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weekly roundup 07/07/24: Midnight Marathon, Annadale Striders Afternoon of 3000s, Irish U14-U20 Age Group Championships, Ardboe 10k

Donald Smith Midnight Marathon, Carrickfergus 05/07/2024

Runners donned head torches and hi-viz gear for We Run Wild NI’s latest event, a single lap trail half marathon or 2 laps marathon along the promenade past Carrickfergus Castle before taking in many of the hills, trails and farmers’ lanes above the town. Donald Smith chose marathon distance again. The race started on the stroke of midnight on Friday night and runners endured persistent rain and drizzle for the first lap, adding to the mud and generally slippery conditions off road, before the weather improved as the sun rose. Donald completed the marathon in 5th place in 5:03 and managed to stay awake long enough to volunteer as run director at Crawfordsburn Country parkrun at 9:30am on Saturday morning.

Annadale Striders Afternoon of 3000s, MPT 06/07/24

Now in its fifth year, Annadale Striders’ Afternoon of 3000m races at the Mary Peters Track is a staple in the Northern Ireland track season. Runners are graded into races against other athletes matched to their ability and pacers lead out the runners for at least the first 1ooom with times matched to the anticipated pace of the fastest runners. 

5 North Down AC athletes were involved with Katie Moore and Sarah Gibson lining up in the women’s A race.  Craig McMeechan ran in the men’s A race while Daniel Dines and Jamie McMeeechan raced in the B race.

[to be updated – official results pending]

All Ireland U14-U20 age group championships, Tullamore 07/07/24

4 of North Down AC’s young athletes who qualified for the All Ireland age group championships competed in Day 1 of the competition at Tullamore on Sunday 7th July. 2 further days of competition will be held later in July. 

Cameron McCracken probably thought his week couldn’t get any better after receiving the news he’d been selected for the Irish team to compete at the Schools International, in Wales, later this month, however, he won his heat of the U17 Boys 100mH in a time of 13.50s, which was not only a new lifetime best, but also a new Championship Record. Later in the afternoon, he managed to go even quicker in the final to take the title and gold medal in another personal best time of 13.44s.

Emma Reid continued her excellent early season throwing form and, in the second round of the U15 Girls discus (0.75kg), improved her PB, yet again, with a throw of 25.70m to take a well deserved bronze medal.

Josh Liggett was also competing alongside Cameron in the U17 Boys 100mH and, like his training partner, set a new personal best of 14.86s to finish 3rd in his heat but was unable to improve in the final, where he had to settle for 7th in a time of 15.17s.

Caoimhe Fenlon finished 4th in her heat of the U15 80mH in a time of 13.51s and later in the day finished 15th in long jump with a best effort of 4.22m.

7 July 2024; Cameron McCracken of North Down A.C., Down, reacts after winning the Boys Under 17s 100m Hurdles final during day one of the National Juvenile Track and Field Championships at Tullamore in Offaly. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile



Ardboe 10k, 07/07/24

3 North Down AC runners made their way to Ardboe, Co Tyrone for the Great Rossa Run on Sunday 7th July. The event provided 5k, 10k and half marathon options but the NDAC trio all opted for the single loop of the 10k course.

Sarah Gibson was the first to finish in 26th place overall taking 1st F50 honours in the process in a time of 42:54.

Helen Byers took 2nd place in the F40 category and 42nd place in 44:09.

Pat O’Driscoll was competing against relative youngsters as the oldest age category was M60, however he also ran an excellent time of 1:08:08.