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weekly roundup 03/06/24, Junior Middle Distance trophy evening with David Seaton, Hill & Dale series Race 7 – Millstone, Irish Schools Track and Field Championships, Mourne Way Marathon events, Matty McParland Mozart 100, Gareth Hardy Scafell Sky Race, Norn Iron 100

Over his long and successful athletics career, David Seaton has won a large number of trophies. He very kindly offered to donate these to members of the junior middle distance group so they could have an evening of competition at their regular Tuesday training session. Thanks are also due to Lisa McMeechan who kept track of all the award winners.
A number of races were held during the evening, with the following all winning awards;
Robin Anderson, Eve Sloan, James Blease, Isla and Ethan Wiltshire, Daly and Casey Seaton, Lara Cheatley, Jakob Lyness, Ellen Morrow, Abbie Small, Isaac Hall, Caitlyn Dickenson, Abby Furlonger, Ben Dumigan and Emily Stewart.
The evening finished with a relay race, which was won by a team consisting of Ben, Ethan, Isaac, Daly and Robin. All of whom were ably managed by the currently injured Seb Mair.
Also winning trophies for their participation were Coco Smith, Harrison Mair, Finn Dooley, Abigail Orr and Adam Downey.
A very enjoyable evening made possible by Davie’s generosity.
Robin Anderson & David Seaton

Hill & Dale Race 7, Millstone 30/05/24

This week’s race was Millstone – it may be dwarfed in the shadow of its towering neighbour, Slieve Donard, but it’s definitely got some of the steepest climbs in the series! 6 hardy North Down AC runners headed to Newcastle on Thursday evening for another tough mountain race. First to finish was Clair Quigley as 1st F45 in 54:52. Kevin Mulligan 59:06 was the next club finisher ahead of his big brother Philip, making his Hill & Dale debut in 1:01:09, William Hoey 1:05:02 and John Adgey took 1st M80 honours in 1:09:49.

Irish Schools Track and Field Championships, Tullamore 31/05/25 – 01/06/24
The Irish Schools Track & Field championships took place in Tullamore, on Friday 31st May & Saturday 1st June but, despite the warm, dry conditions, a blustery northerly wind made it difficult for some of the field events and ruled out any chance of quick times in the sprints, however, the competition for medals was still as fierce as ever.
Morgan Wilson (Glenlola) continues to impress in the pole vault as she equalled her lifetime best of 2.60m from the Ulster Schools to win a silver medal in the Senior Girls event and went on to throw a new PB of 29.32m to finish 5th in the javelin.
Despite an early start on Saturday morning, Cameron McCracken (RBAI) was in good form as he smashed his previous lifetime best by 2 seconds to take bronze in the Inter Boys 400mH with a time of 57.07s. Later in the day, he returned to the track for the sprint hurdles and, in one of the closest races of the day where only half a second separated first & fifth, was looking good for a second medal until he clipped the 7th hurdle and lost momentum, so had to settle for an agonising 4th in the Inter Boys 100mH with a time of 13.75s. Jamie Moffat (Bangor Grammar) has had on-going injuries throughout the winter but was still disappointed not to improve on last year’s position as he took bronze, once again, in the Senior Boys 100m with a time of 11.11 (-2.0w). Paige Shaw (Glastry College) pulled out a big jump at just the right time to set a new lifetime best in the Junior Girls high jump with a clearance of 1.55m and, despite being tied with 4 others, won the bronze medal on countback.
Cameron McCracken

