2015

Dee Murray 18:20 18:21 1
Neil Andrews 18:30 18:31 1
Ben Hanley 25:02 25:00 2
Mark McDowell 19:31 19:29 2
Wendy Findlay 23:39 23:42 3
Michael Cultra 17:50 17:46 4
Catherine O’Connor 18:36 18:3 5
Chris Smith 24:33 24:39 6
Declan Teague 18:50 18:57 7
Liam Keenan 19:35 19:43 8
Joanne Foster 20:30 20:40 10
James Magennis 22:00 21:48 12
Mark O’Connor 19:04 18:51 13
James Savage 18:00 17:44 16
Alison Carroll 23:40 23:58 18
Emma Gorman 25:33 25:13 20
Raymond Milligan 22:00 21:39 21
Dermot Cahill 21:34 21:09 25
Mickey Cunningham 23:47 23:15 32
Andrew Telford 20:47 20:15 32
Roger Byrne 22:22 22:57 35
Alison Gilliland 21:30 20:45 45
Niamh Kellett 21:05 20:18 47
John Manley 23:23 22:36 47
Stephen Heasley 22:00 21:06 54
Cara Cunningham 23:30 22:34 56
Tom McClean 26:45 25:36 1:09
Kieran McMahon 24:45 22:58 1:47
Denis McKay 28:31 26:34 1:57
Sharon Carew 29:30 26:28 3:02
Joe Quinn 33:07 29:58 3:09