From a weekend when athletes were spoilt for choice as to venue and distance to run, last weekend was the opposite, certainly in terms of “local” events, with the only race on offer being the Micky Annette Memorial 10K, which perhaps suffered from the feeling among the busier runners that this was a weekend off for drawing breath before the final run in to the Dublin Marathon writes Joe Quinn.
Be that as it may, it might be a good idea for the local clubs to re-consider the dates for their events next year, to enable the maximum benefits for both organisers and participants.
The progressive and forward looking RGU Club took advantage of the lull to some extent, with a hastily arranged “Parkrun” type run around the perimeter of their grounds and pitches, over a distance of 5K to mark the end of their Festival Week and while numbers were low, the RGU Club Secretary Colm McNeill said he was happy enough with the numbers who turned up and the historic connection, but he has no plans to make it a weekly event.. The race was won by East Down’s Mick McCreesh in 21.46 followed by 2 RGU stalwarts, Danny Carville and Paul McAlinden who tied for second place.
However, there is no shortage of races of all descriptions in the next few weeks beginning with the Mill Hill Mile on Tuesday night, though by the time you read this, it will be history and plans will already be afoot for the 2017 event.
On 1 October the NI and Ulster Road Relay Championships will be held in Victoria Park, Belfast, beginning at 11.00am. This is one of the most popular events on the road running calendar and rightly so, last year attracting record entries. But by its nature it is not a mass participation event and while virtually every club in the country and beyond will be represented by one or two teams, that only amounts to 6/8 athletes per club. I accept that many more will attend to spectate and support their runners but the vast majority of club members will do neither. So here’s an excellent alternative, which not only will get runners out but will involve something different while helping support an excellent cause.
JOG AROUND THE BOG
Guide Dogs for the Blind are organising an off the roads 10K called “Jog around the Bog” a multi terrain race on 1 October the same date as the Relays in the scenic and beautiful Peatlands Park near Dungannon, starting at 1.00pm.
GUIDE DOGS Just by way of some background: Guide Dogs is a local charity who aim to get people with a visual impairment out and about on their own terms. It costs £32,400 to train a guide dog partnership. This covers the first two years – from birth to graduation. After that, it costs £12,800 to support the working partnership. So your support is vital. Although providing guide dogs is the core service, a dog is not for everyone, which is why the organisation launched “My Guide” which matches a trained sighted guide volunteer to someone with a visual impairment in their local area, assisting them to get out and about and visit the places they want to regularly.
This reduces the isolation faced by many people with sight loss. More recently Blind Children UK have become part of the Guide Dogs family.
So if you are free, not participating or watching at Victoria Park please go along to this event. Excellent refreshments and a special medal are provided – and it’s only up the road., exit at Junction13 off the M1.
Online entry is open at
and it is fully supported by East Down AC.
Gr8 DUNDRUM RACE
The following weekend it’s the Gr8 Dundrum Run – another multi terrain race, which participation in the Jog around the Bog the previous week will provide an excellent warm up for and enhance your chances here.
NEW RACE – THE RED HIGH 10K
A brand new race has just appeared on the running calendar with the announcement of a 10K road race, incorporating a 2 x 5K Relay, to take place on Saturday 15 October from the Red High School grounds, beginning at 12.00 noon. Online entry will be open at
in the next week as it is anticipated that it will attract a big entry.
THE GRIDDLE 10K
It’s hard to believe but the preparations for this year’s Griddle 10K, rightly billed last year as Co. Down’s MOST challenging 10K, are already under way. The date for the 2016 edition is Sunday 4 Deember.
AND A FEW MORE
So get these event dates into your diary together with the Cross Country races in Kilbroney Park on 22 October and the Comber Cup on 29 October, 2 other Cross Country League fixtures in early November and the Dublin Marathon on Sunday 30 October ( first time on Sunday this year) and everyone should be fit as fleas come the Seeley Cup race on 26 November, though I’m practically exhausted just listing these great races.