East Down AC Has Easy Week After Last Week’s Marathons

Runners from the East Down AC enjoyed a more relaxing weeks after the marathons the previous weekend.


Runners from the East Down AC enjoyed a more relaxing weeks after the marathons the previous weekend.

Home Run.

After the huge efforts at the various marathons last weekend, many runners were justifiably taking their ease this weekend so it made for a quiet weekend on the racing front. Some East Down AC members saw this as a good opportunity to stay close to home by taking part in the Castlewellan parkrun.

This is a free weekly 5K timed run and anyone can take part whether they belong to a club or not. If you want to appear in the results you must first obtain a bar code online at:


Some of the East Down AC members enjoying a break at Castlewellan Forest Park.

and then turn up in good time for the 9.30 start. There are around 30 different parkrun locations in Northern Ireland with new events being set up all the time. Castlewellan can claim to be one of the most scenic and it attracted 180+ on Saturday past.

Run for Cake.

Whether the EDAC runners enjoyed their morning exercise or the post run refreshments more is up for debate. Ollie Robinson was first EDAC runner home possibly to ensure he had the pick of the goodies, while others were happy to run easy while taking in the beauty of the lake and trail.

As promised there was ample coffee and homemade cake at the finish for our club runners and we were more than happy to share with other passers by. We may even have acquired the odd new member or two so all in all it was a successful day out. The idea is to visit a variety of locations in the months ahead.

Enjoying a cuppa in Castlewellan Forest Park are members of the East Down AC.

Cooley Coast 10K.

At the same time as some were having a leisurely cuppa, 3 EDAC members had donned their red and yellow vests ready to take on the Cooley Coast10K in Carlingford. Patrick Smith reported back that the weather was kind, the first 8K was gentle almost flat but the last 2K gave them their money’s worth with a steady climb back to the finish line at the Cooley Kickham’s GAC grounds.

He managed to complete it in a time of 50.10 (87th place) which put him in well inside the top half of the field of 210. Kelly Smith was ahead of him up the road as she stormed to a 46.27 which took a full minute off her previous best time.

Kelly Smith, Patrick Smith and Aine Grant at Carlingford for the Cooley Coast 10K

She was 5th female overall which should really boost her confidence no end. It seems no time since she was aiming to run sub 50 and now she has 45 minutes in her sights. Well done Kelly!  Aine Grant who has settled in well to the club was doing her first 10K since Jimmy’s 10 in June and was well pleased to finish in 53 minutes. They all said that they would recommend this as a race to others in the club.

Aaron McGrady Takes Another Win.

Aaron McGrady had another good day on the hills on Saturday. He seems to flourish when there is hardship! He was out wearing his EDAC vest with pride at the  Bradwell Fell Race in the centre of the Peak

Aaron McGrady at the Bradwell Fell Race in the Peak District.

District. Not an easy one as it comprises 8km and 400m of climbing with a profile of 3 steep climbs early in the race, a rolling circuit for a few km on the fell top and then a final steep (-25%) descent to the village. The conditions on Saturday were misty and cool on the tops but good for running and helped by a well marked course.

The race set off fast into the first climb and Aaron settled back in and around 10th, hoping to work his way forward on the climbs. Over the top of the first climb there were 3 main contenders with Aaron one of them.

He took the lead on the way over the second climb and managed to put in a hard burst over the top and down the second descent. When he couldn’t hear the sound of the others breathing, he knew he had created a good gap so he relaxed a little on the third climb to gather some energy for the loop on the top.

Aaron was reasonably confident that he had built about a 45 second lead when he reached the final descent, but he gave it a good rattle anyway crossing the finish line with well over a minute to spare. Great pacing and a pleasing result.

This Weekend.

This weekend sees the Cross Country season taking the headlines with the NI Masters’ Trials at Queen’s Playing Fields. Entries for this are now closed but those who are taking part will be vying for selection for the upcoming Home Countries event in November. Plenty of others will also be planning some off road training in order to prepare for the Bobby Rea XC which is the week after.

It is great to see some recent recruits adding their name to the team entry and helpfully they will enjoy their first experience of “the muck”. Watch this space to hear how they get on!

EDAC enjoying a post race chat and cuppa with runners in Castlewellan Forest Park.