The East Down AC steps up the pace with members attending events across the country again.
Deo Takes On A Challenge.
Deo Kato became a member of East Down AC during lockdown last year at a time when small groups were permitted to meet and he enjoyed having buddies to run with after weeks of solo miles writes Alison Carroll.
At the minute he is back living in London but has maintained his membership and his contact with the clubmates hopes to be back in NI from time to time to catch up with us.
On Saturday 22nd May he took part in an ultra-distance trail run. It was a tough challenge because as well as the long mileage, he had to contend with 1,255m of ascent. It was part of the Ultra X Spring Trails Series race with over 500 runners taking part over the 4 options (10km, 21km, 50km & 100km.)
Deo started at 8am in Haslemere on the 50km route which went along the South Downs Way National Trails. Due to the rough ground, the hills and the heat many struggled and out of the 300 who started only 219 finished. Our man came home smiling and an impressive 51st overall. Well done Deo!
Mountain Man Niall.
The EDAC is full of folk who love a challenge! Niall Gibney had a busy Sunday last weekend. When most were enjoying the sun by taking a stroll and an ice cream, he was out tackling all the peaks in the Mournes which are over 500m. There are in fact 39 such peaks and this has been named the Mourne 500 Challenge.
It was first completed on foot in July 31, 2010, in 18 hours and 26 minutes, under the old rule of starting and finishing at first and last points. That time has been bettered on quite a few occasions since, even under the new rule that the start and finish must be the same point ie you must do a full circuit. The current record stands at an amazing 10 hours and 18 minutes set by Shane Lynch and Steven Shields.
There is a defined route which is required if you are looking for qualifying points for the UTMB race (an annual ultra distance race in the Alps) but Niall chose the option of visiting the peaks in any order. For Niall this resulted in 40.13 miles and 14381 feet of elevation on his GPS watch at the finish.
Niall is well known for his toughness but this was a whole new level of grit. The run is self-supported meaning you carry all that you need for the entire route and in the heat of his chosen day, this was a huge undertaking.
Afterwards he said: “My main issue was trying to keep hydrated. Taking on water so frequently affected my ability to eat which obviously is not good when you are expending such energy for a long period.
“The high point was finding rivers to cool off and arriving at the top of Donard approaching from the East was a personal triumph”.
His long hours preparing for the attempt were vindicated when he completed in 14 hours and 38 minutes. In retrospect he feels that he possibly should have waited for a cooler day but the Mournes were certainly spectacular with the clear blue skies. Who knows what he has planned next, but in the meantime a major Kudos to Niall.
The First Shall Be Last.
Sometimes it is good to mix things up and on Thursday last there was a staggered start race which did exactly that. Based on recent 5k times, a starting order was devised where the slowest went off first and (after a timed interval) the next and so on with the quickest runner having to play catch up.
The idea being if the sums are done correctly that all the runners converge at the end as the gaps are closed. The route chosen was from Steamboat Quay to the Quoile Bridge. As well as being flat, the out and back route allowed those coming home on the return leg to see the chasers on the way out.
The format proved popular with those who took part, particularly those who are normally in the latter half of the field as they got a chance to be the leaders for a while.
Kevin Times It Perfectly.
There was a combination of pacing and tactics involved and in the end it was Kevin Kelly who took the lead with a mile and a bit to go and managed to hold on despite the pack of runners hunting him down. He was delighted to win and even more pleased to receive a Teamwear Ireland voucher to update his EDAC kit.
Janine Murray had run part of the way with Suzy Smith but then eased ahead on the Strangford Road past the turning point. She cruised past Alison Carroll who was the first runner off and had enjoyed being the winner for the first half of the race until she was passed by Kevin.
Janine then made an effort to catch Kevin up ahead but ran out of road. She crossed the line in 2nd place and was handed a voucher which had kindly been donated by McGreevy Butchers. Suzy may have been left by Janine but she gamely pushed on also passing Alison. This gained Suzy 3rd prize which was a voucher for Tom’s Wine Barrel.
Alison was then denied 4th when young Declan Hampton got into his stride and fairly whizzed past in the final yards. The remainder stampeded in in close order with some aggressive sprinting to reach the line.
Coach Paul Burns has noted the times and while some may have gained advantage on the estimated splits this time round, he will have all the best efforts on record to calculate the running order for the next event. Thanks to all involved for making this happen.
It certainly showed how racing has been missed as there was a lot of effort put in compared to a normal session.
Championchip Back At It.
On Sunday 30 May, Glenn Grant of Championchip and his team hosted another in the series of events that were called off pre-Christmas.
EDAC was represented by 2 runners on the day. Seamus Savage reported back that it was not his finest hour. We were all basking in the sunshine that day as one of the hottest of the year but the runners were not so happy.
Almost all the times show that the athletes wilted as the 2nd half progressed and Seamus would agree that he slowed up on the last lap. In the end he ran a respectable 47.03 which sets him a target for his race at Bishopscourt on June 20th when he runs in Jimmy’s 10.
Sharon Madine recovering from a nasty fall when riding her horse in competition was just glad to be able to run and was happy to see the finish in 49.07. Great to see EDAC vests in the mix.
Jimmy’s 10K 2021.
With the recent Covid updates on 24th May, Jimmy’s 10 has the green light and borrowing the famous Murray Walker quote it is GO GO GO at Bishopscourt on June 20th. There will be 2 waves to comply with number caps with the first wave off at 10.30am.
The 2nd wave which will also cater for the Relay teams is at 12.30. Deferred runners from last year have been updated frequently and will be sent their numbers in the post.
There are a limited number of new entries available at:
and with a prize fund of £200, £100, £60 available for the 1,2 and 3rd overall as well as age group prizes there is great interest in these so hurry.
As well as those aiming for podiums, there are plenty who are keen to prove that they are fit to cover 10km as a result of their efforts in lockdown. Something for everyone!