Downpatrick Runners Ready For Jimmy’s 10.
Stormy Weather Ahead
With storms Dudley and Eunice menacing throughout the week, it was hard to predict if any racing would go ahead at the weekend. Some events called a cancellation early on based on the forecast and others adopted a wait and see approach writes Allison
Born2run were hosting the last event of the Run Forest Run Series in Castlewellan Forest Park on Saturday and were greeted with a carpet of snow but the winds were somewhat lighter than had been anticipated. After a course inspection the organisers decided to go ahead. The runners who showed up in good number were obviously keen enough to take on the challenge and further flurries of snow did not dent their enthusiasm. Much of the route was on trail so it was wet underfoot and there were slushy areas with torrents running along the tracks – definitely not conducive to fast times.
Go Team Graham!
Gordy Graham was the only EDAC runner in the 10K and he traversed the loops in determined fashion. The eventual winner, Tudor Modova, proved too strong for him on the day but Gordy held a clear 2nd place and was pleased to see that his time (34.53) was quicker than the previous running of that same course by over a minute.
Another race and another podium to reward his consistent training. His wife Steph also representing EDAC went one better when she took the top spot on the Female Podium in the 5K. She has run strongly in the recent cross country races and this obviously was good practice as she fairly flew over the undulating course finishing in 20.38.
Both of them are training for Manchester Marathon so having a race to break up the relentless mileage was welcome. Well done to the Grahams!
Ollie Robinson and brother Alex were accompanied on the start line of the 5K by Finn Gibney. Having regularly run the Castlewellan parkrun, they felt that they knew what lay in store but in actual fact the route included more climbing which tested their legs.
Ollie came in 5th overall in 19.18 and Alex also managed sub 20 with 19.52. Finn Gibney was 12th in 21.11. With a field of 205 this is a commendable performance by all 3 especially on a day when most looked outside and chose to stay home. The pictures reveal how gruelling it was but at least it was a memorable outing.
Aaron McGrady sees the end of the cross country season as a signal to target the mountains but perhaps regretted his enthusiasm to switch disciplines when he found himself in wild conditions at the weekend at the Doctors Gate Fell Race in the Peak District.
The driving hail and blustery wind was an unwelcome addition to the 450m ascent over a 10K route. Most of the climbing was in one section of 1.5 Km so it was a hard ask and Aaron found himself in a close battle for the lead.
He got a slight gap on the ascent and launched himself down the other side hoping to hold his place but he was overhauled on the final bit of descent and had to settle for a worthy 2nd place.
Preparations continue at a pace for the flag ship East Down AC 10K road race.
A group met on Sunday to recce the course. It brought back happy memories to be on familiar ground as last year’s event had to be held at Bishopscourt Racing Circuit due to Covid 19 restrictions.
Entries are selling fast and with 600 already registered, you need to get a move on if you want to be part of this fantastic event!
All entry is online: https://athleticsni.org/Fixtures/Jimmys-Ten
with NO on the day registration available.