Newcastle AC notes by Bogusboy
The Craigavon lakes is the idyllic setting for a 5k/10k race. The course is for the most part flat and the scenery stunning. The annual race, 1 lap for the 5k and 2 laps for the 10k has become an increasingly popular race for many, despite the fact that midweek races are generally less well attended than weekend events. 194 set off in the 5k at 7pm. Wonderwall had done his homework and realised that there was a bit of glory to be had. He was upfront about this declaring, ‘I’m going to win it.’ And win it he did. To be fair, he won it with plenty to spare despite having to hold off his nearest challengers for the first two miles. However, the dogged determination that has become synonymous with this athlete came to the fore and he simply refused to be beaten, pulling away emphatically in the closing mile. Needless to say he was exuberant in the immediate aftermath, but joy turned to typical gloom when he thought about the time he could have recorded had he fully applied himself to the task – there is just no pleasing some folk! The mood improved significantly when he was told that his time was 18:22 by the finish marshals – his watch had recorded 18:34. Worse news was to come later, when his time was officially posted as 18:56 – in the words of the song, ‘there could be trouble ahead.’ In the meantime WW is holding fast to the story that he crossed the line in 18:22. Any further developments in this unfortunate debacle will be duly reported so that all his adoring fans can sleep easily in their beds!
Melville is the master of the 10k
On the same evening 291 runners took part in the 10k race beginning at 7:15pm. Marty Melville was among the early pace setters, but found himself adrift by 30 seconds as the leaders completed the first lap in around 17 minutes, quick in anyone’s book. ‘Mevs’ sprang into action early in the second lap, got back on terms and would romp home to win in 34:11, 27 seconds ahead of the second placed athlete. His efforts proved to be extremely worthwhile as he took home ‘a right few quid in prize money’, handy when you are Salou-bound 36 hours later – we are all sure he will invest it wisely! Jack O’Hare was next home for NAC in 10th overall (36:48) – a fine run on a very warm and energy-draining evening. Jack’s cause was not helped by the fact that he ran the Tollymore Red Route – a very hilly 8.5 mile loop late on Tuesday evening – a decision that earns him the award of ‘Silly Boy’ this week. Joe McCann finished 31st (39:24) and despite his usually taciturn character was very quick to point out that he could run much faster if he was a stone lighter – couldn’t we all!!! O’Hare was equally quick to point out that visiting St. John’s Hall on a Thursday as opposed to the ice cream parlours and coffee shops would soon sort the problem out! Even though conditions were less than ideal, Rita Devlin recorded an impressive PB, shaving almost a minute of her previous best. However, her performance on the tarmac was totally overshadowed by her performance in the kitchen. She produced a tray of delicious sandwiches that would have taken pride of place in Mary Margaret’s on any Thursday night. Such was their quality that the evergreen Tommy Fee from Banbridge was drawn to the party – in typically Down fashion the car was turned for home and boys and girls were sitting in the boot drinking tay and horsing the ‘sangwiches’ into them. Wonderwall tried to tell us how well he had run, but simply managed to cover us in egg, tuna and Cajun chicken! Tommy certainly made his mark on the evening and left one or two of the NAC faithful who are prone to the occasional verbal diatribe remarkably subdued – Rock on Tommy.
The Ford 5k
Bryansford GAC have announced an exciting new race for the NI road running calendar. The inaugural ‘Ford 5k’ will take place on Saturday July 9th at 2pm. This promises to be a massive event with lots of local clubs already showing great interest. The fast and flat course begins on the Castlewellan Road and takes in the entire main street (traffic will be stopped for the duration of the race) before going down the Bryansford Road, swinging right at the roundabout onto Bryansford Avenue and then left onto the Castlewellan Road, finishing on the field of St. Patrick’s Park. The race will be a great community event. The entry fee is £10 and anyone 12 years and above on the day of the race is eligible to enter. Entries will be taken on the day at the clubrooms on the Castlewellan Road. Further details can be found on the club website www.bryansford.com.