Six Newcastle AC runners took part in the 10k race in Saul as The Griddle race goes from strength to strength. Despite the variety of races on offer over a busy weekend of running, 118 took on the challenge of the hills and dales that characterise the parish of Saul. First home was East Down’s Brendan Teer in a very respectable 34:45 for one of the tougher 10k races of the year. While the temperature was unseasonably benevolent, there was enough wind to make the conditions testing at times. He was followed by Dub Runners’ James Trainor (36:06), with last year’s winner, Stephen Wylie (36:36) having to settle for the third podium spot.
There’s wiser eating grass!
Wonderwall is a man renowned for taking his running seriously and carefully balancing the demands between training hard, training easy and resting. It was therefore a great surprise to his coach Richard Rodgers that Wonderwall had made the following entries in the diary this weekend:
“Saturday: Up at 5:30 to feed the horses. Back in the house for 7:30 to feed the wife and children. Left at 8:00 for the Victoria Park Parkrun. Ran well, clocking 18:20 for a new PB and third place overall. 3 mile warm up and 3 mile cool down certainly helped. Felt really good so went to Ballyclare to be part of the Malcolm Cup team. Ran well, 24:10 for 4 miles – beat McCann easily as usual. 4 mile cool down got the legs back into some shape.
Sunday: Horses and children sorted out early enough to make the 10 mile Castlewellan run at 8:30. Ran well. Went to Saul for the Gridle – didn’t want to embarrass McCann any further so did the 5k – finished second in 18:54 on a very hilly course – another 3 mile warm up and 3 mile cool down.
Looking forward to a hard week of training after a light weekend!”
McQuaid almost gets his man!
With Wonderwall out of the equation, McCann could relax a little, but not a lot as his two perennial nemeses were on the line. Montgomery was full of the Christmas spirit, singing non-stop for the first 5k, whilst Murray was shaking his head disapprovingly. In this see-saw battle that has been raging all year, it was the former who gained the bragging rights on this occasion, holding off his rivals – no doubt there will be revenge sought in 2017. However, club mate McQuaid made a gallant final push and would run a classy 40:24, finishing just 9 seconds and one place behind McCann in 12th overall. Carson continued his recent good form in his erstwhile hinterland, finishing 23rd in 42:28. Patricia McKibbin had another really strong run, finishing second to East Down’s Catherine O’Connor. Jerome Farrell is a man on the way back and was delighted with his time of 46:48. Finally, Vet 60 Jim Johnston made a rare racing appearance in County Down and recorded an impressive 48:35 in a race that he always enjoys.
The Christmas Cracker
Entries are now flying in for the annual Christmas Cracker Pairs race on 27 December in Castlewellan. With the entry capped at 600 teams, the race is sure to sell out in the days ahead. There will be no entries on the day. Further details available by clicking HERE. Watch this space for a full preview.
Photos courtesy of Alison Carroll