Gerald Morgan travelled up to the very scenic North Coast for the Portstewart 5-mile race.
The evening was a wee bit chillier than those of late, but it was a welcomed one, and a lovely evening for a run, particularly in such a scenic spot.
With a few rolling hills, and just a slight breeze the ‘out and back’ course was close to perfect, finishing on the West Strand in Portrush. Gerald continues to be on top form in his races, having a great run, with a finishing time of 35:14.
Meanwhile, on Friday evening, Peter Simpson was ‘back on the road’ again, after a ‘short lived’ enforced rest. Peter travelled towards Downpatrick for the Strangford 10K race. The terrain was a mixture of roads and trail and started and finished in the grounds of Castleward Castle. Despite being unwell recently, Peter had a great race and finished the course in a time of 57:19.
Peter Simpson at Strangford 10K
Antrim Coast Half Marathon
It was a very early rise for 5 NCR members on Sunday morning as they headed to Larne for the very popular Antrim Coast Half Marathon.
The ‘mass event’ was at 11:00, but with the Elite Race at 8.00 it meant early road closures so an early start from home was imperative.
The event was live on BBC Sports and the commentators reported the fact that it was a very warm morning, with only a very slight breeze that did not do much to cool or benefit the runners on the homeward leg. All five members had a great race despite the very warm conditions.
The course is essentially flat; however, there was a change from the previous year as it was a slightly different route to that of the elites, with a different start and finish, there are a few tight pulls and unexpected hills, one being at the start, and another within the last mile. Starting at the beginning of the Antrim Coast Road it swept into Larne Harbour and through Larne town before heading out along the beautiful Antrim Coast, sweeping off the Coast Road taking the runners to the finish.
Conor Morgan was first home for NCR in a very speedy 1:23:51, Danny McAlinden was next in 1:34:01, an excellent time despite little training. Ryan Corrin who had a very strong race, was close behind Danny in a time of 1:36:26 and Mark Copeland who is currently marathon training, had a great time of 1:38:58 with Lorcan Daly also having a super run in a time and getting a sub 1:40, with a time of 1:39:37.
Danny McAlinden at Larne Ryan Corrin at Larne Lorcan Daly at Larne
Donegal Half Marathon
David Vint, meanwhile, was on the other side of the Province was he competed in the Donegal Half Marathon in Letterkenny. With similar conditions to Larne, it was a heavy and dead heat, as the runners set foot on the new route. The race had an earlier start time of 09:20 and while the route was advertised as flatter and faster it still had its challenges.
The two main changes see the removal of the climb up Letterkenny's Port Road and the large loop of the course being done the opposite way. The new start line was at the beginning of the Conwal straight. There was 4 flat miles around the town before it headed over the Oldtown Bridge, out Bomany and New Mills and through Rashedog back into town and finishing at the Danny McDaid Track at the Aura Leisure Centre, there was an elevation gain of 374 feet.
David had a brilliant race, taking 1st in his category and finishing in a superb 1:32:45, which was 46th place overall out of a strong field of 450 runners.
David Vint takes the podium for first in category at Donegal Half Marathon – Danny McDaid (two time Olympian Champion) presenting envelope.
James McEvoy was in Craigavon for their parkrun on Saturday morning. It was a warm morning, but he still had a strong run and finished in 32:49.
Despite having Friday evenings race on his legs, Peter Simpson headed to Dundalk for the parkrun and had a very good run of 27:25.
Willies Series of 5 x 5Ks:
The fifth and last of Willie McCracken’s 5K series will take place on Thursday 15th September at 19:00. As this is the last in the series, there will be a slight change, in that it will be a stagger start (like a handicap) with those with a slower pace starting first up to the faster runners. The first 3 men and women across the finish line will be the winners, giving everyone an equal chance of winning. The great news is that it is open to everyone and not just NCR. Not only that but he is sponsoring the series and all funds raised will go directly to The Southern Area Hospice in Newry. Starting and finishing at W.I.N. Industrial Estate the race will be along the towpath. This is in conjunction with Newry City Runners, it will be a handicapped race and is open to anyone who wishes to enter. There will be an entry fee of £3 for each event and in the final race of the series there will be prizes awarded to the first three females and first three males of the series. There will also be two special awards.
Willie is looking forward to seeing you all there on the 15th September at 19:00 for what promises to be another great event for a great cause.
Club Training continues each week St Colman’s Running Track on Tuesday evening, from 19.00-20.00.