East Down AC Notes For Week Ending 23rd April

East Down runners enjoy events far afield

East Down runners enjoy events far afield

Hill and Dale Race 2 Tollymore

Last Thursday saw the second race in Newcastle ACs Hill Dale series at Tollymore forest park, With perfect weather conditions and dry under foot 295 runners took to the trails and hills of the park and the Mournes writes Martin Wilcox.

At the start there was a minute’s applause for local mountaineer Noel Hanna who sadly passed away at the beginning of the week.

The Tollymore Hill and Dale race is known for the long uphill climb to the finish which seems to go on forever, first to make the accent was EDAC mountain man Niall Gibney coming home in 57th place, next in and new to the Hill and Dale series was James Coffey in 72th place, he should be pleased with his first effort on the trails.

Old hand John Taylor was not far behind James in 89th with Paddy MacDonald a veteran at the Hill and Dale coming in in 211th position.

Janine Murray checks in and gets get number tag.

The next race is Slieve Martin, and is the start of the open mountain running.

IMRA Wicklow Glacier Lakes Race

Two days after completing the Hill and Dale race 2 Niall Gibney was off on his travels again to Wicklow. The Glacier Lakes Race is not your normal mountain race, and as it says on the tin is more about the many lakes in this beautiful part of the country.

Starting and finishing amongst the many monastic sites of Glendalough, runners must dip a foot in 6 of the highest glacier lakes in the Wicklow mountains.

Runners also have to navigate their way round the route with map and compass only. Once on the start line Niall was now regretting the Tollymore race two days before, but once he got going he enjoyed the challenge of running through some of the most spectacular areas in the Wicklow mountains.

Covering a distance of just over 25 miles with 6,500 feet of elevation. Niall had a great race coming in 5th overall and claimed 1st M45.

London Marathon 2023

Sunday saw one of the biggest running events of the year, with 48,000 athletes, club runners and many running for charities descending on central London for the the start in Greenwich for the 2023 London Marathon.

Janine Murray runs past the Cutty Sark during the London Marathon.

Both the men’s and women’s race did not disappoint with Kelvin Kiptum crossing the line in the second fastest marathon time of all time and Sifan Hassan winning the ladies race on her first attempt in 2hrs 33min 33secs, making the big step up from track running.

EDAC had three hardy souls that have been training hard and putting in the long miles. First to cross the line was Neil Curran in a great time of 2hr 47min 43seconds.

Neil has been quietly training away and it has proved very successful and he will be pleased with his time.

Another member of the East Down AC club that has been training hard for London is Alice Brear-Clarkson and must be very pleased with her efforts with a time of 2hr 57min38secs.

Breaking 3 hour mark is always a big goal and with her husband Paul as support team she was always going to smash it.

Janine Murray was having her second go at London and was hoping to come in around 4hrs 10min.

Janine was going well until the 15 mile point when a pothole ambushed her and tripped her up, it took a while for her to recover but she still crossed the finish line in an amazing time 4hrs 25min 36sec, great effort and great determination from Janine.

The Club is now getting ready for next Sunday for the Belfast Marathon with individuals and relays teams taking part.