Saturday 18 November 2017 06:29:10 AM

Slieve Donard Mountain Race 2nd July 2011
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94 finely honed athletes registered for the 67th running of the Slieve Donard Mountain Race.  Conditions for the race were near perfect. Skies were blue, there were no clouds in sight and the easterly breeze kept the runners cool on the 852m ascent from the Newcastle Centre to the top of Northern Ireland’s highest peak.

The ground staff were ably marshalled by Commandant McVeigh, ably assisted by the usual posy, including recently retired 65 year old Frank Morgan looking ever youthful regaled in his full club tracksuit. Some had suggested that he looked capable of competing in the race.

Records have tumbled in recent years but the inclement weather made the ground heavy under foot and left conditions inconducive to record breaking. Fresh from his success in the Hill and Dale Series, Des Woods, former record holder and two time winner started as favourite.  His main challengers were undoubtedly his own club mates, Cunningham, Niblock and Annett. Despite missing most of the season due to injury, Cunningham had returned to winning ways at the Flagstaff Carlingford race where he narrowly defeated Woods.

Winner Des Woods sets the pace.

David ‘Shoey’ Steele was the first casualty. He had been complaining prior to the whistle that he had not noted the footwear of his shoe guru, Des Woods, and this obviously proved detrimental to his cause and he was forced to call it a day at the icehouse. No doubt this will be a great disappointment for an athlete who has impressed greatly this season.

Two previous winners were among the many spectators gathered at the Newcastle Centre. Bobby Ingram, winner in 1962 and 1967, was joined by 4 time champion (1974, 1975, 1976 and 1982) Jim Hayes. Both men looked as fit and healthy as ever and enjoyed reminiscing together on their experiences of this great race.

Woods lived up to his pre-billing as favourite and by the summit had built up a commanding lead. He turned for home in 37.40, almost 2 minutes ahead of Andrew Annett, who, as predicted in this column last week was destined to improve considerably on his 17th place finish last year. Steede was third over the top, closely followed by Niblock, Carty and McNeilly. To complete his domination of the race Woods, much to his surprise, recorded the fastest descent to complete a memorable day.  Although no records were broken, this was a fine performance in soft energy sapping conditions.

Steede descended well to overtake Annett and claim second place ahead of the highly impressive teenager who will undoubtedly add his name to the illustrious list of winners in the not too distant future. Niblock finished fourth to secure the team title for Mourne for the fourth consecutive year. Stephen Cunningham gave a very good account of himself to finish fifth and earned the respect of his peers for competing when not at his best. Carty was sixth while McNeilly and McNeilly were 7th and 8th for Newcastle. Clive Bailey was impressive in winning the V35 category in 9th overall and Newcastle’s Brendan Quail completed the top 10.

The Ladies race was convincingly won by Shileen O’Kane, fresh from her impressive 11 consecutive victories in the Hill and Dale.  Shileen was 25th overall in just over 71 minutes.  Anne Sandford was second lady in 40th (76:49) and Tish McCann was third in 48th (79:01).

Castlewellan GAC was well represented and John ‘hen’ Kelly led them home in 35th (75:48).  Donal Ward ran well to finish 59th and was duly unimpressed when Marty McVeigh failed to give out prizes to first timers.  McVeigh was unavailable for comment, but reading his lips Donal got the message!  Pater McKibben completed the ‘Townies’ results in 73rd.  These guys deserve a mention as they brought the largest contingent of supporters and these true fans were the last to leave the celebration after the race!

Our thanks to everyone who helped make the day a great success; the many marshals who ensured the safety of the runners.

