East Down AC Notes and Greyabbey Report


It hardly seems like a year since the monsoon night which began in Greyabbey last July and virtually wiped our the 24 hour race in Bangor before dawn but organisers this year had used their influence to conjure up an almost ideal evening for the village’s increasingly popular 5 and 10K races last Friday. Record turnouts in both events saw almost 250 runners take to the pleasant country roads writes Joe Quinn. 

Michael Cultra was more than pleased to post a pb 38.54 while Liam Keenan reliable as ever clocked 39.25 with Michael McKeown 42.06 was half a minute quicker than last year, further testimony to the conditions. Chris O’Connor 20.12 took 5th place overall in the 5K race and continues to improve with every outing.


Neil McCartan celebrated his new status as doting uncle in fine style in Santry on Saturday when he set a new PB for the 800 metres with a time of 1.58.  Well Done Neil and who says the ladies don’t inspire us?


Sunday brought even more heat to welcome the first running of the Ballykinlar GAC promoted 10K and 5K walk in support of the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children, which though permitted as a road race was in fact more of a day on the beach.  By kind permission of  landowner David Corbett, the route swiftly left the hazards of traffic on the roads and made its way through the estate to the shores of Dundrum bay.  Watched with some amusement by the dozens of seals parked along the water’s edge almost 100 runners ploughed their own furrows along the occasionally yielding sand to emerge again on the Shore Road alongside the military base. This was indeed a tough race but such were the stunning views across the bay to the magnificent Mountains of Mourne and perhaps the concentration required to avoid the ebbing tide that not one complaint did I hear from anyone.  Indeed the Ladies in particular were fulsome in their praise for the course and this augurs well for future years.


The winner in a time which really brings into focus the difficulty of the terrain was East Down’s Brendan Teer in a time of 38.25, around 6 minutes slower than his best, from Newcastle’s David O’Flaherty with another East Down man Barrie Atkinson in 3rd.  First Lady was Orangegrove’s Louise Lemon from the Dromore duo of Susan Smyth and Helen McCartan.  East Down’s Lisa Milligan took the Over 40 prize with the Over 50 award to Murlough’s Anne McCormick. Thomas Leitch from Orangegrove was first male Over 40 with Lagan Valley’s evergreen Terry Eakin taking the Over 50 prize.

So a tremendously successful day all round made even sweeter by the generous of  sponsorship of local Vivo Store manager Rory Magorrian in conjunction with Hendersons which provided goodie bags to all participants. There was also a great community atmosphere about the place and thanks go to all who helped in any way for this most worthy of causes.


Wednesday 10th July evening sees the 2nd running of the 5 Mile Community Race and Fun Run organised by Kilmore Rec FC and hopefully you will have read this reminder in time to get to the start line in  Crossgar for the 7.30pm start.  The route will be the same as last year’s described by most as fast and fun and for those of you who ran it I made that last bit up – but it’s a good 5 miles and what better way to spend a Summer’s evening? And then?

It’s the Portaferry 10 Mile Race on 16 July for the sporting highlight of Gala week.