Saturday 30th September saw North Down AC’s biggest event of the year, the Bangor 10k. The annual race organised by the club and sponsored this year by John Minnis Estate Agents included the Northern Ireland & Ulster Road 10k Championships guaranteeing a strong field of athletes from throughout Northern Ireland and further afield. Runners and spectators alike appreciated the efforts of the key organisers, Nicola and Jamie Stevenson who led a team of more than 100 North Down AC members and a number of our good friends from Ward Park Runners to ensure that competitors were well looked after before, during and after the race. The community spirit around the race included a water station set up by Cairn Bay Lodge, and much appreciated by the runners.
Club President David Seaton’s predictions of the runners who would most likely be battling for podium positions were unsurprisingly accurate; Andrew Milligan of North Belfast Harriers won the 10k in 30:36, just one second ahead of Conor Bradley from the City of Derry Spartans AC with St Malachy AC’s Conall McClean finishing 3rd in 30:38. Eskander Turki of Annadale Striders and the winner of the Belfast Half Marathon 2 weeks earlier finished 4th in 30:31 with local man Craig McMeechan of North Down AC finishing 5th in 30:42.
Robyn McKee of Annadale Striders won the women’s race in 37th place overall in 36:11. Her clubmate Dearbhla Cox was second in 36:36 and Lagan Valley AC’s Sarah McNutt took 3rd in 37:55.
Despite the efforts of so many club members before and during the race almost 100 North Down AC runners took part, with many achieving 10k Personal Bests or smashing their previous course PB; Craig McMeechan led the North Down AC contingent back to Ward park closely followed by brother Jamie McMeechan in 33:53 and Daniel Dines in 33:57 (PB). Francis Marsh was next in 35:44 narrowly ahead of Dean Varley who set a new PB of 35:53. Kevin Harkin 36:00, Josh McDowell 36:02 , Oliver Playfair 36:14 and Steven Donegan 36:22 all had a close race, with Josh, Oliver and Steven claiming PBs in the process. David McKeague 36:48 was followed by Alan McConnell in 37:15, an incredible performance in which he claimed a PB and ran almost 11 minutes faster than last year’s Bangor 10k. Alasdair Mair 37:20 and David Massey 37:35 finished ahead of Chris Belshaw who ran his debut 10k in 37:40 taking down a number of long standing Belshaw family records in the process! Daniel Scollan 37:44, Marc Wilson 38:12 (PB,) Eamonn O’Reilly 38:49, Maol Larkin 39:15, Chris Downey 39:18,Philip Mulligan 39:27 and Colin Walker 39:28 all took top 100 spots with Luke Dobson 39:54, narrowly missed out on a top 100 spot, but rounded off the club’s sub-40 minute 10k runners and added a new PB. Alan Massey 40:22, Dan Foord 40:27 and Paul Floyd 40:28 were followed in by Tom Agnew 41;12. Clair Quigley was the first of the NDAC ladies to finish in a course PB of 41:19 with Sarah Gibson 41:23, Lisa Tomalin 41:36 taking second and third spots. Andrew Lowry 41:51, Stephanie Graham 42;18 (PB) Nigel Playfair 42:34, Andrew Muir 43:27, Christopher Williams 43:32, Mitchell Brown 43:54, Keith Gilmore 43:46, Fiona McVicar 43:49 (course PB,) Steven Boyd 43:57 (PB,) Brian Geddis 44:14 and Becka Laffin 44:15 (PB.) Sarah Connolly smashed her PB and took 7 minutes off last year’s time finishing in 44:40. Lois Lavery 44:56, Luke Hamilton 45:15 and Jacob Sullivan 46:10 were followed by June McMinn who set a new PB of 46:57 as part of her final training for the Portuguese Ironman 70.3 later this month. Paula Simpson 47:55 and Dennis Stewart 47:59 were followed by Emma Fox who claimed a course PB in 48:01. Kate Ferguson 48:16, Heather Beattie 48:26, Mark Johnston 48:26, Hollie Massey 48:54 (PB), Zara Fulton 49:19, Olivia Cumming 49:29, Angela Fawthrop 50:48 (PB,) Richard Garrad 50:54, Lisa McMeechan 52:04, James Gage 52:09, Marrion Beattie 52:39, Mick Hall 53:00, Katlyn Massey 53:50 and Emma Hegarty 53:20 all had fine runs with Emma also claiming a course PB. Ellie Dines 54:09, Caitlin Buck 55:16, Sian McGuire 56:01 Julie McCready 56:02, Claire Vincent 56:34, Patrick English 56:42, Caroline Gilmore 56:46, Colin Haddick 56:49, Liesl Parker 56:50,Katie Murray 57:28, Niamh Fulton 57:33, Hannah Lowden 58:40, Glenn Frazer 58:41, David Milligan 58:46, Susan Black 58:52, Alex Irvine 59:00 and Megan Briggs 59:41 all comfortably broke the hour followed by Michael Barr 61:54, Helen Beattie 62:19, Kevin Martin 63:02, Stefan Butler 63:57, Vera Heaslip 67:18, Sinead Agnew 67:49, Valerie Sullivan 73:17 and Alison Crozier 77:19.