Club Notes Week of 16th Nov 2015

Murtagh is runaway winner at Decathlon Half Marathon
Newcastle AC Notes by Bogusboy

On a wet and windy Sunday morning, five Newcastle AC athletes travelled to Hollywood Exchange to compete in the Decathlon Half Marathon and 10k. The course is a flat out and back which makes for the possibility of good times. For the half marathoners it is a case of doing it all again for a second time – a tough ask when you can see your club mates who have already finished the 10k. Getting back into racing is always tough after completing a marathon, but Murtagh made this look easy with an outstanding performance to romp to top spot on the podium with 3 and a half minutes to spare – the second lady was in a different parish when Murtagh triumphantly crossed the line.

The pounding of the streets of New York evidently out of her system, Sinead ran a perfectly controlled race, passing the halfway point in 44:34 and slowing little on the second lap as the winds strengthened and conditions definitely worsened. At the end of the race she and the other leading men and ladies were hastily removed to the bowels of the Decathlon Megastore only to return with armfuls of very attractive apparel. Murtagh was delighted with her new gear and all agreed it was suitable reward for her endeavour. Her time of 1:30:28 was good enough for 12th place overall.

Lanzarote in a spin
The men’s race was won by David Proctor (1:19:04) and he was joined on the podium by Brian Young (1:20:30) and the evergreen and ever-committed Nigel Grier (1:21:08). Newcastle’s two male competitors, Joe McCann (9th 1:27:47) and DJ Normski Smyth (14th 1:30:53) had good runs in the conditions. Smyth was using this as a sharpener before taking to warmer climates for the Lanzarote Half Marathon in December and to spin a few discs and play a few sets in some of the island’s top dance venues – we wish him well in both ventures!

Carson breaks 40 at a canter
Dipping under the 40 minute barrier for 10k is considered an important milestone in any runner’s CV. Although he has achieved this several times, Niall Carson has found this elusive in the last 18 months. With his new found enthusiasm for all things running, the Decathlon 10k would be an opportunity to achieve this landmark again. With Seeley Cup entry eluding him for technical reasons (i.e. failing to register on time – silly boy), he knew this was his last chance of the year (unless he completes the Griddle in Saul on his bike!) and turned in a stellar performance to come home in 39:40 – 20 seconds below his target time and a great source of motivation as he prepares for the London Marathon in the spring. In testing conditions Frank Cunningham also had a fine run, and but for an inexplicably poor third mile would have got very close to the 40 minute mark. However, Frank is still new to running and long term gains are his priority at this point. Frank did not suffer the same technical fate as Carson and will have another go in two weeks’ time in Ormeau Park.

Unbelievable Jeff!
As if winning the Decathlon Half was not enough, Murtagh had prepared by taking in the Ormeau Parkrun the previous day, recording the 5th fastest time of the morning (19:12) for the accurately measured 5k. She was joined at the start by Patrick Higgins who recorded the fastest time (18:12) and Mari Troeng, 11th fastest (19:37). With the Seeley Cup only two weeks away time spent on feet at pace in Ormeau Park seems to be the order of the day – undoubtedly there will be a few more going next week, particularly if the club whip is cracked!

Run in the dark and no one sees you, but Bogusboy always hears about you!
My good friend and long suffering running mate Paul Rodgers likes a low key no fuss type of event. No faffing about with podiums, dry runs or hand crafted scones. Turn up, race and go home – occasionally stopping off for fish and chips and maybe a wee coffee and maybe a wee bun! Imagine his surprise when 1039 other like-minded souls turned up for the Run In The Dark 10k on Wednesday evening at Stormont! Even more incredibly there were 856 entrants for the adjoining 5k – so much for picking a low key event. Notwithstanding these minor distractions, Mr Rodgers had a fine run recording 42:30 and finishing ahead of 1008 of his fellow competitors! Well also done to Megan who completed the 5k in 25:51.

And finally Cyril…
News just in – NAC stalwart Brendan Donnelly completed the Leeds Abbey 10k dash in 36:50 – the road to London will surely be paved with gold on April 23rd! Finally, well done to everyone who took park in the Extreme 26 races in difficult conditions in Tollymore Forest Park on Saturday.