East Down runners prepare for Belfast Marathon
The 2022 Hill & Dale Series hosted by Newcastle & District AC got off to a great start on Thursday past with the Castlewellan Forest Park as the venue for the first outing writes Alison Carroll.
There was a main race with 230 runners out to test their mountain legs as well as a separate junior race with 15 entrants. The main race over a 5.2 mile course started at 7:30pm. The juniors were then held as bunch and slotted into the pack approx 1.5 miles in to the course after the first dozen seniors went through.
The main Race was well won by NAC athlete Tom Crudgington (still junior) who is very much at home on this terrain. EDAC’s Aaron McGrady ran strongly to take 3rd place beating Jared Martin from Ballydrain Harriers in a tight sprint finish.
Considering this involved charging up the steep up hill in front of the castle this was no easy task. Paddy McDonald (57.44) and Brian Hamilton (58.38) two more EDAC Hill & Dale regulars also took part and placed 182nd and 193rd respectively in 57.44 and 58.38.
East Down AC also had 4 juniors in the shorter distance. Allowing the younger athletes to merge in was a great idea as they got the experience of being part of a larger field and it made it a more competitive race for them.
It was a tough start as they joined in at the bottom of the Slievenaslat climb but at least they got the hardest part over and done with first. They completed 3.7 miles in total to finish at the same point as the main field.
Jacob Crawford ran with confidence to take the win in 38.51. James Wright placed 8th with Finn Gibney close behind in 9th. Orla Gibney was 15th and deserves credit for taking on her first mountain run.
The main Series will continue on an almost weekly basis until the end of June so there is plenty of opportunity to sign up and try it out if you missed this one. There will be 3 more opportunities for junior racing. All information can be found at: https://www.newcastleac.org/?page_id=16096
The Belfast Marathon is fast approaching and many members are in the final stages of their preparation.
As well as those taking on the full 26.2 miles there are relay teams and EDAC has 3 entered. Each team has 5 runners who will start at points in and around Belfast to record a collective time.
On Sunday 24th April they plan to meet to have to run as a group leaving Carricknab at 9.30am They will then have coffee at Lis Mocha coffee van and chat team tactics.
All are welcome to join in regardless of whether you are in one of the teams or not. EDAC is always open to new senior members so get in touch if you are looking for running buddies.
Contact email@example.com to find out more.