East Down AC Notes For 12 January 2014



After the heady excitement of last weekend’s International at Greenmount it was back to more mundane fare at Moira Demesne on Saturday.  The races however were all well attended with good quality runners and were all hotly contested affairs writes Joe Quinn.

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For East Down’s representatives it was a case of some more acclimatisation on the grass prior to the Junior, Intermediate and Master’s championships in Lurgan in two weeks time.  Catherine O’Connor continued  to impress with an excellent fourth place in her category, in a race won by Sperrin’s Karen Alexander, a class act on any surface.

Daniel Atkinson again ran well in the Year 9/10 Boys race while big brother Caolan had a rest following his impressive run at Greenmount as he targets the schools championships at the end of the month.


Dad Barrie however adopted a more active kind of relaxation, content to cruise round the four mile course in 16th place in a race deservedly won by Newcastle’s David

O’ Flaherty, a fitting reward for this hard working athlete who competes everywhere week in week out to a consistently high level. A good guy to model yourself on if you’re looking for someone who embodies everything which is good about our sport.

Almost inevitably Michael McKeown took part, another of the unsung heroes of running who travels the country and turns out week after week a puts in consistently good performances.  Perhaps at the other end of this spectrum is Kieran McMahon’s welcome appearance, responding to recent encouragement to all club members to dip their toes in the cross country pit and no doubt as a forerunner to the Lurgan meeting.


Meanwhile preparations are under way for the next local event, the Rollercoaster races on 1 February around the perimeter road at Downpatrick racecourse.

As last year there will be races for P3 Boys and Girls commencing at 11.45am, as well as P4/5 and P6/P7 Colts and Fillies,  with special shields for the Best Boys and Girls P6/7 Primary School Teams (first 4 finishers to count) over a 1,000 metres distance. Under 13 Boys and Girls will compete over 1.5K  and Under 15 s over a testing 2K.

If oats and hay are not acceptable there will be free soup and rolls for all participants.


Online entry available now at  HYPERLINK “http://www.athleticsni.org/”www.athleticsni.org Please note that the race will begin this year again at 11.00am. Entries will be restricted so get in early to avoid disappointment, if the limit is reached beforehand there will be no entries taken on the day, but if not the entry fees will be considerably increased.