North Down AC’s hotly contested Smith Shield 5k race took place over a tough 3 lap course around Castle Park on the evening of Thursday 18th May. A handicap system, overseen by the club’s most experienced officials, ensured that accurate and up to date 5k times gave each of the 56 club’s athletes an equal chance of holding the shield for the forthcoming year. In a reversal from last year where one of the club’s most senior runners won, last year’s winner, Pat O’Driscoll, congratulated his successor on taking more than 60 years off the age profile of the latest name to be engraved on the shield. Bailey Duncan held off a strong challenge from Chris Moran to take first place by 4 seconds, running a superb net time of 20:37. Adjusted for handicapped times, Bailey won in 24:37 ahead of Chris Moran in 24:41 and Steven Donegan in 24:46.
[photo: Brian Smith presenting the Smith Shield to 2023 winner Bailey Duncan]