East Down AC runners look forward to Jimmy’s 10K
Reporting by Allison Carrol.
Armagh 5K and 3K
The return of the Armagh International 5K race caused quite a stir both close to home and internationally.
It attracts a high caliber of athletes hoping to post a fast time on the flat lap course.
It takes place at night and the illuminated course creates a great atmosphere. The Women run 3K and the pace is phenomenal.
Alexandra Bell of England was the overall winner in 9.02 just ahead of Cari Hughes (9.03) and Calli Thackery in 9.12.
An impressive 17 women ran under 9.30 and 58 broke 10 minutes, making it for sprinters only.
EDAC’s Catherine O’Connor has run this several times, but has always felt she did not perform to her best. This time, however, she succeeded.
He managed to keep his head on the crazy charge and finished with a new personal best of 9.46 as a result. She was delighted! with her time and the fact that she was ranked 42 out of 152.
The men’s 5K was equally stellar and Shaftesbury Barnet’s Henry Mcluckie came to the fore after the first lap and took complete control of the race.
He was well in the lead but showed no signs of letting up. It became clear that she was chasing the course record and she hit the air when he saw the clock. His 13.37 time smashed the catch and gave him a good gap to Tai Dinger (USA) who ran 13.46.
With 17 men running 5Ks under 14 minutes and 132 under 15 minutes, this was a spectacle of excellence and effort in equal measure.
Neil McCartan found himself in the middle of a whirlwind of runners and managed to post a new personal best of 14.38 which pleased him greatly.
This time it put him 95th out of 170, and for perspective, the last runner to cross the line ran 16.17, a time that many would see as an impossible goal.
Adam Withers wisely decided that the Club standard 3K was more his style and he thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing.
The fact that he also produced a new personal best of 9.23 indicates that his training is headed in the right direction. This ranked it 34th out of 144. Overall a happy trio as they headed home. Well done all.
Stormont Cross Country
From the Armagh track to the grass at Stormont Estate, both Catherine and Adam required a mental reset and how their legs would function after the speed run a couple of days earlier was anyone’s guess, but they both turned up to have their say. best shot.
Conditions were mild, dry, windless and the ground was tolerant but not particularly muddy underfoot. Overall it was a perfect day for cross country.
The race got underway with the Junior Races, then it was the turn of the ladies and the men over 60 years of age.
With a good field of 190, there was a bit of shoving at the start, but Catherine O’Connor was hot on the heels of Beechmount Harriers’ Sarah Lavery.
Oddly enough, she and Sarah had clocked the same time in Armagh, so they knew they were even, but this time.
Sarah was able to find a slot and Catherine sensibly adapted to her own pace. She was still running well and was in a position to take a good second on the line at 19:35.
Sharon Madine, as usual, was eager to compete and came in 34 in 22.25. Carmel Ross was the next EDAC rider to finish (106th in 26.01).
Alison Carroll surprised herself enjoying the race immensely and was delighted to finish in 29.29 in 153rd place.
Wayne Giles was in the same race due to his age category and ran well in 26.47.
While the women caught their breath, the men lined up. With 6 EDACs in the mix and 4 laps to run, there were plenty of opportunities for their club mates to cheer them on.
Adam Withers, despite his tough race in Armagh, went into the race with 100% commitment.
He is still experimenting with pace and tactics and said afterward that maybe he went a little too fast because he felt he suffered later, but to his credit, he dug deep and worked to the line.
He was 42nd in 25.27. Club president and XC stalwart Martin Willcox had a great run coming second in the EDAC group in 70th overall (26.46).
Paul Burns, a late entry, took it steady to finish in 27.27 (80). Dee Murray ran the entire race with Paul in his sights and ended up hot on his heels in 27.30 (83rd).
Daniel Giles said he just couldn’t find his rhythm. Despite getting his first parkrun under 20 minutes recently, he felt slow on the grass, but he made it to the finish in one piece: 27.48 (90).
Adam Morgan tackled the course with his usual dogged determination and ran a commendable 30.40 to finish 148.
With 208 riders in the race, this was a solid showing overall. With only the Senior XC Championships to go, the cross country season is counting down.
Looking forward to Jimmy’s 2023
Now all eyes will be on road racing and for EDAC the main focus is its own flagship event, Jimmy’s 10K, on Sunday March 12 on the streets of Downpatrick.
The 10km road race (with the option of relays) is a major source of funding for the club, so they do everything they can to ensure they attract a large entry.
With a generous prize fund – £200, £125 and £75 for first, second and third prize men and women plus age groups – there is plenty to entice heavy hitters.
