What a week of racing for Ballydrain last week starting with their traditional President’s Cup, a four mile trail race that was held over the new trails at Billy Neill. The much tougher course than in previous years did not deter a great club turnout in what was the 13th race out of 15 in the Club’s 2019 Super Series. Congratulations to first over the line Jared Martin (23:02), second Matthew Carville (24:09) and a close third Paul Flynn (24:15). However club points allocated in the super series go to handicapped result winners. it’s a fabulous well done to Deborah Sherlock who gained the full 25 points for first place and was presented with the race ‘superstar’ award and the President’s Cup, second place to Tim Ewart awarded 22 points and third place Jenna Hoey, 20 points. All three worked consistently hard over the four miles and are a well deserved top three. As the super series approaches race 14 of 15 at The Belfast Half, it is tight at the top of the table with Alison Wilson holding on to first place followed by William Brown and Nathan Beattie. It was great to have the support of the much respected current President of Ballydrain Sam McMinn at the race.

Friday night was the annual Ards 5 Mile, traditionally hosted by Ards Lions, this year has been taken over by the Scrabo Striders. A popular event starting and finishing in Londonderry Park it attracts runners of all abilities and is the last race in the Baker McKenzie Super Fives series. With weather conditions much cooler than in previous weeks it was an ideal opportunity to work hard over a varied course. It was yet another podium place with Ballydrain’s Matthew Carville finishing second overall, first junior and first home for Ballydrain (29:41). Second home for Ballydrain was Nathan Beattie, 5th overall (30:30) and third Colin Stevenson (32:11). First female home was Amanda Perry (34:11) and it was pb’s for Darren Weir 32:39, Patrycja McAlpine 38:54, Emer James 44:42, Deborah Sherlock 45:56 and Catherine Lavery 47:41.

Saturday racing and the terrain changed to the mountains. It was a great turnout for Balydrain at the Dan White’s Dander. Not so much a dander when the race covers six miles and an elevation of 2000 feet to include Slieve Martin and Knockshee. Race 9 and the final race in the NIMRA Championship was no problem to Ballydrain’s Jared Martin who finished overall second with a time of 1:04, a great preparation run for the forthcoming British and Irish Junior Internationals in 3 weeks time. Good luck Jared!
Second home for Ballydrain was Mark Dugan who continues in great running form this year finishing in 1:13 and third Andrew Wallace 1:16. Well done to all the ladies racing including Claire Ingram first home for Ballydrain in 1:24 and literally seconds behind Alison Stocks 1:24 with special mention to Debbie Mingout heading out in her first NIMRA race and smashing it in what might be her first of many!

Sunday racing covered the Laganside 10K, part of the Novosco Grand Prix Series that
starts and finishes within Ormeau Park. The course takes runners through Ormeau Park, onto the Ravenhill Road, Albertbridge Road up the Lagan towpath towards the Ormeau Bridge, along the Ormeau Embankment and then a second lap of the towpath and embankment before turning back into the park to finish. A fast course encouraging every athlete to a personal best. First home for Ballydrain in 38:41 was Colin Stevenson, second and third was father and son Nathan Lilly 48:16 and Jonathan Lilly 48:20. It was a family affair for the ladies with first home Heather Stanex in 49:08 followed by Rosi Earney 54:04. Well done also to Violet Davidson a continuous category winner in F70 storming home in 1:06.

A final special mention to member Jonathan Bull on completing the White Bear Half Triathlon that included a 1.2 mile Swim time of 34:01, 54 mile bike time of 3:39:35 and a run of 3:17:35 with very windy conditions and elevations of 3885 ft of climbing on bike with 2094ft on the run. A superb achievement on his second ever triathlon.

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