East Down AC Notes



Barrie Atkinson improved his placing from 21st to 16th in Saturday’s Bangor Classic 10K road race posting a time of 36.16 and claiming the Over 35 prize in the process writes Joe Quinn.

Cheryl Denvir also continued her recent good form to pick up the Ladies Over 35 prize in a time of 42.12.  The only other East Down representatives were Paul Rogan, making a welcome appearance over the distance and clocking an impressive 46.36  for a new PB and Gareth Kelly also a PB with an excellent 44.58.


The Juniors meantime were enjoying the sunshine in Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor in the second round of the McGrady’s Financial Services Junior Cross Country Series.dn_screen

Although only 31 girls and boys from East Down took part, they all performed commendably well with wins for Anna Gardiner, Chloe Galloway  and Laura Green  close seconds from Laura Gardiner, Aoife Cochrane, Tim Prenter and Michael O’Connor and third places from Caolan Atkinson, Ella Carroll, Owen Edwards and Natasha Savage.

But it’s not all about taking a podium place.  Points are awarded for participation and completing the races so the performances of Lewis and Christopher McMullan, Adam and Lucy Morgan, Colleen Burke, Shannon Bell, Cameron Herron, Daniel Atkinson,  Dionne McEvoy, Olivia Burke,   Tony Carson, Edie Carroll, Amy Godfrey, Aoife Burke, Beth Watterson, Elisha and Grace Surginor, Ellie-Mae McGrattan, Rebecca Bell  and the very welcome return to action of Christopher O’ Connor after a long lay off due to injury are equally important and meritorious.

Well done to all of them.  The next round is in Tollymore Park on  Sunday 13 October.


A little further up the coast Linda Cunningham and Simon McGrattan were completing their 6th marathon or ultra marathon race in 2013, this one being the Causeway Coast Marathon, just 26.2 miles this time, completed in the rugged terrain of the North Antrim coastline in 5.38, while Bernice McCann and Eithne McGrattan with 3.22 were knocking 20 minutes off their previous best for the mullti-terrain half marathon.

The event was notable for a very significant first.  Linda’s husband Mickey, inspired by the heroics of Linda and the others and perhaps fed up watching from the sidelines took on the Half marathon distance and romped home in 2.55.  Nothing like starting with an easy one and welcome to the running junkies club Mickey! Well Done


Even further away Diarmuid Quail was taking on his first marathon challenge in the world’s fastest course in Berlin. It will be easy to remember this one as it saw the world record for the distance lowered to 2.03.23 so Diarmuid’s time of 4.14 will appear in an historic list.  An excellent start to what could be an exciting career ahead and no sign of the dreaded wall!


I ended my last report with the promise to return to running “if I survived my cycling exploits”.  It appears I tempted fate as only the following day I nearly didn’t!  The outcome was a week’s stay in the Ulster Hospital and my thanks to everyone there and to staff in the A&E Department of the Downe Hospital for the care and attention with which they treated me.

Some of us older guys quite often have a “things ain’t what they used to be” moment, one of which goes something like they don’t make cars like they used to sure they’re paper thin you and could spit through them nowadays.  Well I have changed my mind – they’re not and you couldn’t. They’re hard enough!

My thanks to all who have been in touch in whatever shape or form to inquire after my well being.  Believe me you’re words  and concern are very much appreciated and make a significant difference to the healing process.