The Weekly News – 14/08/17

Joe leaves the country…

When Joe Quinn asks you to write up the report, it is hard to refuse as he does it week on week without complaining and manages to find an interesting anecdote or two without fail. I do feel this time that he has skipped the country deliberately on a week when there are multiple events but few of our own runners involved and very little online coverage to give me clues as to how the events panned out but here goes.

Mallusk 5 Mile

Friday night kicked off with Mallusk 5 Mile which attracted a good field of runners – 312 to be exact but only one sole EDAC member namely Barrie Atkinson who is carrying injury but finding it hard to rest up. He banged out a respectable 29.51 and was 8th overall also taking first O40 prize. The two front runners Dennis Scott North Belfast and Finn Hercules Wimbledon AC were awarded the same time (28.01) in an exciting photo finish. The women’s race was won by Karen Wilton (unattached) in 32.22.

Slieve Croob 10k Challenge

East Down members lined up at 3 different events on Saturday 12th in 3 different venues but with a common theme of hills. The Trustford Slieve Croob Challenge in aid of the NI Hospice was the most straightforward. Start at the bottom of Slieve Croob and run to the top and without stopping to admire the view, turn round and run back to Finnis where you started. Joanne Foster did just that and was the first female home. At this stage unfortunately there are no other results available.

Lecale 10k

The Lecale 10k run by Atlas was equally scenic and added a few rolling hills and an off road surface to stop the competitors from getting bored. Deidre Weatherall continued her streak of local successes by coming 2nd female overall. Her time of 47.12 indicates the toughness of the event compared to her normal 10k statistics. Michael Cultra came in not far behind. Oonagh Breteche who professes not to like 10k distance preferring marathon and ultra events made an exception due to the terrain and came in just over the hour. Linda Cunningham another long distance expert also gave it a go. The race was won by Richard Coey (Ballydrain) and the first female was Karen Wilton who had raced and won the night before in Mallusk – unattached but not for long I would think!

The Seven Sevens

The third  Saturday event is barely conceivable to me – The Seven Sevens – 19+ miles in a circuitous route designed to take in all of the peaks in the Mournes which are 700m or more above sea level. There is a walking version on the same day which suggests 10-12 hours would be a suitable time to allow for completion. 4 of our most intrepid mountain runners signed up and all deserve admiration for their achievement. Davy Foster recovering from an injury was delighted to be able to start, let alone finish and he managed the route in 5 hours 44. Niamh Kellett and Gavin Hynds ran together and judging by the photos they jollied each other along rightly coming across the finish line in 5 hours 27. Niamh was 6th female out of 30 that finished. Neil Andrews who has had a terrific season in the mountains was 4th overall in a mind-blowing 4 hours and 1 minute. His talent is backed up with dedication and this result is well deserved. Neil – take a bow! There were 112 finishers in this gruelling event and the outright winner was Seamus Lynch (Newcastle) in 3 hours 51 and the first female was Diane Wilson  (Dromore AC) 4 hours 25 minutes.

Elsewhere over the weekend Andrew Telford had taken a trip to the seaside and raced a 10k in Groomsport coming 5th out of 81 competitors in a time of 41.08. Caroline O’Hare, recently returned to the club after her studies, picked up first female in the Feile Gym Co 10k which took place in the streets of Belfast starting at Yorkgate. 403 runners took part overall. Declan Hampton continued his campaign to attend as many colour runs as he can accompanied by Nicole. Not sure that these events will ever make the Olympic list but they are great fun for all involved!

And that’s a wrap – well done to all who raced and for those of you looking for events to make your own mark, take a look at for inspiration. East Down Weekly Training Schedule is posted on the EDAC Facebook and on our website and all adults are most welcome to join us.

Help required

On Joe’s behalf I would also like to make a request for anyone who feels able to help out at the forthcoming Killyleagh Half Marathon and Relay on 26th August to get in touch. This event is organised on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Society to raise much needed funds. If you have any affinity with this charity and can spare a few hours to marshal or help with refreshments, it would be greatly appreciated. No experience required! Please call Joe 07933 214894 or email

Alison Carroll