Fast, furious fun for all the family

A preview of the 4th annual Ford 5k by Bogusboy

Following the success of the three previous events, Bryansford GAC is pleased to announce the fourth annual running of the ‘Ford 5k. Last year the race was a little later in the year, taking place 11am on Saturday 29th September. This year, the event reverts to Friday July 5th with a 7:30pm start time in the hope that many will be able to take part before going on their holidays.  The course is the same as last year, with the changes to the original course very well received by those who took part in 2018. The modifications turned an already fast course into an even faster one.  The start will be further down the Castlewellan Road, close to the entrance to the Sunnyholme Caravan Park. Once past the St. Patrick’s Park, there will be a lap of the town heading out to the roundabout on the Bryansford Road before turning back towards the town and going back to the Park where the race will finish with almost a lap of the pitch. With good weather expected and the town busy on the first Friday of the summer holidays, it will be a great spectacle.

In 2017 there were some outstanding times with Andrew Annett winning in an impressive 15:24 and Laura Graham recording the fastest ladies time with 17:40. 43 finishers dipped under the 20 minute barrier, no mean achievement. Last year Patrick McNiff produced a fine run to win in 15:25. He was untroubled throughout and won easily with 70 seconds to spare. His coach tells me that he is looking forward to going even faster this year. Emma Burgess (now Mrs Donnelly) ran an exceptional race to record 17:57 and lead the ladies home.

Men’s Race Time Ladies’ Race Time
1. Patrick McNiff 15:25 1. Emma Burgess 17:57
2. Patrick Sheridan 16:35 2. Mari Troeng 18:33
3. Brendan Guiney 16:39 3. Aine Gosling 19:59

Race Director and seasoned running campaigner Eamon McCrickard is confident that without the twists and turns around the streets of Tullybrannigan, the course lends itself to some of the very quick times and has a great PB potential.

Entries are available on the day at St. Patrick’s Park on the Castlewellan Road at £10 and there will be refreshments and spot prizes at the finish. The organisers are keen to point out that this is a family event for runners, joggers and walkers of all ages and abilities. With four big running clubs in the area, East Down AC, Mourne Runners, Murlough AC and Newcastle & District AC, there promises to be a great wealth of talent on display and competition between clubs will be intense. From slightly further afield Ballydrain Harriers, Saintfield Striders, Crossgar Harriers, the Flying Horse Flyers and Scrabo Striders all travel well and one would expect many to avail of the opportunity to record a good time on a flat and fast course. Moreover, with so many people completing couch to 5k programmes in every town and village locally, there will be many looking to this event as a barometer of their progress against their personal goals. Numbers will undoubtedly be swelled by the large numbers of Bryansford stalwarts turning out to support their club and the sterling work of the race orgainsers. Last year, Patrick Sheridan showed a clean pair of heels to his fellow Bryansford club members and recorded a highly impressive 2nd place overall. Newcastle AC coaches are believed to be monitoring his progress and are awaiting a return to competitive racing in the not too distant future.

If all of that was not enough to entice entries, there is always a spread of biblical proportions in the clubrooms afterwards. In summary, keep the date free and come along to enjoy a great race in a great place with the potential for a great pace!