By The Clonduff Cruiser
Four committed Newcastle AC athletes travelled to Craigavon on Wednesday 6th June to take part in the annual Craigavon Lakes 10k & 5k event. Close to 500 runners descended onto the picturesque setting of the lakes in beautiful conditions with temperatures hitting 22oC in the shade and not a cloud in the sky.
As Noel Gallagher, Ciarán Óg Mussen & Richard Rodgers, aka The Good, The Bad & The Ugly, had just finished their warm up for the 10k event, Ashlene Mussen set off in the 5k race. Mrs Óg nipped over the line in 17th place overall and 5th Female with a speedy 20 min 35 sec showing that her pace is returning after her London Marathon recovery period. A sub 20 min 5k is no doubt just around the corner for her as she continues to improve.
As the 5k runners were nearing the finish line, the 10k racers were let loose from the traps to complete 2 laps of the lake. Gallagher, a man known for his horses, left his saddle at home and led out the Newcastle AC athletes running with typical determination to record an impressive 38:30 while narrowly missing out by a nose on a top 10 finish.
Rodgers ran the first lap akin to a swan on the lake with majestic style and grace as the sun glistened from his flowing black locks. The 2nd lap, as with most, proved to be a tougher battle for him where a more dogged approach was required in the searing heat. He was the 25th runner in, completing the course just under the 41 min bracket at 40:55. His first coherent words afterwards were “I thought you said that was flat!”…
The last Newcastle AC athlete in was Mr Óg Mussen who was cheered on at the halfway point by his adoring wife and better half of the ‘Hilltown two’. Ashlene said she could hear Óggie mutter to himself “should have done the 5k” as he trundled past. Óggie dug in hard to finish in 41:18 but not hard enough to catch the old stalwart Rodgers. Afterwards he emphatically announced a weight loss plan for the next race as he munched on his goodie bag packet of Tayto Cheese & Onion. Apparently Kingo has been on the phone since then offering his help with a specific breakfast plan.
While there were no PBs recorded all four Newcastle athletes will have been content with their times in what was a worthwhile race building up to higher targets in the summer races ahead. Congratulations to all involved in what was per usual a well-organised and enjoyable event at Craigavon Lakes.