Monday 21 August 2017 10:37:10 PM

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.

Position Race Number Finish Time Name Category Club Summit Time Summit Position Descent Time
1 217 00:55:28 Des Woods V40 Mourne Runners 00:37:40 1 12:17:48 AM
2 233 00:57:45 Jonny Steede MO Ballymena Runners 00:39:40 3 12:18:05 AM
3 252 00:58:33 Andrew Annett MJ Mourne Runners 00:39:29 2 12:19:04 AM
4 223 00:59:03 Andrew Niblock MO Mourne Runners 00:40:24 4 12:18:39 AM
5 220 00:59:29 Stephen Cunnigham MO Mourne Runners 00:41:10 7 12:18:19 AM
6 213 01:00:17 Neil Carty V40 North Belfast Hatrriers 00:40:28 5 12:19:49 AM
7 246 01:01:20 David McNeilly MO Newcastle AC 00:41:29 8 12:19:51 AM
8 290 01:01:42 Deon McNeilly V45 Newcastle AC 00:40:55 6 12:20:47 AM
9 218 01:03:26 Clive Bailey V35 Mourne Runners 00:43:42 10 12:19:44 AM
10 232 01:03:40 Brendan Quail MO Newcastle AC 00:44:05 13 12:19:35 AM
11 242 01:03:53 Audey McVeigh V45 Newcastle AC 00:44:03 12 12:19:50 AM
12 291 01:04:25 Dale Mathers V45 Newry City Runners 00:43:51 11 12:20:34 AM
13 248 01:04:33 Eamon McCrickard V45 Newcastle AC 00:44:41 14 12:19:52 AM
14 260 01:05:07 Jim Brown V50 BARF 00:45:13 19 12:19:54 AM
15 281 01:05:13 Liam Venney MO East Down AC 00:43:08 9 12:22:05 AM
16 286 01:06:33 Jonathan McCloy MO Ballymena Runners 00:45:12 18 12:21:21 AM
17 224 01:06:35 Gary Niblock MO Mourne Runners 00:44:59 16 12:21:36 AM
18 258 01:07:46 Conor McMullan V35 Annadale Striders 00:45:08 17 12:22:38 AM
19 219 01:08:06 Nathan McComb MJ Newcastle AC 00:46:38 23 12:21:28 AM
20 236 01:08:08 Pete Grant V40 Newry City Runners 00:47:32 25 12:20:36 AM
21 274 01:08:47 Barry Wells V45 Newcastle AC 00:47:50 26 12:20:57 AM
22 416 01:08:52 Ian McCollam MO North Belfast Hatrriers 00:46:54 24 12:21:58 AM
23 271 01:09:23 Dale Smith V40 Larne AC 00:45:22 20 12:24:01 AM
24 227 01:10:59 Colum Campbell V35 Unattached 00:46:15 21 12:24:44 AM
25 264 01:11:17 Shileen O’Kane LV40 Lagan Valley AC 00:47:56 27 12:23:21 AM
26 254 01:11:36 Iain Whiteside MO Edingburgh University 00:48:30 29 12:23:06 AM
27 262 01:12:21 Cecil McCullough V50 Mourne Runners 00:49:38 31 12:22:43 AM
28 267 01:12:33 Simon Reeve V35 Fermanagh Orienteers 00:46:28 22 12:26:05 AM
29 299 01:13:08 Paul Hollywood V40 Armagh AC 00:51:33 44 12:21:35 AM
30 249 01:13:52 Eugene McCann V50 Newcastle AC 00:48:12 28 12:25:40 AM
31 273 01:13:55 Nigel Hart V45 BARF 00:50:16 33 12:23:39 AM
32 225 01:14:00 Merwyn Donaldson V50 Unattached 00:50:17 34 12:23:43 AM
33 214 01:14:38 Richard Bell V35 Newcastle AC 00:49:42 32 12:24:56 AM
34 278 01:15:13 Neil Darby V45 Unattached 00:44:42 15 12:30:31 AM
35 282 01:15:48 John Kelly V45 Castlewellan GACAC 00:50:46 36 12:25:02 AM
36 298 01:15:56 David Bell V50 Mourne Runners 00:50:42 35 12:25:14 AM
37 261 01:15:57 Laurence Hamilton V40 Newcastle AC 00:51:35 45 12:24:22 AM
38 289 01:16:37 Damien McDaid V35 Newcastle AC 00:51:01 40 12:25:36 AM
39 283 01:16:46 Laurence Dorman V35 Mourne Runners 00:49:31 30 12:27:15 AM
40 229 01:16:49 Ann Sandford LV45 Newcastle AC 00:50:48 37 12:26:01 AM
41 222 01:16:52 Harry Teggarty V60 Mourne Runners 00:50:51 38 12:26:01 AM
42 414 01:16:58 Gareth McGimpsey MO Lagan Valley AC 00:51:25 42 12:25:33 AM
43 239 01:17:07 Dominic McInerney V45 Murlough AC 00:51:29 43 12:25:38 AM
44 256 01:17:27 Stephen Wallace V50 Murlough AC 00:52:31 49 12:24:56 AM