Jamie Moffatt
Other Results
Emma Reid (Glenlola) threw a PB of 9.24m for 6th place in the Minor Girls shot 
Alex Downey (Bangor Grammar) couldn’t replicate his Ulster Schools performance and finished 11th in the Junior Boys 1500m in a time of  4:34.88
Grace Gibson (Regent) finished 7th the Junior Girls high jump with a best clearance of 1.45m
Maisie Rainer (Strathearn) produced a consistent series of jumps in the Junior Girls triple jump, but was some way below her PB set at the Ulster Schools, so finished 6th with 9.40m. Unfortunately, the Junior Girls long jump started immediately after the triple jump, so she was only able to manage 4.14m for 11th place.
Anna Moran (Sullivan) finished 9th in the Inter Girls long jump with a best effort of  4.80m, while Hollie Stitt (Strathearn) finished 8th in the Inter Girls hammer with a best throw of 31.01m hammer.
Conor Adair (Our Lady & St. Pat’s) was some way below his best in the Senior Boys 400m and was disappointed to finish 7th in a time of 53.12s
Daniel Constable (Bangor Grammar) continues his road to recovery following long term illness, but couldn’t replicate his Ulster Schools performance, so was 6th in the Senior Boys long jump with a leap of 5.85m
Charlie Lawden (Sullivan) was also some way off his best in the Senior Boys javelin, due to ongoing injury, so had to be satisfied with 6th in a modest 45.90m.


David McKeague wins Mourne Way Marathon 01/06/24

The Mourne Way Marathon events are always a popular day of races with runners lining up for distances between 10k and 52 mile ultramarathon on the Mourne Way between Donard park in Newcastle and Kilbroney Park in Rostrevor. 4 club members took on the half marathon with Clair Quigley using her recent Hill & Dale experience and knowledge of the mountains to storm to 2nd female place and 11th position overall in 1:48:51. 

Steph Graham and Alan Massey ran the hilly trail half marathon together and both finished in 2;27:34 while another regular Hill & Dale runner, Ian McCreary crossed the line in Rostrevor in 2:53:04.

After a series of excellent results in this season’s Hill & Dale races, David McKeague has already demonstrated that he is currently in top form over the shorter mountain races and he was certainly considered a serious contender in the marathon. David produced a magnificent performance to win the marathon with a winning margin of almost 9 minutes over the second place marathon runner.

Matty McParland – UTMB Mozart 100 01/06/24

Any race bearing the UTMB banner is going to involve harsh terrain, significant elevation and the prospect of beautiful scenery, but sometimes weather conditions make the even toughest races significantly harder; this years UTMB Mozart 100 – a 105km trail race with more than 5400m of vertical elevation starting and finishing in Salzburg was beset by strong winds and rain and low temperatures resulting in 40% of the participants failing to complete the course! 

Matty McParland dealt superbly with the tough route and challenging conditions finishing in 37th place overall in 13:42.


Gareth Hardy, Scafell Sky Race, 01/06/24

Gareth Hardy tackled another challenging event on Saturday 1st June as he headed to the Lake District for the Scafell Sky Race, a 40k circular route along some of the most technical trails in the lakes including the summit of England’s highest peak, Scafell Pike. He completed the race in 8:46:56.

Norn Iron 100, 01/06/24

Race organisers, We Run Wild NI’s premier trail running event is the Norn Iron 100 comprising a half marathon, “mini” 37 mile ultramarathon and a 108 mile ultramarathon. The half marathon and the longer ultra started at Ballintoy on Saturday 1st June. Half marathon runners ran along the Causeway Coast to Portballintrae while the longer distance runners continued along the coast and headed into Coleraine and followed forest trails to Dungiven and on to the finish line in Gorton, Co Tyrone. The mini ultarunners ran the section of the course between Dungiven and Gortin.

Sarah Connolly ran the half marathon in 2:19:57 finishing 11th overall and 2nd female.

Mark Weir, Jill Connolly and Donald Smith all returned to the 108 mile ultramarathon and all improved on their previous performances at this event. Mark finished the ultramarathon in 25:42 while Jill took an incredible 6 hours off her previous finish time, reaching Gortin in 27:25 and finishing 2nd female! Donald Smith finished the race in 30:44. 

Gary Connolly, We Run Wild & Tracy

Tracy McKittrick ran the “mini” version in 9:27 finishing 3rd female.