The weather was specially ordered, sunny and calm, with a chance of cloud around midday, to keep the runners cool. And not only that but the whole meeting had been pushed back by outside events until the 2nd week in March, a full 4 weeks later than in 2017. However, on the day the weather was wild with heavy rain from early in the morning and a cold, strong wind doing its best to knock the runners off their feet. Nevertheless the racing was equally exhilarating – a full card comprsing 10 races on the ambulance track – great spectating for the onlookers. Hilly finish was a tough challenge. I never cease to be amazed by the courage of the kids in this particular event, who turn up every year in record numbers, ignore the conditions, run their races, get their medals and refreshments and head off to some other sporting event. Well Done everyone.
LOUGHVIEW IPS WIN BOTH SCHOOLS TEAMS TROPHIES
The support of Phoenix Natural Gas added “a glow” to the proceedings – all children racing or not, got a treat bag and bottles of water to keep them fuelled. The team from the company were here, there and everywhere with flags and cheers and their photographer captured the atmosphere with Podium pictures. Loughview Integrated Primary School Girls retained their schools team title, with a superb effort, placing 2nd, 4th 5th and 6th for a total of 17 points to hold onto the John McKeag Shield and to ice the cake the Loughview Boys also won their team event, the first time such a double has been completed, placing 2nd 3rd 5th and7th to match the girls score.
The remarkable nonagenarian John McKeag was present to watch the racing and to hand out the Shield named in his honour and the East Down AC Shield to the Boys, together with the trophies to the winning team members, even if by then most of the children and teachers had departed for warmer climes, reportedly in Pyeongchang, South Korea?
The Fancy Fox Coffee trailer did a roaring trade. Parents, spectators and helpers alike enjoyed the hot drinks and the home baked goodies on offer.
SENIOR 5 K
The adults got the worst of the weather if that was possible and Orangegrove AC who had made it their 5K club race fielding 20 runners in the process, slugged it out in the grim conditions, taking 1st and 3rd places through Michael Broadhead 18.28 and David Montgomery 18.58, divided only by the unattached Gareth Kelly 18.57. The evergreen Cathy McCourt 19.18 was first Woman, in 4th place overall. Prizes were given out to much applause and everyone went home slightly thawed by the soup and the banter, some also en route to the Korean peninsula, or more likely to watch Ireland win the 6 Nations trophy.
A huge debt of thanks is owed to all who braved the elements on Saturday, to staff from the sponsors Phoenix Natural Gas, whose first association with the Rollercoaster Event and East Down AC this was, the registrars, the marshals and officials, Ambutran staff for First Aid cover, volunteer club members, parents, teachers, to Wrap’N’Roll to everyone connected with the event and to the Down Race Club for the use of their premises.
CARMEL’S BEST at BOHERMEEN HALF MARATHON
Carmel Tumelty was the only East Down runner in the Bohermeen Half Marathon, also called the Meath Spring Half Marathon, on Sunday but was undaunted by the absence of familiar faces, not counting Francis of course who finished ahead of her, as she rung in another pb 1.56.28 for the distance, knocking over 2 minutes of her previous best and taking 631st place in a field of over 900 runners. Obviously her cross country training is paying dividends now that she’s back on the roads.
SHANE’S CASTLE STORMED?
On Saturday past Declan Teague 3.38.46 took 4th place in what he described as horrible weather at Shane’s Castle where the latest mileage junkies were out in force in the Atlas Running crew had laid on a Half, Full and Ultra Marathon course in the Castle grounds, one that by all accounts was very good and provided some shelter from the elements. Declan said he “only did the marathon” but seeing that his negative split for the 2 halves was over 6 and a half minutes I reckon he could have stayed out another lap! Linda Cunningham East Down and Jacqui Moore Murlough both 5.55, also confined their efforts to the marathon, but there was no such dilemma for Michael Cultra who was impressive in the Ultra (39.6 miles), coming home in 6th place in 6.35.
BARRIE AND CLARE FLY THE FLAG IN MAIDEN CITY
A little further up the road in Derry/L/Derry to be precise Barrie Atkinson made a welcome return to racing when he competed in the SSE Airtricity 10 Mile Road Race on Sunday and travelled the distance in just 27 seconds over the hour, which gave him 12th place overall and 5th in his category M45. An excellent time given his lack of hard training in recent months. Well done Barrie.
Clare Carson also ran in the same race, postponed from the previous Sunday due to weather conditions, clocking an eyecatching 80.51 which made her 28th overall Female finisher and 4th in the F45 category. Well done Clare.
One of our sponsors, Darren Brown, owner of Soaring Productions, has promised some ground breaking footage of this year’s Jimmy’s Ten Road Race, next Sunday the 18th March morning.
Darren is a qualified and licensed drone cameraman who works regularly for local TV stations and who has been producing high quality film footage across NI for several years now. He has been a very proud Sponsor of Jimmy’s 10K for many years and he is looking forward to capturing some spectacular aerial video footage and photographs of the 2018 Run.
This Year is even more special as Jimmy’s 10K celebrates it’s 20th Anniversary and to add to the occasion Darren is wanting to film a human JIMMY’S TEN using the drone from on high but he needs as many runners as possible to make themselves available no later than 10.30am on race day, next Sunday, at East Down’s Clubrooms on Ballydugan road Downpatrick.
Everyone will be welcome to assist with this enterprise which will simply involve the runners standing still one behind the other with hands resting on the shoulders of the one in front in a pre-ordained spot.
Please don’t be shy, this will be an historic moment for all concerned! AND Darren will be streaming Jimmy’s 10K Start & Finish line LIVE from the Drone. Just “Like” ‘soaringproductions.tv’ on facebook and on the day search, or get your friends to search, on facebook for: Soaring Productions Jimmy’s 10K Live ”
Joe Quinn & Alison Carroll
12 March 2018