45 285 01:17:32 Bob Brown V40 Newcastle AC 00:50:52 39 12:26:40 AM
46 247 01:17:38 Gareth McKeown V45 Unattached 00:52:26 48 12:25:12 AM
47 212 01:18:41 Stephen Slaon MO Mourne Runners 00:54:19 56 12:24:22 AM
48 221 01:19:01 Tish McCann LV45 Mourne Runners 00:53:43 51 12:25:18 AM
49 238 01:19:05 John Graham V50 Mourne Runners 00:53:47 52 12:25:18 AM
50 413 01:19:24 Frank McKenna V50 Newry City Runners 00:51:10 41 12:28:14 AM
51 230 01:19:49 Mark King V45 Murlough AC 00:54:34 59 12:25:15 AM
52 272 01:19:57 Charlie Henderson V40 BARF 00:53:49 53 12:26:08 AM
53 245 01:20:07 Brendan Donnelly MO Newcastle AC 00:52:07 46 12:28:00 AM
54 277 01:21:19 Jason Radcliffe V35 Lagan Valley AC 00:53:54 54 12:27:25 AM
55 266 01:21:28 Barry McCarroll V35 Unattached 00:53:30 50 12:27:58 AM
56 228 01:22:11 Paul Jackson V40 Rowallaane Ramblers 00:54:30 58 12:27:41 AM
57 237 01:22:33 Desmond O’Neill V45 Banbridge AC 00:54:36 60 12:27:57 AM
58 235 01:23:03 Paddy Mallon V45 BARF 00:55:51 63 12:27:12 AM
59 255 01:23:25 Donal Ward V45 Castlewellan GACAC 00:56:22 66 12:27:03 AM
60 251 01:23:39 Willy Hoey V40 Unattached 00:53:55 55 12:29:44 AM
61 250 01:23:41 Barry Rankin V50 Mourne Runners 00:56:27 67 12:27:14 AM
62 276 01:24:21 Declan Morgan MO City of Lisburn AC 00:52:22 47 12:31:59 AM
63 292 01:25:24 Denise Mathers LV45 Newry City Runners 00:57:20 71 12:28:04 AM
64 211 01:25:42 WJ Brown V55 Mourne Runners 00:59:30 75 12:26:12 AM
65 417 01:25:50 Thomas Sloan MJ Unattached 00:56:15 65 12:29:35 AM
66 293 01:25:54 Jackie Toal LV40 BARF 00:55:37 62 12:30:17 AM
67 295 01:26:15 Anna McCoy FO East Down AC 00:54:29 57 12:31:46 AM
68 294 01:26:35 Andy Bridge V45 BARF 00:56:10 64 12:30:25 AM
69 287 01:26:50 Andrew McGibbon V40 BARF 00:58:36 73 12:28:14 AM
70 240 01:28:56 Paul Fegan V35 Newcastle AC 00:59:59 77 12:28:57 AM
71 231 01:29:11 Jim Walker V50 Unattached 00:57:26 72 12:31:45 AM
72 284 01:29:21 Nigel McKinney V40 Murlough AC 00:57:19 68 12:32:02 AM
73 253 01:30:17 Peter McKibben V45 Castlewellan GACAC 00:59:08 74 12:31:09 AM
74 263 01:30:50 Trevor Wilson V50 BARF 00:59:56 76 12:30:54 AM
75 297 01:30:53 Mary Mackin LV55 Dromore AC 00:57:14 70 12:33:39 AM
76 259 01:30:57 Rory McMullan MJ Newcastle AC 00:55:10 61 12:35:47 AM
77 216 01:31:05 Michael Noel Douglas V50 Mourne Runners 00:57:10 69 12:33:55 AM
78 215 01:32:12 Niall McConville MO Unattached 01:00:59 79 12:31:13 AM
79 300 01:32:30 Declan McCrory V45 Armagh AC 01:01:21 82 12:31:09 AM
80 241 01:32:55 Michael Gallagher V40 Banbridge AC 01:01:28 83 12:31:27 AM
81 234 01:33:00 Ricky Cowan V60 Mourne Runners 01:06:03 89 12:26:57 AM
82 288 01:33:24 Kathleen Monteverde LV45 BARF 01:01:20 81 12:32:04 AM
83 243 01:33:30 David Evans MO BARF 01:01:15 80 12:32:15 AM
84 269 01:36:26 Gerard Rowe V45 Murlough AC 01:00:22 78 12:36:04 AM
85 265 01:36:54 Donal O’Kane V50 BARF 01:03:40 85 12:33:14 AM
86 226 01:37:04 Francis Boal V60 Lagan Valley AC 01:03:50 86 12:33:14 AM
87 257 01:37:37 Ian Cleland MO Unattached 01:04:16 87 12:33:21 AM
88 279 01:41:30 Gavin Millington V45 Unattached 01:02:49 84 12:38:41 AM
89 270 01:44:41 Laura Hamill LV40 Larne AC 01:08:55 92 12:35:46 AM
90 296 01:45:11 Ross Denvir V35 East Down AC 01:05:28 88 12:39:43 AM
91 275 01:49:41 Elaine Hall LV35 Larne AC 01:11:44 93 12:37:57 AM
92 280 01:49:43 Donald Smith V40 Up and Running 01:08:06 91 12:41:37 AM
93 268 01:55:15 Amy Beggs LV45 Larne 01:06:36 90 12:48:39 AM