It hardly seemed a year since the 2013 event but nevertheless the middle Sunday in March it was and time for Jimmy’s Ten again. The morning dawned cool, bright and dry, typical of previous staging of the increasingly popular race which, with a record entry of over 700 this time fairly brought the historic county town to full alertness on the eve of St Patrick’s Day writes Joe Quinn.
Kicking off at 9.30am in the ASDA Car park, 60 children from P3 to P8 competed in 5 races around the parking perimeter. Every participant was rewarded for their efforts with a goody bag and a medal sponsored by the retail giant and East Down AC offer their thanks for their ongoing support.
Five times previous winner Joe McAlister, St Malachy’s AC returned to try to wrest his crown from last year’s winner Eddie McGinley and Annadale’s “local” man James O’Hare. After an absorbing contest into a strong headwind on the return journey which meant the race record was never in danger, it was McAlister who forged ahead in the final 40 metres to win in 31.17 with McGinley j6 seconds behind, a stout defence of his title, given that he became a father for the first time just last week, and O’Hare just over one minute back in 3rd place, repeating his podium position from last year. Top East Down man Brendan Teer was just out of the money in 4th place but had the last laugh as he was the popular winner of the £500 prize draw, which brought proceedings to a close later.
Another 5 time time previous winner of this great race, Paul Rowan from Willowfield Harriers made an appearance after an absence of 4 years, and showed his continued liking for the event with a highly commendable 5th place overall and first in the Over 45 category. First over 35 category winner was James Brown from East Coast AC, with the Over 40, 50, 55, 60, 65 and 70 titles going to Martin Willcox East Down, Mervyn Chambers Willowfield, Greg McClure North Belfast, Terry Eakin North Down, Desi McHenry unattached and Ivan Baxter NI Civil Service respectively.
HOW the LADIES FARED
Gladys Ganiel O’Neill again proved worthy of her favourite billing in the ladies race taking the title for the second year in a row in a time of 36.46 as she builds towards Commonwealth Games participation in the Summer. Ballydrain’s Denise Logue was second with Rebecca Murtagh Dromore in 3rd place. First Over 35 Lady was Susan Smyth from the Dromore club with Amanda Perry North Belfast, Danie McKee and Janice Reid Dromore, Ann George Murlough and Jennifer Hamilton taking the Over 40, 45, 50, 55 and 60 prizes respectively.
A huge vote of thanks is extended to everyone who helped towards the success of the day, with a special Well Done to the members who helped with the pre-race registration and the band of members and friends who worked so hard at the post race refreshments in the Leisure Centre. A special word is also due to the staff in Down Leisure Centre who worked so hard to assist the smooth running of events in the Centre You are the reason so many people come back year after year and ensure that Jimmy’s Ten retains its standing as the provider of best post race refreshments anywhere. Thanks too to everyone who helped set up and dismantle the route signage and moved barriers and cones into and out of position as necessary and to all the volunteer marshals and to the PSNI personnel who ensured safe passage around the route.
Thanks are also extended to Down District Council Vice Chairman Gareth Sharvin for his attendance at the start and afterwards at the prize giving ceremony, to the army of marshals, Athletics NI officials, to principal sponsor MB McGrady & Co, Chartered Accountants, the other event sponsors, Down District Council, Dupes DVD and Video Duplication, Translink, Plus2Print, Wrap and Roll Stoneyways, Denvirs Hotel, Flowers by Tracey and ASDA
Details on the Relay competition will appear in next weeks report.
NEXT SUNDAY IS SPORTS RELIEF DAY
The action switches next Sunday to Ballymote Sports and Well Being Centre for the Down District Council promoted Sports Relief Challenge organised in conjunction with East Down AC. The action will be much less intense and participants have a choice between the Downpatrick Dander Mile, 3 Miles or 6 miles simply to raise money for charity. Everyone will receive a medal and a bottle of water and the runs begin at 12.00noon.