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weekly roundup 24/06/24: Comber 10k, Hill & Dale Race 10 Drinnahilly, Tailteann Games, Alex Downey 400 & 800m, Belfast Women’s 10k, Irish 5 mile Championships

Comber 10k 21/06/24


North Down AC was well represented at one of the club member’s favourite local races, the Comber 10k on Friday 21st June. The relatively flat looped course organised by one of our neighbouring clubs, Ballydrain Harriers, promised fast times and with one of the race sponsors, McBrides on the Square bar promising a free pint of Heineken to the first 60 runners to show their race numbers there was a guaranteed dash for some post-race rehydration!

New club member Gary Morrow was first to cross the line in 33:34 in 4th place overall and 1st M40. Jamie McMeechan was 7th in 34:12 followed by Thomas Steele 36:01, Aaron McAuley 36:10, Steven Donegan 36:36, Simon Seaton 37:11, Simon Boyle 38:51 and Chris Couchman 39:35. Chris Downey finished in 40:07 ahead of 1st M60 Philip Mulligan 40:31, Eamonn O’Reilly  41:09 and Kevin Mulligan 42:18. Lisa Tomalin 42:23 was the first NDAC woman to complete the course taking 1st F35 place in the process. Les Wilkinson 43:25, Keith Gilmore 43:51, Steven Boyd 44:15 and Glynis Boyle 44:34 all achieved comfortable sub 45 times and closely followed by Simon Robinson 45:28. Sarah Wilson was targeting a sub 46 10k and paced a perfect 45:59. Alister Patton 46:56, Olivia Cumming 47:04, Heather Beattie 47:14, Nicola Ingram 47:15, Wendy Neely 47:42 , Jill Aiken 48:45, Michael Stevenson 48:48 and Paula Simpson 49:11 were followed by James Gage 52:33, Emma Hegarty running her first 10k of the weekend in 53:03, Lisa McMeechan 53:05, Beth Mulree 54:37,  Stefan Butler 55:02 and Jamie Andrews 55:30. Cliff McCausland took a pause from marathon running to knock out a 56:23 10k with Christina Steele 57:19, Steph Gamble 58:56, Julie McCreeady 59:01 and Glen Frazer 59:36 not too far behind him. Jill Eager 1:00:10 and Sophie Hamilton 1:00:46 were followed by Helen Beattie who took a well deserved podium place as 1st F65 in 1:01:35. The next NDAC finishers were Sinead Agnew 1:01:42 then Katie Moore 1:02:10, Jennifer Brook 1:02:46 and George Emerson 1:04:09 before another Abbott 6 Star World Marathon Major finisher Noreen McCausland 1:05:37 while Courtney Thompson rounded off the NDAC athletes in 1:13:00.


Hill & Dale Race 10, Drinnahilly 21/06/24

The 2024 Hill & Dale Race Series closed with its traditional shorter end of season race starting and finishing in Donard Park, Newcastle and taking runners around the forest trails past the mast at Drinnahilly before the series awards ceremony. 

David McKeague was once again the fastest NDAC man on the trails finishing the hilly course of approximately 3.5 miles in 26:29 ahead of Clair Quigley 31:27, Claire Scott 37:28, Willy Hoey 37:22, June McMinn 39:39, Trevor Patterson 40:44, Kim McCourt 41:38, Ian McCreary 41:51 and John Adgey 44:48. 

Clair Quigley (who would like me to post out that she is not 45) won the overall series F45 prize and John Adgey, a regular previous winner of the M70 award claimed the M80 prize in the first year that any competitor has been eligible for this award.

Tailteann Games, 22/06/24 
Five of our junior athletes were selected for the Ulster Schools Inter-provincial team competing in the Tailteann Games at the Morton Stadium, Santry on Saturday 22nd June, where places on the Irish Schools team for the School’s International were up for grabs.
Once again, Cameron McCracken (RBAI) led the way and added three more medals to his already impressive haul this season. He began the day with bronze in the 400mH in a time of 58.28s, followed by another bronze in the 100mH in a time of 13.80s which was impressive as it was into a -1.6m/s headwind, before ending the day with a late call-up into the 4x400m relay, where he was joined by fellow club member, Curtis Hughes (Sullivan), as both ran great splits that helped the Ulster team run a time of 3:31.91 to earn them both a silver medal behind a dominant Leinster squad.

Hollie Stitt (Strathearn) was delighted to produce a massive 3m PB with her opening throw in the hammer (3kg) but, as is often the case, couldn’t improve on her 35.21m and had to settle for 6th place.
Roger McMullan (Sullivan) is a new club member but has achieved much in a very short time, however a stiff headwind made for difficult jumping conditions, so the best he could produce was a leap of 5.81m for 8th in the long jump.

Anna Moran (Sullivan) also struggled to cope with the blustery conditions and was disappointed to finish 10th in the long jump with a slightly below par 4.60m.
Alex Downey – Bangor Grammar School Sports Day
Alex Downey came within a hair’s breadth of breaking a 34 year old (yr 10) record at the Bangor Grammar sports day; Alex is now joint record holder (at 2:07 for 800m) and in excellent company with fellow North Down man – Peter Swann. 👏 🏃‍♂️ 🇺🇦
Breaking the 400m record (56 secs) made it a hard earned double.

Irish Runner 5 Mile Challenge, 23/06/24

3 speedy North Down AC runners made the trip to Phoenix Park for theIrish National 5 mile Championships on Sunday 23rd June. Sarah Gibson was first of the trio to finish as 7th F50 in 35:20. Helen Byers narrowly avoided being taken out by 6 of the park’s resident fallow deer who darted across the road in front of her in mile 2 but she finished as 9th F45 in 36:59 and Paula Simpson took the 3rd NDAC spot as 6th F55 in 40:03.

Belfast City Women’s 10k 23/06/24

3 more North Down AC girls were racing in the Titanic Quarter on Sunday at a women only 10k. Final McVicar was the first to finish in 12th place overall in 44:03 followed by Nicola Downey 52:34 and Emma Hegarty showing superb consistency to finish her 2nd 10k in 2 days within 15 seconds of her Comber 10k time in 53:18.