PositionRace NumberFinish TimeNameCategoryClubSummit TimeSummit PositionDescent Time
121700:55:28Des WoodsV40Mourne Runners00:37:40112:17:48 AM
223300:57:45Jonny SteedeMOBallymena Runners00:39:40312:18:05 AM
325200:58:33Andrew AnnettMJMourne Runners00:39:29212:19:04 AM
422300:59:03Andrew NiblockMOMourne Runners00:40:24412:18:39 AM
522000:59:29Stephen CunnighamMOMourne Runners00:41:10712:18:19 AM
621301:00:17Neil CartyV40North Belfast Hatrriers00:40:28512:19:49 AM
724601:01:20David McNeillyMONewcastle AC00:41:29812:19:51 AM
829001:01:42Deon McNeillyV45Newcastle AC00:40:55612:20:47 AM
921801:03:26Clive BaileyV35Mourne Runners00:43:421012:19:44 AM
1023201:03:40Brendan QuailMONewcastle AC00:44:051312:19:35 AM
1124201:03:53Audey McVeighV45Newcastle AC00:44:031212:19:50 AM
1229101:04:25Dale MathersV45Newry City Runners00:43:511112:20:34 AM
1324801:04:33Eamon McCrickardV45Newcastle AC00:44:411412:19:52 AM
1426001:05:07Jim BrownV50BARF00:45:131912:19:54 AM
1528101:05:13Liam VenneyMOEast Down AC00:43:08912:22:05 AM
1628601:06:33Jonathan McCloyMOBallymena Runners00:45:121812:21:21 AM
1722401:06:35Gary NiblockMOMourne Runners00:44:591612:21:36 AM
1825801:07:46Conor McMullanV35Annadale Striders00:45:081712:22:38 AM
1921901:08:06Nathan McCombMJNewcastle AC00:46:382312:21:28 AM
2023601:08:08Pete GrantV40Newry City Runners00:47:322512:20:36 AM
2127401:08:47Barry WellsV45Newcastle AC00:47:502612:20:57 AM
2241601:08:52Ian McCollamMONorth Belfast Hatrriers00:46:542412:21:58 AM
2327101:09:23Dale SmithV40Larne AC00:45:222012:24:01 AM
2422701:10:59Colum CampbellV35Unattached00:46:152112:24:44 AM
2526401:11:17Shileen O’KaneLV40Lagan Valley AC00:47:562712:23:21 AM
2625401:11:36Iain WhitesideMOEdingburgh University00:48:302912:23:06 AM
2726201:12:21Cecil McCulloughV50Mourne Runners00:49:383112:22:43 AM
2826701:12:33Simon ReeveV35Fermanagh Orienteers00:46:282212:26:05 AM
2929901:13:08Paul HollywoodV40Armagh AC00:51:334412:21:35 AM
3024901:13:52Eugene McCannV50Newcastle AC00:48:122812:25:40 AM
3127301:13:55Nigel HartV45BARF00:50:163312:23:39 AM
3222501:14:00Merwyn DonaldsonV50Unattached00:50:173412:23:43 AM
3321401:14:38Richard BellV35Newcastle AC00:49:423212:24:56 AM
3427801:15:13Neil DarbyV45Unattached00:44:421512:30:31 AM
3528201:15:48John KellyV45Castlewellan GACAC00:50:463612:25:02 AM
3629801:15:56David BellV50Mourne Runners00:50:423512:25:14 AM
3726101:15:57Laurence HamiltonV40Newcastle AC00:51:354512:24:22 AM
3828901:16:37Damien McDaidV35Newcastle AC00:51:014012:25:36 AM
3928301:16:46Laurence DormanV35Mourne Runners00:49:313012:27:15 AM
4022901:16:49Ann SandfordLV45Newcastle AC00:50:483712:26:01 AM
4122201:16:52Harry TeggartyV60Mourne Runners00:50:513812:26:01 AM
4241401:16:58Gareth McGimpseyMOLagan Valley AC00:51:254212:25:33 AM
4323901:17:07Dominic McInerneyV45Murlough AC00:51:294312:25:38 AM
4425601:17:27Stephen WallaceV50Murlough AC00:52:314912:24:56 AM
4528501:17:32Bob BrownV40Newcastle AC00:50:523912:26:40 AM
