East Down AC Calls For Entries To Jimmy’s Ten


There will be an exciting new look for the junior section of the Jimy’s Ten race this year writes Joe Quinn.

“This year instead of organising a series of Junior races for children on the morning of the Jimmy’s Ten Road Race,  East Down AC has decided to put on several races for Primary School children on St Patrick’s Day in Market St, just before the Festival Parade arrives. We plan to have races for P3, P4, P5, P6 and P7 Boys and Girls. The race is sponsored by the local McDonald’s outlet in Downpatrick.

“The streets will be packed with spectators waiting for the parade so this is the chance to perform in front of a massive audience. Would you want to miss it?

“All of the races will begin and end near the Library and as the time frame for starting and finishing them will be tight, every child who intends to run must be at the start line by 1.15pm. The distinctive red East Down gazebo will be erected close by the Library or outside the SERC building as the focal point for children and parents.

“This year’s Jimmy’s Ten on Sunday 13 March at 11.00am is fast approaching and runners are encouraged to enter now at:

Mark O’ Connor, Robert Miskelly, Cheryl Denvir, Kieran McMahon, Ciaran Denvir and Michael Cultra at Kilclief on Sunday.
Mark O’ Connor, Robert Miskelly, Cheryl Denvir, Kieran McMahon, Ciaran Denvir and Michael Cultra at Kilclief on Sunday.


“Entries are limited to 750 and will only be taken on the day if this figure is not reached before then, but at increased cost. Online entries are already well over 600. The organisers are guaranteeing to carry over to next year any entries which are not used so entrants should have no fear of losing out. This offer is unique to Jimmy’s Ten so the advice is get in early.

“Pacers will again be provided to help runners achieve their target times.

“After last year’s near apocalyptic weather for the Ben Dearg Coast 10K, the contrast this year was truly remarkable. Warm sunshine ( remember that?) and almost windless conditions encouraged a record number of athletes from many parts of Northern Ireland and beyond to the shores of Strangford Lough and Ballyhornan to enjoy what last weekend truly lived up to its billing as the most picturesque in the county.


“Though perhaps not the “best” course for setting PB’s, in spite of it’s flatness, in Co Down terms, the 10K race was won in what was a record time of 32.59 by Newcastle’s David Simpson a former winner of Jimmy’s Ten back in his Willowfield days.

 the East Down Mens Team on Saturday at Stormont L to R Paul Burns, Dee Murray, Ian McCracken, Mark O’Connor, Stephen Cassidy and Davy Foster
The East Down Men’s Team on Saturday at Stormont – L to R Paul Burns, Dee Murray, Ian McCracken, Mark O’Connor, Stephen Cassidy and Davy Foster

“David is quickly returning to competitive level after several years pursuing a mountain and ultra running path and as he hinted at Stormont on Saturday when he came 2nd in the cross country League fixture he is not far away. He will be a serious contender if he makes the start line for Jimmy’s Ten on 13 March. 2014 winner James Brown was runner up this time but two and a half minutes behind Simpson while Ciaran Denvir 6th last year in 40.52 set himself a new PB by carving a massive 4 and a half minutes off that time as he came home 3rd in 36.23.

“Mark O’ Connor retained the Over 45 title with a new PB of 38.25, leading home a trio of sub 40 East Down runners in 6th place, with Declan Teague and Michael Cultra in 7th and 8th places. Interesting point here is that both Mark and Declan ran on Saturday, Mark at Stormont and Declan in Castlewellan in the final Born2Run race and like the winner turned in improved performances.

ront L to R Kirsti and Lucy Foster and Anna Gardiner the Primary School Team winners at Stormont on Saturday with back Row L to R Laura Green, Ella Carroll, Aoife Cochrane and Edie Carroll
Front L to R Kirsti and Lucy Foster and Anna Gardiner the Primary School Team winners at Stormont on Saturday, with back Row L to R Laura Green, Ella Carroll, Aoife Cochrane and Edie Carroll

“Michael in contrast has been very busy working recently to concentrate on training so his performance is equally noteworthy. The Over 35 prize was claimed by John McConnell who won last year’s 5K race – a good step up. Kieran McMahon looked comfortable with a fluent 43.12 return while Mark Johnston in a rare appearance broke the 50 minute barrier. Robert Miskelly made his first appearance of the year, being Strictly preoccupied in recent weeks, but he danced serenely home to 61 minutes.


“The Ladies race was won by City of Lisburn’s Diane Watson in 39.54 last year’s runner up Kirsty Sharratt again in 2nd with East Down’s Cheryl Denvir in third. Sinead Kinsella was well below her previous time for the distance her 46.49 being a significant improvement while Aurla McLaughlin and Patricia Galloway were well inside the 60minute mark.

