Snowdon Home International
Congratulations first of all to Megan Wilson who was rewarded for her fine winning debut season in the Hill and Dale series with selection for the Snowdon Home International Mountain Race last weekend. She put in a commendable performance as part of the Northern Ireland team to finish in a time of 1 hour 43 minutes and overall 32nd place. This race is on of the toughest on the mountain racing calendar and basically requires athletes to run up Snowdon and down again, a task that most people baulk at by train. Her times for the ascent/descent were 70.10 and 33.32, this latter being only 2 minutes slower than the 6th place athlete and she is confident that had she known the course beforehand her times would have been much quicker. Megan is one to watch for the future.
RGU 10K And Relay
A record 157 runners took part in the RGU 10K and Relay on Wednesday night and the records didn’t end there. Brendan Teer fairly tore up the record books by clocking 31.50 for a new race record as he demolished a good quality field and signalled his return to full fitness. Not only that but the event could claim international status with the presence of Caroline McGreevy from Airdrie Running Club in Scotland and eventual runner up Heather Sinclair from Kembla Joggers in Australia, though the race was probably not her main reason for being here!
With Paul Moran from Rathfarnham picking up the Over-45 trophy it could be claimed that this event has well and truly arrived. Liam Venney was runner up after a first half battle for supremacy was thwarted by Teer’s blistering pace and North Belfast’s Darryl Blair was third. Stephen Shannon East Down and Peter Young won the Over-35 and Over-55 trophies respectively while in the Women’s race Lisburn’s Judith Lowry held off the Australian challenge by 6 seconds with Lagan Valley’s Catriona McCorkell in third.
The category prizes went to East Down’s Cheryl Denvir in a new PB, Virginia Ervine Mourne Runners and Maureen Oliver Dub Runners with the Oakes’ brothers Gavin and John taking the Male Relay Team prize and Gary Stitt and Christine Murray combining to take the Mixed category. An interesting fact about this pairing is that Gary had competed in the 24 hour race which ended on Saturday night at Mary Peters Track, clocking 78 miles in the process.
On the subject of records, many of tho East Down runners recorded personal bests over the distance, with Ryan Hagen ducking below 37 minutes, James Magennis 42.14 and Peter Morgan 44.17 and with Cheryl all three must now be looking seriously at an assault on the 40 minute barrier. Gavin Smyth and David Devenney both made rare appearances, clocking 46.56 and 48.02 respectively and Stephen Cassidy returned after a holiday break in fine form, recording 48.35 with Charlie Ataliotis and Kieran McMahon coming home in under 50 minutes.
Lisa Milligan and Linda Cunningham combined with Jackie Gilbride to make North Down’s Pat O’Driscoll the filling in an Co. Down sandwich. It was great to see Emer Moore 54.03 back in competition after long injury set backs and Mags Stranney, Aurla McLLaughlin and Bridgeen Burns finishing within 10 seconds of each other closely followed by Leahann Donnelly and Elaine Byrne. A special mention of Carmel Tumelty who slipped in ahead of husband Francis in what was her first 10K, a tough one to chose for baptism but a highly commendable sub 62 minute time, with Leanne Oakes just behind that.
The race was again well attended by Murlough AC runners who travel far and wide to support all the races so it is timely to remind everyone to get their entries in for the Gr8 Dundrum Race organised by the Club on 22nd October as the 600 limit is fast approaching.
Meantime the Darragh Cross 6 Mile Race 4 Mile Fun Run on Saturday 20th August is the next East Down promotion followed by the Killyleagh 5 Mile Race on Friday 26th August. Entries for both these events will be taken on the day.