4624701:17:38Gareth McKeownV45Unattached00:52:264812:25:12 AM
4721201:18:41Stephen SlaonMOMourne Runners00:54:195612:24:22 AM
4822101:19:01Tish McCannLV45Mourne Runners00:53:435112:25:18 AM
4923801:19:05John GrahamV50Mourne Runners00:53:475212:25:18 AM
5041301:19:24Frank McKennaV50Newry City Runners00:51:104112:28:14 AM
5123001:19:49Mark KingV45Murlough AC00:54:345912:25:15 AM
5227201:19:57Charlie HendersonV40BARF00:53:495312:26:08 AM
5324501:20:07Brendan DonnellyMONewcastle AC00:52:074612:28:00 AM
5427701:21:19Jason RadcliffeV35Lagan Valley AC00:53:545412:27:25 AM
5526601:21:28Barry McCarrollV35Unattached00:53:305012:27:58 AM
5622801:22:11Paul JacksonV40Rowallaane Ramblers00:54:305812:27:41 AM
5723701:22:33Desmond O’NeillV45Banbridge AC00:54:366012:27:57 AM
5823501:23:03Paddy MallonV45BARF00:55:516312:27:12 AM
5925501:23:25Donal WardV45Castlewellan GACAC00:56:226612:27:03 AM
6025101:23:39Willy HoeyV40Unattached00:53:555512:29:44 AM
6125001:23:41Barry RankinV50Mourne Runners00:56:276712:27:14 AM
6227601:24:21Declan MorganMOCity of Lisburn AC00:52:224712:31:59 AM
6329201:25:24Denise MathersLV45Newry City Runners00:57:207112:28:04 AM
6421101:25:42WJ BrownV55Mourne Runners00:59:307512:26:12 AM
6541701:25:50Thomas SloanMJUnattached00:56:156512:29:35 AM
6629301:25:54Jackie ToalLV40BARF00:55:376212:30:17 AM
6729501:26:15Anna McCoyFOEast Down AC00:54:295712:31:46 AM
6829401:26:35Andy BridgeV45BARF00:56:106412:30:25 AM
6928701:26:50Andrew McGibbonV40BARF00:58:367312:28:14 AM
7024001:28:56Paul FeganV35Newcastle AC00:59:597712:28:57 AM
7123101:29:11Jim WalkerV50Unattached00:57:267212:31:45 AM
7228401:29:21Nigel McKinneyV40Murlough AC00:57:196812:32:02 AM
7325301:30:17Peter McKibbenV45Castlewellan GACAC00:59:087412:31:09 AM
7426301:30:50Trevor WilsonV50BARF00:59:567612:30:54 AM
7529701:30:53Mary MackinLV55Dromore AC00:57:147012:33:39 AM
7625901:30:57Rory McMullanMJNewcastle AC00:55:106112:35:47 AM
7721601:31:05Michael Noel DouglasV50Mourne Runners00:57:106912:33:55 AM
7821501:32:12Niall McConvilleMOUnattached01:00:597912:31:13 AM
7930001:32:30Declan McCroryV45Armagh AC01:01:218212:31:09 AM
8024101:32:55Michael GallagherV40Banbridge AC01:01:288312:31:27 AM
8123401:33:00Ricky CowanV60Mourne Runners01:06:038912:26:57 AM
8228801:33:24Kathleen MonteverdeLV45BARF01:01:208112:32:04 AM
8324301:33:30David EvansMOBARF01:01:158012:32:15 AM
8426901:36:26Gerard RoweV45Murlough AC01:00:227812:36:04 AM
8526501:36:54Donal O’KaneV50BARF01:03:408512:33:14 AM
8622601:37:04Francis BoalV60Lagan Valley AC01:03:508612:33:14 AM
8725701:37:37Ian ClelandMOUnattached01:04:168712:33:21 AM
8827901:41:30Gavin MillingtonV45Unattached01:02:498412:38:41 AM
8927001:44:41Laura HamillLV40Larne AC01:08:559212:35:46 AM
9029601:45:11Ross DenvirV35East Down AC01:05:288812:39:43 AM
9127501:49:41Elaine HallLV35Larne AC01:11:449312:37:57 AM
9228001:49:43Donald SmithV40Up and Running01:08:069112:41:37 AM
9326801:55:15Amy BeggsLV45Larne01:06:369012:48:39 AM