Alison Carroll. Laura Gardiner and Alison Gililand, the East Down AC ladies' team on Saturday.
Alison Carroll. Laura Gardiner and Alison Gililand, the East Down AC ladies’ team on Saturday.

Ruth Wilson took the Over 35 prize for the second year in a row with Alison McConnell Olympian Triathlon Club taking the Over 45 title.


“A special mention has to be made of the Ballygalget contingent, upwards of 40 men and women, most of them members of the Biggest Losers Club, who made the trip to take part in what for many of them was their first 5 or 10K. Tackling either distance for the first time is a daunting prospect for beginners and they all showed great strength of mind to complete the course in what were very warm conditions. I have to say their performances were little short of inspirational and for my money they were all winners


“The winner of the 5K was Eoin Hughes who had travelled all the way from Letterkenny and who cruised home in an excellent 20.21 ahead of East Down’s Martin Burke. Eoin was not the only winner in is family on the day as his Dad John took the Over 50s prize in the 10K. Bragging rights are still being disputed and might have to wait until Jimmy’s Ten for settlement.

“First Lady home was Claire Miskelly with Colleen Reilly in second. Oisin and Fionn McFall set the standard for dad Declan who responded with a superb 52.09 time in the 10K later. That’s over 6 minutes better than last year, so those guys at the front had better look out – Deeks is coming!!

“The post race refreshments served by the hard working ladies committee and the good humoured banter which is to be heard in the clubrooms afterwards have become features of this event – it would indeed be a strong contender for the friendliest road race anywhere and is much appreciated and enjoyed by everyone who takes part.


“A massive thank you to all the sponsors whose generous support is much appreciated and of course a final Well Done to everyone who took part.


“On Saturday both East Down seniors and Juniors were in action in the final Cross Country League fixture of the 2015/16 season. It proved a traumatic and painful experience for Newcastle’s David O’ Flaherty as a collision with an oncoming runner from Willowfield ended his race as he was consolidating his lea at the beginning if the 2nd lap of 3. This left Foyle valley’s Chris McGuinnes clear ahead of North Down’s Dennis Scott and Newcastle’s David Simpson.

“The race turned into a tremendous contest with Scott overhauling McGuinness before the start of the final lap and holding on well from the fast finishing Simpson who snatched the runner up spot from McGuinness in the last few hundred metres. Doubtless O’ Flaherty would have won and helped his club to maximum team points, which instead went to big rivals Foyle Valley, but he’ll lick his wounds and be back next year


“Good performances all round with Team Captain Paul Burns leading the way ahead of Dee Murray and Mark O’Connor with Davy Foster close behind. Stephen Cassidy had probably his best run of the season, looking strong throughout and enjoying himself all the way to the finish line. Ian McCracken slotted in towards the rear and was the important 6th man to gain another valuable scoring point.

“Tom Dowey kept the East Down colours flying in the Male Master over 60s race, looking in good shape and posting 24.40 for the 3.6 miles, and thus covering up for a certain other over 60 whose excuse of “forgotten my spikes” is currently being investigated by the (Bog) Standards committee.

..and WOMEN

“Once again the Ladies shone brightly in the variable underfoot conditions on offer on Saturday and while only fielding 3 runners Laura Gardiner, Alison Gilliland and Alison Carroll, they nevertheless punched well above their weight.

“Laura’s 9th place was evidence of an improving stamina base after initially looking as if she had started to quickly while Alison G has proved a revelation all season, going from strength to strength, and 16th position on Saturday was a really top quality performance. Alison C. as ever proved the lynchpin in the squad and maintained her season long form to take 61st place in a field of 140 runners. Well Done Ladies – Roll on next season?


“As often in the past it was the Junior squad which effectively brought home the bacon on Saturday. The Primary School Girls ace saw almost 150 children take to the start line and at the other end it was Kirsti Foster who emerged from the trees in second place and only just failed to snatch first place form Armagh AC’s Ella Haynes. Not far behind came Anna Gardiner in 7th place and Kirsti’s sister Lucy in 12th. All taken together their performances were more than enough to win the Primary Girls Cup beating Armagh AC by 4 points. WELL DONE GIRLS.

“Just after that Mackenzie Murray was 10thout of 125 runners in the Primary Boys race and Edie Carroll ran sensibly to secure 3rd place in the Under 15 Girls race, but more importantly and possibly preoccupied by upcoming exams she had no re-occurrence of the stitch problems of recent races.

“In the Under 17 Girls race Aoife Cochrane ran beautifully to take 3rd place with Laura Green showed sins of a return to form with a well worked 7th place just one ahead of Ella Carroll.”

Further details next week and on the club website: