NAC notes by Bogusboy
While many of the NAC faithful were completing the now obligatory pre-marathon 20 mile run in Scarva, two seasoned campaigners, Nicky McKeag and Harry Russell, were making their way to Belfast for the Cavehill 5 mile race. 85 took to the line for a race which would have to be hilly, given its name! Conditions were declared ‘prefect’ by Russell, earning a reputation as an amateur meteorologist! In the tough opening two uphill miles, athletes faced all terrains: road, trail, grass and muck! On approaching Napoleon’s Nose, runners got a wonderful view of Belfast, but there was no time to take it in. Nicky hit the afterburners at the top and collected a few scalps on the way back, earning her the first female finisher and unofficial title of ‘Queen of the Hill’ in just under 47 minutes. Harry also hung tough in the closing stages and was rewarded with a time of 50:08.
Swansea Bay 10k 2017
Northern Ireland 10,000m Track Champion Eoghan Totten recorded an impressive new 10k Personal Best whilst competing at the Swansea Bay 10k in Wales earlier on Sunday 24 September 2017
The Oxford University student, who faced a talent laden field, clocked an impressive 30:38 in less than favourable conditions on the South Wales coast. This bettered his previous best by fourteen seconds and was enough to see Eoghan cross the line in 5th place. The race was won by Kenya’s Elias Kiptoo Kemboi in a very speedy 28:19. Eoghan will now focus his attention on the London Marathon in April 2018.
Darragh Cross 10k and 5k
On the same day and closer to home, David McCann was the only NAC runner at the Darragh cross 10k and 5k. David continues to compete well and regularly, recording 42:05 for a course that is undulating. Ballydrain’s Glen Taylor was first to break the tape in 34:28 and the Comber club made it a double when Kyle Ross won the 5k race in 22:01. In all around 100 competitors took the line.
Causeway Coast events
A day earlier, a small posse of three brave NAC souls travelled to the North Antrim Coast for the Causeway Half Marathon. With a range of distances on offer, including an Ultra Marathon, there were large numbers of runners on the costal path for the majority of the day. Lorna Cunningham, Linda Rogan and Sinead Flynn all finished in the top 30 women and were delighted with their performances in tough conditions with little shelter from the wind and rain.
There is still plenty of racing in the weeks ahead with the NI Road Relay Championships in Victoria Park, the Red High 10k in Downpatrick, the Gr8 race in Dundrum and the frequently mentioned Armagh 10 (it was a tough day, the winds howled into the faces of the runners and the course was long – still ran 55, but hate talking about it!) some of the highlights to look forward to before the Dublin marathon at the end of October. For those who favour the mud, the 2017-18 cross country season begins with the traditional curtain raiser, the Comber Cup on Saturday 14 October – it’s almost time to hunt the garage for the spikes!!!