Jimmy’s 10 Attracts Big Field Of Runners Once Again

Large contingent of runners in the Jimmy’s 10K

There were two local winners of note in the Finnebrogue Jimmy’s 10K 2024. Robbie Hagen from the Newcastle AC fizzed round in a fast run of 31.34.

And Catherine O’Connor from the host club, East Down AC, raced round in a brilliant 36.53 collecting the laurels on the day.

The winners:

(l-r) Jimmy Sloane, Annadale Striders, second; Robbie Hagen, first, Newcastle AC; and third was Chris McCaffrey from the Saintfield Striders with Finnebrogue’s Finnebrogue’s Chief Commercial Officer, Bev Mitchell. (Presentation photos courtesy of East Down AC.)
The winners in the ladies section in the Jimmy’s 10K. (l-r) Debbie McConnell, North Belfast Harriers, second; Catherine O’Connor, East Down AC, first, and third was Joanne Campbell from Finn Valley. Included is Finnebrogue’s Chief Commercial Officer Bev Mitchell.
  1st    Robbie Hagen Newcastle AC 00:31:34Catherine O’Connor East Down AC 00:36:53
  2nd  Jimmy Sloan Annadale Striders 00:33:00Debbie McConnell North Belfast Harriers 00:38:50
3rd  Chris McCaffrey Saintfield Striders 00:33:03Joanne Campbell Finn Valley 00:41:55
  1st Under 20  Lindsay Crutchley Newcastle AC 00:34:37Natalie Toman   01:00:33
  1st over 35  Christopher Dean Willowfield Harriers 00:33:21Emma Beglin Dub Runners 00:44:15
  1st over 40  Gary Montgomery Glenlough Running Club 00:33:40Vicky McVeigh Jog Lisburn RC 00:44:03
  1st over 45  Stuart McIver Ballydrain Harriers 00:37:04Kirsty Bogle Ballydrain Harriers 00:44:30
  1st over 50  Stuart Neale Ballydrain Harriers 00:38:19Cathy McCourt   00:42:51
  1st over 55  Eamon White North Belfast Harriers 00:33:40Marie McCaughey Dub Runners 00:45:53
  1st over 60  Declan McCormick Murlough AC 00:41:15Mary Slocum Ward Park Runners 00:43:54
  1st over 65  Norman Mawhinney Scrabo Striders 00:39:26Alice Lewis Dursley Running Club 00:49:49
1st over 70  Brian Stewart North Belfast Harriers 00:46:31   
  1st All Male  Ollie Hanna & Cormac Leheny   00:38:10
  1st All Female  Erin Han & Olivia McCusker Loughview AC 00:40:27
  1st Mixed  Luke Braniff & Willow Farrington Scrabo Striders 00:44:12
Most Senior Finisher  Hugh Young Ballydrain Harriers 01:11:53
Open Teams:
Open Teams    Team: Newcastle AC   1.Robert Hagen   2. Lindsay Gordon   3. David McNeilly   4. Lindsay Crutchley    Team: Ballydrain Harriers   1. Kirsty Bogle   2. Amanda Jackson   3. Debbie Mingout        
Well done to all the winners!



The Report From East Down AC.

JIMMY’S 10K and RELAY 2024

The 24th edition of Jimmy’s 10K and Relay took place on Sunday 10th March bringing much excitement to the streets of Downpatrick. This popular race is the brainchild of Joe Quinn MBE writes Allison Carroll,

It is an annual event which pays tribute to Jimmy Murray, an inspirational coach who was a founder member of East Down Athletics Club.

East Down AC official Mags Matheson the founder of the Jimmys 10K, Joe Quinn MBE. (Race photos by Jim Masson / Down News).

The Club is currently in a 3-year partnership with local business Finnebrogue who not only lend generous financial support to the event but supply copious amounts of their some of their extensive range of products, namely sausages and bacon.

The post race hot dogs flew out of the newly renovated Finnebrogue food truck like snow off a ditch!

Top Prize Fund

But less of the food and more of the racing – there was an enticing bonus of £200 for the winning male if his time was sub 31 minutes (and sub 34 minutes for females) which was on top of the already tempting £200 for the win.

Robbie Hagan of Newcastle & District Athletic Club made no secret of his desire to go for bust.

Robbie Hagen crosses the line to win the Finnebrogue Jimmy’s 10K race for 2024 held in Downpatrick. (Photo by Jim Masson/Down News.)

He was aware that Jimmy Sloan of Annadale Striders would be on the start line with a few other top runners and they would all be waiting to see if he went out too hard and suffered a “blow out”.

On the female front EDAC’s own Catherine O’Connor was in great shape and seemed a hot favourite for First Female.

The weather was not kind but runners are a hardy lot and while there were few minor grumbles as the pack was herded out of the cosy clubrooms onto the start line on Market Street.

And by the time they reached Irish Street there were smiles as they passed the spectators and the cheers began.

(l-r) Jimmy Sloane, Annadale Striders, second; Robbie Hagen, first, Newcastle AC; and third was Chris McCaffrey from the Saintfield Striders, third.

Going for Gold

Robbie was a man on a mission. He was out by a yard within seconds and just kept striding out increasing the gap, glancing at his watch and more or less disregarding the runners behind him.

By the War Memorial it became clear that the only thing Robbie was racing was the clock.

His popularity was shown by the amount of times his name rang out from the sidelines and while the rest of the crowd were also well supported, it was the local man that they wanted to see on the podium.

Robbie definitely paced it well; hehad no bad patches or  moments but the wet roads, the rise and fall of the breeze and the fact that he was solo from the gun meant that a sub 31 was not that likely.

Nevertheless he gave it all he had, even sprinting to the line.

His time of 31.34 was not enough for the bonus but to see Robbie you would have thought he had won an Olympic Gold.

He had confided pre-race how much winning this local premier event would mean to him and the waiting crowd were equally delighted to see him breech the finish tape as the winner of Jimmy’s 10 2024.

Huge congratulations and well deserved!  The bonus awaits another year!

Catherine O’Connor, a member of the East Down AC, walking on air! She was the first female runner to cross the line. (Photo by Jim Masson/Down News).

Catherine on the top spot

Catherine O’Connor was also in a class of her own. She took off like a whippet and didn’t look back.

She ran a great race to finish in 36.53 almost 2 minutes ahead of 2nd placed Female Debbie McConnell of North Belfast Harriers.

With no chaser it is no surprise that this was not a personal best by any means but Catherine was an impressive 17th overall and became the first EDAC Female to claim top spot at this event for a second time. (First back in 2018).

Well done, Catherine! The final step on the rostrum was claimed by Joanne Campbell of Finn Valley in 41.55

While the faster end of the field were catching their breath, the runners continued to stream across the finish.

Soon the place was heaving with people and most were happy with their efforts.

Jimmy’s 10 has a wide appeal with some chasing times and prizes and others fulfilling a personal challenge while many just enjoy the day and the fun of taking part.

It is a wonderful sight to see the town buzzing with activity and even the latter end of the race got cheered home.

Robbie Hagen, Newcastle AC runner (241) centre, is totally focussed from the start of the race on winning the Jimmy’s 10K.


Hosting the race is no mean feat and the majority of the club members were involved on the day with marshalling and catering so there were not that many taking part.

Some had drafted in friends and family to do their jobs or been part of the set up team so that they could be released to run.

Of the EDAC runners Adam Withers was the lead out coming home in 12th place overall. He was happy enough with that performance. He was followed by Conaill MacNabb, Daniel Giles and Joe Napier in that order all breaking 40 minutes with ease.

Adam Morgan who has been training hard was chuffed with 42.25 and Jonathan Holmes who is getting back to fitness took 42.35 as a solid base marker. Darryl


Glenn one of the EDAC juniors was well able for the distance in 46.23. John Taylor had a super run to finish 150th overall. 3 game EDAC ladies battled it out with Aine Grant taking bragging rights in 53 minutes followed by Clare Forster in 54 and Suzy Smith in 54.43.

Kieran McMahon was satisfied with 56 minutes to come 342nd and Nuala Taylor was seen to be smiling throughout the course just hitting the hour for the 10K.

Running for miles in the Jimmy’s 10K race in Downpatrick.

More prizes!

As well as the 10K there is a relay event where teams of 2 run half the distance each and their combined time is recorded.

The first relay team home of the 24 taking part were a male combo – Ollie Hanna and Comac Leheny. They set a speedy time of 38.10 between them. An all female team was 2nd overall – Erin Han and Olivia McCusker (40.27).

There was a prize for each of these categories and also one for a mixed team. This was won by Luke Braniff and Willow Farrington of Scrabo Striders.

It is a great way to take part in the event if not quite 10K ready. EDAC juniors entered two teams with Sarah Gilchrist and Cara Napier 45.21) placing 2nd female team and Dillon Hynds and William Taylor  (50.21) taking 2nd all male.

There was a team award based on the fastest 4 men in one club and Newcastle & District AC took that with relative ease by dint of the efforts of Robbie Hagan, Lindsay Gordon, David McNeill and Lindsay Crutchley. Ballydrain Harriers snatched the Ladies’ Team prize for the top 3 in one club – Kirsty Bogle, Amanda Jackson and Debbie Mingout.

Age category prizes are also awarded and the winners were as follows:

Thank you for the support!

Without the support of sponsor Finnebrogue, the event could not take place, so it is important to record thanks for their commitment not just to the club but to the community.

They have embraced the feel-good factor of the race and indeed there was a large number of Finnebrogue representatives who took part.

EDAC would also like to give a shout out to Plus2print and Wrap & Roll. These 2 local businesses have been linked with Jimmy’s 10 for well over a decade but are still more than happy to help out.

Finally EDAC would like to express appreciation for the support that was shown regarding the short but necessary traffic management on race day.

They apologise for any inconvenience caused due to ensuring the safety of the participants. Until 2025 that is a wrap!

Well done to everyone!