Report by Hill Runner
Saturday 9th March saw the NIMRA series opener “The Spud Race” take place in Glenariffe. Conditions underfoot were pretty poor, which has come to be the norm in Glenariffe for the 6 mile out and back course. From the start NAC’s Mark Stephens, Seamus Lynch and Luke McMullan along with Mourne Runners’ Timothy Johnston set the pace, with Stephens first man to the summit. A treacherous descent, in which one runner had to be stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle, drops runners back onto the never ending path towards the finish. Lynch pushed hard here to take the win in 43:35 getting his season off to a good start, closely followed by Stephens in 43:45, Mourne Runners’ Timmy Johnston 3rd in 44:43 and NAC’s Luke McMullan 4th in 45:13. Next runner worthy of a mention here, although not an NAC man was Jared Martin of Scrabo Striders, a young lad who had a fantastic 2018 season, finishing 7th in 48:44 and taking the u19 spot.
First female was Newry AC’s Esther Dickson, also coming from an excellent 2018 season, finishing 14th overall in 51:12, closely followed by NAC’s Pete Grant for 16th and 1st M50 in 51:39 and Gary McEvoy 17th and 1st M35 in 52:00. Also getting their first NIMRA race over was Declan McElroy finishing 61st in 1:02:20 and Nigel McKinney 77th in 1:07:03. Only one lady made the journey north to Glenariffe, Catherine McIntosh, and finished an excellent 12th in 1:05:03.
The next NIMRA race is Donard Commedagh on March 30th.
Photos below are courtesy of John Healey Photography.