Newcastle & District AC Road Racing Notes

Bohermeen Half Marathon and 10k
The annual pilgrimage to Bohermeen took place on Sunday 11 March. In typical NAC fashion there was a bus full of maybes and just over half of those registered were able to run. With a few blighted by injury and a few suffering the effects of the cold in the aftermath of the ‘Beast from the East’, the bus was not as full as it might have been.

Bohermeen is one of the many spring half marathons that athletes use in preparation for marathons such as London, Rotterdam, Edinburgh, Rome or Belfast. Many of the NAC faithful are deep into their preparations for London and, with as many as 18 miles banked, saw this as an ideal opportunity to see how their training was going.Aidan Brown was first home in 1:17:45, holding off the challenge of First Lady, Maria McCambridge in a sprint for the line. Brown has been in great form in recent weeks and has been using the undulating roads of County Down to fulfil a dual purpose – improve his speed endurance and sicken the life out of WonderWall. Paul Carlin 1:20:25 was next home and despite sleeping in and missing the team bus, made it to the line in good time. His time will give him great confidence with London less than 6 weeks away. Edinburgh bound Francis Tumelty was next home in red in yellow in 1:22:38 and was delighted with his performance. Philip Murdock (1:27:27) made a very welcome return to racing and stuck to his task of 6:30 mile pace, ideal preparation for London.

Norman Smyth (1:38:55) is currently engaged in an interesting marathon training experiment – 13.1 miles per day for 8 weeks, or 56 days in old money. Bohermeen was day 19 of the programme and DJ Normski looked as fresh as a daisy as he clocked up his 92nd mile of the week. He is looking forward to the next 92 in the 7 days ahead! He was the constant variable in the unholy alliance formed on the start line with Jerome McCrickard (1:38:55) and Joe McCann (1:38:56). All three stuck to their task stoically and brought a few with them with the metronomic pace. Smyth was the leader as McCrickard and McCann suffered at various times in the race. However, both showed great perseverance, resilience and determination as they refused to let Smyth open up an unbridgeable gap. All three crossed the line together in an act of club solidarity. East Down’s Carmel Tumelty joined us for the day and was delighted to finish in 1:56:29, close to a PB.

Earlier in the morning the 10k set off at 10:30. Kieran Morgan AKA GMAC raced for the first time since the Dublin Marathon and was delighted to cross the finish line with no pain. While his time of 45:41 is way below his PB, progress is progress and substantial improvement will come in the weeks ahead. Murlough’s Michelle McCann (53:05) was another guest for the day and ran a very consistent race as her form improves each week.

Miley Morgan making a welcome return from injury with Michelle & Joe McCann.

Carlingford Half-Marathon & 10k
The previous day was the re-arranged half marathon in Carlingford which fell victim to the snow the previous weekend. 439 runners braved the horrendous conditions, not snow this week, rather rain, torrential at times with a fierce wind off the Cooley Peninsula coast. Ashlene Mussen confirmed that she is on-track for her London Marathon target time with a good 1 hour 36 minutes and 41 seconds time – great in the conditions, along the coast between 7 and 9 miles it was almost horizontal sleet in the holding gale in sight of Greencastle on the other side of Carlingford Lough. Also on track for London is Richard Rodgers who recorded 1 hour 29 minutes and 46 seconds for 39th out of the 349 finishers. Also running was Gerard McAuley helping his better half Elaine to a 2:04 clocking.

In the associated 10k race, Ciaran Oggie Mussen out kicked his team mate, JP Gilroy, for 4th place, having made the effort to catch JP, Oggie was devastated to find that he was 4th rather than 3rd – nonetheless in the conditions a solid 41:56 with JP at 42:00.

Before the race and the deluge – Gerard McAuley, Ashlene Mussen & Richard Rodgers.

Ciaran Oggie Mussen in action in the 10k at Carlingford.