The Brooks Armagh International Road Race returned to the beautiful setting of the Mall in Armagh on Thursday 9th February for its 31st running and the first event since 2020 in ideal road running conditions. This iconic event, internationally renowned as one of the best and fastest road races in the world, consistently attracts a top quality field of international runners although few had time admire the Georgian splendour around the Mall as 130 runners in the elite mens’ race ran sub-15 minute 5ks, including North Down AC’s Craig McMeechan who finished in 69th place in 14:25, setting a new road PB.
In the 3k race Gareth Watton finished 20th in 8:59 and Francis Marsh continued his fine form coming first in the M55 category in 9:42, recording a new M55 course record in the process. Jack Russell was 3rd M40 in 9:31 while in the women’s 3k race Paula Simpson was 1st F55 in 13:09 and Sarah Gibson was 2nd F50 in 12:13.
Daniel Dines 9:29, Jack Russell and Nick Irvine 9:33 all achieved new road PBs, helping the mens team to overall 2nd place with the first 4 club athletes scoring. The rest of the North Down mens team comprised Chris Moran 9:33, Ethan Isles 9:39, Steven Donegan 9:56, David Massey 10:25, Chris Downey 10:26 and Philip Mulligan 10:56. In the women’s 3k race Rachel Gibson 10:29, Hollie Blease 10:55, Lucy Cheatley 11:03, Lauren Cheatley 11:47 and Helen Byers 12:31 all recorded fantastic performances.
James Blease, Alex and Adam Downey were all in action in the junior races, with both Downey boys finishing 10th in their respective races.