Teer and O’Flaherty dominate Les Jones 10K
Roady McTarmack reports from a wet and Windy Belfast!
Brendan Teer of East Down AC retained his Les Jones 10K title in considerable style at a wet and windy Mary Peter’s Track on Friday 15th May. Newcastle’s David O’Flaherty, a former winner also, ran a very strong race in testing conditions to record an impressive 34.05, his third fastest time over the 6.2 mile distance. This would be more than good enough for second place. Teer had almost a minute in reserve as he romped home in 33.05. Both times were all the more impressive given the hilly nature of the course – there is a particularly steep ramp up at 8k that tests tiring legs! Additionally, there was driving rain and a strong wind in the faces of all the 215 athletes who braved the conditions and chose this race over the Balmoral Show! Such was the domination of the local athletes that third place man was well over a minute and a half behind the runner up in 35.42.
Burgers and bandages
O’Flaherty was one of the eleven-strong team that pre-registered and committed to taking part – all were rewarded post-race with a fine burger and a craft beer in the Barking Dog, where the evening’s proceedings were relived and replayed and it would appear the conditions got worse as the evening lengthened and memories became hazier! Times of the various athletes became all the more impressive in the re-telling when various aches, pains and ailments were factored in. Indeed, if all were in full health, most would have dipped under the 30 minute mark! The complaining only stopped when the food arrived. However, by the time the plates were cleared, one or two were complaining of RSI, indigestion, gall bladder problems, potential constipation and wind! Consequently the ruminating began about how this might adversely impact on their summer training and might render them unable to race for the foreseeable future! O’Hare was also observed checking his phone regularly pre-dinner. Was it home? – No! Was it work? – No! It transpired he was consulting his SW App to check out the Syn value of the various dishes proffered to patrons! In the end he chose a big dirty burger, laced with cheese and extra ‘slaw and chunky triple fried chips – one can only conclude the App was malfunctioning!
Not another PB for O’Hare
Equally impressive, for the second week in a row was O’Hare. This fine specimen of an athlete ran the perfect race. He started at a reasonable pace and saved something for the end – passing several well respected and highly talented runners in the final 2k to record a PB (19th overall in 38.54 – not bad for a man with a previous PB over 41 minutes)by a considerable margin. Needless to say he was chuffed to bits, but, alas, like many a colleague, he is starting to sound like a broken record in le-living the glory. Poor Donna awoke in the middle of the night, turned around to face a wide eyed Jack saying, ‘I swear, he was 200 yards ahead of me at the bottom of the hill. I never thought I would catch him, but I started reeling him in and was able to go straight past him. Then, I put my head down, widened my stride and kicked for home.’ There is no restraining some men’s enthusiasm. He then got out of bed and sent the same text to everyone in his address book! Hen was the first to respond with words of praise and encouragement, closely followed by Audey!
The rest of NAC
Melville had another fine run in claiming 9th, McCann won the V45 category in 21st, Byrne (27th) was measured and controlled in achieving his objective of sub-40, Murdock was strong throughout in 43rd, Brown continued his comeback and was steady a place further back, the Prophet achieved the exact time he predicted and was delighted, Cunningham set a PB and was overjoyed with his time, Carson made a rare running appearance in 90th – he has been spending a lot of time in the saddle in preparation for his 400 mile Charity Cycle for Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI
(Tuesday 2nd June to Saturday 6th June stopping at every Toals Bookmakers office in Northern Ireland). He also, in a moment where he thought he had not been heard, called the event the Les Dawson; nothing gets past the nosey hack!!). Farrell was 98th overall, not far off his PB on a very undulating and challenging course. Well done to all. With so much racing this weekend, there was an uncharacteristically atypical Murlough AC contingent. Well done to their two participants, Michelle McCann (52.52) and Catherine Kielty (60.11).
Overall a great evening of racing and we would like to express our thanks to the organisers for a well marshalled and enjoyable race. Special mention must also go to Ballydrain Harriers who had 43 athletes out in colours representing their club – a wonderful achievement. The challenge for NAC is to build on the encouraging 11, though few are willing to declare to O’Hare when they will run next as they do not want to join the scalps in his kit-bag!!!