HILL and DALE RACE 10 – THE MEELS
After all the trials and tribulations endured by those of us who had to sit out most of this year’s H&D series, the end is finally in sight and only one more fixture to go, next Friday writes Joe Quinn.
Unfortunately my early resolve to take part in the requisite minimum six quickly dissipated, due to a combination of illness, injury, laziness, forgetfulness, meetings and running out of time. Any way no such afflictions hindered Neil Andrews and he posted his best placing of the year on when he romped home in 8th place overall on Thursday night. Next to finish was ever present Gavin Hynds in 43rd place.
Then came our first lady, Niamh Kellett, whose 63rd place represented not only an excellent overall placing but was also good enough to give her a 3rd Category win of the year and ensure a probable top 3 place at end of the season. It was good to note the return to action of Brian Hamilton after he had missed out on some races recently, and Paddy McDonald, another who was returning from injury, and to welcome Oonagh Brétéché in the company of another ever present Janine Murray.
Switched from its traditional Saturday afternoon slot to the more traffic free environment of Friday night, the Comber 10K seems to have found its natural home, as record numbers, superb racing, ideal conditions, great crowd support and a fantastic post race spread would testify.
26 East Down men and women took up the challenge, whether in pursuit of further points in the In-Club competition or out of a sense of duty to Ballydrain Harriers for their exemplary support for every event in the racing calendar but in particular Jimmy’s Ten.
Newcastle’s David O’Flaherty 32.30 won the race after a ding dong battle with North Belfast’s Lindsay Gordon 32.35 with Ballymena Runners Ben Morrow 34.10 in third. Paul Rowan Willowfield a former five time winner of Jimmy’s Ten had a race long battle with Annadale’s Paul Carroll, only getting home in the last stride, with both being credited with 34.14 in 4th and 5th places respectively.
First East Down runner home was Barrie Atkinson in 11th place and Ciaran Denvir right behind and again both were credited with the same time.
James Savage was next through the finish line with Dee Murray 4th East Down.
Daniel Atkinson 38.26 in 30th place was the 2nd Male Junior while Catherine O’Connor 39.14 was 2nd Female overall in 27th place. Undoubtedly there were one or two PBs in the overall results and I await the runners own confirmation.
NEWCOMERS DO WELL
There were several debuts in Club colours, with promising performances from Kevin Kelly, Seamus Savage and Tracey McCaughey, while it was good to welcome back Ellen Erskine and her dad Jim, Wendy Findlay and to say well done to Ella Carroll who made her debut over the 10K distance. It was lovely too to meet Elaine Burch again, one of our former top juniors, who has just finished at university and completed her first 10K in 46.05.
NI and ULSTER AGE GROUP C/SHIPS
Lucy Morgan, Louise Lundy, Mia McIvor and Adam Morgan all gained valuable experience competing in a variety of Track and Field events in very hot conditions during Saturday’s NI and Ulster Age Group Championships at Mary Peters Track.
NORTH DOWN MINIS – CALLUM and OLLIE STEAL THE SHOW
On Wednesday night East Down Juniors had a very successful outing in Bangor at North Down Minis event with Ella Telford 2nd in 60m and 600m and 8th in Long Jump in the P5 Girls category.
P6 Boys – Callum Kent fought out a tremendous battle with Ollie Robinson over 600 metres, with Callum just getting the nod from the photo finish judge.
Honours were evened up later when Ollie was 3rd and Callum 5th in 60 metres and Ollie 3rd and Callum 6th in the Long Jump.
It should make for be an exciting Summer whenever their paths cross again.
P6 Girls – Emily Burns and Phoebe McCreesh – joint 6th in 60 metres and Emily also came 4th in the 600 metres
P7 Girls – Lauren Madine won both the 60m and 600m and placed 2nd in the Long Jump.
NEXT WEEK – KILLYLEAGH FIVE
Vying with the final round of the Hill and Dale series next Friday night is the Killyleagh 5 Mile race, beginning at 7.30pm, another in the East Down In-Club competition. This is a very popular race which is trying to establish itself at this time of year following its move from the last Friday in August, and is organised like the Great East Run which replaced it ten, on behalf of the Alzheimers Society. All entries will be taken on the night from 5.30pm onwards in the Bridge Centre. An appeal is made here for as many people as possible to volunteer for marshalling duties and to contact Joe Quinn on 07933214894 or by email on:
before Friday night to arrange briefing and allocation of positions.
AND JUNIOR TEAM CHALLENGE
There is also a new Junior Team competition with perpetual Shields on offer for the winning Boys and Girls teams. Teams of 4 are invited to take part, from schools, sports clubs, athletics clubs and any other group of 4 who wish to enter. There will be races for Under 13, Under 15 and Under 17 age groups and teams can be counted across the age groups, all 4 runners do not have to be from the same category, as the first 4 runners from a club or group, will have their placings in their age group aggregated to give an overall team score. Entry fee is only £2 per runner.