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weekly roundup 30/06/24, Ards Half Marathon, Donegal Town Festival Summer 10k, NI Masters Athletics Association 29/06/24, National Senior T&F Championships, Santry 30/06/24

Back to Back Ards Half Marathon wins for Craig McMeechan, 28/06/24

Craig McMeechan was once again in superb form for the Ards Half Marathon on Friday 28th June. The 2023 race winner returned to the top step of the podium with another win in 1:12:55. Ashley Dixon made it a 1-2 for North Down AC  taking second place in 1:15:38. The Ards half is a notoriously tricky race to pace evenly as the fast start through Ards town centre is followed by a long pull up Scrabo Hill before the rolling hills beyond Killynether into Comber and another climb up the Moate Road then a descent back into Ards on tired legs, but the fantastic turnout of nearly 30 North Down runners were more than equal to the task and secured a fine collection of age group prizes, overall personal best times and personal bests on this course. 

Jamie McMeechan took 7th place in 1:18:23 on his debut half marathon with Thomas Steele joining him in the top 10 in 1:19:08. Josh McDowell 1:20:25 and Jonathan Gibson 1:21:52 were followed by Robert Duncan who ran an excellent new PB of 1:22:43 taking 1st M45 in the process. Aaron McAuley was one place behind him and claimed 2nd M45 in 1:22:51, a 5 minute course PB,  and Andy Lowry was 19th overall in 1:23:44. Chris Couchma’s 1:28:16 was a PB and he was followed 6 seconds later by Darren Edgar 1:28:22 who smashed his own Ards HM PB by 12 minutes! Eamonn O’Reilly continued his return to form in 1:32:42 ahead of Dan Foord 1:36:05 and Les Wilkinson who was 1st M65 in 1:37:42. Fiona McVicar was the club’s first female finisher in a new course PB of 1:42:23 and 1st F40. She was closely followed across the line by Glynis Boyle with a course PB of 1:43:37 and 1st F55. Keith Gilmore 1:44:01, Matt Ormesher 1:44:35 – a 7 minute PB and Sarah Wilson with a 3 minute course PB of 1:44:38 were followed by another prize winner, Nicola Ingram 1:47:47 taking another PB as well as 2nd F35, and Jacob Sullivan 1:49:22. Zara Fulton’s 1:50:14 was a course PB and she was chased to the line by 3 more NDAC runners claiming their own PBs; Olivia Cumming 1:51:55, Emma Fox 1:51:56 and Angela Fawthrop 1:54:10. Ruth Warmington finished agonisingly close to a sub-2hr half marathon in 2:00:03 while Emma Hegarty took on her second race of the week finishing in 2:00:56. John Ferguson 2:11:30 was ahead of another runner who was delighted to smash her PB, Hannah Dunne 2:21:06 and Glenn Frazer joined the rest of his clubmates in 2:29:04.

Here’s a selection of photos from club members around the course and mainly Richard Cowan.

Donegal Town Festival Summer 10k, 30/06/24

Philip and Valerie McDonough managed to get their Sunday morning run at Donegal 10k where Philip finished 19th in 46:33 and Valerie joined the band of North Down AC runners claiming age group prizes this weekend by claiming 1st F50 in 21st place in 46:59.


NI Masters Athletics Association 29/06/24 

Five athletes represented North Down AC at the NIMasters Track and Field Competition securing no fewer than 9 medals. Sarah Benton braved 3 events in the W50 category coming 1st in the 3000m in 12.54.47 2nd in the 1500m in 6.13.23 and 2nd in the 800m in 3.11.28 Roberta Dornan added to the silverware in the W45 category coming 1st in the 400m in 1.13.26 and 2nd in the 200m in 35.49secs. Pat O’Driscoll was the clubs sole male competitor in the 3000m, achieving 1st place in the M75 category in a time of 18.42.82 It was great to see James Budde make a return to track racing claiming a convincing 2nd M40 in 2.07.58 Chris Moran tackled 2 events in the M45 category, coming 1st In the 800m in 2.07.12, and 2nd in the 1500m in 4.32.19

National Senior T&F Championships, Santry 30/06/24

The Irish national track and field championships took place at the Morton Stadium in Santry over the weekend of Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June.  3 North Down athletes recorded excellent performances; Daniel Dines took an incredible 18 seconds off his 5000m PB to finish 6th in the C Final in 15:40.27. 

Andrew Brown was 9th in the senior male 800g javelin throwing 35.49m.

Rachel McCann was 2nd in heat 2 in the 400m in 54.31 and finished 2nd in the 400m final with a PB of 53.60.