CASTLEWARD 10K AND HALF MARATHON
Last weekend another sunny day greeted sizeable fields in both 10k and half marathon races for the 3rd running of Born2Run’s popular double header in the beautiful setting of the Castleward Estate writes Joe Quinn.
A significant number of East Down runners took part with pride of place going to James Savage who posted his first victory at this level in a super time of 39.12, the only athlete to break 40 minutes on the day, and which over this particular course was a highly creditable effort. This win will be a massive boost for his self belief and is a fitting reward for his efforts to overcome a long spell of injury. Close behind in 2nd place was clubmate Paul Burns 40.54 a placing which will boost his confidence ahead of the forthcoming Hill and Dale series.
Catherine O’Connor kept the flag flying for the Ladies with a good 2nd place behind Cathy McCourt, one of the country’s top athletes, and just ahead of East Down’s third finisher Dermot Cahill. Liz O’Hagan was the only other lady to take on the shorter distance this year but Linda Cunningham opted for the better value for money grand tour in the Half Marathon. James Magennis too tackled the longer distance and was well pleased with his time, 3 minutes faster than 2 years ago and an indication of how his fitness is progressing.
The following day it was London’s turn to welcome the sunshine for the annual marathon, where although a cool breeze persisted throughout, it was warm for running and many suffered in the closing stages. But all of East Down’s starters crossed the finish line safely, led by the laid back Cheryl Denvir who posted a first class 3 hours 42 minutes and enjoyed the experience immensely. Michael McKeown too finished just ahead of Cheryl with Mags Flynn cruising round in 4.18 ahead of Mark Johnson 4.32. And spare a thought for Kim Surginor who suffered from a tummy bug for the last 10 miles but still finished in 5 hours. Denis McKay I did not see but on the basis of his daughter’s comment that he could hardly walk almost a week later it can be safely assumed that he too finished.
So well done to all of them and indeed to all runners from local clubs who took on the streets of London- and won!
BALLYGALGET COMMUNITY 10K
More sunshine turned up in Ballygalget on Easter Sunday morning for the 3rd running of the GAC promoted 10K. While numbers rise year on year there was a disappointing turnout, with several local clubs conspicuous by their absence, even though a shuttle bus service was provided from the ferry to the start. However with East Down’s Brendan Teer and North Down’s Dennis Scott in the field a hot race up front was assured. Brendan duly obliged with a new course record 32.59 and was relatively untroubled in doing so.
This is another event like the Leitrim 5 miles a few weeks ago which does not receive the support it deserves. A very friendly welcome is accorded to all who take part and a great spread of food including a chill relieving cup of soup is provided afterwards. It’s well worth a visit by many more locals next year.
BALLYNAHINCH LIONS 1OK ON 26 APRIL
Next Saturday represents a significant milestone in local running circles, when Ballynahinch Lions stage the 25th running of their 10K and they deserve a record turnout from local clubs. The proceeds from the race go to local charities and with an entry fee of just £10 for registered runners it is not going to be a breaking matter for anyone to take art. With good prizes, post race refreshments and a scenic course what more could anyone want. So come on all you lads and lasses from the East Down, Ballydrain, Murlough and Newcastle clubs, turn out and support your local event. It’s also the perfect warm up/ease down for anyone taking part in the Belfast Marathon on Monday 5 May. The race gets under way at 2.00pm.
DOWNPATRICK LIONS THREE LAKES 7 AND 14K CHARITY RACES ON 10 MAY
For anyone looking for the perfect warm down/build up after the Marathon then this is the event for you. With a choice of a 7K Fun Run/Walk for anyone just wanting to ease the aching limbs back into action or 14K for those who want to get back to the semblance of long running again or indeed to consolidate their efforts on one of the Marathon Relay legs the 3 Lakes Challenge is ideal. All proceeds this year are going to the Down Residential Project and with post race refreshments in the Lakeside Inn, on the shores of Ballydugan Lake, an idyllic afternoon of relaxation is in prospect. The races begin at 11.00am – don’t miss this one, it will be a year before the opportunity comes round again.
Online entry is open at www.athleticsni.org and entries will also be taken on the day in the Lakeside Inn.