East Down AC Runners Step Out In Style

Runners from the East Down AC continue their efforts through the summer months.

Runners from the East Down AC continue their efforts through the summer months.

The Mallusk 5 Mile Race

Friday past was the Mallusk Harriers 5 Mile Race in association with Pizzarella. Unfortunately due to Covid restrictions, the customary post-race pizza was not on the menu this year but runners were glad to be able to take part in a live race nonetheless writes Alison Carroll.

There were 150 signed up for the challenge. It is well known that the route starts with a long uphill which saps the legs and the lungs but there is a long drift towards the finish which is compensation. The weather was damp but luckily the heavy downpours that were forecast did not materialise. East Down AC had 2 runners in the mix.

Gordy Makes the Podium.

One of the successful runners was Gordy Graham who had to drop out midway in his last race (the NI & Ulster 5K Championships) when a niggle became too painful to ignore. In the heat of competition, that is a hard decision to make – do you forfeit finishing the race in the hope that the damage will be more easily repaired or do you battle on so that you reach the line but then pay the price for your efforts?

Gordy Graham in action in the Mallusk Harriers 5 Mile Race

Gordy followed his head rather than his heart and wisely stepped off the road but was understandably frustrated at the time. Roll on and with a few weeks of cautious but solid training under his belt he turned up ready to race. He was up against Jimmy Sloan, his training partner and previous club mate and Brandon McMinn of North Belfast so he knew that it would be fast and furious from the get go.

To an extent it was a battle of mental strength as once they split, each ended up running solo but knowing that there was someone on their heels. Gordy held his focus and crossing the line 16 seconds after Jimmy in a time of 27.36, he was delighted to take 2nd place.

Brandon came in 20 seconds later to take the 3rd podium spot. After the race Gordy said that he felt that his performance vindicated his precautionary actions so many weeks previous. He paid tribute to the organisers for hosting a successful event and also mentioned that the great support from the marshals was much appreciated.

Janine Murray and Gordy Graham at Mallusk 5 Mile run.

Janine Improves Her Time

The other EDAC representative was Janine Murray. She had previously done this race in 2019 so she was out to better her time. She has been building her miles as the London Marathon date approaches and slotting in a faster race worked well with the plan.

janine had run a 5K personal best in the afore-mentioned County Down 5K and on that night felt comfortable. On Friday, however, she said she couldn’t find a good rhythm and while she tackled the uphill with grit, the downhill didn’t give her the boost that she was hoping for.

Nonetheless she carved a full minute and more off her 2019 time and was more than happy to finish in 42.17 for the 5 mile distance. Well done Janine and best of luck in the weeks ahead as the long mile runs get longer. You have got this!