There is also a rumor that there will be an additional cash prize based on time over the ratified 10K distance! Sponsors Finnebrogue Artisan have also announced some exciting one-time prizes that are not based on speed, so everyone has a chance to win.
The first 800 will get a 2023 technical race jersey and there will be a post-race barbecue (again, courtesy of Finnebrogue Artisan).
In short, this is going to be a fantastic day for runners, fun runners, spectators, and volunteers. If you’re not participating and would like to participate, all helpers will receive a T-shirt and ticket to the BBQ, so get in touch if you’d like to know more.
Entries are online only and capped at 800, so if you want to participate, you better register early.
East Down AC assists your schools
Report by Marguerite Robinson.
As a result of their performances at the various district XC events over the past few weeks, many EDAC youth have achieved selection from their schools, either as individuals or as part of a school team to participate in the schools’ XC championships. from Ulster.
This took place on a cold and windy Wednesday at Mallusk’s playing fields in Belfast.
The route, very similar to last year, consisted of loops that increased in distance to adapt to the ages of the athletes.
Although dry, it was very cold and crosswinds made the race difficult at times. The tailwind in the closing sections of each race was very welcome and allowed for some fast finishes.
EDAC had nine runners representing their schools, but running in school colors made it difficult for supporters to see them.
aFirst was Jessica Martin running in the Year 9 Minor Girls race representing Victoria College Belfast over a distance of 2000m. Jessica placed 59he of 98 runners.
The Junior Girls’ race (Year 10 over 2300m) had the most EDAC runners. For all these girls, it was their first experience in Ulsters, which can be quite intimidating, but also a great learning experience.
Sarah Gilchrist had qualified as an individual in the Next 12 Districtshe for his school St Colmcilles, Crossgar. She placed 45he of 112 runners. Charlotte Barr and Erin Moore qualified as part of the Down High School team and came in 41street and 90he respectively.
Alex Robinson and Thomas Magee represented Down High School and Rathmore Grammar School respectively in the Junior Boys race over 3,200m. Both had qualified as individuals from the districts.
alex came 5he in the District A and Thomas 14 racehe in the Belfast district. This was Thomas’ first Ulster race and he had put in some hard training over the previous few weeks.
wine 67he of 134 runners; one of the biggest groups of the day and I was pleased with his first race at this level.
Alex, who looks like a veteran in these competitions, placed 20thhe. Although initially a bit disappointed, he acknowledged that the fast-paced start made the pace difficult.
The Inter Boys’ Race (years 11 and 12) saw Jacob Crawford and Oliver Robinson run 4800m in a field of 117 runners.
Jacob took a bronze medal in the Districts and was eager to see how he could do with the best in Ulster.
Oliver, who acknowledges his training has been curtailed by rugby commitments, had placed 12he in the districts.
Both guys ran well staying near the front in a very high level course. Jacob narrowly finished and failed to get the All Ireland spot as he was 16th, but he was happy with the way he tackled him. Oliver did well to finish in 20th place.he.
Anne for the gold!
Anna Gardiner was the only EDAC runner in the Senior Girls (3200m) race. She did not fail to impress and continued her current brilliant form by winning the Ulster Schools title.
He worked hard to assert his authority and then controlled the race in a mature manner, keeping a close eye on the pursuers.
He crossed the line a comfortable 15 seconds ahead of second place. A worthy champion.
Juniors in Stormont XC
At Stormont XC just a few days later there were 2 Junior races; U13 followed by U15/U17 both combining girls and boys.
EDAC juniors had 5 riders in total. Freya Cushnie entered the first race and bravely fought her way to the finish, still smiling as she crossed the line.
There were 5 in the U17 boys race with Jacob winning easily in a time of 9.37, 35 seconds ahead of second place who actually placed sixth overall. Between Jacob and the 2nd ranked U17 there were 4 U15 boys.
He then moved on to Jacob Crawford (U17) and Alex Robinson, Abigail Elliott and Evie Cushnie (U15).
The numbers were much lower than last year, probably as a result of the Ulster Schools Cross Country Races which occurred 3 days earlier.
Alex finished 4th in the U15 race (5th overall) in a time of 10.01. When you combine races it’s hard to tell who’s in your category and after the race Alex said he wished he’d known he was in fourth or he would have tried to close the gap to third.
He wasn’t sure if this would have been possible since he, like Jacob, was running his third race in seven days. Abigail had a strong run finishing sixth U15 girl in a time of 12.23 with Evie eighth in 14.43.
Well done to these Juniors for flying the EDAC flag with honor.