Ballydrain Race A Busy Racing Fortnight!
On Friday 26th July, the annual 6 mile Giant’s Trail Race took place. It was a warm but thankfully dry evening for this popular event which is hosted by Dub Runners and as in previous years, it was sold out before the evening. The route is a challenging one including a combination of forest trails, pastures and the Lagan Tow Path with plenty of hills! The athletes ran from the Dub playing fields, climbed through Minnowburn to the ancient monument at the Giant’s Ring and descended through Edenderry Village to finish at the Dub. Ballydrain Harriers had 4 athletes taking on the challenge. The race was won by Philip Goss of North Belfast Harriers in 34:12 and first female was Ita Monaghan from City of Lisburn AC in 45:09. First home for Ballydrain was Nigel Kelly, giving a solid performance and finishing in 43:33. First female was Claire Ingram who despite dropping several places during the 4th mile, managed to regain her 3rd female position overall with a very strong finish at the last mile to finish in 45:41. Evan Boyce 45:15 and Alison Stocks 48:47 also ran on the evening and gave commendable performances over a tough course.
Also taking place on Friday 26th July was the Lakeland Dairies 5 mile race which starts and finishes at the Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre in Ballymoney. The race was won by Gareth Lyons of North Belfast Harriers in 26:57 and first female was Gemma McDonald of Ballycastle Runners in 30:45. Valerie Martin from Ballydrain travelled for the event and finished in 54:43.
Racing momentum continued last week that saw Ballydrain athletes participate north and south of the border starting locally on Wednesday night with the popular Donaghadee
5k held every year to support the RNLI. The breezy coastal route attracts athletes from mostly local clubs where for Ballydrain, it was all about Team Hughes. A great race and result for Sam Hughes fIrst male home for the club in 18:49 and Mandy Hughes first Ballydrain female home in 26:50. Hot on Sam’s tail was Dovydas Pliagua completing in 19:38 and Richard McAlpin in 20.08.
Great results also achieved by the Gibsons, Val and Michael and two sons TJ and Ben, both male juniors had superb finishing times of 23:09 and 23:46 and pb’s for Valarie 30:13 and Michael 28:26. Catherine Lavery also raced a steady run resulting in a 5k pb of 28:01.
Friday night produced superb results in the Carlingford 5k hosted by Glenmore A.C that takes place every year in the stunning coastal village of Carlingford, Co. Louth. This years event attracted over 550 runners from both sides of the border. The race is a must do flat and fast 5k road race where quality runners can test themselves and every year attracts a huge spread of clubs from North and South of Ireland.
The quality of racing and athletes meant that there was a constant flow of runners all battling against each other for age category and team prizes finishing to a wall of noise from spectators as they crossed the finish line. 2019 saw the course record broken by 3 secs. Yared Deresse of Carrick Aces gave the crowds lots to shout and scream about as he managed to break the record in a time of 14:26. Well done to Ballydrain athletes Drew Fowler (Captain) finishing in a superb time of 16:37, Denise Logue in 19:29 and Matthew Carville breaking the 17 minute barrier with a pb of 16:58.
Saturday’s racing for Ballydrain athletes started with the Dervock Half including the picturesque Dark Hedges run by Springfield AC and later that evening the Mount Stewart 10k and Half marathon organised by the Scrabo Striders.
Dervock or the Dark Hedges Half is an annual race part of the Kennedy Kane McArthur Festival of Running and the Pure Running Half Marathon Series.
You can’t get much better for scenery and those much sought after running photographs that makes the pain of hot running conditions over a hilly route all worth it.
Racing Dervock was the first of two half marathons in one day for Craig Bradley finishing first home for Ballydrain in a time of 1:33, followed by Gary Long 1:43 and William Alexander in 1:48
Well done to Val and Michael Gibson completing their second race this week and to Violet Davison who, competing for Ballydrain, continues to do us proud in the F70 category. She’s inspirational!
Saturday evening’s races at Mount Stewart are superb trail routes that take athletes up a tough climb to The Temple of the Winds and around the Mount Stewart trails. One
loop completes the 10k and two for the half marathon distance. It was great to see blue vests out there supporting our purple neighbours with Ballydrain Blues finishing second overall with a 38:40 time for Paul Flynn. Great running from Evan Boyce who was second home for Ballydrain in 44:31 and first female home and third female overall Claire Ingram (Captain) in 47:31.
The challenging two laps in the half marathon produced a great run for fourth finisher home and first for Ballydrain Stuart McIver in 1:32 and Craig Bradley having completed Dervock that morning in 1:46. First female home with the best finish of the night was Patrycja McAlpine in 1:56.
A special mention to harrier Brian Bogle who completed the Top of the Mourne Triathlon on Saturday in Kilbroney Park Rostrevor. Known for being the toughest Olympic Distance Race in the country this triathlon pushes athletes to their limit starting with the swim in Carlingford Lough, followed by a cycle route across the Mourne Mountains up to Spelga Dam before returning to Kilbroney Park to finish with a 10 KM run along the foot of the Mournes. Congratulations Brian!
Well done to all our athletes racing in warm conditions this past few weeks, hard work is paying off!