Paul on Greyabbey prowl

Paul on Greyabbey prowl

11 July 2018

FACED with the prospect that this could well be the last ever  Greyabbey 10k, threatened, like many other races on the calendar, with the planned imposition of financially crippling race licence and consultants fees from traffic management firms, what did the runners do? 

Only turn up in record numbers in the warm sunshine that has been a feature of recent weeks.

East Down’s only representative was Paul Lloyd who, on his first visit to this particular venue, found the two lap course incorporated a good few hills. 

Although he was not expecting a PB due to the terrain and the heat, he wasn’t disgraced by any means with 40.29 which placed him 18th overall. The pursuit of sub 40 continues to be a good motivation for future races.

Wild Atlantic Marathon

Given the extreme weather conditions over the past few weeks it was to be expected that our ultra distance queen, Linda Cunningham, would find something to occupy any idle moments she happened to have over the weekend. 

And without fail she did it again. This time it was the Magee 1866 (it’s the name of a local business in Killybegs) Wild Atlantic Marathon which started in Killybegs and took participants along the coast roads from Killybegs to Kilcar, Carrick, Malinmore, Malinbeg, passing stunning beaches like Silver Strand beach and finish in Glencolmcille. The course is described as challenging but the scenery is worth the effort.

Family affair

And not content with the discomfort that running 26.2 miles on a hot sunny afternoon brings to the body, but she also spent the night before sleeping in a small tent, (which the pictures suggest that there was actually five in it) and she then persuaded her sister Jacqueline Moore from Murlough AC and her husband Gordon and even more impressively, her own husband Mickey, to do it along with her and then added in former ultra addicts Michael Cultra, Oonagh Breteche and Liz O’ Hagan to the mix. 

While accepting that going for a breath of fresh air might be justified as the reason for getting out of the aforementioned overcrowded tent, I still reckon that running for 26.2 miles in Sunday’s heat was basically way over the top. Nevertheless, well done to everyone.

Liz was the first to finish in 4.22.58 in 67th place, with Gordon  4.30 in 81st and Mickey 87th in 4.33. Michel and Oonagh were inseparable on time 5.40 and placed 126th and 127th and Linda and Jackie took equal times 5.59 in 130th and 131st places respectively.

Neil’s travels

Neil McCartan ran a highly tactical 1500m in Bedford on Saturday as part of the British Athletics League and came third in a dip finish. 

The spectators were treated to Neil and his training partner (both coached by Mark Kirk) battling it out to hit the line.

The times of 4.01.58 and 4.01.59 show the margin of the split which was in Neil Johnston’s favour on this occasion. A great race to be part of, but even better to watch.

Clontarf Half

Phillip and Helen Vint headed south to the Clontarf Half Marathon on Sunday. This run is an out and back course taking in the Clontarf promenade/Bull Island/the causeway continuing along the promenade up to Sutton 

Lane where participants then retrace their footsteps back to the start/finish line. 

The beach section was hard going and the heat didn’t help, but Phillip was happy to finish in 1.33 and while no time results are available, Helen was also satisfied with her performance.

Portaferry 10 mile

Next Tuesday is the date for the annual Portaferry Gala Festival Ten Mile Road Race, incorporating a 2 x 5 mile relay race. Online  entry is still open at  and with the famous souvenir mugs only available for the first 300 entrants you’re advised to enter now.

Entries will also be taken on the night. Race starts at 7.30pm, so if you’re taking the ferry over you need to get the 6.30pm crossing at the latest.