Sunday 19 August 2018 10:28:50 PM

East Down AC Notes For 22 January 2018
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Sunday was to have been the 4th round of the McGrady’s Financial Services Junior Cross Country League in Delamont writes Joe Quinn. And on Saturday the course was relatively soft but perfectly usable, even if it was going to take a bit of creative accounting to ensure proper route could be found around the underwater sections and with a dry, sunny day already evident it seemed that nothing could prevent another enjoyable day of competition.

But Mother Nature, clearly not a running enthusiast, conspired with the rain god to render running impossible on the day. An early course inspection, carried out while the cats and dogs were still falling, revealed that the course was virtually waterlogged, especially at the entrance to the run-in, and for considerable distances along the route with no means of bypassing most of them.

So regrettably the only sensible solution was to call it off before parents and children from across south Down began their journeys to Killyleagh.  It is hoped that another date can be found to hold the event before the end of the cross-country season.


Just to rub it in overhead conditions were ideal at 1.00pm when the races were scheduled to begin so I just moved a little closer to the wood burning stove in the Steamer Restaurant/ Coffee Shop as I ate my Sunday lunch and imagined all those kids running through the mud. I have to say the food was delicious and for anyone looking for at tasty bite or a cup of coffee I highly recommend sampling the fare at the Steamer.


The only East Down AC athlete to actually get her hands (feet?) dirty over here at least, at the weekend in the sense of actually doing some competitive running was Linda Cunningham when she completed a full marathon in Staplestown, Co. Kildare in 5.36 on Saturday and followed it up on Sunday by doing another one as part of the EAM Series beginning and ending in Carrick. Super effort Linda – Big Question, When do you ever sleep?


In much dryer surroundings however along the North Downs Way in Surrey on Saturday, East Down’s big hope for a medal in the Intermediate Cross Country Championships in Comber this coming Saturday, Aaron McGrady led his Club Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets AC, to victory in the highly competitive Box Hill Fell Race by winning overall in 56.40 for the 12K distance, which included over 700 metres climbing,  and this following a recent 5K race in 15.53, is an  indication of his form at the moment.


The next event on the local front is the Rollercoaster Races on  Saturday 10th March at Downpatrick Racecourse and all schools and clubs are invited to send their juniors to this safest of venues for road racing, as all the races take place on the perimeter road round the racecourse and it would be appreciated if the names of all anticipated runners could be sent in by schools beforehand though entries for all the races will be taken on the day.

There are refreshments for all participants.


If you’re intending to run Jimmy’s Ten on Sunday18 March and haven’t already entered then it’s time to do so now, if you want to save yourself a few pounds – and what runner doesn’t? The special Early Bird rate ends on 31 January and thereafter, entries will cost £2 more per head. And also to make sure of your place as numbers are limited enter now at:  –

and don’t say you haven’t been warned!!