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This week was a busy one for the club with athletes performing on the track, road, trail, mountains and Parkrun. Locations covered this week where Belfast, Newry, the Mournes, Antrim, Markethill, Dublin and Killarney.

NI OPEN MEET - MARY PETERS TRACK, BELFAST

On a mild Tuesday evening, three Newry AC athletes attended an ANI Open Meet at the Mary Peters Track with track side support of coach Kookie O'Hagan.

Joanne McCauley in full flight at the Mary Peter’s Track
Joanne McCauley in full flight at the Mary Peter’s Track

New team member, Bernadette Salisbury had a debut performance in the 100m. Setting her nerves aside, Bernadette had a strong run in what can be an intimidating race for first timers. She came across the line in 16:18 which will now be a benchmark for her summer training.

Masters Multi-eventer Joanne McCauley used the evening as a good training session. She took on the 100m lifting a PB of 14:55, 200m with a SB time of 30:01 and jumping 3:90m in the Long Jump.

Young Gary Crummy had the club performance of the evening in the 800m. Determined to break the 2 minute mark he set off the line hard and fast. He stayed in the top three in the first 400m before fighting for pole position right up to the final few metres where he had to accept 2nd place on the line. Gary’s performance was rewarded with the pleasing news he had broke the 2 minutes with a fantastic time of 1:57:99.

NEWRY 10k, NEWRY

John McCaffrey took part in the popular and well supported Newry 10k organised by Newry City Runners on Tuesday evening.

John had a good run in a competitive race and was happy to finish in 14th with a time of 39:24 out of a massive race field of 267.

A steady flow of Newry AC runners during the Rocky Hill & Dales Race
A steady flow of Newry AC runners during the Rocky Hill & Dales Race

HILL & DALES RACE 5, ROCKY

Thursday night saw the fifth of the Hill & Dales Race Series being attended by a dedicated crew of eight Newry AC mountain runners of which four came home in the top twenty and 3 lifting category prizes. The start and finish base was Leitrim Lodge and this was a clockwise route taking in the four summits of Rocky, Tornamrock, Tienan’s Castle and Altataggart. The night was warm and 225 runners arrived to take part in this popular course.

There was no stopping Esther Dickson taking another win as top female finisher and making that 4 wins out of 4, finishing an impressive 10th overall in a time of 36:29. Esther is on top mountain running form and with this lead it will be hard for the other ladies to topple her from the top of the series leaderboard.

Maurice Harte was in fantastic running form and battled hard on the final downhill to take a fantastic 7th placing, 1st MV40 in a time of 36:07 and first home for the Newry AC crew. Adam Ervine followed in 14th and Warren Cartmill in 19th and lifted 1st MV45.

Finishing Times for the entire crew were:

Maurice Harte, 36:07 1st MV40Esther Dickson 36:29 1st FemaleAdam Ervine, 37:23Warren Cartmill 38:16 1stMV45Aidan Murray 39:27Sarah Quinn 41:55David Burns 52:09Ciara Coffey 52:12

KILLARNEY PARK RUN, Co. KERRY

Sarah Jane Beattie took time out on her County Kerry holiday trip to take part in the Killarney Parkrun on Saturday morning. Conditions were damp but this did not deter Sarah Jane, who was the first female over the line in a time of 22:02.

GOSFORD 5K, MARKETHILL

Lee Maginnis took time out on Saturday to take part in Gosford 5k in the beautiful surrounding of Gosford Forest Park. Lee completed the slightly over 5k route in 18:36 to lift the 1st overall podium placing.

Bernadette Salisbury, Gary Crummy & Joanne McCauley at the ANI Meet at the Mary Peter’s Track
Bernadette Salisbury, Gary Crummy & Joanne McCauley at the ANI Meet at the Mary Peter’s Track

NIMRA ANNALONG HORSESHOE MOUNTAIN RACE, MOURNES

After a dry and clear week, a set of brave mountain running souls took on the new Annalong Horseshoe Championship race route. This is a long route which for the first time in 37 years moved its base from Dunnywater and started at the Silent Valley Reservoir. From the start point at ‘The Plug Hole’ the runners had to follow the set route to the Ben Crom Reservoir Stile and then summit in order Slieve Lamagan, Cove, Slieve Commedagh, Slieve Donard, Chimney Rock, Slieve Binnian North Tor South Side and then return back to the Plug Hole in Slient Valley. This was approximately 23km in distance and 2,050 metres in ascent.

A lot of the runners, despite years of running in the Mournes were not familiar with parts of the course and a few not having done a recce coupled with a cloudy, misty day, resulted in a variety of interesting route choices. Many of the mountain runners encountered navigational challenges in the white outs or found it hard to find the dibbers. The mist lifted a bit towards the end of the race, and from about Chimney Rock onwards, many runners just chose to follow whomever they could see ahead of them! The last 1k to the finish line was a welcome site for the runners.

4 brave Newry AC souls were part of this pilgrimage. Adam Ervine finished 14th in 3:27:14; Paul Le Blanc finished 16th, 2nd MV55 in 3:41:12; Cathal McGreevy finished 17th, 3rd MV50 in 3:41:15 and Sarah Quinn finished in 4:31.

Adam Ervine during the Annalong Horseshoe Race
Adam Ervine during the Annalong Horseshoe Race

IRISH MILERS CLUB (IMC) MEET, DUBLIN

Gary Crummy travelled down to Dublin on Saturday to race in the 1,500m event at the prestigious IMC event. With coach Kookie O’Hagan by his side, Gary was out to use the fast pace set by the other competitors to gain himself a PB. From the start gun, Gary set out determined to maintain pace and worked hard to stay up at the front pack. This, he did, and was rewarded with shaving an amazing 11 seconds off his current times to made a 4:04.53 PB and 4th place.

Gary is now setting off for Australia, and Newry AC wish him a safe journey and enjoyable year out there. Gary will be missed on the track by his track mates but they await his return and hopefully he will maintain his strict training regime in Aussieland and come back to beat his Irish PBs. Have a great time, Gary.

ULSTER SCHOOLS ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS, ANTRIM FORUM

Eve Welsh and Meadow McCauley represented their schools at the Ulster Schools Championships held at the Antrim Forum on Saturday. It was a cold and damp day but this did not deter the girls enjoying their events. Meadow finished 5th place in the Intermediate Girls 800m with 2:28.28 in a very fast and competitive race. Eve raced in the Mini Girls 800m finishing in 6th place with a great time of 2:37.61.

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